George Yancy – continuing his fascinating series – interviews David Haekwon Kim in the NY Times’ The Stone column. The whole interview is a great read – covering topics from the ‘model minority’ myth, the Euro-centrism of philosophy, and responses to racist abuse. Here’s one particularly interesting excerpt:
Transformative efforts face a complex legacy of insularity. For example, currently, there is an increasing presence of “East-West” comparative philosophy in the profession. Unfortunately, the wider picture, one including a “North-South” axis, reveals that non-Asian, non-Western philosophies, like those found under the headings of Africana philosophy, Native American philosophy, and Latin American philosophy, do not even make it onto the map in the Western profession of philosophy. I think it’s no coincidence that these exclusions are of philosophies of colonized peoples. And it should be pointed out that Asian peoples and philosophies, too, have been enmeshed in colonial conditions. A sign of significant progress would be the robust development of what we might call “East-South” philosophy. In fact, I propose that we operationalize this idea and build it into the infrastructure of the American Philosophical Association. This would not only indicate the admission of “South” philosophy into the profession, but also “South” philosophy’s engagement with “East” philosophy would imply a strong decentering of Western philosophy. Perhaps all this is to say that I long for the day when we let the world teach us about the world.