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Souleymane Bachir Diagne, “On African Philosophy”

Monday, August 29, 2016 - 4:45pm

Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall
ICM Lecture Series

SOULEYMANE BACHIR DIAGNE
Professor, French; Philosophy, Columbia University

The phrase “African philosophy” has been an object of discussion and controversy, particularly in the so-called “francophone” region of the continent, as it poses the question of the possibility of critical thought in a context of orality. The lecture examines that question and insists on the significance of the tradition of written erudition in centers of learning and philosophy such as Timbuktu in the study of the intellectual history of Africa (the focus is on West Africa).

* Suggested reading for this event is The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa, chapter 1, “The Force of Living,” pp. 9-34. Available on the Codesria website.

Seminar

“The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa”
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Toboggan Lodge, 38 Forest Home Drive

The chapter to be discussed in the seminar is entitled “The Time We Need” from The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa (Codesria, 2016). This chapter examines the question of an “African conception of time.” Starting from a discussion of the theses of Kenyan philosopher John Mbiti declaring that true consideration of a future and of an abstract notion of time in general does not exist in African languages and cultures, it examines the question of prospective thinking in relation to African development.

* Suggested reading for this event is The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa, chapter 2, “The Time We Need,” pp. 35-47. Available on the Codesria website.

Bio
Souleymane Bachir Diagne is a professor at Columbia University in the departments of French and philosophy. His areas of research and publication include history of philosophy, history of logic and mathematics, Islamic philosophy, African philosophy, and francophone literature. His latest publications are Islam and the Open Society: Fidelity and Movement in Muhammad Iqbal’s Thought (Codesria, 2010); African Art as Philosophy: Senghor, Bergson, and the Idea of Negritude (Seagull Books, 2011); Bergson Postcolonial: L’élan vital dans la pensée de L.S. Senghor et de Mohamed Iqbal (CNRS Editions, 2011); Comment philosopher en Islam? (Philippe Rey, 2013); and L’encre des savants: réflexions sur la philosophie en Afrique (Présence africaine, 2013).

All events are free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Romance Studies and Sage School of Philosophy

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