Knowledge Crises in Ethiopia: A Transdisciplinary Perspective for Emancipation

Knowledge Crises in Ethiopia: A Transdisciplinary Perspective for Emancipation

Alelign Aschale Wudie (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3009-1.ch001
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Ethiopian knowledge and intellectualism has been squinted for the millennia. Using a trans-disciplinary design, knowledge and intellectual crises in Ethiopia was analysed philosophically by tracing the networks of knowledge and mind. From the endeavor, it is found out that transdisciplinary orders and practices compelled Ethiopia to lose her true genealogy of epistemology. The theo-culture and social structure, events and practices accentuated the threaded sagas of knowledge. Empires and big Dynasties were redacted to small states and kingdoms. Through redaction of authentic knowledge and belief system, Ethiopian system was lost; universal knowledge has become very local and the antithesis is true. In Ethiopia, the forces of taboos were mightier than the forces of man and education. Besides, Ethiopian knowledge suffered from several socio-economic, psychological and historical phenomena. Together, people can do anything they can. Every Ethiopian shall explore true Ethiopianism in history and strive for deconstructing crises and reconstructing the ancient wonderful Ethiopia.
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Knowledge has value and power, and it has to be properly managed. When time flies back and spaces are redefined, knowledge value, functional ideology and power suffer from crisis. Globally, knowledge empowers and dejects people. It can reverse epistemological and paradigmatic directions for its dynamism follows the power of the mind (Foucault, 1970; 1980; 1996). It is a double blade like the two polarities of the mined in which the sharpest mind can produce powerful knowledge. For information has been manipulated hard and wide for multiple ideologies, the pragmatic power of it becomes weak, or nullified. In history, the power of lie, arrogance, cruelty, and disgust has controlled knowledge and intelligence. Taboos prevented innovation and creativity. Besides, truth and value has be denied though relative. As a result, countless people have begun to live in self-imagined worlds of fiction and darkness.

Ethiopians have been engaged in bloody civil wars and unmatched competitions for identity, ethnicity, genealogy, religion, and records of civilizations under partisan histories. In the struggle, multiple elites emerged to produce and disseminate multiple images of knowledge and intelligence for one subject/object, Ethiopianism. The knowledge framework of Ethiopianism varies to a certain degree. It could pull threads from Africanism, Semitism, Blackness, or a mixture of two or more paradigms for Globalism. Ethiopianism is internationalism and inclusiveness. It is the quest for the roots of mankind. It was an inquiry to put a true genealogy. Those elites who missed the true routes of the genealogy produced false information and a power of fallacy. But those elites who linked the right network of the mind and body were discredited as heretic. As a result, this dichotomous indefinites brought about knowledge crisis is Ethiopia.

Knowledge/Power is realized in texts, and it is about objects which contain subjects with a coherent system of meanings. Knowledge, ideology and power also refer to other knowledge, ideology and power which reflect on their own ways. These inseparable determinants of a society and an institution are historically traced in “Texts” of a variety—the semiotic world is very powerful in determining people and their institutions. Knowledge/power support or destroy individuals and institutions, reproduce other knowledge/power, and have immense ideological effects. Implicational is that pessimistic use of knowledge/power could bring collateral damage to a certain society and a nation.

The main intention of the writer in this chapter was to decipher knowledge—of course intelligence and power, crises in Ethiopia as much as the archaeology of knowledge itself can bring back and thread itself from far off memory, time and space. The methodology used is a transdisciplinary, (Fairclough, 1992; Fairclough & Fairclough, 2012; Van Dijk, 1985; 1991; and Wodak, 1996), synthesis and evaluation of knowledge/power dynamics. That is, it is an e-dimensional multilogue philosophy of knowledge/power flow in a nation’s history—Ethiopia in history. The philosophy was based on enforced coherence (top-down, knowledge-driven processing) and attractive cohesion (bottom-up, data-driven processing) analysis of Ethiopia’s knowledge crises. The essay is not written as customary to discussions with references. It is a writing from the archaeology and genealogy of knowledge of the writer and the network of texts in the author’s repertoire. However, possible influences could be from the listed references (bibliography)1.

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