Towards a Philosophy with Meaning and Significance for Africa

  • Bekele Gutema
Keywords: Dialogue/polylogue; Human survival and flourishing; Interculturality; Philosophy


The essay explores the various meanings of philosophy. After a consideration of its different meanings, it outlines the possible uses of philosophy. Philosophy of course deals with fundamental questions. These questions are not radically detached from issues of real life. Moreover, it is up to us to shape philosophy in ways it could enlighten our existence and continuity. As philosophy does not subscribe to just one method, using philosophical analysis and reflection and review of relevant literature, I have tried to show the importance of making philosophy relevant to its context. Here there is a plea to make philosophy intercultural because interculturality will enable the broadening of the philosophical horizon, thereby creating a condition for addressing issues of human survival and flourishing through philosophy enriched by an intercultural dialogue/polylogue. We need to do philosophy for a purpose. That purpose must not be for a mere academic exercise alone. It has to be a “critical moral practice” that tries to use philosophy to address problems that are close to peoples’ concerns about a meaningful and fulfilling life. Based on the discussion given, I have concluded the article showing ways of practicing philosophy with meaning and significance.

Author Biography

Bekele Gutema

Addis Ababa University, College of Social Sciences, Department of Philosophy

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