Critical Conversations in African Philosophy
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In this edited collection contributors examine key themes, sources and methods in contemporary African Philosophy, building on a wide-ranging understanding of what constitutes African philosophy, and drawing from a variety of both oral and written texts of different genres.
Part one of the volume examines how African philosophy has reacted to burning issues, ranging from contemporary ethical questions on how to integrate technological advancements into human life; to one of philosophy’s prime endeavours, which is establishing the conditions of knowledge; to eternal ontological and existential questions on the nature of being, time, memory and death. Part two reflects on the (re)definition of philosophy from an African vantage point and African philosophy’s thrust to create its own canon, archive and resources to study African concepts, artefacts, practices and texts from the perspective of intellectual history. The volume aims to make a contribution to the academic debate on African philosophy and philosophy more broadly, challenging orthodox definitions and genres, in favour of a broadening of the discipline’s self-understanding and locales.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of African philosophy and comparative philosophy.
Table of Contents
Introduction. African Philosophy from the Things Themselves Part I: Themes Chapter 1: Technology as Domination or Liberation? An Analysis of the Philosophy of Technology in Relation to African Philosophy and Development Initiatives, Aviv Milgram Chapter 2: Epistemic pragmatism and the problem of relativism: implications of comparisons between epistemic concepts in Yorùbá and English language analytic epistemology, Yola West-Dennis Chapter 3: Euphrase Kezilahabi’s thinking poetry: his philosophy, his poetics and Kerewe oral poetry. Roberto Gaudioso Chapter 4: Absurditea: The Unity of Being, the Absurd, and the Importance of the Circle in Euphrase Kezilahabi’s "Chai ya Jioni" Tom Jelpke Chapter 5: Mbiti Revisited: Acknowledging the affinity between the philosophies of time of John S. Mbiti and Edmund Husserl and asserting the importance of an inclusive philosophy of the afterlife, Claire Amaladoss Chapter 6: African versus Western Time or Philosophies of Time? Exploring the Possibilities of Philosophical Dialogue across African and Western Traditions of Thought, Benedetta Lanfranchi Part II: Sources Chapter 7: Philosophising by proxy: a hermeneutic critique of African philosophical literature from the twin imaginaries of collective or individual thought, and the divisibility of culture and philosophy, Brett Pollack Chapter 8: Found in Translation: Multilingualism and Philosoph, Ella Hiesmayr Chapter 9: Epistemology and literature: Positivism, indeterminacy, holism, and relativism in the Swahili novel, Alena Rettová Chapter 10: "If we knew the reality of things, we would be the masters of our own lives." Reflections of a West African Diviner, Louis Brenner Chapter 11: Clarity through comparative philosophy, Becca Stacey
Alena Rettová is Professor of African and Afrophone Philosophies, University of Bayreuth, Germany.
Benedetta Lanfranchi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Bayreuth, Germany.
Miriam Pahl has a PhD from SOAS University of London and has worked for DAAD in Nairobi.