Meaning and Truth in African Philosophy

Doing African Philosophy with Language

  • Grivas Muchineripi¬†Kayange

Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 135)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Figurative Utterances and Meaning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Grivas Muchineripi Kayange
      Pages 3-15
    3. Grivas Muchineripi Kayange
      Pages 17-31
    4. Grivas Muchineripi Kayange
      Pages 33-46
    5. Grivas Muchineripi Kayange
      Pages 47-72
    6. Grivas Muchineripi Kayange
      Pages 73-88
  3. Conceptual Analysis: Truth, Beauty and Meaning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Grivas Muchineripi Kayange
      Pages 91-105
    3. Grivas Muchineripi Kayange
      Pages 107-115
  4. African Communitarianism (Ubuntu) vs African Individualism through Language

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 117-117
    2. Grivas Muchineripi Kayange
      Pages 119-129
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 141-169

About this book


This book offers a new way of doing African philosophy by building on an analysis of the way people talk. The author bases his investigation on the belief that traditional African philosophy is hidden in expressions used in ordinary language. As a result, he argues that people are engaging in a philosophical activity when they use expressions such as taboos, proverbs, idioms, riddles, and metaphors.

The analysis investigates proverbs using the ordinary language approach and Speech Act theory. Next, the author looks at taboos using counterfactual logic, which studies the meaning of taboo expressions by departing from a consideration of their structure and use. He argues that the study of these figurative expressions using the counterfactual framework offers a particular understanding of African philosophy and belief systems. The study also investigates issues of meaning and rationality departing from a study on riddles, explores conceptual metaphors used in conceptualizing the notion of politics in modern African political thought, and examines language and marginalization of women and people with disabilities.

The book differs from other works in African philosophy in the sense that it does not claim that Africans have a philosophy as is commonly done in most studies. Rather, it reflects and unfolds philosophical elements in ordinary language use. The book also builds African Conception of beauty and truth through the study of language.


Meaning and Truth in African Philosophy African Proverbs and Idioms as Speech Acts Riddles and Rationality in African Thought Metaphorical Conceptualization in Africa African Concept of Truth Metaphors and Politics Ubuntu Virtues and Language Marginalisation of Women African Analytic Philosophy African Counterfactual Logic Chichewa Proverbs Speech Act Theory Counterfactual Logic

Authors and affiliations

  • Grivas Muchineripi¬†Kayange
    • 1
  1. 1.Chancellor CollegeUniversity of MalawiZombaMalawi

Bibliographic information