Why Epistemic Decolonisation in Africa?

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Abstract

The call to decolonise knowledge is gaining increasing popularity in African philosophy. But as scholarly attention to the topic intensifies, so do doubts about the usefulness of theorising it, especially in spaces–like Africa–that are riddled with deeper problems such as mass poverty and social disempowerment. I focus on three challenges that Bernard Matolino has recently issued. If these challenges are on the right track, they threaten to derail the whole project of epistemic decolonisation worldwide, since many of the aspects of Africa that Matolino thinks make decolonial theorising unhelpful are shared by the rest of the Global South. In this paper, I develop a conception of epistemic decolonisation that is geared to withstanding such doubts in the contemporary African context, and can hopefully serve others in the Global South who share some of Africa’s problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-752
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Epistemology
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Epistemic decolonisation
  • epistemic injustice
  • epistemology of the global south

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • General Social Sciences

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