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Filosofia Theoretica

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2013

Ada Agada
Pages 239-273

Is African Philosophy Progressing?

Any attempt at writing the history of African philosophy is doomed to be frustrated by the glaring absence of originality, individuality, and creativity in the body of works that come under the heading of African philosophy. In the first place, most of what is called African philosophy is in fact ethno-philosophy, consisting chiefly of researches into the traditional worldviews of various African tribes in the light of Western philosophy. In this intellectually instigating paper I attempted the question whether African philosophy is progressing by showing that there has been some progress, albeit a slow one. I demonstrated this by tracing the development of a genuine African rationalism from Senghor’s famous idea of negritude to Asouzu’s recent notion of complementary reflection, which finds culmination in the emergent synthesis of consolationism. In the latter rationalism, veiled in Senghor’s metaphysical vision and liberated in Asouzu’s robust individualism, aspires to a completion never before seen in African philosophical thought. I concluded by saying that the time has come for African thinkers to make African philosophy a tradition that will command universal respect by the radicalization of individual initiative with ethno-philosophy serving only as the foundation of our 21st century inspiration.