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Africa's Quest for a Philosophy of Decolonization : Value Inquiry Book Series - Messay Kebede

Africa's Quest for a Philosophy of Decolonization

Value Inquiry Book Series

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This book discovers freedom in the colonial idea of African primitiveness. As human transcendence, freedom escapes the drawbacks of otherness, as defended by ethnophilosophy, while exposing the idiosyncratic inspiration of Eurocentric universalism. Decolonization calls for the reconnection with freedom, that is, with myth-making understood as the inaugural act of cultural pluralism. The cultural condition of modernization emerges when the return to the past deploys the future.

Industry Reviews

"No doubt, Africa's Quest for a Philosophy of Decolonization is an in-depth study on the African personality. In a refreshing way, it provides an insight into the intellectual pre-requisites for the resolution of the problem of underdevelopment of Africa. ... The book is a worthy contribution to the debate about the future of Africa, not only in philosophical terms, but also about the development problematic of the continent. The book will certainly be useful to both undergraduate and graduate students of philosophy, sociology, political science and anthropology. It should also serve as a guide to other academics and politicians interested in issues of emancipation and development, within and outside the African continent." in: African Studies Quarterly, Vol. 8, Issue 4, Summer 2006 "distilling wide ranging and profound analyses of thought, African and European, into a lucid prose free of jargon. ... It is the proper knowledge of Africa that is emerging. Kebede's book has a lot to contribute to that knowledge." in: H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences (published by H-Africa), April, 2005 "Kebede (Dayton) positions this important contribution on the status of ethnophilosophy within the context of how best to emancipate African philosophy from Western domination. His well-stated argument regarding the strategic importance of negritude's appropriation-of-otherness mythmaking as counter as counter to Western whiteness propaganda sets the stage for his own view of the role of cultural traditions and mysticism in the modernization of Africa. ... Jam packed with issues and citations, each chapter is a literature survey that could be expanded into a book. ... Recommended." in: CHOICE, Vol. 42, No. 5, January 2005 "If you have time to read only one book to learn about the intricacies of African philosophy, then read Africa's Quest for a Philosophy of Decolonization. The beauty of this volume is Kebede's clear presentation and thoughtful evaluation of each of the main schools in African Philosophy." - Joseph C. Kunkel, University of Dayton "Africa's Quest for a Philosophy of Decolonization is an exceptionally clear introduction to African philosophy." in: Filosofie Magazine

Editorial Forwordp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Western Discourses on Africap. 1
The Invention of the "White Man"p. 1
The Prelogical as Opposed to the Rationalp. 1
The Myth of the "White Man"p. 4
Anthropology: Myth and Realityp. 7
Western Attempts to Make Sense of Africap. 12
Demystifying Reasonp. 12
The Discovery of Western Idiosyncrasyp. 15
Postmodernist Inferencesp. 18
Between Evolutionism and Pluralism: Tempels's Path to Human Samenessp. 23
Logic and Conversionp. 24
Mysticism and Rationalityp. 29
Getting Over Evolutionism: Evangelization as Purificationp. 35
Beyond Evolutionism and Relativismp. 44
The Holy Grail of Othernessp. 51
The Complementariness of Otherness: Negritude and the Idea of Racep. 51
Otherness versus Savageryp. 51
The Modernity of Negritudep. 59
The Production of the Universalp. 64
Past-Oriented Temporality and Otherness: The Case of Mbitip. 71
Religion and Philosophyp. 72
African Timep. 75
Sameness versus Othernessp. 83
Myth and Reality in African Philosophyp. 83
The Universality of Philosophyp. 83
Echoing Eurocentrismp. 89
Philosophic Sagacityp. 91
The Critical Individualp. 91
The Individual and the Collectivep. 93
Fanon and the Rehabilitation through Violencep. 94
Violence as Self-Creationp. 95
Impotent Violencep. 100
Particularism versus Othernessp. 105
Diop and the Stolen Legacyp. 105
Migrating Rationalityp. 105
Reverse Racismp. 109
Traditionality in lieu of Othernessp. 112
The Universal and the Particularp. 112
The Need to Limit Sciencep. 116
From Otherness to Historicity: Hermeneutical Schoolp. 118
Historicity as Particularismp. 118
The Persistence of Eurocentrismp. 121
The Primacy of Deconstructionp. 121
The Idiosyncrasy of the Westp. 122
The Limitation of Relativismp. 126
The Future as Forward Movement into the Past: The Constructedness of Identityp. 129
The Return to the Pastp. 129
Questioning the Conflict between Tradition and Modernityp. 132
Postmodernist Approaches to African Identityp. 137
Myth-Making and Constructionp. 142
African Attempts at Myth-Makingp. 148
Colonization without Colonizers: The Phenomenon of African Elitismp. 155
From Colonialism to Elitismp. 155
The Elitist Drift of Ethnophilosophyp. 162
Power as Tutorshipp. 170
Ethnicity and State Formation: The Mystical Root of Nationhoodp. 177
Ethnicity and the African Philosophical Debatep. 177
Primordialism and the Naturalness of Ethnicityp. 182
Instrumentalism and the Constructedness of Ethnic Identitiesp. 184
Ethnicity and the Legitimacy of the Statep. 187
From Ethnicity to Nation-State: The Mystical Momentp. 194
Harnessing Myth to Rationalityp. 205
The African Dilemmap. 205
The Complementarity of Myth and Rationalityp. 211
The Particularism of Freedomp. 216
Notesp. 221
Bibliographyp. 239
About the Authorp. 249
Indexp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9789042008106
ISBN-10: 9042008105
Series: Value Inquiry Book Series
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: May 2009
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 22.0 x 15.0  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.48