How else can we explain the fact that the rich philosophical traditions of China, India, Africa, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are completely ignored by almost all philosophy departments in both Europe and the English-speaking world? It is pointing to the same usual direction of racism. Most of the thoughts developed by third world nations are considered unworthy of syllabi in the Western or taught as supplementary to students to establish the usual biases.
Western philosophy used to be more open-minded and cosmopolitan until it missed the train of cosmopolitanism. The first major translation into a European language of the Analects, the saying of Confucius (551-479 BCE), was done by Jesuits, who had extensive exposure to the Aristotelian tradition as part of their rigorous training. They titled their translation Confucius Sinarum Philosophus, or Confucius, the Chinese Philosopher (1687).
In addition, European intellectuals increasingly accepted and systematised views of white racial superiority that entailed that no non-Caucasian group could develop philosophy. (Even St Augustine, who was born in northern Africa, is typically depicted in European art as a pasty white guy.) So the exclusion of non-European philosophy from the canon was a decision, not something that people have always believed, and it was a decision based not on a reasoned argument, but rather on polemical considerations involving the pro-Kantian faction in European philosophy, as well as views about race that are both scientifically unsound and morally heinous.
Let’s take Immanuel Kant as our example.
Kant himself was notoriously racist. He treated race as a scientific category (which it is not), correlated it with the ability for abstract thought, and – theorising on the destiny of races in lectures to students – arranged them in a hierarchical order:
The race of the whites contains all talents and motives in itself.
The Hindus … have a strong degree of calm, and all look like philosophers. That notwithstanding, they are much inclined to anger and love. They thus are educable in the highest degree, but only to the arts and not to the sciences. They will never achieve abstract concepts. [Kant ranks the Chinese with East Indians, and claims that they are] static … for their history books show that they do not know more now than they have long known.
The race of Negroes … [is] full of affect and passion, very lively, chatty and vain. It can be educated, but only to the education of servants, ie, they can be trained.
However, most African educational systems neglect their own too. Most African philosophers and thought-developers never make it into the syllabus.