SOAS Students Call for Philosophy Syllabus Change

STUDENTS at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London are under fire for demanding that they ought to study mostly Asian and African philosophers, rather than the predominately western philosophers currently on their syllabuses.There has been a considerable backlash against the students in the UK press as a result of the claims that certain philosophers should be removed “simply for being white”. The Daily Mail stated that the students have fallen to "special snowflake syndrome"; and that the so-called "PC culture"; has gone mad.A world-renowned university, SOAS is a constituent of the University of London and specialises in the study of Africa and Asia.The protesting students have called on the university to amend their syllabuses claiming that, as the university purports to specialise in Oriental and African studies, the majority of philosophers taught should be of African, Middle Eastern or Asian origin.Furthermore, the students argue that western philosophers should be taught in the colonial context in which they lived and wrote from.The Pro-Director for Learning and Teaching, Dr Deborah Johnston, has defended the claims and proposals of the students, stating that "one of the great strengths of SOAS is that we have always looked at world issues from the perspective of the regions we study - Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”