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Title:Identity as evolutive: an intercultural approach based on an examination of Mudimbe, de Beauvoir, Taylor, and Mbembe
Author:Ceton, CarolienISNI
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:African identity
About persons:Achille Mbembe (1957-)ISNI
Valentin-Yves Mudimbe (1941-)ISNI
Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir (1908-1986)
Charles Margrave Taylor (1931-)ISNI
Abstract:In this article, the views of four different philosophers (Simone de Beauvoir, Achille Mbembe, Valentin Mudimbe and Charles Taylor) on (African) identity are confronted using three different approaches: how identity is formed through recognition, how it legitimizes power structures and how our corporeality influences identity formation. Mbembe and Taylor both view identity as a valuable achievement to be preserved, whereas Taylor bases identity on cultural singularity, and Mbembe designates daily necessity as the basis of identity formation. De Beauvoir and Mudimbe view identity as a pitfall we have to liberate ourselves from: the human being should conceive of oneself as a project. For de Beauvoir, identity can only unfold within physical, daily reality. The significance attached to daily life by both Mbembe and de Beauvoir represents a fruitful point of departure. It creates space to (re)think identity in terms of an evolving or evolutive entity, something that develops in accordance with our daily practice, always elaborating upon what came before. This way, an identity can be divers and coherent at the same time. Notes, ref., sum. in English. [Journal abstract]