Friday, 13 May 2016

Chumba Wumba Nakotzee - the great African philosopher
The vast majority of philosophy departments in the United States offer courses only on philosophy derived from Europe and the English-speaking world. For example, of the 118 doctoral programs in philosophy in the United States and Canada, only 10 percent have a specialist in Chinese philosophy as part of their regular faculty. Most philosophy departments also offer no courses on Africana, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, Latin American, Native American or other non-European traditions. Indeed, of the top 50 philosophy doctoral programs in the English-speaking world, only 15 percent have any regular faculty members who teach any non-Western philosophy. 
... Many philosophers and many departments simply ignore arguments for greater diversity; others respond with arguments for Eurocentrism that we and many others have refuted elsewhere. The profession as a whole remains resolutely Eurocentric. 
It therefore seems futile to rehearse arguments for greater diversity one more time, however compelling we find them. Instead, we ask those who sincerely believe that it does make sense to organize our discipline entirely around European and American figures and texts to pursue this agenda with honesty and openness. We therefore suggest that any department that regularly offers courses only on Western philosophy should rename itself “Department of European and American Philosophy.” 
This simple change would make the domain and mission of these departments clear, and would signal their true intellectual commitments to students and colleagues. We see no justification for resisting this minor rebranding (though we welcome opposing views in the comments section to this article), particularly for those who endorse, implicitly or explicitly, this Eurocentric orientation. 
Some of our colleagues defend this orientation on the grounds that non-European philosophy belongs only in “area studies” departments, like Asian Studies, African Studies or Latin American Studies. We ask that those who hold this view be consistent, and locate their own departments in “area studies” as well, in this case, Anglo-European Philosophical Studies. 
Others might argue against renaming on the grounds that it is unfair to single out philosophy: We do not have departments of Euro-American Mathematics or Physics. This is nothing but shabby sophistry. Non-European philosophical traditions offer distinctive solutions to problems discussed within European and American philosophy, raise or frame problems not addressed in the American and European tradition, or emphasize and discuss more deeply philosophical problems that are marginalized in Anglo-European philosophy. There are no comparable differences in how mathematics or physics are practiced in other contemporary cultures. 
... Philosophy as a discipline has a serious diversity problem, with women and minorities underrepresented at all levels among students and faculty, even while the percentage of these groups increases among college students.
Brown people be takin' over. You better git wid our philosophy, cracker.
We offer one last piece of advice to philosophy departments that have not already embraced curricular diversity. For demographic, political and historical reasons, the change to a more multicultural conception of philosophy in the United States seems inevitable. Heed the Stoic adage: “The Fates lead those who come willingly, and drag those who do not.”

Why not rename medicine "Euro-American Medicine" while we're at it? There are distinctive African medical traditions: witch doctors and such. Also the Chinese invented the advanced surgical technique of sticking pins into people. Mass human sacrifice formed part of Latin American preventive medicine. This deserves respect. There are also the voodoo practices prevalent in Benin and Haiti. These represent a unique Africana response to the challenge of bodily infirmity.


  1. The trouble with irony, as I'm sure we've all noted by now, is that it too often slips into hard, cold, unrelenting reality. Outright mockery and derision, laced with thinly veiled contempt, and steeled with downright refusal to accord value and respect to such concepts is what will eventually win the day. A little reason and facts thrown in will bestir the multitude because, at the moment, most people neither hear nor see such strong assertive behaviour from Europeans.

  2. "Most philosophy departments also offer no courses on Africana, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, Latin American, Native American or other non-European traditions."

    Notice that the Jew York Times lumps together jews with the other non europeans, such as muslims, clearly showing that jews do not see themselves as a part of the West, but as a part of the non-western world.

  3. Wikijewdia :