Critique of Black Reason: Rethinking the Relation of the Particular and the Universal

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Schalk Hendrik Gerber


This article reviews the 2017 English translation of Achille Mbembe’s book Critique of Black Reason. It suggests that a key to understanding the work concerns the theme of the double, for instance, the critique of the double discourse on Blackness which explains the title of the book. Despite some passages of the text being overly poetic and difficult to understand, Mbembe’s critical contribution in this work, to not only the philosophical debate on otherness but also critical race theory, is the attempt to rethink the relation of the particular and the universal, or in this instance Africa and the world, in order to think more critically about the responsibility of repairing the dignity of humanity in thinking our shared world beyond race and racism.

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Gerber, S. H. (2018). Critique of Black Reason: Rethinking the Relation of the Particular and the Universal. Journal of World Philosophies, 3(1), 165–168. Retrieved from
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Author Biography

Schalk Hendrik Gerber

Schalk Hendrik Gerber is a doctoral student at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. His research interests lie at the intersection of continental philosophy of religion and post-colonial studies. His publications on Mbembe include “From Dis-Enclosure to Decolonisation: In Dialogue with Nancy and Mbembe on Self-Determination and the Other,” Religions 9, no. 4, (2018): 1-13.