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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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Tradition and Modernity

Tradition and Modernity

(p.217) 8 Tradition and Modernity
Tradition and Modernity

Kwame Gyekye

Oxford University Press

From the conventional definition of tradition as any cultural behavioral pattern or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another, the author attempts to formulate a new understanding of the word. In the course of this endeavor is the difficulty in delineating tradition from modernity since there are several past components that are carried on to the present. The chapter ignores the perspective that tradition has a natural legitimating structure and the notion that there is an “invented” customary practice. Although the “primitive” rituals and principles have positive features, wholesale acceptance of these is not necessarily true. With rational thinking, individuals in the “modern” or present setting should evaluate the applicability of what have been transmitted unto them prior to reception and application. Valuation of these practices, values and even institutions reflect the community's stand regarding advancement of technology, inherited systems and moral considerations.

Keywords:   customs, cultural behavior, tradition, modernity, rituals, technological advancement, values, principles

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