Philosophy in an African Place

Philosophy in an African Place

Bruce B. Janz

Language: English

Pages: 282

ISBN: 0739136690

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Philosophy in an African Place shifts the central question of African philosophy from "Is there an African philosophy?" to "What is it to do philosophy in this (African) place?" This book both opens up new questions within the field and also establishes "philosophy-in-place", a mode of philosophy which begins from the places in which concepts have currency and shows how a truly creative philosophy can emerge from focusing on questioning, listening, and attention to difference.

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Oruka's description. He does not tend to spend much time on the narrative or artistic aspects of philosophy in his other work. It is, however, a welcome turn, as it recognizes that philosophy itself is a discourse, and not just arid logic. It recognizes the rhetorical force of philosophy, and even as the search for truth allies philosophy with science, this allies it with literature, art, and other means of expression. The communicative mission takes the unending nature of the search for truth,

Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994). Michelfelder. D. P., and R. E. Palmer, cds. Dialogue and Deconstruction: The Gadamer-Derrida Encounter. (Albany, N. Y.: SUNY Press, 1989). Momoh, C. S. "Philosophy in African Proverbs" in Momoh, ed., The Substance of African Philosophy. (Auchi, Nigeria: African Philosophy Projects' Publications, 1989): 231-55. Mudimbe, V. Y. "African Philosophy as an Ideological Practice: The Case of Frenchspeaking Africa" in African Studies Review 26:3-4

outside means risking the possibility that it could just be used for some unexamined purpose of modernity (at worst, the Nazi use of tradition to buttress its claims of entitle/IIcnt); viewing tradition from the inside could be equally problematic, as one lII"y use it to avoid reflection on some aspect of one's own culture, or worse, enforce inequality or even brutality. Can intolerance, hate, or class privilege, for instance, ever be a traditional value? The problem becomes more acute as we

he has also paid heed to the need for philosophy to be rooted in a particular life world. Sage philosophy seems to solve the longstanding dilemma of African philosophy-how can it be both. truly African and truly philosophy simultaneously?2 Of course, not everyone believes that the solution is a completely successful one. Professional philosophers have charged sage philosophy with really being ethnophilosophy in disguise, and as rudimentary and uninteresting be· ' cause the modem world of

through force, guile or seduction, the people in the area come to accept the occupying power as legitimate, least to some extent. Once they realize that their home has been taken, process of redressing the balance means not only forcibly kicking out 1. 125 occupier, but also rethinking those thought processes that allowed this to happen in the first place, as well as those fonns of false consciousness that grew up during the occupation. Do minds work like this? To a certain extent, it is clear

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