Mangena's Defence of Ethno-Philosophy: A Critical Response

  • Ikechukwu Anthony KANU
Keywords: Ethno-Philosophy, Universalistic, Particularistic, Eclectism, African Philosophy


In a paper which the researcher published in 2013 with the title “Trends in African Philosophy: A Case for Eclectism” in “Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religion”, the researcher adopted the Igwebuike approach which explores methods and principles for the mediation, coalescing and comprehension of the different units of reality: universal and particular, ideal and real, progressive and conservative, and in this case, the universalist and particularist trends of African philosophy. However, in the same journal of the edition of January-June 2014, Fainos Mangena wrote a work he titled: “In defence of ethno-philosophy: A brief response to Kanu's electism” as a reaction to the researcher's article of 2013. This piece of Mangena is the motivation for this work. Seven years after, therefore, the researcher has decided to write a response to the reaction of Fainos Mangena arguing that the future of an African philosophy that we can all be proud of cannot be found within the parameters of narrow-mindedness. This narrowness is the problem that has necessitated this piece with the objective of opening vistas for a more balanced perspective in African philosophy. The researcher insisted on the need to expand the parameters of the narrowness of ethno-philosophy. It is through this expansion that the researcher believes that the African people can arrive at a philosophy that will not only compete with philosophies all over the world but one that the African scholar can be proud of. This does not in any way intend to undermine African philosophy but rather points to a process of growth for every field of human endeavour. The research method employed is the critical and analytic methods of investigation. It concludes that the position of ethno-philosophy is not enough and does not create a balance within the philosophical enterprise. There is need to reconsider her approach towards the universalist perspective.