Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon , the only options taken seriously by most scholars in the 18th century were that philosophy began in India, that philosophy began in Africa, or that both India and Africa gave philosophy to Greece. His joke would have had an exclusionary effect similar to sexist jokes made in professional contexts today. He treated race as a scientific category which it is not , correlated it with the ability for abstract thought, and — theorising on the destiny of races in lectures to students — arranged them in a hierarchical order: It is not only philosophers in the so-called Continental tradition who are dismissive of philosophy outside the Anglo-European canon. Adding coverage of any of them to the curriculum would be a positive step toward greater diversity. On the other hand, European intellectuals increasingly accepted and systematised views of white racial superiority that entailed that no non-Caucasian group could develop philosophy. Kant himself was notoriously racist. When the ancient philosopher Diogenes was asked what city he came from, he replied:
They will never achieve abstract concepts. He asserted that the Chinese, Indians, Africans and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are congenitally incapable of philosophy. As Park convincingly argues, Africa and Asia were excluded from the philosophical canon by the confluence of two interrelated factors. He treated race as a scientific category which it is not , correlated it with the ability for abstract thought, and — theorising on the destiny of races in lectures to students — arranged them in a hierarchical order: So the exclusion of non-European philosophy from the canon was a decision, not something that people have always believed, and it was a decision based not on a reasoned argument, but rather on polemical considerations involving the pro-Kantian faction in European philosophy, as well as views about race that are both scientifically unsound and morally heinous. His latest book is Taking Back Philosophy: Because it proposed that ethics can be completely separated from belief in God, the lecture caused a scandal among conservative Christians, who had Wolff relieved of his duties and exiled from Prussia. However, his lecture made him a hero of the German Enlightenment, and he immediately obtained a prestigious position elsewhere. One member of the faculty basically told him: And contemporary Western philosophers take it for granted that there is no Chinese, Indian, African or Native American philosophy. When the ancient philosopher Diogenes was asked what city he came from, he replied: His joke would have had an exclusionary effect similar to sexist jokes made in professional contexts today. Take it or leave it. There are people who succumb to this sort of cultural Manicheanism, but I am not one of them. Western philosophy used to be more open-minded and cosmopolitan. Leibniz, Wolff and Quesnay are illustrations of what was once a common view in European philosophy. But how else can we explain the fact that the rich philosophical traditions of China , India , Africa, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are completely ignored by almost all philosophy departments in both Europe and the English-speaking world? In What is Philosophy , Martin Heidegger claimed that: Does he prefer the formulation of the argument for the equality of women given in the Vimalakirti Sutra, or the one given by the Neo-Confucian Li Zhi , or the one given by the Marxist Li Dazhao? On the one hand, defenders of the philosophy of Immanuel Kant consciously rewrote the history of philosophy to make it appear that his critical idealism was the culmination toward which all earlier philosophy was groping, more or less successfully. Why does he think that the Mohist state-of-nature argument to justify government authority is not philosophy? If this is a coincidence, it is a stunning one. It is not only philosophers in the so-called Continental tradition who are dismissive of philosophy outside the Anglo-European canon. Sun Park eventually dropped out of his doctoral programme, and is now a filmmaker. That notwithstanding, they are much inclined to anger and love.
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