How White Is Philosophy Compared to Other Humanities?


Eric Schwitzgebel, inspired by the recent article “What is the State of Blacks in Philosophy?”  by Botts, et al (previously), looked further into the figures on race and discovered that “overwhelming whiteness” is not unique to philosophy among the humanities. He provides some figures:

Latin American History: 50% white
Spanish Literature: 51% white
Asian History: 53% white
American Studies: 60% white
Comparative Literature: 73% white
Music: 77% white
American Literature: 78% white
Drama/Theater: 78% white
Musicology/Ethnomusicology: 79% white
English Language: 79% white
Art: 81% white
Religion/Religious Studies: 81% white
American History: 82% white
Middle/Near-East Studies: 84% white
Philosophy: 84.5% white
Archaeology: 85% white
History, Science, Technology, and Society: 85% white
English Literature: 86% white
French & Italian Literature: 87% white
Music Theory and Composition: 87% white
European History: 90% white
Classics: 91% white
German Literature: 91% white

Further data and analysis are at Schwitzgebel’s blog, The Splintered Mind.

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Greg Gandenberger
7 years ago

It’s worth noting that several of the disciplines with higher percentages than philosophy are explicitly concerned with the history or culture of Europe, where “overwhelming whiteness” is to be expected and perhaps no cause for concern. Of course, we could put our philosophy departments in this category by renaming them “European and Anglo-American philosophy” departments, which is to a large extent what they in fact are. The real question is whether or not that is it what we do or should want them to be.Report

chrisfrey
chrisfrey
7 years ago

Can’t wait to hear the `at least we aren’t as bad as German lit’ argument for doing nothing to remedy this.Report