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Tradition and ModernityPhilosophical Reflections on the African Experience$
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Kwame Gyekye

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195112252

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195112252.001.0001

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Epilogue: Which Modernity? Whose Tradition?

Epilogue: Which Modernity? Whose Tradition?

(p.273) 9 Epilogue: Which Modernity? Whose Tradition?
Tradition and Modernity

Kwame Gyekye

Oxford University Press

Conceptualization of modernity in Africa is discussed in this section, in disagreement with the notion that “modernization” is similar to Westernization for the reason that contemporary or developed nonwestern nations may not possess all elements of Western modernity. Hence, one-dimensional understanding of modernity is highly disputed. It is hoped that there will be a realization of modernity suitable to cultural differences. It is therefore recommended that African modernity must be grounded from the complexities of African culture, and not from any foreign orientation. With longitudinal studies and field immersion, this objective will be materialized through the development and improvement of indigenous technologies along with the drastic modifications in some of the old “things.” To come up with an appreciative notion of the “present,” everything must be self-created but in accordance to the African intellect and standards.

Keywords:   modernity, modernization, Westernization, Africa, African culture, indigenous technologies, self-created modernity

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