Decolonizing [insert your discipline here]

Reading up on decolonizing sociology — and other disciplines of the social sciences — I often come across the objection that it “would not make sense to have an African/Asian (etc.) physics”.

This objection implicitly focuses on human universals, and often is rejected on the grounds that the context is different — arguing for unique interactions between context and human universals. Thinking about this a bit, it struck me that we don’t have to argue for (potentially) unique interactions or different contexts — even if they most probably exist: an African/Asian (etc.) physics actually is not problematic as implied by the objection! Why? Because local physics would identify the same regularities! It might not be efficient to build parallel systems, but in terms of discovery it wouldn’t be as bad as normally implied.

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