|Traditional African Philosophy
Course Code: PHI 3103
Course Unit: 3
A study of African philosophy as rooted in African culture and history, its nature and relevance and the various opinions of African philosophers about it. The course undertakes specifically a critical examination of African traditional thought about fundamental aspects of human existence as reflected in the traditional conceptions of God, nature, person, mind, free will, cause and chance, destiny, time, life, death, morality, society, etc., with due attention to their cultural matrix and to similarities and contrasts with other systems of thought wherever appropriate. Problems in the comparison of modes of thought and in cross cultural translatability. The course examines further the world-views and cultural expressions of ancient African societies with emphasis on their influence on social institutions and on contemporary culture and life.
The course mainly targets the development of indigenous African philosophers or philosophical thinking which gleans ideas from traditional African systems of thought.
To encourage students to develop African philosophical perspectives
To help participants examine traditional African thought
To help students distinguish between African anthropology from African philosophy
To help students glean philosophical perspectives that underlies traditional African culture
General introduction to traditional African philosophy
The defining of Africa
Questions of defining traditional African philosophy
Methodology in studying traditional African philosophy
Non-African influences in defining philosophy
The question of rational thought and African philosophical capacities
Trends in Traditional African philosophical thought
African philosophy as anthropology
The hermeneutics of traditional African thinking and existence
Traditional African culture and African philosophical thought
Traditional African meanings of existence
Traditional African moral reasoning
On the legacy of Hegel, Strauss, et al on African rationality
The facilitator(s) will employ the following methods; Lectures, individual presentations, textual criticism, guest lectures
Course work exercises 30%
End of semester examination 70%
Abanuka, Boniface (1994), A New Essay on African Philosophy. Nsukka, Nigeria: Spiritan Publications
Appiah, Kwame Anthony, (1992) In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture. Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press
Bell, Richard, (2002), Understanding African Philosophy. London: Routledge
Coetzee P. H. and A. P. J. Roux, eds.(2003), The African Philosophy Reader, 2ndEdition. London: Routledge
Eze, Emmanuel, (1998), African Philosophy: An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers
Eze, Emmanuel (1997), Race and the Enlightenment: A Reader. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers
Bruce B. Janz, “African philosophy”
P. O. Bodunrin, in Wright "The Question of African Philosophy"
James George, (1954) The Stolen Legacy: Greek philosophy is stolen Egyptian philosophy, Africa World Press
Fanon, Frantz (1967), The Wretched of the Earth, trans. Constance Farrington. New York: Grove Press
Graiule, Marcel (1965), Conversations with Ogotemmêli, London: OxfordUniversity Press for the International African Institute.
Gyekye, Kwame (1995), An Essay on African Philosophical Thought. Philadelphia: TempleUniversity Press.
Hallen, Barry and J. O. Sodipo (1997), Knowledge, Belief and Witchcraft: Analytic Experiments in African Philosophy. Palo Alto, CA: StanfordUniversity Press.
Hallen, Barry, (2002), A Short History of African Philosophy. Bloomington: IndianaUniversity Press.