That is a thousand fold increase from to There are two important things to note here. The other thing is that there are only four real data points here in this graph which he published in
References and Further Reading 1. Introduction African philosophy as a systematic study has a very short Philosophy of the matrix essay. This history is also a very dense one, since actors sought to do in a few decades what would have been better done in many centuries.
As a result, they also did in later years what ought to have been done earlier and vice versa, thus making the early and the middle epochs overlap considerably. The reason for this overtime endeavor is not far-fetched.
Soon after colonialism, actors realized that Africa had been sucked into the global matrix unprepared.
During colonial times, the identity of the African was European, his thought system, standard and even his perception of reality were structured by the colonial shadow which stood towering behind him.
It was easy for the African to position himself within these Western cultural appurtenances even though they had no real-time connection with his being.
The vanity of this presupposition and the emptiness of colonial assurances manifested soon after the towering colonial shadow vanished. Now, in the global matrix, it became shameful for the African to continue to identify himself within the European colonialist milieu.
For one, he had just rejected colonialism and for another, the deposed European colonialist made it clear that the identity of the African was no longer covered and insured by the European medium. So, actors realized suddenly that they had been disillusioned and had suffered severe self-deceit under colonial temper.
It was the urgent, sudden need to contradict these European positions that led some post-colonial Africans in search of African identity.
So, to discover or rediscover African identity in order to initiate a non-colonial or original history for Africa in the global matrix and start a course of viable economic, political and social progress that is entirely African became one of the focal points of African philosophy.
However, it was George James, another concerned European who attempted a much more ambitious project in his work, Stolen Legacy. In this work, there were strong suggestions not only that Africa has philosophy but that the so-called Western philosophy, the very bastion of European identity, was stolen from Africa.
This claim was intended to make the proud European colonialists feel indebted to the humiliated Africans, but it was unsuccessful. That Greek philosophy had roots in Egypt does not imply, as some Europeans claim, that Egyptians were dark nor that dark complexioned Africans had philosophy.
After these two Europeans, Africans began to attain maturation. It can be stated that much of these endeavors fall under the early period.
For its concerns, the middle period of African philosophy is characterized by the great debate. Those who seek to clarify and justify the position held in the early epoch and those who seek to criticize and deny the viability of such position entangled themselves in a great debate. Some of the actors on this front include, C.
The preceding epoch eventually gave way to the later period which has as its focus the construction of an African episteme. The former seek to build an African episteme untainted by ethnophilosophy; whereas, the latter seek to do the same by a delicate fusion of relevant ideals of the two camps.
In the end, Critical Reconstructionism ran into a brick wall when it became clear that whatever it produced cannot truly be called African philosophy if it is all Western without African marks. The mere claim that it would be African philosophy simply because it was produced by Africans Hountondji and Oruka would collapse like a house of cards under any argument.
For this great failure, the influence of Critical Reconstructionism in the later period whittled down and it was latter absorbed by its rival—Eclecticism. The works of the Eclectics heralded the emergence of the New Era in African philosophy.
The focus becomes the Conversational philosophizing, in which the production of philosophically rigorous and original African episteme better than what the Eclectics produced occupied the center stage. The sum of what historians of African philosophy have done can be presented in the following two broad categorizations to wit; Pre-systematic Era and the Systematic era.
This latter category could further be delineated into four periods: Early period s - s Later period s - s New Contemporary Era since s Note, of course, that this does not commit us to saying that, before the early period, people in Africa never philosophized—they did.
But one fact that must not be denied is that they did not document their thoughts and, as such, scholars cannot attest to their systematicity or sources. In other words, what this periodization shows is that African philosophy as a system first began in the late s.
Because there are credible objections among African philosophers with regards to the inclusion of it in the historical chart of African philosophy, the Egyptian question will be ignored for now. The main objection is that even if the philosophers of stolen legacy were able to prove a connection between Greece and Egypt, they could not prove in concrete terms that Egyptians were dark complexioned Africans or that dark complexioned Africans were Egyptians.
It is understandable the frustration and desperation that motivated such ambitious effort in the ugly colonial era which was captured above, but any reasonable person, judging by the responses of time and events in the last few decades knows it was high time Africans abandoned that unproven legacy and let go of that, now helpless propaganda.
If however, some would want to retain it as part of African philosophy, it would carefully fall within the pre-literate or the pre-systematic era. In this essay, discussion will focus on the history of systematic or literate African philosophy touching prominently on the criteria, schools, movements and periods in African philosophy.
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