Sunday School

Sunday School December 31th 2017

This topic contains 36 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Reg the Fronkey Farmer 2 years, 9 months ago.

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    Simon Paynton

    Is Western philosophy xenophobic and racist?

    – I don’t recognise the author’s view that Western philosophy ignores the rest of the world’s contributions.  Maybe that’s true of “crap Western philosophy”, of which there is apparently an awful lot.  But any philosopher worth their salt is going to be interested in anything and everything that is useful, because, they know that human beings are human beings wherever you go, and the more diverse one’s sources, the better the result will be.  If an idea is good, and it’s at all famous, then it has legs, wherever and whenever it was said.


    Simon Paynton

    What Is Moral Injury?

    – that’s a really interesting idea that I hadn’t heard about before.  It makes a lot of sense.

    According to Katie Mansfield of the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR), it’s a traumatic response to being either the victim, or the perpetrator, of harm caused by violating morality.  I would suggest that this is not of the “cultural conventions” variety, but rather, a violation of the loyalty that all of us need, and it is hoped, expect, from other human beings.

    Because of its special nature, I think this is where “people are the cure”.  But if a cure exists, then it would be unique in each case, since each case is unique in itself.  So, I suggest, some (any) person has to do some specific thing in order to make good the harm that was done.

    Mansfield says,

    It’s also important to address the social needs that emerge when people have experienced traumatic events and moral injury.  Cycles of violence must be named and acknowledged.  Restorative justice programs in court systems are a good way of addressing communal trauma.  Here the humanity of the victims as well as the responsible parties is taken seriously, as are the needs of the impacted communities.

    In other words, being listened to, and treated as a human being, goes a long way.


    Daniel W.

    #Simon, based onthe description, I think I have experienced moral injury more than once. I wonder, hasn’t everyone? Sartre said, Hell is other people. However, I know it’s a matter of degree. In the scheme of things in this world, I think most people, in most places and times, have had it worse.


    Daniel W.

    @simonpaynton, I didn’t see that about western philosophy being racist and xenophobic. Blanket statements like that give me pause, and cast doubt on the person stating it. Isn’t western philosophy really a collection of many philosophies, from ancient greek to postmodern? What is racist about humanism? Or existentialism? Or epicurianusm? What do they have to say about people of various races and cultures? I read there is some thought that ancient Geek philosophies derive from ancient Egyptian – is that Western? What nonWestern philosophies are not racist or xenophobic in comparison? Hindu caste system? Confucianism, with China as the center of all things that matter, and the famous Imperial Chinese xenophobia? Ditto for Imperial Japan. Aztecs, which subjugated surrounding cultures and peoples, some of whom were collected for human sacrifice? I dont think “western philosophy is racist and zenophobic” is an accurate or thoughtful assessment, but rather may derive from academic tribalism, or political correctness, If do, what can we think of other statements by the same author?


    Simon Paynton

    @danielw – “moral injury

    – I agree, everyone must have experienced this at some stage.

    In the scheme of things in this world, I think most people, in most places and times, have had it worse.

    – I’m glad you recognise that.  Some people are in the bottom 1%.

    I didn’t see that about western philosophy being racist and xenophobic.

    – I assume the author is knowledgeable about modern (20th century+) Western philosophy, and, I’m guessing they’re probably right, considering how deplorably bad a lot of that is.  However, these days, people are getting past all that, because they’re getting past tired old rubbish Philosophy.  In other words, I would say that philosophy is pulling its head out of its ass.


    Simon Paynton

    tired old rubbish Philosophy

    – for example, the work of Wittgenstein is famously dense, impenetrable, and difficult to understand.  In other words, he was unable to explain himself properly.

    This means, rather than constructing useful philosophy, all he really did was vomit, and get it published by star-struck Emperor’s New Clothes wannabes.


    I wonder what Wittgenstein would have thought of the article on scientists vs lawyers in the latest Sunday School, Jan 7th 2018.

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