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By Peter K. J. Park

A ancient research of the exclusion of Africa and Asia from sleek histories of philosophy.

In this provocative historiography, Peter okay. J. Park presents a penetrating account of an important interval within the improvement of philosophy as an educational self-discipline. in the course of those many years, a variety of ecu philosophers inspired by way of Immanuel Kant started to formulate the historical past of philosophy as a march of development from the Greeks to Kant—a family tree that supplanted current bills starting in Egypt or Western Asia and at a time while ecu curiosity in Sanskrit and Persian literature was once flourishing. now not with out debate, those traditions have been finally deemed outdoors the scope of philosophy and relegated to the learn of faith. Park uncovers this debate and recounts the improvement of an exclusionary canon of philosophy within the a long time of the overdue eighteenth and early 19th centuries. To what volume used to be this exclusion of Africa and Asia as a result of the scientization of philosophy? To what quantity used to be it as a result racism?

This e-book comprises the main large description on hand wherever of Joseph-Marie de Gérando’s Histoire comparée des systèmes de philosophie, Friedrich Schlegel’s lectures at the historical past of philosophy, Friedrich Ast’s and Thaddä Anselm Rixner’s systematic integration of Africa and Asia into the historical past of philosophy, and the controversy among G. W. F. Hegel and the theologian August Tholuck over “pantheism.”

Africa, Asia, and the background of Philosophy is a welcome boost to a missed sector within the historical past of rules. Philosophy has lengthy suffered from exclusions that retain us from absolutely appreciating the contributions to our box from Africa and Asia. Park’s ebook uncovers a few of the resources of philosophy’s exclusionary practices. The old element is impressive.” — Elizabeth Millán, writer of Friedrich Schlegel and the Emergence of Romantic Philosophy

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Additional info for Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy. Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon, 1780–1830

Sample text

120 In his Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie (1816 edition), Tennemann differentiated between, on the one hand, the history of philosophy and, on the other, the history of mankind, intellectual history, history of the sciences, biography, literary history, analysis of works, and compilations of opinions. 123 “Philosophemes” (Philosopheme) should in any case be taken only from the writings of the philosophers. 124 Since all the information from such a fund of sources cannot be incorporated into a history, it was important to decide what should be included.

The principal defect, however, was Brucker’s manner of explication, which the French thinker claimed lacked elegance, variety, and clarity. 22 De Gérando was cognizant, therefore, of two distinct approaches to the history of philosophy prior to his own work. The Histoire comparée is a three-volume work divided into two parts. The First Part, presenting an “Abridged History of the Principal Systems of Philosophy with Respect to the Principles of Human 36 Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy Knowledge,” occupies the whole first volume and half of the second.

In another of Kant’s manuscripts, one finds this passage: There are thus three stages that philosophy had to go through with respect to metaphysics. The first was the stage of dogmatism; the second was that of skepticism; the third was that of the criticism of pure reason. 104 Not only do Kant’s words authorize the a priori construction of the history of philosophy; they also prescribe the narrative: Metaphysics was dogmatic; skepticism falsified it; and then true metaphysics was achieved by Kant.

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