Racism, Antisemitism and Achievement: Christoph Meiners and his Theory of the Nonequivalence of Human Beings
This chapter deals with the establishment of the scientific theory of race in Germany c. 1800. More specifically, I will show that the Göttingen philosopher Christoph Meiners (1747–1810) developed his doctrine on the inequality of humans and ‘human races’, which took shape around the time of the French Revolution of 1789, with reference to the emancipation of the Jews and the movement to abolish slavery and the slave trade. Thus, one might argue pointedly that the genesis of the scientific theory of race was a reaction to the emancipatory struggles of both Jews and slaves. One might also argue that the interlinkage of antisemitism and racism is an inherent part of the scientific theory of race from its very beginnings.
Axster, Felix. 2022. Racism, Antisemitism and Achievement: Christoph Meiners and his Theory of the Nonequivalence of Human Beings. In: Colonialism and the Jews in German History: From the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, hg. von Stefan Vogt. Bloomsbury Academic, 2022. doi: 10.5040/9781350155749.