On Defining African Wiredu – forthcoming – African Philosophy: The Essential Readings (New York: Paragon). Repr. In H. Nagl-Docekal and. Could there be a truly African philosophy that goes beyond traditional folk thought? Kwasi Wiredu tries in these essays to define and demonstrate a role for . Kwasi Wiredu is currently Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy in the University of South Florida, Tampa, where he.

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Kwasi Wiredu (1931— )

In the following quotation, for example, Wiredu attempts to demonstrate the significance of some of those differences:. A lwasi spectrum of academic disciplines took up the conceptual challenges of decolonization in a variety of ways. His first major book, Philosophy and an African Culture is truly remarkable for its eclectic range of interests.

He believes this traditional framework hosts a two part conception of a person.

USF :: Philosophy Department

Forced dogmas deny others kwazi opportunity to think for themselves. It thereby helps one develop the ability to be 9 Cf. Wiredu also is certain that African tradition is not “purely theoretical because he shows how certain aspects of African political thought may be applied to the practical resolution of some of Africa’s most pressing problems.

Lastly, this article, as a whole, represents a reflection on the diversity of the dimensions of decolonization. Kwasi Wiredu born 3 October is an African philosopher.

Philosophy and an African Culture

Wiredu argues that it is possible to arrive at concepts of universal relevance which can be disentangled from the contigiencies of culture. As such, it not only an exercise in conceptual synthesis but it is also a project wiiredu comparative linguistics. He then returned to Ghana, where he accepted a post teaching philosophy for his old university. He wants to shed light and understanding to their belief systems and what they believe to be true and physical. This crucial difference should be noted alongside what shall soon be demonstrated to be wiresu Wiredu conception of decolonization.


It is the thinkers that will give direction to progressive change in society. A central purpose in this article is to examine the contributions and limitations of African philosophy in relation to the history of the debate on wirefu. And it helps us to synthesize a variety of views or perspectives into a unified manner.

A significant portion of post-colonial theory involves the entry of Third World scholars into the Western archive, as it were, with the intention of dislodging the erroneous epistemological assumptions and structures regarding their peoples. As such, it is possible to argue that this conceptual manoeuvre wirecu eventually degenerate into a dead-end of epistemic nativism.

In speaking about the inheritance of Marx, Derrida also reflects on the injunction associated with it.

African economic systems floundered alongside African political institutions, and, as a result, various crises have compounded the seemingly perennial issue of underdevelopment. Further, Wiredu states that the second dimension, the normative conception of personhood, is based on one’s ability to will freely.

Kwasi Wiredu, Philosophy and an African Culture – PhilPapers

But he is not in doubt about the philosophical significance of Marx: First, he wishes to subvert unsavory aspects of tribal culture embedded in modern African thought so as to make that thought more viable. The Essential Readings New York: Indeed, the notion of decolonization wiresu far more complex than is often assumed.

One of Wiredu’s concerns when defining “African Philosophy” is keeping colonialised African philosophy in a separate category from precolonised Africa.


An Anthology of Comparative and Applied Ethics. The disciplines of anthropology, history, political science, literature, and philosophy all grappled with the practical and academic conundrums of decolonization. In addition to the scholars noted above, the discourse of decolonialization has benefitted from many valuable contributions made by intellectuals such as Frantz Fanon, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Cheikh Anta Diop, and Ngugi wa Thiongo.

Introduction By African philosophy, we mean the critical reflection and the asking of fundamental questions, the seeking of meaning and understanding within the bias and context of African cultural setting and experience. Their thoughts and philosophy will be biased to the culture of the language. He has also been very consistent in his output and the quality of his reflections regardless of some of their more obvious limitations. Ashanti system was a consensual democracy.

Prior towhen I was in Africa, I devoted most of my time in almost equal proportions to research in African philosophy and in other areas of philosophy, such as the philosophy of logic, in which not much has, or is generally known to have, been done in African philosophy. Thus this epistemology is abstracted from the collective world-view of Africans and leaning essentially on such materials as myths, folklores, proverbs, folk wisdom etc.

Wiredu has always believed that traditional modes of thought and folk philosophies should be interpreted, clarified, analyzed and subjected to critical evaluation and assimilation Wiredu,