Article

Teaching ancient African philosophy

Published in: South African Journal of Philosophy
Volume 38, issue 3, 2019 , pages: 245–262
DOI: 10.1080/02580136.2019.1647393
Author(s): Ademola Kazeem FayemiDepartment of Philosophy, South Africa

Abstract

In this article, I critically examine the pedagogical problems in the teaching of ancient history of African philosophy in continental and diaspora Africa. I argue that the teaching of ancient history of African philosophy poses ab initio some peculiar problems arising from a number of factors: scepticism about the existence of such a classical philosophy; the problem of language and the controversy in the historiography of African philosophy. An examination of these issues as well as a discussion of their possible resolutions constitutes serious challenges both at the pedagogical and philosophical levels. I establish the particularistic, mythological, comparative, historical, and philosophical dimensions of ancient African philosophy which are instructive in the teaching of the course in tertiary institutions in continental and diaspora Africa. I provide advice on some common issues that are sensible to acquaint learners with in the teaching of the course in the homeland and diasporas, regardless of the variations in topics, emphasis, contents and texts. Consequently, I suggest a course scheme in ancient history of African philosophy that may be minimally adopted at the tertiary level.

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