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Existence and Consolation: Reinventing Ontology, Gnosis, and Values in African Philosophy

Existence and Consolation: Reinventing Ontology, Gnosis, and Values in African Philosophy
Author
ISBN
9781557789143
Weight
1.50 lbs
Cover
Paper

Pages
402

Size
6x9

Date Available
2015/02/26


Index , Notes , Bibliography
        
Price:
$24.95 (18.71)
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Winner of Choice Magazine's Outstanding Academic Title Award for 2015!

"As Africa’s global influence grows in the 21st century, the significance of that continent’s philosophies rises as well. Ada Agada’s Existence and Consolation supports that judgment. Writing in dialogue with key traditions in Western and African thought, ever mindful that life unfolds in particular situations and circumstances, Agada sheds important light on the contemporary human condition and insightfully envisions what people share and need to honor in every time and place."—John K. Roth, Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College

"Agada introduces a set of concepts to African philosophy that are unique and original. He addresses mood (an orientation, affect, or attitude that drives thought), terror (our condition in a deterministic universe), and consolation (our response to terror), and weaves these into an intriguing and rich African theistic existential philosophy. Agada sees consolation as a fundamentally African ethic, extending the collective humanism implicit in proto-philosophies such as maat, ujamaa, ubuntu, ethnophilosophy, and especially negritude. Consolation philosophy begins with a phenomenology rooted in intersubjectivity, played out in a fatalist arena. This intersubjectivity undergirds communalism, which gives character to the context of ethical action in the face of anxiety and despair. This is the “melancholy being” who finds his roots in African community, who exists at the knife-edge of fate and freedom, and who finds consolation in ethically resolute action that faces the hope of transcendence.

Agada’s philosophy is ambitious, responsive to the history of African and Western philosophy and cognizant of the realities of living in Africa. His existential project is well conceived and carefully explored. What is most exciting is that this account addresses significant elements of African life and thought, while at the same time making a robust contribution to world philosophy. It stands as a significant new contribution to the expanding literature on African forms of life and thought, and deserves a wide reading and careful thought."—Bruce Janz, Professor of Philosophy, University of Central Florida

"A challenging and well-informed rereading of African philosophy to date that, combined with a fascinating retrieval and transformation of Senghor as well as with the intriguing thought of the contemporary Nigerian philosopher Asouzu, leads to an impressively comprehensive speculative account of the world and of human experience that balances a tragic sense of life with the joy of being: this is a “consolation philosophy” rooted in the African experience of the world." —Professor Gerard Walmsley , Vice President/ Head of Philosophy, St. Augustine College of South Africa

"This work constitutes a sustained critique of major currents and orientations in African philosophy thus inaugurating a new order with the universal vision of consolation. It recaptures the ontology, gnosis and values determined by the weltanschauung of the African. Grounded in complementarity logic, the book provides Africa’s constructive philosophy that acknowledges the solidarity of human quest. The message is new and clear—and the style irresistible." —Professor O. A. Oyeshile, Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan, Editor of Philosophy, Culture and Society: An African Gaze

Existence and Consolation offers a new stage in original African philosophy that transcends the vestiges of both European colonialism and African ethnocentrism. Consolation philosophy is the culmination of loose developments in African thought that stretch back to ancient Egypt. It reconstructs and reinvents African thought in the wake of the modernism and deconstruction that left African philosophy fractured and reaches a relatively complete synthesis. In Agada's philosophy of mood, metaphysics combines with morality and rationality is combined with emotionality, creating wholeness with universal appeal.

Agada shows how human experience can be interpreted in terms of a "metaphysics of terror" (arising out of a tragic sense of life) and a "morality of consolation" that overcomes anxiety. The author develops his position in a detailed dialogue with a wide range of African philosophers as well as key figures such as Aristotle, Spinoza, Hegel, Unamuno, and Heidegger.

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