In recent time, the concept of development is attracting scholarly views, though, difficult to understand, depending on the perspective one is arguing from. Its meaning can not be fully appreciated without reference to human person because it has to do with the realization of personal potentials and self- fulfillment.

In Rodney’s explanation, as contained in his book; How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, the concept of development which many scholars are taking to be economic growth and appreciable level of modernization made us to realize that; we all are agents of development and it is the accumulation of our efforts towards our different societies that determines the level of our development.

Rodney tried to drag his readers out from Plato’s cave of ignorance to the world of light, but they may not welcome the idea because as Plato said, “if they could lay hands on the man who was trying to set them free and lead them up, they would kill him”.1 Rodney was killed in his bid to lead humanity out of the cave of ignorance, slavery, inequality, political insensitivity and man inhumanity to man in Guyana.

Philosophy, as this work contends, serves as a rational and critical enterprise which offers tools and methods for us to evaluate Rodney’s concept of development.

Statement of the Problem

The problem this work is trying to look into is, Rodney’s inability to see development from a philosophical perspective. Depending on the environment and discipline that shaped him, he treated the concept of development from historical materialism with passionate hatred for capitalism and colonialism: forgetting the fact that it is capitalism that set modern society into two camps: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat camp. Without this, there would not have been class struggle which brings about changes and development in the society

Purpose of the Study

Since development falls under the Anthropological aspect of philosophy, it will be considerable to evaluate the concept of development as conceived by Rodney, from philosophical perspective: by bringing out the bases on which authentic development should be build upon, which will help to  disabuse the minds of people for the misconceptions of other disciplines that take development to be increase in economy, infrastructure facilities, body growth, and so on, forgetting the spiritual and moral values which should be the bedrock of anything that should stand as development in human society.

Scope of the Work

The scope of this work is centered on philosophical evaluation of Rodney’s work on development. This research is restricted to journals on philosophy of development and Rodney’s work on development.


The method we are applying here are: analytical and critical methods. With analysis, we will be able to know etymological meaning of some strange concepts that will becloud our minds in full understanding of development. By using critical method, we will also be able to understand what should stand as development. For development to be fully appreciated in the human society, it has to be anchored on the stipulated bases.


Development is a philosophical concept which should not be adulterated in the terminologies of other disciplines such as economics which will take it to be increased in economic growth or increase in GNP or scientific concept of development which is only based in technical advancement or man’s improved ability to manipulate nature. With philosophical ideals, the concept of development will be well articulated.

Organization Of The Study

Accordingly, this work is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with introduction and explications of terms, chapter two is on literature review. Chapter three treats areas of development in relation with Marx and chapter four is on the bases for development. And chapter five is on philosophical evaluation of Rodney’s concept of development and conclusion.

 Definitions of Terms

  • Alienation:

The Latin origin of “alienation” is alienatio. This noun derives its meaning from the verb “alienare” to make (something another’s, to take away, remove).

  • Bourgeoisie :

This means the class of modern capitalist, owners of the means of social and economic production and also those who have the means to employ

  • Proletariat:

This means the class of modern wage labour who have no means of production and are reduced to selling their labour power to survive in a capitalistic society.

  • Dialectical Materialism :

This means that general Laws of development that discloses and studies contradictions in the materials world.

  • Psycho -Somatic:

This means the combination of soul and body structure in their

  • Humanism:

This means a concept that encourages man to be more human and to manifest his latent potentialities by exerting them to enrich himself in

  • Slavery :

This means a total subjection to a master; it is also the condition in which another owns another human being as a property

  • Communalism:

This is an economic system where properties are collectively owned, work is commonly done and goods are equally shared.

  • Feudalism:

This means another political ideology in which power belongs to the feudal lords while serfs are those who are working under them.

  • Capitalism:

This is an economic system in which means of production, distribution and exchanges are properly owned and managed for personal

  • Socialism:

This is a political and economic ideology that advocates the collective ownership of the means of production and control of distribution.

  • Communism:

This another political and economic ideology in which means of production, distribution and exchange are shared on the principle of “to each according to his need”.

  • Philosophy

The word “philosophy” etymologically originated from two Greek works Philein (to love) and sophia; (wisdom)  these  mean “Love of wisdom”. Love as contained in the above combination is the type of love that thinks of good of the beloved

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