Ethics and Aesthetic Creativity: A Critical Reflection on the Moral Purpose of African Art

  • Modestus Nnamdi Onyeaghalaji
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


This paper focuses on the moral issues confronting African aesthetic creativity. Traditional African art is conceived by some African scholars to be community-oriented, depersonalized, and functional and to serve practical moral and meaningful purpose. But, this moral and evaluative purpose of African art is gradually disappearing from African aesthetic creativity. The paper evaluates some of the causes of this phenomenon; it goes further to argue that for African art to achieve a higher level of moral consciousness and dignity it must focus on critical unification, synthesis and interpretation of African experiences and also be prognostic. That is, beyond the descriptive and aesthetic purposes, it must offer creative and aesthetic frameworks by which Africans evaluate old and new ideas for systemic socio-political reconstruction.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Modestus Nnamdi Onyeaghalaji
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LagosLagosNigeria

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