An Introduction to African Philosophy [NOOK Book]

Overview

Organized topically rather than historically, this book provides an excellent introduction to the subject of African Philosophy. Samuel Oluoch Imbo synthesizes the ideas of key African philosophers into an accessible narrative. The author focuses on five central questions: What are the definitions of African philosophy? Is ethno-philosophy really philosophy? What are the dangers of an African philosophy that claims to be 'unique'? Can African philosophy be done in foreign languages such as English and French? Are...
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An Introduction to African Philosophy

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Overview

Organized topically rather than historically, this book provides an excellent introduction to the subject of African Philosophy. Samuel Oluoch Imbo synthesizes the ideas of key African philosophers into an accessible narrative. The author focuses on five central questions: What are the definitions of African philosophy? Is ethno-philosophy really philosophy? What are the dangers of an African philosophy that claims to be 'unique'? Can African philosophy be done in foreign languages such as English and French? Are there useful ways to make connections between African philosophy, African American philosophy, and women's studies? By making cross-disciplinary and transnational connections, Imbo stakes out an important place for African philosophy. Imbo's book is an invaluable introduction to this dynamic and growing area of study.
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Editorial Reviews

Teachin Philosophy
Throughout the book, Imbo's choice of issues and exposition of pro and con positions is excellent. He writes clearly and without jargon. As a concise and readable introduction to African philosophy, I can think of no better text.
— Albert Mosley, philosophy department, Ohio University, Athens
International Philosophical Quarterly
As an introductory text to African philosopy, Imbo's book is commendable for two reasons. First, it has great simplicity, clarity, and elegance. Second, it panoramically explores, analyzes, and synthesizes several key issues within African philosophy. . . . Imbo's volume will be an indispensible companion for those studying African philosophy and a necessary addition for any library monitoring the subject.
— F. Ochieng-Odhiambo, University of Nairobi
Theology In Context
An introduction, but a rich one in that it gives the reader a good insight into the many problems and different aspects which touch on African Philosophy.
— HH
International Journal Of African Historical Studies
A provocative and well-written book. This book is highly reccomened.
African Philosophy
Imbo's book does an excellent job of linking questions that have had their origins in the study of African philosophy to questions about the nature of philosophy in general. Imbo's book takes up an impressive array of questions, introduces readers to debates about nature of the philosophy generally, and deals openly and refreshingly with the political implications of the topics it takes up.
Imbo's book is to be admired for its innovative treatment of the commonalities between African and feminist philosophy. His book itself is a political statement: it is calling for a place for African philosophy in the profession and the teaching of philosophy. And it recognizes that in demanding a place for African philosophy, we are ultimately asking "philosophy" to open doors not only to us but to the many philosophies and points of view it has previously excluded.
Philosophy East and West
The book includes useful study questions at the end of each chapter, and should make a fine text for a variety of courses.
Modern African Studies
A particularly welcome addition. It sets out to constitute an undergraduate introduction, and is accordingly equipped with Study Questions, which will inevitably prompt students to further thought and reading.
Teachin Philosophy - Albert Mosley
Throughout the book, Imbo's choice of issues and exposition of pro and con positions is excellent. He writes clearly and without jargon. As a concise and readable introduction to African philosophy, I can think of no better text.
Bill E. Lawson
Scholars in history, literature and cultural studies should find this book very useful as both a teaching tool and reference tool . . . There is essentially no work like this. It should have wide market appeal and be useable in a wide variety of academic contexts. The study questions at the end of each chapter are really useful.
Jeffrey Crawford
A helpful companion to any of the excellent anthologies currently available. It would fill a gap for a brief accessible introductory text. There is no other text I know of that does what this author does at the introductory level . . . The book could be used in any of these courses: Topics in African Philosophy, and African-American Philosophy . . .
CHOICE, February, 1999, Vol. 36, N0. 6 - T.L. Lott
Well organized. . .
International Philosophical Quarterly - F. Ochieng-Odhiambo
As an introductory text to African philosopy, Imbo's book is commendable for two reasons. First, it has great simplicity, clarity, and elegance. Second, it panoramically explores, analyzes, and synthesizes several key issues within African philosophy. . . . Imbo's volume will be an indispensible companion for those studying African philosophy and a necessary addition for any library monitoring the subject.
Kwasi Wiredu
Dr. Imbo's book provides a thoughtful survey of the controversies regarding the nature of African philosophy that have been raging among African philosophers in the last thirty years or so. The writing is clear and the approach, by comparison with some of the literature covered, calm . . . This book should give students a smooth introduction to the study of African philosophy and supply scholars with considerable food for thought.
Theology In Context - HH
An introduction, but a rich one in that it gives the reader a good insight into the many problems and different aspects which touch on African Philosophy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781461636502
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/26/1998
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • File size: 743 KB

Meet the Author

Samuel Oluoch Imbo is assistant professor of philosophy at Hamline University in Minnesota.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Ch. 1 How Is African Philosophy to Be Defined? 3
What Is Philosophy? 3
Ethnophilosophical Approaches 8
Universalist Definitions of African Philosophy 17
Hermeneutical Orientations 27
Various Classifications of African Philosophy 34
The Politics of Defining African Philosophy 43
Ch. 2 Is Ethnophilosophy Really Philosophy? 53
Cheikh Anta Diop: An Afrocentric Historiography 56
John S. Mbiti: A Religious Ethnography 60
Ogotemmeli's Cosmology 64
The Critics of Ethnophilosophy 68
Ch. 3 Is African Philosophy Unique? 75
Uniqueness as Negative: Placide Tempels Revisited 77
Uniqueness as Positive: Leopold Sedar Senghor 81
The Dangers of Uniqueness: Paulin Hountondji 85
Africa in the House of Philosophy: Kwame Anthony Appiah 88
Ch. 4 What Should the Language(s) of African Philosophy Be? 97
Language as Collective Memory Bank 99
Written Language and Oral Language 103
In Defense of African Languages: Ngugi wa Thiong'o 110
In Defense of European Languages: Chinua Achebe 116
Ch. 5 Are There Connections Among African, African American, and Feminist Philosophies? 123
Connections with African American Philosophy: A Tradition Born Out of Struggle 126
Connections with Feminism: Feminist Critiques of Western Philosophy 133
Conclusion 143
References 147
Index 155
About the Author 158
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