Understanding African Philosophy serves as a critical guide to some of the most important issues in modern African philosophy. Richard Bell introduces readers to the complexity of Africa, the legacy of colonialism, the challenges of post independence Africa, and other recent developments in African Philosophy. Chapters discuss the value of African oral and written texts for philosophy, concepts of "negritude," "African socialism," and "race," as well as current discussions in international development ethics connected to poverty and human suffering. Two chapters (...) are focused on moral issues related to community, justice, and civic responsibility. Bell's sensitivity to and engagement with the complications of cross-cultural understandings help non-African readers connect with African culture and thought. (shrink)
This issue of Philosophical Papers assembles eight essays that are part of the larger conversation on African philosophy and the analytic tradition. Several leading philosophers have contributed to this issue with provocative remarks, beginning with a three-way debate on the nature of philosophy itself as understood and practiced in the African context. It continues with essays on consensual democracy, authoritarianism, race and cultural identity, the cosmopolitan ideal, and belief and witchcraft.
As the editor of this volume writes in his introduction: 'Simone Weil's philosophy is one that interrogates and contemplates our culture; it makes us aware of our lack of attention to words and empty ideologies, to human suffering, to the indignity of work, to our excessive use of power, to religious dogmatisms. Rather than set out a system of ideas, Simone Weil uses her philosophical reflections to show how to think about work and oppression, freedom and the good, necessity and (...) power, love and justice - even how to think about, or not think about, God. In this way we are asked to examine the human condition and learn to discern a way through it.' This is one of the very few books available in English to present a comprehensive interpretation of the philosophy of Simone Weil and how her thought can cast light on issues of contemporary importance such as work, justice, the law, war and peace, and issues of more general moral and theological concern. (shrink)