Questions of Race in J. S. Mill’s Contributions to Logic

Philosophia Africana 16 (2):73-93 (2014)
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This article is part of a larger project in which I attempt to show that Western formal logic, from its inception in Aristotle onward, has both been partially constituted by, and partially constitutive of, what has become known as racism. In contrast to this trend, the present article concerns the major philosopher whose contribution to logic has been perhaps the most derided and marginalized, and yet whose character and politics are, from a contemporary perspective, drastically superior—John Stuart Mill. My approach to my core concern will be one of narrowing concentric circles. I will begin with Mill’s occasional political writings that bear on the issue of racism, including “The Negro Question.” From there, the core of the article will explore the political dimensions of Mill’s A System of Logic.
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