New UJ centre shines light on African philosophy

Johannesburg - African philosophy – especially around areas on knowledge production and science – will be at the heart of a new centre opened by the University of Johannesburg, the institution said on Sunday.

“We do not speak of studying African philosophy, as one might study cave paintings in the Drakensberg,” said Professor Alex Broadbent, the Executive Humanities Faculty Dean, in explaining the motivation behind the new African Centre for Epistemology and Philosophy of Science.

“We speak of doing African philosophy, engaging in a practice that is as alive and as changing as any other academic discipline.”

The centre was officially opened on Friday. It will host three umbrella projects: one looking at indigenous knowledge systems, another looking at health and medicine in Africa, and the third looking at rationality and power.

“The role of… [the centre], in this time and place, is to champion critical decolonisation, both against reactionary opposition to decolonisation, and against the temptations of dropping our critical guard,” said Broadbent.

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