57 Replies to “Is There Lack of Diversity in Philosophy?”

  1. emmie williams,

    The study of philosophy doesn’t create critical thinking skills. If that were true men like Homer, Hobbes and Aurelius wouldn’t be considered philosophers because they all believed in the absolute truth that a singular concept God existed.

  2. Philosophy, like most things, is as a result of something: persons A and B both witness the same event, yet have differing opinions as to why said event occurred. Understanding why these 2 people have a different opinion of the same event, lead to Philosophy.

    Historically, it appears that among so called “white cultures”, accepting these differences of opinion, between ourselves individually, evolved to the point that certain differences of opinion aren’t prosecuted; among so called “minority” cultures, this evolution of the acceptance of a difference of opinion hasn’t taken place as a result of their dictatorial social(governing) structures.

  3. Well as an African-American, I have deep interests in philosophy, science, and religion. Philosophy frees one from ethnocentricism and “common-sense” prejudices. I am majoring in biology and philosophy. First year of college. I indeed do shock most people when I tell them my interests-that explains the “common-sense” prejudices…

    My high school offered philosophy, world religions, and holocaust. I took the two latter. Great experience.

  4. Tyson Sprinter,

    I understood that the first time, I’m asking YOU: what makes YOU think philosophy frees you from “common sense prejudices”?

    If you actually studied philosophy, as philosophy, you should be able to answer this question without repeating yourself-doing so means you may not understand what you’re saying.

  5. I wonder if that maybe because universities still major on the leading philosophers of the past centuries, where for example, Greek philosophy is the foundation of all subsesequent majored upon subsequent philisoplhy….of politics, of reality, of democarcy, of religion, etc, when with our globalised world being expressed in most nations, universities – apart from maybe a minority – have yet to catch up with our globalised nations and develope a globalised and yet fragmented philosophical curriculum that reflects the vast competing ideas and rights issues in our nations? Note that i use the word ‘nation’, and not country, as there may well be a nation of people scattered across a number of countries, eg the Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, perhaps Lebenon, etc. And the Kurds ideas will be expressed in each of these countries, complexifyimg the nsture of demicracy in each, for example, hence the philisophy of democracy being made complex in these countries. Just a guess, that’s all.

  6. emmie williams,

    The religious stances of all 3 of those men DIRECTLY influenced their views: all 3 attributed “God” to everything-including their presumptive abilities to understand the world he created for them. Of those 3, Hobbes was the most egregious-the sum of his philosophical efforts seemed little less than an effort to attribute everything to a single concept God.

  7. Ryan Ryles Because philosophy provides one with a wide variety of literature and critical thinking skills. All which aid one’s ability to see the value and diversity provided in different cultures. It may not come instantly; it may even be blocked depending on how close-minded you are. I’d watch the attitude as well. That’s something I don’t take lightly. Here’s a citation just in case you think I’m pulling this from thin air.

    “The suggestion made earlier that philosophy is inescapable doesn’t mean that we are somehow imprisoned by it. Indeed, the study of philosophy can be a little liberating experience. As the saying goes, The truth shall set you free.” By studying philosophy can burst the bubble of subjective bias and release all of our hot air pretensions. Philosophy can help us emerge from her socially conditioned ethnocentrism to see other cultures in World Views in objective terms how many people do you know whose lives are severely constricted by their narrow-minded or even worse those minded attitudes? Some people simply refuse to know, inquire, or understand. Communicating with such people is quite difficult as you may have already discovered. Do you wish to be like them? Do you wish to be blind to reality, shielded from the truth and willfully ignorant of life? Is this freedom in the good life? Is this Edie Brickell’s “shallow water”, or simply some kind of Defense Retreat from Human Experience? Philosophical questioning offers you intellectual freedom. It is your way out of the prison of darkness and your guiding Light toexistential liberation.” (Experiencing philosophy pg. 15)

  8. Ryan Ryles You are saying that Socrates , Plato ,and Aristotle are philosophe’s because of they’re religious stance. They’re paganism makes them more philosophical.

    I am sure Kierkegaard ,Spinoza, and my beloved Nietzsche may have a problem with your crucial thinking, sir.

  9. Tyson Sprinter,

    It wouldn’t have been perceived as “attitude” (as I now know this reply may well also be) if you weren’t learning philosophy from a text book-as your citation exposes.

    I’ve already stated, and proved with examples, that philosophy doesn’t directly teach critical thinking skills; further, philosophy does not ‘provide literature’-it records the diversity of human experience and cause for ideologies. in short, “literature” is created and usually fiction; philosophy is the recorded history of the development of ideologies.

    I’ve studied philosophy, as philosophy, for over 30 years (since 13), explicitly away from any supposed educational institutions. Yes, I’ve had collegiate level classes-so as to better understand the stark differences of teaching the subject institutionally versus it’s proper methodology of an individualistic nature.

    That (specific) disclaimer made, if there is any ONE thing that studying ‘philosophy’ teach’s, it is that YOU perceive the world around YOU from a first person perspective. This is the only true “objectivity”-the start that is YOU. YOU are the only thing YOU can ever definitively know at any time, in any place, or any situation. Everything else, like it or not, is subjective, and in fact should be subjective (or do you prefer the natural equivalent of a robot?). Studying philosophy will help pare down and manage that subjectivity, but it doesn’t, nor should it, eliminate it.

  10. emmie williams,

    Did I say Socrates, Aristotle or Plato?

    No, I didn’t: I said Homer, Aurelius, and Hobbes-all of which are considered philosophers, and all which rested their views primarily on the existence of a single concept God.

    Even those classics you mention, as well as the majority of the Age of Enlightenment, all started from the premise that a single concept god-of some type-existed. Some of these-Socrates, Aristotle, Lock, and Smith among them-feared being prosecuted if they openly denied the existence of “God”, and this fear is easily seen throughout the sum of their writings, of which I’ve read all the major works, of every philosopher I’ve named (and many more), at least twice.

  11. I am a philosopher of the western kind. I am also a philosopher in ways perhaps unknowable to the west. Why is this relevant? Because, I think, one of major flaws of this conversation is it’s definition of philosophy as that academic discipline practiced, largely, by white males. And I think this is the same line of thought that causes one of the members in this discussion to claim that the “minority” cultures lack an appreciation for diverse opinions and explanations of events. (Hopefully I’ve understood him correctly).

    To define philosophy as has been done in the article is to narrow it and thereby exclude other methods of seeking wisdom. Which means, rather than understanding various philosophical practices and expanding the academic scope of philosophy, we seek to chisel the brains of people belonging to “minority” groups so that they may reason along white-western lines.

    If we took more seriously ALL philosophies that abound, rather than relegating them to “ethno” philosophies or objects for anthropological research, we might find that the “problem” of diversity solves itself.

    Let us go back to being real lovers of wisdom!

    Peace and love.

  12. Remember: Socrates was killed for questioning the mythologically based, moral status quo of his day.

    Philosophy is a study of ideological formation-how individuals or groups of them, come to have the “beliefs” (a synonym of ideology) they do. It is not a study of any one particular of these ideologies, but of how those ideologies came to be in the first place.

    (This study is better known as “behavioral science” in modernity, but institutionalized education strips away the actual philosophical basis of these teachings under the guise of expediency and efficiency. The result is that behavioral science completely misses on its aim of helping society find itself, individually).

  13. Ryan Ryles​ I was never talking about what a direct study of philosophy is supposed to teach; philosophy is a generic term that can be used in different forms. I was talking about philosophy’s indirect, practical value. I said it provides you with a variety of things including philosophy-based literature, which can liberate one from stereotypes and close-mindedness. Each culture has different perspectives of life, which can indeed be transcribed through literature (which may be philosophical in nature). For example existentialism is usually communicated through aphorisms, parables, and literary forms.

    You asked about why I think philosophy liberates one from stereotypical prejudices and close-mindedness. People like Bertrand Russel said that it is the indirect application of philosophy that has an indirect effect of those who practice it.

  14. I think the word ‘philosophy’ means ‘lover of wisdom’. Now what is wisdom to one group of people, or one person, may be folly to another. Philosophy is completely relative, with no fundamental, absolute truth at all, viewed from mankind’s viewpoint. And Emma…the person who said the ‘only thing he knows is that he knows nothing’ is wrong. He knows that he knows nothing, therefore he knows something…..that he knows nothing. And if he is wrong in this fundamental statement of his, then he may know everything….except that he thinks he knows nothing, in which case he does not know everything……see how silly it gets?

    A lady I knew of who workerd in Waterstones once told me she studied Philosophy at Manchester University…..and Emmanual Kant nearly drove her head in!

    Keep it simple….to the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the bible. And ask Gid to give you faith to believe.

  15. Sgt Sample,

    The better word, I think, would be ideology, not philosophy.

    I find that to be another flaw with the institutionalized teaching of the broader subject of Philosophy: it’s about ideologies, not “philosophies”. You can study any one ideology, but to study more than one is to study philosophy, which is what every philosopher attempts: a comparison of one perspective against another, after firstly establishing a common root to both; and then choosing a superior (where applicable by work).

    It is the establishing of a root cause (or the attempt, bc some fail imo) which separates philosophy from the straight studying of any one ideology like, say, Christianity or Islam which belong to a subset of ideologies we commonly call religions.

  16. As both ideology and philosophy is ideas put into practice, then maybe philosophy is a kindler, older and gentler word to use, as the word ideology has harsh, negative connotations to it. Just a thought, that’s all.

  17. Why does it matter if “Philosophy” (I like how you make Philosophy seem as though it is all one thing instead of being a generalized term for a broad set of things that include a vast many schools of thought) is “diverse” (referring to diversity among race and gender instead of what is far more important in my opinion which is diversity of ideas); no one is being excluded or prevented from it’s study.

  18. Ryan Ryles This is the reason we if possible study as many as we can. Then..we get an idea of where we are different and the same. Ideaology as I understand you use of it is a single cultures understanding of they’re world but think ..i.e. Socrates and Nietzsch. There views where not popular.. I cannot think of two philosophers more different.

  19. Tyson Sprinter Oh-hoh, just you wait. If you continue in philosophy you will meet people with ethnocentric views and common sense prejudices. I’ve been in an online argument for a while now who thinks the prime lesson to be learned from Socrates is western superiority. It exists, and it can become pretty pernicious .

  20. Since philosophy is the subjective understanding of the philospher, it therefore, quite expectedly, doesnt accord to the discretion of those holding otherwise different views on a (philosophical) subject. This is where lack of diversity (in most possible cases) comes in picture.

    This is what I think.

  21. These posts, I think, are doing a whole lot of good to the real needs of mankind…especially the poor. Even typing these posts is consuming electric energy that may be desperately needed by someone near you or me. So let’s call it a day. Enough damage has been done!

  22. 黑人與少數民族?婦女!的聲譽>>>缺乏理念?是這樣嗎







  23. Gluten tag, wilkommen, and hello. Wir konnen nich in Deutsch schrieben als wir in English denken. Ich Moche in Deutsche schreiben, und sprechen aber mein Deutsch ist nich gut genuine darfur. Ich kenn Philosophy Aber night in Deutsch.

    Veilen grusse von Mir.

  24. There is definitely a lack of diversity in philosophy. This has become patently obvious in the Nietzsch discussion. Philosophy that does not enjoy differing views becomes Fundamentalism. Philosophy thrives only in an open-minded environment. It is to be debated, argued, sworn about, drink to and laugh at. But FREE THINKING it must be, and remain. We cannot place strictures opinions upon it. Again, this causes Narrow Mindedness and Fundalism.

    Freedom, my friends, and Equality!

  25. It serves no useful purpose when people constantly agree on one single point in a discussion, and then that is the only point discussed. When this happens, diversity is thrown out the window and Fundamentalism takes its place. Which is what happened – Fundamentalism of thought.

  26. Diversity is not Exclusive, as you seem to imply. Diversity is Inclusive, as it Includes All Diverse People’s and Thoughts. Diversity is not DIVIDE AND CONQUER! Quite a difference indeed.

    What is practised globally now, is DIVIDE AND CONQUER. And Greed, for wealth and power. This is Exclusive for certain people and families only. It is not Diversity, which is Inclusive..

  27. God is not a HE. That is, the ONE true GOD, is neither male or female. The One True God is the embodiment of All That Is, and this includes Duality in all forms.

    Male and female are merely one aspect of this Duality aspect of All That Is. both are equal in strength and virtue. Do, or All That Is, places NO distinction between male and female, both are necessary for its experience and expressions in physical focus.

    So, when one gender abuses the other gender, what is it doing, in Reality? It is abusing another aspect of God, of All That Is!

    My mind reals at the implications!

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