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Postcolonial Bergson$
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Souleymane Bachir Diagne

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823285839

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823285839.001.0001

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Senghor’s African Socialism

Senghor’s African Socialism

Chapter:
(p.37) 2 Senghor’s African Socialism
Source:
Postcolonial Bergson
Author(s):

Souleymane Bachir Diagne

, Lindsay Turner
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823285839.003.0003

This chapter is devoted to Senghor’s political writings, showing what Senghor—as a statesman—owes to Bergson’s thought, an influence that occurs largely through the work of French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, himself strongly influenced by Bergson. In Teilhard de Chardin and Bergson’s work, Senghor finds the Marxist humanist framework for his theory of “African socialism”: a vitalist, spiritualist vision of society in which Bergsonian élan vital, Teilhard de Chardin’s notion of cosmogenesis,and a Marxist version of total liberation from the forces of alienation combine to bring about a true humanism. At the moment of decolonization in Africa, this vision shapes the contours of Senghor’s ideas for the planning and organization of the newly independent nations.

Keywords:   African socialism, alienation, decolonization, élan vital, Marxist humanism, Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre

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