Print Page

African Philosophy (PHIL 2315)

Total Credits: 3
Lecture Credits: 3

Description: This course explores African philosophies and their relationships with African lands, people and power. You will analyze philosophical themes including knowledge, religion, political philosophy, gender, race and the environment in a historical and contextual manner. While centering on African philosophers and their diverse indigenous, colonial, postcolonial and decolonial intellectual traditions, you will also learn how African philosophers interact with American, European and Asian philosophies. Through reading, writing and oral dialogues, you will demonstrate a critical awareness of the major themes, debates and relevance of African philosophies today and apply these to at least one contemporary debate within environmental studies.

Topical Outline:
1. Ancient African Philosophy (e.g. Nubian and Kemetic)
2. African Philosophy in the Greco-Roman Era (e.g. Alexandrian School, Hypatia, St Augustine)
3. Pre-Colonial African Philosophy (e.g. Akan, Igbo, Bantu, Arab, Yoruba, Ethiopian)
4. African Philosophy under Colonialism (e.g. Francophone, Anglophone, Apartheid Southern Africa)
5. Postcolonial and Decolonial African Philosophy (e.g. PanAfricanism, African Socialism, Negritude, Black Consciousness, Philosophy of Liberation, Critical Muslim Studies)
6. Contemporary Topics in African Philosophy (e.g. Environment, Political Identity, Knowledge, Culture and Body)

Learning Outcomes:
1. Critically explain, compare, and evaluate African philosophies and intellectual traditions
2. Apply African philosophies to an issue or problem of environmental studies in an African context.
3. Critically explain how African questions and responses are embedded in historical, environmental and social contexts such as geographical changes, colonialism, independence movements, etc...
4. Evaluate their own life and decisions in light of African philosophies and contributions.

Prerequisites:  Placement into READ 1300 or completion of READ 0200 or ESOL 0052

  • Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Goal 10: People and the Environment