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M. RATHEBE 201604038 PHI 312
African philosophy can be formally defined as a critical thinking by Africans on their experiences of reality. African philosophy is a critical reflection on African leaderships in the administration of their duties towards their citizens; the morally blameworthiness or praiseworthiness of it. It will also provide possible solutions to the problems experienced in African governance. Peters, R.S. (1959). While according to Henry Odera Oruka professional philosophy takes a universal view of philosophy instead it argue that philosophy must have the same meaning everywhere, so that what should differ are the problems it interrogates and in some cases and the methods of dealing with these problems. The methods can be determined by cultural biases and the existential situation in the society in which the philosopher operates said (Hountondji 1996). Yes I agree that African philosophy is the philosophy done by African philosophers whether it is in the area of logic, metaphysics, ethics or history of philosophy.

Firstly African philosophy is the work of philosophers of African descent and others whose work deals with the subject matter of the African diaspora. Africana philosophy includes the philosophical ideas, arguments and theories of particular concern to people of African descent. Some of the topics explored by African philosophy include: pre-Socratic African philosophy and modern day debates discussing the early history of Western philosophy, post-colonial writing in Africa and the Americas, black resistance to oppression, black existentialism in the United States, and the meaning of blackness in the modern world. Peter O. Bodunrin (1985). According to Harris, J. E. (1993) the African diaspora consists of the worldwide collection of communities descended from Africa’s peoples, predominantly in the Americas.

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Secondly, African philosophy is a disputed term, used in different ways by different philosophers. In attributing philosophical ideas to philosophers of African origin, a distinction must be made between Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, which was the home of Egyptian culture and of prominent Christian, Jewish, and Islamic philosophers such as Augustine of Hippo. Sub-Saharan Africa had no written language or sacred writings, so it is necessary to examine the religious beliefs and oral traditions of African peoples in order to understand their thought. This is complicated by the fact that approximately three thousand different tribal groups exist in Sub-Saharan Africa, each with its own language and religious and cultural traditions. Wiredu (1980).
Thirtdly according to Gordon, L. (2008) African philosophy is the name for an emergent and still developing field of ideas and idea-spaces, intellectual endeavors, discourses, and discursive networks within and beyond academic philosophy that was recognized as such by national and international organizations of professional philosophers, including the American Philosophical Association, starting in the 1980s.The name does not refer to a particular philosophy, philosophical system, method, or tradition. African philosophy is a third-order, metaphilosophical, umbrella-concept used to bring organizing oversight to various efforts of philosophizing that is, activities of reflective, critical thinking and articulation and aesthetic expression engaged in by persons and peoples African and of African descent who were and are indigenous residents of continental Africa and residents of the many African Diasporas worldwide.

Moreover, African philosophy does exist. It is difficult to characterize, as it is quite varied, and as far as I can see, it has one somewhat unfortunate feature: African philosophy more than any other regional philosophy is very focused on itself, on what it is to be African or, indeed, to do African philosophy what is the African perspective or experience of the world. Characterizing African philosophy is that there exist very few written texts in African philosophy, it being mostly spread and maintained through stories, songs, poems, and other oral traditions. African philosophy should include both material on some oral cultures and rather more on the philosophical work that has been done in literate traditions on the African continent, including those that have developed since the introduction of Western philosophical training there. Toni Kannisto(2015).


Harris, J. E. (1993). “Introduction” In J. E. Harris (ed.), Global Dimensions of the African Diaspora, pp. 8–9.

Peter O. Bodunrin (1985) Philosophy in Africa: Trends and Perspectives University of Ife Press)
Wiredu, Kwasi. (1980). Philosophy and an African. Cambridge University Press
Gordon, L. (2008). An Introduction to Africana Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Toni Kannisto,(2015). Philosophy, University of Oslo

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