Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for the ‘Issues in the profession’ Category

The “Matrix of Oppression” qua matrix of oppression

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Daily Nous hosts a post and a discussion thread, titled Philosophers from Poverty, on the topic of class or socio-economic status as a form of disadvantage in academic philosophy. To my knowledge, the internet has not been flooded so far by discussions, projects, calls to arms, campaigns, etc. related to this form of disadvantage. For all I know, this thread might well be a first.

Abant, Turkey

Abant, Turkey, 2010. Photo by: I. Aranyosi

Naturally, when a blog post is about topic X, readers are supposed to comment about topic X. Some reader might well say: “Ok, ok, X, but please don’t forget about Y when you discuss about X”. This is OK and non-controversial when the topic X is, say, the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, and Y is the Copenhagen Interpretation. When, however, the topic is some form of social/cultural/political group disadvantage, and the corollary of discrimination and bias based on that, one needs to be a little more careful when putting forward a comment like the one above: “Ok, ok, X, but please don’t forget about Y when you discuss about X”. The reason is that people who are likely to read and comment on the thread are precisely people who likely suffer as a result of that disadvantage, and they might feel hurt or sidelined by such a comment.

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Written by István Aranyosi

December 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

Center, Periphery, Philosophy

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The recently created online Directory of Philosophers from Underrepresented Groups in Philosophy (UPDir) is supposed, according to its promoters, “to provide an easy-to-use resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the work of philosophers who belong to underrepresented groups within the discipline.”

Though I fit one of the categories, I have not registered myself, and do not intend to. I might offer my reasons in some future post, but for now I want to focus on something else, namely, the epistemic neo-colonialist thinking, or rather mental reflex, that underlies some assumptions behind this project and behind some other phenomena in our field.


My problem is with the way the category “Philosophy”, or “the discipline”, is explicitly understood if we are to take it for granted the some groups are “traditionally underrepresented” within it.

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Written by István Aranyosi

December 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm

“AOS” in philosophy — does it make sense?

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I wrote a piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education on whether “area of specialization” is legitimate in philosophy. You can check it out here.

Written by István Aranyosi

July 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm