The Logic of Consciencism

In Martin Ajei (ed.), Disentangling Consciencism: Essays on Kwame Nkrumah's Philosophy. pp. 185-198 (2017)
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According to Kwame Nkrumah, the conscience of the African society is plagued with three strands of influences which have competing and conflicting ideologies: “African society has one segment which comprises our traditional way of life; it has a second segment which is filled by the presence of the Islamic tradition in Africa; it has a final segment which represents the infiltration of the Christian tradition and culture of Western Europe into Africa, using colonialism and neocolonialism as its primary vehicles.” When these three segments with their conflicting ideologies are allowed to co-exist, the African society “will be racked by the most malignant schizophrenia.” Nkrumah’s solution, philosophical consciencism, presents an ideology aimed at achieving a harmony among the three segments in such a way that is “in tune with the original humanist principles underlying African society.” I do two main things in this paper: first, I present an analysis and critique of Nkrumah’s understanding of how the harmony is to be achieved in African societies; and second, I show how the theoretical ideas of philosophical consciencism – materialism, dialectical change, categorial conversion, socialism – are given actual form and content on the social-political scene through an analysis of Nkrumah's set theoretic terms
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