The two Departments of Philosophy and of Classics were created in 1948 as foundation departments of the Faculty of Arts (along with the Departments of English and of French). In August 2010 they merged to become the present Department of Philosophy and Classics. In 1976 the 2-year MPhil (then called MA) programme in Philosophy was installed, and remains along with the current 3-year MPhil programme in Classics, as we are currently constructing an innovative programme integrating the two disciplines.
In 1981 the PhD programme in Philosophy was initiated.
Goals and objectives
In Africa there are important conceptual and historical provocations for combining the distinct disciplines of analytic philosophy and historical studies of antiquity to study the heritages of African nations and to review fundamental questions about the nature of history, methods of historiography, the legitimacy of political power, and the nature of the state. These are the responsibilities of philosophers and scholars of antiquity located uniquely in our situation. We are devoted to studying the collective experience of Africans and to revisit the basis for establishing what is true about human experience through history, to interrogate the nature of objectivity and reflect on the components of reflective and justifiable agency.
We are devoted to encouraging people to develop their own point of view, to reclaim and apply indigenous African ideals and values, and to consider critically the variety of intellectual heritages at their disposal. Our lessons are geared towards guiding people in the pursuit of foundational questions in all areas of knowledge, life experience and scholarship. We support people in self-inquiry, teaching principles of personal development and social critical theory, while at the same time increasing literacy and facility with texts of all sorts.
At the undergraduate level we focus on the links between different disciplines, literatures, cultures, and epochs, drawing attention to questions arising about the foundations of all traditions of articulating human experience.
At the post graduate level the department aims to prepare students for a wide range of academic pursuits and professional careers beyond the campus: in education, foreign affairs, civil service, banking and finance, commerce, international corporations, the NGOs and social entrepreneurial sector, industry and manufacturing, business administration. We are always on the lookout for exceptionally talented and committed young scholars who wish to devote themselves to our own staff establishment.