nl en

Contemporary African Philosophy


Admission requirements

Admission to one of the following programmes is required:

  • MA Philosophy 60 EC: specialisation Global and Comparative Philosophy

  • MA Philosophy 120 EC: specialisation Philosophy in World Traditions


This course examines African philosophy as a contemporary field of study. The course focuses on fundamental dimensions of African philosophy: history, method, logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, religion, and politics. We will consider both what unifies African philosophy, and what the distinctions are within its set of practices. We will examine the status of contemporary African philosophy paying close attention to key figures and scholars that have inspired and dominated contemporary debates. The course will also address contemporary African philosophy as a as a living set of traditions and practice. We will explore how these philosophical traditions interact, showing historical connections as well as regional, political or religious influences. These questions are examined in a classroom environment mediated by dialogue, debates, and class presentations.

Course objectives

The course aims to challenge students, in learning about key controversies in contemporary African Philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will have:

  • in-depth knowledge of key conversations and contemporary 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:

  • complete well-informed presentations and critical research papers on key issues in African Philosophy;

  • learn, improve, and develop critical writing and presentation skills in good academic English;

  • write and deliver conference papers through learned practice in class.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Midterm paper (25%)

  • Final paper (25%)

  • Presentation (25%)

  • Participation (25%)

Class attendance is compulsory for all students and a requirement for admission to the exams. Active participation is required. Non-participation counts as non-attendance for the seminar.


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of the subtests (see above).


The resit offers an opportunity to rewrite one or two papers. A failed presentation can also be substituted with an essay writing. The grade for participation remains in place.

Attendance and active participation in class is required for admission to the resit. Students who have obtained a satisfactory overall grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

Essays and feedback will be made available through Turnitin.

Reading list

Essential readings will be provided through Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


  • 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.