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


DLADLA, Thabang. African Philosophy? Questioning the Unquestioned. Phronimon [online]. 2021, vol.22, n.1, pp.1-17. ISSN 2413-3086.

African philosophy, at least the modern modality of its practice, is said to have been initiated by the overwhelming question concerning its existence: Is there an African philosophy? No doubt such radical questioning concerning "knowledges" from Africa is determined by an overarching, indeed imperial, definition of what is understood to be "philosophy"; in other words, this question sought to determine whether those knowledges from Africa fit the category of what is known to be "philosophy" in the Western world. In this paper, I deal with the historical question pertaining to the existence of an African philosophy and the present reiterations of this question. I begin in the first section with an interrogation of such questioning concerning doubt about African philosophy's existence: 1) to subvert the question and thereby undermine the basis of its questioning; 2) to examine the underlying structures of coloniality in Western philosophy and its colonising effects-showing how such a question is rooted in doubt, ignorance and power as functionaries of the European epistemological paradigm facilitating epistemological dominance; and 3) to use such questioning as a basis from which to develop an account of what African philosophy is.

Keywords : African philosophy; liberation philosophy; history of African philosophy.

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