An Introduction to African Legal Philosophy
by John Murungi
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A book on legal philosophy, necessarily, focuses attention on law. In addition to this focus, An Introduction to an African Legal Philosophy focuses attention on philosophy. The link between law and philosophy is brought into relief, which is done through an African context. An attempt is made to spell out what is African about legal philosophy without being cut off of African legal philosophy from non-African legal philosophy. The book draws attention to the view that a basic component of African legal philosophy consists of an investigation of what it is to be an African, and because an African is a human being among other human beings, the investigation is about what it is to be a human being. Ubuntuism is an African-derived word that captures this mode of being human. Moreover, because human beings are cultural beings, African cultural context guides the investigation. Inescapably, it is claimed that, every legal philosophy is embedded in a culture. African legal philosophy is not an exception. It is deeply rooted in African culture –a culture that is today shaped, in part, by a European colonialist culture. One feature that will strike one as one reads the book is that the book approaches African legal philosophy as a means of decolonization of African culture. African legal philosophy can accomplish this intelligently and effectively if it is itself decolonized. In doing this it contrasts sharply with mainstream Western legal philosophy.
- Lexington Books, April 2013
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