Download A Short History of African Philosophy by Barry Hallen PDF

By Barry Hallen

During this available e-book, Barry Hallen discusses the key principles, figures, and faculties of concept in African philosophy. whereas drawing out serious concerns within the formation of African philosophy, Hallen makes a speciality of the hot scholarship, present concerns, and proper debates that experience made African philosophy a massive key to knowing the wealthy and intricate cultural historical past of Africa. Hallen builds upon Africa's connections with Western philosophical traditions and explores African contributions to cultural universalism, cultural relativism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and Marxism. Hallen additionally examines African demanding situations to Western conceptions of philosophy via taking over questions comparable to no matter if philosophy can exist in cultures which are considerably dependent in oral traditions and what might or would possibly not represent philosophical texts. one of the figures whose paintings is mentioned are Ptah-hotep (Egypt, third millennium BCE), Zar'a Ya'aqob (Abyssinia, seventeenth century), Anton Wilhelm Amo (Ghana, 18th century), Paulin Hountondji, V. Y. Mudimbe, Oyeronke Oyewumi, Kwame Anthony Appiah, and Kwasi Wiredu. This in actual fact written, hugely readable, and concise paintings could be crucial for college kids and students of African philosophy in addition to readers with a variety of pursuits in African experiences.

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Example text

Presumably readers will ¤nd that many of these Yoruba epistemic, moral, and aesthetic priorities represent fundamentally different viewpoints on knowledge, on morality, and on beauty when contrasted with their conventional Western counterparts. The question may still be asked, of course, whether these differences are enough to justify the conclusion that they support philosophical relativism, but the Hallen-Sodipo response to this has so far been in the af¤rmative. ” In other words, for Sogolo, philosophical methodologies, as well as theories and paradigms, are culturally relative.

The particular combination or interrelation of formats and answers to these concerns or questions found in a particular culture may somehow be distinctive, but this is of a very different order from being literally unique to that culture. Gyekye argues that philosophy is a historical as well as cultural enterprise. By this he means that the issues which concerned African philosophers in precolonial or “traditional” times may not be the same as those that concern African philosophers in modern or contemporary times (Gyekye 1995, xi–xii).

His publications extend over most of the philosophical spectrum—epistemology, ethics, logic, metaphysics, social and political philosophy—and are interrelated in a subtle but systematic manner. In this chapter, I shall discuss and assess only three of the important themes to which Wiredu addresses himself: (1) the proper relationship between academic or professional philosophy and Africa’s indigenous cultural heritage; (2) the problem of truth; (3) the problem of cultural universals. In “On an African Orientation in Philosophy” (Wiredu 1972c), published in the Nigerian journal Second Order,19 Wiredu outlines a number of themes that he has continued to develop over the years with regard 17.

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