© 2007 – Routledge
In this book, philosopher and social critic Lewis Gordon explores the ossification of disciplines, which he calls disciplinary decadence. In response, he offers a theory of what he calls a teleological suspension of disciplinarity, in which he encourages scholars and lay intellectuals to pay attention to the openness of ideas and purposes on which their disciplines were born. Gordon builds his case through discussions of philosophy of education, problems of secularization in religious thought, obligations across generations, notions of invention in the study of ideas, decadence in development, colonial epistemologies, and the quest for a genuine postcolonial language. These topics are examined with the underlying diagnosis of the present political and academic environment as one in which it is indecent to think.
Introduction: Disciplinary Decadence 1. Decadent Knowing and Learning 2. God beneath 3. Obligations across Generations 4. Inventing Africa 5. Decadent Development 6. Prospero's Words, Caliban's Reason