Reason in History
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Reason in History : Hegel and Social Changes in Africa

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Reason in History provides theoretical clarity and conceptual analysis that is well a propos, considering the potential and actual societal changes we are witnessing. Has there ever been or can there be a structural change that would thereby reveal an internal dynamic in African societies? For us, the elements determining the forms and law of social changes are less interesting than the possibility of change itself. Is change universal of just a property of a certain type of social totality? Hegel's theories seem to do Africa justice or simply match the true reality of traditional African societies. Africa is not and has never been static. The book also fosters a greater appreciation of the grandeur and complexity of Hegel's dialectic: he is still judging our world despite what postmodernist scholars and ethnophilosophers think.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 158 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 18mm | 421.84g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739142313
  • 9780739142318

About Babacar Camara

Babacar Camara is associate professor of Black World Studies, Comparative Literature, and French at Miami University in Ohio.show more

Review quote

Babacar Camara undertakes a complex project of simultaneously critiquing Hegel's infamous assessment of Africa, while refreshing Hegelianism itself. Camara reveals Africa to be a construction that contemporary 'Africans' need to confront in order to engage in meaningful social change. In the process, Camara seeks to invert core and periphery and argue nothing less than 'the world is African.' It is a challenging read that holds much promise for renewing Hegelian studies while making a solid contribution to Africana studies. -- Randall Halle, University of Pittsburgh Babacar Camara has provided a remarkable study of Hegel's thought in the context of colonialism, neocolonialism, and anti-colonial struggles for social change in Africa. He gives scholars devoted to rethinking Hegel and dialectical thought much for thought, whether from the perspective of literature, philosophy, or political economy, and especially in the African context. Camara offers a nuanced critique of fetishism and other obstacles to a reflective anthropology of freedom, where articulating the movement of the rational and the real emerges from sources about which liberationists are most ambivalent. As with C.L.R. James, who saw the importance of exploring Hegel's thought to understand Marx's, Camara reminds us, in no mixed terms, of the enduring value of genuine struggles with the proverbial source. In so doing, he reminds us of the conditions by which contradictions could be productive through engagements with African Diasporic thought -- Lewis R. Gordon, Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies, University of Connecticutshow more

Table of contents

1 Preface 2 Introduction 3 Chapter 1. History According to Hegel 4 Chapter 2. Contradictiions in the Hegelian System 5 Chapter 3. The State and Civil Society 6 Chapter 4. Fundamental Aspects of African Cultures 7 Chapter 5. From the Concept of Labor to the Labor of Concept 8 Chapter 6. Labor in Traditional Africa 9 Epilogueshow more

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