Theory and History of Ontology ( Raul Corazzon | e-mail:

Selected bibliography on African Philosophy

Contents of this Section


  1. Abimbola, Wande. 1975. "The Yoruba Concept of Human Personality." In La Notion de Personne en Afrique Noire, 73-89. Paris: Editions L'Harmattan.

    "After a brief introduction to Yoruba cosmology, the author analyzes representations associated with the main components of the human person. Ara (the body) refers to the set of physical elements. The "spiritual" components the most important are: èmí, (the soul), orí (the inner head) and esé (the leg). Emí, imperishable element, is created by Olòdùmarè (the Supreme Being). That is, in every individual, a parcel of "divine breath". Orí (the inner head) is associated with personal destiny. Every human being chooses it freely before coming into the world. Esé (the leg) represents the activity and the power. This is the element that allows you to update the potentialities received with the orí. The analysis is based on poetic texts extracted of the oral literature relating to Ifa (Yoruba divinatory system)."

  2. Abraham, Willie E. 1962. The Mind of Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Second edition: Leghon-Accra (Ghana) Sub-Saharan Pub & Traders 2015 with a new Preface by the Author.

  3. Afolayan, Adeshina, and Falola, Toyin, eds. 2017. The Palgrave Handbook of African Philosophy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  4. Agada, Ada. 2015. Existence and Consolation: Reinventing Ontology, Gnosis, and Values in African Philosophy. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House.

  5. Akande, Michael Aina. 2013. "A Re-Interpretation of African Philosophical Idea of Man and the Universe: The Yoruba Example." Open Journal of Philosophy no. 3:140-145.

  6. Ansell-Pearson, Keith J. 1987. "The question of African philosophy and Kwasi Wiredu's philosophy and an African culture." Journal of Humanities no. 1:75-90.

  7. Appiah, Kwame Anthony. 1992. In My Father's House. Africa in the Philosophy of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press.

  8. Asante, Molefi Kete. 1998. The Afrocentric Idea. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

    Revised and Expanded Edition.

    First edition Philadelphia: Temple University Press 1987.

  9. Asante, Molefi Kete, and Karenga, Maulana, eds. 2006. Handbook of Black Studies. London: Sage Publications.

  10. Asante, Molefi Kete, and Mazama, Ama, eds. 2005. Encyclopedia of Black Studies. London: Sage Publications.

  11. Asouzu, Innocent I. 2005. The Method and Principles of Complementary Reflection in and Beyond African Philosophy. Münster: LIT Verlag.

  12. ———. 2007. Ibuanyidanda: New Complementary Ontology Beyond World-Immanentism, Ethnocentric Reduction and Impositions. Münster: LIT Verlag.

  13. Bedu-Addo, Joseph T. 1985. "Wiredu on Truth as Opinion and the Akan Language." In Philosophy in Africa: Trends and Perspectives, edited by Bodunrin, Peter, 68-90. Ife: University of Ife Press.

  14. Bell, Richard H. 2002. Understanding African Philosophy: A Cross-Cultural Approach to Classical and Contemporary Issues in Africa. New York: Routledge.

  15. Bernal, Martin. 1987. Black Athena. The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, Vol. I: Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785 - 1985. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutger University Press.

  16. ———. 1991. Black Athena. The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, Vol. II: The Archaeological and Documentary Evidence. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutger University Press.

  17. ———. 2001. Black Athena Writes Back. Martin Bernal Responds to His Critics. Durham: Duke University Press.

  18. ———. 2006. Black Athena. The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, Vol. III: The Linguistic Evidence. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutger University Press.

  19. Blakeley, Thomas J. 1984. "The Categories of Mtu and the Categories of Aristotle." In African Philosophy. An Introduction, edited by Wright, Richard A., 163-170. Washington: University Press of America.

  20. Bobo, Jacqueline, Hudley, Cynthia, and Michel, Claudine, eds. 2004. The Black Studies Reader. New York: Routledge.

  21. Bodunrin, Peter. 1981. "The Question of African Philosophy." Philosophy no. 56:161-179.

  22. Bongmba, Elias Kifon. 2001. African Witchcraft and Otherness. A Philosophical and Theological Critique of Intersubjective Relations. Albany: State University of New York Press.

  23. Botz-Bornstein, Thorsten. 2006. "Ethnophilosophy, Comparative Philosophy, Pragmatism: Toward a Philosophy of Ethnoscapes." Philosophy East and West no. 56:153-171.

  24. Botz-Bornstein, Thorsten, and Asouzu, Innocent I. 2013. Ibuanyidanda: (Complementary Reflection) and Some Basic Philosophical Problems in Africa Today. Münster: LIT Verlag.

  25. Brown, Lee M., ed. 2004. African Philosophy. New and Traditional Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.

  26. Chimakonam, Jonathan O. 2012. Introducing African Science. Systematic and Philosophical Approach. Bllomington: AuthorHouse.

  27. ———, ed. 2015. Atuolu Omalu: Some Unanswered Questions in Contemporary African Philosophy. Lanham: University Press of America.

  28. Chimakonam, Jonathan O., Egbai, Uti Ojah, Segun, Samuel T., and Attoe, Aribiah, eds. 2019. New Conversations on the Problems of Identity, Consciousness and Mind. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

  29. Chimakonam, Jonathan O., and Etieyibo, Edwin E., eds. 2018. Ka Osi Sọ Onye: African Philosophy in the Postmodern Era. Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press.

  30. Chioni Moore, David. 1998. "African Philosophy vs. Philosophy of Africa: Continental Identities and Traveling Names for Self " Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies no. 7:321-350.

  31. Coetzee, Pieter Hendrik, and Roux, A.P.J., eds. 2003. The African Philosophy Reader. A Text with Readings. New York: Routledge.

    Second expanded edition (first edition 1998).

  32. Davis, Bret W. 2019. "Beyond Philosophical Euromonopolism:Other Ways of—Not Otherwise than—Philosophy." Philosophy East and West no. 69:592-619.

  33. Diagne, Bachir. 2016. The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa. Oxford: African Books Collective,.

  34. Dübgen, Franziska, and Skupien, Stefan. 2019. Paulin Hountondji. African Philosophy as Critical Universalism. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

  35. Dukor, Maduabu. 1989. "African Cosmology and Ontology." Indian Philosophical Quarterly no. 16:367-391.

  36. Edeh, Emmanuel M. P. 1985. Towards an Igbo Metaphysics. Chicago: Loyola University Press.

  37. English, Parker, and Kalumba, Kibujjo, eds. 1996. African Philosophy: A Classical Approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

  38. Etieyibo, Edwin E., ed. 2018. Method, Substance, and the Future of African Philosophy. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

  39. Eze, Emmanuel Chukwudi, ed. 1997. Postcolonial African Philosophy: A Critical Reader. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

  40. ———, ed. 1998. African Philosophy: An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell.

  41. ———. 2001. Achieving Our Humanity: The Idea of the Postracial Future. New York: Routledge.

  42. ———. 2008. On Reason. Rationality in a World of Cultural Conflict and Racism. Durham: Duke University Press.

  43. Fayemi, Ademola Kazeem. 2011. "A Critique of Cultural Unversals and Particulars in Kwasi Wiredu's Philosophy." Trames no. 15:259-276.

  44. ———. 2017. "African philosophy in search of historiography." Nokoko no. 6:297-316.

  45. Floistad, Guttorm, ed. 1987. Contemporary Philosophy. A New Survey. Vol. V: African Philosophy. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff.

  46. Forde, Daryll, ed. 1954. African Worlds: Studies in the Cosmological Ideas and Social Values of African Peoples. London: Oxford University Press.

  47. Gbadegesin, Segun. 1991. African Philosophy: Traditional Yoruba Philosophy and Contemporary African Realities. Bern: Peter Lang.

  48. Gordon, Lewis R. 2000. Existentia Africana. Understanding Africana Existential Thought. New York: Routledge.

  49. ———. 2008. An Introduction to Africana Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  50. Graness, Anke, and Kress, Kai, eds. 1997. Sagacious Reasoning: Henry Odera Oruka in memoriam. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

  51. Grinker, Roy Richard, and Steiner, Christopher B., eds. 1997. Perspectives on Africa. A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation. Cambridge: Blackwell.

    Second edition 2010.

  52. Gyekye, Kwame. 1987. An Essay on African Philosophical Thought: The Akan Conceptual Scheme. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Second revised edition: Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1995.

  53. ———. 1997. Tradition and Modernity: Philosophical Reflections on the African Experience. New York: Oxford University Press.

  54. Hallen, Barry. 2000. The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful: Discourse about Values in Yoruba Culture. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  55. ———. 2002. A Short History of African Philosophy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  56. ———. 2006. African Philosophy. The Analytic Approach. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.

  57. ———. 2014. "Select Issues and Controversies in Contemporary African Philosophy." Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement no. 74:109-122.

  58. Hallen, Barry, and Sodipo, J.Olubi. 1997. Knowledge, Belief and Witchcraft: Analytic Experiments in African Philosophy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

    Foreword by Dorothy Emmett.

    Second edition with a new foreword by Willard Van Orman Quine and a new afterword by Barry Hallen.

    First edition London: Ethnographica 1986.

  59. Hamminga, Bert, ed. 2005. Knowledge Cultures. Comparative Western and Africa Epistemology. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

  60. Harris, Leonard, ed. 1989. The Philosophy of Alain Locke: Harlem Renaissance and Beyond. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

  61. Headley, Clevis. 2017. "On the Historiography of Africana Philosophy: Overcoming Disciplinary Decadence through the Teleological Suspension of Philosophy." Critical Philosophy of Race no. 5:70-90.

  62. Henry, Paget. 2000. Caliban's Reason. Introducing Afro-Caribbean Philosophy. New York: Routledge.

  63. Hord, Fred Lee (Mzee Lasana Okpara), and Lee, Jonathan Scott, eds. 2016. I Am Because W Are. Readings in Africana Philosophy. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.

  64. Hountondji, Paulin J. 1996. African Philosophy: Myth and Reality. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

    Translation of: Sur la philosophie africaine. Critique de l'ethnophilosophie, Paris: Maspéro, 1976, by Henri Evans with the collaboration of Jonathan Rée.

    Introduction by Abiola Irele, pp. 7-30.

    Second edition with a new Preface, pp. VII-XXVIII; first edition: London: Hutchinson 1983.

  65. ———. 2002. The Struggle for Meaning: Reflections on African Philosophy, Culture and Democracy in Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press.

  66. Ikuenobe, Polycarp. 1997. "The Parochial Universalist Conception of 'philosophy' and 'African Philosophy'." Philosophy East and West no. 47:189-210.

  67. Imbo, Samuel Olouch. 1998. An Introduction to African Philosophy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

  68. ———. 2002. Oral Traditions as Philosophy: Okot p’Bitek’s Legacy for African Philosophy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlfield.

  69. Jahn, Janheinz. 1961. Muntu: An Outline of the New African Culture. New York: Faber and Faber.

    Translated from the German Muntu. Umrisse der neoafrikanischen Kultur (1958) by Marjorie Grene.

    Reprinted, with a new introduction by Calvin C. Hernton with the title: Muntu. African Culture and the Western World, New York: Grove Press, 1990.

  70. ———. 2009. Philosophy in an African Place. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

  71. Janz, Bruce B. 2008. "African Philosophy." In The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Philosophies, edited by Boundas, Constantin V. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

  72. Jeffers, Chike, and Thiong’o, Ngugi wa, eds. 2013. Listening to Ourselves: A Multilingual Anthology of African Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press,.

  73. Kanu, Ikechukwu Anthony. 2013. "On the Sources of African Philosophy." Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religion no. 2:337-356.

  74. Karp, Ivan, and Masolo, Dismas A., eds. 2000. African Philosophy as Cultural Inquiry. Bloomington: Indian University Press.

  75. Kayange, Grivas Muchineripi. 2018. Meaning and Truth in African Philosophy. Doing African Philosophy with Language. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

  76. Kebede, Messsay. 2004. Africa's Quest for a Philosophy as Decolonization. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

  77. Kigunga, Raphael. 1996. The Anthropology of Self - Person and Myth in Africa: A Philosophical Reflection on Man in South-East-Africa. New York: Peter Lang.

  78. Kwame, Safro, ed. 1995. Readings in African Philosophy: An Akan Collection. Lanham: University Press of America.

  79. Lefkowitz, Mary. 1996. Not Out of Africa. How Afrocentrism Became and Excuse to Teach Myth as History. New York: Basic Books.

  80. Lefkowitz, Mary, and MacLean Rogers, Guy, eds. 1996. Black Athena Revisited. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.

  81. Lott, Tommy L., and Pittman, John P., eds. 2003. A Companion to African-American Philosophy. Malden: Blackwell.

  82. Love, Velma E. 2012. Divining the Self: A Study in Yoruba Myth and Human Consciousness. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

  83. Makumba, Maurice Muhatia. 2007. An Introduction to African Philosophy: Past and Present. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa.

  84. Masolo, D. A. 1994. African Philosophy in Search of Identity. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  85. ———. 2000. "From Myth to Reality: African Philosophy at Century-End." Research in African Literatures no. 31:149-172.

  86. ———. 2010. Self and Community in a Changing World. Bllomington: Indiana University Press.

  87. Matolino, Bernard. 2015. "Universalism and African philosophy." African Journal of Philosophy no. 34:433-440.

  88. Mawere, Munyaradzi. 2011. African Belief and Knowledge Systems: A Critical Perspective. Mankon, Bamenda: Langaa Research & Publishing CIG.

  89. ———. 2017. The African Conundrum: Rethinking the Trajectories of Historical, Cultural, Philosophical and Developmental Experiences of Africa. Oxford: African Books Collective.

  90. Mawere, Munyaradzi, and Mubaya, Tapuwa R. 2016. African Philosophy and Thought Systems: A Search for a Culture and Philosophy of Belonging. Mankon, Bamenda: Langaa Research & Publishing CIG.

  91. ———, eds. 2017. African Studies in the Academy: The Cornucopia of Theory, Praxis and Transformation in Africa? Mankon, Bamenda: Langaa Research & Publishing CIG.

  92. Mbiti, John S. 1990. African Religions and Philosophy. Oxford: Heinemann.

    Second revised and enlarged edition.

    First edition Oxford: Heinemann 1969.

  93. Metz, Thaddeus. 2017. "Values in China as Compared to Africa: Two Conceptions of Harmony." Philosophy East and West no. 67:441-465.

  94. Mosley, Albert G. 1995. African Philosophy: Selected Readings. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

  95. Mudimbe, V. Y. 1988. The Invention of Africa. Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge. Bloomngton: Indiana University Press.

  96. Murungi, John. 2017. African Philosophical Illuminations. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

  97. ———. 2018. African Philosophical Currents. New York: Routledge.

  98. Nabudere, Dani Wadada. 2011. Afrikology, Philosophy and Wholeness: An Epistemology. Oxford: African Books Collective.

  99. ———. 2012. Afrikology and Transdisciplinarity. Oxford: African Books Collective.

  100. Ochieng'-Odhiambo, F. 2010. Trends and Issues in African Philosophy. New York: Peter Lang.

  101. Oguejiofor, J. Obi, and Onah, Godfrey Igwebuike, eds. 2005. African Philosophy and the Hermeneutics of Culture: Essays in Honour of Theophilus Okere. Münster: LIT Verlag.

  102. Ogunnaike, Oludamini. 2017. "African Philosophy Reconsidered: Africa, Religion, Race, and Philosophy." Journal of Africana Religions no. 5:181-216.

  103. Okere, Theophilus. 1983. African Philosophy: A Historico-Hermeneutical Investigation of the Conditions of Its Possibility. Lanham: University Press of America.

  104. ———, ed. 1996. Identity and Change: Nigerian Philosophical Studies, I. Washington, D.C. : Council for Research in Values and Philosophy.

  105. Oruka, H. Odera, ed. 1990. Sage Philosophy: Indigenous Thinkers and Modern Debate on African Philosophy. Leiden: Brill.

  106. Osha, Sanya. 2011. Postethnophilosophy. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

  107. ———. 2018. Dani Nabudere's Afrikology: A Quest for African Holism. Dakar: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.

  108. Park, Peter K. J. 2013. Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy. Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon, 1780–1830. Albany: State University of New York Press.

  109. Praeg, Leonhard. 2000. African Philosophy and the Quest for Autonomy: A Philosophical Investigation. Leiden: Brill.

  110. Serequeberhan, Tsenay, ed. 1991. African Philosophy: The Essential Readings. Saint Paul, MN: Paragon House.

  111. ———. 1994. The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy, Horizon and Discourse. New York: Routledge.

  112. Shutte, Augustine. 1996. Philosophy for Africa. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press.

  113. Sogolo, Godwin S. 1990. "Options in African Philosophy." Phlosophy no. 65:39-52.

  114. ———. 1993. Foundations of African Philosophy: A Definitive Analysis of Conceptual Issues in African Thought. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.

  115. Summer, Claude. 1986. Source of African Philosophy: The Ethiopian Philosophy of Man. Philadelphia: Coronet Books.

  116. Tempels, Placide. 1952. Bantu Philosophy. Paris: Présence africaine.

    Translated by A. Rubbens from La philosophie Bantoue.

    With a foreword to the English edition by Margaret Read.

    Reprinted 1969.

  117. Theron, Stephen. 1995. Africa, Philosophy, and the Western Tradition: An Essay in Self-Understanding. New York: Peter Lang.

  118. Tosam, Mbih J., and Takov, Peter, eds. 2016. Philosophy in Culture: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Mankon, Bamenda (Cameron): Langaa Research & Publishing.

  119. Ukpokolo, Isaac E., ed. 2017. Themes, Issues and Problems in African Philosophy. Cham, Switzeland: Palgrave Macmillan.

  120. Waghid, Yusef, Waghid, Faiq, and Waghid, Zayd. 2018. Rupturing African Philosophy on Teaching and Learning. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

  121. Williams, Zachery, ed. 2009. Africana Cultures and Policy Studies. Scholarship and the Transformation of Public Policy. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

  122. Wiredu, J. E. [Kwasi]. 1997. "How Not to Compare African Traditional Thought with Western Thought." Transition: A Journal of the Arts, Culture and Society no. 75/76:320-327.

    Reprinted in K. Wiredu, Philosophy and an African Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1980 and in Albert G. Mosley, African Philosophy: Selected Readings, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall 1995, pp. 159-171.

  123. Wiredu, Kwasi. 1980. Philosophy and an African Culture. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Contents: Part I: 1. Philosophy and an African culture; 2. On an African orientation in philosophy; 3. How not to compare African traditional thought with Western thought; 4. What can philosophy do for Africa?; Part II: 5. Marxism, philosophy and ideology; 6. In praise of utopianism; Part III: 7. Philosophy, mysticism and rationality; 8. Truth as opinion; 9. To be is to be known; 10. What is philosophy?; 11. In defence of opinion; 12. Truth: a dialogue; Origins of the essays; Index.

  124. ———. 1996. Cultural Universals and Particulars: an African Perspective. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  125. ———, ed. 2004. A Companion to African Philosophy. Malden: Blackwell.

  126. Wiredu, Kwasi, and Gyekye, Kwame. 1992. Person and Community. Ghanaian Philosophical Studies, I. Washington, D.C.: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy.

  127. Wright, Richard A., ed. 1984. African Philosophy: An Introduction. Washington: University Press of America.

    Third expanded edition (First edition 1977; second edition 1979).

    Contents: Acknowledgments V; Preface to the third edition IX; Preface to the second edition XI; Preface to the first edition XIII; P. O. Bodunrin: The Question of African Philosophy 1; Henri Maurier: Do We Have an African Philosophy? 25; Richard A. Wright: Investigating African Philosophy 41; Lacinay Keita: The African Philosophical Tradition 57; Henry Olela: The African Foundations of Greek Philosophy 77; John A. A. Ayoade: Time in Yoruba Thought 93; Helaine K. Minkus: Causal Theory in Akwapim Akan Philosophy 113; J . E. [Kwame] Wiredu: How Not to Compare African Thought with Western Thought 149; Thomas J. Blakeley: The Categories of Mtu and The Categories of Aristotle 163; Richard C. Onwuanibe: The Human Person and Immortality in IBO Metaphysics 183; Kwame Gyekye: Akan Concept of a Person 199; Benjamin Eruku Oguah: African and Western Philosophy: A Comparative Study 213; Diana E. Axelsen: Philosophical Justifications for Contemporary African Social and Political Values and Strategies 227; Benyamin Neuberger: A Comparative Analysis of Pan-Africanism 245; Bibliography 265; Bibliography Index 307.