Consolationism and Comparative African Philosophy : Beyond Universalism and Particularism book cover
1st Edition

Consolationism and Comparative African Philosophy
Beyond Universalism and Particularism

ISBN 9780367776206
Published November 19, 2021 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

In a major challenge to African philosophy, this book demonstrates the importance of the universalisation question for every committed African philosopher. Rooted in Africa’s colonial legacy, the universalisation question challenges the African thinker to show how authentically African philosophical concepts and phenomena can be universally applicable in a globalising world.

In this highly original book, the author inserts the philosophy of consolationism into African philosophical discourse, constructing a unique philosophical system that is at once African and universally relevant. The book engages major African and Western philosophers of diverse ideological leanings in a compelling dialogue that announces the future of world philosophy as one of interculturality, in which a common philosophical horizon is forged out of the cultural diversities of the world for the edification of humanity in a continually changing world.

This book will be an important read for researchers in the fields of African Studies, intercultural philosophy, philosophy of mind, and existentialism.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Bryan W. Van Norden



Part One: The universalism-particularism conundrum revisited

Chapter 1: Ethnophilosophy in the African philosophical canon

Chapter 2: The perennial challenge: Transcending the universalism-particularism divide

Chapter 3: Transcending the universalism-particularism divide: The challenge of consolationism

Part Two: Consolation philosophy

Chapter 4: The consolationist system

Chapter 5: On God and nature

Chapter 6: Homo melancholicus

Part Three: Cross-cultural and comparative philosophy

Chapter 7: Cross-cultural and comparative philosophy as moral conversation

Chapter 8: Consolation philosophy’s challenge to German philosophy and Western existentialist thought

Chapter 9: The intellectual love of God in a comparative context


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Ada Agada is a Nigerian philosopher and author of Existence and Consolation: Reinventing Ontology, Gnosis, and Values in African Philosophy, a 2015 CHOICE’s Outstanding Academic Title (OAT) award winner. He was educated in Nigeria and has held research fellowships in Africa and Europe. He has published widely in international publishing outlets and has also taught philosophy courses in Africa and Europe. He is currently a senior researcher at the Conversational School of Philosophy (CSP), Calabar, Nigeria.


"…A fascinating survey of debates in contemporary African philosophy… In addition, Dr. Agada defends his own philosophy, ‘consolationism’, a unique and original system grounded in concepts taken from the particularities of ethnophilosophy, but going beyond them to offer an ambitious philosophical synthesis with universal appeal…[a] profound and fecund philosophical work."

Bryan W. Van Norden, James Monroe Taylor Chair in Philosophy at Vassar College

"Ada Agada’s latest book advances a novel comprehensive system of general metaphysics, cosmic meaningfulness, and individual existentialism that is anchored on the claim that the universe essentially is the sort of thing that should become perfect, even though it in fact never will. This book will broaden the intellectual horizons of philosophers in a variety of fields and traditions."

Thaddeus Metz, Professor of Philosophy, University of Pretoria

"Ada Agada advances an understanding of ‘consolationism’ as a system- building project and as an unequivocal contribution to world philosophy. As a major voice of the famed Conversational School of Philosophy, Calabar, Agada’s new book further augments his role within a movement that is fast becoming one of the most vibrant spaces for philosophy on the African continent."

Sanya Osha, University of Cape Town, South Africa