Self and Community in a Changing World

Self and Community in a Changing World

D. A. Masolo
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/16/2010
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-22202-2
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Revisiting African philosophy’s classic questions, D. A. Masolo advances understandings of what it means to be human—whether of African or other origin. Masolo reframes indigenous knowledge as diversity: How are we to understand the place and structure of consciousness? How does the everyday color the world we know? Where are the boundaries between self and other, universal and particular, and individual and community? From here, he takes a dramatic turn toward Africa’s current political situation and considers why individual rights and freedoms have not been recognized, respected, demanded, or enforced. Masolo offers solutions for containing socially destructive conduct and antisocial tendencies by engaging community. His unique thinking about community and the role of the individual extends African philosophy in new, global directions.

Author Bio

D. A. Masolo is Professor of Philosophy and Justus Bier Professor of Humanities at the University of Louisville. He is author of African Philosophy in Search of Identity (IUP, 1994) and editor (with Ivan Karp) of African Philosophy as Cultural Inquiry (IUP, 2000).


“D. A. Masolo is one of the leading African philosophers and nobody who has studied his African Philosophy in Search of Identity can fail to be excited when they pick up this new book.”
 — Robert Bernasconi, Penn State University

“Inspiring not only to those who are directly related to the African discussion, but also to any thinker who asks how in the world we can coexist with that which makes us singular and that which we share with the other.”
 — Jean-Godefroy Bidima, Tulane University

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Table of Contents


1. Philosophy and Indigenous Knowledge
2. Philosophy and the Orders of Consciousness
3. Revaluation of Values and the Demand for Liberties
4. Understanding Personhood: An African Philosophical Anthropology
5. Juok as the Moral Foundation of Personhood
6. Two Forms of Communitarianism: A Comparison
In Lieu of a Conclusion: A Village Symposium on Experience