Philosophical Vanities


Feminist Philosophers

In an article posted on Aeonand approvingly described by Brian Leiter, Nicholas Tampio argues that philosophy, as the trajectory of thought emerging from Plato (and only Plato), would lose itself (and its funding) if came to embrace thinkers such as Abu Hamid al-Ghazali and Confucius. I can’t speak to the characterization of al-Ghazali, but the remarks about Confucius are comically unsophisticated and deploy orientalist stereotypes. I make some remarks about this here. But every time some argument of this sort is trotted out to “defend” philosophy, I get embarrassed to be in philosophy. The reasons are multiple, but let me focus on the breathtaking lack of self-awareness.

Articles in this style work on a confused logic of purportedly neutral disciplinary definition. They pose as trying to define what philosophy does, as if it is but one among many academic disciplines, and express a happy pluralism about the…

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