The Debate on Ethnophilosophy Between Hountondji and His Contemporary Critics

  • Franziska DübgenEmail author
  • Stefan Skupien
Part of the Global Political Thinkers book series (GPT)


Hountondji’s contemporaries reacted to his critique of ethnophilosophy and his vision of how African philosophy should be properly done and fostered a vibrant discussion on the methods, scope, and standing of philosophy in the African context. The chapter resumes the main elements of this debate, including the topic of who philosophises (the individual or a collective), of the question of orality versus textuality of philosophical praxis, the nature of science, and the role of popular knowledge in academia. The chapter concludes by considering the ambivalent character of ethnophilosophy in the time of its emergence and in contemporary scholarship.


African philosophy Ethnophilosophy Collective reasoning Orality Popular knowledge 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.WZB Berlin Social Science CenterBerlinGermany

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