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

CALL FOR PAPERS: ‘Transforming and Africanizing the Philosophy Curriculum’

CALL FOR PAPERS: ‘Transforming and Africanizing the Philosophy Curriculum’

(Special issue of the South African Journal of Philosophy)
Guest Editor: Edwin Etieyibo (University of the Witwatersrand)

In recent past there have been sustained debates and discussions in various quarters regarding the need to reflect on what we, as academics, are teaching students. These discussions have been cashed out within the broader arena of transformation and curriculum development. In these discussions there hasn’t been much on what it will mean to develop and transform the philosophy curriculum, and what the direction will be for an Africanized philosophy curriculum in universities in Africa.

This special issue of the South African Journal of Philosophy will gather together selected presentations from the “Africanizing the Philosophy Curricula in Universities in Africa” workshop that was held at the University of the Witwatersrand on Wednesday 16 September, 2015.

 Confirmed contributors to the Special Edition are:

 _Dr. David Martens (Wits)

 _Professor Ramose Mogobe (UNISA)

 _Professor Lucy Allais (Wits)

 _Professor Barry Hallen (Morehouse College, USA)

 _Dr. Edwin Etieyibo (Wits)

 _Professor Thaddeus Metz (University of Johannesburg)

 _Dr. John Lamola (Fort Hare)

 _Professor Pedro Tabensky (Rhodes University)

A further five contributions are here solicited to complement contributions from presenters at the workshop. Submissions should focus on the following topics:

 _Is Curriculum Transformation and Development Important?

 _Ought the Philosophy Curriculum in Universities in Africa be Africanized?

 _What does it mean to Africanize the Philosophy Curriculum?

 _Is it Possible to Africanize the Philosophy Curriculum in Universities in Africa?

 _What are the Prospects, Problems and Challenges of Africanizing the Philosophy Curriculum in Universities in Africa?

 _What Subjects, Topics, and Issues Should Form Part of the Content of an Africanized Philosophy Curriculum?

The deadline for submissions is 1 June 2016 for publication in the SAJP Vol. 35 No. 4, 2016. Manuscripts should be 8000-10000 words in length (including references and footnotes) and adhere to the SAJP instructions for authors, available at:

All manuscripts must be prepared for anonymous review and submitted to the SAJP online at where they will be sent out for peer review by the SAJP’s editorial team, under the guidance of the Guest Editor, Dr Edwin Etieyibo.

When you are asked to select a section/category please select the option ‘special edition’. Further enquiries can be addressed to: Edwin Etieyibo (Guest Editor) or Andrea Hurst (Editor-in-Chief)

The SAJP is the official journal of the Philosophical Society of Southern Africa. The journal is anonymously refereed, indexed and published by Taylor & Francis.

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