By Paul Gilroy
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Additional resources for Between Camps: Nations, Culture and the Allure of Race
This critique emphasi~ their connection to the rational irrationality of -race- and rcductive accounts of the interplay of narunl and cultural difference. It can be found in severo places but is perhaps most strongly audible in the disscntiqg voices of many black intellectua1s of the western hemisphere. "" iKAC.... C oIUXVARC( HATIONALKK mo ROHAN'$H These were, and remain. people who have been shaped. nurtured, and trained by the West. Yet their sense or its promise was formed by a profound disenchantment.
His raciological ideas blend the. phYSical ~d the metaphysical into a powerful and elaborate argument which, as w~ will see, sits awkwardly alongside the compelling features of his cosmopoli~ ism. H is ideas wue developed in a number of texts from the same penod, most notably in his 1798 Anthropologyfrom " Pr"fmatif Point of~l'W IUld his 1775 essay "On the Different Races ofMIUl. They are too little read these days, perhaps because they are deemed to embarrass or even compromise the worthy democratic aspirations to which the critical Kant also gave such enduring expression.
Forget totality: the aspiration to perceive and explain through recourse to the power of the minute, the microscopic, and now the molecular has been consolidated. cems, the body and its obvious, functional components no longer delimit the scale upon which assessments of the unity and variation of the species are to be made. The naked eye was long ago recognized to be insufficient to the tasks of evaluation and description demanded by the beleaguered condition of everyday life and the popular eugenic answers to its manifold problems.