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Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for De-colonization and Development with Particular Reference to the African Revolution


122 pages

Paperback ISBN: 978-0-85345-136-5

Released 1964

One of Africa’s most renowned philosophers and political leaders, Kwame Nkrumah was not only at the center of what he called “the African revolution,” but he also articulated its ideology. In this book he sets out his personal philosophy, which he terms “consciencism,” and which has provided the intellectual framework for his political action.

Why “consciencism”? The answer is that in this concept Dr. Nkrumah draws together strands from the three main traditions that make up the African conscience: the Euro-Christian, the Islamic, and the original African. He characterizes traditional African society as essentially egalitarian, and argues that a new African philosophy must draw its nourishment chiefly from African roots. But he reviews Western philosophy in some detail to illustrate the thesis that philosophy, however academic, is always trying, explicitly or implicitly, to say something about society. It is this relevance of philosophy to society, and to social and political action in particular, that chiefly interests him.

Dr. Nkrumah shows how his philosophical beliefs are related to special problems of “the African revolution,” and states his case for socialism as the most valid expression of the African conscience at the present time.

It is a brilliant tour de force, lucid and often witty; the writer is convinced that philosophy is about something and he wants to know what gadfly stung the great thinkers and how their thought grew from the life of their day.

The Sunday Times (1964)

This book marks the first stage of an attempt to hammer out in detail a form of socialism appropriate to non-industrial Africa.

Tribune (1964)

Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972), the influential political leader, socialist theorist, and Pan-Africanist, was the first president of Ghana after independence and was a key figure in the non-aligned movement.

SKU: mrp1365 Categories: , Tags: ,
Topics: Philosophy Places: Africa

Publication Date: January 1964

Number of Pages: 122

Paperback ISBN: 9780853451365