Rethinking African Analytic Philosophy: A Perspectival Approach

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Grivas Muchineripi Kayange


In this paper I put together insights from the ordinary-language approach (use-theoretical approach) and perspectival realism, and use them in developing and clarifying themes in African philosophy. I therefore appeal to language and how African individuals are using it in a particular context. In order to achieve this, I will firstly introduce the analytic philosophical framework in the context of Anglophone African philosophy. This exposition also aims at identifying gaps in the general studies that build on this approach. Secondly, I will clarify the perspectival approach, indicating further how it is reflected in African thought. Thirdly, I will demonstrate the abstraction of philosophical themes using the perspectival approach through the analysis of how Africans are using language. It is argued that this approach leads to the development of African philosophy from the grassroots and helps in opening up a multiplicity of philosophical themes on the African continent.

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How to Cite
Kayange, G. (2019). Rethinking African Analytic Philosophy: A Perspectival Approach. Journal of World Philosophies, 4(2), 40-54. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Grivas Muchineripi Kayange

Grivas Muchineripi Kayange is currently Dean of Humanities and senior lecturer of philosophy at Chancellor College, University of Malawi. His current research is in African philosophy mainly following the tradition of analytic philosophy, with a special interest on building this philosophy on language, logic, and insights from natural science. His book, Meaning and Truth in African Philosophy: Doing African Philosophy with Language (Springer 2018), attempts to engage in African thought through analysis of language. The use of the current language-based method is also reflected in his forthcoming work in South African Journal of Philosophy on “Restoration of Ubuntu as an Autocentric-Virtue-Phronesis Theory.” He has also focused on understanding the concept of truth and perspectivism in natural science as is exemplified by his work “Alternative to Giere’s Perspectival Realism” in Heythrop Journal (2019) and earlier in his PhD on the Logical Concept of Verisimilitude (2008). His interest is also in building African political philosophy through the analysis of ordinary experience, as is demonstrated in his forthcoming book Capitalism and Freedom in African Political Philosophy (Palgrave).