Abstract

This article compares the respective projects, methods, and racial characterization of Jews in the work of Franz Boas (the German Jewish founder of American cultural anthropology), and Hans F. K. Günther (the most prominent theoretician of race in Nazi Germany). Though diametrically opposed in many respects, these men shared the view that Jews were not a race but a people composed of different racial types. Employing the terms "fixation of belief" and "de-fixation of belief," I compare their versions of science and their uses of science: I analyze the primacies between their projects, methods, and racial characterization of Jews. Boas deconstructed Jewish racial difference within the limits imposed by his own method; Günther transcended his own racialist method toward an antisemitic metaphysics.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2028
Print ISSN
0021-6704
Pages
pp. 136-169
Launched on MUSE
2007-04-23
Open Access
No
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