27. Beyond the Reaction: The Continuing Relevance of Precolonial Traditions

Posted on 28 April 2019

As the twentieth century draws to a close, the critique of ethnophilosophy gives way to approaches that continue to privilege the study of precolonial traditions, including the approach promoted by Kwasi Wiredu (pictured). 

Note: we dedicate this episode to the memory of Kwame Gyekye, who passed away earlier this month.


Further Reading

• K. Gyekye, An Essay on African Philosophical Thought: The Akan Conceptual Scheme (Cambridge: 1987).

• P. Hountondji (ed.), Endogenous Knowledge: Research Trails (Dakar: 1997).

• P. Hountondji, The Struggle for Meaning: Reflections on Philosophy, Culture, and Democracy in Africa (Athens OH: 2002).

• K. Wiredu, “On Defining African Philosophy,” in T. Serequeberhan (ed.), African Philosophy: The Essential Readings (New York: 1991).

• K. Wiredu, Conceptual Decolonization in African Philosophy (Ibadan: 1995).

• K. Wiredu, Cultural Universals and Particulars: An African Perspective (Bloomington: 1997).

R.A. Wright (ed.), African Philosophy: An Introduction (Washington: 1977).

Interview with Kwasi Wiredu by Kai Kresse


Excited 1 May 2019

Hello, I am really loving the series so far. I just have a few suggestions for videos. I would like the podcast to cover Ubuntu Philosophy, Yoruba Epistemology, Akan Philosophical Psychology, Bantu Philosophy as well as Malagasy philosophy and Somali philosophy. That along with philosophies from North Africa should cover the continent.

Thanks, glad you are enjoying it! Actually a lot of that has been covered already, notably the Akan psychology was addressed extensively in episode 19 and Yoruba epistemology in 21. (We didn't really do it by region as you are thinking about it, but by theme.) North Africa is of course covered in great detail in the Islamic world series.

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