1st Edition

Consolationism and Comparative African Philosophy Beyond Universalism and Particularism

By Ada Agada Copyright 2022
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

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    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.

    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



    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

    "Agada’s consolationism is a step in the right direction of the system-building project which must now be the focus of the contemporary African philosopher. It unveils the history and popular problems of African philosophy in a unique manner, with plausible solutions from the consolationist framework. And it is on the basis of this that I do not hesitate to pass Agada’s effort, not only as a landmark achievement that contemporary African scholars should be proud of, associate, and engage with, but one that should also serve as a stepping stone for further displays of originality and expression of the uniqueness of the African intellect."

    Emmanuel Ofuasia is currently a doctoral research student in the Philosophy Department at Lagos State University (LASU), Nigeria

    "I recommend this book to everyone as an excellent consolation to the human yearning for knowledge that may never be complete."

    Patrick Effiong Ben, University of Pretoria, South Africa