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date: 28 October 2020

Oruka, Henry Odera locked

  • Hannington Ochwada


Henry Odera Oruka was born in Nyanza Province of western Kenya in 1944 and died in 1995. He received his undergraduate university education in Kenya. Oruka pursued his graduate education at Wayne State University in the United States, where he received a master’s degree. He obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1970 from the University of Uppsala in Sweden. On his return to Kenya, Oruka taught philosophy and religious studies at the University of Nairobi. He was also president of the Philosophical Association of Kenya, and became a member of the Inter-African Council of Philosophy, the Fédération Internationale de Société Philosophique, and the World Future Studies Federation.

Oruka conceived of the idea of “sage philosophy,” which he hoped would erase the rampant but disparaging Eurocentric perceptions that Africans were incapable of abstract thinking and philosophizing in the same way as Westerners. In 1970 reacting against Oruka s idea ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought.

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