Is there an 'African' Epistemology?

  • FA Airoboman
  • AA Asekhauno


This work is a rethinking of the idea of culture-dependent epistemology. It inquired into the meaning of African epistemology. It presented briefly some epistemological rumination of Africans which agreed with the universal nature of philosophizing. Thereafter, it presented the position of the proponents which held that there is African mode of knowing, peculiar to Africans, context-dependent and social bound, and superior to other epistemologies. This work critically examined these claims and opined that the idea of African peculiar epistemology is based on wrong epistemic premises. It argued that what is presented as the dicta of African epistemology by its proponents is colorized with western epistemological character. It argued further that the position of the proponents of African peculiar epistemology make the discipline of African epistemology a mutt, too simplistic, commonplace, and bereft of epistemological nitty-gritty. Although this work does not deny that epistemology can be culturally provoked, generated and reflected upon; but this does not remove the universal element of epistemology as a theory of knowledge. This article thus concluded that for Africa epistemology to be a serious business, it must first be freed from the cocoon of peculiarism.

Keywords: Epistemology, context-dependent, commonplace, universal epistemology


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-8308