- University of London college students have demanded figures like Kant and Plato be dropped because they are white
- Student union at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) insists the majority of philosophers on the course should be from Africa or Asia
They are titans of philosophy, without whose work an understanding of the subject is all but inconceivable.
But now students at a University of London college are demanding that such seminal figures as Plato, Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell should be largely dropped from the curriculum simply because they are white.
These may be the names that underpin civilisation, yet the student union at the world-renowned School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is insisting that when studying philosophy ‘the majority of philosophers on our courses’ should be from Africa and Asia.
The works of Immanuel Kant, above, might not be on the list for students at SOAS after they demanded more works from African and Asian philosophers
The students say it is in order to ‘decolonise’ the ‘white institution’ that is their college.
Last night philosopher Sir Roger Scruton lambasted the union’s demand, saying: ‘This suggests ignorance and a determination not to overcome that ignorance. You can’t rule out a whole area of intellectual endeavour without having investigated it and clearly they haven’t investigated what they mean by white philosophy. If they think there is a colonial context from which Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason arose, I would like to hear it.’
The vice-chancellor of Buckingham University Sir Anthony Seldon said: ‘There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some might like it to have been.
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