Eight Practical Issues in Contemporary African Philosophy

In Jonathan O. Chimakonam, Edwin Etieyibo & Ike Odimegwu (eds.), Essays on Contemporary Issues in African Philosophy. Springer Verlag. pp. 1-26 (2021)
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Abstract

In this chapter, we revisit some of these central and unresolved practical problems facing contemporary African philosophy. We have identified racism, poverty, religion, gender, Afrophobia, sexuality, democracy and environment as some of the topical and contentious issues in post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa. Although these issues have been extensively dealt with in the literature in philosophy in general, they have largely been understood from different Western philosophical persuasions. Even though some African philosophers have considered these issues, there is still a lack of robust conversations on the possible directions that humanity, especially from the African perspective ought to take on each of these important issues prompting the need for further interrogation into these. We, therefore, seek to consider how these issues might be conceptualised in sub-Saharan Africa without necessarily reproducing Western philosophical paradigms. For each of these topics, we show how it constitutes a problem to contemporary Africa by drawing the reader’s attention to the reality of each of the problems in contemporary Africa such as colour prejudice, discrimination, poverty, religious extremism and violent conflicts, human rights violations, gender inequality and violence, intolerance, xenophobia and Afrophobia, bad governance, state capture and the ecological crisis. We then analyse how each of the problems has so far been articulated, understood and circumscribed within the African philosophical traditions. In the end, we seek to propose how to ground new philosophical perspectives by which to understand these issues beyond the existing contemporary philosophical perspectives.

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Author Profiles

Munamato Chemhuru
University of Johannesburg (PhD)
Jonathan O Chimakonam
University of Pretoria

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