"When everything starts to flow" : Nkrumah and Irigaray in search of emancipatory ontologies
CITATION: Du Toit, L. 2015. "When everything starts to flow" : Nkrumah and Irigaray in search of emancipatory ontologies. Phronimon, 16(2):1-20.
The original publication is available at http://www.phronimon.co.za
A more explicit, comprehensive and sustained dialogue between the African philosophical and western feminist traditions would yield insights at once rich and useful to both traditions, and beyond. Here, I place the work of Belgian philosopher Luce Irigaray in discussion with Ghanaian Kwame Nkrumah's conception of ‘consciencism’. What they most saliently share is an understanding of how the dichotomies central to traditional western philosophy (mind-body and idealism-materialism) have been key in the structural exclusion and oppression of the ‘others’ of this dominant tradition. Both are convinced that western metaphysics serve ideological purposes and help to perpetuate relations of domination. Both struggle with the question of how to effectively resist this specific violence of the western philosophical tradition without repeating its logic. Most importantly for the current analysis, in their search for sources for resistance and emancipation, Nkrumah and Irigaray do not remain with diagnoses; instead both assume or construct a fluid ontology outside or a beyond this dominant symbolic order.