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Filosofia Theoretica

Volume 7, Issue 3, 2018

Dedicated to Late Prof. Sophie Oluwole

Paulin J. Hountondji
Pages 9-18

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.

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