Can Non-Europeans Think? by Hamid Dabashi
Philosophy claims to be the search for knowledge, unbound by any fetters. Yet even a cursory analysis of how it is conceived when it exists outside the European tradition reveals a troubling bias. While European philosophy, for example is simply known as “philosophy,” African philosophy is all too often dubbed “ethnophilosophy.” The Western philosophical tradition simply hasn’t acknowledged the vast amount of innovative thought that has flourished outside the European philosophical pedigree—and that has led to awkward, and damaging, failures to properly reckon with the ideas of people like Japan’s Kojin Karatani, Cuba’s Roberto Fernandez Retamar, or even America’s Cornel West.
In Can Non-Europeans Think?, Hamid Dabashi brings together a unique group of historical and theoretical reflections on current affairs and the role of philosophy to argue that, in order to grapple with the problems of humanity today, we must eliminate the ethnographic gaze that infects philosophy and casts Arab and other non-Western thinkers as subordinates.