CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Philosophy in Africa, Africa in Philosophy



Philosophy in Africa, Africa in Philosophy


A fortnightly series of academic research seminars hosted jointly by the Centre for African Studies and the Philosophy Department, University of Cape Town


Convenors: Prof. Lungisile Ntsebeza & Dr. George Hull


Recent months have seen renewed interest in questions about the role which academic philosophy can play in solving problems specific to Africa, including South Africa, and about the role which indigenous African traditions of thought and practice can play in enriching the academic discipline of philosophy. These questions are central to debates about what positive change in teaching and research in humanities faculties, both in South Africa and further afield, would look like; but they are also the focus of on-going research by both academic philosophers and academics from other disciplines. This fortnightly seminar series, beginning in March 2016 and running over the whole academic year, aims to create a forum for the presentation of well-researched, critical, carefully argued academic papers addressing topics including the following:

  • What distinctive concepts, ideas and arguments are contributed by African traditions of thought and practice to philosophical debates?
  • What constructive insights can academic philosophy offer into problems—political, social, epistemological, metaphysical—specific to Africa, including South Africa?
  • What does it take for a philosophical theory or argument, or a philosopher, to count as “African”?
  • To what extent is the work of “canonical” Western philosophers in need of radical re-evaluation due to their inconsistencies, hypocrisies or scurrilous claims regarding African and indigenous people?
  • Do indigenous African traditions of thought provide alternative models of rationality which can challenge presuppositions of philosophical work in the “analytic” tradition?
  • Has “analytic” philosophy been misrepresented as being of limited relevance to African contexts and traditions?

Academics and postgraduate researchers from UCT and beyond are invited to submit abstracts by midnight on 25th January 2016 If accepted for presentation, a full written paper must be circulated one week before the seminar. The best of the papers presented over the year will be published in a volume edited by Lungisile Ntsebeza and George Hull.

PSSA Harassment working group: Survey


The PSSA Harassment working group has prepared a brief survey relating to sexual harassment at conferences and elsewhere in South African academic philosophy. We would appreciate it if persons involved in South African philosophy would take the time to complete this anonymous survey. The link to the survey is here:

Please do not complete the survey again if you did you when it was first announced (on 20 October). We are repeating the announcement in case anyone missed it the previous time.

For a statement about the working group see this earlier posting on ZAPHIL:

Thanks and regards,

David Spurrett

(On behalf of the PSSA Harassment working group)

PSSA Statement on Student Protests

The PSSA Executive would like to make the following statement on behalf of the members of the PSSA and the philosophical community of South Africa in response to the recent #FeesMustFall student protest movement.

The Philosophy Society of Southern Africa (PSSA) welcomes the 0% increase in university fees for 2016. The PSSA acknowledges that it is a grave injustice to prevent the poor from accessing higher education simply on the basis of unaffordability. The PSSA strongly supports increased government spending in higher education in order to move towards correcting this injustice, while also allowing universities to reconcile their budgets without making cuts that could compromise the academic offerings of our universities. 

We call on all relevant parties to act within the parameters of the law, and to respect the rights of others​.


Final CFP for the PSSA Conference, 18-20 January 2016

Final CFP for the PSSA Conference, 18-20 January 2016 

University of Fort Hare, Crawfords, Chintsa (South Africa)

Deadline: 31 October 2015

This is the final call for papers for the annual conference of the Philosophical Society of Southern Africa.

The conference will be hosted by the Department of Philosophy and Centre for Leadership Ethics in Africa (University of Fort Hare) at Crawfords in Chintsa – (Wild Coast, South Africa).

The conference organisers are Filip Maj, Chris Allsobrook and Abraham Olivier.

The date of the conference is 18-20 January (Monday-Wednesday) 2016.

The conference has no theme, and papers in all areas of philosophy are welcome. Abstracts of no more than 200 words should reach the conference organisers by 31 October 2015. Please submit to:

Confirmation of papers accepted for the conference will take place by 15 November 2015. If you require this information at an earlier date (e.g. in order to obtain funding), please indicate this to the conference organisers.

As in the past, participants of the conference will be able to send their presentations for possible inclusion in a special 2016 conference edition of the South African Journal of Philosophy. Please note that submissions must be made online at

Please note that all accommodation arrangements are to be made by delegates themselves. For further information contact Crawfords: Secure accommodation early, since the conference takes place in holiday season. Info regarding alternative accommodation will be provided in the next CFP.

Transport to and from the airport to Chintsa should be arranged by the delegates themselves. Please contact Crawfords for those who want to share transport.

The registration fee for the conference is R660 (R280 per day, final day R100). This includes teas/coffees and lunches, but does not include a formal conference dinner. Informal evening gatherings will be arranged at Crawfords and other venues within walking distance from the conference venue.

The registration form will be available once notification of the acceptance of papers has been sent out in November. Attendees are requested to pay the registration fee in advance as soon as possible after November directly to Crawfords.

Members of the PSSA and Philosophy Departments in South Africa are kindly asked to distribute this notification about the conference to anyone who may be interested in attending or presenting.

Department of Philosophy. University of Fort Hare

Chris Hani Building. Church Street. 1st Floor. East London 7426

Book Launch: Prof Lucy Allais

The Philosophy Departments of Wits and the University of Johannesburg invite you to drinks to celebrate the launch of Prof Lucy Allais’s new book

Manifest Reality: Kant’s Idealism and his Realism (Oxford University Press)
Venue: Wits Staff Club                           Date: Monday, 28 September
               West Campus, Wits                                Time: 18:00
(Drinks & snacks will be served)
RSVP: (no later than Wednesday, 23 Sept)

Wittgenstein and Meaning in Life: In Search of the Human Voice – Reza Hosseini

We are happy to announce that Reza Hosseini, our colleague at the Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics at Rhodes University, recently published a book on Wittgenstein: 
Title:  Wittgenstein and Meaning in Life: In Search of the Human Voice.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

World Congress of Philosophy 2018

Dear Colleagues,

the Steering Committee of Fisp, during its last session held in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 29, 2015, has considered the proposals made by the Programme Committee of the 24th World Congress of Philosophy (Beijing 2018), and approved the main structure of the Congress.

I am pleased to attach here — in English and French — the essential information concerning the Congress (title in the various official languages, dates, etc.) along with the approved list of Plenary sessions, Symposia, and thematic Sections of the Congress. All this information is likely to reach you soon again through the First Circular of the Congress, to be diffused by our Chinese colleagues. The First Circular will also include other information, such as the contact for the Secretariat of the Congress, the rules and deadlines for submitting papers as well as proposals for round tables and Societies meetings, the fees of the Congress, and other relevant information. The same documents will be then posted on Fisp website (

The next step towards the Congress will consist of proposing potential speakers for the various parts of the Congress (Plenary Sessions and Symposia), as well as chairs for each of the 98 sections for submitted papers (usually, more than one chair per section). This will be the main business of the next meeting of the Programme Committee, to be held in Beijing, China, on Sept 4-5, 2015. Its recommendations will subsequently be submitted to the approval of the Steering Committee in 2016.

As it is customary, I am pleased to solicit your suggestions to this effect, as a way to prepare the work of the Programme Committee. In particular, proposals in the following areas will be appreciated:

1) proposals of speakers for the Plenary sessions and Symposia;
2) proposals of chairs for one (or more than one) of the 98 thematic sections of the Congress.

Concerning the latter point, may I mention that, during the first meeting of the Programme Committee, it was stressed that the choice of chairs for these thematic sections should not only take into account the nominees’ scholarly expertise in a particular domain, but also their commitment to solicit papers, encourage submissions, and involve scholars in the area they would be in charge of. I take the liberty of underlining this recommendation as the role of Section chairs is crucial to the good development of the Congress.

For your complete information, I would like to recall that, according to Fisp habit, each member of the Steering Committee will be asked to chair one of the thematic sections of the Congress, according to his or her own area of specialization and/or competence.

Your proposals, along with those submitted by the members of the Steering Committee (to whom I am also about to write), will be noted and brought to the attention of the Programme Committee at its next meeting, in September. Therefore, I would appreciate receiving your suggestions by the end of July.

Finally, let me invite you to visit the website of Fisp (, and check if the information concerning your Society, Institute or Association is correctly updated. In case you find any wrong or outdated information, please let me know.

Needless to say, feel free to contact me for any further query, request, or clarification you might need.

Yours most cordially,

Luca Maria Scarantino
Secretary-general of FISP.

Prof. Dr. Luca M. Scarantino
Philosophy and Politics of Culture, IULM University
Secretary-general of Fisp
General Editor, Diogenes
International Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione – IULM
Via Carlo Bo 1 –  I-20143 MilanoWCP 2018 – Structure

CFP: International Society for African Philosophy and Studies, 14 – 15 May 2015




DATE: MAY 14-15, 2015



Health, including environmental problems that bear on health issues (e.g., air quality, housing, potable water, sanitation, nutrition, health care and education, climate change, responses to health crises such as ebola)

Education, including all formal education from pre-school or headstart through professional and graduate degrees with emphasis on technology solutions to problems of resource scarcity and particular emphasis on the ethical obligations of African universities to their supporting communities

Economy, including foreign and domestic capital sourcing, changing employment demographics (rural and urban, farming and manufacturing), technology transfer, appropriate technology

Criminal justice, including anti-corruption measures, policing, judiciary and incarceration systems.


African ethics (e.g., ancient Egyptian and Ethiopian, Ubuntu, etc.), as distinct from other continental ethical systems (e.g. Asian, European, North American)

African universities’ ethical responsibilities to their supporting communities

The African experience in the diaspora as it bears in all its diversity on solutions to critical African problems

Macro and micro-appropriate technology in africa

African Union responsibility for continental education measures

A Pan African Curriculum for K-16


Abstract Submission Deadline: 1 April 2015

Abstract Format: Times Roman/12 point

Abstract Length: Maximum 250 Words

Send abstracts to:


Participants are encouraged to send suggestions for keynote speaker for the conference to


Recommendations for accommodations will be posted shortly on the website.  Participants are encouraged to secure their reservations as soon as possible, as mid-May in Washington is the height of the spring tourist season.


Please address any inquiries to Professors Charles Verharen or Kola Abimbola, co-chairs of the organizing committee.  Professor Verharen is the current vice-president of ISAPS and Professor Abimbola is a past president of ISAPS.  Their emails and


Please consult the ISAPS website: