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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The African source of Greek philosophy
Author:Workineh Kelbessa
Periodical:Journal of African Religion and Philosophy (ISSN 1018-8592)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Philosophy, Psychology
Greek philosophy
Abstract:While a number of scholars argue that African philosophy served as the foundation of Greek philosophy, others argue that philosophy is nonexistent in Africa. The present author examines the conflicting points of view for and against African philosophy. He discusses the historical relationship between African philosophy and Greek philosophy in order to unravel the indigenous African philosophy, particularly that which was adopted by the Greeks, and to establish why there has been a discontinuity in African people's philosophical inquiry from early times to the present. A key element in the debate is the position of Egypt. While ancient and Renaissance scholars maintained that the Greeks borrowed culturally and linguistically from Egypt, Europeanists from the late 18th century onwards insisted that there was never any link between the two countries. There are also those who deny the identity of Egypt as an African country. African scholars who have denied the existence of philosophy in traditional Africa have done so on the basis of the lack of written sources, the absence of rational, scientific thought processes, and the absence of individual philosophers. Some argue that African philosophy is still in the making. The present author, however, argues that a true African philosophical thought is discernible in the oral traditions of Africa. Bibliogr., note, ref.