KNOWLEDGE IN TRADITIONAL AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE: A CRITIQUE
The debate on whether there is African philosophy has in recent times given way to what is African philosophy and how the Africans philosophise. Some thinkers are of the context that if we must philosophise in African context we must recognize the primary of other branches of philosophy. While others maintain the view that epistemology is a cogito sine-que non’ as basic for any philosophizing.
Epistemology as a focal point is philosophy started with the cartesian cogito ergo sum for which he was randomly been criticized. African theory of knowledge is a theory through which the Africans clam to know the things they know and now they know them. Knowledge as such must pre-suppose the existence of the ‘knower’ and this is why existence before being perceived becomes absolute. A good theory of knowledge must therefore grapple first with the existence of the subject of consciousness before the articulation of the object.
The attempt therefore of some scholars in African philosophy to follow the cartesian thesis in formulating African theory of knowledge would be antithetical to every understanding of African philosophy, which according to Temples , Mbiti, Onyewuenyi, Omoregbe is Ontologically based. It is to recapture and reconfirm the ontological base of African epistemology that we have undertaken to carry out this research titled ‘knowledge in traditional African perspective’.