CALL FOR PAPERS: ‘Contrasts and contests about philosophy’

CALL FOR PAPERS: ‘Contrasts and contests about philosophy’

Special issue of the South African Journal of Philosophy

Guest Editor: Mogobe Ramose [University of South Africa]

Philosophers are continually engaged in discussions, emanating from diverse cultures and temperaments, about what philosophy is and what philosophers should do. Generally speaking, the Western epistemological paradigm – notwithstanding its own internal controversies – tends to dominate global discussions about philosophy.

In any country where the philosophical scene is overwhelmingly dominated by non-indigenous concerns and approaches, questions ought to be raised concerning this dominance. Moreover, it is important for philosophers to engage actively in the ongoing debates about philosophical perspectives that have emerged not only in contrast to the Western epistemological paradigm but also in contestation of it.

‘Contrasts’ and ‘contests’ in this context refer to such debates, which extend beyond the specifically philosophical. In order to recognise this it is necessary to have the preposition ‘about’ in the title of the theme. The preposition ‘in’ would be misleading insofar as it would give the impression that only philosophers are part of the debate.

This special issue of the South African Journal of Philosophy invites multi- and interdisciplinary contributions on questions in and about philosophy. Submissions should focus preferably but not exclusively on Africa. Submissions on the following topics are particularly welcome:

· What is the character and meaning of philosophies dominated by the Western epistemological paradigm in South Africa? (Notably, the label ‘non-Western’ is objectionable to the extent that it positions other philosophies as parodies of Western philosophy. The fact that this has been so historically, and continues in contemporary South Africa underscores the ethical and political objection to the use of ‘non-Western’.)

· The concept of ‘dialogue’ is one of the controversial topics in the unfolding discussions in and about philosophy. Is dialogue possible between diverse philosophical traditions (e.g. Indian, African, Chinese and Western)?

· Is there such a thing as ‘the Western epistemological paradigm’?

· Is there an African philosophical paradigm?

· Why and how do ‘deconstructive’ and ‘reconstructive’ challenges arse in African philosophy?

· The significance of hermeneutics in the philosophy of liberation with special focus on Africa.

· What is the relationship between philosophy and the culture from which it emanates?

· Intellectual decolonisation as a liberation issue in any of the following

disciplines: philosophy, religion, theology, psychology, mathematics,

medicine, science, economics, politics, environmental ethics, ethics and

business ethics.

· Is it important, within the larger society, that philosophy in South Africa or Africa shake off the Western paradigm? Why or why not?

· A critique of “the underside” in intellectual decolonisation as an issue in liberation.

The deadline for submissions is 1 May 2015 for publication in the SAJP Vol. 34

No. 4, 2015. Manuscripts should be 6000-8000 words in length (including

references and footnotes) and adhere to the SAJP instructions for authors,

available at:

All manuscripts must be prepared for anonymous review and submitted to the

SAJP online at where they will be directed to the

Guest Editor, Prof Mogobe Ramose. When you are asked to select a

section/category please select the option ‘special edition’. All submissions will

undergo double-blind peer review.

Further enquiries can be addressed to:

Mogobe Ramose (Guest Editor) at or Inge Konik (Editorial Assistant) at or Andrea Hurst (Editor-in-Chief) at

The SAJP is the official journal of the Philosophical Society of Southern Africa.

The journal is anonymously refereed, indexed and published by Taylor &


Prof Andrea Hurst

Associate Professor (Philosophy)
Department of Journalism, Media and Philosophy
Room 0413, Fourth Floor, Main Building
South Campus
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Tel: 041 504 4848 (direct)
Tel: 041 504 2871 (School Secretary)
Fax: 041 504 2229

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