Tuesday, June 10, 2008

white men and philosophy

I wonder why white people (more specifically white men) are so attracted to academic philosophy...

I have three main theories
A) it is related to how philosophy includes so much discussion of origional thinkers (like Aristotle) and original works. Which makes it like a lesson in western evolution of philosophy as opposed to a description of the state of current knowledge.

B) that many debates have a component of English semantics - and those who know multiple languages certain 'teaser debates' can easily appear ridiculous as opposed to interesting.

C) That there is some sort of social acceptance of philosophy in western society such that parents feel proud their sons and daughters are philosophers or at least not noticeably embarrassed.

FP might talk about barriers to entry to the field and there would be something to that - but how many non white non males even apply to study philosophy?

Still I suppose others have given this topic more thought than me.


Anonymous Dru said...

i'm not certain that any of those three reasons in themselves connect white men to philosophy, unless by "white men" you mean a similar set of assumptions as are made about white americans at stuffwhitepeoplelike.com


12:19 PM  
Blogger Genius said...

Well if one is tackling the issue of "why are there a lot of white men in philosophy" one probably needs to generalize about white men. I note Aaron ( Neurath's Boat) suggests that it is related to white men being privileged and that philosophy is the mode of thinking of the privileged which seems to be making an even more ambitious generalization.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Genius Deferred said...

I think the reason you don't see many non-white People Of Color pursuing philosophy is because, quite simply, "there's no money in it". I doesn't mean that ALL People Of Color go after careers that are going to lead to them being high earners, but it's very difficult to sell the job of "philosopher" to a non-white person (generally speaking). It's very difficult to see where that kind of major will "pay off" in the grand scheme of things.

4:48 PM  

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