Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya

Volume 4, Issue 2, December 2012

Odera Oruka Seventeen Years On

Francis E.A. Owakah
Pages 147-168

Race Ideology and the Conceptualization of Philosophy: The Story of Philosophy in Africa from Placide Tempels to Odera Oruka

Philosophy in Africa has come a long way. From the 18th and 19th centuries when it was totally ignored or denied altogether, to when it was given a lower status by ethnophilosophers. Today we talk proudly of an African philosophy. What is often forgotten is its history and the players behind its historical moments. This paper tells the story of how racial ideology had defined the course of philosophy in Africa. We are particularly concerned with telling the story of Henry Odera Oruka, and how he contributed to raising the status of philosophy in Africa.