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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reason, Identity, and the African Quest: The Problems of Self-Definition in African Philosophy
Author:Oladipo, Olusegun
Periodical:Africa Today
Geographic term:Africa
African identity
Miscellaneous (i.e. Demography, Refugees, Sports)
Abstract:This essay examines one of the issues that have served as a significant force in the development of modern African thought. This is the issue of self-definition in Africa, that is the issue of how best Africans can achieve freedom and development without compromising their own identity. It is one of the issues which defines 'the struggle for identity in Africa by means of the definition of reason, its nature and its functions'. Two questions are involved: the question of how best to respond to the colonial denigration or underestimation of African cultures and traditions, and the question of how best to achieve development in Africa without compromising African identity. In addressing these issues, the author identifies and explains certain positions in modern African thought on the 'problems of African self-definition in the contemporary world', but also elaborates one attitude to these problems which he considers very promising. He suggests maintaining two mutually supportive faces: one examining the past with a view to discovering aspects of it that are useful for contemporary existence and preserving African identity; the other observing the present and contemplating the future with a view to appropriate whatever is the best in the scientific and intellectual resources of humankind for modern living. Notes, ref.