African Philosophy of Science/Examination of sources of scientific method
Examination of sources of scientific method
Understanding history of science helps us to reason well about the origin of major scientific methods. Earlier in human history, people of African descent spent time to observe nature and wrote about their examinations on walls, stones, coffins, papyri and clay. They also wrote on their bodies and on bones of the dead from which history of the continent can be reconstructed. African scholars were among the earliest scientists in the world. Their writings available today help us to trace the origins of scientific concepts and lead us to appreciate the African systematization of learning from nature. In ancient Egypt (Kemet), Nubia and Axum, there were several text books written which we can read today. These books include texts on reasoning from particular to general and from general to particular. The Nile Valley arts of sculpture and painting were other ways of writing. Wine making, food preparation and food preservation were also means of doing science. These ancient methods together involved African ways of storing scientific methods of our interest. We find that there were theories of solving practical problems in Africa as we go through the African historical texts. This chapter, therefore, looks at the fundamental approach to science that developed from the continent of Africa and may still be helpful today in distinguishing between scientific way and non-scientific way.