A Companion to African Philosophy by Kwasi Wiredu

By Kwasi Wiredu

This quantity of newly commissioned essays offers entire insurance of African philosophy, ranging throughout disciplines and during the a while.

  • Offers a particular old remedy of African philosophy.
  • Covers the entire major branches of philosophy as addressed within the African culture.
  • Includes bills of pre-colonial African philosophy and modern political thought.

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That circumstance should lead, in the first place, to a re-examination of the resources of that African framework of thought and, in the second place, to a critical review of the concepts concerned in their own original European conceptual setting. However the exercise 14 INTRODUCTION: AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY IN OUR TIME turns out, the results should hold two kinds of benefit. To an African, it should bring freedom from any subjection to a colonial mentality in relation to the intellectual issue on hand.

Concerning the concept of God, see chapter 27 in this volume, by Oladipo. The concept of a person is probably the topic that has evoked the most interesting discussions. There is a basic similarity in the conceptions of a person to be found in the traditional thought of many of the peoples of Africa. ) A human being is held to consist of a variable number of elements, one of which typically might be called the life principle, that is, that in a person whose presence makes him alive and whose absence makes him dead.

But in Africa at the present time it is a question that has a life-and-death urgency. Note that a conceptual issue of considerable general interest arises here, namely, whether democracy, by its very meaning, entails a multiparty polity. Not much attention, however, has been given to this question, either in its African particularity or in its general applicability. The question of democracy and the party system, by the way, provides an example of how conceptual issues in philosophy can have practical, normative consequences.

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