Problems and Prospects of a History of African Philosophy

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Although African philosophy has become a part of the world philosophic heritage that can no longer be neglected, no comprehensive history of it is available yet. This lacuna is due to the numerous problems that affect any attempt to outline such a history. Among these problems are those inherent in the historiography of philosophy in general and many others specific to African philosophy. They include the absence of scholarly unanimity over the exact nature of philosophy and, by extension, African philosophy; the dispute over the beginning of philosophy in Ancient Egypt, as well as the Afrocentrist assertion of the origin of Greek philosophy in Egypt; the problem of periodization; the status of ethnophilosophy, etc. These difficulties do not make a comprehensive history of African philosophy an impossible or irrelevant task. On the contrary, such a history is a necessity that promises to exert an enormous positive influence on the future development of African philosophy
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