Logic and African Philosophy

Seminal Essays on African Systems of Thought

Jonathan O. Chimakonam (Ed.)

by Meinrad Hebga (Yaounde State University, Cameroon), Leopold Sedar Senghor , Robin Horton , J. E. Wiredu (University of South Florida), Godwin Sogolo (National Open University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Chukwuemeka B. Nze (University of Nigeria, Nigeria; Madonna University), Ademola Kazeem Fayemi (University of Lagos, Nigeria), Keanu Koketso Mabalane (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), Edwin Etieyibo (University of the Witwatersrand), Chris O. Ijiomah (University of Calabar, Nigeria), Campbell Shittu Momoh (University of Lagos, Nigeria), Udo Etuk (University of Uyo, Nigeria), Uduma, O. Uduma (National Open University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Jonathan O. Chimakonam (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Innocent I. Asouzu (University of Calabar, Nigeria)

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“Logic and African Philosophy: Seminal Essays on African Systems of Thought” is an edited work by Jonathan Chimakonam who is affiliated to the Philosophy Department at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. The book has four parts with a total of sixteen published and (some) revised essays that had appeared between i958 and 2020. Essentially, each of the parts is tied to a thematic contention in the history of thought and logic in the African place but also discloses a historical evolution from mere lip service and doubt to the emergence of an alternative three-valued logic system that is formal, methodological, philosophical, yet able to represent the African reality better than the prevalent bivalent logic system, dominant in the Western tradition of philosophy. [...]

[Extract from book reviewing on the journal 'History and Philosophy of Logic', 2022, Vol.43 (3), p.303-305. Reviewer: E. Ofuasia Lagos State University, Nigeria). ]

“Logic and African Philosophy: Seminal Essays on African Systems of Thought” aims to put African intellectual history in perspective, with focus on the subjects of racism, logic, language, and psychology. The volume seeks to fill in the gaps left by the exclusion of African thinkers that are frequent in the curricula of African schools concerning history, sociology, philosophy, and cultural studies.
The book is divided into four parts that are preceded by an introduction to link up the essays and emphasise their sociological implications. Part one is comprised of essays that opened the controversy of whether logic can be found in traditional African cultures as well as other matters like the nature of the mind and behaviour of African peoples. The essays in part two are centred on the following question: are the laws of thought present in African languages and cultures? Part three brings together essays that sparkle the debate on whether there can be such a thing as African logic, which stems from the discussions in part two. Part four is concerned on the theme of system-building in logic; contributions are written by members of the budding African philosophy movement called the “Conversational School of Philosophy” based at the University of Calabar, and the main objective of their papers is to formulate systems of African logic.

List of Figures
General Introduction

Part 1: Introduction: Logic and Traditional Thought, the Origin of a Controversy
Chapter 1 Logic in Africa
Meinrad Hebga
Yaounde State University, Cameroon

Chapter 2 On Negrohood: Psychology of the African Negro
Léopold Sédar Senghor
Independent Scholar

Chapter 3 African Traditional Thought and Western Science
Robin Horton
Independent Scholar

Chapter 4 How Not to Compare African Traditional Thought with Western Thought
University of South Florida

Part 2: Introduction: Logic in African Languages and Cultures

Chapter 5 Logic and Rationality
Godwin Sogolo
National Open University of Nigeria, Nigeria

Chapter 6 Uncovering Logic in Igbo Language and Thought
Chukwuemeka B. Nze
University of Nigeria, Nigeria; Madonna University

Chapter 7 The Logic in Yoruba Proverbs
Ademola Kazeem Fayemi
University of Lagos, Nigeria

Chapter 8 Universal or Particular Logic and the Question of Logic in Setswana Proverbs
Keanu K. Malabane
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Edwin Etieyibo
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Chapter 9 A Justification for an Excavation of a Logic in African Worldview
Chris O. Ijiomah
University of Calabar, Nigeria

Part 3: Introduction: African Logic, the Debate

Chapter 10 The Logic Question in African Philosophy
Campbell S. Momoh
University of Lagos, Nigeria

Chapter 11 The Possibility of African Logic
Udo Etuk
University of Uyo, Nigeria

Chapter 12 Can There Be an African Logic? Revisiting the Squall for a Cultural Logic
Uduma Oji Uduma
National Open University of Nigeria, Nigeria

Chapter 13 Why Can’t There Be (An) African Logic? Clarifying the Squall for a Cultural Logic
Jonathan O. Chimakonam
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Part 4: Introduction: The System builders, Contributions from the Calabar School

Chapter 14 Harmonious Monism: A System of a Logic in African Thought
Chris O. Ijiomah
University of Calabar, Nigeria

Chapter 15 Complementary Logic
Innocent I. Asouzu
University of Calabar, Nigeria

Chapter 16 Ezumezu as a Formal System
Jonathan O. Chimakonam
University of Pretoria, South Africa

List of Contributors

Jonathan O. Chimakonam Ph.D, teaches at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. His research interests cover the areas of African Philosophy, Logic, Philosophy of Mind, Environmental Ethics and Postmodern/Postcolonial Thought. He aims to break new grounds in African philosophy by formulating a system that unveils new concepts and opens new vistas for thought (Conversational philosophy); a method that represents a new approach to philosophising in African and intercultural philosophies (Conversational thinking); and a system of logic that grounds both (Ezumezu). His articles have appeared in refereed and accredited international journals. He is an author, co-author, editor and co-editor of several books, including "Ezumezu: A System of Logic for African Philosophy and Studies" (Springer, 2019), "Ka Osi So Onye: African Philosophy in the Post Modern Era" (Vernon Press, 2018, with Edwin Etieyibo), and "The Death Penalty from an African Perspective" (Vernon Press, 2017, with Fainos Mangena). He is the convener of the professional African philosophy society, The Conversational School of Philosophy (CSP) and the founding editor of "Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions." He has won the Jens Jacobsen Research Award for Outstanding Research in Philosophy by the International Society for Universal Dialogue. He is also the African philosophy Area Editor in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Logic, Africa, Contradiction, Relativism, Civilization, Psychology, Negro, Negrohood, Reason, Emotion, Culture, Traditional, Scientific, Open and Closed Predicaments, Africa, Traditional thought, West, Western thought, Comparison, Rationality, Laws of Thought, Cultures, Igbo, Proverbs, Acholi, particularism, Setswana, universalism, Urhobo, Harmonious monism, SAALF, Complementary reflection, Disjunctive and Conjunctive reasoning, Ezumezu, Formal System, Arumaristic, Ohakaristic,

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Logic and African Philosophy

Book Subtitle

Seminal Essays on African Systems of Thought





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


6 B&W

Publication date

October 2020