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Philosophy in Africa has a rich and varied history, dating at least as far back to the ancient Egyptian philosophy identified in pre-dynastic Egyptian thought and culture, and continuing through the development of the major regional philosophical traditions of North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and the Horn of Africa.

On the former view, philosophy counts as African if it involves African themes such as perceptions of time, personhood, space and other subjects, or uses methods that are defined as distinctively African. Omoregbe broadly defines a philosopher as one who attempts to understand the world's phenomena, the purpose of human existence, the nature of the world, and the place of human beings in that world.

This form of natural philosophy is identifiable in Africa even before individual African philosophers can be distinguished in the sources.

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One of the implicit assumptions of ethnophilosophy is that a specific culture can have a philosophy that is not applicable and accessible to all peoples and cultures in the world, however this concept is disputed by traditional philosophers.

The most prominent of West Africa's pre-modern philosophical traditions has been identified as that of the Yoruba philosophical tradition and the distinctive worldview that emerged from it over the thousands of years of its development.

Philosophical concepts such as Omoluabi were integral to this system, and the totality of its elements are contained in what is known amongst the Yoruba as the Itan.

In the Hellenistic tradition, the influential philosophical school of Neoplatonism was founded by the Egyptian philosopher Plotinus in the 3rd century CE.

In the Christian tradition, Augustine of Hippo was a cornerstone of Christian philosophy and theology.

Notably, he argued that there was no conflict between religion and philosophy, and instead that there are a variety of routes to God, all equally valid, and that the philosopher was free to take the route of reason while the commoners were unable to take that route, and only able to take the route of teachings passed on to them.

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