Dance and ethics in the traditional african philosophy essay

The Imperatives of Indigenous Knowledge and Values. Martin Odei Ajei - unknowndetails In post-colonial Africa, conceptions of the nature and purposes of development as well as the theories and strategies for achieving them have remained a territory traversed predominantly by non-African social scientists. In this context, social scientists studying Africa's development proclaimed, at the dawn of the s, a "paradigmatic crisis" and embarked on a quest for new paradigms. In advancing this quest, a number of "homegrown" development strategies have emerged.

Dance and ethics in the traditional african philosophy essay

The Concept of Africana Philosophy There are significant challenges to the viability of the concept Africana philosophy as well as to an effort to map out an encyclopedic overview of the extended and still expanding range of endeavors covered by the term.

On these socially constructive historical groundings rest several key heuristic presumptions that are central to Africana philosophy as a metaphilosophical concept for organizing intellectual praxes. This first presumption is tempered by a second: All the more so as consequences of the various groups having created differing life-worlds in differing geographical, political, and historical locations prior to and as a consequence of impositions and disruptions of their lives fostered by Europeans and others on one hand; and, on the other, while living interactions and cultural exchanges with other peoples, European and European-descended peoples included, which have given rise to differences in individual and group genomes, histories, cultures, interests, and aspirations.

Furthermore, identified shared similarities and commonalities are understood to be contingent, thus neither necessary nor inherent and fixed and thus the same for all persons African or of African descent.

Judgments regarding the always-contingent distinguishing features of philosophizing thought and expression by persons African and of African descent, and of the extent to which such features are shared—to what degree, under what circumstances, to what ends—are to be achieved by way of combined efforts of philosophical anthropology, sociology of knowledge, and intellectual histories: Such identities neither confer nor require particular philosophical commitments or obligations.

Substantive differences among African and African-descended thinkers have been, and must continue to be, acknowledged and taken into account in the ordering of the field and setting agendas for Africana philosophy. There have been, are, and will likely continue to be persons African and of African descent for whom their identities as such are of no import for their philosophizing.

Of particular importance, work in Africana philosophy is also conditioned by the presumption that contributors need not be persons African or of African descent.

This presumption rests on the understanding Dance and ethics in the traditional african philosophy essay the conditioning circumstances, motivations, modes, agendas, and importance of the philosophically articulate thought and aesthetic expressions of persons African and of African descent can be identified, understood, researched, taught, commented on, and taken up with respectful competence by persons neither African nor of African descent.

Philosophizings Born of Struggles: Conditions of Emergence of Africana Philosophy The metaphilosophical efforts to map out and order a complex discursive field of articulations and practices as Africana philosophy are, indeed, emergent disciplinary ventures of the late twentieth century.

However, many of the instances of thoughtful articulation and aesthetic expressiveness that are being identified and explored as instances of philosophizing were neither produced nor guided by norms and agendas of the discipline of academic philosophy as institutionalized for centuries in various countries of Western European and North America.

The same is true for the needs, motivations, objectives, and many of the principal intellectual resources that motivated and oriented those instances of articulation and creative expression and the formation of the networks of idea-spaces and discursive communities that nurtured them.

Dance and ethics in the traditional african philosophy essay

The pre-Modern histories of African and African-descended peoples; the centuries-long colonized, enslaved, and otherwise utterly dehumanizing unfreedom of Black peoples throughout the continents of Africa, Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean; the rapacious unjust exploitation of their bodies, lands, resources, and life-opportunities—all of these went mostly without explicit comment in the discipline of Philosophy, not even as a focus of protest, notwithstanding all of the vaunted concern within the discipline for conceptions of freedom, justice, equality, human nature, and human well-being generally.

By the middle of the twentieth century, throughout Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas these movements had won major victories of liberation from the oppressive regimes of Eurocentric racial apartheid and exploitation.

The movements were also contributing to progressive transformations of these regimes that helped to open them to substantive measures of real freedom and justice not only for persons and peoples African and of African descent, but for other persons and peoples of color and, even, for women of European descent.

These historic movements and developments provided contemporary pioneers of Africana philosophy rich, exemplary ideas, idea-spaces, agendas, and social networks on which to draw for motivations, missions, and other resources to forge intellectual agendas and strategies and social networks needed for philosophizing in the interests of people African and of African descent.

Hence, the twentieth-century emergence of Africana philosophy as an international field of and for discursive intellectual and expressive aesthetic work with a distinctive mission: Examples of such mission-driven creative intellectual and expressive work in service to the liberation and redemption of Black peoples were already at hand in several other disciplines: Moreover, outside of academic disciplines, many among several generations of fiercely independent, extraordinarily formally and informally educated and in some instances self-taught socially, politically, and aesthetically engaged female and male black intellectuals and artists, who devoted much of their lives to service as uplifters of Black peoples, had pursued their often very highly productive, and certainly very influential, intellectual and expressive work without ongoing affiliations with institutions of higher education, and without the assistance of sources of support for articulation and expression, that were dominated and controlled by Europeans and people of European descent.

This independence was crucial to the production of their seminal reflections, articulations, and artistic creations and expressions. As inspiring role models, much of their work became resource-reservoirs for new generations of women and men determined to continue the quests for liberation and justice for Black peoples.

A matter of significant influence was that many of these important figures had become internationalists in understanding the similarities and commonalities of the plights suffered by African and African-descended peoples due to the shared agendas for racialized oppression and exploitation forged and fostered by White peoples of various nation-states.

Many of the contemporary disciplinary pioneers of the philosophizings that are now being gathered under the umbrella of Africana philosophy, though participants in institutionalized, professional philosophy, have also been intellectual and spiritual members of the new generations of freedom fighters or otherwise substantially influenced by them.

Thus, many have drawn their motivations, aspirations, and resources for philosophical work from beyond the canonized motivations and traditions of thought institutionalized in the discipline.

Energized and emboldened by the legacies of the role models and liberatory movements, they have taken on the work of challenging the discipline in order to create room within its intellectual and organizational structures and processes wherein they could pursue agendas of giving consideration to matters of philosophical import to persons and peoples African and of African descent, and of particular import to themselves as persons African and of African descent engaged in philosophizing formally and professionally.

It became apparent to many—though by no means to all—of the contemporary pioneers of Africana philosophy within academic philosophy that this image of the ideal philosopher was not appropriate for respectfully identifying or characterizing many of the philosophically thoughtful and expressive persons African and of African descent, those, especially, who lived several centuries ago.

Survival and endurance of such conditions by those who managed to do so required coordinated efforts of recovery and retention, or the recreation, of the integrity of personhood and peoplehood, even of basic humaneness, thus required thoughtful ontological and political work of the most fundamental significance.

So, too, crucial intellectual efforts of the kinds designated moral, ethical, epistemological, social, religious, theological, and aesthetic. Thus, survival and endurance of conditions of racialized and gendered colonization, enslavement, and oppression—not conditions of leisured freedom—compelled more than a few African and African-descended persons to philosophize.

Almost daily, even on what seemed the most mundane of occasions, oppressed Black people were compelled to consider the most fundamental existential questions: Continue life during what would turn out to be centuries-long colonization and enslavement, of brutal, brutalizing and humiliating gendered and racialized oppression?

Suffer despair until mad? Or, capitulate to dehumanization? Or, struggle to find and sustain faith and hope for a better life, on earth as well as in the afterlife, through creativity and beauty in speech, dance, and song while at work and rest; in thought and artistry; in finding and making truth and right; in seeking and doing justice; in forging and sustaining relations of family and community when such relations were largely prohibited; in rendering life sacred?

For centuries, persons African and of African descent, for themselves as well as for their associates and successors, have had to ponder the most fundamental questions of existence as a direct consequence of their life-constraining, life-distorting encounters with various self-racializing and other-racializing peoples of Europe, the Euro-Americas, and elsewhere.

And in choosing to live and endure, peoples African and of African descent have had to forge, test out with their lives, and then refine and further live out explicit strategies by which to avoid being broken by brutality and humiliation and succumbing to fear, despair, or the soul-devouring obsession with vengeance.

They have had to share with their associates, and those succeeding them, their creative and sustaining legacies for infusing life with spirit-lifting artfulness and their articulated ponderings and strategies for surviving, living, and enduring with hope despite the circumstances.

They have had to philosophize, and to share their philosophizings, in order to forge the cross-generational bonds of respectful, extended-family, community-sustaining love and mutuality without which neither survival nor endurance would have been possible.

Indeed, endurance of gendered and racialized colonization, enslavement, and oppression that would be continued for centuries required very compelling, sustaining, persuasive beliefs and nurtured investments in finding and creating soul-nurturing art and experience-verified praxis-guiding thoughtfulness.

These beliefs and aesthetic considerations had to be articulated and communicated for sharing, sometimes surreptitiously, in order that persons and peoples endure. And enduring required that the brutalities and humiliations had to be countered that were directed, first and foremost, at the defining core of their very being—that is, at their foundational notions of themselves as persons and as distinctive, racialized peoples—so as to bring about their cross-generational living of social death Patterson History of African Philosophy.

Dance and ethics in the traditional african philosophy essay

This article traces the history of systematic African philosophy from the early s to date. In Plato’s Theaetetus, Socrates suggests that philosophy begins with regardbouddhiste.comtle agreed. African philosophy is philosophy produced by African people, philosophy that presents African worldviews, or philosophy that uses distinct African philosophical methods.

African philosophers may be found in the various academic fields of philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology, moral philosophy, and political philosophy. This book features a collection of essays that seek to provide accurate and well-developed characterizations of the epistemological and metaphysical concerns that shaped the conceptual languages and philosophical thought of sub-Saharan Africa.

“Africana philosophy” is the name for an emergent and still developing field of ideas and idea-spaces, intellectual endeavors, discourses, and discursive networks within and beyond academic philosophy that was recognized as such by national and international organizations of professional philosophers, including the American Philosophical Association, starting in the s.

African Philosophy: History and Traditions - Bibliography - PhilPapers Thus, prior to the twentieth century, the idea of African Philosophy was, for most educated Europeans and Americans, an oxymoron Ezepp. Moreover, the notion of African philosophy was provocative in a way that the notion of British or French or German or Chinese philosophy was not because the cultures of sub-Sahara Africa had no indigenous written languages in which issues were traditionally discussed and examined.

African philosophy must address the fact that many traditional leaders were installed by European imperialists as mere mouthpieces of colonial rule, and many contemporary African leaders have remained neocolonial puppets, even as they have appropriated the symbols of traditional Africa with the power of the modern state.

debates on culture, gender and development. Culture is seen in the African social context as transcending the arts or artefacts.

folklore. literature. music. dance and other artistic.

Dance - Bibliography - PhilPapers