What is Bantu Philosophy? (African Philosophy)

11 months ago



A description of Placide Tempels’s work “Bantu Philosophy” or La Philosophie Bantoue, and the differing reactions to it by members of the Négritude movement including Aimé Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor.

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Information for this video gathered from The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy and more! (#Bantu #AfricanPhilosophy)

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The Struggle Continues

25 thoughts on “What is Bantu Philosophy? (African Philosophy)”

  1. Ah yeah, Africa, the continent that would had been a super power if not for the interventions of "whites". That sweet sub 80iq is just what you need for a stable and thriving democracy.

  2. In every instance of a supposed weaker force acting on a supposed stronger force, I think temple would argue that the perception of it being a weaker force in the first place was illusory. It is possible that there may be fluctuations in the life force such that while one day a weaker force may be subservient to a stronger, on another it may rebel and subdue the previously stronger force, demonstrating that if it was not before, it is in fact now the stronger force.

  3. Isn't Egypt, the cradle of "White" culture, in Africa? And don't we accept that there was Egyptian philosophy before Europeans colonized the continent?
    As for Tempels' hierarchy of forces, it is strange that he portrays it as only the stronger force acting on the weaker, it is really as if he were trying to justify, if not reforming European colonialism, handing Africa over to other "colonizers". Oh wait…

  4. While finishing my M.S. I lived in various locales which would fall under the region once known as the Belgian Congo. The Bantus are almost exclusively what comprises Sub Saharan people albeit broken into various clans or "tribes" now, such as the Zulu. Their conquest of southern Africa is thought to have wiped out more genotypical unique types of people than any other in the world. Brutal, ruthless and warlike… I quite liked the African though, albeit with a perspective not quite as harsh as Gandhi or Kant, but definitely more in line with an Enlightenment thinker than today's neutered political correct hacks (possibly because my expertise lies in Wechsler IQ aggregating, so more black and white, pun intended, when I look over analytics)

    Lovely people. Childlike and mischievous but also very warm and loyal in many cases. It is fascinating when tribal or sectarian disputes break out, as you will see what you thought was the most peaceful African around, pick up a machete and try to hack a rival for an honor violation or "putting a spell" on a family member.

    Seeing as they didn't have a written language, agrarian farming or the wheel prior to European contact, it is a bit romanticized to imply there was some age old Philosophy present amongst these peoples.

    Finally, I have found the Europeans treatment of the Sub Saharans exponentially better than anyone else, especially themselves and to each other. Food, shelter, labor, medicine from Western man is how these people survive. The Arabs have been enslaving or murdering them on behalf religious exploits for well over a millenia.

    Now the Chinese have moved in and they lack the patience of the white man. "EMPIRE OF DUST" is a brilliant documentary about the new Chinese colonization and industrialization of Africa. And just how hard it is.

    Interesting video. Can't say it is all correct but i applaud your effort and genuinely enjoyed what you put forth

  5. Many Africans appeared less hungry to control and rule other ppl and kingdoms. Their lives were focused in other purpose, hence the long lasting use of brass when stronger metals where available and slow development in military weaponry. They lived their lives differently than European colonists, seemingly to a fault.

  6. It is very difficult to accept assessments of my people undertaken by those who were intrinsically biased against us, collectively. They could have misunderstood or misinterpreted our philosophy (or parts thereof)… It doesn’t help that our history and oral tradition(s) were destroyed through colonisation and the brutality used to stamp out and vilify our being, heritage, etc. and replace it… We hope there are still some Bantu elders from each tribe who have retained the knowledge (hope they are passing it on)… unfortunately the elders in my family were traumatised and indoctrinated to believe that everything pre “Christian” missionaries should be wiped from their memories and/or never discussed…

  7. I would have listened…but a white person telling me things about me! He don't know me better! White pple focus on white stuff and black pple focus on black stuff…is that simple…

  8. The Bantus were an advanced people. They built many empires before the invaders came in and destroyed all records. Some examples of such Bantu states include: in Central Africa, the Kingdom of Kongo, Lunda Empire, Luba Empire of Angola, the Buganda Kingdoms of Uganda and Tanzania; and in Southern Africa, the Mutapa Empire, the Danamombe, Khami, and Naletale Kingdoms of Zimbabwe and Mozambique and the Rozwi Empire. The ruins of these Empires still stands. Why do historians keep telling us how the Bantus came to Africa and displaced the local inhabitants of the regions but failed to tell us where they came from before occupying those territories.

  9. Tempels still maintained africans inferiority compared to westerns. His arguments was that bantu languages did not distinguish feminine from masculine. However khoisans do have gender based languages and bantu do to in their own particular way. The suffix -ume appears a lot to designate the masculine, e.g ma-lume means maternal uncle, ma being mother, impwerume is a male dog in kirundi, the sound imbwa(dog) having turned into impwe because of the suffix,… He also argued that we believed our spirituality to reside in the blood not being which is not true. In kirundi we know umushaha, the soul, umutima, the heart or self, or Ukuzimu, the world of dark spirits.

  10. Please rename this series "African Ethnophilosophy". There is a plethora of professional philosophy within African Philosophy which is clearly outside the scope of ethnophilosophy.

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