Due to the growth of neo-liberalism with its emphasis on “market-driven courses,” the humanities, of which philosophy is a part, find themselves disparaged and under-funded. As a result, some African philosophers have yielded to the temptation to deploy the empirical methodology of the natural and social sciences in a bid to illustrate the practical value of their discipline, thereby eroding philosophy’s distinctive characteristic, namely, reflection. Consequently, drawing from the contemporary discourse on methodology in African philosophy, this article argues that in order to preserve the distinctive character of their discipline, philosophers who inquire into indigenous African thought ought to treat the collection of empirical data on the subject as a preliminary step to the core task of philosophical reflection that deploys such techniques as criticism, linguistic analysis, and systematic speculation. Only then will African philosophy make its proper contribution to the interdisciplinary field of African studies.

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