Why does this happen?
Support Aeon Donate now Mainstream philosophy in the so-called West is narrow-minded, unimaginative, and even xenophobic. I know I am levelling a serious charge.
But how else can we explain the fact that the rich philosophical traditions of ChinaIndiaAfrica, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are completely ignored by almost all philosophy departments in both Europe and the English-speaking world?
Western philosophy used to be more open-minded and cosmopolitan. The first major translation into a European language of the Analects, the saying of Confucius BCEwas done by Jesuits, who had extensive exposure to the Aristotelian tradition as part of their rigorous training.
One of the major Western philosophers who read with fascination Jesuit accounts of Chinese philosophy was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz He was stunned by the apparent correspondence between binary arithmetic which he invented, and which became the mathematical basis for all computers and the I Chingor Book of Changes, the Chinese classic that symbolically represents the structure of the Universe via sets of broken and unbroken lines, essentially 0s and 1s.
In the 20th century, the psychoanalyst Carl Jung was so impressed with the I Ching that he wrote a philosophical foreword to a translation of it. Wolff argued that Confucius showed that it was possible to have a system of morality without basing it on either divine revelation or natural religion.
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.
Chinese philosophy was also taken very seriously in France. Leibniz, Wolff and Quesnay are illustrations of what was once a common view in European philosophy. Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canonthe 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.
So why did things change? As Park convincingly argues, Africa and Asia were excluded from the philosophical canon by the confluence of two interrelated factors. 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.
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.
Even St Augustine, who was born in northern Africa, is typically depicted in European art as a pasty white guy. 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.
Kant himself was notoriously racist.
He treated race as a scientific category which it is notcorrelated it with the ability for abstract thought, and — theorising on the destiny of races in lectures to students — arranged them in a hierarchical order: That notwithstanding, they are much inclined to anger and love.
They thus are educable in the highest degree, but only to the arts and not to the sciences. They will never achieve abstract concepts. It can be educated, but only to the education of servants, ie, they can be trained. They are not amorous, and so are not fertile. They speak hardly at all, … care for nothing and are lazy.
He asserted that the Chinese, Indians, Africans and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are congenitally incapable of philosophy.
And contemporary Western philosophers take it for granted that there is no Chinese, Indian, African or Native American philosophy. If this is a coincidence, it is a stunning one. Peone and Tampio are part of a long line of thinkers who have tried to simply define non-European philosophy out of existence.
In What is PhilosophyMartin Heidegger claimed that: Because philosophy is Greek in its nature; … the nature of philosophy is of such a kind that it first appropriated the Greek world, and only it, in order to unfold. It is not only philosophers in the so-called Continental tradition who are dismissive of philosophy outside the Anglo-European canon.
The British philosopher G E Moore was one of the founders of analytic philosophy, the tradition that has become dominant in the English-speaking world.Why I Am Not a Christian - Kindle edition by Bertrand Russell. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.
Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Why I Am Not a Christian. Disclaimer: These essays do not necessarily represent the beliefs of any or all of the staff of the Ontario Consultants on Religious schwenkreis.com fact, since we are a multi-faith group, it is quite likely that the beliefs expressed in these essays will differ from at least some of our staff's opinions.
INTRODUCTION. In , when the author of the essays here assembled was elected professor of political and social science in Yale College, he was, to use his own words, “a young and untried man.” He was selected for his position, not as a specialist, but because he was what he was.
Someone in those days must have been an excellent judge of men. [First published April ] We all know someone who’s intelligent, but who occasionally defends obviously bad ideas.
Why does this happen? How can smart people take up positions that defy any reasonable logic? Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects [Bertrand Russell, Paul Edwards] on schwenkreis.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
“Devastating in its use of cold logic, ” (The Independent), the classic essay collection that expresses the freethinker’s views to religion and challenges set notions in today’s .
“Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us” – Ecc. Ch. 1 Ver. The Society in Scotland for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge (SSPCK) was formed in by Royal Charter to “teach religion in the Scottish Highlands and other uncivilized parts of the country”.