Stella Sandford, Kingston University, London

20th Feb 2018

This lecture addresses the controversial issue of what recent student movements have called the ‘decolonisation of the syllabus’, specifically in Philosophy. It will focus on the example of Immanuel Kant. Kant’s critical philosophy and his ethical theory is a standard part of the University curriculum in Philosophy. But Kant also developed an influential theory of ‘race’ in the late-eighteenth century, and was a profoundly racist thinker. This lecture will ask: should University syllabuses in Philosophy routinely include critical consideration of Kant’s theory of race and his racism? What is the relationship between his theory of race and his critical philosophy? It will suggest that to begin to answer these difficult questions we need to pay attention not just to the details of the relevant texts in the history of philosophy, but also the history of the reception of those texts.

Owing to a technical fault, some of this lecture is regrettably missing from the recording


Stella Sandford is Professor in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London, UK. Her research focuses on critical philosophy of sex and, more recently, critical philosophy of race, especially in relation to Immanuel Kant.

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