Why Philosophy Must Go Global: A Manifesto

Confluence 4:134-186 (2016)
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The world of academic philosophy is now entering a new age, one defined neither by colonial need for recognition nor by postcolonial wish to integrate. The indicators of this new era include heightened appreciation of the value of world philosophies, the internationalization of the student body, the philosophical pluralism which interaction and migration in new global movements make salient, growing concerns about diversity within a still too-white faculty body and curricular canon, and identification of a range of deep structural problems with the contemporary philosophical academy in its discursive, citational, refereeing and ranking practices. We are entering what we might call " the age of " re-emergence, " a new period the key features of which are as follows. First, philosophies from every region of the world, locally grounded in lived experience and reflection upon it, are finding new autonomous and authentic forms of articulation. Second, philosophical industry, leaving behind a center-periphery mode of production, is becoming again polycentric: the philosophical world is returning to a plural and diverse network of productive sites. Third, Europe and other colonial powers have been provincialized, no longer mandatory conversation partners or points of comparison but rather unprivileged participants in global dialogue. Fourth, philosophers within the largely Anglophone international academy are beginning to acknowledge their responsibility to arrange international institutions to enable wide and open participation; that is, acknowledge that their control over the academy is a fallout from colonialism rather than a reflection of intellectual superiority. We may thus look to a future when there will be a vibrant pluralistic realism in departments of academic philosophy around the globe, and a new cartography of philosophy.



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