Globalising Philosophy at Kent

If philosophy is the love of wisdom, why is there so little discussion of non-western thinkers and ideas in modern philosophical debates? What would a truly global and multicultural vision of philosophy look like?

The Department of Religious Studies and the Royal Institute of Philosophy recently organised an academic symposium, followed by a panel discussion which was open to the public, on the topic of ‘Globalising Philosophy’. Both events were arranged to celebrate the founding of the unique new undergraduate degree in Global Philosophies which welcomes its first students in September 2019. Speakers focused on the contribution and opportunities of including African, Indian and Chinese Philosophy in a multicultural and global conception of the love of wisdom (Greek: philosophia).

These events were organised by Head of Department, Professor Richard King – who was recently featured alongside Professor Jeremy Carrette, also from the Department of Religious Studies, in a Guardian article entitled ‘The mindfulness conspiracy‘ – and the Department of Philosophy, and set out to explore the issue of decolonising and internationalising the curriculum and ways to consider philosophy as a global rather than an exclusively western enterprise, reflecting the unique new BA Global Philosophies undergraduate programme.

Richard King commented: “There are very few places in the country where you can study philosophy in a multicultural and global context. The University of Kent is an international innovator in developing a programme that meets the changing nature of UK and global society. The conference and public event were both a great success.”