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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Traditional African philosophy: its significance for contemporary Africa
Author:Oladipo, Olusegun
Year:1991
Periodical:African Notes: Bulletin of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan
Volume:15
Issue:1-2
Pages:96-104
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subject:philosophy
Abstract:Traditional African philosophy exists, not as a stock of metaphysical notions common to all Africans, but as an abstraction standing for those interrelated conceptions of nature, man, society, morality, etc., which are identical products of the interaction of African people with the various elements of their sociophysical environment. Traditional philosophy is largely unwritten, embodied predominantly in oral traditions. Much benefit can be derived from the study of traditional philosophy if the task is defined simply in terms of the narration or description of its different aspects. This will involve many theoretical reconstructions predicated on conceptual understanding and a critical attitude. Through these reconstructions, the interconnections between the different components of traditional African philosophy, on the one hand, and the social structures of the traditional societies in which they were developed, on the other, will be demonstrated, and the extent of their adequacy for meeting present African challenges assessed. The traditional African conception of reality and the humanistic conception of values in traditional African societies are two examples of the potential significance of traditional African philosophy for contemporary African societies and the search for an appropriate sociocultural framework for building 'a new and human society' in Africa. Notes, ref.
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