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Southern Journal of Philosophy

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This essay explores the extent to which comparative philosophy can assist decolonial struggle. In order to accomplish this task, I offer not only a description of philosophy's colonization but also an account of how this discipline remains subject to the coloniality of knowledge. In short, insofar as race, gender, class, and sexuality are considered irrelevant or accidental to the production of philosophical knowledge, professional philosophy replicates, if not continues, what Rajeev Bhargava terms the epistemic injustice of colonialism. One response to the colonization of philosophy is “diversification” by means of putting into conversation philosophers, systems, and ideas from differing cultures or regions throughout the world. While a step forward, insofar as philosophical comparisons occur primarily on an East–West axis, philosophers are not necessarily addressing the biases, prejudices, racism, and exceptionalism endemic to their discipline. In fact, such a directionality typically reinforces the sense of historical development that undergirds Western philosophy's self‐understanding. This essay, therefore, offers a series of recommendations for how to radicalize comparative philosophical efforts so as to address global epistemic injustice and aid in the process of decolonization.


Accepted version. Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 57, No. S1 (September 2019): 107-134. DOI. © 2019 Wiley. Used with permission.

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