Cultural Universals and Particulars
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Cultural Universals and Particulars : An African Perspective

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Wiredu's discussion of culturally defined values and concepts, as well as his attention to such timely issues as human rights, makes this book invaluable interdisciplinary reading." -D. A. MasoloGhanaian philosopher Kwasi Wiredu confronts the paradox that while Western cultures recoil from claims of universality, previously colonized peoples, seeking to redefine their identities, insist on cultural particularities. Wiredu asserts that universals, rightly conceived on the basis of our common biological identity, are not incompatible with cultural particularities and, in fact, are what make intercultural communication possible. Drawing on aspects of Akan thought that appear to diverge from Western conceptions in the areas of ethics and metaphysics, Wiredu calls for a just reappraisal of these disparities, free of thought patterns corrupted by a colonial mentality. Wiredu's exposition of the principles of African traditional philosophy is not purely theoretical; he shows how certain aspects of African political thought may be applied to the practical resolution of some of Africa's most pressing problems.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.34g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253210801
  • 9780253210807
  • 892,984

About Kwasi Wiredu

KWASI WIREDU is Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Florida and former head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ghana. He is author of Philosophy and an African Culture.show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments1. Introduction: The Universal and the ParticularPart I. General Considerations2. A Philosophical Perspective on the Concept of Human Communication3. Are There Cultural Universals?4. The Biological Foundation of Universal NormsPart II. Religion and Morality5. Universalism and Particularism in Religion from an African Perspective6. Custom and Morality: A Comparative Analysis of Some African and Western Conceptions of MoralsPart III. Conceptual Contrasts7. Formulating Modern Thought in African Languages: Some Theoretical Considerations8. The Concept of Truth in the Akan Language9. African Philosophical Tradition: A Case Study of the Akan10. The Need for Conceptual Decolonization in African Philosophy11. Post-Colonial African PhilosophyPart IV. Democracy and Human Rights12. An Akan Perspective on Human Rights13. Philosophy and the Political Problem of Human Rights14. Democracy and Consensus: A Plea for a Non-Party Polity15. Postscript: Reflections on Some ReactionsNotesIndexshow more

Review quote

"This is a major endowment- from one who already has an unparalleled record in such giving- not only the tradition of modern philosophy in Africa, but to all lovers of philosophy understood as cross-cultural projects." - African Philosophy"Wiredu's discussion of culturally defined values and concepts, as well as his attention to such timely issues as human rights, makes this book invaluable interdisciplinary reading." - D. A. Masoloshow more

Rating details

12 ratings
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4 58% (7)
3 17% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 8% (1)
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