African Philosophy and the Challenge from Hegemonic Philosophy

Dennis Masaka


The position defended in this article is that African philosophy has the potential to grow into a philosophy that could eventually attain a significant place in the philosophy curriculum in Africa. This could be attained if those who are genuinely concerned with its present demotion to an inferior philosophy also actively participate in its development and dissemination. This is an admission that there might be something wrong with the way African philosophy has been received and treated in the academy even in present times. This is a difficult position whereby some indigenous people of Africa and others consider African philosophy to be somewhat inferior to Western philosophy. One might be tempted to think that since most of the people who end up studying and writing on African philosophy would have been, first and foremost, initiated into Western philosophy, the temptation might be to judge it using Western categories. The result might be a philosophy which is, by definition, a proxy of Western philosophy. Yet, as argued in the present article, authentic African philosophy ought to grow and flourish within the existential situations and terms of the indigenous people of Africa without appeal to external categories.


African philosophy; Western philosophy; transformation; curriculum; education; Africa

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