African essay philosophical thought Homework …
During my efforts to set up dialogues between Western and African philosophies, I have singled out quite a number of subjects on which such dialogues are useful and necessary. Recently I have stated in an essay that three themes in the African way of thought have become especially important for me:
1.1 The basic concept of vital force, differing from the basic concept of being, which is prevalent in Western philosophy;
1.2. The prevailing role of the community, differing from the predominantly individualistic thinking in the West;
1.3. The belief in spirits, differing from the scientific and rationalistic way of thought, which is prevalent in Western philosophy (Kimmerle 2001: 5).
Kwame gyekye an essay on african philosophical thought
Through this more comprehensive explanation of ubuntu in its ontological and epistemological dimension it becomes understandable that ubuntu can be regarded as a specific approach to African philosophy in its different disciplines. We have already seen how this is valid for disciplines such as philosophical anthropology, social and political philosophy, and by the same token for ontology and epistemology. Other disciplines, such as metaphysics and philosophy of religion, logic and ethics, philosophy of medicine, philosophy of law and philosophy of economy, including problems of management, are taken into account, as is philosophy of art, although this latter subject is not treated in Ramose’s book.
Offering a philosophical clarification andinterpretation of the concepts in the ontology, philosophical psychology,theology, and ethics of the Akan of Ghana, Gyekye argues that criticalanalyses of specific traditional African modes of thought are necessary todevelop a distinctively African philosophy as well as cultural values inthe modern world.
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Ethnophilosophy involves the recording of the beliefs found in African cultures. Such an approach treats African philosophyas consisting in a set of shared beliefs, a shared world-view -- an item of communal property rather than an activity for theindividual.Philosophic sagacity is a sort of individualist version of ethnophilosophy, in which one records the beliefs of certainspecial members of a community. The premise here is that, although most societies demand some degree of conformity of belief andbehaviour from their members, a certain few of those members reach a particularly high level of knowledge and understanding of theircultures' world-view; such people are sages. In some cases, the sage goes beyond mere knowledge and understanding to reflection andquestioning -- these become the targets of philosophic sagacity.An immediate worry is that not all reflection and questioning is philosophical; besides, if African philosophy were to be defined purely in terms of philosophic sagacity, then the thoughts of the sages couldn.t be African philosophy, for they didn.t record them from other sages. Also, on this view the only difference between non-African anthropology or ethnology and African philosophy seems to be the nationality of the researcher.The problem with both ethnophilosophy and philosophical sagacity is that there is surely an important distinction between philosophy and the history of ideas. No matter how interesting the beliefs of a people such as the Akan or the Yoruba may be to the philosopher, they remain beliefs, not philosophy. To call them philosophy is to use a secondary sense of that term, as in 'my philosophy is live and let live'.
African Philosophy - University of Oxford
An immediate worry is that not all reflection and questioning is philosophical; besides, if African philosophy were to be defined purely in terms of philosophic sagacity, then the thoughts of the sages couldn.t be African philosophy, for they didn.t record them from other sages. Also, on this view the only difference between non-African anthropology or ethnology and African philosophy seems to be the nationality of the researcher.