An Introduction to Africana Philosophy by Lewis R. Gordon

By Lewis R. Gordon

During this undergraduate textbook Lewis R. Gordon bargains the 1st entire therapy of Africana philosophy, starting with the emergence of an Africana (i.e. African diasporic) awareness within the Afro-Arabic global of the center a long time. He argues that a lot of recent suggestion emerged out of early conflicts among Islam and Christianity that culminated within the expulsion of the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula, and from the next growth of racism, enslavement, and colonialism which of their flip prompted reflections on cause, liberation, and the that means of being human. His publication takes the coed reader on a trip from Africa via Europe, North and South the United States, the Caribbean, and again to Africa, as he explores the demanding situations posed to our realizing of information and freedom at the present time, and the reaction to them that are came upon inside Africana philosophy.

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Amo’s life could be read as a dialectical path in which his intellectual achievements made more acute the nature of his bondage and his realization of having to lay foundations for a promised land into which he and many others, like the proverbial Moses, never entered. Quobna Ottobah Cugoano The next, most provocative treatment of these questions explored by Amo is by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano (c. 1757–c. 1803). Born in the city of Ajumako, on the coast of Fantyn in Ghana, where he spent his childhood as a member of the house of the Fanti king Ambro Accasa, ruler of Ajumako and Assinie, Cugoano was kidnapped into slavery at about the age of thirteen while playing in the woods near his home.

14 Not much is known about the rest of Cugoano’s life after that, save the approximate date of his death. Unlike Amo, Cugoano enjoyed no formal education. His book, however, reflects in its structure a feature of many subsequent texts in Africana thought. It belongs to no single genre but to a variety. It is autobiographical, exegetical, and philosophical. As we will see, some Africana philosophers, in their reflections on philosophical writing, argue that such an approach makes sense where the subject matter of bondage and racism demands a variety of techniques by which to get at the human subject that grounds the reflections.

1 In philosophies of the modern era, then, we find the contradictory situation of arguments being offered against slavery by those who also depended on and offered arguments for the enslavement of others. This required great acts of selfdeception and misrepresentation of history. Locke, for instance, argued that the procurement of slaves was permissible from a just war of self-defense against someone or some group who had violated a law of nature (for example, waging war against a fellow human being).

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