Our coming together is underpinned by the understanding that the formal democratization of the academic professions and social order in 1994 was not accompanied by a substantive democratization. This situation is consistent throughout various professions, as well as the wider socio-economic system. The optimism which accompanied this transition with few exceptions meant that scholars coming from the ranks of the oppressed did not organize as a group to see to the “transmutation” of their various professions, leaving that responsibility instead to the very populations who had benefited and continued to benefit from their marginalization. Transmutation here is meant as not just the change of the racial make-up of personnel populating the academy but also change in the curricula, epistemological paradigms, and research agendas which over-determine the academic trajectory of the country. The Azanian Philosophical Society then is meant to intervene at least with regards to philosophy construed broadly enough to include the theoretical dimensions of all the humanities, social sciences, and legal disciplines. The starting point of our coming together is the identification of South Africa itself as the premium philosophical problem of our country. In these terms, South Africa is to be understood as an ontological, epistemological, ethical, social and political problem the resolution of which requires a novel intellectual enterprise which is free from the tentacles of the historical domination of thinkers and institutions which constructed the polity and its attendant problems.
The present office bearers of the APS are:
Ndumiso Dladla (UNISA)
Thabang Dladla (University of Limpopo)
Keo Mbebe (University of Pretoria)
Joel Modiri (University of Pretoria)
Phila Msimang (University of Stellenbosch)