Philosophers have simply interpreted the universe in various ways up to this point; the goal is to alter it.” – Marx, Karl (Theses on Feuerbach)
Even if he published On The Jewish Question, it seems a little out of place to begin a memory of scientific racism’s travesties by pointing to another notable pronouncement by a thinker who was not preoccupied with racial identity or race in general.
Marx, on the other hand, gave normative support for progressive learning, an attitude that fought the heartbeat of scientific racism in his day and subsequent eras. There was certain to be a paradigm shift if previously accepted science was subjected to philosophical scrutiny and found inadequate, as Thomas Kuhn put it.
Because our thoughts are reformed, one would anticipate our ways and perceptions of the natural world, including ourselves, to be reformed as well. Scientific racism is today referred to as pseudoscience because philosophers did not succumb to the temptation of interpreting the world based on inherited knowledge, but rather challenged and changed the world based on truly contradictory data.
To that end, the question remains: were these tidbits of information unscientific since they did not follow the scientific method? Or were they scientifically because, for the most part, they were motivated reasoning by white people wanting to justify their sense of superiority? These two questions are very different, and explaining the differences would take a long time and a lot of thought.
The fact that the era of scientific racism coincides with the European age of enlightenment is a little perplexing. The lesson here is loud because what we’re about to say was done in good faith.
Four outcomes of an age when science was also exploited to reinforce Caucasians’ superiority are as follows:
This was perhaps the most well-known of the scientific racist studies. The pseudoscience of phrenology, also known as craniology, claimed that mental capacities could be determined by looking at the bumps and size of the skull. The idea was to rate people, or races in the case of white nationalists, based on IQ.
Phrenology was developed in 1796 by the German scientist Franz Joseph Gall and has been used in psychiatric and psychological therapies for a long time. Even though it was unpopular at the turn of the century, it did not deter German Nazis from using it in their war to protect racial supremacy.
Phrenology was invented by the German scientist Franz Joseph Gall in 1796 and has long been utilized in psychiatric and psychological treatments. Even though it was unpopular at the beginning of the century, German Nazis continued to use it in their struggle to maintain racial superiority.
Drapetomania is derived from two Greek words that roughly translate to “madness that runs away.” Cartwright’s theory was criticized by abolitionists at the turn of the century. It was, nevertheless, a breeding environment for many more slavemasters to crack the whip.
The intrinsic vice of miscegenation
One of the lesser-known aspects of Black presence in European colonies in the New World was White people’s zealous defense of their kind’s purity against’soiling’ by others in procreation. Race mixing, as it was known, was supposed to dilute whiteness’ fundamental psychic, physical, and social qualities.
Arthur de Gobineau, a French novelist, was one of the century’s most ardent supporters. Indeed, the inherent immorality of miscegenation served as the foundation for the American prohibition of having race-mixed children, a prohibition that would not be repealed until 1967.
To be fair, polygenism isn’t solely a product of the scientific racism age. Polygenism refers to the idea that distinct ethnic groups or races have diverse origin tales. These stories are either etiological or can be found in many civilizations’ creation myths, including Africa.
Scientific monogenism, on the other hand, holds the popular “All Out Africa” idea to be the correct way of understanding our evolution. Nonetheless, many Europeans and thinkers have proposed what they call scientific polygenism to explain racial differences and to resist having to essentially embrace Africa as humanity’s first home since the 19th century.
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