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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ethnophilosophy in the philosophical discourse in Africa: a critical note
Author:Neugebauer, C.
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Philosophy, Psychology
Abstract:This article deals with the debate on ethnophilosophy as it is occurring in philosophical discourse in Africa. It begins by refuting the principal theses of the racialist and paternalistic ideology of colonialism, neocolonialism and imperialism, which regards African philosophers as real 'Africans' only if they renounce critical philosophy. It goes on to discuss the academic philosophical discourse in Africa on the work of P.F. Tempels, the most significant demiurge of (neo-)colonialism, offering a historical-empirical critique and pointing out the empirical weakness of Tempels' work and its internal contradictions. It briefly reviews other critiques of Tempels' 'Bantu philosophy', notably those which have come from F. Crahay, A. CÚsaire, P.J. Hountondji, and H. Odera Oruka. Finally, it discusses the object, method and rationale of general ethnophilosophy, which seeks to reconstruct values and pride, i.e. national chauvinism, ennobled as 'philosophy'. It concludes that ethnophilosophy's contribution in stimulating debate on the question of 'African philosophy' notwithstanding, as long as the African philosopher does not emancipate himself from his hankering after the 'authentic authenticity' of being-an-African, he will definitely remain enmeshed within ethnophilosophy and the cultural ghetto of an 'Africanist philosophy'. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French (p. 42). (A reaction by J.A.I. Bewaji appears in: Quest, vol. 5, no. 1 (1991), p. 95-103.)