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Challenges of African Communitarian Philosophy

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Handbook of African Philosophy

Part of the book series: Handbooks in Philosophy ((HP))

Abstract

The chapter critically examines the fundamental and all-embracing philosophy of sub-Saharan African peoples, Afro-communitarianism or African communitarian philosophy. The chapter shows that recent theoretical scholarship on African communitarian philosophy is often removed from the concrete and lived experiences of African peoples in terms of how community and communing are understood. This results in a theory-praxis gap or dichotomy that needs to be bridged to ensure that this philosophy remains relevant for African peoples. The chapter analyses this gap and ways to bridge them by examining four challenges of African communitarian philosophy: the exclusion challenge in relation to an existentially narrow conception of community, the difference challenge in relation to a normative ontology of being in sub-Saharan African communities, the participatory challenge in relation to hierarchies in African communities, and the autonomy challenge in relation to the understanding of relationality. The chapter concludes that the theorization of African communitarian philosophy can only overcome a crisis of relevance and avoid the tendency of serving only the West if it bridges the theory-praxis gap and pay closer attention to the lived experience of African peoples.

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Correspondence to Elvis Imafidon .

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Imafidon, E. (2023). Challenges of African Communitarian Philosophy. In: Imafidon, E., Tshivashe, M., Freter, B. (eds) Handbook of African Philosophy. Handbooks in Philosophy. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-77898-9_22-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-77898-9_22-1

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-77898-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-77898-9

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