In African countries there has been a surge of intellectual interest in foregrounding ideas and thinkers of African origin—in philosophy as in other disciplines—that have been unjustly ignored or marginalized. African scholars have demonstrated that precolonial African cultures generated ideas and arguments which were at once truly philosophical and distinctively African, and several contemporary African thinkers are now established figures in the philosophical mainstream.
Yet, despite the universality of its themes, relevant contributions from African philosophy have rarely permeated global philosophical debates. Critical intellectual excavation has also tended to prioritize precolonial thought, overlooking more recent sources of home-grown philosophical thinking such as Africa’s intellectually rich liberation movements.
This book demonstrates the potential for constructive interchange between currents of thought from African philosophy and other intellectual currents within philosophy. Chapters authored by leading and emerging scholars:
- recover philosophical thinkers and currents of ideas within Africa and about Africa, bringing them into dialogue with contemporary mainstream philosophy;
- foreground the relevance of African theorizing to contemporary debates in epistemology, philosophy of language, moral/political philosophy, philosophy of race, environmental ethics and the metaphysics of disability;
- make new interventions within on-going debates in African philosophy;
- consider ways in which philosophy can become epistemically inclusive, interrogating the contemporary call for ‘decolonization’ of philosophy.
Showing how foregrounding Africa—its ideas, thinkers and problems—can help with the project of renewing and improving the discipline of philosophy worldwide, this book will stimulate and challenge everyone with an interest in philosophy, and is essential reading for upper-level undergraduate students, postgraduate students and scholars of African and Africana philosophy.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Lungisile Ntsebeza Introduction Part I: Decolonising Philosophy 1 Ottobah Cugoano’s Place in the History of Political Philosophy: Slavery and the Philosophical Canon 2 Decolonizing Bioethics via African Philosophy: Moral Neocolonialism as a Bioethical Problem 3 A Philosophy Without Memory Cannot Abolish Slavery: On Epistemic Justice in South Africa Part II: Race, Justice, Identity 4 Neville Alexander and the Non-racialism of the Unity Movement 5 Biko on Non-white and Black: Improving Social Reality 6 Black Autarchy/White Domination: Fractured Language and Racial Politics During Apartheid and Beyond via Biko and Lyotard 7 Impartiality, Partiality and Privilege: The View from South Africa Part III: Moral Debates 8 Making Sense of Survivor’s Guilt: Why It Is Justified by an African Ethic 9 African Philosophy and Nonhuman Nature 10 On Cultural Universals and Particulars 11 The Metz Method and ‘African Ethics’ Part IV: Meta-Philosophy 12 The Edges of (African) Philosophy 13 Is Philosophy Bound by Language? Some Case Studies from African Philosophy 14 African Philosophy in the Context of a University Part V: Comparative Perspectives 15 Relational Normative Thought in Ubuntu and Neo-republicanism 16 African Philosophy, Disability, and the Social Conception of the Self
George Hull is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.