Betwixt and Between: Kwasi Wiredu’s Legacy in Postcolonial African Philosophy

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Bernard Matolino


While Kwasi Wiredu’s name is associated with the genesis of modern African philosophy, there are some aspects of his work that are in tension. Although Wiredu is an advocate of a modernized and science-based philosophical orientation, on the African continent, he is also equally committed to a possibility of the existence of philosophy in traditional African society. In the development of his philosophical theses, it appears that he relies on both sources for his method and argument. It is this dual usage of two conflicting systems that leads to a tension in some aspects of his philosophy. In addition, Wiredu’s philosophy is in serious respects shaped by the postcolonial era it emerges from. In part, his thinking is a response to colonialism, and in another part, an attempt at overcoming the effects of colonialism. My aim is to show how Wiredu’s philosophy is ultimately a product of these contradictory forces.

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Matolino, B. (2019). Betwixt and Between: Kwasi Wiredu’s Legacy in Postcolonial African Philosophy. Journal of World Philosophies, 4(2), 61-69. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Bernard Matolino

Bernard Matolino is an associate professor in philosophy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg campus. His research expertise is in African philosophy. He is author of three books on personhood and political philosophy.