Kant in africa and africa in kant

critical philosophy in african culture and thought Thematic Issue of Estudos Kantianos (UNESP, Brasil), 2022


  • Inácio Valentim Instituto Superior Politécnico Sol Nascente - ISPSN
  • Marita Rainsborough Leuphana University
  • Paulo Jesus University of Lisbon




Kant, Africa, Special Issue


Immanuel Kant devotes his thought to the diversity and unity of humanity both in the natural and cultural domains, especially through the foundation or, at least, renovation, of two complementary disciplines: Geography and Anthropology. Thinking of Africa based on Kantian philosophy is an exercise that exposes essential tensions, inherent in questioning the meaning of universality and particularity, as well as its relations. From the angle of the critical power of human intelligence, one can find Kantian resonances in the ideas of freedom and liberation that animate all contemporary African cultural expressions, with an anti- and post-colonial outlook, from politics to the arts, through religion, law, economy and education. However, simultaneously, the Aufklärung that Kant announces and lives, is located in European history, in the mutation of Modernity whose passion for the Universal remains deeply anchored in the concrete body of 18th-century Europe divided between Feudalism and Liberalism, but always inclined towards physical and spiritual possession of the world, aimed at the expansion of its Faith and its Empire, identifying the apex of the supposedly progressive history of humanity with its Logos and its civilizing Ethos. Therefore, Kant’s German-Christian Eurocentrism is a constitutive position that challenges the self-critical power of all Critical Reason. Moreover, if Kant rejects and disapproves of colonial violence as a war of aggression that destroys the conditions of perpetual peace, offending Cosmopolitan Justice, he remains nevertheless permeable to Eurocentric stereotypes that represent the character of black otherness and its cultural creations, oscillating between a hierarchical and an egalitarian view of humanity’s ethnic-racial differences.







Como Citar

Kant in africa and africa in kant: critical philosophy in african culture and thought Thematic Issue of Estudos Kantianos (UNESP, Brasil), 2022. (2022). Estudos Kantianos [EK], 9(2), 9-14. https://doi.org/10.36311/2318-0501.2021.v9n2.p9