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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 32, 2018

Philosophical Traditions in Africa

Christine Gichure
Pages 23-28

Human Nature and Identity in Muntu Anthropology and Ubuntu Worldview

“Recent ethnic history of the peoples of Africa, though lacking in written documents, is seen to be very complex, yet rich in spiritual, social and individual experience, much worthy of further analysis research. Many customs and rites, once considered to be strange, are seen today, in the light of ethnological science, as integral parts of various social systems, worthy of study and commanding respect”. These words pronounced in three have been part of the inspiration for this paper. Another source of that inspiration was the work of Henry Oruka, in which he presents what he called ‘Sage Philosophy. Oruka defended his work with the argument that philosophical study of any topic in Africa needs to be approached under one or other of the various philosophical approaches. One such approach is the hermeneutical in which the scholar attempts to cull out the philosophical meaning from African wisdom, often hidden in myths, religions, sayings, songs, and poetry. This paper is an attempt to present human nature and identity in the Muntu Anthropology and Ubuntu worldview which shall be described in the body of the paper.