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Original Articles

Teaching African Philosophy in African institutions of higher learning: The implications for African renaissance

Published in: South African Journal of Philosophy
Volume 34, issue 3, 2015 , pages: 346–357
DOI: 10.1080/02580136.2015.1072451
Author(s): Simphiwe SesantiDepartment of Journalism, Media and Philosophy, South Africa


In the not-so-distant past, colonial European scholarship denied the existence of African philosophy. In reaction, indigenous African scholars assiduously strove to prove its existence. While Africans succeeded in demonstrating the existence of African philosophy, another denial—deliberate or otherwise—manifested and continues to manifest itself in the non-existence or peripheral existence of African philosophy in institutions of higher learning. It is argued in this article that African philosophy should be at the core and centre of teaching in African institutions of higher learning. It is anticipated that such a move could help Africans in their quest for self-rediscovery and reconstruction, otherwise known as ‘African renaissance’. Simultaneously this move could help to reverse the psychological damage that many Africans continue to experience as a result of two unresolved issues: 1) some outside the African cultural community, continue to distort—insultingly—African culture, and 2) some inside the African cultural community—particularly the powerful ruling African elite—make self-serving statements in the name of African culture in pursuit of their selfish interests.

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