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Philosophy: African Philosophy Essay Example

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Philosophy: African Philosophy

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The regions of Africa that were under various Islamic and European nations’ control also show evidence of having unique cultures steeped in traditions, rich in both religious and philosophical conceptions. For the past 500 years or so and only ending very recently, these cultures experienced a chaotic scattering of their people, traditions and philosophical heritage. The insurgent foreign nations broke apart African communities by kidnapping many thousands of slaves. They also forced a new language and religious philosophy on the indigenous peoples while unwittingly wiping out entire villages by bringing new forms of diseases to which the villagers had no immunity. All this and the presence of a new and often harsh governmental and policing system caused much of the continent’s population to lose a great deal of its cultural, traditional, religious and philosophical heritage.Many African cultures enjoyed centuries-old ideologies, passed down verbally and by means of artwork to generation after generation. How much was lost to the pillaging and exploitation of invader nations will forever be an unknown. Unfortunately, only a minute amount of documentation survived which described impressive examples of intellectual accomplishments. “It is not that the peoples of Africa have not had the kinds of reflections about the meaning of life or how they came into being. In most of the subcontinent of Africa, however, what attention was given to such reflections in the first half of the twentieth century must be credited largely to Western social anthropologists” (Bell, 2002, p.Western and Eastern thought is generally understood to be the standards of philosophical thought for the world’s populous to follow. African history includes marvelous examples of human self-discovery such as art, religion and music much the same as other regions of the world. However, African cultural advances in regard to philosophical thought have been largely ignored although the evidence is clear that this region of the world has experienced similar human expressions of self and, therefore, explored similar philosophical questions and revelations. “Whereas the latter cluster of disciplines has been, and is still being cultivated or pursued by scholars, both African and non-African, in the various Centers or Institutes of African Studies around the world, African philosophy as such is

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Works Cited

Bell, Richard H. Understanding African Philosophy: A Cross-Cultural Approach to Classical and Contemporary Issues. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Brown, Lee M. African Philosophy: New and Traditional Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Gyekye, Kwame. An Essay on African Philosophical Thought: The Akan Conceptual Scheme. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1995.

Jaja, Cheedy. “What can Philosophy do for Africa? A Critical Review of Tseney Serequerberhan’s The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy: Horizon and Discourse.” APA Newsletters. Vol. 96, N. 2, Spring 1997. Florida Atlantic University. July 29, 2006 < http://www.apa.udel.edu/apa/archive/newsletters/v96n2/black/hermen.asp>

Kebede, Messay. “Development and the African Philosophical Debate.” Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa. Vol. 1, N. 2, Summer 1999.

Stenger, Fritz. African Philosophy I: The Time Has Come to Take Ourselves Seriously. Stenger, 2005. July 29, 2006 < http://www.karibu-stenger.net/de/articles/african_philosophy1.shtml>

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preview essay on Philosophy: African Philosophy
  • Pages: 5 (1250 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Unsorted
  • Level: Masters
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