The Concept of Beauty in African Philosophy

Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies 10 (7):249-260 (2017)
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Abstract

This article contributes to the ongoing discussion on African aesthetics by presenting concept of beauty or the beautiful as it evolved from the cultural conception of beauty to the philosophical shift in the concept. It also examined Western concept of beauty in order to show the different contexts of the meaning of beauty in Africa and Western philosophies. In the paper, I focused primarily on analyzing beauty concept in terms of what constitutes beauty and how the beautiful can be known. I showed that unlike individualistic conception of beauty in Western philosophy, beauty concept in African philosophy is both relational and functional. I showed that in African context there is no beauty for beauty’s sake; and that the beautiful is considered in terms of good conducts and physical attractiveness. Finally, I argued that African concept beauty is only intelligible when considered in the context of African ontology.

Author Profiles

Diana-Abasi Ibanga
University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

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