The thesis to be defended in this essay is that the meaning, and by implication the use, of philosophy continues to be contested. I will focus primarily on philosophy in South Africa in order to elucidate this thesis. In doing so, I will argue that the future of philosophy in South Africa lies precisely in the willingness to contest its meaning and use. Such a contestation must be in the form of a dialogue predicated on the principle of the equality of all human beings and the openness to learn from one another without precluding the possibility of change in oneself and the existential conditions that prevail. My starting point is that the present is the child of the past and the present in turn is the parent of the future. I will therefore look back with the view to arriving at the present that is the field of contestation.