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Goldsmiths - University of London

Between Earth and Sky

Martinon, Jean-Paul. 2016. Between Earth and Sky. Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, 24(1), pp. 25-44. ISSN 1936-6280 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper focuses on the idea of the limit of African thought. It asks: what exactly do we mean by a limit when it comes to a whole continent, many different histories, and modes of thought? To address this issue properly, it is necessary to abandon all spatial and geographical markers, and therefore all socio-cultural, political, and economic determinations, and to focus on the subject addressing the question. With such a focus, all thinking of the limit thus becomes reduced to a kind of mono-logic—one voice at the limit asking the question of the limit of African thought. The task at hand in this essay does not then entail to find a limit to African thought, but to avoid any form of mono-logical thinking, that is, any form of thinking that posits itself as limit. Is it at all possible to think a type of limit that doesn't start from a mono-logical premise? Overall, the essay argues that without a new thinking of the limit from which one asks questions, no new mode of thinking on the limits of Africa or its philosophy is possible. Main references include, Martin Heidegger, Valentin Mudimbe, Jacques Derrida, Reiner Schürmann, and Bourahima Ouattara.

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Identification Number (DOI):


Martin Heidegger, African philosophy

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures > Centre for Research Architecture


23 August 2016Accepted
13 October 2016Published Online

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Date Deposited:

13 Oct 2016 11:19

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2018 23:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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