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Akan Philosophy and Personhood

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Mind, soul, body, and breath—how do all of these go together for the Akan of West Africa?

The Akan people of West Africa have developed a system of metaphysics, epistemology, and moral philosophy with a special focus on personhood. For the Akan, their conception of a person is not just a matter of theoretical interest—it has far reaching practical implications for their social institutions and communal practices. So what exactly is the Akan notion of personhood, and how is it rooted in Akan traditional culture? How does the Akan emphasis on the social nature of personhood promote trust, cooperation, and a sense of responsibility to the community? And can this communal perspective help restore cultural identity in a postcolonial Africa? Josh and Ray welcome Ajume Wingo from the University of Colorado Boulder, author of Veil Politics in Liberal Democratic States. Sunday, October 24 at 11 am.

Devon Strolovitch studied medieval Judeo-Portuguese manuscripts and earned a PhD in Linguistics from Cornell University before coming to KALW. He is the Senior Producer of Philosophy Talk, and since 2007 has hosted Fog City Blues, the weekly digest of Blues in the Bay Area and beyond.