Caribbean Journal of Philosophy, Vol 14, No 1 (2022)

Okolo on African Personality

Anayochukwu Kingsley Ugwu


Various conceptions of African personality abound in African philosophy, ranging from ontological, metaphysical, normative and epistemological positions, while some others embrace communalistic considerations regarding the question of the African personality. Okolo, being categorised under the communalistic point of view with socio-ontological underpinnings, maintains that the attitude of ‘being-with’ characteristically defines and symbolically stands for that by which ‘the African’ is identified. For him, ‘the African’ is characterized by his ‘communality,’ a socio-ontological viewpoint. However, his position is not without flaws, ranging from the question of individual and private-life-interference, the subsuming of the individual freedom and volition into a community consciousness, imposing of the title, ‘African,’ to even non-Africans, among other issues. To ensure an adequate understanding of the views of Okolo in this research, we will critically employ analytic and evaluative methods. This essay concludes on the premise that emphasis on, community-lifestyle remains an inherent feature of the African personality.

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