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An Essay on African Philosophical Thought: The Akan Conceptual Scheme

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In this sustained and nuanced attempt to define a genuinely African philosophy, Kwame Gyekye rejects the idea that an African philosophy consists simply of the work of Africans writing on philosophy. It must, Gyekye argues, arise from African thought itself, relate to the culture out of which it grows, and provide the possibility of a continuation of a philosophy linked to culture. Offering a philosophical clarification and interpretation of the concepts in the ontology, philosophical psychology, theology, and ethics of the Akan of Ghana, Gyekye argues that critical analyses of specific traditional African modes of thought are necessary to develop a distinctively African philosophy as well as cultural values in the modern world.

About the Author:

Kwame Gyekye, a professor of philosophy at the University of Ghana, is currently a visiting professor of philosophy and African American studies at Temple University. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Unexamined Life: Philosophy and the African Experience.

Religious Studies Review - James H. Evans

The author builds an impressive case for an indigenous African philosophy which is different from but not inferior to European philosophy. This text is valuable because [of its] insights into the relationship between life and thought, philosophy and experience.