ISSN 1011-226


An African Journal of Philosophy

Revue Africaine de Philosophie


Quest can only survive and thrive if you send us your best articles as contributions/
Quest ne saura survivre et croitre que sur condition que vous nous envoyez vos meilleurs articles comme contributions

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Since early 2009, when the last three annual volumes (XX, XXI, XXII: 2006, 2007, 2008) of Quest: An African Journal of Philosophy / Revue Africaine de Philosophie were published, our journal (like so many others) has gone through a bumpy patch. The same year saw the end of the five-year hospitality agreement between this journal and the African Studies Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands. The Editor had negotiated this agreement in 2004 (as the only successful outcome of a long series of international applications for subsidy), and though it had failed to bring the secretarial and administrative assistance so badly needed, it had at least paid for printing and postage. We thank the African Studies Centre for its loyal support over these five years, and for its more incidental support in the future. Against the background of the international financial crisis from 2008 onward, revenue from subscriptions, sale of back issues, and reprint fees dwindled, and costs of printing, web design, hosting and postage were mounting. Meanwhile Quest was enjoying ever greater popularity on the part of established and junior contributors, and also the quality of the articles submitted went from strength to strength. Under those circumstances the Editorial Board saw no alternative but to sit back and wait until the financial situation would clear up sufficiently to produce, dispatch and host new annual volumes. In 2011-2012 the felicitous reprint of three Quest articles in the Eboussi Boulaga Festschrift edited by Lidia Procesi and Kasereka Kavwahirehi (Beyond the lines: Fabien Eboussi Boulaga, A philosoph­ical practice / Au-delà des lignes: Fabien Eboussi Boulaga, une pratique philosophique, Munich: LINCOM), and the fees secured in that connection through the good services of Professor Valentin Mudimbe (Member of the Quest Advisory Editorial Board) seemed to bode better times for our journal; but then the Editor went down with serious illness for two periods of half a year each. By the end of 2012, these medical hurdles had finally been taken, and three new annual volumes are now lined up for imminent publication, before the middle of 2013 – including one special issue on Masolo under the guest editorship of Professor Thaddeus Metz from South Africa. A cheaper production process yet more attractive format were meanwhile initiated, of which the present double annual volume XXIII / XXIV (2009-2010) is the first implementation. For, rather than already bringing out these three volumes, we decided that we should first devote the combined annual volumes XXIII-XXIV to a long-standing book project of the Editor, in honour of his 65th birthday, and in recognition of his contributions to Quest and to the sake of African philosophy over the past decade. The book’s anti-hegemonic, anti-Eurocentric approach to long-range transcontinental philosophy from an African perspective is a fitting expression of the spirit of Quest, and a significant contribution to the global history of philosophy. While the digital version of Vols XXIII-XXIV was already made available at the Quest website by the end of 2012, the printed version is only dispatched now, due to practical difficulties. These Vols XXIII-XXIV will be sent to all those who held a subscription for the years 2009-2010. The annual volumes XXV and XXVI (to be published before Autumn 2013) will be sent to entitled subscribers i.e. those holding a paid-up subscription up to and including 2012. Those who understandably suspended their payment in the belief that Quest had ceased to be published, are advised to renew and pay up. Invoices to that effect will go out in September 2013. Subscriptions may also be renewed using the relevant page on the Quest website, , or simply by an e-mail to . After keeping the subscriptions at a constant, low level for over a decade, we are now forced to slightly raise the subscription fees as from January 2013:


to a postal address inside Africa: € 32.50 (institutions), € 32.50 (individuals) (was € 30).


to a postal address outside Africa: € 45 (institutions), € 45 (individuals)  (was € 40).

Volume XXVII (on Masolo) is to appear in October 2013 and will be sent to all those then qualifying. Of course, all this only applies to the printed version of Quest – as ever since 2002, Quest will continue to be made freely available through open access on the Internet, which makes for wide and unimpeded access world-wide and especially in Africa. All correspondence including submission of contributions, and subscription matters, henceforth to be sent to . We trust that with these positive developments, the resuscitation of Quest is a fact, and we count on your continued support,                                                                                                                                                           Wim van Binsbergen, Editor

Introduction (homepage)

Topicalities: Colloquium 'The transcultural framework for the construction of African knowledges' 23-3-04 / Actualités: Colloque 'Le cadre transculturel pour la construction des connaissances africaines' 23-3-2004

Contact information / Adresses

Editorial team/ Équipe éditorial  

Directions for contributors / Directions pour les contributeurs

Forum/Tableaux des messages

Access the Internet volumes of Quest  / Accès aux volumes Internet de Quest

Subscriptions (printed version only -- Internet version is free)/ Abonnements (version imprimée seulement -- la version Internet est gratuite)

You are already a subscriber to the printed version of Quest / Vous etes déjà abonné à la version imprimée de Quest

Cumulative contents of Quest / Table de matières cumulative de Quest

Ordering back copies / Disponibilité et commande des numéros antérieurs


Other activities / Autres activités

Miscellaneous / Objets divers

TXT files / Fichiers non-formattés 

Dossier Quest

Use and reprint of Quest articles (©)

Electronic form for referees (password protected)

if you find you cannot handle PDF files (e.g. because you are working from a cyber café), click here for a solution: unformatted TXT files of Quest / 
si vous trouvez que vous ne pouvez pas utiliser les fichiers PDF (e.g. vous visitez cette page dans un cybercafé),
cliquez ici pour une solution: des fichiers non-formattés (TXT) de Quest 

Quest: Introduction

QUEST: An African Journal of Philosophy intends to act as a channel of expression for thinkers in Africa, and to stimulate philosophical discussion on problems that arise out of the radical transformations Africa and Africans are undergoing.


QUEST: Une Revue Africaine de Philosophie sert de moyen d'expression pour les penseurs en Afrique et qui vise à stimuler une discussion philosophique sur les problèmes surgissant des transformations radicales dont l'Afrique et les Africains sont témoins.

QUEST includes materials on both current subjects related to Africa, and subjects of general philosophical interest, serving an international public of professional philosophers and intellectuals in other disciplines with philosophical interest. Original articles written in either English or French will be published, each with a summary in the other language.



QUEST contient des points de discussion actuels se rapportant à l'Afrique et des questions d'intérêt philosophique général, et s'adresse à un public international de philosophes profession­nels et d'autres intellectuels qui sont intéressés par la philosophie. Des articles originaux écrits en anglais ou en français sont publiés, avec un résumé en français ou anglais respectivement.


QUEST, a peer-reviewed journal, appears twice per year in June and December. 

ISSN 1011-226X


QUEST , revue 'peer-reviewed', paraît deux fois par an. 

ISSN 1011-226X

This journal was  founded in 1987 at the Department of Philosophy, University of  Zambia, by Roni M. Khul Bwalya (†) and Pieter Boele van Hensbroek.


Cette revue à été fondée en 1987 au Département de Philosophie, Université de la Zambie, par Roni M. Khul Bwalya (†) et Pieter Boele van Hensbroek.

Over the years Quest has managed to establish itself as a leading journal of African philosophy and to build a considerable constituency among African philosophers and intellectuals in general. Some famous debates have been waged in the pages of Quest, and among its contributors rank famous members of the discipline such as Paulin Hountondji, Kwasi Wiredu, Henry Odera Oruka, Valentin Mudimbe and Emmanuel Eze.


A travers le temps, Quest a succédé à s’établir comme une revue prominent de la philosophie africaine. Elle a construit un base considérable parmi les philosophes africains aussi bien que parmi les les intellectuels africains en général. Quelques débats bien fameux ont été conduits dans les pages de Quest. Parmi ses contributeurs on compte des membres prominents de la discipline comme Paulin Hountondji, Kwasi Wiredu, Henry Odera Oruka, Valentin Mudimbe et Emmanuel Eze.

With the 2002 (XVI) volume, a new editorial team has stepped forward and a new format for Quest has been decided on. Today, with the availability of virtual texts through the Internet, it is no longer necessary to limit the impact of Quest to the relatively limited distribution of its physical copies. Now that Internet access of African universities and individual intellectual producers, however problematic at times, is no longer an exception, the new on-line version of Quest can rapidly and cheaply reach a much wider audience, both in Africa and in the world at large. From the 2002 volume onward, Quest will be primarily Web-based. The last few conventionally produced volumes (XIII 1999, XIV 2000, and XV 2001) are now also available on the Web and can be freely accessed.  


Avec le volume 2002 (XVI), une nouvelle équipe éditoriale se présente, et un nouvel format de Quest sera adopté. Aujourd’hui, avec la disponibilité des textes virtuels sur la Toile, il n’est plus nécessaire de faire limiter l’impact de Quest par la distribution rélativement limitée des ses exemplaires physiques. Étant donné que l’accès à la Toile parmi les universités et les producteurs intellectuels individuels en Afrique n’est plus exceptionnel (meme s’il reste souvent problématique), la nouvelle version Toile de Quest peux atteindre un public beaucoup plus vaste, facilement et aux frais minimaux, en Afrique aussi bien que dans le monde entier. A partir du volume XVI (2002), Quest sera primairement basé sur la Toile. Les derniers volumes qui ont été produits de façon conventionnelle (XIII 1999, XIV 2000, and XV 2001) seront aussi disponibles sur la Toile.

However, there are many African contexts in which the Web is not yet a viable option; moreover, an exclusively virtual existence is highly precarious for a text and may be disadvantageous for its author. Therefore, in addition to the Web presence of each issue and each volume in PDF format, from the 2002 (XVI) volume onwards 100 physical copies will be made of every issue of Quest, for the benefit of subscribers lacking internet access, for libraries, and for individual purchase. Contributors will also receive two copies of the issue in which their contribution has appeared.


Néanmoins, il y reste beaucoup de contextes africains dans lesquels la Toile n’est pas une option viable. En outre, il faut admettre que l’existence uniquement virtuel est hautement pénible pour un text, et qu’elle implique des désavantages pour son auteur. C’est pour ça que, supplémentaire à la présence Toile de chaque numéro et de chaque volume en format PDF, à partir de la volume 2002 (XVI), 100 exemplaires physiques seront publiés de chaque numéro de Quest, à la bénéfice des abonnées manquants l’accès à la Toile, aussi bien qu’à la bénéfice des bibliothèques et des ventes individuelles. Aussi, chaque contributeur recevra deux exemplaires du numéro dans lequel sa contribution apparaitra.

From the 2002 (XVI) volume onwards (in fact, from 2004), the editorial team received considerable institutional support from the African Studies Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands: printing and distribution were paid by that institution. In 2009 this five-year hospitality agreement had to come to an end, and Quest plunged into a financial crisis from which is could only recover by 2013 -- again with the greatly appreciated incidental support from the African Studies Centre.



A partir de la volume 2002 (XVI), l’équipe éditoriale a reçu de l‘appui institutionnel de la part du Centre d’Études Africaines, Leyde, Pays Bas -- qui entre 2004 et 2009 payait pour l'impression et la distribution. Cette arrangement d'hospitalité terminé, Quest plongea dans une crise financielle dont seulement en 2013 on est en train de récuperer, encore avec l'appui, maintenant incidental mais apprécié comme avant, du Centre à Leyde.

If you are currently already a subscriber to the printed version of Quest, of course you have the option to continue or renew your subscription to the printed version; please use the electronic form on the subscriptions page to bring your subscription up to date and to report if you have not receive all issues due to you  

Si vous etes déjà abonné à la version imprimée de Quest, naturellement vous aurez la choix de continuer/renouveler votre abonnement à la version imprimée; prière de vouloir utiliser notre fiche électronique sur la page 'abonnement' à fin de mettre à jour votre abonnement et à fin de rapporter aucune irrégularité dans votre reception des numéros antérieurs auquels vous aviez le droit. 


Online access to all available Quest volumes is FREEYou can immediately proceed to the available volumes of Quest online. We have abolished the tedious system of password access with which we experimented earlier on.  L'accès Toile a tous volumes disponibles de Quest est GRATUIT. Vous pouvez avancer immédiatement aux volumes Quest sur la Toile. Nous avons supprimé le système bien compliqué d'accès par password, avec lequel nous avons expérimenté avant


Page last modified on 22-07-13 .