By George L. Jackson
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Extra resources for Blood in My Eye
Wittgenstein points us in a different direction with his examples. He wants me to come to some personal satisfaction regarding a disquieting situation—therein lies my understanding. He asks what kind of experiences I have that may bring my heart and mind to rest. This requires some kind of imaginative transfer of the other’s life into my own—some mutual understanding of their and our cultural differences and similarities. 28 When the seriousness of death, for example, impinges on a person or community any manner of action(s) may arise within the person or community to enable them to allay anxiety, dispel further fears, or celebrate a new confidence in the ongoing nature of life in death.
But he also wants to carve out a more specific channel for African philosophy. So although both of these currents, universalistic and dialectical, share some common goals, he believes the dialectical current of critical philosophy is more closely bound to the political struggles and intellectual history of contemporary Africa. ”30 In this sense the literature of ethnophilosophy and the “negritude movement” could be considered philosophical texts of an earlier age—“texts” to be criticized and dialectically “taken up” into a new stage in an ongoing dialogue.
53 If this is done as a matter of course, then UNDERSTANDING ANOTHER CULTURE 19 understanding another way of life, as Winch said, will necessarily extend our own. In the end there is no way around the issue of translation. Whatever is found and understood about another culture—about Africa (or its many cultures)— will be found in translation. Kwasi Wiredu says it bluntly and in a way few can challenge because virtually all of what is included in the class of “African” philosophy is either done in or immediately translated to one or another “metropolitan” language.