oa Historia - African philosophy : a historical perspective and its role in defining Africa's identity

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



African philosophy as an academic discipline orginated in the post-war period. Attempts to establish African philosophy as an independent academic discipline must be seen against the background of Western political, economic and cultural domination in Africa. The prevailing colonial attitude regarding Africans as pre-logical human beings helped to stimulate the search for an independent African philosophy. It represents an attempt to devise Africa's own epistemological, ideological and methodological systems, in much the same way that African nationalism and African socialism represented a reaction against foreign political and ideological domination. Those who are engaged in the practice of African philosophy differ in their views concerning the nature and content of this discipline. Some refuse to accept that African philosophy is any different from other philosophical systems. Others are convinced that there is, and should be, a peculiar African element in it. The debate about the autonomy of African philosophy focuses in particular on the ideal of cultural and economic independence in Africa. African philosophy must then be seen in the context to attempt to bring about a ""decolonisation of the mind"" in Africans. This will, it is hoped, lay the foundation for meaningful social and economic change on the continent.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error