AMO AND HEGEL: TWO LIVES, TWO PHILOSOPHIES

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Mabe Jacob Emmanuel

by Jacob Emmanuel Mabe

2015-03-23
 
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Although Anton Wilhelm Amo (c.1700-1753) and Georg Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) developed against the same cultural background, they share few common elements in their reasoning styles and are fundamentally differentiated by their perceptions of Africa.

For a very long time Amo’s work developed in the shadows because it failed to attract an audience. However, he has gone down in history as the first world-class philosopher of African origin to have taken an active part in the debates of the European Enlightenment. His intellectual greatness is due as much to his unwavering support for Africa throughout his life as to his absolute respect for the customs and peoples of the other continents. Hegel, on the other hand, has gained a bad reputation as a result of his boundless contempt for Africa which sometimes creates doubt about the humanist value of his philosophy. However, despite all criticism, Hegel stands among the founding fathers of modern intellectual Europe, owing to the reception and distribution of his works which are among the most widely read and known in the world.

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