Sage Philosophy, Rationality and Science: The Case of Ethiopia

  • CC Verharen


This essay uses examines contemporary Ethiopian philosophy to determine the practicality of sage philosophy and 'its connections to rationality and science. The early Messay . Kebede, former chair of the University of Addis Ababa philosophy department, views philosophy as an aid to science-any other use of philosophy is myth. The later Messay valorizes myth as a force serving rationality. After criticizing Messay's  separation of myth and rationality, the essay considers his proposals for philosophy in Africa. Claude Sumner's' (another former Addis Ababa philosophy chair) research on oral Ethiopian traditions offers an alternative to Messay, but Sumner's method can be augmented by Odera Oruka's. After considering Ethiopian anthropologist Gemetchu Megerssa's research on Oromo worldviews, the conclusion proposes a research program using the combined methods of anthropologists and philosophers to develop a philosophical "galvanizing myth" emerging from African history to stand against globalization.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2520-582X
print ISSN: 1810-4487