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Abstract

GAHYVA, Helga da Cunha. "A epopeia da decadência": um estudo sobre o Essai sur l'inégalité des races humaines (1853-1855), de Arthur de Gobineau. Mana [online]. 2011, vol.17, n.3, pp. 501-518. ISSN 0104-9313.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-93132011000300001.

The present article discusses the racial concepts of Arthur de Gobineau based on his most famous work, Essai sur l'inegalité des races humaines. Instead of associating these with the racialist debate of the last decades of the XIX the century, I relate them to a polemical text characteristic of the late XVII and early XVIII century: The Quarrel of the Two Races. In this sense, my main objective is to show that, in the first place, the Gobineau's work owes significant debts to the concept of the "bloodline", an idea which gradually became anachronistic after the French Revolution. In addition, I argue that, rather than being a study of supposedly "biological" races, Gobineau's "Essay" should be regarded as a refusal of the new egalitarian order of modern times.

Keywords : Conservative thought; 19th Century; Racialism; Equality; Modernity.

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