Title

When Turkeys Do Social Theory: Black Swans or White Swans in “Blackface”?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Publication Title

West Africa Review

Volume

19

Abstract

This article seeks to examine the theoretical phenomena known as the “black swan” or those phenomena that cyclically occur in society but are not predicted by statistical models. Nassim Taleb argues that the black swans constitute an existential blind spot that reveals that the world is far less predictable and more spontaneous than the Eurocentric empirical rhetoric would suggest. I concur, but argue that his own analysis is also Eurocentric and incomplete and therefore try to suggest how Africa-centered philosophical insights would buttress his analysis and in some respects, take it in new directions.