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Filosofia Theoretica

Volume 3, Issue 2, 2014

David A. Oyedola
Pages 62-80

The Culture-oriented Bias of African Philosophical Inquiry

African philosophers with Levy Bruhlian disposition like Appiah, Masolo, and Wiredu posit that African philosophy is culture-biased. Some other African philosophers like Nkrumah, Janz, Hountondji, and Makinde assert that Africa’s precolonial indigenous culture is ahistorical and the dependence of contemporary African philosophy on culture cannot be de-emphasized. However, these views, though opposing, undermine two things; the way African philosophy has chosen to divulge itself and the objectivity that is peculiar to African philosophy. Nevertheless, this study concedes that if by implication, what these views are saying is that African philosophy will have to sink because it is culture-biased; then, this study insists that any other philosophy (e.g., European philosophy) would have to sink. Precisely, there is no difference between any of the philosophies with respect to the fact that the interests of the European philosopher determine what he selects for investigation, just like what an African philosopher chooses to investigate and it is safe to speculate that these interests whether in the West or in Africa are culture-colored.