Published by: Indiana University Press
Reading Wiredu is the first comprehensive overview of the philosophical thought of Kwasi Wiredu. Born in Ghana in 1931, Wiredu, an important observer and critic of philosophy generally, remains an original and penetrating African thinker. Interrelating Wiredu's philosophical writings from across decades, Barry Hallen sets forth the basic tenets and the defining features of his philosophy.
Wiredu's thought is divided into five distinct but interconnected areas: his response to the philosophy of Quine on issues of logic and ontology, issues of language in philosophical reflection, the nature of truth as a practical and philosophical concern, the principle of sympathetic impartiality that all human beings must live by to survive as a group, and finally, consensus building as rooted in intentional, negotiated, and rational exchanges that are part of everyday life.
Reading Wiredu explores the scope and depth of Wiredu's philosophical thought, which can be framed through what he calls a genetic methodology—a methodology that privileges environmental considerations in the production of various forms of thought. Hallen's overview is intended to assist scholars and students in grasping Wiredu's complex philosophical thought.
1. On Quine, Logic, and Ontology
2. On Quine and Language
3. On Translation
4. On Truth
5. On Sympathetic Impartiality
6. On Consensus
Reading Wiredu Bibliography
Supplementary Wiredu Bibliography
Commentaries and Relevant Texts
Reading Wiredu is an important contribution to African philosophy in particular, and to African studies generally. It aids the reader to make sense of Kwasi Wiredu's voluminous corpus by supplying useful background information, explicating key concepts, and showing the relationships among various aspects of Wiredu's thought. Prof. Hallen has also supplied a rich bibliography, which gives the reader very useful guidance on the part of the story of Wiredu's numerous publications not covered in this little but highly informative book. It is an invaluable resource not only to scholars of philosophy, but also those of linguistics, political science, sociology, anthropology, and history, as well as to general readers.~Reginald M.J. Oduor, University of Nairobi, Kenya
We all owe a debt of gratitude to Barry Hallen for bringing to us a Kwasi Wiredu who has an abundant lot to teach us about some of the perennial questions of philosophy. This is an invaluable primer on one of the major philosophers of our time with a body of work ranging from logic to ontology, from philosophy of language to ethics and social and political philosophy that deserves to be better known than it is. Operating from a solid base in his cultural heritage, as all philosophers do, Wiredu illuminates our understanding of some of the most significant debates in contemporary philosophy. Our discipline needs this book.~Olufemi Taiwo, Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University
Wiredu is the master of the short, tightly argued, razor sharp essay, and in this sense it is appropriate for Hallen to provide five relatively short and similarly concise essays that attempt to bring Wiredu's essays into a more comprehensive view and, in so doing, introduce Wiredu to a contemporary audience.~Jason M. Wirth, Seattle University