The history of philosophy’s racism

In the Chronicle,

“Stated more simply,” Park contends, “historians of philosophy began to exclude peoples they deemed too primitive and incapable of philosophy,” noting Hegel’s belief that the African mind-set invited slavery. While it may surprise contemporary philosophers and graduate students brought up on the standard canon, Park correctly reports that from “the time of Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) to the death of Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (1715-80), the prevailing convention among historians of philosophy was to begin the history of philosophy with Adam, Noah, Moses (or the Jews), or the Egyptians. In some early modern histories of philosophy, Zoroaster, the ‘Chaldeans,’ or another ancient Oriental people appear as the first philosophers. It was in the late 18th century that historians of philosophy began to claim a Greek beginning for philosophy.” –

See more at:

One thought on “The history of philosophy’s racism

  1. I posted this in another thread, but it bears posting here, too. For those looking to diversify their syllabi, but not quite sure where to turn, the APA has a collection of sample syllabi:

    Check it out! Also, if you have syllabi that you think would be useful to add to the collection, please do so (via a submission form link near the top of the page).

Comments are closed.