2 minute read

Sage Philosophy


It is clear from this brief descriptive account of some of the things Oruka stood for that African philosophers are faced with crucial issues and pertinent questions as they critically appraise and define their participation in the wider global philosophical conversation. The influence of Oruka's work is to be seen in both the numbers and research interests of local, regional, and international scholars he inspired to work closely with him, whether or not they agreed with his positions. As a true scholar who believed in the historical spirit of philosophy, Oruka frequently supervised and directed dissertations that sometimes argued strongly against his positions.


Bodunrin, Peter. "The Question of African Philosophy." In African Philosophy: An Introduction, edited by Richard A. Wright. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1984.

Crahay, Franz. "Le 'Décollage' conceptuel: Conditions d'une philosophie bantoue." Diogène 52 (1965): 61–84.

Diels, Hermann. Fragmente der Vorsokratiker. 3 vols. Berlin: Weidmann, 1903. Reprint, Berlin: Weidmann, 1964.

Eboussi Boulaga, Fabien. "Le Bantou problématique." Présence Africaine 66 (1968): 4–40.

Goody, Jack. The Domestication of the Savage Mind. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

Graness, Anke, and Kai Kresse, eds. Sagacious Reasoning: Henry Odera Oruka in Memoriam. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Lang, 1997. This is an excellent and exceptional text that carries Oruka's essays and interviews as well as essays on him and his work. Of particular importance are the essays by Oruka's former students who were his chief disciples and collaborators in the sage philosophy project.

Griaule, Marcel. Conversations with Ogotemmêli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965.

Hountondji, Paulin. "Remarques sur la philosophie africaine." Diogène 71 (1970): 120–140.

Kalumba, Kibujjo M. "Sage Philosophy: Its Methodology, Results, Significance, and Future." In A Companion to African Philosophy, edited by Kwasi Wiredu. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2004.

Keita, Lansana. "Contemporary African Philosophy: The Search for a Method." Praxis International 5, no. 2 (1985): 145–161.

Masolo, D. A. African Philosophy in Search of Identity. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994.

Mbiti, John S. African Religions and Philosophy. London: Heinemann, 1969.

Mudimbe, V. Y. The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988.

Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. London, Currey, 1981.

Oruka, Henry Odera. "Mythologies as African Philosophy." East Africa Journal 9, no. 10 (1972): 5–11.

——. Sage Philosophy: Indigenous Thinkers and Modern Debate on African Philosophy. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 1990.

——. "Traditionalism and Modernisation in Kenya—Customs, Spirits and Christianity." In The S. M. Otieno Case: Death and Burial in Modern Kenya, edited by J. B. Ojwang and J. N. K. Mugambi. Nairobi, Kenya: Nairobi University Press, 1989.

——. "Truth and Belief." Universitas (Ghana) 5, no. 1 (1975).

Popper, Karl R. "On a Little Known Chapter of Mediterranean History." In Transition to Modernity: Essays on Power, Wealth and Belief, edited by John A. Hall and I. C. Jarvie. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Tempels, Placide. Bantu Philosophy. Paris: Présence Africaine, 1959.

Van Hook, Jay M. "Kenyan Sage Philosophy: A Review and Critique." The Philosophical Forum 27, no. 1 (1995): 54–65.

D. A. Masolo

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Revaluation of values: to Sarin Gas - History And Global Production Of SarinSage Philosophy - Historical Origins, Relation Between Sage Philosophy And Popular Myths, Conclusion, Bibliography