Volume 7, Issue 3, 2018
Dedicated to Late Prof. Sophie Oluwole
Paulin J. Hountondji
How African is Philosophy in Africa?
Let me straight from the beginning confess one thing: I am not happy with the phrase “African Philosophy” used to describe a subject-matter, a specific discipline in the university curriculum. Why? Because it seems to particularize a kind of intellectual production taking place in Africa and to deny its universal validity. It apparently means, to use the words by Jonathan Chimakonam himself, “a bordersensitive, culture-bound exclusive system that holds only in Africa and is not universally applicable” This particularization, however, has its own story. I wish first in this paper to recall briefly the earliest stage of this story and then discuss alternative ways to remain authentically African while doing philosophy in Africa today.