A Short History of African Philosophy

A Short History of African Philosophy

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Description

In this accessible book, Barry Hallen discusses the major ideas, figures, and schools of thought in African philosophy. While drawing out critical issues in the formation of African philosophy, Hallen focuses on the recent scholarship, current issues, and relevant debates that have made African philosophy an important key to understanding the rich and complex cultural heritage of Africa. In this accessible book, Barry Hallen discusses the major ideas, figures, and schools of thought in African philosophy. While drawing out critical issues in the formation of African philosophy, Hallen focuses on the recent scholarship, current issues, and relevant debates that have made African philosophy an important key to understanding the rich and complex cultural heritage of Africa. Hallen builds upon Africa's connections with Western philosophical traditions and explores African contributions to cultural universalism, cultural relativism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and Marxism. Hallen also examines African challenges to Western conceptions of philosophy by taking on questions such as whether philosophy can exist in cultures that are significantly based in oral traditions and what may or may not constitute philosophical texts. Among the figures whose work is discussed are Ptah-hotep (Egypt, 3rd millennium BCE), Zar'a Ya'aqob (Abyssinia, 17th century), Anton Wilhelm Amo (Ghana, 18th century), Paulin Hountondji, V. Y. Mudimbe, Oyeronke Oyewumi, Kwame Anthony Appiah, and Kwasi Wiredu. This clearly written, highly readable, and concise work will be essential for students and scholars of African philosophy as well as readers with a wide range of interests in African studies.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 149.86 x 231.14 x 7.62mm | 181.44g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253215315
  • 9780253215314

Review quote

"Condensed from a much longer work, this book offers a survey of the many perspectives from which we may construct a knowledge base of African philosophy. While avowedly a short conspectus, the book as a whole is dynamized by a number of recurring debates which make their appearance in most of the chapters, giving the work an internal coherence belying its brevity and simplicity. And it is more than just a history of its subject.; on more than two occasions there is brief, but precise, demonstrational argument." - Leeds African Studies Bulletin, No. 66 2004show more

Table of contents

Preliminary Table of Contents: Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The Historical Perspective; 2. Twentieth Century Origins; 3. Rationality as Culturally Universal; 4. Rationality as Culturally Relative; 5. Ethnophilosophy and Philosophical Sagacity; 6. Phenomenology and Hermeneutics; 7. Socialism and Marxism; 8. Philosophy and Culture; 9. Histories, Anthologies, Introductions to African Philosophy, Journals and Websites; Conclusion; Bibliography; Indexshow more

Rating details

10 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 10% (1)
4 40% (4)
3 40% (4)
2 10% (1)
1 0% (0)
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