ABSTRACT

Many values originating in Africa and in China, and ones that continue to influence much of everyday communication in those societies, are aptly placed under the common heading of “harmony.” After first spelling out what harmony involves in substantially Confucian China, and then in Africa, this article notes respects in which the Confucian and African conceptions of harmony are similar, an awareness of which could facilitate smooth communication. The article then indicates respects in which the Confucian and African conceptions of harmony are different, a lack of awareness of which could undermine smooth communication. The point of the article is to facilitate Sino-African communication by means of an awareness of indigenous moral-philosophical mindsets that continue to be salient in China and Africa, despite the influence of the West.

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