The Commitment of the African Philosopher

Given the African experience today---an experience defined by the search for a synthesis between the various influences on contemporary African culture, in particular Christianity and Islam, and, on the one hand, science, technology and modernization, while on the other, the quest for freedom and development in a condition of enervating poverty---what should be the commitment of the African philosopher? This is the question I address in this essay. I argue that not much can be gained in this situation by a commitment to African culture or commitment to a discipline---philosophy. What is required, I suggest, is a commitment to human interests on the continent. This commitment can be expressed in various ways; for example, through the analysis, critique and reconstruction of traditional conceptual schemes, the examination of the ideological foundations of the African predicament and the consideration of issues---substantive and methodological---in other disciplines, particularly the social sciences
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