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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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General Conclusion 149


general ConClusIon “When we discuss modern philosophy, must it be defined by the latest books and ideas on the same old subjects out of Oxford or Berkeley, or are there other sources of contemplation and wisdom, lacking academic credentials perhaps but closer to the pulse of the human heart?”1 In this quote, the late Robert C. Solomon invites philosophers to broaden their view of the discipline of philosophy. I do the same throughout this book by offering reasons for how African reflective activities might be integrated into the study of specific concerns of the discipline of philosophy, including what African philosophers have to say about the relation between African philosophy and ethno-philosophy, the human person, the moral life, God’s existence, or the general discussion of philosophy. This book should put to rest the anxiety of those students and interested readers who want to know whether Africans have any interest in philosophy and in reasoning about human life, God, morality and so forth. During the past few decades, we witnessed a welcomed but tepid rise in the study of African Philosophy at colleges and universities outside Africa. This was due primarily to the willingness of philosophy departments to allow their African lecturers to integrate African philosophy courses into their curricula. To match the rise, there was also a surge in the number of authors willing to broaden their view of what counts as philosophy. Through this book, especially my reading of Tempels’ controversial views in Bantu Philosophy, I hope I...

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