Eurocentrism: Plato, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Tournier’s Friday

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Jean-Raoul Austin de Drouillard


Ernest Gellner (1994) contending with Edward Said (1993) critiquing Western attitudes towards the
East in Culture and Imperialism, wrote the following: “At the heart of European culture during the
many decades of imperial expansion lay an undeterred and unrelenting Eurocentrism’’ (p.169). This
assertion leads to a question which constitutes the starting point of this article. Why do Europeans
venerate so deeply their culture, and why do they think of it as if it were somehow transcending
the everyday world? It is Plato’s fault. This essay is a speculative contention of the foregoing
assertion using theorists and characters (as tropes) from philosophy and literature of antiquity and
contemporary experience.

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