African studies and the concept of knowledge


Authors
Kwame Anthony Appiah
New York University
Abstract
This article summarizes my views on epistemological problems in African studies as I have expressed them previously in different contexts, mainly my book In My Father's House (1992), to which I refer the reader for further details. I start with an attempt to expose some natural errors in our thinking about the traditional-modern polarity, and thus help understand some striking and not generally appreciated similarities of the logical problem situation in modern western philosophy of science to the analysis of traditional African epistemic procedures. This similarity rests upon both types of analysis dealing with procedures crucially hinging upon knowledge claims.
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