LUMINA Volume 21 No. 2


by Dr. Omotade Adegbindin

Before Placide Tempel's La Philosophie bantoue (Bantu Philosophy), the dogma of regarding philosophy as essentially Western had already reached an unimaginable apogee, in part because the polygenetic theses of such personages as Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Hegel, and Lucien Levy-Bruhl, to mention a few, had at the time become indispensible research materials for early anthropologists and white missionaries. The Eurocentric theses and the rise of modern science; thus, gave rise to the imperious notion of Occidental superiority in philosophy. These also augment the racial hypothesis of seeing the African as the "other," the hypothesis which thrived as a veritable paradigm in most writings in Europe. To extricate the African from the status of the "other", African intellectuals and philosophers, in particular, embarked on an intellectual decolonization of the Africans and published several volumes of remonstrative reportage. The published volumes reveal, among others, that racial writings earned such sterling popularity around the world at that time because African cultures were significantly oral in character. In the period preceding colonialism and during colonial era, therefore, Western intellectualism saw writing as a precondition for philosophy and, by extension, history and science.

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