Review of "Paulin Hountondji: African Philosophy as Critical Universalism" by Franziska Dübgen and Stefan Skupien [Book Review]

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Franziska Dübgen and Stefan Skupien have written a much needed overview of Paulin Hountondji’s work. While Hountondji is quite well known for his critique of ethnophilosophy, his later intellectual work on scientific dependency and his political writings are not as well known to non-specialist Anglophone readers. This partially stems from the fact that while his later work on scientific dependency has been translated into English, it has been published in the form of short articles or through transcribed interviews, which makes it difficult for a reader to situate it in relation to Hountondji’s work on ethnophilosophy. Moreover, the Anglophone reception of Hountondji’s explicit political writings has been hindered by the fact that many of them have not been translated into English, e.g. his 1973 book Libertés: Contribution à la Révolution Dahoméenne, which was written as a prescription of what needs to be done by the military regime in order to end neo-colonial dependency in Benin in the aftermath of the military coup led by Mathieu Kérékou in 1972, has still not been translated into English. Dübgen and Skupien have written a book that will contribute to remedying this neglect by contextualizing Hountondji’s work on scientific dependency and his political writings in relation to his better known writings on ethnophilosophy.
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Archival date: 2020-09-13
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