“Philosophy for Children” in Africa: developing a framework
Building on Ndofirepi’s plea for an approach to teaching philosophy to high-school learners in Africa that is a hybrid of western and African thought, I argue that a critical touchstone is needed if the traditional wisdom is to be sifted, and that this can be found in the idea of the questioning and responsible subject. Traditional proverbs and myths, whether African or not, reveal a growing sense of responsibility but philosophy, I argue, can contribute the principle of non-contradiction and the foundational norm of responsibility. The principle and the norm can be found to be at the heart of the modern scientific enterprise and can in principle ground a dialogue between African traditional and modern European value-systems.
Keywords: African traditional thought; ethics; myth; philosophy; presence-to-self; religion; responsibility; science; scientism; transcendence