Title

The Parochial Universalist Conception of `Philosophy' and `African Philosophy'.

Publication Title

Philosophy East & West

Publication Date

4-1997

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.2307/1399874

Disciplines

African Studies | Comparative Philosophy | History of Philosophy | Philosophy

Abstract

The universalists argue that there is currently no African philosophy. Compared to Western philosophy, African philosophy does not have the requisite features of a writing tradition and a rigorous and critical analytical approach to debates over universal conceptual issues, engaged in by individuals. This stance, it is argued here, involves a parochial conception of 'philosophy' that is applied to African philosophy and captures only the contemporary analytic tradition of Western philosophy--while the ancient and medieval periods indicate that other speculative, constructive, and normative approaches to philosophy exist that are not captured by this conception. Moreover, African philosophy that is equivalent to the ancient and medieval periods does exist, and this African equivalent is a precursor to the contemporary analytic philosophy that the universalists are looking for in Africa.

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