Philosophy in Asia, Africa and America

The general philosophy of life in Asia is based on the principle of Yin and Yang elements: the light and the dark, the positive and negative effect. It is a belief of balance and counter-balance and both have their opportunities and threats(“Philosophy: Yin and Yang vs. Good and Evil,” 2007). The Taoism principle of Way to happiness, the Buddhism philosophy that values love, wisdom, goodness, calm, and self-control in order to end worldly sufferings by following the Eightfold path and Confucius’ social code of behavior.
People base their lifestyle on luck, souls and spirits, reincarnation, the Nirvana and many others. These are the major religions of Asia and of the world that until now are still untainted. Western philosophy, which includes Europe, Canada, and U. S. A. , is based on Christianity, a religion with fundamentals of Good vs. Evil. This forms strong approach of “rights” and “wrongs”.
Under any condition an individual’s action is based on morality; either morally right or morally wrong (“Philosophy: Yin and Yang vs. Good and Evil,” 2007). From the rationalism and empiricism, to politicism, determinism, collectivism (which human rights derived) and scientism which claim that science is the only knowledge which is exact and ultimate. Basically, there are four trends that can be regarded as the foundation of African Contemporary Philosophy in our present times.

These trends are Ethnophilosophy (based on the myths, folk-wisdom and the proverbs of the people), Philosophic Sagacity (a reflection of a person who is acknowledged both as a sage and a thinker), Nationalist-ideological Philosophy (aims at seeking a true and a meaningful freedom for African people that can be attained by mental liberation and a return to genuine traditional African humanism wherever it is possible) and Professional Philosophy (consists of criticism and argument, which to them, are the essential characteristics and conditions for any form of knowledge to be judged as philosophy).
Nowadays, African intellectuals work with other scholars outside Africa to carry out the works in African philosophy wherein, modern system of education are strongly influenced by the European countries and among those important political African thinkers influenced by western philosophy are Kwame Nkrumah, Kenneth Kaunda and Julius Nyerere. Négritude and pan-Africanism are considered the two most important philosophical interests out of all the intellectual movements in Africa in the twentieth century (Emagalit).

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New York University

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