154 , 2015-09 , The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
African philosophy assumes that philosophy is a field of knowledge in which humans think about their very being and their place in nature, and that it is the province of humanity at large rather than of some segment thereof. Questions such as "Does African philosophy exist?" and "What is African philosophy?" have elicited protracted debates on the nature of philosophy and of rationality in general. This debate has yielded important texts in the field of African philosophy. Intercultural philosophy is a new orientation that assumes that philosophy originated in different cultures and at different times. It claims that Eurocentric assumptions about the origin and nature of philosophy are incorrect. Instead, it argues that there are different philosophies and that it is important for proponents of these philosophies to engage in dialogues or, ideally, polylogues. The ability to comprehend humanity's problems in a global age requires that representatives of different cultures and philosophies understand one another. This can be productive if it is approached from hermeneutic and intercultural perspectives. This article highlights intercultural elements in African philosophy that exemplify and derive from the indispensability of an intercultural perspective and recommends that a genuine philosophy that is able to serve humanity in a global age must be able to function interculturally.