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Many classical philosophical texts contain passages that are to be judged as discriminatory and degrading, and by today’s standards even as racist, sexist or anti-Semitic. How we should deal appropriately with this heritage – be it in teaching or in research – is by no means undisputed. Some researchers are of the opinion that the passages in question are terminological idiosyncrasies of the respective authors related to the time they lived in and therefore philosophically irrelevant: they can be disregarded. Others doubt that such a separation can actually be made. They are of the opinion that the philosophical parts of the respective work are always affected if racist, sexist or anti-Semitic ideas can be detected in passages. In analogy to the current discussion on how to deal with problematic works of art, memorials, street names or linguistic expressions, the question can also be addressed to philosophical works: what should be done with philosophical texts if they contain racist, sexist and anti-Semitic thoughts and their reception preserves so-called racist knowledge in our society? The contributions in the section ‘Philosophie aktuell’ take a stand on these questions from different perspectives and thereby show that one can also deal critically with this topic on the basis of philosophical methods.


Hegel, G. W. F. (1986), Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Geschichte (= Werke 12), Frankfurt am Main.10.28937/978-3-7873-2537-5Search in Google Scholar

Kant, I. (2009), Vorlesungen über Physische Geographie, in: Kant’s gesammelte Schriften 26.1, hg. v. d. Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin u. New York.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2021-03-23
Published in Print: 2021-02-23

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