Reverse validation is so XX century...

Hamid Dabashi asks "Why is European philosophy 'philosophy', but African philosophy 'ethnophilosophy'?" (see Can non-Europeans think?). Certainly, as he so well describes, there are amazing thinkers and thinking systems elsewhere that should be paid attention to. But we all have narrow sights, and so does Dabashi. For instance, why does he consider Australia a "European extension", and not Brazil? As it is often the case with non-Western thinkers, especially from British ex-colonies or protectorates, "European" gets confused with the English-culture subset---or French, at best.

Now, Philosophy, as such, is a European (Greek) invention, that owes a lot to Germans (reminding me of Monty Python below)... But of course there are thinkers and thinking systems everywhere else. It happens that Philosophy as practiced in the West has its own genesis, history, and academics---just as Buddhist thought has, for instance. But I don't see why Westerners should be embarrassed of their Philosophy and its lineage. Should we demand that every school of Buddhism or Muslim intellectual tradition, includes discussion and mention of European Philosophers? Maybe it is time for the non-Western world to stop paying so much attention to the West as a form of reverse-validation?

The article is a request for validation: "What about thinkers outside the purview of these European philosophers?" is the question Dabashi poses. But thinkers outside of the purview of European philosophers should just do their own thing, as they do. Not being recognized (if that is the case) by the Western tradition is not an impediment to other traditions, unless being recognized by the West is their goal. That is why I call this a reverse power dynamic, which I think everybody should simply reject. I have no problem whatsoever with comparative approaches to schools of Thought---as a systems scientist, I live for those. If one wants to call that Comparative Philosophy (Systems Philosophy?), under which variants such as European, Asian, African, may exist, fine with me also. But Western philosophy is its own school of thought, and, like any other tradition, it should not be obliged to include other schools of thought unless it makes sense to its practitioners.

 Finally, as I alluded above, I find Dabashi's article implicitly racist in a particular middle-Eastern way... The whole understanding of Latin America as non-European (simply "speaking the colonially-inherited languages"), but, in contrast, of seeing the US, Canada and Australia as European extensions, shows an implicit racism that perceives the English-speaking countries as more white, and the Latin-speaking countries as "more brown". Brazil and Argentina, for instance, are as much European extensions as Australia and the US. One can argue that there is larger racial mixing in Brazil (though to argue that one needs to show the scientific evidence for it), but the dominant DNA and culture there is European and African, just like in the US.

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