Alena Rettová: Afrophone Philosophies – Reality and Challenge [PDF]


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TIAS Topics in Interdisciplinary African Studies Volume 7

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447 pp.
2 figures, appendix

The point of departure of this publication is philosophy – more precisely African philosophy and the question of the possibility of using African languages in philosophical discourse. The book sees Afrophone literatures as a prominent locus of philosophical discourse in African cultures. Thus, it investigates literary works in six African languages (Ndebele, Shona, Lingala, Swahili, Bambara, Yoruba) and reads them with respect to their contribution to philosophy.

Aspiring towards an intercultural exchange, the author has tried to bring various literatures and cultures closer to a mutual exchange of ideas. Individual chapters show Swahili writers in dialogue with Western thought, existentialist novels in the Swahili and Shona languages, Ndebele ethnic and cultural identity as portrayed by Ndebele intellectuals and by Shona writers, Ndebele and Bambara historiographies, various approaches to Yoruba, Shona, and Ndebele oral literatures, and analyses of Swahili, Shona, and Lingala imaginative writing.


Acknowledgements – Note on translations and quotations – Introduction

Part I: History, Method, Programme
Chapter 1: Towards Afrophone philosophies

Part II: Tradition and Identity
Chapter 2: Inkos’ uLobhengula yasinyamalala – The attitude to tradition in Ndebele theoretical writing
Chapter 3: Mɔgɔ tɛ i ka jiri dannen bɛɛ den dun – Modern historiography in African languages
Chapter 4: MaDzviti akauya unoita sei? The image of the Ndebele in Patrick Chakaipa’s Karikoga Gumiremiseve
Chapter 5: Isinamuva liyabukwa – Proverbs and philosophy
Chapter 6: Ki ohun kan ki o ma ba pa ohun mọ lẹnu – Behavioural interpretation of oral literature

Part III: Reality and Ontological Experimentation
Chapter 7: Tulikuwa watatu, EGO, ID na SUPEREGO – Metaphysics, epistemology and ontology in Euphrase Kezilahabi’s Nagona and Mzingile
Chapter 8: Manje, sekudya kwatinoitawo sadza, zvimwe chete nehupenyu – Existentialism in Swahili and Shona literatures
Chapter 9: Safari hii tusiwe na pupa ya kushusha utambuzi – The creation of a world in W.E. Mkufya’s Ziraili na Zirani
Chapter 10: Twaienzi dhahiri – Defining “reality” in William E. Mkufya’s Ziraili na Zirani

Part IV: Fiction and Philosophy
Chapter 11: Tamkeni Akirikifuk – Imaginative writing and philosophy

By way of an afterword

Appendix 1: Karikoga Gumiremiseve
Appendix 2-7: Ziraili na Zirani


Under these links you will find further studies of African intercultural and language philosophy and of east and west African literature and media:

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