ABSTRACT

The concept of vital force in African philosophy received its first full articulation in Placide Tempels’s Bantu Philosophy (1959) and has evolved over time from the ontological dimension of a universal actuation and energizing principle to an element of mind, notably in the work of Kwame Gyekye. In this essay, I present the concept of vital force and trace its evolution from the time of its first full articulation by Tempels up to its identification with spirit, or mind, in Gyekye’s thought. I try to defend the thesis that the concept of vital force can ground the notion of mood that takes a pivotal position in the twenty-first century philosophy of consolationism. I adopt an analytical and constructive method in this paper.

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