Students attending the prestigious London University are demanding administrators remove the likes of Plato, Descartes and Kant from the school’s syllabus in order to rid the campus of its colonialized roots and bring in a more Middle Eastern bent.
The student union with the School of Oriental and African Studies, which focuses on the study of great thinkers from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, wants “the majority of philosophers on our courses” to come from those regions, in order to “address the structurla and epistemological legacy of colonialism” – to “decolonialize” the school, in other words, the news blog Truth Revolt reported, citing the UK Telegraph.
This is political correctness at its worst, argues one critic.
From Truth Revolt:
“Conservative philosopher Roger Scruton said that the demands suggest “ignorance.” That’s a start — they also suggest arrogance and anti-intellectualism. “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,” Scruton told The Mail on Sunday. “If they think there is a colonial context from which Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason arose, I would like to hear it.”
“So would we, but that won’t happen because the student union isn’t interested in engaging with Scruton, because he’s a white philosopher, or in justifying its racist agenda.
“Sir Anthony Seldon, vice-chancellor of Buckingham University, added: ‘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.’
“It’s depressing that such a statement even needs to be made, but such is the State of Academia today.
“The student union at SOAS declared that ‘decolonising’ the university and ‘confronting the white institution’ is one of its priorities for the academic year.
“It said that ‘white philosophers’ should be studied only ‘if required,’ adding that their work should be taught solely from a ‘critical standpoint.’ ‘For example, acknowledging the colonial context in which so-called ‘Enlightenment’ philosophers wrote within,’ it added. …
“It’s high time that university administrations simply rejected any and all such ludicrous, bullying, anti-intellectual demands and expel any student who spends more time and energy trying to “decolonialize” the university than actually studying.”