Lack of ‘Diversity’ in Philosophy

Peter Levine (ahem) bemoans the lack of diversity in philosophy:


Philosophy is a remarkably un-diverse discipline. Compared with other scholars who read, interpret and assign texts, philosophers in the United States typically choose a much higher percentage of their sources (often, 100 per cent) from Europe and countries settled by Europeans. Philosophy teachers, too, look homogeneous: 86 per cent of new PhD researchers in philosophy are white, and 72 per cent are male. In the whole country, only about 30 African-American women work as philosophy professors.

What a scandal!

As an academic discipline, philosophy — and by ‘philosophy’, I am referring to what is known as analytic philosophy, not the postmodernist crap that today qualifies as ‘philosophy’ – is the domain of patience and rigor; conceptual clarity; logical precision; the questioning of premises; the working out of deductive and inductive chains of reasoning; the (sometimes painfully) slow but steady progress toward sound and grounded knowledge.

In other words: white guy activity.

The greatest philosophers who have influenced mankind, and whose body of knowledge is eternal, are pretty much all white guys: Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Carnap, Quine, Russell, Popper… all white.

In The New York Times’ philosophy blog ‘The Stone’, Jay L Garfield and Bryan W Van Norden recently wrote: ‘No other humanities discipline demonstrates this systematic neglect of most of the civilizations in its domain.’ They urge philosophy departments to diversify their curricula – and, if they can’t or won’t, to rename themselves departments of ‘Anglo-European Philosophical Studies’.

And what would be wrong with this, exactly?

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