Césaire’s Contribution to African Philosophy

  • Frederick Ochieng’-Odhiambo
Keywords: Négritude, Return, Thingification, Ethnophilosophy, Philosophic sagacity.


The essay explicates Aimé Césaire’s contribution to the discipline of African philosophy, which ironically, is unknown to many scholars within African philosophy, especially in Anglophone Africa. In his Return to my Native Land, Césaire introduced two new concepts: “négritude” and “return”. These would later turn out to be crucial to the discourse on African identity and African philosophy. In his Discourse on Colonialism, Césaire raised two very closely related objections against Placide Tempels’ Bantu Philosophy. His first dissatisfaction was that Tempels merely followed Lévy-Bruhl and his adherents by proposing another point of view in support of the misguided theory of the prelogical. Secondly, in so doing, his aim was nothing more than to make a presentation of an argument in
support of European imperialism and colonialism. His Discourse on Colonialism, therefore, set the ground for later criticisms that were levelled against ethnophilosophy as an approach to African philosophy.

Keywords: Négritude, Return, Thingification, Ethnophilosophy, Philosophic sagacity. 


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2408-5987
print ISSN: 2276-8386