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Phronimon

On-line version ISSN 2413-3086
Print version ISSN 1561-4018

Abstract

AGADA, Ada. The Sense in which Ethno-philosophy can Remain Relevant in 21st Century African Philosophy. Phronimon [online]. 2019, vol.20, n.1, pp.1-20. ISSN 2413-3086.  http://dx.doi.org/10.25159/2413-3086/4158.

Ethno-philosophy, as a philosophical project, has had its fair share of criticism from some professional African philosophers, with Paulin Hountondji as an outstanding critic. Ethno-philosophy is believed to be deficient in criticality and analyticity, which are considered hallmarks of good philosophy anywhere. In this paper I engage Fainos Mangena, a tireless defender of ethno-philosophy, in a critical conversation. In making a case for the continuing relevance of ethno-philosophy, while acknowledging its shortcomings, I argue that the universalist critique of ethno-philosophy has exposed the philosophical poverty of this specific form of thought. I assert that the equation of ethno-philosophy with substantive African philosophy will lead to the emergence of an impoverished African philosophical tradition, notwithstanding the desirability of a unique African philosophy distinguishable from non-African philosophical traditions-in particular the Western philosophical tradition. I point out that Innocent Asouzu and J.O. Chimakonam's Ibuanyidanda ontology and Ezumezu logical system demonstrate the viability of a philosophical programme that seeks to transcend ethno-philosophy by enriching it with concepts that promote the criticality and analyticity demanded by critics of ethno-philosophy, in a manner conducive to system-building.

Keywords : Ethno-philosophy; African philosophy; universalists; particularists; Ibuanyidanda philosophy; Ezumezulogic.

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