I noted before how there are two objections to the concept of “the West” or “Western”. I dealt previously with the objection that “the West” is meaningless, and the subpoint that it’s tied to whiteness. Now I turn to people who accept that something like “the West” exists, but don’t want to use the term.
This latter approach seems fairly specific to philosophy. Garfield and Van Norden and others understandably do not want to use “Western” – but, for reasons I can’t fathom, they replace it with the far worse term “Euro-American”, a term with absolutely nothing to recommend it. As a way of replacing “Western”, the dreadful neologism “Euro-American”, appears to be in use pretty much exclusively among 21st-century philosophers. If you Google “Euro-American”, you’ll mostly find references on Americans of European descent, including the Wikipedia page on European-Americans – also known as “white Americans”. When normal people hear “Euro-American”, they do not hear it to include Europeans who remained in Europe – or philosophy made by non-white Americans. That’s one strike against “Euro-American” right there, though I think it’s far from the worst.Continue reading