By John Cunningham Lilly, Phillip Bailey Lilly, Tom Robbins
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The Quiet Center: Isolation and Spirit
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Extra info for The Quiet Center: Isolation and Spirit
When combined with several passages concerning slavery, however, the imposition of material possession not found in Plato’s Guardians appears perhaps more sinister. Aristotle writes: A slave is a living possession, and property a number of such instruments; and the servant himself is an instrument which takes precedence of all other instruments . . 1253b; Aristotle 1941: 1131); for in all things which form a composite whole and which are made up of parts, whether continuous or discrete, a distinction between the ruling and the subject element comes to light .
And while Delacampagne acknowledges that the Greeks may not have been “racist in the sense this term has had since 1930,” he also undermines this concession with the simple observation that “the only individuals allowed to enjoy the title of citizen . . were propertied Greek adult males. Failure to meet any one of these four conditions was enough to disqualify one from ‘normal’ humanity” (Delacampagne 1990: 85). This is to say that even if the Greeks did not express race as we know it (and despite Delacampagne’s protestation, particularly as we know it from the 1930s), they embodied it and meant it in much more fundamental ways.
The stage was set, but no actors made the call. Instead, Boxill “emphasize[s] the naturalness of the European invention of the idea of race at this point in their history. They fancied that reason and experience could be used to solve all puzzles. The Aristotlean theory of natural kinds and essences was available to them and leads naturally to the idea of race when it is used to solve the puzzle of the physical differences between Europeans and Africans” (Boxill 2001: 17, emphasis added). And so, if we are to suggest that the Greeks created the method for gunpowder, we must also concede that they never reached the material manifestation of the substance nor the ensuing, explosive conclusion.