Philosophy in an African Place

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9780739136683: Philosophy in an African Place
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Over the past few decades, there has been much effort put forth by philosophers to answer the question, "Is there an African philosophy?" Bruce B. Janz boldly changes this central question to "What is it to do philosophy in this (African) place?" in Philosophy in an African Place. Janz argues that African philosophy has spent a lot of time trying to define what African philosophy is, and in doing so has ironically been unable to properly conceptualize African lived experience. He goes on to claim that such conceptualization can only occur when the central question is changed from the spatial to a new, platial one.

Philosophy in an African Place both opens up new questions within the field, and also establishes "philosophy-in-place", a mode of philosophy which begins from the places in which concepts have currency and shows how a truly creative philosophy can emerge from focusing on questioning, listening, and attending to difference. This innovative new approach to African philosophy will be useful not only to African and African-American philosophers, but also to scholars interested in any cultural, intercultural, or national philosophical projects.

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About the Author:

Bruce B. Janz is chair of the department of philosophy at the University of Central Florida.

Review:

Clear and systematic, empathetic and well thought out, this is, without doubt, one of the best introductions to a contemporary African practice of Philosophy. (V. Y. Mudimbe)

Janz urges a questioning of traditional philosophical questions about reason, culture, ethics, and language in an effort to reposition philosophy―and African philosophy in particular―without he limits assumed by current philosophical practice....This is an ambitious and potentially significant work....Recommended. (C.D. Kay CHOICE, June 2010)

For at least half a century the question of what constitutes African Philosophy has provoked some of the most profound reflections on the nature of philosophy in general. Bruce B. Janz makes a major contribution to that debate. This book deserves to be widely read by philosophers and non-philosophers alike, and can be profitably studied even by those who to their shame have not yet given the question of African philosophy a second thought. (Robert Bernasconi, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies, Pennsylvania State University)

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