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ABSTRACT

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The title of this research is to analyze a detailed history of African Philosophy, African philosophy is the philosophical discourse produced by indigenous Africans and their descendants, including African/Americans. African philosophers may be found in the various academic fields of philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology, moral philosophy, and political philosophy.
The main objective of this study is to analyze a detailed history of African philosophy. And the specific objective are to examine the Criteria, Methods, Schools, Movements and Periods of African Philosophy, to review of the question of African philosophy and examined the list of African philosophy. In the opinion of some philosophers, African philosophy, vis-à-vis Western philosophy, African philosophy depicts no more than a particularist exemplar of the universal (Western) philosophy. This research questions this assumption and demonstrates that, as a human undertaking, all philosophies remain context-dependent and culture oriented. A contrary view ignores the proper nature of philosophy. A new phenomenon confronts currently confronts all comers to contemporary African philosophy: an expansive vision of African philosophical discourse. Contemporary African philosophers attempt to rethink the initial problems that confronted their pioneer counterparts. Whereas the pioneer African philosophers disputed one another on meta-philosophical issues about African philosophy, their successors, in their bid to give a novel response to those problems, end up introducing innovative frameworks, entirely fresh perspectives, new themes and solutions. As a consequence, they face new challenges.
The method to be employed here in carrying out the research for the purpose of this research would be by means of secondary sources which is mainly documentary. Information would be sourced from textbooks, internet, journals written by jurist and public lectures delivered by various professors if there is any related to my project, studying them and drawing a conclusion and preferring recommendations.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study
African philosophy is the philosophical discourse produced by indigenous Africans and their descendants, including African/Americans. African philosophers may be found in the various academic fields of philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology, moral philosophy, and political philosophy. One particular subject that many African philosophers have written about is that on the subject of freedom and what it means to be free or to experience wholeness (Mucale, 2015). Philosophy in Africa has a rich and varied history, some of which has been lost over time. One of the earliest known African philosophers was Ptahhotep, an ancient Egyptian philosopher. In the early and mid-twentieth century, anti-colonial movements had a tremendous effect on the development of a distinct African political philosophy that had resonance on both the continent and in the African diaspora. One well-known example of the economic philosophical works emerging from this period was the African socialist philosophy of Ujamaa propounded in Tanzania and other parts of Southeast Africa. These African political and economic philosophical developments also had a notable impact on the anti-colonial movements of many non-African peoples around the world.
This article traces the history of systematic African philosophy from the early 1920s to date. In Plato’s Theaetetus, Socrates suggests that philosophy begins with wonder. Aristotle agreed. However, recent research shows that wonder may have different subsets. If that is the case, which specific subset of wonder inspired the beginning of the systematic African philosophy? In the history of Western philosophy, there is the one called thaumazein interpreted as awe and the other called miraculum interpreted as curiosity. History shows that these two subsets manifest in the African place as well, even during the pre-systematic era. However, there is now an idea appearing in recent African philosophy literature called onuma interpreted as frustration which is regarded as the subset of wonder that jump started the systematic African philosophy. In the 1920s, a host of Africans who went to study in the West were just returning. They had experienced terrible racism and discrimination while in the West. They were referred to as descendants of slaves; as people from the slave colony, as sub-humans, and so on. On return to their native lands, they met the same maltreatment by the colonial officials. ‘Frustrated’ by colonialism and racialism as well as the legacies of slavery, they were jolted onto the path of philosophy—African philosophy—by what can be called onuma.
These ugly episodes of slavery, colonialism and racialism not only shaped the world’s perception of Africa; they also instigated a form of intellectual revolt from the African intelligentsias. The frustration with the colonial order eventually led to angry questions and reactions out of which African philosophy emerged, first in the form of nationalisms and then in the form ideological theorizations. But the frustration was borne out of colonial caricature of Africa as culturally naïve, intellectually docile and rationally inept. This caricature was created by European scholars such as Kant, Hegel and, much later, Levy-Bruhl to name just a few. It was the reaction to this caricature that led some African scholars returning from the West into the type of philosophizing one may describe as systematic beginning with the identity of the African people, their place in history, and their contributions to civilization. To dethrone the colonially-built episteme became a ready attraction for African scholars’ vexed frustrations. Thus began the history of systematic African philosophy with the likes of Aime Cisaire, Leopold Senghor, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, William Abraham, John Mbiti and expatriates such as Placid Tempels, Janheinz Jahn and George James, to name a few.
African philosophy’s beginning is linked to the 1920s. African individuals who had studied in the United States and Europe (“Western” locations) had returned to Africa and reflected on the racial discrimination experienced abroad. Their arrival back in Africa instigated a feeling of onuma, which is an interpretation of “frustration.” The onuma was felt in response to legacies of colonialism on a global scale. The beginning of African philosophy is important because onuma inspired some who had traveled and returned to formulate a “systematic beginning” of philosophizing the African identity, the space of African people in history, and African contribution to humanity.
1.2 Statement of Problem
In the opinion of some philosophers, African philosophy, vis-à-vis Western philosophy, African philosophy depicts no more than a particularist exemplar of the universal (Western) philosophy. This research questions this assumption and demonstrates that, as a human undertaking, all philosophies remain context-dependent and cultureoriented. A contrary view ignores the proper nature of philosophy. A new phenomenon confronts currently confronts all comers to contemporary African philosophy: an expansive vision of African philosophical discourse. Contemporary African philosophers attempt to rethink the initial problems that confronted their pioneer counterparts. Whereas the pioneer African philosophers disputed one another on meta-philosophical issues about African philosophy, their successors, in their bid to give a novel response to those problems, end up introducing innovative frameworks, entirely fresh perspectives, new themes and solutions. As a consequence, they face new challenges.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to analyze a detailed history of African philosophy. And the specific objective are to:
1. Examined the Criteria, Methods, Schools, Movements and Periods of African Philosophy.
2. Review of the question of African philosophy.
3. Examined the list of African philosophy.
1.4 Research Questions
The following question are to be answer in process of this research.
1. What is the Criteria, Methods, Schools, Movements and Periods of African Philosophy?
2. Who are the African Philosopher?
1.5 Methodology
The method to be employed here in carrying out the research for the purpose of this paper would be by means of secondary sources which is mainly documentary. Information would be sourced from textbooks, internet, journals written by jurist and public lectures delivered by various professors if there is any related to my project, studying them and drawing a conclusion and preferring recommendations.
1.6 Operational Definitions of Terms
Philosophy: is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras
Hermeneutical: is the theory and methodology of interpretation, especially the interpretation of biblical texts, wisdom literature, and philosophical texts. Hermeneutics is more than interpretive principles or methods we resort to when immediate comprehension fails.
Ethonophilosophy: is the study of indigenous philosophical systems. The implicit concept is that a specific culture can have a philosophy that is not applicable and accessible to all peoples and cultures in the world; however, this concept is disputed by traditional philosophers.
Sagacity: the quality of being sagacious.
History: is the past as it is described in written documents, and the study thereof. Events occurring before written records are considered prehistory. “History” is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians.
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The scope of this work is centre on the analysis of the detail history of African philosophy.
1.8 Significance of the Study
The main significance of this study to give detail history of African philosophy to individual and organization and at the same time to board of knowledge and existing literature available for this topic.
1.9 Literature Review
The definition of philosophy has remained a perennial philosophical problem and there is little agreement as to what it is. Rather, what many seem to agree on is the descriptions of philosophy, that is, what it encompasses which will provide the basis for our definition. In the same vein, it has been difficult to define what African philosophy is, rather most philosophers have contented themselves in describing what African philosophy is. According to Sogolo, “the controversy over what constitutes an African philosophy tends to dominate sometimes so much that it forms almost the entire content of the course” (Sogolo, 1990).
In this research work, the attempt is to say what African philosophy is, inspite of the seeming unending polemics in the sphere and practice of African philosophy. In doing this, we shall start by attempting to describe and possibly define what philosophy is. Subsequently we shall be in a position to define African philosophy by looking at the origin of the debate on African philosophy which was as a result of the charge of irrationality leveled against the Africans. Let us recall that many European scholars mostly anthropologists and sociologists in the like of E. Durkheim, Auguste Comte, James Frazer, Sigmund Freud, Malinowski, Max Muller, Herbert Spencer, Edward Tylor and even Levy Bruhl, have attempted to give an answer to what the African traditional world views were through their theories on religions of the primitive people. For instance, Levy Bruhl rejected the rationality of the primitive people and claimed that they were largely pre-logical and that what their practices point to is a kind of symbolism.
Perspectives on African philosophy: According to Paulin J. Hountondji, philosophy can be regarded as the most self-conscious of disciplines. It is the one discipline that involves by its very nature a constant process of reflection upon itself.
The process of self-reflection, inherent in the nature and practice of philosophy bears not only upon its purposes, objectives and methods, upon its relation to the world and to human experience in its multiple expressions, upon its status among other disciplines and forms of intellectual pursuit and discourse, but also, most radically upon its very nature as an activity and as an enterprise. The view of philosophy as a critical activity whose function embraces an interrogation of its own nature and meaning is undoubtedly a legacy of the Greek philosophers (Hountondji, 1983). It is worth noting that African philosophy according to Hountondji, bears a direct relation to history and culture and that the reflection of African intelligentsia upon our total historical being represents a significant moment in the intellectual response of Africans to the challenge of western civilization.
An attempt to define African philosophy can help in understanding philosophy itself. Philosophy can be defined and at the same time be described as the critical examination of the ideas which men live by Staniland, 1979 such as the idea of justice, morality, political and religious ideas, even the idea of God, average men, perfect men and so forth.
In this critical examination, the philosopher engages in conceptual analysis of the issues involved and in doing this, the philosopher has the tool of logic solidly at hand. When we talk of conceptual analysis, for instance, of the principle of induction, we are looking for the validity or otherwise of the universal claim made as a consequence of examining particular instances. The conceptual issue arises as a result of the fact that the instances examined in inductive argument are not exhaustive of all the classes involved. Hence, the philosopher is apt to reject the universality of the claim made.
1.10 Chaptalization
This research work will be divided into five section from chapter one to five. the chapter of this research will contain the background of the study, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research questions, methodology, operational definitions of terms, scope and delimitation of the study, significance of the study, literature review and chaptalization. The chapter of this work will deal with the review of the question of african philosophy, overview of the study, the four trends and the two basic approaches. The chapter three will contain introduction, criteria of african philosophy, and methods of african philosophy, schools of african philosophy, and the movements in african philosophy and periods of african philosophy. The chapter five of this work is to state the list of african philosophers whereas the chapter five will contain summary, conclusions and evaluation

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