Due to the fact that I work in an underrepresented area of philosophy (Indian philosophy), I am a woman and I belong to another minority group (I don't want to reveal which one here, hoping that one can trust my arguments and not me) I am more than interested in the general topic of "making philosophy more inclusive" (By the way, thanks, Marcus, for being so active about this problem). But what do we really mean by this slogan?
We might mean:
- Including more people from underrepresented groups (women, trans people, disabled people, black people, ethnic, political, social and religious minorities…)
- Including more people working on underrepresented topics (e.g., feminist philosophy, (critical) race-theory, philosophy of disability, Africana philosophy…)
Now, we might want to achieve 1) for obvious reasons, the first of which being that, e.g., disabled people are very likely to be at least as bright as non-disabled people and keeping them away from philosophy means that we, as scholars of philosophy, miss their important contribution. Thus, it is not only fair to want to include them. It is also in the interest of the discipline.
We might also have very good reasons to achieve 2). In my opinion, the main point is that non-standard philosophies will most likely shake our usual assumptions. And the ability to question one's assumptions and theories is exactly what makes philosophy more than a sheer technique.
Thus, both 1) and 2) are important goals. However, it is important to distinguish the two, because although it is true that sometimes women work on feminist philosophy, and so on, this does not need to be the case. We don't want women to think that they are only accepted if they work on feminist philosophy, do we? We don't want to blame disabled philosophers because they do not focus on the impact of embodiment on philosophy and prefer to specialise on modal logic, do we?
An important consequence of this distinction is that tools which might be useful for the first goal may be useless as regards the second, and vice versa. This is obvious in the case of women, disabled people, non-Caucasians, etc. who do not focus on their "corresponding" fields of philosophy. But it also means that we might want to offer more positions to non-standard scholars (goal 2) even if they do not belong to a group which is underrepresented in society in general.
Which goal do you think should be our priority?