n South African Journal of Philosophy = Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Wysbegeerte - Hermeneutics, history, and d’où parlez vous? Paul Ricoeur and Tsenay Serequeberhan on how to engage African philosophy from a Western context - research

Volume 38 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0258-0136
  • E-ISSN: 2073-4867
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This article presents a possible method to engage African thought from a Western context. It does so by first showing the need for such an engagement by arguing that philosophical research is dominated by Western normativity: in phenomenology, for example, questions and answers gathered in this method more often than not ignore other cultures and perspectives, thus yielding results that only reflect a Western historico-cultural context. In order to open this normativity to other encounters, this article presents a dialogue between Ricoeur’s hermeneutic phenomenological method and Serequeberhan’s African hermeneutics. The upshot of this dialogue is that it presents a way for thinkers in a Western context to engage African thought without dominating or otherwise “recolonising” said thought.

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