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World Philosophies: Africa


Admission requirements

  • Mandatory course for first-year BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives

  • This course is available as an elective for BA students Religiewetenschappen

  • A limited number of places is available for BA students from other departments


The aim of this course is to introduce students to African Philosophy. It explores the major philosophical traditions emerging from Africa, focusing especially on set of important questions with historical and contemporary relevance. What concepts or ideas are significantly meaningful within the context of African philosophy? Are these questions unique or would there be unifying features with other intellectual traditions? How has these conversations shape (and continued to shape) Africa? We will explore themes such as development (history) of African philosophy, Justice and Morality in African Thought, epistemologies of development, belief systems, justification of moral norms and questions of identity.

Most critically, since philosophy is a living tradition, we will embark on a journey of self-discovery in dialogue with culture and society within the African intellectual domain. What this means is that the course invites us through class activities to critically analyze primary texts and critically reflect on cultural (or theological) assumptions/presuppositions of philosophical questions.

Course objectives

Students who successfully complete the course will have:

  • in-depth knowledge of key conversations and debates;

  • understanding of different philosophical traditions emerging from Africa;

  • understanding of the role of philosophical discourses in shaping of modern African politics, identity, migration, culture, governance, development and religion;

  • a good knowledge of African philosophy not only in terms of history or origins but its relationship to other philosophical traditions in Europe, Middle East and North America.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • show developed skills for critical reflection on important philosophical questions and its relationship to our modern society.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Midterm online quiz (40%)

  • Final online written examination (60%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of the two subtests.


There is one resit for this course. It consists of an online written examination over all the material covered. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term or final tests. The mark for the resit replaces any partial result.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • A syllabus will be provided via Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.
For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar at the right hand side of the page.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office Huizinga


Not applicable.