# Eurocentrism

Eurocentrism (also Eurocentricity or Western-centrism)[1] is a worldview that is centered on Western civilization or a biased view that favors it over non-western civilizations. The exact scope of centrism varies from the entire Western world to just the continent of Europe or even more narrowly, to Western Europe (especially during the Cold War). When the term is applied to history, it may be used in reference to an apologetic stance towards European colonialism and other forms of imperialism.[2]

The term Eurocentrism dates back to the late 1970s but it did not become prevalent until the 1990s, when it was frequently applied in the context of decolonization and development and humanitarian aid that industrialised (First World) countries offered to developing (Third World) countries.

## Terminology

Eurocentrism as the term for an ideology was coined by Samir Amin in the 1970s

The adjective Eurocentric, or Europe-centric, has been in use in various contexts since at least the 1920s.[3] The term was popularised (in French as européocentrique) in the context of decolonization and internationalism in the mid-20th century.[4] English usage of Eurocentric as an ideological term in identity politics was current by the mid-1980s.[5]

The abstract noun Eurocentrism (French eurocentrisme, earlier europocentrisme) as the term for an ideology was coined in the 1970s by the Egyptian Marxian economist Samir Amin, then director of the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.[6] Amin used the term in the context of a global, core-periphery or dependency model of capitalist development. English usage of Eurocentrism is recorded by 1979.[7]

The coinage of Western-centrism is younger, attested in the late 1990s, and specific to English.[8]

## European exceptionalism

During the European colonial era, encyclopedias often sought to give a rationale for the predominance of European rule during the colonial period by referring to a special position taken by Europe compared to the other continents.

Thus, Johann Heinrich Zedler, in 1741, wrote that "even though Europe is the smallest of the world's four continents, it has for various reasons a position that places it before all others.... Its inhabitants have excellent customs, they are courteous and erudite in both sciences and crafts".[9]

The Brockhaus Enzyklopädie (Conversations-Lexicon) of 1847 still has an ostensibly Eurocentric approach and claims about Europe that "its geographical situation and its cultural and political significance is clearly the most important of the five continents, over which it has gained a most influential government both in material and even more so in cultural aspects".[10]

European exceptionalism thus grew out of the Great Divergence of the Early Modern period, due to the combined effects of the Scientific Revolution, the Commercial Revolution, and the rise of colonial empires, the Industrial Revolution and a Second European colonization wave.

European exceptionalism is widely reflected in popular genres of literature, especially literature for young adults (for example, Rudyard Kipling's Kim) and adventure literature in general. Portrayal of European colonialism in such literature has been analysed in terms of Eurocentrism in retrospect, such as presenting idealised and often exaggeratedly masculine Western heroes, who conquered 'savage' peoples in the remaining 'dark spaces' of the globe.[11]

The European miracle, a term coined by Eric Jones in 1981,[12] refers to this surprising rise of Europe during the Early Modern period. During the 15th to 18th centuries, a great divergence took place, comprising the European Renaissance, age of discovery, the formation of the colonial empires, the Age of Reason, and the associated leap forward in technology and the development of capitalism and early industrialisation. The result was that by the 19th century, European powers dominated world trade and world politics.

Eurocentrism is a way of dominating the exchange of ideas to show the superiority of one perspective and how much power it holds over different social groups.[13]

## History

### Anticolonialism

Even in the 19th century, anticolonial movements had developed claims about national traditions and values that were set against those of Europe. In some cases, as China, where local ideology was even more exclusionist than the Eurocentric one, Westernisation did not overwhelm longstanding Chinese attitudes to its own cultural centrality, but some would state that idea itself is a rather desperate attempt to cast Europe in a good light by comparison.[14]

Orientalism developed in the late 18th century as a disproportionate Western interest in and idealization of Eastern (i.e. Asian) cultures.

By the early 20th century, some historians, such as Arnold J. Toynbee, were attempting to construct multifocal models of world civilizations. Toynbee also drew attention in Europe to non-European historians, such as the medieval Tunisian scholar Ibn Khaldun. He also established links with Asian thinkers, such as through his dialogues with Daisaku Ikeda of Soka Gakkai International.[15]

The explicit concept of Eurocentrism is a product of the period of decolonisation in the 1960s to 1970s. Its original context is the core-periphery or dependency model of capitalist development of Marxian economics (Amin 1974, 1988).

### Debate since 1990s

Eurocentrism has been a particularly important concept in development studies.[16] Brohman (1995) argued that Eurocentrism "perpetuated intellectual dependence on a restricted group of prestigious Western academic institutions that determine the subject matter and methods of research".[16]

In treatises on historical or contemporary Eurocentrism that appeared since the 1990s, Eurocentrism is mostly cast in terms of dualisms such as civilized/barbaric or advanced/backward, developed/undeveloped, core/periphery, implying "evolutionary schemas through which societies inevitably progress", with a remnant of an "underlying presumption of a superior white Western self as referent of analysis" (640[clarification needed]).[17] Eurocentrism and the dualistic properties that it labels on non-European countries, cultures and persons have often been criticized in the political discourse of the 1990s and 2000s, particularly in the greater context of political correctness, race in the United States and affirmative action.[18][19]

In the 1990s, there was a trend of criticizing various geographic terms current in the English language as Eurocentric, such as the traditional division of Eurasia into Europe and Asia[20] or the term Middle East.[21]

Eric Sheppard, in 2005, argued that contemporary Marxism itself has Eurocentric traits (in spite of "Eurocentrism" originating in the vocabulary of Marxian economics), because it supposes that the third world must go through a stage of capitalism before "progressive social formations can be envisioned".[22]

There has been some debate on whether historical Eurocentrism qualifies as "just another ethnocentrism", as it is found in most of the world's cultures, especially in cultures with imperial aspirations, as in the Sinocentrism in China; in the Empire of Japan (c. 1868-1945), or during the American Century. James M. Blaut (2000) argued that Eurocentrism indeed army beyond other ethnocentrisms, as the scale of European colonial expansion was historically unprecedented and resulted in the formation of a "colonizer's model of the world".[23]

### Race and politics in the United States

The terms Afrocentrism vs. Eurocentrism have come to play a role in the 2000s to 2010s in the context of the political discourse on race in the United States and critical whiteness studies, aiming to expose white supremacism and white privilege.[24]

Afrocentrist scholars, such as Molefi Asante, have argued that there is a prevalence of Eurocentric thought in the processing of much of academia on African affairs. On the other hand, in an article, 'Eurocentrism and Academic Imperialism' by Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi, from the University of Tehran, states that Eurocentric thought exists in almost all aspects of academia in many parts of the world, especially in the humanities.[25] Edgar Alfred Bowring states that in the West, self-regard, self-congratulation and denigration of the ‘Other’ run more deeply and those tendencies have infected more aspects of their thinking, laws and policy than anywhere else.[26][27] Luke Clossey and Nicholas Guyatt have measured the degree of Eurocentrism in the research programs of top history departments.[28] In Southern Europe and Latin America, a number of academic proposals to offer alternatives to the Eurocentric perspective have emerged, such as the project of the Epistemologies of the South by Portuguese scholar Boaventura de Sousa Santos and those of the Subaltern Studies groups in India and Latin America (the Modernity/Coloniality Group of Anibal Quijano, Edgardo Lander, Enrique Dussel, Santiago Castro-Gómez, Ramón Grosfoguel, and others.

## Georg Hegel

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in Lectures on the Philosophy of History, claimed that world history started in Asia but shifted to Greece and Italy, and then north of the Alps to France, Germany and England.[29][30] According to Hegel, India and China are stationary countries which lack inner momentum. China replaced the real historically development with a fixed, stable scenario, which makes it the outsider of world history. Both India and China were waiting and anticipating a combination of certain factors from outside until they can acquire real progress in human civilization.[31] Hegel's ideas had a profound impact on western history. Some scholars disagree with his ideas that the Oriental countries were outside of world history.[32]

## Max Weber

Max Weber suggested that capitalism is the specialty of Europe and Oriental countries such as India and China do not contain sufficient factors to develop capitalism.[33] Weber wrote many treatises to publicize the distinctiveness of Europe. In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, he wrote that the "rational" capitalism manifested by its enterprises and mechanisms only appear in the Protestant western countries, and a series of generalized and universal cultural phenomena only appear in the west.[34] Even the state, with a written constitution and a government organized by trained administrators and constrained by rational law, only appear in the west, even though other regimes can also comprise states.[35] Rationality is a multi-layered term whose connotations are developed and escalated as with the social progress. Weber regarded rationality as a proprietary article for western capitalist society.

## Andre Gunder Frank

Andre Gunder Frank harshly criticized Eurocentrism. He believed that most scholars were the disciples of the social sciences and history guided by Eurocentrism.[36] He criticized some Western scholars for their ideas that non-Western areas lack outstanding contributions in history, economy, ideology, politics and culture compared with the West.[37] These scholars believed that the same contribution made by the West gives Westerners an advantage of endo-genetic momentum which is pushed towards the rest of the world, but Frank believed that the Oriental countries also contributed to the human civilization in their own perspectives.

## Arnold Toynbee

Arnold Toynbee in his A Study of History, gave a critical remark on Eurocentrism. He believed that although western capitalism shrouded the world and achieved a political unity based on its economy, the Western countries cannot "westernize" other countries.[38] Toynbee concluded that Eurocentrism is characteristic of three misconceptions manifested by self-centerment, the fixed development of Oriental countries and linear progress.[39]

## America

Civilizations in different parts of the world other than Europe have made significant contributions to the various cultures of the world, including that of the United States.[40]

## Latin America

Eurocentrism affected Latin America through colonial domination and expansion.[41] This occurred through the application of new criteria meant to "impose a new social classification of the world population on a global scale".[41] Based on this occurrence, a new social-historic identities were newly produced, although already produced in America. Some of these names include; 'Whites', 'Negroes', 'Blacks', 'Yellows', 'Olives', 'Indians', and 'Mestizos'.[41] With the advantage of being located in the Atlantic basin, 'Whites' were in a privileged to control gold and silver production.[41] The work which created the product was by 'Indians' and 'Negroes'.[41] With the control of commercial capital from 'White' workers. And therefore, Europe or Western Europe emerged as the central place of new patterns and capitalist power.[41]

### Effect on beauty standards in Brazil

According to Alexander Edmond's book Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil, whiteness plays a role in Latin American, specifically Brazilian, beauty standards, but it is not necessarily distinguished based on skin color.[42] Edmonds said the main ways to define whiteness in people in Brazil is by looking at their hair, nose, then mouth before considering skin color.[42] Edmonds focuses on the popularity of plastic surgery in Brazilian culture. Plastic surgeons usually applaud and flatter mixtures when emulating aesthetics for performing surgery, and the more popular mixture is African and European.[43] This shapes beauty standards by racializing biological and popular beauty ideals to suggest that mixture with whiteness is better.[42] Donna Goldstein's book Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence, and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown also addresses how whiteness influences beauty in Brazil. Goldstein notes that in Brazil, there is a hierarchy for beauty that places being white at the top and black characteristics at the bottom, calling them ugly.[44]

Challenging these standards of beauty in Brazil would require society to "question the romantic and sexual appeal of whiteness."[44] Goldstein said as a result, black bodies would have to be decommodified, and black women in particular have had to commodify their bodies to survive.[44]

In Erica Lorraine William's Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements, Williams addresses how European and white beauty standards have more privileges than darker skinned and black women in Brazil.[45] Black women in Brazil have to strategize ways to receive more respect in spaces popular for sex tourism.[45] However, black Brazilian women receive more sensual pleasures. Williams cites Alma Gulliermoprieto when she explains that there is a superiority given to light-skinned black women over darker-skinned black women as light-skinned women were considered more beautiful because they were "improved with white blood."[46]

Eurocentric identifier shape beauty standards through skin color and physical features, creating beauty hierarchy that gives privileges of power and respect to women who are mixed with whiteness.

## Islamic world

Eurocentrism's effect on the Islamic world has predominantly come from a fundamental statement of preventing the account of lower-level explanation and account of Islamic cultures and their social evolution, mainly through eurocentrism's idealist construct.[47] This construct has gained power from the historians revolving their conclusions around the idea of a central point that favors the notion that the evolution of societies and their progress are dictated by general tendencies, leading to the Islamic world's evolution becoming more of a philosophical topic of history instead of historical fact.[47] Along with this, eurocentrism extends to trivialize and marginalize the philosophies, scientific contributions, cultures, and other additional facets of the Islamic world.[48] This minimization of the significance of the history of Islamic countries opened the possibility for the eurocentric-minded researchers and historians to further raise the Western world's sense of importance to history and to further the interests of eurocentrism.

Stemming from Eurocentrism's innate bias towards Western Civilization came the creation of the concept of the "European Society," which favored the components (mainly Christianity) of European civilization and allowed eurocentrists to brand diverging societies and cultures as "uncivilized."[49] Prevalent during the nineteenth century, the labeling of uncivilized in the eyes of eurocentrists enabled Western countries to classify non-European and non-white countries as inferior, and limit their inclusion and contribution in actions like international law. This exclusion was seen as acceptable by individuals like John Westlake, a professor of international law at the University of Cambridge at the time, who commented that countries with European civilizations should be who comprises the international society, and that countries like Turkey and Persia should only be allowed a part of international law.[49] The figurative superiority resulting from the rise of "European Civilization" and the labels of "civilized" and "uncivilized" are partly responsible for eurocentrism's denial of Islamic social evolution, giving westerner's the advantage of an early dismissal of such ideas regarding Oriental civilizations through comparisons to the West. Along with that, the rooted belief of the inferiority of non-white and non-Europeans has given justification for racial discrimination and discredit to the Islamic world, with much of these feelings still present today.

### Effect on the perception of Orientalism

Eurocentrism's reach has not only affected the perception of the cultures and civilizations of the Islamic world, but also the aspects and ideas of Orientalism, which was originally created for the true social and cultural milestones of the Islamic and Oriental world to be represented. This effect began to take place during the nineteenth century when the Orientalist ideals where distilled and shifted from topics of sensuality and deviating mentalities to what is described by Edward Said as "unchallenged coherence."[50] Along with this shift came the creation of two types of orientalism: latent, which covered the Orient's constant durability through history, and manifest, a more dynamic orientalism that changes with the new discovery of information.[50] The eurocentric influence is shown in the latter, as the nature of manifest Orientalism is to be altered with new findings, which leaves it vulnerable to the warping of its refiner's ideals and principles. In this state, eurocentrism has used orientalism to portray the Orient as "backwards" and bolster the superiority of the Western world and continue the undermining of their cultures to further the agenda of racial inequality.[50]

#### Eurocentrism and philology in the Islamic world by way of Orientalism

With those wanting to represent the eurocentric ideals better by way of orientalism, there came a barrier of languages, being Arabic, Persian, and other similar languages. With more researchers wanting to study more of Orientalism, there was an assumption made about the languages of the Islamic world: that having the ability to transcribe the texts of the past Islamic world would give great knowledge and insight on oriental studies. In order to do this, many researchers underwent training in Philology, believing that an understanding of the languages would be the only necessary training. This reasoning came as the belief at the time was that other studies like anthropology and sociology were deemed irrelevant as they did not believe it misleading to this portion of mankind.[51] Through this action, eurocentric researchers' understanding of Oriental and Islamic culture was intentionally left undermined, foregoing the reasoning behind the actions and reasoning for the changes in culture documented by Islamic and Oriental texts and allowing for further possible Western influence on orientalism, and increasing the difficulty of identifying what is truly Oriental and what is considered Oriental by the West.

### Mathematics

The history of mathematics has a murky past due to the reason that it cannot be directly traced back to any certain type of people or continent. However, mathematics is often attributed to white European men, even with evidence of the development of mathematics rooting from all continents across the world. This bias is due to the effects of Eurocentrism in mathematics. Eurocentrism is a worldview and idolization of anything European. Eurocentrism is prevalent in mathematics, simply because the contributions of non-European people are overlooked in the academic world of mathematics.[52] For example, when learning about mathematics, famous mathematicians such as Isaac Newton and Leonhard Euler are mentioned far more than mathematicians from non-European backgrounds. Consequently, Eurocentrism in mathematics is due to the fact that mathematical contributions from Islamic sources in are often overshadowed and under-represented compared to European mathematical sources. Islamic contributions to mathematics has been paramount in shaping the mathematics that we know today.[citation needed]

#### Algebra

The founding of algebra can accredited to the Muslims. The word algebra stems from the Arabic word al-jabr, which means ‘restoration’. Algebra was established by mathematician and astronomer Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (whose name originated ‘algorithm’).[53]

It was under the patronage of Abu al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid, better known as al-Ma'mun the seventh Abbasid Caliph, in which he formulated his book, The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing in which he proposed solutions to problems by ‘al-jabr’ and ‘al-muqabala’. The common meaning of jabr in math is the adding of equal terms to both sides of the equation to remove negative terms. The other less common meaning of jabr is to multiply both sides of the equation by one to remove fractions. The common meaning of muqabala is the reduction of positives by subtracting equal amounts from both sides of the equation.[54]

The combination of both jabr and muqabala is used to mean performing algebraic operations.[54] With the terms of al-jabr and al-muqabala, al-Khwarizmi's book is also known as The Compendious Book on Calculation by al-jabr and al-muqabala. In al-Khwarizmi's book, he explains that all linear and quadratic equations can be reduced to six types in which he provides rules for solving.[54][55]

1. ${\displaystyle ax^{2}=bx}$
2. ${\displaystyle ax^{2}=c}$
3. ${\displaystyle ax=b}$
4. ${\displaystyle ax^{2}+c=bx}$
5. ${\displaystyle ax^{2}+c=bx}$
6. ${\displaystyle ax^{2}=bx+c}$

#### Mathematical induction

The history of mathematical induction is debated by historians in where it first originated. It is commonly thought to originate from Blaise Pascal in Traité du triangle arithmétique, but according to Georges Vacca in Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, it was Francesco Maurolico, not Pascal, who was the first to formulate mathematical induction. Even further, there are works of Jacques Bernoulli and Levi ben Gershon to possibly be the originators of mathematical induction.[55]

Before Maurolico or even Pascal, works of Abu Bakr Muhammed Al-Karaji were found to utilize methods of mathematical induction for proving the binomial theorem.

#### Series

In contribution of number theory of series and exponential growth, Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni came up with the famous chessboard problem. It is a problem in mathematics that shows how quickly exponential series grow. The problem that Al-Biruni posited to his king was to be given the amount of grains of rice on the chessboard, but with the caveat that the first square have one grain, the second have two grains, the third square having four grains, and repeating pattern all the way up to the sixty-fourth square. This resulted in an accumulation of 18,466,744,073,709,551,615 grains of rice.[56]

The modern representation of the problem would be:

${\displaystyle \sum ^{64}2^{n-1}=2^{64}-1}$

#### Decimal system

The decimal system in which we write our numbers today was first used by Muslim mathematicians. They were the mathematicians who began the numeration system with two characteristics that hold true today.[57]

1. The numbers from one to nine are represented by nine digits, all easily made by one or two strokes.
2. The right-most digit of a numerical counts the number of units, and a unit in any place is ten of that to its right. Thus the digit in the second place counts the number of tens, that in the third place the number of hundreds (which is ten tens), and so on. A special mark, the zero, is used to indicate that a given place is empty.

The two characteristics describe the system that we use today when writing numbers. It was the Hindus who were the first to use a cipherized, decimal, and positional system. But, it was the Muslims who were the ones to extend the system to represent the units by decimal fractions, therefore the system is "Hindu-Arabic".[57]

### Medicine

Although not typically given credit, there are a number of Islamic contributions to medicine including, but not limited to, anesthesia, the modern-day hospital, some surgical techniques, and medical diagnosis of certain diseases such as smallpox, measles, and Parkinson's Disease. Among the most famous of contributors to Islamic medicine are Zakariya al-Razi, Ibn al-Haytham, Ibn Sina, Ali ibn Isa, Ibn Rushd, Ibn al-Nafis, and Serafeddin Sabuncouglu.

#### Medieval Islamic hospitals

Modern day hospitals were greatly influenced by the structure of medieval Islamic hospitals. These hospitals were the first to separate patients into wards based on their particular disease. This began with separating those with leprosy from the patients without but continued to grow from there.[58] Hospitals were separated into wards. Men and women were treated in separate wards. Other wards included those for medicine, surgery orthopedics, eye, gynecology, Obstetrics, etc.[58] Prior to this, patients would go to temples when they were ill. In contrast to these temples, the hospital's purpose was to treat patients and to teach new physicians while doing it. The hospitals were highly organized with dispensaries, botanical gardens, etc. and were completely free for patients.[58]

#### Zakariya al-Razi

Zakariya al-Razi was a ninth century physician and alchemist from Baghdad. He studied medicine under Ali b. Rabban al-Tabari and became proficient in Greek, Persian, and Indian systems of medicine.[59] Although he was unable to finish his book due to developing cataracts, Hawl fi’l Tibb, it was still recognized as the most comprehensive collection of medical information written until the seventeenth century. Hawl fi’l Tibb included Greek, Syrian, and early Arabic medical knowledge in their entirety as well as pieces of others.[59] Among his other books are Regius, in which he wrote for the nobles stating that their ailments could largely be cured by diet alone, and Kitab al-Jadari wa’l Hasba in which he became the first person to clearly differentiate between smallpox and the measles and was the first person to suggest a systematic treatment for the former.[59]

#### Ibn al-Haytham

Ibn al-Haytham, also known as the father of optics, was a tenth century mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. Haytham is most widely known for his book on optics, Kitab al-Manazir, where he suggests that objects are seen by rays of light reflecting off of objects.[60] Some other important works of Haytham's include his writings on the laws of refraction and how optical illusions, shadows, and eclipses work.[61]

#### Ibn Sina

Ibn Sina, more commonly known by the Latinized version of his name "Avicenna", was a tenth century physician and philosopher from Persia. His most noted accomplishment was a book called The Canon of Medicine in which he gives an integrated description of medicine and surgery showing how important operations can be in healthcare. For example, Ibn Sina outlines what to consider when deciding how much tissue to remove during a surgery.[61]

#### Ali ibn Isa

Ali ibn Isa is a tenth century ophthalmologist from Bagndad. In his book Memorandum Book for Oculists, Ali ibn Isa became the first person to illustrate the optic chiasm and the brain. This book also marked the first time that a surgical anesthetic was prescribed.[62]

#### Ibn al-Nafis

Ibn al-Nafis was a thirteenth century physician in Cairo and his story is a good example of Eurocentrism.[62] His most widely known contribution to science and medicine is the pulmonary circulation of blood.[61] The person thought to have discovered the pulmonary circulation of blood has changed throughout the years.[63] People such as Galen, Michael Servetus, Realdus Harvey, and William Harvey have all been given credit for the discovery at one time or another. It was not until Nafis’ manuscript Sharah al Tashreeh al Qanoon or "Commentary on the Anatomy of Canon of Avicenna" was discovered that the evidence for Ibn al-Nafis being the discoverer became irrefutable.[64] This book was setup into two parts. The first part focuses on anatomy, physiology, pathology, and symptomology while the second part focuses on clinical treatment and surgery.[62]

#### Ibn Rushd

Ibn Rushd, more commonly known as the Latinized version "Averroes" was a twelfth century philosopher and judge. His knowledge of a wide array of subjects including philosophy, theology, medicine, astronomy, physics, Islamic jurisprudence and law, and linguistics earned him the nickname the "Prince of Science".[65] He wrote twenty books on medicine which include commentaries on various books, A textbook of Maliki doctrine, Fasl al-Maqal Fi Ma bayn al-Sharia wa Al-Hukma Min Al-Ittisal, Kulliyat Fi A-Tibb, and Maqala fi ‘I-Tyryaq.[65] Among these books, Averroes proposed a new hypothesis on strokes, outlined the signs/symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, and was the first individual to suggest that the retina is the area of the eye that senses light.[65]

#### Serefeddin Sabuncouglu

Serefeddin Sabuncouglu was a surgeon and physician in the Ottoman Empire.[66] He was born in Turkey in 1385 and died in 1468. Sabuncouglu was the first person to create and illustrate a surgical textbook in Turkish-Islamic literature. His textbook, Cerrahiyet-ul Haniyye, included acupuncture, a mass reduction procedure, eyelid pathology, plastic surgery procedures, as well as many others.[66] Although most techniques included in this book were created by other individuals, Sabuncouglu did include a number of original surgical techniques.[66]

Euro centrism in Astronomy

Eurocentrism can often have the effect of forgetting what other nations have done in terms of scientific break-throughs, such as during Medieval times in the Middle East. For example, many discoveries have been made in the past in the area of astronomy. Several astronomers throughout the time period could be credited with these discoveries such as Khawaja Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad, Ala Al-Din Abu'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Shatir, Mu’ayyad al-Din al-’Urdi, Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā, Ala al-Dīn Ali ibn Muhammed, and Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakariyyā al-Rāzī.

Mu’ayyad al-Din al-’Urdi was better known as al-'Urdi. He was a Kurdish Muslim born in Allepo in 1200 AD. This area would be located in modern-day Syria and he would eventually die in 1266 AD in Iran. Once he grew into adulthood he would go on to move to Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, as requested by Nasir al-Din al-Tusi.[67] He would begin his work there as an astronomer at the Maragha Observatory, where he would officially meet al-Tusi.[67] Before his time at the Maragha Observatory he had also worked as a mathematician, engineer, and additionally worked as an architect.[67] One the things that al-Urdi is remembered for is creating different instruments for astronomical use, but his greatest work was the structures that he built during his time helping to construct the observatory.[67]

Khawaja Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad was better known as Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī. He was a Persian polymath who was born in Tus, Khorasan on February 24, 1201 AD and died in Al-Kadhimia Mosque, Baghdad, Iraq on June 26, 1274. He was, at one point, the head of the school in Margha and is also considered to have been a prolific writer who worked and specialized in many different areas.[68] He worked as a Biologist, Mathematician, Chemist, Philosopher, Theologian, Physician, Physicist, and also, an Astronomer. As an astronomer, he convinced Huleguh Khan to create an observatory where Ibn Ḥasan Ṭūsī would work to create more accurate astronomical tables. They did not care for Ptolemy's model going against Aristotelian principles and went on to create the rolling device that would make astronomical predictions in the future.[68] The model actually differed a little from the works of Ptolemy, as they believed that the apogee of the epicycle should be directed toward the point that acts as both the center of regular motion and the point of constant distance.[68] These tables would go on to be used to predict planetary movements in our solar system and would come to be known as the "Tusi-couple". Since its creation, this table has long since been considered the most accurate, as well as the most advanced, data available in al-Ṭūsī's time. The Tusi-couple was also supposed to have been used very frequently up until the time of Copernicus when he created the heliocentric model.

Ala Al-Din Abu'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Shatir (commonly referred to as al-Shatir) was born in 1305 in Damascus, Syria. He died in 1375 in the same place. Al-Shatir was actually responsible for deciding times of prayer via astronomical timing at the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, and his most important advancements came from the creation of astronomical devices as well as his planetary theory.[69] When it came to his planetary models, the additions that he made appeared to be geocentric and related to a model created by Copernicus, which has caused questions to be asked since the 1950s about whether or not models from al-Shatir made it to and influenced European science.[69] He added on an extra epicycle and also corrected Ptolemy's model by taking the lunar cycles, and lessening the distances of the Lunar cycle by lowering its variation. The most interesting instrument that he created was his sundial. There are still pieces of this structure left as an exhibit in Damascus and it was made of marble with intricate engravings on its sides. It was used so that al-Shatir would be able to read the exact time of day and thus be able to plan the times of prayer at the mosque.[69]

Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā, who was commonly known as Avicenna, was born on August 22, 980 AD in Afshona, Uzbekistan. He died June 21, 1037 AD in Hamedan, Iran. He was a greatly influential astronomer who has been particularly remembered for his work in aristotelian philosophy as well as medicine. One of his greatest works that he is remembered for is writing the Kitab Al-Shifa.[70] The Kitab Al-Shifa, actually went over Galen's four humors, which included blood, phlem, yellow bile, and black bile. His contributions that he made to astronomy can be found in the physics section. He did not just cover astronomy there, though. Additionally, he covered several other areas such as: meteorology, botany, zoology, mineralogy, and even psychology. His contributions were mainly in medicine, though, as his set of books known as the Canon were used well into modern times in European medicine.[70] The Canon was broken up into five different books covering different topics in medicine, which he practiced from the age of 18. The Kitab Al-Shifa is a four-part book which covers four different areas such as: Logic, Physics, Mathematics, and Metaphysics.[70]

Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakariyyā al-Rāzī, who is usually referred to as al-Razi, was primarily a Muslim physican. He also worked, though, in areas of astronomy and was known for being an alchemist. He was actually given the title "Sheik of Islam" and was able to recite the treatise Al shamil fi usul al-din of Imam al-Haramain from memory.[71] He left behind many writings going over a variety of different subjects such as: theology, medicine, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, as well as the natural sciences. In alchemy, he has been credited with starting our modern means of determining chemical bodies.[71] He first separated animal, vegetable, and mineral. He also separated minerals into spirits, bodies, stones, vitriols, boraxes, and salts. He also separated volatile bodies from non-volatile bodies. As a physician, he gained a lot of power by meeting ibn Takush.[71]

## In the beauty industry

Eurocentrism has affected the beauty realm globally. The beauty standard has become westernized and has influenced people throughout the globe. Many have altered their natural self to reflect this image.[72] Many beauty and advertising companies have redirected their products to support this idea of Eurocentrism.[73]

Kathy Deliovsky, an assistant professor at Brock University, publishes work that focuses on "critical race feminism with an emphasis on whiteness studies.[74]

Deliovsky addresses Eurocentrism and whiteness in relation to beauty in her article "Normative White Femininity: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Beauty."[75] She writes that "normative femininity is never signified outside a process of racial domination and negation" when looking at a society built on "European imperialism and colonialism."[75] White femininity, like whiteness in general is perceived, is viewed as normative because it isn't viewed as white, but just as femininity.[75]

Deliovsky later addresses how those who are represented through a Westernized lens as blonde-haired and blue-eyed in society are typically white women.[75] She points out an importance of also looking at who isn't being represented and what the implications of that are as they could reveal two issues: the past exclusion of "Africans, Asians and Aboriginals" from editorial and advertisement content and then distorted "representation and coverage" of "racially marginalized" people.[75]

Deliovsky explains in her article that when a standard of beauty is determined, anything that strays from that standard is considered a "deviation."[75] Women of color could be viewed as "contextually beautiful (i.e. beautiful in spite of...)," but don't exist as the standard.[75] They can represent the "exotic/erotic" but not the beautiful.[75]

### Clark doll experiment

In the 1940s, psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark held experiments called "the doll tests" to examine the psychological effects of segregation on African-American children. They tested children by presenting them four dolls, identical but different skin tone. They had to choose which doll they preferred and were asked the race of the doll. Most of the children chose the white doll. The Clark's stated in their results that the perception of the African-American children were altered by the discrimination they faced.[76] The tested children also labeled positive descriptions to the white dolls. One of the criticisms of this test is presented by Robin Bernstein, a professor of African and African American studies and women, gender, and sexuality. Her argument is that "the Clarks’ tests were scientifically flawed. But she said that the tests did reflect a negative portrayal of black dolls in American theater and media that dates back to the Civil War era....Thus, Bernstein said, the choices made by the subjects of the Clark doll tests was not necessarily an indication of black self-hatred. Instead, it was a cultural choice between two different toys—one that was to be loved and one that was to be physically harassed, as exemplified in performance and popular media. According to Bernstein, this argument ‘redeems the Clarks’ child subjects by offering a new understanding of them not as psychologically damaged dupes, but instead as agential experts in children's culture.’"[77]

### Mexican doll experiment

In 2012, Mexicans recreated the doll test. Mexico’s National Council to Prevent Discrimination presented a video where children had to pick the "good doll," and the doll that looks like them. By doing this experiment, the researchers wanted to analyze the degree to which Mexican children are influenced by modern-day media accessible to them.[78] Most of the children chose the white doll because it was better. They also stated that it looked like them. The people who carried out the study noted that Euro centrism is deeply rooted in different cultures, including Latin cultures.[79]

Advertisements shown throughout the world are Eurocentric and emphasize western characteristics. Caucasian models are the number one models to be hired by popular, global brands like Estee Lauder and L’Oreal. Local models in the region in Korea, Hong Kong and Japan barely made it to global brands’ ads, compared to Caucasian models who appear in forty-four percent of Korean and fifty-four percent of Japanese ads. By demonstrating these ads, they are emphasizing that the ideal skin is bright, transparent, white, full, and fine. On the other hand, dark skin is looked down upon.[80]

### Skin lightening

Skin lightening has become a common practice throughout different areas of the globe in order to fit the Eurocentric beauty standard. Many women risk their health in order to use these products and obtain the tone they desire. A study conducted by Dr Lamine Cissé observed the female population in some African countries. They found that 26% of women were using skin lightening creams at the time and 36% had used them at some time. The common products used were hydroquinone and corticosteroids. 75% of women who used these creams showed cutaneous adverse effects.[81] Whitening products have also become popular in many areas in Asia like South Korea.[82] With the rise of these products, research has been done to study the long term damage. Some complications experienced are exogenous ochronosis, impaired wound healing and wound dehiscence, the fish odor syndrome, nephropathy, steroid addiction syndrome, predisposition to infections, a broad spectrum of cutaneous and endocrinologic complications of corticosteroids, and suppression of hypothalamic‐pituitary‐adrenal axis.[83]

### South Korea

South Korea has been influenced by the Western beauty standard. In order to achieve a more western look, some South Koreans turn to plastic surgery to obtain those features. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, South Korea has the highest rates of plastic surgery procedures per capita. The most asked for procedures are the blepharoplasty and rhinoplasty.[84] Another procedure done in Korea is having the muscle under the tongue that connects to the bottom of the mouth surgically snipped. Parents have their children to undergo this surgery in order to pronounce English better.[85] In Korea, cosmetic eyelid surgery is considered to be normal. Korea has close and modern ties with the U.S. which allows constant interaction with the Western culture. In order to fit in they undergo these lengths to become more westernized.[86]

## References

### Notes

1. ^ Hobson, John (2012). The Eurocentric conception of world politics : western international theory, 1760-2010. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 185. ISBN 978-1107020207.
2. ^
3. ^ The German adjective europa-zentrisch ("Europe-centric") is attested in the 1920s, unrelated to the Marxist context of Amin's usage. Karl Haushofer, Geopolitik des pazifischen Ozeans (pp. 11–23, 110-113, passim). The context is Haushofer's comparison of the "Pacific space" in terms of global politics vs. "Europe-centric" politics.
4. ^ A Rey (ed.) Dictionnaire Historique de la langue française (2010): À partir du radical de européen ont été composés (mil. XXe s.) européocentrique adj. (de centrique) « qui fait référence à l'Europe » et européocentrisme n.m. (variante europocentrisme n.m. 1974) « fait de considérer (un problème général, mondial) d'un point de vue européen » ."
5. ^ Hussein Abdilahi Bulhan, Frantz Fanon and the Psychology of Oppression (1985), 63ff: "Fanon and Eurocentric Psychology", where "Eurocentric psychology" refers to "a psychology derived from a white, middle-class male minority, which is generalized to humanity everywhere".
6. ^ "Anciens directeurs" (uneca.org) ("Samir AMIN (Egypte) 1970-1980").
7. ^ Alexandre A. Bennigsen, S. Enders Wimbush , Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union: A Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World (1979), p. 19.
8. ^ "pluralistic cultural coexistence as opposed to Western centrism and Asian centrism" (unhyphenated) in: Mabel Lee, Meng Hua, Cultural dialogue & misreading (1997), p. 53. "our incomplete perception of Chinese behavior, which tends to be 'Western-centric.'" (using scare-quotes) in: Houman A. Sadri, Revolutionary States, Leaders, and Foreign Relations: A Comparative Study of China, Cuba, and Iran (1997), p. 35. "Euro- or western-centrism" in the context of the "traditional discourse on minority languages" in: Jonathan Owens (ed.), Arabic as a Minority Language (2000), p. 1. Use of Latinate occido-centrism remains rare (e.g. Alexander Lukin, Political Culture of the Russian 'Democrats' (2000), p. 47).
9. ^ "[German: Obwohl Europa das kleinste unter allen 4. Teilen der Welt ist, so ist es doch um verschiedener Ursachen willen allen übrigen vorzuziehen.... Die Einwohner sind von sehr guten Sitten, höflich und sinnreich in Wissenschaften und Handwerken.] "Europa". In: Zedlers Universal-Lexicon Archived 11 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Volume 8, Leipzig 1734, columns 2192–2196 (citation: column 2195).
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