Philosophical Perspectives on Communalism and Morality in African Traditions

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This book provides a philosophical analysis of the idea of communalism as a dominant philosophical theme in various African cultures. It argues that the idea of communalism, which is the basis for the now popular African saying, "it takes a village to raise a child," may be seen as a conceptual framework and the foundation for African ideas, values, thought and belief systems. Polycarp Ikuenobe also defends the idea of communalism against the criticisms that it has elements of spiritualism, anachronism, authoritarianism, lack of critical reflection, irrationality, indoctrination, and corruption. These elements, critics claim, are the fundamental problems that have impeded Africa's economic, political, and technological development. Philosophical Perspectives on Communalism and Morality in African Traditions offers the unique and insightful argument that if communalism is properly understood and harnessed, it could provide the foundation for Africa's development.

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Editorial Reviews

African American Review
This book is a much-needed conceptual and pragmatic study of the existence and significance of African communalism and philosophy. 2007
October 2008 Philosophy in Review
This book will stimulate much debate in African philosophy....This is an important contribution to contemporary African political philosophy.
H. Gene Blocker
Prof. Ikuenobe is breaking important new ground with this is well-written, engaging, and will appeal to a broad audience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739111314
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Pages: 342
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Polycarp Ikuenobe is associate professor of Philosophy at Kent State University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Methodological and Metaphilosophical Issues Chapter 2 African Conceptions of Personhood and Community Chapter 3 Moral Philosophy, Communalism, and Morality Chapter 4 Oral Tradition, Narratives, and Moral Education Chapter 5 Communalism and Epistemic Authoritarianism Chapter 6 Moral Education, Rationality, and Indoctrination Chapter 7 Reflections on Communalism, Responsibility, and Liberal Criticisms

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