Venue: University of Ghana, Legon-Accra, Ghana

Date: August 11-12, 2016

Duration: Two days with possibility of tour of Ghana’s major tourist destinations at weekend

Theme: Democracy, Justice and Development in Africa, 50 years after independence.

Thematic Areas


Which democracy for Africa? The experience of post-colonial Africa in identifying and applying different approaches to government. Western partisan democratic models in the African context and its challenges. Is this the best system for Africa? What alternatives and what is the way forward?


Which justice and justice for who? Is there an African standard for justice? This opens up the debate on human rights, on the definition and conception of corruption, on inclusion and marginalization, etc.


African nations are often referred to as developing countries. What does this really mean? What concept of development? Are there any societies that are not developing countries?

The topic is open to philosophers and thinkers from various fields who would like to carry out a historical analysis of any of the above topics or to offer perspectives on how to move forward in the future.

Five decades of independence in many African countries offers a good background to be able to look at how certain models have been applied and the successes and failures that have been recorded so far.

Philosophical and inter-disciplinary papers will contribute to a rich discussion and debate on these topics.

Interested participants should send their abstracts to

Abstract format: Times New Roman 12 point. Maximum 500 words

Deadline for abstract submission: End of April, 2016

Early submissions are encouraged, especially for those interested in seeking conference travel/accommodation grants.

Arrangements are being made with a major journal of philosophy for a special edition focusing on especially well written and significant papers that will emerge from this conference. Arrangements are also being made for a book chapter with a reliable publisher for other papers that may not fit into this special edition.

Suggestions for keynote speakers for ISAPS Legon 2016 should be sent to

Colloquium: Reflecting on being thankful after the death of God – Prof Paul van Tongeren, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen & KU Leuven

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a colloquium:
Reflecting on being thankful after the death of God – Prof Paul van Tongeren, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen & KU Leuven
We are faced with a certain embarrassment when it comes to being thankful in our time. The embarrassment does not relate so much to the thankfulness over against someone who gave us something, but the thankfulness for our existence, for those things “given to us” by chance and maybe even “for everything”. This thankfulness we cannot express well anymore, because we do not know whom we should be thankful to. I try to explain the connection of this thankfulness with what Nietzsche calls nihilism, and try to find a way which would enable us to be “thankful” even without God. With this in mind I twice make a journey through the history of reflection on thankfulness: the first time to trace the origin of the prevalent concept of thankfulness, the second time to identify aspects which have become or remained hidden. I draw on these hidden aspects to coin an alternative concept of thankfulness, which I then illustrate with reference to the well-known imagery of the Three Graces.
Venue: University of Pretoria, Humanities building, 20-4
Date: Friday, 12 February 2016
Time: 11:30-12:30