The Hermeneutical Task of Postcolonial African Philosophy: Construction and Deconstruction

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Yohannes Eshetu Mamuye


Meta philosophical issues surround the topic of African philosophy. What should be counted as African philosophy, and what makes African philosophy so notable has long been a matter of reflection by African and African descended thinkers? One stance taken by African thinkers leans toward ascribing philosophical status to the collective worldviews of Africans embedded in their traditions, language, and culture. By criticizing ethnophilosophy as being unanimous and uncritical, professional philosophers epitomize a philosophy to be a universal, individualized, and reflective enterprise. This tendency of appropriating cultural traits as philosophical and thereby tending to emphasize particularity by ethnophilosophers on the one hand and the universalist claim by professional philosophers puts African philosophy in a dilemma and whereby makes it counterproductive to the neocolonial liberation struggle. The article's central argument is that African philosophical hermeneutics is a panacea for the 'double blockage' that the philosophers currently look into contemporary African philosophy. African hermeneutics is the extension of German and French hermeneutical tradition with the works of Heidegger, Gadamer, and Ricœur. Hermeneutics is a mediation between culture and philosophy and also universality and particularity.


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How to Cite
Yohannes Eshetu Mamuye. (2021). The Hermeneutical Task of Postcolonial African Philosophy: Construction and Deconstruction. PanAfrican Journal of Governance and Development (PJGD), 2(2), 107-118.
Author Biography

Yohannes Eshetu Mamuye, Jimma University, Ethiopia

Yohannes Eshetu Mamuye is serving as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Civics and Ethics Department, College of Law and Governance, Jimma University, Ethiopia. He is also serving as a Coordinator for Research and Postgraduate Studies at the same college.


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