Essays On Western Intellectual Tradition

Mainstream philosophy in the so-called West is narrow-minded, unimaginative, and even xenophobic. I know I am levelling a serious charge. But how else can we explain the fact that the rich philosophical traditions of China, India, Africa, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are completely ignored by almost all philosophy departments in both Europe and the English-speaking world?

Western philosophy used to be more open-minded and cosmopolitan. The first major translation into a European language of the Analects, the saying of Confucius (551-479 BCE), was done by Jesuits, who had extensive exposure to the Aristotelian tradition as part of their rigorous training. They titled their translation Confucius Sinarum Philosophus, or Confucius, the Chinese Philosopher (1687).

One of the major Western philosophers who read with fascination Jesuit accounts of Chinese philosophy was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716). He was stunned by the apparent correspondence between binary arithmetic (which he invented, and which became the mathematical basis for all computers) and the I Ching, or Book of Changes, the Chinese classic that symbolically represents the structure of the Universe via sets of broken and unbroken lines, essentially 0s and 1s. (In the 20th century, the psychoanalyst Carl Jung was so impressed with the I Ching that he wrote a philosophical foreword to a translation of it.) Leibniz also said that, while the West has the advantage of having received Christian revelation, and is superior to China in the natural sciences, ‘certainly they surpass us (though it is almost shameful to confess this) in practical philosophy, that is, in the precepts of ethics and politics adapted to the present life and the use of mortals’.

The German philosopher Christian Wolff echoed Leibniz in the title of his public lecture Oratio de Sinarum Philosophia Practica, or Discourse on the Practical Philosophy of the Chinese (1721). Wolff argued that Confucius showed that it was possible to have a system of morality without basing it on either divine revelation or natural religion. Because it proposed that ethics can be completely separated from belief in God, the lecture caused a scandal among conservative Christians, who had Wolff relieved of his duties and exiled from Prussia. However, his lecture made him a hero of the German Enlightenment, and he immediately obtained a prestigious position elsewhere. In 1730, he delivered a second public lecture, De Rege Philosophante et Philosopho Regnante, or On the Philosopher King and the Ruling Philosopher, which praised the Chinese for consulting ‘philosophers’ such as Confucius and his later follower Mengzi (fourth century BCE) about important matters of state.

Chinese philosophy was also taken very seriously in France. One of the leading reformers at the court of Louis XV was François Quesnay (1694-1774). He praised Chinese governmental institutions and philosophy so lavishly in his work Despotisme de la China (1767) that he became known as ‘the Confucius of Europe’. Quesnay was one of the originators of the concept of laissez-faire economics, and he saw a model for this in the sage-king Shun, who was known for governing by wúwéi (non-interference in natural processes). The connection between the ideology of laissez-faire economics and wúwéi continues to the present day. In his State of the Union address in 1988, the US president Ronald Reagan quoted a line describing wúwéi from the Daodejing, which he interpreted as a warning against government regulation of business. (Well, I didn’t say that every Chinese philosophical idea was a good idea.)

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Leibniz, Wolff and Quesnay are illustrations of what was once a common view in European philosophy. In fact, as Peter K J Park notes in Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy: Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon (2014), the only options taken seriously by most scholars in the 18th century were that philosophy began in India, that philosophy began in Africa, or that both India and Africa gave philosophy to Greece. 

So why did things change? As Park convincingly argues, Africa and Asia were excluded from the philosophical canon by the confluence of two interrelated factors. On the one hand, defenders of the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) consciously rewrote the history of philosophy to make it appear that his critical idealism was the culmination toward which all earlier philosophy was groping, more or less successfully.

On the other hand, European intellectuals increasingly accepted and systematised views of white racial superiority that entailed that no non-Caucasian group could develop philosophy. (Even St Augustine, who was born in northern Africa, is typically depicted in European art as a pasty white guy.) So the exclusion of non-European philosophy from the canon was a decision, not something that people have always believed, and it was a decision based not on a reasoned argument, but rather on polemical considerations involving the pro-Kantian faction in European philosophy, as well as views about race that are both scientifically unsound and morally heinous.

Kant himself was notoriously racist. He treated race as a scientific category (which it is not), correlated it with the ability for abstract thought, and – theorising on the destiny of races in lectures to students – arranged them in a hierarchical order:

1. ‘The race of the whites contains all talents and motives in itself.’
2. ‘The Hindus … have a strong degree of calm, and all look like philosophers. That notwithstanding, they are much inclined to anger and love. They thus are educable in the highest degree, but only to the arts and not to the sciences. They will never achieve abstract concepts. [Kant ranks the Chinese with East Indians, and claims that they are] static … for their history books show that they do not know more now than they have long known.’
3. ‘The race of Negroes … [is] full of affect and passion, very lively, chatty and vain. It can be educated, but only to the education of servants, ie, they can be trained.’
4. ‘The [Indigenous] American people are uneducable; for they lack affect and passion. They are not amorous, and so are not fertile. They speak hardly at all, … care for nothing and are lazy.’

Those of us who are specialists on Chinese philosophy are particularly aware of Kant’s disdain for Confucius: ‘Philosophy is not to be found in the whole Orient. … Their teacher Confucius teaches in his writings nothing outside a moral doctrine designed for the princes … and offers examples of former Chinese princes. … But a concept of virtue and morality never entered the heads of the Chinese.’

Kant is easily one of the four or five most influential philosophers in the Western tradition. He asserted that the Chinese, Indians, Africans and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are congenitally incapable of philosophy. And contemporary Western philosophers take it for granted that there is no Chinese, Indian, African or Native American philosophy. If this is a coincidence, it is a stunning one.

If philosophy starts with Plato’s Republic, then I guess the inventor of the Socratic method was not a philosopher

One might argue that, while Kant’s racist premises are indefensible, his conclusion is correct, because the essence of philosophy is to be a part of one specific Western intellectual lineage. This is the position defended by D Kyle Peone in the conservative journal The Weekly Standard. Peone, a postgraduate in philosophy at Emory University in Georgia, argued that, because ‘philosophy’ is a word of Greek origin, it refers only to the tradition that grows out of the ancient Greek thinkers. A similar line of argument was given here in Aeon by Nicholas Tampio, who pronounced that ‘Philosophy originates in Plato’s Republic.’

These are transparently bad arguments (as both Jay Garfield and Amy Olberding have pointedout). For one thing, if the etymology of a term determines which culture ‘owns’ that subject, then there is no algebra in Europe, since we got that term from Arabic. In addition, if philosophy starts with Plato’s Republic, then I guess the inventor of the Socratic method was not a philosopher. My colleagues who teach and write books on pre-Socratic ‘philosophers’ such as Heraclitus and Parmenides are also out of jobs.

Peone and Tampio are part of a long line of thinkers who have tried to simply define non-European philosophy out of existence. In What is Philosophy (1956), Martin Heidegger claimed that:

The often-heard expression ‘Western-European philosophy’ is, in truth, a tautology. Why? Because philosophy is Greek in its nature; … the nature of philosophy is of such a kind that it first appropriated the Greek world, and only it, in order to unfold.

Similarly, on a visit to China in 2001, Jacques Derrida stunned his hosts (who teach in Chinese philosophy departments) by announcing that ‘China does not have any philosophy, only thought.’ In response to the obvious shock of his audience, Derrida insisted that ‘Philosophy is related to some sort of particular history, some languages, and some ancient Greek invention. … It is something of European form.’

The statements of Derrida and Heidegger might have the appearance of complimenting non-Western philosophy for avoiding the entanglements of Western metaphysics. In actuality, their comments are as condescending as talk of ‘noble savages’, who are untainted by the corrupting influences of the West, but are for that very reason barred from participation in higher culture.

It is not only philosophers in the so-called Continental tradition who are dismissive of philosophy outside the Anglo-European canon. The British philosopher G E Moore (1873-1958) was one of the founders of analytic philosophy, the tradition that has become dominant in the English-speaking world. When the Indian philosopher Surendra Nath Dasgupta read a paper on the epistemology of Vedanta to a session of the Aristotelian Society in London, Moore’s only comment was: ‘I have nothing to offer myself. But I am sure that whatever Dasgupta says is absolutely false.’ The audience of British philosophers in attendance roared with laughter at the devastating ‘argument’ Moore had levelled against this Indian philosophical system.

It might be tempting to dismiss this as just a joke between colleagues, but we have to keep in mind that Indian philosophy was already marginalised in Moore’s era. His joke would have had an exclusionary effect similar to sexist jokes made in professional contexts today.

The case of Eugene Sun Park illustrates how Moore’s intellectual descendants are equally narrow-minded. When Sun Park was a student in a mainstream philosophy department in the US Midwest, he tried to encourage a more diverse approach to philosophy by advocating the hiring of faculty who specialise in Chinese philosophy or one other of the less commonly taught philosophies. He reports that he found himself ‘repeatedly confounded by ignorance and, at times, thinly veiled racism’. One member of the faculty basically told him: ‘This is the intellectual tradition we work in. Take it or leave it.’ When Sun Park tried to at least refer to non-Western philosophy in his own dissertation, he was advised to ‘transfer to the Religious Studies Department or some other department where “ethnic studies” would be more welcome’.

Sun Park eventually dropped out of his doctoral programme, and is now a filmmaker. How many other students – particularly students who might have brought greater diversity to the profession – have been turned off from the beginning, or have dropped out along the way, because philosophy seems like nothing but a temple to the achievement of white males?

Those who say that Chinese philosophy is irrational do not bother to read it, and simply dismiss it in ignorance

Some philosophers will grant (grudgingly) that there might be philosophy in China or India, for example, but then assume that it somehow isn’t as good as European philosophy. Most contemporary Western intellectuals gingerly dance around this issue. The late Justice Antonin Scalia was an exception, saying in print what many people actually think, or whisper to like-minded colleagues over drinks at the club. He referred to the thought of Confucius as ‘the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie’.

To anyone who asserts that there is no philosophy outside the Anglo-European tradition, or who admits that there is philosophy outside the West but thinks that it simply isn’t any good, I ask the following. Why does he think that the Mohist state-of-nature argument to justify government authority is not philosophy? What does he make of Mengzi’s reductio ad absurdum against the claim that human nature is reducible to desires for food and sex? Why does he dismiss Zhuangzi’s version of the infinite regress argument for skepticism? What is his opinion of Han Feizi’s argument that political institutions must be designed so that they do not depend upon the virtue of political agents? What does he think of Zongmi’s argument that reality must fundamentally be mental, because it is inexplicable how consciousness could arise from matter that is non-conscious? Why does he regard the Platonic dialogues as philosophical, yet dismiss Fazang’s dialogue in which he argues for, and responds to, objections against the claim that individuals are defined by their relationships to others? What is his opinion of Wang Yangming’s arguments for the claim that it is impossible to know what is good yet fail to do what is good? Does he find convincing Dai Zhen’s effort to produce a naturalistic foundation for ethics in the universalisability of our natural motivations? What does he make of Mou Zongsan’s critique of Kant, or Liu Shaoqi’s argument that Marxism is incoherent unless supplemented with a theory of individual ethical transformation? Does he prefer the formulation of the argument for the equality of women given in the Vimalakirti Sutra, or the one given by the Neo-Confucian Li Zhi, or the one given by the Marxist Li Dazhao? Of course, the answer to each question is that those who suggest that Chinese philosophy is irrational have never heard of any of these arguments because they do not bother to read Chinese philosophy and simply dismiss it in ignorance.

The sad reality is that comments such as those by Kant, Heidegger, Derrida, Moore, Scalia and the professors that Sun Park encountered are manifestations of what Edward W Said labelled ‘Orientalism’ in his eponymous book of 1979: the view that everything from Egypt to Japan is essentially the same, and is the polar opposite of the West: ‘The Oriental is irrational, depraved (fallen), childlike, “different”; thus the European is rational, virtuous, mature, “normal”.’ Those under the influence of Orientalism do not need to really read Chinese (or other non-European) texts or take their arguments seriously, because they come pre-interpreted: ‘“Orientals” for all practical purposes were a Platonic essence, which any Orientalist (or ruler of Orientals) might examine, understand, and expose.’ And this essence guarantees that what Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern or other non-European thinkers have to say is, at best, quaint, at worst – fatuous.

Readers of this essay might be disappointed that my examples (both positive and negative) have focused on Chinese philosophy. This is simply because Chinese philosophy is the area in non-Western philosophy that I know best. To advocate that we teach more philosophy outside the Anglo-European mainstream is not to suggest the unrealistic goal that each of us should be equally adept at lecturing on all of them. However, we should not forget that Chinese philosophy is only one of a substantial number of less commonly taught philosophies (LCTP) that are largely ignored by US philosophy departments, including African, Indian, and Indigenous philosophies. Although I am far from an expert in any of these traditions, I do know enough about them to recognise that they have much to offer as philosophy.

Just read An Essay on African Philosophical Thought: The Akan Conceptual Scheme (1987) by Kwame Gyekye, or Philosophy and an African Culture (1980) by Kwasi Wiredu, or Philosophy in Classical India (2001) by Jonardon Ganeri, or Buddhism as Philosophy (2007) by Mark Siderits, or Aztec Philosophy (2014) by James Maffie, or the writings of Kyle Powys Whyte at Michigan State University on Indigenous environmentalism. Many forms of philosophy that are deeply influenced by the Greco-Roman tradition (and hence particularly easy to incorporate into the curriculum) are also ignored in mainstream departments, including African-American, Christian, feminist, Islamic, Jewish, Latin American, and LGBTQ philosophies. Adding coverage of any of them to the curriculum would be a positive step toward greater diversity.

I am not saying that mainstream Anglo-European philosophy is bad and all other philosophy is good. There are people who succumb to this sort of cultural Manicheanism, but I am not one of them. My goal is to broaden philosophy by tearing down barriers, not to narrow it by building new ones. To do this is to be more faithful to the ideals that motivate the best philosophy in every culture. When the ancient philosopher Diogenes was asked what city he came from, he replied: ‘I am a citizen of the world.’ Contemporary philosophy in the West has lost this perspective. In order to grow intellectually, to attract an increasingly diverse student body, and to remain culturally relevant, philosophy must recover its original cosmopolitan ideal.

This article is an edited excerpt from Bryan W Van Norden’s ‘Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto’ (2017), with a foreword by Jay L Garfield, published by Columbia University Press.

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History of IdeasCosmopolitanismRaceAll topics →

Bryan Van Norden

is Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple professor at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, professor of philosophy at Vassar College in New York, and chair professor at Wuhan University in China. His latest book is Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto (2017), with a foreword by Jay L Garfield. 

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Call for Papers

Reconstructing the Social Sciences and Humanities: Antenor Firmin, Western Intellectual Tradition, and Black Atlantic Thought and Culture

Editors: Celucien L. Joseph, PhD, Paul Mocombe, PhD

Description:

Joseph Antenor Firmin (1850-1911) was the reigning public intellectual and political critic in Haiti in the nineteenth-century. Firmin was the first “Black anthropologist” and “Black Egyptologist” to deconstruct Western interpretation of global history and challenge the ideological construction of human nature and theories of knowledge in Western social sciences and the humanities—through his interdisciplinary tour-de-force De l’égalité des races humaines (anthropologie positive) (1885), translated in the English language as The Equality of the Human Races: Positivist Anthropology (2002) by Asselin Charles. In this seminal monograph, Firmin interrogated the conventional boundaries of research methods in the social sciences and humanities in the eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century, respectively—although the social sciences came to be recognized as distinct disciplines of thought until the nineteenth-century. His research was influenced by the philosophy of positivism, grounded in the ideas of the French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798–1857), to critique the traditional approaches to and the contemporary theories of human origin, civilization, history, culture, and research representation. As the 18th-century Scottish empiricist David Hume, Firmin was correspondingly concerned about the “relations of ideas” in the scientific inquiry and the underlying fundamental notions and objectives of various fields or disciplines of knowledge of that era. His political theory about the constitution of the nation-states and the formation of modern societies were equally driven by the political and sociological methods and theories of that period; yet, Firmin was discontent about the ideological impulses and epistemological presuppositions of these cultural-political phenomena and dynamics.

Through his other intellectual, political, and diplomatic writings and commentaries—such as Haïti au point de vue politique, administratif et économique : conférence faite au Grand cercle de Paris (1891), Haïti et la France (1891), Une défense (1892), Diplomate et diplomatie : lettre ouverte à M. Solon Ménos (1899), M. Roosevelt, président des États-Unis et la République d’Haïti (1905), Lettres de Saint Thomas. Études sociologiques, historiques et littéraires (1910), and L’effort dans le mal (1911) — Firmin’s intellectual motif was animated by a spirit of dispassionate and rational inquiry. He articulated an alternative way to study global historical trajectories, the political life, human societies and interactions, and the diplomatic relations and dynamics between the nations and the races. The sociological dimension of Firmin’s thought not only reassesses the history of the social thought of his period, but stresses the complex factors and forces that contributed to the (economic) development of human societies and cultures, and the concept of advanced and less-advanced civilizations in the modern world. For example, Firmin’s revisionist history makes a clarion call to acknowledge the “Black Genesis” of human origin and the manifold contribution of pre-colonial Africa to universal civilization and human flourishing, in both ancient history and modern history. The Firminian turn in social sciences and the humanities, and in anthropology in particular was a discursive discourse that questioned the ideological premises of theories of knowledge and the myth of a “superior race,” and the logic of Western interpretation of global history and the historical narrative about ancient African history and culture.

This Call for Papers is an attempt to meditate intellectually on the intellectual life, writings, and the legacy of Joseph Antenor Firmin. This project not only presents Firmin as a deconstructionist of the social sciences and humanities and theories of knowledge articulated in Western history of ideas and social thought of his era; it also accentuates his manifold contribution to these distinct fields of thought. As an anti-racist intellectual and cosmopolitan thinker, Firmin challenges Western idea of the colonial subject, race achievement, and modernity’s imagination of a linear narrative of progress and reason based on the false premises of social evolution and development, colonial history and epistemology, and the intellectual evolution of the Aryan-White race. For Firmin, these Western-European fault-lines and intellectual transgressions had deferred the work of universal progress, the international alliance between the nations, peoples, and the races of the world, and the cosmopolitan orientation toward phileo love and mutual respect. Firmin anticipates the de-colonial option as a potential remedy to cure the shortcomings of (Western) modernity and the intellectual decadence in Western interpretation of human nature and society, history, and development.

For Firmin, the remapping of the geography of reason and the intellectual reconfigurations of epistemology could be the veritable solution to the problems of social sciences and the humanities, and to the race question in the modern world—leading to an ethics of cosmopolitan humanism and the possibility of living together as members of one human race. Subsequently, in his work, Firmin projects a two-fold objective presented as a concurrent intellectual event: (1) to deconstruct the conventional contours of social sciences and the humanities and the theories of knowledge about the races and peoples in the modern world for the advancement of the human race, and (2) to reconstruct race and articulate a more accurate narrative of societal development and human evolution, from a post-colonial imagination resulting into a new positive narrative of human societies, global history, and human understanding—toward  the common good.

Firmin’s revisionist approach to anthropology, sociology, and ancient and modern history was motivated by a genuine desire to correct European perspective on the idea of a “single modernity;” by consequence, he suggested both parallel and alternative modernities and corresponding civilizations.  The Firminian project of creative deconstruction, positivism, and reconstruction of human historical narrative and theories of knowledge anticipates the renewal of humanity and the possibilities of imagining future possibilities with an emancipative hope and intent.  Firmin’s primary argument is that the history of the world, in the strictest sense of the term, is not a racial accomplishment, the accomplishment of whiteness. In response, Firmin proposed alternative modernities whose foundations and ethical frameworks are non-European and pre-Western.

Reconstructing the Social Sciences and Humanities is a special volume on Joseph Antenor Firmin that reexamines the importance of his thought and legacy, and the relevance of his ideas for contemporary social sciences and the humanities in the academia, the twenty-first century’s culture of humanism, and the continuing challenge of race and racism. This volume seeks to fill in the intellectual gaps of Firmin’s work in the Anglophone world. Modern scholarship on the writings of Firmin is scarce in the Anglophone world, and as the “first black anthropologist” in the Western world, contemporary anthropology, both in the United States and elsewhere in the Anglophone community, has not given serious attention to the importance and complexity of his ideas in the discipline and its cognates. Firmin’s contribution to the discipline of anthropology, sociology, political theory, history, and comparative study has been overlooked by both American and European thinkers. The reexamination of Firmin’s thought is significant for contemporary research in both social sciences and the humanities, ancient history, Black and Pan-African Studies, ancient African history, and particularly, the renewed scholarly interests in Haiti and Haitian Studies in North America. This volume explores various dimensions in Joseph Antenor Firmin’s thought and his role as theorist, anthropologist, cultural critic, public intellectual, diplomat, political scientist, pan-Africanist, and humanist.

If you would like to contribute a book chapter to this important volume, along with your CV, please submit a 300-word abstract by Wednesday, June 27, 2018, to Dr. Celucien Joseph @ celucienjoseph@gmail.com, and Dr. Paul Mocombe @ pmocombe@mocombeian.com

Successful applicants will be notified of acceptance on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. The first chapter draft is due Wednesday, November 28, 2018. The 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style is required. We are looking for original and unpublished essays for this book. Translations of Firmin’s writings in the English language are also welcome. Potential topics to be addressed include (but are not limited to) the following:

I.                   The Person, Choices, and Ideas of Joseph Antenor Firmin

  • The Education of Joseph Antenor Firmin
  • The (Scientific) Ideas of Joseph Antenor Firmin
  • The intellectual life of Joseph Antenor Firmin
  • Firmin and the Scientific Method of the nineteenth-century
  • Firmin as (Black) Anthropologist
  • Firmin as Humanist and Cosmopolitan
  • Firmin as Agnostic
  • Firmin as Theorist
  • Firmin as Positivist thinker
  • The political philosophy and democratic ideas of Joseph  Firmin
  • The ethical and moral worldview of Joseph Firmin

II.                Firmin & Haiti

  • Firmin in Haitian History and Politics
  • Firmin in Haitian Intellectual Tradition
  • Firmin’s interpretation of Haitian intellectual history
  • Haitian heroes and heroines in the writings of Firmin
  • Haitian exceptionalism in the writings of Firmin
  • The Education of the Haitian people in the writings of Firmin
  • Firm and the economic development of Haiti
  • The Political career of Antenor Firmin
  • Haitian Nationalism and Patriotism in Firmin’s thought
  • Firmin and the future of Haiti in the twenty-first century

III.             Firmin, Africa, and the African Diaspora

  • Firmin in Africana and Black Intellectual Tradition
  • Firmin in Caribbean Politics and History
  • Africa in the work of Firmin
  • Firmin and Pan-Africanism
  • Firmin and Afrocentrism
  • Firmin and Ancient Egyptian Civilization (Egyptology)
  • Firmin and the education and miseducation of Blacks
  • Firmin and the concept of “Black progress”
  • Firmin and the Future of the Africa and African Diaspora in the twenty-first century
  • The Vindication and Rehabilitation of the Black Race
  • The Role and Contributions of Pre-colonial African civilizations to world civilizations

IV.             Firmin, Social Sciences, and the Western World

  • Firmin and Western History of Ideas
  • Firmin, modernity, and the European Enlightenment
  • Firmin and Scientific Racism of the Nineteenth-century
  • Firmin’s critique of Wester Epistemology
  • Firmin and the discipline of Anthropology
  • Firmin and the discipline of History
  • Firmin and the discipline of Sociology
  • Firmin and the discipline of Philosophy
  • The influence of Auguste Compte’s positivism on Firmin
  • The Concept of human progress in Firmin
  • Firmin and Count Joseph Arthur de Gobineau
  • Firmin and European Philosophical Tradition
  • Firmin and European Racism
  • Firmin and Western Imperialism
  • Firmin and Revisionist History
  • Firmin and the Logic of human history
  • Firmin and Marxism

V.                Firmin, the Humanities, and the World   

  • Firmin and theories of knowledge
  • The concept of human nature in Firmin
  • The “race question” in the work of Firmin
  • Firmin and the Theology of race
  • Firmin and the concept of culture
  • “Vindication” as an intellectual method in Firmin
  • The religious traditions in the work of Antenor Firmin
  • The concept of science in the work of Antenor Firmin
  • Firmin and the equality of the human races
  • Firmin and American diplomatic politics and relations
  • Firmin and the Decolonial Method
  • Firmin and the Postcolonial theory
  • Firmin and Critical Race Theory
  • Firmin and the Problem of Imperialism
  • Firmin and the Pitfalls of Capitalism

We look forward to receiving your abstract and collaborating with you in this important project.

Sincerely,

Celucien L. Joseph, PhD.

Paul Mocombe, PhD.

About the editors

Celucien L. Joseph (PhD., University of Texas at Dallas; PhD., University of Pretoria) is Professor of English at Indian River State College. His recent books include Thinking in Public: Faith, Secular Humanism, and Development in Jacques Roumain (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2017), and Between Two Worlds: Jean Price-Mars, Haiti, and Africa (Lexington Books, 2018), which he co-edited with Jean Eddy Saint Paul and Glodel Mezilas.

Paul C. Mocombe (PhD., Florida Atlantic University) is former Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Sociology at Bethune Cookman University and Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Sociology at West Virginia State University and the President/CEO of The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.  A social theorist interested in the application of social theory to contemporary issues such as race, class, and capitalism (globalization), he is the author of, Jesus and the Streets; Race and Class Distinctions Within Black Communities; Language, Literacy, and Pedagogy in Postindustrial Societies; A labor Approach to the Development of the Self or Modern Personality: The Case of Public Education, Education in Globalization; Mocombe’s Reading Room Series; and The Mocombeian Strategy: The Reason for, and Answer to Black Failure in Capitalist Education.

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