Volume 28, 2008
Philosophy in Africa
Igwilo Malachy Chidike
Philosophy, Praxis and the Challenge of Development in Africa
This paper focuses on the nature of philosophy and its practices in Africa in the face of development challenges facing the continent. Philosophy in African has been seen as a tool for the search for meaning and a means for assuaging our existential predicaments. But central to the temper of recent philosophy in
Africa is the search for praxis, which somewhat limits philosophy to only a means of assuaging existential predicaments. This quest for praxis is destroying some aspects of philosophy, which are equally important, that is analysis and theorizing. This is a major problem because the philosophy that emerges out of the urgency for praxis, without consideration for analysis and theory, is bereft of that rigorous criticality which arises from a thoroughgoing analysis and theorizing. This paper using the philosophical tools of analysis and criticism is asking for a return to rigorous philosophy through the analysis of concepts and theorizing. This paper submits that it is only through the process of analysis and theorizing that concepts are better understood and then placed at the service of development
initiatives in Africa, such that a model of integral development will emerge. A model based on certain considerations for context, culture and history.