Nietzsche and Ramose on Being and Becoming An Exercise in Cross-Cultural Philosophizing

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Ada Agada


This paper examines Nietzsche’s conception of what persists, or occurs, as becoming in relation to Ramose’s reconceptualization of what persists, or occurs, as be-ing becoming with a view to showing how divergence and convergence of thought in the western and African contexts can inform cross-cultural philosophizing. Nietzsche radically subverts the traditional notion of an eternal immutable being that constitutes the ground of change and replaces it with the notion of becoming. Ramose’s notion of being, which is grounded in ubuntu philosophy, integrates a dynamic perspective into a process view of reality. While Nietzsche seeks to abandon the categories of being, unity, and purpose altogether, Ramose ambiguously retains them and, in fact, endorses the category of unity. I highlight the dynamics of Nietzsche’s notion of becoming and articulate the basic principles of Ramose’s idea of being as be-ing becoming and argue that both thinkers’ struggle to subvert substance-based understanding of being invites us to question the intelligibility of the binary opposition of being with becoming and to regard both concepts as indicating different ways of understanding reality.

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How to Cite
Agada, A. (2021). Nietzsche and Ramose on Being and Becoming: An Exercise in Cross-Cultural Philosophizing. Journal of World Philosophies, 6(1), 1–12. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Ada Agada, University of Tuebingen

Ada Agada is a Nigerian philosopher who specializes in African philosophy, metaphysics, and intercultural/comparative philosophy. He has taught philosophy courses in Africa and Germany and has published widely. His first book Existence and Consolation: Reinventing Ontology, Gnosis and Values in African Philosophy is a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award winner. His latest works include a research monograph and an edited volume due for release in the autumn by Routledge and Springer respectively. Dr. Agada is a senior researcher at the Conversational School of Philosophy, Calabar, Nigeria.