Western philosophy is racist, Aeon, 1 November 2017

Aeon, a digital magazine which publishes works from leading thinkers on science, philosophy, society and the arts, carried an edited excerpt from Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Professor of Humanities (Philosophy) at Yale-NUS College, Professor Bryan Van Norden’s book ‘Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto’ (2017), published by Columbia University Press. Professor Van Norden argued that mainstream philosophy in the so-called “West” ignored and disdained the thought traditions of China, India and Africa. While western philosophy used to be more open-minded and cosmopolitan, Professor Van Norden noted that, historically, the attitude towards non-western schools of thought changed in the wake of German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Professor Van Norden stated that he was not declaring that mainstream Anglo-European philosophy was bad and all other philosophy was good. His goal was to broaden philosophy by tearing down barriers, not to narrow it by building new ones. In order to grow intellectually, to attract an increasingly diverse student body, and to remain culturally relevant, philosophy must recover its original cosmopolitan ideal.

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