Distortion in Philosophy
Serena Wong

14 June 2018

Philosophy has, of course, become more diverse in recent years, with more women and people of color entering the field. However, that hasn't changed the lack of diversity in the canon of philosophy.

In particular, as Ray Briggs, Stanford philosophy professor and featured contributor on our blog, argues, some of the philosophical examples used over and over again are misogynistic, or rely on false hypothesis. Briggs worries that “when most of the authors we read are white and male, some aspects of the subject matter get distorted, and it’s hard to tell where the essential stuff ends and the accidental stuff begins.”

Could these examples distort current philosophers' attention, directing them to certain problems over others?

Read more here: http://dailynous.com/2018/04/16/examples-that-distort/

Comments (1)

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Thursday, June 14, 2018 -- 12:46 PM

This is an interesting notion

This is an interesting notion. In the April, 2018 issue of The Atlantic, Alison Gopnik (of UC Berkeley) wrote a review of Steven Pinker's new work, Enlightenment Now, charging that while Pinker "praises truth and reason" he is "curiously blind to the power and benefits of small town values". I have not read Pinker's book. Yet. Gopnik further states that Pinker claims that things are getting better, using all manner of graph and chart to illustrate and validate his assertion(s). Maybe so. I have read some of Pinker's preceding works, including The Better Angels of Our Nature, in which he makes similar assertions about violence in society---using similar graphs and charts.

Is/was he blind to the power and benefits Gopnik admires and extols? Or, were those powers and benefits simply not so crucial, in his estimation, to the story he was telling? Guess I'll have to read his book. If/when I can get my hands on it...