AUTHOR: OKOYE, CHARLES CHINEDU
AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY AWKA
The term Hermeneutics broadly speaking, means interpretation. In this attempt of enquiry into the possibility and conditions of establishing African philosophy, Theophilus Okere adopts a hermeneutical method. His hermeneutics proceeds from the Heideggerian-Gadamerian conception of interpretation as an Ontological event. Hermeneutics is therefore seen as an epistemological tool mediating culture and philosophy. Basically every philosopher is a product of a particular culture, hence philosophy is said to be related to culture in a unique way. Philosophy is in fact a unique cultural form. This fact triggers a lot of questions like; what aspect of culture is philosophy? What is the nature of the relationship between culture and philosophy? Can there be a philosophy outside the cultural setting? These and other likely questions can be answered under the prism of Hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is that which can happen to culture that brings forth philosophy. This thesis against this backdrop, exposes the contentions of this great scholar and tries to see to what extent Hermeneutics serves as a panacea and a method in deriving African philosophy from African culture. It also challenges the African scholar to rise above the mental and psychological domination of the Western elite, making use of the rich African heritages as raw materials for philosophizing both within and outside the African parlance. The method employed by this work is a philosophical analysis. It seeks to point out possible flaws, exaggerations and inconsistencies in Okere’s postulations. It also gives credence to Okere’s ingenuity and originality in affirming that African culture will serve as a raw material, an ingredient, a vessel and tool in bringing about a scientific African traditional philosophy, using the Hermeneutical method.
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Tags: Afrocentricism, Aristotelian Thomistic Classification, Bantoue People, Chi, Culture, Ethno-Philosophy, Gadamer, God, Heidegger’s Method, Justice, Names, Peace, Philosophy-Thesis-2012, Self, Western Philosophy, Western Roots