Talk:Eurocentrism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Europe (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Europe, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Europe on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject History (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject History, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the subject of History on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Sociology (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Sociology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Sociology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

purported eurocentrism[edit]

While Europe's contribution to modernity should be "openly acknowledged" we should also openly acknowledge the contribution of other cultures (notably Persian, Asian and African) that led to Europe's renaissance in the first place. to omit that history of how Europe came out of the Dark Age is to commit Eurocentrism. 68.155.103.121 04:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)MB Dec. 12 2006 Oh and most importantly, why write examples of "purported" Eurocentrism? shows the author's eurocentric bias right there, doesn't it?? This article needs major revisions. 68.155.103.121 04:40, 13 December 2006 (UTC)MB

There is no single author, but the word "purported" is there because some of these examples are disputed or disputable. No one is saying that important intellectual and technological innovations did not get made outside of Europe, but modernity as we understand it is overwhelmingly a European event that is then, as it were, "exported" or adopted. Paul B 08:12, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Modernity as we understand it was built during the colonial age, in which Europe prospered on massive revenues, cultural exchange, and other contributions generated from its colonial territories across the world. So it's completely off the mark to state that modernity is an overwhelmingly European event. Selerian (talk) 21:16, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
if modernity was built during European hegemony, I fail to see how you could argue it was not an "overwhelmingly European event". Obviously, Europe ripped off the New World to build its modernity. There are clearly ethical issues involved in that, making modernity questionable in terms of morals etc. But that doesn't make it any less European, for better or worse. If I steal your money and use it to fly to Mars, the credit for flying to Mars will still go to me, not you, even if I am guilty of theft. --dab (𒁳) 09:05, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Your analogy is flawed. Europe did not take the money from the rest of the world to fly to Mars. Rather, Europe and the rest of the world flew to Mars together. Selerian (talk) 18:14, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Stealing rocket propulsion from china and astronomy from the middle east to fly to mars actually just makes Europe look like they can't think of anything themselves. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Duckeggsoup (talkcontribs) 19:30, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

judeocentrism[edit]

Why is judeocentrism linked from here? Is there a relationship between the two? If so, can someone describe it, please? If not, I'll remove the link. Martin

I remember clearly that there used to be a page called Americocentrism. If I am not mistaken, it was then turned into a redirect. Now it seems to have gone completely. Should this fact be seen as Americocentrism here at Wikipedia? 131.130.181.71 13:56, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I think Eurocentrists are trying to justify/sanitize their role in history by trying to add -centrism to other countries that have historically been isolated. 01000100 14:44, 19 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Duckeggsoup (talkcontribs)

self-contradictory paragraph[edit]

Deleted text: (was 2nd paragraph)

Being subject to eurocentrist practices may lead to the perception that Western concepts are deemed universal, or superior, or at least fundamentally different from those in other cultures or civilizations.

How can a concept be considered universal if while at the same time fundamentally different? This doesn't make sense.

Is this a veiled reference to the concept which justifies or predicts the dominance of Western Civilivation as a consequence of the "uniquely Western" quest to improve itself as a whole? Toynbee (?) or other historians exalt the ancient Greeks as seeking "the good" in general terms. That is, they looked not only inward (to themeselves) but outward (to other cultures) for aspects with which they might better themselves.

Is this the aspect the sentence above deems fundamentally different: the West's anti-ethnocentric tendency to pick and choose the best elements of other civilizations?

Or is the sentence echoing the historian's exaltation of the "superiority" of Western culture as a consequence of its relentless drive to become better? -- Uncle Ed (talk) 16:36, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC

I think the sentence in implying that westerners tend to force their beliefs down the throats of other countries, which is undeniable. Also, whites (westerners) seek to claim universal ideas as their own. Like the fact that you just said 'Greeks seek "the good" in general terms.', which makes them unique. And that's a load of bullshit given that other cultures constantly bettered themselves too and this idea is not uniquely Western at all. Also, western culture tends to have most of its origin from other cultures (Etruscan art, Sumerian writing), which is something eurocentrists try to mask.01000100 14:52, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

More Bias[edit]

Interestingly enough, Afrocentricism, although nowhere near as damaging to the world's society as Eurocentricism has been, has been posted with more criticism than this article. I post valid critical response into the article and ALL of it is deleted. So it seems that criticism of Afrocentricism is permitted where it interferes with sound objective educational development, but criticism of Eurocentricism is avoided even though it has interfered with life libertiy and self determination, caused slavery, oligarchies, and racial division.

Another more offensive tradition in Eurocentric discourse and scholarship is for Eurocentric minded scholars to take a "European by default" approach to discussing the history of any mixed culture or ancient civilization that could possibly have had contact with European oriented peoples. By assuming that contact was made in antiquity, the Eurocentric scholar will assert that the culture or civilization was by default "European" or "Caucasoid" in antiquity, and that these characteristics were the foundations that caused civilizations like Egypt, Ethiopia, Israel, and many East Indian civilizations to flourish in history. Usually the tradition will assert a condition in stating that de-empathizes or minimizes the non-European influence by using words like "although" and "however" after facts had shown that subject matter in question is not European in nature. This conditioning is done to harmonize the psychological need of the Eurocentric minded to lay claim to everything meaningful in history. Most notably is the need to lay claim to the Biblical and ancient Egyptian histories that are in fact not Eurocentric histories.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 208.254.174.148 (Talk) (talkcontribs) .

I don't know why your additions were deleted but since you are anonymous, no one els is going to object......--AssegaiAli 11:47, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Maybe it's because Eurocentrism is actually justified on a certain level. You can't deny that the Europeans were largely responsible for what the world as it is now. On the other hand, Afrocentrism has no justification. It seemed to be more likely to be more motivated by racism than anything historical. 67.85.190.202 (talk) 23:55, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Maybe your arguement about Afrocentricism not being justified would be valid if Eurocentrism was not the direct cause of Afrocentrism existing in the first place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.124.143.59 (talk) 15:49, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

In regards to the comment by the IP two posts up, have you taken a look at some of Europe's former colonies? They're not doing so great. Taking pride in responsibility for the way the world is now isn't something I would profess. Nor can Europeans claim all of the technology they utilized as uniquely theirs. Mathematics, astronomy, and most other "European" sciences were imported from the Muslim world. Gunpowder was invented in China, which also professed advanced naval technology.Many of the indigenous cultures of Africa and the Americas were also quite sophisticated prior to the onset of colonialism. Take a look at the Aztecs, Maya, Inca, Ashanti, Mali Empire, and Kingdom of Kongo for just a few civilizations that were doing just fine before white people showed up to "save them" with modernization. Snickeringshadow (talk) 10:18, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

If the Maya were doing fine that's rather strange, since Mayan civilisation was extinct. The Aztecs were doing fine systematically despoiling and murdering their neighbours. In fact modern mathematics and astronomy are almost wholly European developments. No one denies that some of the basic ideas and technologies had developed elsewhere. So what? No one claims that Europeans invented everything. No one ever has. As for "Europe's former colonies" some are douing great and some aren't. Has it occurred to you that America and India are both former colonies? Paul B (talk) 10:52, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
The Maya weren't "extinct", they were still around at the conquest. Their collapse after the classic period applied to a specific geographic region. The last maya city didn't fall until over 100 years after the Aztecs, and their descendants are still alive today. I think you're presenting a rather overly-simplistic view of things that could be countered by a more comprehensive explanation of the region's history. This book does a really good job of explaining what the New World was like before Europeans arrived. As for India and the US, the extreme poverty that exists in India today was not generally present before Europeans arrived; their economy was forcefully reworked to primarily export raw materials to England (Indians were forbidden by law to manufacture their own textiles). The Native Americans that used to live in the US are almost completely gone except for a few reservations. Colonialism has not been 'good' for these people. I'm not arguing that Europeans stole most of the technologies that they used. Clearly that isn't true. I was specifically responding to the claim that Eurocentrism is "justified". By definition, eurocentrism ignores the achievements of other cultures and presents european military expansion towards the rest of the world in an apologetic light. Now regardless of your position (or mine for that matter), arguing against the existence of a criticism section in an article because it's subject matter is "justified" is just plain silly. This is something that is heavily criticized in real life, and the article should explain that. Snickeringshadow (talk) 07:34, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

IT SHOULD BE ADDED: that Eurocentrism also seeks to justify white history and present europeans as friends instead of enemies to other cultures. It also tends to attempt to sanitize history so that white children will not be filled with horror and remorse, such as in the disney movie pocohontas. There is no tradition in which what white people did was forgivable, but eurocentrism seeks to twist facts around. 01000100 14:57, 19 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Duckeggsoup (talkcontribs)

poor stuff[edit]

For such an important concept, this is a very poor quality article which barely addresses the important issues. It also contains a lot of very garbled stuff (some of it added by the indignant anonymous contributor above). It's difficult to know what to make of paragraph like this:

For example, the very definition of a continent was expanded to separate the Eurasian continent into two parts, Europe and Asia as to place Europe itself into more prominence. In addition cartesian maps have been designed throughout history to center the northwestern part of Europe (most notably Great Britain) in the map.

What is a "cartesian map": one designed by Descartes? When was the "definition of a continent" expanded to divide up Eurasia to promote Europe? The Europe/Asia distinction dates back to the ancient world, before the extent of these landmasses were known and before "Eurocentrism" was a meaningful concept or "Eurasia" known to exist. So this is wholly false, historically. Anyway, the argument makes no sense. In itself, dividing the landmass no more promotes Europe than Asia. As for world maps, they were first created by Europeans, so naturally expanded to the left and right from Europe, as more of the world became known. As a historical process this is pretty much inevitable, and conforms to the way known non-European maps developed with the map-making country in the centre. But it so happens it's virtually impossible to divide up the world any other way without chopping through a large landmass. Try it with a globe. Paul B 14:52, 28 May 2005 (UTC).

The Europe/Asia distinction does date back to the ancient world, but really all that proves is that Eurocentrism as well has a long history. In itself, dividing the landmass no more promotes Europe than Asia; but it does separate the two, which allows for further argumentation to the benefit of Europe's exclusivity. Finally, world maps were not first created by Europeans, check here - Early world maps. Selerian (talk) 18:24, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

The entire paragraph "Eurocentric Activities in Public Scholarship" is extremely POV and needs to be reworked or, better, deleted. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 146.87.253.69 (Talk) (talkcontribs) .

NWA[edit]

Eurocentrics, especially when they have the power to do so, will take it upon themselves to dominate discourse, or unilaterally modify the rules of an institution or service that provides information to the public. This is done usually done in order to reassert their point of view into the discourse in such a way as to ultimately veto opposing view points. This is also done by taking a surreptitious method of inserting their view in discourse, they will insert comments that contain facts, but are placed in such a way to hopefully alter the perceptions of the reader, irregardless of the overall "bigger picture" that the message conveys. Usually this method is designed to maintain a status quo viewpoint in regards to racial and historical issues. For example, when discussing the origins of Black people, a Eurocentric scholar may insist early on that Black people are not significant, or important, or numerous in some areas of the world, as to disrupt the reader from having a high view of Black history in respect to the world's overall history.

Blatant POV.

Get rid of it someone.

Your wish is my command. I've moved the comment to bottom of page - for new comments. Paul B 11:12 20 Aug 2005 (UTC)

A source that might be worth thinking...[edit]

[1]

interesting. the data needs to be verified though. For instance, many mathematical ideas stated (algebra, negative #s etc) came from india to middle east. I would like to remove the especially in especially Islamic mathematics from the main page. Any objections, please let me know. The scientific discoveries parah are equally applicable to India, china etc - to make this page better, I'd suggest we don't make generic statements but possibly make a short list of (verified) claims to backup the statement. --Pranathi 00:38, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

The islamic world was more advanced than europe before renaissance. But the foll parah is stretching it, IMO. I will be removing shortly. Any objections, let me know: Also, it can be said that modern science can find its routes from the Islamic world, for example, almost every major breakthrough made during the rennaisance in Europe, was already advanced in the Islamic world, (examples?) usually long time before. Many of the mathematical, medical and other scientific advances that should be credited for the Islamic world, are usally claimed to be invented by Europeans.

To stay it needs to be backed up with examples. And cannot use verbiage like 'almost every'.--Pranathi 02:49, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

I would like to add the term 'Orientalism' to the See also section, simply because the concept represents a line of thinking about biased scholarly research in a similar vein to the way Eurocentric assessments of culture and ideas operate. I would also like to add the term 'Eurocentrism' to the last line of the Orientalism article, adding it alongside the term Occidentalism, which in the context of the article has a similar definition of terms comparable to Eurocentrism. Any objections please msg me, or discuss. Peace! User talk:Drakonicon Drakonicon 20:17, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Also consider adding Postmodernism because all these cultural bias awareness 'isms' are emergent properties of the general umbrella term 'Postmodernism'. One essay that might open up this idea is The Postmodern Condition by Jean-Francois Lyotard. Anyway, I added it because I believe Eurocentrism is akin to the concept of cultural relativism. In the Postmodernism article, Eurocentrism can be seen in terms of 'cultural relativism'. User talk:Drakonicon Drakonicon 20:27, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Removed "European Jesus" thing[edit]

It's not an example of Eurocentrism so much as an example of artistic license, and the way that historical/legendary/mythical subjects are portrayed in the arts based on when and where the painting is painted, the statue made, etc. East Asian Buddhists have Asian-looking Buddha (He was Indian). Roman soldiers in paintings of Christ on the cross made during the Renaissance often wear Renaissance-period armour. Etc. --Edward Wakelin 01:27, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Buddha was actually born in Nepal, a himalayan kingdom so he ought to look mongoloid as caucazoids were incapable of living in the himalayas. So Jesus really is the only time in history when a religious figure has been so misrepresented that he has blonde-hair and blue-eyes, yet lives in the desert... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Duckeggsoup (talkcontribs) 19:32, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

How does this ignore[edit]

Erasing and ignoring of history. Isn't the trade mark of eurocentrism is to basically deny anyone and everyones history. If it couldn't be denied then it was destroyed or claimed white. You can any native american or black and they will say that at least. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jmac800 (talkcontribs) .

I completely agree. I hear "America doesn't have as much history as Europe" coming from a lot of Europeans. I'm Cherokee and living in former the territory of the former Powhatan Empire. An Empire for crying out loud. We have our own written history dating back hundreds of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. But because we're not European, our history doesn't count. Only Europeans can even have civilization, everyone else is savage. 24.254.163.104 12:21, 12 November 2006 (UTC) Lucy

rewrite[edit]

This article needs a major rewrite, so it is less of a whinge and more of a balanced history. The "eurocentic" quotations are a clear example of the confusion that reigns here. The Tonybee quote is part of a long passage in which he is examining the theory that civilization is dependant on race - a theory he rejects. In doing so, he explores all the civilizations known to him around the world. In other words this passage is the opposite of Eurocentric! The comments about Hermeticism are also mostly nonsense. Greek philosophy was always central to the understanding of the achievements of the ancient world.

What we really need is a sensible account of the good reasons why Europe has been considered to be central, not to take it for granted that this is all down to prejudice and racism. The fact that the modern world as we know it is a result of the history of western Europe between c1600 and 1900 needs to be acknowledged openly. Only in that context can debates about the importance of ancient European culture be judged in relation to those of other parts of the world, and in this context the issue of the importance of the achievements of Islamic scholars, Indian mathematicians etc, becomes significant.

We should also discuss where and when "eurocentrism" is to be objected to. In Europe itself one would expect that European history would be taught rather more than that of, say, China. In China you'd expect the opposite. The role of Europe in the history of America, Australia etc. is more problematic, since the culture of these countries after colonisation was essentially a direct extension of that of Europe itself, inheriting language, culture, political systems etc.

I've started a rewrite but more needs to be done. Paul B 03:23, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Some of the rewrite and your argument (it's not all prejudice and racism) makes sense. But I think we must take care not to project Europe as the peak of civilization even toward the last few centuries- Only Europe had achieved the last stage. It was thus uniquely responsible for the scientific, technological and cultural achievements that constitute the modern world. What do you mean by cultural acheivements and how are Europe's superior? Also it must be noted that europe colonized a large part of the world and appropriated many technologies and wealth suitable for their advancement. Their 'advancements' also curiously coincided with their colonial expansions. For example, see starting at 'Indian and Industrial revolution' in [2] &[3]. We must also be sensitive to the complaint that Europe after subjugating the rest of the world, used it's might to project itself as the peak of civilization and that it's colonizing the world was for the benefit of the subjugated. The victor's portrayal is the only one that survives and dominates. The victor can put their spin on anything. While Macaulay's statement that 'all of Indian literature is not worth a single english book' is an extreme, it is representative of the attitudes of the people that dominate definitions of history, science etc at the time.
Eurocentrism must be objected to when say european history is passed off as say 'World history' no matter where it is taught or 'Philosophy' being taught as only western philosophy. Emphasis on the country's history is appropriate in school books, but not in university courses that teach eurocentrically under misleading titles. --Pranathi 19:44, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
The quotation you extracted was intened as a summary of the arguments of a number of 19th century writers. I intend to go on to explore the question of what it might mean to claim that cultural achieements are more important. I don't know what you mean by European "achievements curiously coincided with their colonial expansions". If you mean that colonisation helped fuel industrial expansion, that's no doubt true, but I'm not sure how scientific and technological developments were assisted by colonoisation, rather I'd have thought, the economic and miliary power given by technolgy helped to sustain imperialism. Paul B 22:07, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
I may have taken that sentence out of context - as I am re-reading it now, your new edits have clarified the stance. I also like the new edits showcasing the dominance of the imperialist's version of history.
the economic and military power given by technolgy helped to sustain imperialism - not necessarily. As in the Americas example, military power was an advantage but it was mainly other circumstances (susceptability to disease) that helped them gain control. In India's case also, military power helped (not economic power as India was wealthier at the time), but the state of India at the time with it's broken up small kingdoms, weak Indian leadership in some states, british politics and the internal alliances they formed also played a big part. [4]--Pranathi 21:44, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
I have made a bold attempt at some modifications. Hope I haven't offended anyone. This article still has a long way to go. -Halidecyphon 10:37, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

deletion[edit]

An anonymous editor has been deleting the latter part of this sentence "Cartesian maps have been designed throughout known history to center the northwestern part of Europe (most notably Great Britain) in the map. (however this model does ensure that land regions are concentrated in the centre without Eurasia being split in two)." The point of this latter part is to point out that there are reasons other than "Eurocentrism" for dividing the map at the Bering strait, which puts western Europe very roughly in the middle. There are many variations, depending on the projection of course. London quite often placed to the left of centre. Yes, there are maps in which London is used as the exact central point, but that's not relevant to the statement being made here, which is simply that the Breing strait is the most obvious place to split a map irrespective of any ideas about the relative status of different regions. Indeed the London-centric maps typically slice through a bit of Russia. I don't know what is meant by the statement that "London cuts off the Iberian Peninsula". Paul B 23:10, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

(Response): OK, I see what you're trying to say. I was specifically disagreeing with the idea that using the Greenwich Meridian as a Prime Meridian was not Eurocentric. That part of London is often used as an exact central point (not just north-west Europe in general), since it is the zeroth line of longitude. Also, there seems to be no reason for this that is not historical or political: a line through Greenwich leaves the Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal) in a different hemisphere from the rest of Eurasia, and even puts most of Europe (considered to be the Western world) in the Eastern hemisphere. However, I do take your point about the Bering Strait being a logical place to divide the map (shouldn't London be right of centre if it is not to divide Europe and Africa in two?), and I'm just going to make a slight edit on the article to point out that current maps do not significantly split any continents down the middle, not just Eurasia (Antarctica excluded, of course). 22:24, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Education[edit]

I can't speak for the rest of Europe and don't know about other parts of the UK but we spent more than a term looking at the history of "Native Americans" at the start of Secondary School, and returned to them again for GCSE... That included pre-European colonisation. - JVG 06:49, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Is this article about what Eurocentricism is?......or is it about the irritation and exclusion that many people feel they have suffered through it? Many of the rather simple facts are becoming steadily obscured by POV inserts over how harmful it has been. The section stating that only North American and European history is taught to students in those areas is just plain daft as well as irrelevant! Go to China, Japan, most Islamic countries (I can go on and on...) They all teach their own histories mainly and no one thinks there is anything wrong with that. In any case I have seen the exam specifications in three European countries and they are not Eurocentric as the message above supports. I am removing the offending section and replacing it with something shorter and more correct.--AssegaiAli 12:03, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

China, Japan, most Islamic countries, etc are those that have not been colonized by European powers. They have largely preserved their world views and philosophies. In the former European colonies however (including United States and former USSR), history is normally presented with a Eurocentric bias. Selerian (talk) 18:31, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
The world view taught in high school reflects much of the country's national ideology, which is shaped largely by its national myth not necessarily the historical view. In the case of China, the national ideology in the republic era (POC and PRC) is largely a new creation that inherits only part of the Middle-Kingdom tradition, as the POC and PRC both are revolutionary in nature. There had been radical political and cultural moment to bury the past imperial experience (See New Cultural Movement and Cultural Revolution). The PRC brought in Marxism and Leninism; the POC also added civil rights and democracy (These are clearly Western stuff). Therefore, it is problematic to say China has largely preserved their world views in the modern era.
Though there have always been deeurocentrism voices in the academia, it is the ideology of the states shapes the type of world view taught in high school. Notably, the last several decades see a dramatic change in the world history classes taught in the US, as she going through a series of civil right moment. In fact, one can argue that it is the US that leads the way of world wide deeurocentrism. Richard W. Bulliet had nice discussions of this in several of his talks. Eventually, the goal of these efforts is not to transform from Eurocentrism to other ethnocentrism, but to decouple the world history from a special perspective. -- aichi Lee 01:01, 28 January 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aichilee (talkcontribs)

Offensive and Incorrect[edit]

I have deleted several lines which are unsupported and biased.

I agree with the names of many states having european names as perhaps eurocentric and the eurocentrism with regards to mapping but everything else is just heresay and anti-european. If western schools populated by mostly europeans emphasize european history that is understandable.

This article should show real examples of "alleged" eurocentrism and define what the term means. It should not make random accusations based on the belief of the author. Look at the article islamophobia . There must be actual cases in which people accuse the west of being eurocentric. --Gordon geko 19:12, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

this article is unashamedly biased, it acts like somehow eurocentrism is as ridiculous as afrocentrism, and it even gets in a few mentions of racism and yes, you guessed it, genocide!! Well once those evil white men are all gone we'll see how long civilization survives. ( apologies in advance for my eurocentric outburst)

I Agree! Where is the purported ignorance of other civilisations contribtutions? The arabs made developments in algebra (hence the name), the chinese discovered gunpowder, Mesopotania was the cradle of civilisation, the pyramids were the tallest buildings in the world until the 1300s... these are all things we learned in school. What are we ignoring? Have we neglicted to attribute electricty to the Mayans or nuclear theory to the Zulus?
Ya we learn about the Greeks, the Romans and the Renaissance, what are the problems there? European society has been modeled on Greece and Rome for years, it would be ignorant not to do so. Also I think that much of the classical knowledge was actually preserved in monasteries in Ireland during the dark ages, to be later carried back to continental Europe by monks.
Of course the maps would be based on Europe, Europeans were the first to circumnavigate the globe, and logically they would make maps going east or west of their starting point. It doesn't actually centre on Europe and the map also has the advantages as stated previously. As for the matter of Greenwich, it's absurd, it's not a point but a line, a line which runs through five African nations. Greenwich is just where it is defined.
I mean if you look at documentaries of modern day tribes in the highlands somewhere or another they were undeniably progressive. Saying so isn't wrong or racist, it's fact.
I'd never even heard of Eurocentrism until I saw it on the Afrocentrism page. The biggest problem they seemed to have was whether or not the Egyptians were Black or semitic.
Just sounds like a consipiracy theory. Nowhere in the article is there evidence. The thinking behind the "European Miracle" theory is taken to be true. So all the remains is the names of the regions. Which has previously been pointed out as having obvious reasons! Everytime 07:35, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


Wow, this is quite a nice display of Eurocentrism: To not even realize his own ethnocentrism and to deny it even existed. Ethnocentrism is not merely attributing a small thing (like algebra or gun powder) to another culture; it is to VIEW THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR OWN CULTUR'S EYES EXCLUSIVELY. May I add TO DENY THAT THERE MAY BE ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW, IF THERE IS THEN IT SHOULDN'T EXIST.
The term "conspiracy theory" itself sounds rather ethnocentric to me actually, since the way it is used (at least by the above author) implies that it is a ridiculous thought and it is definitely not true; denying the fact that there could be another point of view that can actually be based on logic, reason and a good rationale let alone evidence.
You want proof of Eurocentrism? Look up your own books – they are packed with it. Please note that I do agree with most of your points, I don’t agree with the overall idea though, Eurocentrism is not only very very strong, it is still extremely prevalent along with Amercan-centrism (if such a term exists). --Maha Odeh 09:03, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
What I meant by "conspiracy theory" was in reference to Afrocentrism, i.e. a conspiracy to ignore Africans! I don't deny that there shouldn't be another point of view, what I'm saying is that some of the examples have no basis.
e.g. GMT - Longtitude was developed as a result of a competition started by the British Govenment to whoever could devise an accurate way of measuring longtitude. Check the longtitude article if you like. Longtitude unlike latitude has no natural reference point, so they chose to use the Royal Observatory in London? GMT was just an extention of that. That's not Eurocentric, that's just a result of how it developed!
Also, the World map doesn't divide any major landmass and it actually puts Africa in the centre of the map! Admittedly Europe is top centred, but still I wouldn't really call it eurocentrism, it's a coincidence that Europe happens to be centred in the most convienient map layout!
I'll admit that they're are examples out there, but those two I've just mentioned aren't! Fair enough perhaps dividing Europe from Euroasia could be considered a case, but that goes back to antiquity. Europe, Asia and Africa were considered regions long before tectonic plates were discovered. Everytime 13:18, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
wellll.... The fact that the way it 'just developed' involved a congress in a western country, with mainly european participants- only one from japan and three from russia representing all of asia, and a few from south america, with an apology from the one african- does make it a fairly eurocentric/ western convention. I'm not saying this was deliberately racist, or that they weren't trying to do their best, that it wasn't a remarkably international group for its day, or even that the end result was a bad thing. i'm saying it looks a lot like they were viewing the world from a European perspective, with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of Europe.. A conference held in China, with asian and australian invitees, may have come up with an alternative, especially if they had an established cultural tradition, and felt strongly about keeping it. I have seen maps with the americas situated on the far right, rather than the far left, which also didn't divde any landmasses but which put asia in the middle of the map. (and, in Tasmanian tourist shops, maps with the northern hemisphere at the bottom, for that matter!) all of these could be considered 'the most convenient' to a neutral observer.
just repeating- i agree the current map layout is the best, and that this is probably not the best example of eurocentrism that exists. as noted below, i think the use of a distortionate map is a better example of eurocentrism.
i grew up believing that europe was bigger than it actually is, and far more advanced in all ways from the savages in the rest of the world. i was taught nothing about the Indigenous people of my own area. They, in turn, were taught that their culture had nothing to offer of any worth, and that no Aborigines have done anything worth learning about, with an underlying theme, IMHO, that they never would. all of these statements turn out to be based on a Eurocentric, post colonial education system. WotherspoonSmith 04:07, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't want to get too distracted from the main issue - but some of your points are a bit way off, Wotherspoon. The very idea of the Chinese government, or scholars, setting up a conference in the mid-19th century to set an international convention for ANYTHING is just silly, and actually inviting other Asian nations or Australia to attend.....well all you have done is undermine your argument quite neatly. The whole point behind people in Europe behaving in such an apparently arrogant way is that no one else was organising things at all. Certainly the Chinese cared not the least about how to develop the world and neither did any other peoples at the time - mainly because the overwhelming majority had rather more immediate day-to-day problems to solve. But the Europeans did care about developing the world (for their material benefit obviously - they were no less human than anyone else) and they shared their knowledge with everyone else so not surprisingly they ended up choosing the conventions that sprang from that development and it seems churlish to complain that they were somehow wicked and selfish to do so.--AssegaiAli 00:47, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying this was deliberately racist, or that they weren't trying to do their best, that it wasn't a remarkably international group for its day, or even that the end result was a bad thing. i'm saying it looks a lot like they were viewing the world from a European perspective, with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of Europe ie Eurocentic. Wicked? depends on your POV. Selfish- i don't recall saying that either, although "...the Europeans did care about developing the world ..for their material benefit..." sounds a bit that way. Please read my comments again. They're mostly about Eurocentrism , not complaining about the evils/ wickedness/ selfishness of Eurocentrism.WotherspoonSmith 12:53, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Okay, but my problems about the article then are similar to many others' on this page that although Eurocentrism exists and existed, it was not nearly as remarkable as the article asserts (since other regions of the world with their own cultural bases were no different- or much more bigoted) but had some distinctly positive effects, too.--AssegaiAli (talk) 10:10, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Cool. I look forward to seeing your improvements. (On preview- you do realise that I used China as an example, to illustrate a point, don't you? I was not suggesting it was at all likely. Perhaps I should have used Tasmania instead...)WotherspoonSmith (talk) 11:32, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

mercators projection?[edit]

I have often heard proponents of the peters projection claim that the traditional mercator projection is culturally biased in favour of the northern hemisphere, by making such landmasses disproportionately larger than southern hemisphere landmasses. Technically this is a northern-hemisphere-centric bias, not specifically European, but it feels relevant to include mention of this in the section dealing with Eurocentric maps, due to its Eurocentric roots. It feels more relevant to me than a discussion on where the latitudes stand, especially the way the article now reads, where it essentially argues that this is not so much Eurocentrism as common sense. I'd welcome any comments- I may simply be biased by living in post colonial southern hemisphere.WotherspoonSmith 12:15, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

I've added a bit about the projections, having read up about them in the linked articles.WotherspoonSmith 12:48, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Rewrite of definition, tidying up, removal of weasel words[edit]

I have rewritten the opening paragraph, to bring the definition in line with dictionary definitions, wiktionary definitions, and the wikipedia definition of ethnocentrism. Sorry if this throws some of the article off balance, or messes with others' work too much, but it needed to be done.

I am also removing weasel words- there are many, suggesting a lot of supposition and assumptions. Let me know if i delete anything precious in my use of wp:bold to make a general tidy up over the next few weeks WotherspoonSmith 13:06, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

i have ditched the opening paragraphs of the section on 'origins', which had little to do with the origins of eurocentrism, except to say that eurocentrism infers that cultural life began with the ancient Greeks, who in turn took little notice of earlier, ancienter (if that's a word) civilisations. It as wriiten by an anonymous contibutor- if you're still contributing, let me know if you feel strongly that it should remain.WotherspoonSmith 13:29, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I have capitalised all "Euro-" words, including French and German usages in references. If this is wrong, please correct it. JohnG62 11:05, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

new section?[edit]

The following, lifted directly from the sinocentric page, appears relevant. unfortunately, i can't find anything to balance this- are there similar significant encounters between Eurcentrism and afrocentricm, or equivalents from the americas or australia?

Europe The best-known official encounter between Sinocentrism and the self-assertion of 'Europeans' was the celebrated Macartney Embassy of 1792-93, which sought to establish a permanent British presence in Peking and open up trade relations. The rebuff of the Chinese Emperor to the British overtures and the British refusal to kowtow to the Emperor of China has passed into legend. In response to the British request to recognise Macartney as ambassador, the Emperor wrote:

The Celestial Empire, ruling all within the four seas, simply concentrates on carrying out the affairs of Government properly...We have never valued ingenious articles, nor do we have the slightest need of your country's manufactures, therefore O King, as regards to your request to send someone to remain at the capital, which it is not in harmony with the regulations of the Celestial Empire - we also feel very much that it is of no advantage to your country.

It was to be more than half a century before the Europe gained the upper hand thanks to their victory in the Opium War. Led by the British, one Western power after another imposed "unequal treaties" on China, including provisions of extraterritoriality that excluded Europeans from the application of local laws.

WotherspoonSmith 14:13, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

The European Miracle[edit]

Europe was not more advanced than the rest of the world prior to 1492. That is laughable. The Ottoman Empire (which, unlike the Abbasid Caliphate, was completely uncultured) was still expanding westward into Europe all the way into the 17th century, and Europeans still had to ask for permission from the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire if they wanted to pass into the Ottoman Empire. The Europeans were unable to mount a legitimate stop against the Ottomans until 1683 (~200 years after the "European Miracle"). China had the most advanced navy in the world in 1492. Europe is the closest Old World region to the New World (the pacific is twice as wide). The Chinese navy had navigated all the way to North Africa before; the reason they didn't find the New World is because they never attempted such a route, not because they couldn't. Further, the Europeans had no choice but to find naval passages to South Asia because the Ottomans were an impediment to land-based trade. It's called "cultural evolution." The Europeans couldn't trade easily by land, so they needed to go by sea. How in the hell can someone legitimately say Europe was more advanced than China, India and the Middle East by the 15th century? That's a joke. The scientific revolution and, more importantly, the industrial revolution are what pushed Europe ahead. I think the article itself is full of both eurocentric and eurobashing biases. It just depends where you look. I think we ought to get this nonsense out about how Europe was more advanced in the 1400s though. Just because the Spanish pushed out the Ummayads doesn't mean they were a powerhouse yet. The Mongols, cultural arrogance, and imperial hubris were what led to the decline of the Islamic World's hegemony, not European genius. FYI, the divisions between Europe and Asia have never been quite as clear cut as we like to think. There isn't a clear cut answer as to whether or not Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia ought to be considered part of Europe or Asia. That makes additional clashes over the fact that Armenia and Azerbaijan are historically parts of Iran. Persian influence can be seen as far north as southern Russia (Islamic/Mongol influence in general can be seen all across Russia), and Greek influence can be see all the way into Syria. The ancient Greeks did not think in terms of East or West, nor did they share any kinship with other Europeans, even if they referred to their own land as Europa. Asia is the Greek word for Assyria. It never was used to refer to China, India, etc. The Greeks didn't consider Egypt to be a part of Libya/Africa or Persia/Assyria either. Divisions between East and West did not start to become noticable until the the rise of Christianity, and later, Islam. Even so, The Romans/Byzantines considered the Parthians/Sassanids to be their equals in terms of cultural refinement moreso than they considered Germans, Slavs, etc. The entire Roman navy was modelled after Carthage (Eastern civilization) and their cavalry was modelled after the Iranian Empires (Eastern civilization). These things are not quite as clear cut from antiquity as we make them now. The Greeks to this day do not practice Western Christianity, do they? Their religious practices are in fact more akin to Middle Eastern Christianity (practiced by Armenians, Assyrians, Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, etc.) than it is to most of Europe. I think we should make it more clear that these divisions, particularly when it comes to the Middle East, are primarily political. It is very common for Western civilization courses to study the Middle East before they study Greece. Generally, it isn't until after Islam that the Middle East starts to become an Other. After all, the entire Levant and North Africa were Christian and a part of the Byzantine Empire prior to Arab expansion. -68.43.58.42 00:43, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

And the point of this is what? Paul B 09:47, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Many people on this talk page have been trying to reinforce nonsense. 1.) The divisions between Europe and Asia were not clear cut since antiquity. The Greeks didn't consider Egypt, for example, to be part of Asia or Africa. The Romans never considered people like the Nordic peoples and Slavs to be within their sphere. 2.) No one would ever consider Europe to have had any hope whatsoever at successfully beginning an aggressive campaign against Asia in 1492. The entire European Miracle is nonsensical and racist. It assumes cultural changes post-Renaissance are what caused European advancement, despite the fact that European advancement did not take place until over two centuries later. The cultural superiority is nonsensical. Most democratic and social reforms didn't even take place in Europe until they began colonization (which seems counterintuitive). Obviously, pivotal changes like the Magna Carta did occur before then, but such changes were isolated incidents and had no immediate affects. Britain was still close to an absolute monarchy for centuries following the Magna Carta and the kings were easily able to bully around parliament. 3.) Most of Western civilization's foundation is modelled after Eastern influence (Indian Numerals, Phoenican Alphabet, etc.), so yes, the divisions are primarily political. Ideas have been exchanged between Europe and Asia for centuries. -68.43.58.42 21:42, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

T and O map Guntherus Ziner 1472.jpg

1. No one ever said that the division between Asia and Europe was "clear cut" since antiquity. However the division certainly has existed since antiquity and was well established in the medieval period (see stylised map). This is not disputed by anyone as far as I know.

2.Who ever said that "Europe" would or could begin an 'aggressive campaign' against "Asia" before or even after 1492? This makes no sense. 'Europe' and 'Asia' are not nation states. They can't act as such. Individual European or Asian powers could battle each-other if they came into conflict and they did. The concept of the European Miracle has nothing to do with 'racism'. If race were the issue then Europe would always have been superior wouldn't it? The European Miracle is a book which attempts to explain why and how the modern world emerged in Western Europe. We all know that it did in fact emerge there, so there has to be some explanation doesn't there? Jones attempts to produce a multi-factoral argument about how that happened. He essentially argues that neither beaurocratic nor state power were strong enough to resist the rise of business culture and the mentality that went with it. Agree or disagree, there is nothing remotely 'racist' about such a view.
3. Yes, ideas have been exchanged between Europe and Asia for centuries, but it is meaningless to say that "most of Western civilisation" is based on Asia. Most of Western Civilisation comes from the early-modern period, but much of the basis of literature, art and philosophy is Greek and Roman. Yes, they also drew on the ideas of Phoenicians, Egyptians (that's Africa, not Asia) etc. People get ideas from each-other. --Paul B 22:40, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Most of Western Civilisation and much of the basis of literature, art and philosophy comes from the scripts captured during the conquest of Muslim Spain, and translated by Jewish polyglots. Selerian (talk) 18:48, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Examples[edit]

most of the examples are completely unsourced. The cartographical stuff is silly, because it is based on mere convention, which is "Eurocentric" for historical resaons. You might as well call the Common Era Christocentric, or the Greenwich Meridian "Anglocentric". There is no reason we use 1 CE as our calendar era, or Greenwich as the zero meridian other than established convention. Any switch to another system would cost billions and end up just as arbitrary. The historical examples are highly dubious. It is an allegation that Babylonian, Chinese, Indian and Islamic contributions are under-represented in "Western accounts of history". This allegation is typically made on political blogs by people who have no idea of the topic. In my experience, histories of mathematics to give due credit to non-European mathematicians. The problem is that pre-medieval mathematics is "proto-mathematics" at best, and the history of mathematics only really begins in about the 10th century in the Islamic world. It then remains at a very low level until the 17th century, and anything deserving the name of advanced mathematics does only happen to emerge in 17th to 18th century Europe. Stating that fact has nothing at all to do with Eurocentrism. dab (𒁳) 13:18, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


The Arabs commented extensivly and even critically on Greek works but nothing of great moment or magnitude was added to the truths already known. -Morris Kline Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty1980

Yeah right. His idea of "nothing" seems to inculde all of Algebra. To be fair to Kline, he mentions that "Arabs and Hindus" made contributions but rarely talks about anyone by name. He also put in a lot of effort to downplay those contributions. He never even mentions al-Khwārizmī's name in his whole history! How is that possible? The guy is the Euclid of the Algebra and father of the algorithm. futurebird 13:37, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Al Khwarizmi lifted 90% of his ideas from much older Hindu and Greek scholars. His greatest accomplishment was the extremely prolific dissemination of his work, hence why the math forms he discussed have been referred to by the title he gave them. The situation is similar to the misnomer of referring to the Brahmin numeral system of India as the "Arabic" numeral system simply because Al Khwarizmi (who was a Persian) introduced it to the Muslim ,and later, Christian worlds. Kline is accurate; Islamic art, architecture, literature, and science have unique and very impressive accomplishments in their histories, but Algebra & the numeral system are not among them. 67.173.226.77 (talk) 03:03, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

The neutrality of this article is disputed.[edit]

Why? It seems ok to me. -Perry

Because it is clearly racist, and more politically and socially than factually motivated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 137.158.190.184 (talk) 13:39, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I think it just makes you feel guilty. but facts are facts.01000100 14:58, 19 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Duckeggsoup (talkcontribs)

The End of Eurocentrism?/Failure of NPOV[edit]

Look at the contributions of the user above and ir perspective will be immediately clear. This is one in the class of articles where Wikipedia policy fails massively, Eurocentrism is about a POV and so it both provokes reactions and stimulates the NPOV scare, in this case especially inappropriately. The fascinating thing is that in Europe itself, it is entirely possible that the next stage of European dominance¹ could be in preparation, i.e. the one in which the European peoples self-consciously recognize the objective possibilities of their historical role on this world and themselves transcend eurocentrism. Obviously this could only happen there and the retrograde reaction(s) one observes here are what is to be expected in other parts of the planet where people of European descent are in various states of dominance. ¹Or rather a co-dominance of the ancient centers of human society, ending the period in which marchland states predominate.

Lycurgus (talk) 06:19, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Also, wrt to the longitude that bisects Europe being the midline of the mercator projection there is another rationale for this: roughly that same longitude passes thru the place in East Africa from which homonids evolved. Lycurgus (talk) 05:01, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Example in the Article[edit]

Guys...The very fact that this article is disputed despite no substantial argument is an example of Eurocentricism. Srinivasanram1 (talk) 13:47, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. We have no idea of the motivations of the anonymous user who placed the 'dispute' tag, and it is important that, in all discussions regarding anything to do with racism or Eurocentrism, we do not make assumptions about the motivations of others. He/she may have a strong case. We do not know.
I think it is pertinent that the opening line of this article notes that Eurocentrism is practice of viewing the world from a European perspective, with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of European (stuff). Let's not assume that the examples given are deliberately racist or whatever.
That said, I have removed the tag, as the dispute cannot be resolved without discussion. I have invited the contributor to discuss his/her point here, and am hoping he/ she will do so. WotherspoonSmith (talk) 10:52, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Eurocentrism in America[edit]

Makes no mention of the Jim Crow laws and the like. Zazaban (talk) 20:18, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Mainly becuase they are not about Eurocentrism, but racism. Paul B (talk) 22:13, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Needs more "citation needed"[edit]

I see many claims along the lines of "europe believed this.. europe believed that..." but there are no facts to back them up and europe is an extremely ambiguous term. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.178.78.220 (talk) 12:07, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Cartography[edit]

I can clearly recall being taught in high school that Eurasia is actually 2 tectonic plates(One being Europe, another Asia) colliding at Ural mountains, however i can't seem to find any images showing that. Help, anyone? -70.74.23.33 (talk) 08:29, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Plates tect2 en.svg

There's the Eurasian Plate, which meets the North American Plate not at the Urals but at the Chersky Range. Also part of Asia are the Arabian Plate and the Indian Plate. dab (𒁳) 09:01, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

The End of Eurocentrism[edit]

I think it is fair to say that the world stopped being Eurocentric in May 1945 when World War II in Europe came to its bitter end. Granted, the continent itself played a key role as a potential battleground in the Cold War era between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, but the final dissolution of legitimate European colonialism was largely determined by the high costs of the Second World War. FitzColinGerald (talk) 14:41, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

yes, in retrospect, European world domination lasted from the early 16th to the mid 20th century, or for some 450 years. The past 60 years have quite obviously been part of a transitional period, which is still ongoing. The nascent "new world order" appears to be both multipolar and "globalized" with substantial power shifting from states to private corporations (neo-feudalism). The cultural stamp of European glories past remains clearly visible, however, and there is no sign of the long-predicted global spread of Chinese as a lingua franca. The Anglocentricity of the internet has reinforced this I suppose that European heritage ceases to be perceived as Eurocentric because it has become so ubiquitous. Global use of the Latin alphabet, the metric system, the AD era, or heads of state wearing suits and ties isn't perceived as "Eurocentric" now, but simply as unmarked "normalcy". --dab (𒁳) 15:45, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I think Eurocentrism is nonexistant now because of competition from other cultures, and the fact that Europe is now considered, at best, mediocre. I think many people also blame europe for its crimes against humanity, which is only natural. Backlash towards europe is natural. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Duckeggsoup (talkcontribs) 15:01, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

languages of Europe are over-represented among the current world languages[edit]

Says who? The languages of Europe just held the representation their native/second language speakers give them.

"out of eight languages generally considered "world languages", five are of European origin" so what? This is a fact, how would this make them "over-represented"? --89.97.35.70 (talk) 22:27, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

I strongly agree. In fact of the three world languages which aren't UN official languages, to are European. And it just follows logically that Nobel prizes are typically awarded to writers in the most widely spoken languages. If Italian were an official UN language that might be an example of Eurocentrism, but it isn't. I'm going to delete the entire section. — Blue-Haired Lawyer 15:11, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

"over-represented" implies an opinion on how languages "should" be represented. The current world languages are de facto mostly of European origin. Then there is Chinese, Hindi and Arabic. These are just as "over-represented" than the European languages, compared to the 6'000 or so languages that exist. In this sense "world languages" are "over-represented" by definition, i.e. it is a tautology to say world-languages are "over-represented" beacuse that's what makes them a world language to begin with.

This article historically suffers from a confusion of

  • (a) historical European predominance as a fact
  • (b) Eurocentrism as an ideology

Stating that European nations ruled most of the world by the late 19th century isn't "Eurocentrism", it is stating a historical fact. "Eurocentrism" is the (unconscious or deliberate) tendency to explain non-European cultures in European terms. This is very different from saying that "Western culture" happens to have influenced most of the world's culture to a significant degree by now, or that the placement of the zero meridian is a reflex of the historical British Empire.

Seen in this light, the article doesn't have much to offer that is relevant to the topic. The "Cartography" section is a red herring, since it concerns (a) exclusively and has nothing to do with (b). --dab (𒁳) 10:36, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

There was, and is, a school of thought that says that the Mercator projection is Eurocentric because it exaggerates the size of Europe at the expense of Africa. I'm not saying that this is right, but it should be commented upon. — Blue-Haired Lawyer 12:21, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
There is no reason to believe that Mercator had any interest in Africa. As usual, this is modern American racial politics projected back to a time in which the relative sizes of Africa and Europe were not an issue. The further land gets from the equator the more its size is exaggerated by Mercator, but no one accuses him of being Greenlandocentric. In fact his map was designed for use in navigation. That was its purpose, one that it still effectively serves. Size as such was of no importance. Usefulness in plotting distance was. This is one of the problems with this article. People like to add "examples" of Eurocentrism, with little regard to context, and so it tends to grow into a chaotic list of "grievances". Paul B (talk) 12:40, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

It should be commented upon, and it is, and has been for ages. The relevant article is Arno Peters, which is duly linked from this article. The alleged Eurocentricity of the Mercator projection is an issue of the 1970s, not of Mercator himself, and is part of the larger trend of emphatic anti-Eurocentricity in the wake of decolonization. I believe the colonial empires of the 18th to 19th century were not so much "Eurocentric" as simply "self-centric". The British Empire was Britannia-centric. The French colonial empire was France-centric. And so on. The only Europeans reduced to Eurocentrism were probably the Germans, whose self-esteem suffered badly (with significant and unpleasant long-term aftereffects) from being the only great European nation without a decent colonial empire. So while a 19th century Briton would have praised the British race, the German encyclopedist of the same generation would have been forced to sing the praises of "Europe" more generally. Apart from that, "Eurocentrism" is really mostly a term invented for the purposes of decolonization. --dab (𒁳) 19:13, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

We appear to have crossed the line between discussing the article and discussing the subject matter. Eurocentrism is a debate. The cartography issue is part of that debate, so we need to talk about it. — Blue-Haired Lawyer 21:00, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

sure, in context. The "cartography issue" is part of the Eurocentricity debate of the 1970s, and is part of the larger wave of political correctness taking its origin in that period. Mercator's map wasn't "Eurocentric in intent" (of course all maps of the age of exploration are Eurocentric de facto because Europe was where the explorers set out from, and was therefore known in greatest detail, but this is beside the point). The point is that by the 1970s, the atmosphere in international politics had become so politically correct, and so eager to denounce past Eurocentrisms, that the UN jumped at the opportunity of a display of anti-Eurocentrism by hanging world maps in the Peters projection in their offices. The Peters projection is little more than a statement of political correctness: it is unusable as a map projection. Sure, Africa appears in its true relative size (area), but at what cost? At the cost of being ridiculously distorted out of its true shape. In retrospect, this is almost comical. The UN was saying "dear Africans, we know you are being ripped off economically by pretty much everyone, but looky at this map, it shows that your continent is huge, the tallest and most erect one of them all (no more giant Svalbard and Greenland, take that you Nordic suckers)." --dab (𒁳) 10:33, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Opening re-write[edit]

Two things need to change.

1. It should give an impassive description of what is meant by Eurocentism, missing out such debatable things like "viewing the world from a European perspective, with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of European culture" or "The term Eurocentrism implies criticism of the concerns and values at the expense of non-Europeans". The implications of viewing the world from a European perspective should be saved for the main article.

2. Should state that there has been a significant decline in the practice of "Eurocentrism" in Europe since the second world war.

It could be a good article but just now it seems to be the ramblings of someone who hates Europe to the point of obsession. Many of the complaints in the discussion page such as those claiming Europeans still ignore other cultures histories are outdated and unfounded and it's fairly safe to say these people have never been to Europe. No-body denies Europes often cruel and evil past, but there were many good things that came out of it's past, such as the language we are all using to communicate with each other now.86.171.240.101 (talk) 15:55, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

"primitive cultures"[edit]

The notion of primitive cultures has nothing to do with Eurocentrism in particular -- as the article points out correctly, colonialist Europe did not consider all non-European cultures "primitive", far from it, it had an almost supernatural awe of the "high cultures" of Asia.

The disregard for decentralized tribal cultures is not particular to Europe at all, and was obviuosly shared by all "high cultures", including Muslim and Chinese, as is evident e.g. in the Arab slave trade. I would rather suggest that colonialist Europe is unique among developed cultures in creating the notion of the noble savage. While the notion of "primitivity" certainly existed (and in certain senses still exists), I argue that it has little or nothing to do with the article topic. --dab (𒁳) 15:32, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia Bigotry[edit]

This article is ridiculously biased in the fact that what criticism is present is appallingly tame compared to the Afrocentric article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.124.143.59 (talk) 23:56, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree-many sections of the Afrocentrism article comes across as a rather blatant POV heavy attempt to debunk the subject rather than report on it neutrally, while this article treats Eurocentrism neutrally as part of a bygone era of history. Just a rather brief overview of the subject, a section on it's decline and that's it. But I guess people will simply shrug their shoulders and say 'okay' (or more likely defend its stance without hesitation), seeing as after reading this article one would think Eurocentrism has totally ceased to exist. AlecTrevelyan402 (talk) 23:34, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

The words 'Afrocentrism' and 'Eurocentrism' may sound similar, but otherwise there is little or no connection between them, so comparing the two articles in this way is useless. If you have specific objections to the content of either article you have to say what they are. Paul B (talk) 08:52, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Indeed. "Creationism" also "sounds similar" to "Darwinism", but one is a religious pseudo-science, and the other the standard theory. Just because "Afrocentrism" and "Eurocentrism" are similar, and are coined to sound similar, doesn't mean that their criticism is in any way parallel. Eurocentrism is the historical view of Europe as "destined to rule" during the period when Europe actually ruled (colonialism), as it were a rationalization of "how come we rule?". After WWII, when Europe ceased to rule anything other than Europe, Eurocentrism just dissolved and turned into its opposite, the now-ubiquitous European Xenocentrism. "Afrocentrism" is completely different, it is a current-day political movement for "self-respect" which doesn't stop short of the most bizarre pseudohistory and ethnic essentialism (Ancient Egypt and Panafricanism...). --dab (𒁳) 15:53, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes, wikipedia as a whole is undoubtedly Eurocentric itself. So it is almost impossible to objectively write an article of world opinion of Eurocentrism. We need more quotes from the people who coined the term, and more instances of European bigotry and racial atrocities, exterminations, and the like that have direct links to their misguided belief in their own superiority. (There are plenty of examples of European aggression found throughout the world) Duckeggsoup (talk) 19:37, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

There is no 'world opinion' on the subject. AS for bigotry and racism - you can find that in many cultures, along with atrocities. Paul B (talk) 21:40, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
there has always been an attempt to normalize racism, "everyone does it", however not "everyone" owns the majority wealth, so clearly not all is equal in evil. "everyone doesnt write wiki either" so obviously it will be a White-English speaking worldview. (fact)It would be strange to read history and not know who is the principle aggressor. And the article does give the illusion that Eurocentrism is some historical event. It does need a lot of work also as it seems to bury reality in a lot of junk text. Without Eurocentrism there would never be Afrocentrism, which is in principle trying to strike some balance, did it work? - this is not a forum. But so confident is Eurocentrism is it first denies it still exist and continues to sees its self as a balanced standard. LOL. --Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 22:06, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
The west. Afrocentrism is not trying to 'strike some balance'. It is attempting to create a mythic model of history, which is a wholly different matter. There is no "principal aggressor" in "history". There have been innumerable acts of aggression throughout history. Europe's role in relation to other parts of the world is a tiny blip in time when seen in context of human history as a whole. Most of them we do not know about because there are no written records. We know enough to be aware that warfare between tribal/ethnic groups has been emdemic. And in many cases whole peoples have been eliminated in conflicts. We also have to distinguish between this fact and something entirely different - europe's role in the creatiion og the modern scientific and technological world we live in. Europe is central to that, whether you like it or not. That's not "Eurocentrism" it's just a historical fact of Eurocentrality. Paul B (talk) 12:32, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

The basic difference is that "Eurocentrism" is a slur or attack, while "Afrocentrism" is an ideology so identified by its adherents. Nobody claims to adhere to "Eurocentrism", because the term implies an erroneous subjective view. It turns out that "Afrocentrism" is the older concept by far, invented in the 1960s or 1970s, and "Eurocentrism" was an attack term levelled at Western capitalism from the point of view of Afrocentric Marxian economics. There has only been a discourse on supposed "Eurocentrism" since the 1990s, long after the period of decolonisation (1960s). It seems much rather to be part of the whole political correctness debate in (ironically) Western social sciences. So the article should of course reflect that fact.

There has of course been "European exceptionalism" during the colonial period. This is supremely unexceptional, as there has of course been "exceptionalism" in every empire under the sun, Islamic exceptionalism in the caliphates, Chinese exceptionalism in China, Iranian exceptionalism in Iran, Roman exceptionalism in the Roman empire, etc. etc. etc. As far as that goes, it might bear a generic discussion under imperialism, or under colonialism, or indeed under a separate European exceptionalism or European miracle. The discourse of "Eurocentrims" in Afrocentrism, in Western social science, and more recently apparently also in political Islam, is interesting because it singles out the unexceptional fact of imperialist exceptionalism and posits that it was somehow exceptionally pronounced in the "European" case. This is 99% identity politics (they aren't interested in understanding Eurocentrism, they want to negotiate the interests of their own groups), and it is not part of colonial history but of the last 25 years of debate on race and politics, so the article must focus on that. --dab (𒁳) 11:43, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

I agree with the first part. I am not 100% on the rest, (I think Afrocentrics have a pretty good grasp of this topic (and maybe nothing else). and I have never understood the term "political Islam" to me it is like saying Economic Capitalism. Well Islam is political, it is a Western POV that coined the term. It actually makes no sense b/c what other kind of Islam is there--if not political? (but this is a discussion for another day). I think ALL non-White societies complain about Eurocentrism (and always have), they use different terms but they are discussing the same thing.--Inayity (talk) 19:14, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
well, the distinction between "politics" and "religion" may be western, but it still makes sense that when using a western language, to make clear whether you are talking about a religion or a political ideology at any given time, because the concepts are distinct in western semantics. As long as we write in English, we have to bother with English semantics, we cannot just avoid the problem by writing our articles in classical Arabic (not that this would solve the misunderstanding, you would just approach it from the other side of the divide). I will have you know that there are also "religious" aspects to Islam, it is not wrong to call it a "religion" it is just misleading after 200 years of European secularism.
Most "non-White societies" have no interest to "complain about Eurocentrism" (China? Japan? Korea?) It is only in multiracial societies (i.e. mostly former colonies) that both the non-white and the white parts of population keep going on about it. It is a part of the well-established political game within these societies.
--dab (𒁳) 07:55, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
I think you maybe confusing English language with Eurocentric Western Worldview. Or the worldvew of the dominant race class and their lens on reality (not my lens, or the lens of billions of noon-White English speakers). Islam is not Christianity and we need to be clear that its paradigms have never been Western (someone is trying to write it with a Western voice--but this is not representing reality and a Weight issue) but Religion in even Native African society was never secular. So this secular thing is unique to the West. Re: complaining -India went on about it, and I think until people establish their self-determination they will struggle with it, that is why Afrocentrism is in USA. And I see it in the writings of Edward Said and others, Native Americans, people of Australia, etc. Disenfranchised people "go on about it" (for good reason). Japan did until they became a world power.--Inayity (talk) 08:05, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Before making drastic changes..[edit]

I have just noticed a HACK job with this article, I think before anyone deletes large tracts of text they should use the talk page before doing so. The article is bad, and made worse when we just go ahead on our own agenda and chop out huge sections and relvant quotes. I rememeber adding Alison Baile and I am sure other people have contributed also. I am also not to sure about some of the info being added, esp as it related to Afrocentrism, as someone pretty familiar with Asante and Afrocentrism it does not add up?--Inayity (talk) 19:25, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

I think you will find that the article had deteriorated into a "hack job" since I had last cleaned it up, and I simple removed the unsalvageable portions that should never have been left standing to begin with. Wikipedia articles are not collections of quotes you happen to like. I am clearing the section you called "in academia", because the entire article is about the concept "in academia" and you apparently just tried to add random quotes by Afrocentric "scholars" without mentioning Afrocentrism. "Afrocentrism" is, however, of supreme importance to the concept of "Eurocentrism", as is made clear by the entire 1990s debate on the topic. It's entirely about the US game of playing the "race card" and denouncing "white privilege" and what have you and has very little to do with actual colonialism or early modern history. I am sure there can be tons of articles about that, it should just be made clear that they are about US race politics and not about history. --dab (𒁳) 08:01, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Alright, I have just looked at your self-description on your user page, and I have one more thing to say in this "debate": Please see WP:COI and WP:TIGERS. --dab (𒁳) 08:03, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

I been on Wiki a while now and I would suggest that you re-read Wiki policy (in addition to WP:AGF again and worry about editing this article (and not this editor) with RS sources. Policy nowhere suggest deleting entire sections over "minor" objections--never worked like that. I have already seen your edit history and it is a deeply worrying attitude to African history. [5]--Inayity (talk) 08:07, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Wallerstein/eurocentrism[edit]

If anyone is interested in synthesizing this essay by Wallerstein into the article... that'd be cool http://www.iwallerstein.com/wp-content/uploads/docs/NLREURAV.PDF Dudanotak (talk) 05:46, 26 July 2014 (UTC)