SAAP Annual Meeting 2014

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The “demographic challenge” in philosophy and the quest for a philosophy sensitive to context: Some lessons from Latin American philosophy and Latin jazz

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This paper engages American Philosophy with Latin American philosophy on a problem of mutual concern: the problem of representation and marginalization in the discipline. In the recent 2012 presidential address at the APA, Linda Alcoff calls it “the demographic challenge” and argues that universalism has kept philosophy from taking demographics seriously. Instead, we must embrace “contextualism.” I argue that even though Alcoff’s diagnosis and solution is correct, not all contextualisms are created equal. It is an open and important question how should philosophy should be sensitive to these contextual features. There is such a thing as “contextualism gone wild”. There is such a thing as philosophy stressing too much such contextual factors as ethnicity and the political. I explore the lessons in Latin American philosophy and Latin Jazz in regard to how to avoid these contemporary excesses and work towards a proper contextualism that can ameliorate the democratic challenge.

Author(s):

Gregory Fernando Pappas    
Texas A & M
United States

 

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