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African Belief and Knowledge Systems

A Critical Perspective

Munyaradzi Mawere

Publication Year: 2011

The debate on the existence of African philosophy has taken central stage in academic circles, and academics and researchers have tussled with various aspects of this subject. This book notes that the debate on the existence of African philosophy is no longer necessary. Instead, it urges scholars to demonstrate the different philosophical genres embedded in African philosophy. As such, the book explores African metaphysical epistemology with the hope to redirect the debate on African philosophy. It articulates and systematizes metaphysical and epistemological issues in general and in particular on Africa. The book aptly shows how these issues intersect with the philosophy of life, traditional beliefs, knowledge systems and practices of ordinary Africans and the challenges they raise for scholarship in and on philosophy with relevance to Africa.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title page

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Copyright page

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pp. iii-iv

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pp. v-vii

While acknowledging the contribution of western knowledge systems to the development of modern Africa and harbouring no wishes to turn back the clock of development to the past, this book focuses on how African metaphysics and African epistemology heretofore referred to as African metaphysical epistemology has suffered dislocations, distortions and pejorative labels until recent times. ...

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pp. ix-xv

This is a book about African metaphysical epistemology. It is intended for both students and anyone else who is interested in the subject. Although I examine metaphysics and epistemology in general, I am more concerned about the interface of African metaphysics and African epistemology and how these can be ...

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Chapter One

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pp. 1-15

It is unwise to delve into the subject of African metaphysical epistemology before defining metaphysics. It is therefore necessary to first of all pay some attention to the subject metaphysics itself. ...

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Chapter Two

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pp. 17-35

The subject of African metaphysics is a very broad and far reaching inquiry. In any case, there are two strategic hurdles to overcome. First, is how we can meaningfully talk about African metaphysics as an independent philosophical discipline? Second, is whether it is possible to cover the breadth and depth of African metaphysics in ...

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Chapter Three

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pp. 37-55

Metaphysical questions arise when we turn attention from natural science statements to statements concerning religious beliefs. It is in this case that we quickly encounter questions concerning ontology and questions concerning analysis of ontological issues. Ontological issues are those that have something to do with ...

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Chapter Four

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pp. 57-76

In chapter two African metaphysics has been defined as a branch of philosophy that systematically investigates causes and the nature of ultimate reality from an African perspective. It deals with first principles and seeks to explain the nature of “being” or reality (ontology) and the origin and structure of the universe (cosmology) as understood from an African view point. I will add one more point ...

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Chapter Five

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pp. 77-103

The title of this chapter is a bit misleading. The chapter focuses on African indigenous knowledge (AIK) or rather African epistemology, yet it would start with a brief analysis of the concepts of epistemology and knowledge. As mentioned earlier in this book, concepts refer to certain properties, objects or facts in the world. We turn now to the aforementioned concepts in the next few paragraphs. ...

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Chapter Six

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pp. 105-117

African indigenous ways of knowing are many. If recognized, they can be used as complementary modes to reinforce the legitimacy of the already known sources of knowledge like sense experience, reason, authority, tradition and common sense, among others. As such, this chapter identifies ‘indigenous’ ways of knowing ...

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956726295
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956726851

Page Count: 136
Publication Year: 2011