African Sage-Philosophers in Action: H. Odera Oruka’s Challenges to the Narrowly Academic Role of the Philosopher

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I argue that Oruka’s sages, half of whom were described as arbiters and judges called upon to solve disputes, fulfill Plato’s ideal of a philosopher as a respected, wise thinker who works for the betterment of society. Although the sage has been sidelined in modern academia, even in Africa, Oruka suggests that twentieth-century rural Kenyan sages, with their devotion to community benefit and conversation about practical concerns, are role models for modern Western philosophy, because philosophers everywhere have a duty to warn people about the implications of their actions.
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Archival date: 2020-05-19
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