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


GWARAVANDA, Ephraim  and  NDOFIREPI, Amasa. Eurocentric Pitfalls in the Practice of African Philosophy: Reflections on African Universities. Phronimon [online]. 2020, vol.21, n.1, pp.1-21. ISSN 2413-3086.

We argue that African philosophy scholars are sometimes blinded by Eurocentric tendencies in the practice of African philosophy, and that it is important to identify and overcome these problems. The research gap we intend to fill is that the route of self-examination, self-criticism and self-evaluation has been underexplored in the practice of African philosophy at universities in Africa. The self-understanding of African philosophy is necessary for the reconstruction of indigenous elements for the purpose of African development. Firstly, African philosophy is divided along Eurocentric lines of analytic and continental philosophy. We argue that such a dualism closes other approaches to African philosophy. Secondly, the practice of African philosophy is done in the language of the colonisers; however, concepts from indigenous African languages remain largely unexplored. Thirdly, the Eurocentric approach of making philosophy "universal" and "transcultural," results in African scholars seeking a general African philosophy that fails to accommodate the diversity and richness of African cultures. Fourthly, African philosophy, as practised in African universities, tends to disregard African culture as the basis of philosophical thought in trying to make philosophy scientific and objective. We argue for decolonial thinking as a means of making African philosophy more genuine.

Keywords : African philosophy; Eurocentrism; Universalism; culture; language; decolonisation.

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