A Companion to African Philosophy / Edition 1

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"This volume, comprised of 42 newly commissioned and 5 adapted essays, provides comprehensive coverage of African philosophy, ranging across disciplines and throughout the ages." The essays encompass all the main branches of philosophy - logic, epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, ethics, religion, and politics, among others - as these have occupied the African mind in both communal and individual conceptions. A special feature of the volume is its historical dimension, including a substantial treatment of ancient African philosophy as encountered in ancient Egypt, an extended study of medieval North African thinkers, an enlightening discussion of pre-colonial African philosophy, and a history of African political thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This collection is destined to become the classic guide to the distinctive issues of concern to African philosophers today and in the past. The essays also reveal critical challenges African philosophies raise for ‘exceptionalist’ and ‘triumphalist’ tendencies in Western philosophy. This is a lively and intriguing text for undergraduates, graduate students, and scholars in many disciplines." Sandra Harding, University of California, Los Angeles

"Professor Wiredu has brought together the leading scholars of African philosophy, and provided us with up-to-date assessments of such vital topics as the history of African philosophy, African philosophy and postcolonial studies, and the relationship between world view and critical thinking. This is a balanced and judicious collection that exposes the student to all the major issues and schools." Ivan Karp, Emory University

"The extensive bibliography confirms the existence of African philosophy and supports the argument for its rightful place alongside other philosophies. . . The essays in this book are informative and compelling. The book is a product of commendable effort and provides its readers with much enlightenment." African Studies Review

“…this Companion goes beyond evaluating African philosophy spoken, written, sung, danced, sculpted, or painted prior to itself; it becomes itself the most complete and thoughtful anthology of African thought, the area’s most valuable work published as yet.” Heythrop Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405145671
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/30/2006
  • Series: Blackwell Companions to Philosophy Series , #7
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kwasi Wiredu is Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Florida. His books include Philosophy and An African Culture (1981).

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
Introduction: African Philosophy in Our Time 1
1 Egypt: Ancient History of African Philosophy 31
2 African Philosophers in the Greco-Roman Era 50
3 Precolonial African Philosophy in Arabic 66
4 Some Nineteenth-Century African Political Thinkers 78
5 Africana Philosophy: Origins and Prospects 90
6 Contemporary Anglophone African Philosophy: A Survey 99
7 Philosophy in South Africa Under and After Apartheid 149
8 Philosophy in North Africa 161
9 The Light and the Shadow: Zera Yacob and Walda Heywat: Two Ethiopian Philosophers of the Seventeenth Century 172
10 Zera Yacob and Traditional Ethiopian Philosophy 183
11 Anton Wilhelm Amo 191
12 Amo's Critique of Descartes' Philosophy of Mind 200
13 Albert Luthuli, Steve Biko, and Nelson Mandela: The Philosophical Basis of their Thought and Practice 207
14 Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) 216
15 Theory and the Actuality of Existence: Fanon and Cabral 225
16 Alexis Kagame (1912-1981): Life and Thought 231
17 Post-Independence African Political Philosophy 243
18 Some Methodological Controversies in African Philosophy 263
19 Sage Philosophy: Its Methodology, Results, Significance, and Future 274
20 Logic in the Acholi Language 285
21 Yoruba Moral Epistemology 296
22 Ifa': An Account of a Divination System and Some Concluding Epistemological Questions 304
23 Toward a Theory of Destiny 313
24 On the Normative Conception of a Person 324
25 African Conceptions of a Person: A Critical Survey 332
26 Quasi-Materialism: A Contemporary African Philosophy of Mind 343
27 Religion in African Culture: Some Conceptual Issues 355
28 Okot p'Bitek's Critique of Western Scholarship on African Religion 364
29 Islam in Africa: Examining the Notion of an African Identity within the Islamic World 374
30 Some African Reflections on Biomedical and Environmental Ethics 387
31 Ethics and Morality in Yoruba Culture 396
32 Aesthetic Inquiry and the Music of Africa 404
33 Art and Community: A Social Conception of Beauty and Individuality 415
34 The Many-layered Aesthetics of African Art 425
35 Government by Consensus: An Analysis of a Traditional Form of Democracy 435
36 Democracy, Kingship, and Consensus: A South African Perspective 443
37 Fellowship Associations as a Foundations for Liberal Democracy in Africa 450
38 Economic Globalism, Deliberative Democracy, and the State in Africa 460
39 Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Violence 472
40 Western and African Communitarianism: A Comparison 483
41 Human Rights in the African Context 499
42 The Politics of Memory and Forgetting After Apartheid 509
43 The Question of an African Jurisprudence: Some Hermeneutic Reflections 519
44 Knowledge as a Development Issues 529
45 African Philosophy and African Literature 538
46 Philosophy and Literature in Francophone Africa 549
47 Feminism and Africa: Impact and Limits of the Metaphysics of Gender 560
Index 570
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