SAGE PHILOSOPHY AND ETHNO-PHILOSOPHY: THE DIFFERENCES?
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Keywords

SAGE PHILOSOPHY
ETHNO-PHILOSOPHY

Abstract

Sage philosophy and ethno-philosophy are not different. Sage philosophy is merely a modification of ethno-philosophy, and as well faces the same critical challenges as ethno-philosophy, as group philosophy. Tempel's Bantu Philosophy is regarded as the first systematised work on African philosophy. What constitutes African philosophy remains a major concern. Ethno-philosophy, sage philosophy, national ideological philosophy and professional philosophy are trends in its study. This paper critically examines ethno-philosophy, which defines African philosophy as a study of the chronicled worldviews, beliefs, myths, folklores, folk wisdom, traditions and cultures of the African people. Critics view ethnophilosophy as 'group' philosophy, which negates the basic characteristic of philosophy as an articulation of the thoughts or ideas of an individual. Sage philosophy became therefore, a response to, and a reformation of ethno-philosophy. It consists in identifying individuals in society reputed for their profound insights and wisdom by the trained philosopher, who engages these men, referred to as sages and weaves their ideas and wisdom into a coherent matrix of thought. The question that arises therefore from the sage-philosopher interaction is, whom do we refer to as the progenitor of the said interaction? Is it the sage or the trained philosopher? If the idea belongs to both the sage and the trained philosopher, then we return to the same problem of African philosophy as 'group' philosophy.

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