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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Philosophy and African intellectuals: mimesis of Western classicism, ethnophilosophical romanticism or African self-mastery?
Author:Wamba-dia-Wamba, E.ISNI
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Philosophy, Psychology
Social values
Abstract:Philosophy materializes the separation and even contradiction between manual labour and intellectual work. When the entire African population is relegated to the status of manual labourers, through European domination, philosophy can only be European self-celebration and denigration of Africa. Philosophy expresses a social contention, and is determined by that against which it emerges. The emergence of African philosophy as a specific way of philosophizing must be traced to the colonial and neocolonial forms of separation between intellectual work and manual labour in Africa. The explorer, the missionary, the ethnologist and the development social scientist have been the central figures of the social epistemology of domination. Individual intellectuals in Africa have not gone beyond the roles and functions of sophisticated catechists, i.e. militant propagandists of dominant, essentially Western, ideas towards Africans. The emerging task of intellectuals in Africa is to make a critique of every sphere of African society and contribute to the theorization and realization of African people's power. However, vacillating between imitatio/mimesis of Western classicism and the ethnophilosophical romantic search for, or celebration of, African identity, African philosophy has, in the main, failed to theorize the problem of African self-mastery. The African situation demands intelllectual creativity. In this respect Cheikh Anta Diop's redynamization of African culture can be a fruitful source of new ideas. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French (p. 4).