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Book Cover for: Slavery and Race: Philosophical Debates in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Julia Jorati

Slavery and Race: Philosophical Debates in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Julia Jorati

Philosophers from Europe and colonial America engaged in heated debates about the morality of slavery in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and these debates provide insights into the roots of modern racism. Julia Jorati explores the philosophical ideas, theories, and arguments that are central to early modern discussions of slavery. Some texts explicitly examine the morality of the transatlantic slave trade or of the enslavement of indigenous people in the Americas; others discuss slavery in predominantly theoretical ways. Based on these texts, Jorati shows that race and slavery came to be closely associated in this period. This association was often made through an endorsement of the theory of natural slavery: Black and indigenous people were commonly viewed as natural slaves, or naturally destined for slavery. The theory that some people are natural slaves also features prominently in theoretical discussions of slavery, and many philosophers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries embraced versions of it.

Jorati surveys a wide range of historical material, from the views of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, to many less widely studied philosophers like Gabrielle Suchon, Morgan Godwyn, and Epifanio de Moirans. Jorati's volume, along with its companion Slavery and Race: Philosophical Debates in the Eighteenth Century, illustrates the significance and philosophical sophistication of early modern debates about slavery, and serves as a valuable resource for scholars, instructors, and students who are curious about this widely neglected topic.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publish Date: Jun 18th, 2024
  • Pages: 364
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780197659489
  • Categories: Western Europe - GeneralModern - 17th CenturyEurope - Renaissance

About the Author

Julia Jorati is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She specializes in early modern philosophy with a particular focus on metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and ethics. In addition to numerous articles about Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and several other early modern philosophers, she has authored the books Slavery and Race: Philosophical Debates in the Eighteenth Century (2024) and Leibniz on Causation and Agency (2017). She is also the editor of Powers: A History (2021).