transformation. It is primarily in the name of a pseudo-axiom of scholasticism that he pronounces for the fixity of species! But in reality, as his expressions show, it was because of certain temperamental peculiarities of his mind—a mind with a deep scholastic strain of its own, one that could not quite endure the notion of a nature all fluent and promiscuous and confused, in which series of organisms are to an indefinite degree capable of losing one set of characters and assuming another set. He craved, after all, a universe sharply categorized and classified and tied up in orderly parcels. And thus, though he had learned from the newer scientific tendencies of his time that the business of science is with processes, and especially with genetic processes, this scholastic side of his mind prevented him from making any thorough application of the principle to biology. He was prepared to go a considerable distance upon the path of evolutionism—but to admit that organisms (always to Kant, because of their "teleological" character, forming in nature a realm apart) were so far plastic that the very archetypal traits of species could, under the play of ordinary, environmental agencies, be altered past recognition—that was too much!
Meanwhile, it must be remembered that he was already committed to the admission of a large measure of modification within the species. But if it were so incredible a thing that the "original form" of a species should be radically altered, why was it not equally incredible that black men should be descendants of white men? Why did not the arguments against the transformation of one species into another species apply equally to the transformation of one race into another race? Why should one who supposed—as Kant supposed—that the wolf or hyena may have developed into the extraordinarily diversified breeds of our domestic dogs, have found it an intolerable paradox to suppose that the horse may have developed into the donkey, or both from a common ancestor? To such questions as these Kant's theory concerning the causes of the origination of races was called upon to provide an answer. The answer has an appearance of great simplicity: Kant merely said that in reality races had no characters which were not present, but latent, in their species from the start. In other words, he escapes the difficulties of his position by the easy artifice of a hypothesis of preformations. Nothing has been added to or taken from the germ-plasm of the species "man" since the beginning; the reproductive faculty merely contained in itself always certain alternative potencies—especially with respect to the production of skin-color—one or another of which was called into play in accordance with variations of external circumstances.