Prof. Jonardon Ganeri (New York University Abu Dhabi)
Sunday, 19th November 2017, 2.00pm - 4.00pmVenue: Innovation Hub (Crescent Building)
The world of academic philosophy is now entering a new age, one defined neither by colonial need for recognition nor by postcolonial wish to integrate. The indicators of this new era include heightened appreciation of the value of world philosophies, the internationalisation of the student body, the philosophical pluralism which interaction and migration in new global movements make salient, growing concerns about diversity within a still too-white faculty body and curricular canon, and identification of a range of deep structural problems with the contemporary philosophical academy in its discursive, citational, refereeing and ranking practices. We are entering what we might call “the age of re-emergence”, a new period the key features of which are as follows. First, philosophies from every region of the world, locally grounded in lived experience and reflection upon it, are finding new autonomous and authentic forms of articulation. Second, philosophical industry, leaving behind a centre-periphery mode of production, is becoming again polycentric: the philosophical world is returning to a plural and diverse network of productive sites. Third, Europe and other colonial powers have been provincialised, no longer mandatory conversation partners or points of comparison but rather unprivileged participants in global dialogue. Fourth, philosophers within the largely anglophone international academy are beginning to acknowledge their responsibility so to arrange international institutions as to enable wide and open participation; that is, acknowledge that their control over the academy is a fall-out from colonialism rather than a reflection of intellectual superiority. We may thus look to a future when there will be a vibrant pluralistic realism in departments of academic philosophy around the globe, and a new cartography of philosophy.
Jonardon Ganeri is a philosopher whose work draws on a variety of philosophical traditions to construct new positions in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics and epistemology. He is the author of Attention, Not Self; The Self; The Concealed Art of the Soul; The Lost Age of Reason; and Semantic Powers, all published by Oxford University Press. He joined the Fellowship of the British Academy in 2015, and won the Infosys Prize in the Humanities the same year. Open Minds magazine named him of its 50 global “open minds” for 2016, and in 2017 he received “Best Professor of Philosophy” in the Middle East Educational Leadership Awards.