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Beginning African Philosophy

The Case for African Philosophy- Past to Present

Elliott Wreh-Wilson

Beginning African Philosophy explores the nature and central features of African philosophy from the perspective of African philosophers, analyzing and assessing the importance of African philosophy, its subject matter, its major themes and concerns, and how those themes and concerns compare to those of Western philosophy. Beginning African Philosophy surveys the best-known responses to the questions: What is African philosophy? What are its central themes and concerns? What does it have in common with Western philosophy?
This book is ideal for philosophy students and those who care about the social, moral, religious, and philosophical implications of African wisdom traditions, particularly those of the sub-Saharan region.


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7 Moral Knowledge in African Folk Life 101


 7  moral knowledge In afrICan folk lIfe This chapter draws on the insights gained from chapter six in order to initiate discussion on the relation between African conceptions of the nature of the human person and their views concerning the nature of right and wrong. Rather than identify an ideal moral theory for Africans, the goal is to ascertain the origins of African moral ideas. The questions at the end of the chapter provide opportuni- ties for students/readers to consider whether African moral ideas have their roots in reason, culture or religion, especially Islam and Christianity, the two most popular religions in Africa. What to look for: 1. Whether African folk ideas of ‘right’ and wrong’ are shaped by culture, reason, or religion 2. Whether African moral ideas lead to a group ethic, moral relativism or forms of individualism 3. Religion and its role in African folk life 4. African moral ideas and their relation to folk ideas concerning the nature of the human person interior_WrehWilson 101 1/30/12 9:43 PM 102 Beginning African Philosophy: The Case for African Philosophy Past to Present 7.1 Introduction In the previous chapter, we examined some of the claims Africans make concern- ing their knowledge of the nature of the human person. We did so by focusing attention on various African accounts of what it means to be a person. In this chapter, the central concern is to explore the implications of those accounts to ascertain the scope and limits of a possible...

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