On the Kantian influence in African thought and the notion of trans-colonization


  • Joseph C. A. AGBAKOBA University of Nigeria




Alienation-negativity complex, coloniality, conflict theory of development, decoloniality, epistemic orientation, final epistemic authority, heterosis, incommensurability, radius of consistency, reason, trans-colonization, verisimilitude-nonsubstitutivity


This paper reviews Kant’s direct and indirect influences on modern African philosophy and contemporaneous thought, especially regarding colonization, modernization, decolonization and trans-colonization. The paper explores and evaluates the quest for Africanity and the carving a unique African identity through a relativist interpretation of the Kantian epistemic framework as well as his conflict theory of progress. The paper argues that this sort of approach, which is ensconced principally in the decoloniality project, is not justifiable on epistemic, moral and developmentarian (utility) grounds. The paper proposes transcolonization and heterosis, grounded in creativity, especially epistemic creativity, as a more justifiable and practically viable and developmentarian integration of modernity and Kantianism into the African experience.


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Biografia do Autor

Joseph C. A. AGBAKOBA, University of Nigeria

Professor of philosophy at the University of Nigeria. He has been a Volkswagen Foundation grantee and fellow, an Alexander von Humboldt fellow, an alumnus of Budapest’s Central European University, SUN program, a visiting scholar at Cape Coast and Frankfurt. He was Head of Department of Philosophy at the University of Nigeria from 2007-2010 and Dean, School of General Studies, 2012-2013; from 2013 to 2017, he was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Vice President) at Madonna University Nigeria. He is a former president of the Nigerian Philosophical Association. Agbakoba is also the Regional Coordinator for Africa for the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (CRVP), Washington DC; the Vice President for Africa for COMIUCAP (Conférence Mondiale des Institutions Universitaires Catholiques de Philosophie) and a member of the Steering Committee of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP). His current research interest is in the field of development philosophy and ethics in relation to Africa and intercultural philosophy. He has published widely locally and internationally; his most recent publication is the book, Development and Modernity in Africa: An Intercultural Philosophical Perspective, published in June/July 2019 by Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, Köln.