American Universities Lack Chinese Philosophers – Professor

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Shanghai Confucian Temple (Photo credit: Matt Rhodes)

We all know Confucius, but an American university professor argues that’s not enough.

Eric Schwitzgebel a professor of philosophy at UC Riverside and the author of “Perplexities of Consciousness,” argues that philosophy departments lack Chinese philosophers and, as a result, aren’t well-rounded.

“Pilosophy professors in the United States have all heard of Confucius and the Daoist Laozi,” in Schwitzgebel wrote in the Los Angeles Times.

However, he points out “most of us have not read their works.”

“As a result, most U.S. university students are not exposed to Chinese thinkers in their philosophy classes,” he says.

Schwitzgebel hypothesizes this is likely because of America’s European heritage which results in a preference for western political thought.

However, he points out that this does a disservice to his students and isn’t really “justifiable on academic grounds.”

“Because they have little impact on our philosophy, we believe we are justified in remaining ignorant about their work,” Schwitzgebel concludes. “In our diverse, globally influenced country, such narrow-mindedness shouldn’t fly.”.

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