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Sophia: An African Journal of Philosophy

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Postmodernism, phenomenology and afriphenomenology

Diana-Abasi Ibanga Francis

Abstract


In this paper, I aimed to study the relationship between postmodernism and phenomenology. In the study, I established that postmodernism and phenomenology bear similar ontological marking, which base their concepts and methodologies on an individualistic framework. On the basis of such ontological framework, phenomenology, in particular, postulates a method of studying phenomena, which involves individuating and isolating the phenomena from horizon and holding them as separate individual entities. The purpose is to enable the phenomenon or object to stand out and be seen clearly as it is in itself. In this way, it is expected that the true essence of the object will be visible and projected. I have found this conceptual framework inadequate in the study of phenomena and grasping of their true essences and meanings. I argue that bracketing off the horizon in order that the object may clearly stand out will transform the object into another object different from its original form. To solve this observed problem, I introduced the concept of “afriphenomenology”, which is a phenomenological theory and methodology that is based on African ontology. Afriphenomenology, basing its premises on African ontological experience, holds that objects and phenomena are interconnected, interrelated, interdependent and complementary. For this reason, when phenomena or objects appear they do so as cohort, cluster, correlative and interconnective entities or events rather than as individuated and unrelated realities. Therefore, to grasp the true essence and meaning of an object or a phenomenon will involve studying the object or phenomenon in relations with the correlative objects and phenomena. Citing example of the events that led to the discovery of the planet Neptune, I show how afriphenomenology can help us discover new information about objects and phenomena.

Keywords: Postmodernism, Phenomenology, Afriphenomenology, African Ontology




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