H. Odera Oruka Symposium 2013

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University of Nairobi, Department of philosophy and religious studies in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut successfully conducted a three-day symposium named H. Odera Oruka Symposium 2013. The event that commenced on Tuesday 19th and ended on Thursday 21st November 2013, was organized to create awareness of the trail-blazing works by the late Professor of Philosophy to many upcoming Kenyan scholars who knew very little about it. The event which took place at the Goethe-Institut was well attended by audiences that included University Students, Scholars from both Local and International Universities as well members of the public.

The late Kenyan Prof. H. Odera Oruka (1944-1995), from his base at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Nairobi, contributed significantly to the growth of contemporary African philosophy, and helped locate African philosophy within the global philosophical discourse. His work in areas such as normative and applied ethics, political philosophy, epistemology, and, most notably, philosophic sagacity, continues to play a pivotal role in the current discourse on African philosophy. Prof. Oruka was also one of the founders of Thought Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya, which is currently an online, open access, bi-annual peer-reviewed publication found at http://ajol.info/index.php/tp/index, and the December 2012 issue of the journal was dedicated to his memory.

Scholars from different departments of the University of Nairobi presented various papers published on various Journal Articles that touch on issues tackled by Prof. H. Odera Oruka in his book titled, Sage Philosophy: Indigenous Thinkers and the Modern Debate on African Philosophy, to the audience.  They included Dr Nyabul Patrick, Prof. Okoth Okombo, Oriare Nyarwath and Prof. G.E.M Ogutu among others. International Presenters included Dr. Anke Graness, Prof. Kai Kress, and Prof.  G. Presby and Prof. S. Hellsten.

The Symposium came to end by the re-launch of Prof. H. Odera Oruka book, Sage Philosophy: Indigenous Thinkers and the Modern Debate on African Philosophy by Prof. Preston Chitere, Dean, Faculty of Arts on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. George Magoha, the Guest of Honor. In his speech the VC thanked the Goethe-Institut for partnering with the department of philosophy and religious studies for having made the event a success. He also thanked scholars as well the audience who attended the Symposium, while citing that the remarkable works of Seminal and Sage Philosophy by the late Professor had inspired many scholars. The Seminal and Sage Philosophy works of Prof. H. Odera Oruka is used in teaching, research and policy formulation both within and outside the country.


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