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The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge

(African Systems of Thought)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  11 reviews
..". groundbreaking... clear, straightforward, and economical.... seminal... " --American Anthropologist

"This is a challenging book... a remarkable contribution to African intellectual history." --International Journal of African Historical Studies

"Mudimbe's description of the struggles over Africa's self-invention are vivid and rewarding. From Blyden to Sartre, Temples to
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Paperback, 241 pages
Published May 1st 1988 by Indiana University Press
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nico
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anticolonia
just finished it and i'm too dumb to write anything about it rn but it good ...more
Myriam
Apr 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Essential reading for anyone interested in how the West invented/constructed damaging ideologies to subjugate African societies and subvert their cultures. Interestingly, Mudimbe's argument is primarily derived from Foucauldian thought yet interesting research on various African societies (especially regarding a modernity that pre-dates European expansion, see his section on the Dogon and missionary texts) and Mudimbe's reconceptualization of Africa through an antithetical "Western" critical gaz ...more
Brian Griffith
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Mudimbe does philosophy like a talk-show host or a parliamentary speaker. His benches are packed with hundreds of religious leaders, political thinkers, anthropologists, and philosophers who have moved African self-understanding. Their discussions are most eloquent, but unfortunately there is scarcely a woman in the auditorium.

In these pages, Carl Sagan undertakes to test Dogon cosmology. Zulu Chief Buthalezi and F. Eboussi-Boulaga debate the directions of African religion. The "Bantu Philosophy
...more
kripsoo
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mudimbe does philosophy like a talk-show host or a parliamentary speaker. His benches are packed with hundreds of religious leaders, political thinkers, anthropologists and philosophers who have moved African self-understanding. Their discussions are most eloquent, but unfortunately there is scarcely a woman in the auditorium.
In these pages Carl Sagan undertakes to test Dogon cosmology. Zulu Chief Buthalezi and F. Eboussi-Boulaga debate the directions of African religion. The "Bantu Philosophy"
...more
Benjamin Fasching-Gray
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa
It might be an amazing history of how social scientists have described African thought, but I didn't really understand it, probably.

One thing I am more convinced of than ever is that it is post-colonial philosophers and thinkers who will eventually find a way out of the maze of dead ends that "Western" thought seems to have wrought, and not "Westerners" trying to patch some Other into their system. If that means anything at all.
...more
Bradley
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fascinating & difficult at first to wrap the head around; Mudimbe in essence tackles the creation of paradigms that are largely misunderstood in classical Western thought.
Leonardo
Dec 17, 2015 marked it as to-keep-reference
Entre las disciplinas académicas involucradas en esta producción cultural de alteridad, la antropología fue tal vez la rúbrica más importante bajo la cual el Otro nativo fue importado a Europa y exportado desde Europa.

Imperio Pág.98
...more
Mulalo
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
mind=blown... thats all really... mind freakin blown
saïd
Mar 29, 2022 rated it liked it
Originally read for university. Somewhat outdated at this point but good for specialists.
Adam
Jan 26, 2022 rated it it was ok
Very heavy and anthropological. A little outdated now too but I can see why it was influential at the time. I can also see the comparisons between this work and Edward Said with African studies and postcolonial studies respectively.
Mia
May 18, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-college
Suggest only for African Studies scholars. Very dense and specific to a particular area of study.
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Valentin-Yves Mudimbe is a Congolese philosopher, professor, and author of poems, novels, as well as books and articles on African culture and intellectual history.

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