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Project Agenda Alexis Kagamé and the Quest for Afican Philosophy

Project Agenda Alexis Kagamé and the Quest for Afican Philosophy


This proposal outlines a project devoted to African philosophy, focused specifically on the work of the Rwandan scholar and cleric, Abbe Alexis Kagame (1912-1981) and what may be described as his quest for a modem African idiom of philosophical analysis and discourse. The project involves a translation into English of his celebrated work, La philosophic bantu-rwandaise de I’etre. This work, cast in the form of a Socratic dialogue, is an extensive exposition of Bantu thought based on terms drawn from his native Kinyarwanda language which functions on the basis of linguistic classes common to Bantu languages. The work was published in Brussels 1956 and has never been translated into English. I propose to undertake a translation of the complete text, which runs to some 450 pages, accompanied by a comprehensive introduction that places Kagame at the intersection between traditional African systems of thought and the movement towards the elaboration of a modern African philosophy in rigorous conceptual terms.

As with African scholarship generally, Kagame’s work can be situated in a double perspective: that of the western philosophical tradition, which provides its intellectual foundation and informs its methodological approach, on one hand, and on the other, that projected by the movement of cultural reclamation which has marked African literary expression and ideological and intellectual production in our time, a movement generated by a response to the historic encounter with the West and the colonial experience with which it has been bound up. The objective of the proposed translation is to make available in English one of the most influential works to emerge from this movement, and thus to fill a serious gap in the corpus of African philosophical texts directly accessible to the scholarly community in the English-speaking world. The present proposal is intended to offer an outline of the Introduction to the projected translation, in a review of the background to Kagame’s work as determined by the double perspective evoked above and from which it derives the themes that have lent it scope and significance.

No question has perhaps engaged the emotions and mind of the colonized African intellectual as that of identity. This is the dominant8 theme of the works that mark the advent of modern African literature in the European languages—works that give expression in imaginative terms to the lived dilemma of self-apprehension of the westernized African, an existential drama that Cheikh Hamidou Kane has explored in his now classic novel, Ambiguous Adventure, (L’Aventure ambigiie 1961). The preoccupation with the question of identity has been equally central to the emergence of modern African thought, the formulation in discursive terms of a challenge to the negative thrust of the system of ideas by which Africa was represented in western discourse, as a means to justify and legitimize the colonial imposition. Thus, concepts such as “African personality” (associated with Edward Wilmot Blyden), and “Negritude”—a term coined by Aime Cesaire and elaborated by Leopold Sedar Senghor—form key elements of the counter discourse by which black intellectuals, especially Africans, confronted the colonial ideology. This effort of rehabilitation of African peoples and cultures that lent substance and vigour to the African assertion, involving a new mode of self awareness, forms the ideological background to the work of Alexis Kagame. But beyond this immediate affiliation, La Philosophic bantu-rewandaise de Vetre represents a major work of philosophical analysis, with a scholarly dimension and intellectual interest in its own right.

It is pertinent in this connection to allude to Henri Bergson’s “Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion”, a work that celebrates mystical experience as the deepest form of insight into the life process, and therefore as one central to philosophical meditation. It has often been asserted that Bergson’s work is not rigorous or even serious philosophy (see in particular, Monod 1972), but it cannot be denied that it forms part of a highly developed system of thought and represents a sustained intellectual effort with an intimate connection to a significant current of western philosophy, represented notably by the work of Pascal. Bergson’s constant preoccupation with inner experience and the peculiar tonality of his idiom remind us that the distinction is often difficult to sustain between the two broad perspectives of intellectual activity: that is, of thought as a form of meditation on life and experience in its fullest manifestations, on one hand, and on the other, and more narrowly, as an investigation of the conditions of knowledge, what is to be regarded as philosophy in a strictly technical sense. It is probably this distinction that the African scholar, Willy Abraham, had in mind when he remarked that in certain quarters— that of the logical positivists and analytical philosophers—Plato might not even qualify as a philosopher stricto sensu, due to the ramifications of his preoccupations. It must not be forgotten however that it was with Plato’master, Socrates, that western philosophy came to self-recognition and that the conceptual apparatus for philosophical discourse can be said to have crystallized, as it were—a development that was carried forward by Plato himself and was to be fully elaborated by his own pupil, Aristotle, in the works that comprise the Organon.

These observations are of immediate relevance to any consideration of Kagame’s work, for which classical philosophy and Aristotle in particular, provided antecedents and indeed an immediate model. It is not without interest to observe in this respect, that the question, “What is philosophy?” has been the fulcrum on which the debate on African philosophy has turned as the discipline emerged as a major area of activity on the academic and intellectual landscape of the continent. This conforms to the very nature of the philosophical enterprise, for the same compulsion that dictated Plato’s need to define the proper realm of philosophy as a distinctive critical activity—as opposed to the reproduction of received opinion or mere orthodoxy—has informed the effort of self definition that has attended this debate in the African context. More importantly, it is a question that arises necessarily from the double relationship of the academic philosopher in Africa to the two traditions of mental activity and intellectual endeavour available for his or her contemplation and investigation.

These are constituted by the indigenous belief systems by which mentalities have been shaped and communal life regulated for ages on the African continent, as well as by the peculiar mode of philosophical reflection and style of discourse that we associate with the civilization of the West. These are the two directions in which the quest for selfdefinition has manifested itself in the African context. The first has defined the trend that has been dubbed “ethnophilosophy,” a term that apparently was first employed by Kwame Nkrumah, and which has more recently assumed a contentious resonance in African scholarship and discourse (Hountondji 1976, Masolo 2010, Eboussi-Boulaga 2011). We need to clarify here the two meanings and import of this term. In its purely denominative aspect, the term refers to the effort to represent traditional belief systems as embodiments of a reflective awareness of the world. We might call this “traditional ethnophilosophy”: that is, as the substantive content of traditional thought, the elements of its constitution as a system as well as its modes of expression, as these come through in the oral narratives, ritual formulations, and especially mythical constructions and cosmologies that are integral to expressive forms and indeed the very texture of life in precolonial African societies and cultures. This sense is to be distinguished from another use of the term, to designate the scholarly approach to African thought in its traditional context: that is, the second order discourse that seeks to interpret the terms of these representations and thus to provide an understanding of the structure of mind they reflect. We might add here that the frame of reference of such interpretation is ultimately grounded in western norms of explanation and analysis, as a consequence of the historical, cultural and intellectual connection to the West, conditioned by the colonial relation, which now compels Africans to have recourse to the European languages as the channels of all forms of intellectual expression. This underlines the fact that the very conditions of the colonial relationship have determined that other horizon of African intellectual endeavour that derives from and takes its bearings from the established norms and categories of philosophical discourse, in the western understanding of the term. It is important to recall these distinctions, for it is this broad configuration of contemplation and reflection as a cultural fact and mode of intellectual activity in Africa that may be said to provide the two principal sources of African thought. A major interest of Kagames work is the way they converge to furnish the content and determine the orientation of his work.

The logical, and one might even say, the natural point of departure of any consideration of the nature and function of African thought as evoked above must be the evidence in all our societies of a vigorous response in language and cultural practice to the pressures of human experience. Confronted by what appeared to be the inscrutable nature of the universe, our forbears were led to a re-enactment in a largely mythic register of the drama of human existence, hence their invention of myriad deities and spiritual essences thought to function as active agents in the unfolding of human destiny. In this, Africans were no different from other peoples and other races for whom an identification with these essences provided a primary level of understanding of their place in the universe, a disposition that fostered an essential link between myth and ritual. In Africa as elsewhere, the mystery of creation and reverence for the divine combine not merely to promote a religious sentiment but also to lay the very foundation of thought. Thus, the imagination served as an essential channel of the philosophical impulse. It is this conjunction of myth and intellectual function within a culture of orality that underlies the intimate correlation of religion and philosophy that Mbiti has invoked as the basis of his exploration of indigenous forms of African spirituality (Mbiti 1969).

This aspect of African orality emerges clearly in the role of proverbs which are not merely emblems of figurative language but also, as Wiredu has demonstrated in a seminal essay, condensed formulations of ethical notions (Wiredu 2009). Beyond their immediate practical application, they represent an essential handmaid and anchor of conscious thought. This observation calls to mind what Oruka has called ‘‘sagacity” in traditional African societies and cultures (Oruka 1990). As explicated by him, the term signifies the body of reflections that have come down the ages, generally as collective resource, but which are constantly recreated by individuals of exceptional status and vocation, individuals who are recognized as bearers of the communal wisdom of the clan. Oruka draws attention to the creative force of traditional thought as a foundation of African sagacity, and to the quality of mind to which its formulations bear witness in individual cases. Thus, for all its limitations, from a strictly academic point of view, ethnophilosopy, understood as traditional thought founded on indigenous knowledge, has presented itself as a vital resource in the effort of reconstruction and reformulation undertaken by African scholars and intellectuals to establish the validity and integrity of a distinctly African Weltanschauung and the forms of sensibility and inner experience associated with it.

When we turn to an examination of the African intellectual adventure with which Kagame is identified, we cannot but observe that the originating impulse for the effort of cultural reformulation by African intellectuals and scholars drew much of its energy from the work of non- African scholars associated with the discipline of ethnophilosophy, in the second sense defined above, that is, as an area of academic endeavour concerned with the modes of thought and systems of understanding that animate traditional cultures. It has thus received scholarly attention within the framework of Anthropology (Masolo 2011). Although defined as the study of mankind, devoted to an examination of the diversity of cultures in the world, and to the underlying regularities which mark them as universal, Anthropolgy has always reflected the interest of western scholars in the non-western populations and the mental framework of their collective life; anthropology and its derivation in ethnophilosophy thus rest on a foundation of cultural psychology. Given this context, a comparative perspective necessarily informs the study of the relation between the cultures studied by the anthropologist and that native to the western scholar, which is assumed from the outset as the universal standard of valuation. The colonial context within which Anthropolgy for the most part evolved has further exacerbated the ideogical bias that the discipline has so often manifested. Nonetheless, despite its limitations having to do with methodologies and the grave limitations of cultural understanding it presents, the work of scholars involved in the discipline came to offer us in Africa much that was valuable in terms of our self-apprehension; it opened up areas in which our interest as culture bearers has been profoundly implicated.

As Anthropology evolved, what was represented as “primitive thought” emerged as a major field of investigation, a development well attested in Anglo American scholarship—as exemplified by the work of scholars such as Radin, Frazer, Boas, Malinowski and Evans-Pritchard— as well as in the French tradition of ethnologie, associated with Emile Durkheim and his disciples, a tradition distinguished by its preoccupation with the products of collective thought, what Durkeim termed “les representations collectives” (Durkheim 1963). It is in this context that Lucien Levy-Bruhl proposed the notion of a pre-logical mentality, ascribed by him to non-western populations and especially Africans, as against the logical frame of mind he postulated as a cultural and indeed genetic inheritance of the white race (Ldvy-Bruhl 1922).

As against the fundamental rationality of the western mind, classical anthropology propounded the notion of magical thinking as the distinctive feature of African mentalities—the paradigm, as it were, of any form of response to experience in African cultures (Allier 1927). Robin Horton’s break with this paradigm—when he argues the formal equivalence between explanatory models of causality in western logic on one hand, and so-called magical thinking, on the other—appears as an early indication of a reversal in Anthropology by which the ethnocentrism of earlier scholars came, as it were, to be deconstructed (Horton 1967). Horton’s view implied a fundamental re-appraisal of mental operations and of the function of myth in so-called primitive cultures, a process that culminated in Levi-Strauss’s La Pensee Sauvage. The theoretical exposition, in his other work, Le totemisme aujourd’hui (1962), that organizes the exposition in both books, led him to perceive the totem as nothing less than an enabling factor of thought. In other words, totemism is represented as a primal modelling of the world and as a lived system of categories. It becomes clear from this point of view that the vast constructions by which Levi-Straus sought to flesh out his structuralist method were inspired by the quest for an alternative ordering of the world to the abstract system propounded in western thought: in other words, for a new form of universal reason generated by an intuitive grasp of the world.

The prominence accorded African subjects, in particular religion, in western anthropological literature suggests the way in which the continent came to reside at the heart of the theoretical construction of ethnophilosopy. This lends special interest to two works that have deeply engaged African minds and thus served as reference texts in the development of contemporary thought on the continent. These works, Dieux d’eaux by the French anthropologist Marcel Griaule and Bantu Philosophy by the Flemish missionary, Placide Tempels, have had an enduring impact on African Studies that is still recognizable today.

Griaule’s work, more or less a recitation of Dogon cosmology, presents itself as the record of an extended oral discourse, thus giving a new dimension and meaning to ethnophilosophy both in terms of its methodological approach and the nature and quality of its content. The comprehensive world view attributed to the Dogon is transmitted here not in the impersonal manner of the academic treatise but as expounded and given life by an African sage, identified by name as Ogotommeli. Thus, it provides a distinctive instance of indigenous thought, embodied in image and symbol with a richly expressive force, presented in Griaule’s work as the product of an individual consciousness. We might note however that, with Ogotommeli, the founding myth of the Dogon as respresented by him to Griaule, not only projects an imaginative contruction but also subserves a world system; beyond its poetic significance, it functions as a metaphyical reference in an extended and clearly articulated system of the world that accounts for the wider reality in which existence is embedded and all human action derives significance. Dieux d’d’eau testifies to the conjunction of myth and metaphysics that Georges Gusdorf has explored as a universal dimension of reflection in human cultures (Gusdorf 1953). The significance of Griaule’s work resides however specifically in the image it offers of a personal understanding by an idigenous subject of the superstructure that is held to sustain the cultural and institutional fabric of traditional Dogon society.

Placide Tempels’s Bantu Philosophy may be situated in the same general perspective as Griaule’s work, as an effort to reproduce the modalities of an authentic conception of the world native to Africa. As the title indicates and his introduction goes on to emphasize, Tempels intended his work as an exposition of the operative concept of Bantu thought, summed up, according to him, by the notion of “force.” His central preoccupation was to give articulation to Bantu thought in something of a holistic perspective, employing for the purpose a European language and the idiom of western philosophy, and thus to raise it to a new level of formulation. Bantu Philosophy is thus essentially an apologetic work—a defence and a justification of the Baluba, construed by Tempels almost as a nation of philosophers, albeit naive ones, for the system of thought attributed to them appears exceedingly narrow, as a kind of monism in which all experience, indeed all conception of being, is governed by the single notion of “force,” made to carry so much weight of reference that in the end, it becomes practically meaningless. This weakens Tempels’s claim to have uncovered a generic theme of Bantu thought, for a single concept, however striking, does not a phlosophy make. Moreover, despite its author’s claim to inside knowledge of the culture for which it serves as grid, Bantu philosophy as represented by Tempels derives from a largely external regard. In contrast to Griaule, it is the viewpoint of Tempels that we encounter throughout the exposition, the voice of a foreign spectator that is constantly echoed. Finally, the method and the terms of the exposition betray a debt to the Lebensfilosofie that was still fashionable at the time the book was written, a debt evident in its conflation of Bergsonian vitalism and academic anthropology.

There can be no doubt that Tempels’s work provoked Kagame to a reexamination of his Bantu heritage, to which he had a deep attachment, of an affective order. This led him to a critical evaluation of the interpretation by Tempels, which he certainly judged inadequate. Although the polemical intent inherent in the critical distance he adopted towards Tempels is more than hinted at in the introduction of his own work, published nearly a decade after the original Flemish edition of Bantu Philosophy, the polemical tone of his rejoinder is remarkably subdued. Kagame makes it clear nonetheless that for him, nothing but a systematic exposition could be considered adequate to the need for a proper understanding of the spiritual inheritance of his people and their common apprehension of the world, as prescribed by the very structure of their language. It is such an exposition that he sought to undertake in La Philosophic bantu-rwandaise de I’etre. The result is a work which may be considered the first extended deployment of African thought in modern terms, that is, as a philosophy in the sense of a conscious, individual project, in a discourse grounded in argument.

A full discussion of Kagame’s exposition is planned as the core of the Introduction to the projected translation. In the meantime, in order to indicate the nature of his achievement, it is of interest to provide here a general idea of his approach. As is now well known, in his conception, Bantu philosophy is founded on an explicit notion of being, designated by the radical ntu and, in accordance with the structure of linguistic classes characteristic of Bantu languages, four categories derived from this term: Umuntu, man, or being with intelligence (plural bantu), Ikintu, object devoid of intelligence, Ahantu, space-time, and Ukuntu, mode of being. However, in the extended analysis of concepts in the Kinyarwanda language that makes up the book, Kagame goes beyond these terms and expands upon them to project an epistemology that encompasses a range of ideas on perception and cognition. In so doing, he opens up  comparative perspective which places Bantu philosophy in relation to French and other European languages and the terms that compose their system of enunciation (see Irele 2011, pp. 131-32).

As can be seen, the great originality of Kagame’s work is its recourse to the evidence of the Bantu language itself as the channel of discourse. No longer does the language function as merely an expressive mode but as the defining medium of thought. Kagame may have been animated by the bold resolve of Descartes to compose his Discours de la methode in French. Although he does not follow this example to its logical limits, he derives Bantu philosophy from categories proposed by Bantu language, in the same way that, as Emile Benveniste has observed, Aristotle constructed his metaphysics on the basis of terms in the Greek language (Benveniste 1966). Indeed, in its focus on the question of being, Kagame’s work appears at moments somewhat derivative. But his critical approach ensures that his exposition is no mere transposition into the Bantu language of the terms that regulate the intellectual operations covered by classical western philosophy. Thus, the work represents a first effort to open up African languages to systematic philosophy, an idea that he canvasses in La Philosophic Bantu coniparee, in which he endeavours to extend the project initiated in the earlier book to the general field of Bantu languages.

Kagame’s work enjoys a unique status in African intellectual life, situated as it is at the epistemological interface between the traditional- oral, still embedded in myth, and the analytical and conceptual scheme of modem philosophy. Beyond its demonstration of Bantu philosophy as an articulated system of thought resting on a linguistic foundation, it has opened the way to the new and expanding horizons of a modern African philosophical discourse, concerned with bringing an African perspective to bear on the fundamental questions of philosophy (Wiredu 1996) or locating such questions within the ambit of the ancestral wisdom that informs conduct in the indigenous cultures and the solidarities that sustain the communal life in traditional African society (Van Bingsbergen 2009). Kagame’s work has thus served as inspiration and model for African scholars such as Vincent Mulago (1973), Jean-Calvin Bahoken (1978), and Alassane Ndaw (1983) who have undertaken summative accounts, from a native point of view, of African systems of thought and belief. It is also significant that, along with Tempels’s Bantu’s Philosopy, it has been at the centre of a debate on the nature and status of African philosophy, envisaged as a possibility not only in the European languages but also, as Wiredu has argued, in the African languages, in response to a methodological constraint dictated by language (Wiredu, ‘Toward Decolonizing African Philosophy”). The debate initiated by Eboussi- Boulaga (1970) and to which Marcien Towa imparted a radical tone in his 1971 opuscule, assumed what can only be called a dramatic turn in Paulin Hountondji’s 1976 publication. These debates and controversies have constituted a meta discourse within which the foundations of a new current of modem philosophy have been laid as an important dimension of intellectual life in Africa. This development is exemplified by the work of established scholars such as Kwasi Wiredu, Kwame Gyekye, Dismas Masolo—whose work bridges the movement from general survey to focused reflection on contemporary moral and social issues—and also a new generation of younger scholars represented by Jean Bidima and Achille Mbembe.

As a result of the intellectual and cultural climate these scholars have generated, we can now say that as discipline and practice, Philosophy is, as the saying goes, alive and well in Africa. With the discipline firmly entrenched at several universities on the continent—notably Accra, Lovanium, Nairobi, Ibadan, Dakar and Johannesburg—Africa has emerged as location of a new centre of philosophical activity, bearing evidence of a translatio studiorum in our own time. It is no exaggeration to affirm that this is a development that has been due in no small measure to the pioneering effort of Alexis Kagame.

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Primary: Works by Alexis Kagame

Kagame Alexis. La Philosophie Bantu-Rwandaise de VEtre. Brussels: Academie Royale des Sciences Coloniales, 1956.

_________. La Philosophie Bantu Comparee . Paris: Presence Africaine, 1976.

_________. Un Abrege de l’Ethno-histoire du Rwanda. Butare, Editions Universitaires du Rwanda, 1972-75. 2 volumes.

_________. Introduction aux Grands Genres Lyriques de I’Ancien Rwanda.

Butare, Editions “The problem of “man” in Bantu philosophy. The African Mind: A Journal of Religion and Philosophy in Africa, Vol. 1, Kampala, 1989.

Allier, Raoul. Le Non-Civlise et Nous. Paris: Payot, 1927.

Bahoken, Jean-Calvin. Clarieres metaphysiques africaines: Essai sur la philosophic et la religion chez les Bantu du Sud-Cameroun. Paris: Presence Africaine, 1978.

Benveniste, Emile. “Categories de pensee et categories de langue.” In Problemes de Linguistique generate. Paris: Gallimard, 1966, 63-74.

Bergson, Henri. Oeuvres. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1959.

Bidima, Jean Godefroy. La Philosophic negro-africcdne. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1995.

Binsbergen, Wim van. “Expressions of Traditional Wisdom: What Africa can Teach the World Today. “Brussels. Bulletin des Seances, Academie Royale des Sciences d'Oure-Mer. 55(2009-3), 281-305.

Blyden, Edward Wilmot. Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1962.

Conklin, Alice. In the Museum of Man.

Diagne, Pathe. I’Euophilosophie face a la pensee negre. Dakar: Editions Sankore, 1981.

Durkheim, Emile. Sociologie et Philosophic. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1963.

Eboussi-Boulaga, Fabien. Crise du Muntu. authenticity africaine et philosophie. Paris: Presence Africaine, 1970.

_________. L’affaire de la phiosophie africaine: au delci des querelles. Paris: Karthala, 2011.

Griaule, Marcel. Dieux’deau: Entretiens avec Ogotommeli. Paris: Editions du Chene, 1948.

Gusdorf, Georges. Mythe et Metciphysique. Paris: Payot, 1953.

Hallen, Barry and Sodipo, Olubi. Knowledge, Belief Witchcraft. Analytical Experiments in African Philosophy. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1997.

Gyekye, Kwame. An Essay on African Philosophical Thought: The Akan Conceptual Scheme. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987. Revised Edition. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995.

Horton, Robin. “African Traditional Thought and Western Science.” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan., 1967), pp. 50-71; Vol. 37, No. 2 (Apr., 1967), pp. 155-187.

Hountondji, Paulin. Sur la “philosophie africaine, ”: Critique de I’ethnophilosophie. Paris: Maspero, 1976.

Irele, F. Abiola. The Negritude Moment: Explorations in Francophone African and Caribbean Literature and Thought. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2011.

Jones, Donna. The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Negritude, Vitalism and Modernity. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Leclerc, Gerard. Anthropologie et colonialisme: essai sur I'histoire de Fafricanisme. Paris: Fayard, 1972.

Levi-Bruhl. La Mentalite primitive. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France 1922.

Levi-Strauss Claude. Le Totemisme aujourdhui. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1962.

_________. La Pensee Sauvage. Paris: PUF, 1962.

Masolo, Dismas. African Philosophy in Search of Identity. Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 1994.

_________. “Alexis Kagame and La Philosophie Bantu Rwandaise de l’etre”:

Rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione delFIstituto italiano per l’Africa e FOriente, Anno 38, No. 3 (Settembre, 1983), pp. 449-54.

_________. “Kagame” In Irele and Jeyifo, eds. The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought. Vol. 2, 25-26.

_________. Self and Community in a Changing World. Bloomington. IN.: Indiana University Press, 2010.

Mbembe, Achille. Critique de la raison negre. Paris: La Decouverte, 2013.

Mbiti, John, African Religions and Philosophy. London: Heinemann, 1969.

Monod. Jacques. Le hcisarcl et la necesssite, Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1970.

English Tr: Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modem Biology. London: Collins, 1972.

Mulago, Vincent. La Religion traditionelle des Bantu and leur vision du monde. Kinshasa: Presses Universitaires du Zaire, 1973.

Ndaw, Alassane. La Pensee cifricaine: recherche sur les fonclements de la pensee negro-africaine. Dakar: Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1983.

Oruka, H. Odera. Sage Philosophy: Indigenous Thinkers and Modem Debate on African Philosophy. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990.

Senghor, Leopold, Sedar Liberte I: Negritude et Humanisme. Paris: Seuil, 1964.

Tempels, Placide. Bantu Philosophy. Paris: Presence Africaine, 1949 and 1952.'

Towa, Marcien. Essai sur la problematique philosophique dans FAfrique actuelle. Yaounde: Editions CLE, 1971.

Ukwamedua, Nelson Udoka. “A Critical Review of Alexis Kagame’s Four Categories of African Philosophy.” Ogirisi: A New Journal of African Studies Vol. 8, 2011.

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

_________. “Toward Decolonizing African Philosophy and Religion” African Studies Quarterly, http:/

_________. “An Oral Philosophy of Personhood: Comments on Philosophy and Orality.” Research in African Literatures. Vol. 40, Spring 2009.

_________. Cultural Universal and Particulars: An African Perspective. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.