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London Students Demand University Drop White Philosophers Like Plato, Kant

London Students Demand University Drop White Philosophers Like Plato, Kant

Students want to “decolonize” their field.

Students at University of London have demanded the school drop famous philosophers like Plato and Kant from the curriculum because they were white. Instead, the student union at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) would rather have philosophers from Africa and Asia.

The union has started the “campaign to ‘decolonise’ the university.” The Daily Mail reported:

Entitled ‘Decolonising SOAS: Confronting The White Institution’, the union’s statement of ‘educational priorities’ warns ‘white philosophers’ should be studied only ‘if required’, and even then their work should be taught solely from ‘a critical standpoint’: ‘For example, acknowledging the colonial context in which so-called “Enlightenment” philosophers wrote within.’

The democracy and education union officer responsible for the statement, Ali Habib, is on SOAS’s governing board of trustees. He recently told a student newspaper that he is an admirer of Frantz Fanon, the Martinique-born Marxist thinker whose book The Wretched Of The Earth is a seminal work of revolutionary anti-colonialism.

A wider campaign to counter the ‘colonial violence’ students say is ‘embedded’ in British universities has been led by a movement calling for the removal of the statue of ‘imperialist’ Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College, Oxford.

On Sunday, The Telegraph‘s education editor Camila Turner wrote about new education reforms that could force the schools “to pander to the demands of ‘snowflake’ students.” These reforms “include placing student satisfaction at the heart of a new ranking system.”

Experts have grown concerned that these reforms mean that “authorities will give in to student demands, however unreasonable they are,” leading “to a ‘fantastically dangerous’ culture.”

Those authorities have lashed out at the union’s request. SOAS’s Religions and Philosophies Department head Erica Hunter called the request “rather ridiculous” and she would “resist dropping philosophers or historians just because it was fashionable.”

From The Daily Mail:

Last night philosopher Sir Roger Scruton lambasted the union’s demand, saying: ‘This suggests ignorance and a determination not to overcome that ignorance. You can’t rule out a whole area of intellectual endeavour without having investigated it and clearly they haven’t investigated what they mean by white philosophy. If they think there is a colonial context from which Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason arose, I would like to hear it.’

The vice-chancellor of Buckingham University Sir Anthony Seldon said: ‘There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some might like it to have been.’

Dr. Deborah Gabriel, founder of Black British Academics, understands the union’s viewpoint and why the students want more diversity, but she does not agree with removing the white philosophers:

“I don’t believe that necessitates removing white scholars because not all white scholars espouse ideas that are narrow in context, a lot of them do engage in anti-racist teaching. Academia often draws on series that are decades old, which is what people often find problematic,” she said.

“If you remove that kind of content from the curriculum, how are you going to critique it? That is what changes attitudes and thinking by looking at past theories and how they have evolved, and looking at what is considered progressive and acceptable now.”

Others have taken to social media to criticize the union’s request:


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I am shocked, shocked, that the Students Union intends a massive cultural appropriation of African culture.

Students so closed-minded shouldn’t be studying philosophy, in the first place.

I would like to see the names of the African philosophers that would replace these white philosophers.

    Tom Servo in reply to Anchovy. | January 9, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Black Philosophy was on display by the Chicago 4 lately.

      mochajava76 in reply to Tom Servo. | January 9, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      I know you meant it in jest, but that is out of line.
      One might counter that white philosophy would be attributed to Timothy McVeigh or Charles Manson. Whites wouldn’t attribute any outrageous violence to their ethnicity, nor should that horrible act be attributed to a black mindset or philosophy

        Explain how you don’t see the Chicago four shouting “F*ck Trump and F*ck white people” as not following some black philosophy that they were taught. Is your theory it magically appeared? The poster makes his point that what is the prevailing “black philosophy” we see in our country that is dominant and name a competing one these students are suggesting. I only see these college student following the “F*vk Trump and white people philosophy with BLM including these whiners. Time to admit the intellectual bankruptcy of the whole thing.

          mochajava76 in reply to Conan. | January 9, 2017 at 7:21 pm

          There is a world of difference between “black philosophy” and “some black philosophy” that you called it.

          I was responding to an entry that just named it “black philosophy”, not “thug black philosophy from inner city Chicago”.
          To call it “black philosophy” is to include a whole ethnicity.
          If that is what you meant, i am on the wrong website.

          userpen in reply to Conan. | January 10, 2017 at 12:33 pm

          You are not on the wrong website. This is where you belong. Not only are you welcome here, but we want you here. I don’t know how long you have been following this forum, but you will find that we get into arguments all the time. Sometimes there is even name calling and ocassionally less than charitable words are said. And thus I would point out that the back and forth on this particular topic is pretty mild to say the least. So take off your shoes, lean back, (buckle your seat belt) and enjoy the ride.


          I look forward to hearing from you on other topics.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Conan. | January 10, 2017 at 2:34 pm

          >>> mochajava76

          If you require that every comment under every article must conform to your beliefs and values, then yes, you are on the wrong website. In fact, any website will be the wrong website under that criteria. Actually, you should probably stay off the internet and stay indoors.

          ConradCA in reply to Conan. | January 11, 2017 at 8:27 am

          The vast majority of blacks belong to the Ghetto Gangster Thug culture. They choose to remain ignorant and full of hate. They choose not to work or father their children. They choose to be criminals and foist evil on society by supporting Progressive Fascism.

        Tom Servo in reply to mochajava76. | January 9, 2017 at 5:55 pm

        Michael Eric Dyson, a “distinguished” professor at Georgetown University, has called for ALL whites to have their own personal “Individual Reparations Accounts” by which they can make personal payments for their alleged debts to the Black Race.

        If this Professor doesn’t represent Black Leadership in this country, who does? TaNehisi Coates? The central thesis of Black Political Philosophy today is – “Whitey Owes Us!!!!” Do you think Maxine Waters disagrees with this? Sheila Jackson Lee? Eddie Bernice Johnson? Keith Ellison????

        The Chicago 4 were just acting out what their leadership has been teaching them for many years now. They did it crudely, as youngsters are prone to do, but they had gotten the message from their leadership loud and clear.

        Anchovy in reply to mochajava76. | January 9, 2017 at 5:58 pm

        No no one has ever claimed that Timothy McVeigh or Charles Manson were philosophers whose thinking was worthy of study. Thales, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, however were new thinkers and they created a new world. They asked questions that led to what modern liberal enlightened Western Democracies are today.

        Africans during the same period were still mostly stone age cultures. Many still are. For generations upon generations the definition of success in Africa was the ability to outrun a wounded wildebeest. That is why the children of Africa earn so many awards in track and field.

        For generations of European Jews, the definition of success was being able to figure percentages in Roman numerals. That is why they, as a small population, have dominated the Nobel prizes in chemistry, physics, astrophysics and mathematics and continue to in research and academia.

        Sub-Saharan Africa has never contributed anything to philosophy, math, chemistry, or any other science. Were in not for European colonialism they likely would still remain tribal hunters and gathers.

Henry Hawkins | January 9, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Perhaps it is time to remove all the white students as well.

If the students and faculty of the School for Oriental and African Studies [SOAS] are asking that European philosophers not be made mandatory reading for that school’s curriculum, then I think they may have a point. After all, this school apparently specializes in the Asiatic and African regions, not the European. I can see incorporating European philosophers into a course comparing Eastern and African philosophy with that of Europe.

Now if these people want to drop European philosophers from the entire curriculum of the University of London, this is simply ridiculous.

Wouldn’t it simply things if they just gave each student a cd of Faster Horses by Tom T. Hall?

What do Asian studies and African studies have in common?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Paul. | January 9, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    That they’re not European, meaning not white.

    Mannie in reply to Paul. | January 10, 2017 at 8:12 am

    There is a rich culture, history, and civilization in Asia. There are only three civilizations; Chinese, Asian Indian,and European. Everything else is more or less a spinoff, or a barbarism.

You have to get a chuckle out of the professoriate dealing with the consequences of the ideas they promote – there is only so long that the white intelligencia can avoid the consequences of ethnic exploitation and white guilt.

However, as usual Karl Marx, an exploitive, stinky bum of a white guy if there ever was one, is getting a pass.

And ban the use of the English language?

What a bunch of ignorant dipshits. No other way to explain it.

Well, maybe; there may be a sliver of (irrational) logic to the idea (in their twisted minds).

“For example, acknowledging the colonial context in which so-called “Enlightenment” philosophers wrote within.”

Is it just me, or is there a serious grammatical error in that sentence?

    Tom Servo in reply to Rusty Bill. | January 9, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Grammar is Racist!

    Absolutely. Grammar is racist, except when it’s applied to a European romance language. French has something like 17 tenses, all necessary to learn in order to speak and read actual French.

    Walker Evans in reply to Rusty Bill. | January 9, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    “For example, acknowledging the colonial context in which so-called ‘Enlightenment’ philosophers wrote within.”

    You’re not wrong, you’re a person who is well versed in the language that is a part of your everyday life, which the self-proclaimed ‘historian’ Ali Ahmed Habib quite obviously is not. It seems he cannot even claim second-language problems for this as it appears English is his milk-language.

    On the other hand imprecision of language, along with nonsensical demands, is a hallmark of progressive snowflakes all over the world! (Philosophy in colonial context??)

Send them to the abortion chambers!

Never again?

[class] diversity has consequences.

“I don’t think. Therefore I am.. at the University of London.”
Rene Descartes

Again, liberals demonstrate their total mastery of irony; Plato was one of the first. Everyone else drafted off of him and his contemporaries.

They are trying to create another category of “fries with that” degrees. I an glad I have an Engineering degree, and got it in 1970, before all this bullshit.