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1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Editorial
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2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Joseph N. Agbo The Post-Modern Scientific Thoughts of Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend: Implications for Africa
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Postmodernism is like a spectre hunting the intellectual world, and there is a sense in which the attitude is, first and foremost, against modern science. Thisessay is, therefore, an expository analysis of the thoughts of Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend, as classical representations of the postmodern reaction againstmodern science. The paper argues that the colossal image of science, as well as the idea of a “unity of sciences” had to be jettisoned by postmodernism in orderto make way for the relativism and multiplicity of points of view that are symptomatic of postmodern thinking. The paper concludes with some critical reflections of the thoughts of the two scholars, and notes that postmodernism opened the door for the recognition of African ideas and ideals. The implication is that postmodernism not only vitiates the hold exercised by Western European models of reality but equally gives fresh cultural confidence to other modes of cognition, especially in Africa, that have long been pushed to the periphery.
3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Jacob O. Adetolu Religion, Postmodernism and Postmodern Scholarship in Africa
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There is a somewhat agreement among the world academia and intellectuals that the world has moved beyond the stipulated margins of modernism into what is called the postmodern era. Consequently, postmodernism as a school of thought has become a subject of scholastic discourse among its protagonists andantagonists. What is done in this paper is an appraisal of postmodernism in a broader sense and specifically postmodern scholarship in the discipline ofReligious Studies in Africa. The paper is divided into three sections: The first section examines the postmodernism project; the second focuses on the spirit ofpostmodernism within the academic study of religion with special interest in Africa, while the third section concludes the paper by examining some criticismsagainst postmodernism.
4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Augustine A. Atabor The Question of Objectivity, its Implications for the Social Sciences in the Era of Postmodernism: Africa in Perspective
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This paper problematizes the question of objectivity as it pertains to the social sciences. The paper accentuates the difficulty with postmodernism which tries todeny the possibility of objective truth in the social sciences. Thus, the main objective of this paper is to evaluate the postmodernists’ quest for relativity andsubjectivity of truth and to expose whether objectivity is attainable in the social sciences in the same way it is attainable in the natural sciences. This paperupholds that objectivity in the social science is important in working out a holistic global ideology, and since this global ideology hopes to provide for and project justice and respect for persons and communities as well as provide a basis for the minimizing and resolving of conflicts locally and internationally, Africa can on this grounds dare to be part of this global project without fear of playing a “western script” called globalization.
5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
David A. Oyedola The Culture-oriented Bias of African Philosophical Inquiry
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African philosophers with Levy Bruhlian disposition like Appiah, Masolo, and Wiredu posit that African philosophy is culture-biased. Some other African philosophers like Nkrumah, Janz, Hountondji, and Makinde assert that Africa’s precolonial indigenous culture is ahistorical and the dependence ofcontemporary African philosophy on culture cannot be de-emphasized. However, these views, though opposing, undermine two things; the way African philosophy has chosen to divulge itself and the objectivity that is peculiar to African philosophy. Nevertheless, this study concedes that if by implication,what these views are saying is that African philosophy will have to sink because it is culture-biased; then, this study insists that any other philosophy (e.g.,European philosophy) would have to sink. Precisely, there is no difference between any of the philosophies with respect to the fact that the interests of theEuropean philosopher determine what he selects for investigation, just like what an African philosopher chooses to investigate and it is safe to speculate thatthese interests whether in the West or in Africa are culture-colored.
6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Isaiah Negedu Scientific Progress and Postmodern Culture: The African Experience
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Scientific discourse grew out of various philosophical puzzles raised by human beings from the period of antiquity; and each age always comes with a renewedvigor for development over previous schools of thought with their attendant theories. With the speed of scientific progress and scientific awareness, there is no doubt that scholars from various disciplines fashion out theories to meet with the demands of the scientific spirit. It is this very presence of the scientific society that leads to contest for relevance among various theories/schools of thought. The African situation has been quite unique as the development of science is greeted with the idea that scientific developments have moral boundaries. Critically looking at development in science and how it has tailored our outlook in contemporary times, we opine that scientific investigations into phenomena make philosophical debates more relevant in our modern world.
7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Ududo Reasoning in African Thought: A Postmodern Formalist Method for Logic
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The dominance of methods of mathematical reasoning such as the axiomatic method in modern logic has taken a toll on the independent development of logicas a separate discipline. However, the emergence of other non-standard systems of logic which could be described as postmodernist shows how a radical breakmight be necessary in salvaging logic from the grip of mathematics. Our goal in this essay would be to propose and articulate a post modern formalist methodcalled Ududo Reasoning for logic.
8. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Samuel T. Segun The Prefix “African” and its Implication for Philosophy in Africa
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Philosophy today is often regionalized unlike science and other disciplines. Thus we talk of Western, Eastern, American and African Philosophy. To speak orwrite philosophy within the ambit of the prefix “African” would elicit two major responses. First is the affirmative response which believes that indeed there existssome form of philosophy in Africa although distinct from Western philosophy in approach, procedure and methods but not in kind. The second is the denialistresponse which rejects vehemently the position of the former; in that they deny the existence of African philosophy independent of Western colouration. In otherwords, they do not believe that there exists any form of philosophy distinct from the Western idea of philosophy be it in approach or method. Within this framecertain problems arise such as the problem of interpretation or definition, the myth of unanimity and the problem of ethnophilosophy. The aim of this workthus is to understand the implications of the prefix “African” for philosophy in Africa. In this attempt, we uncover the subject of African Philosophy, its manypossibilities, nature and interpretations. In understanding the implications of the prefix “African” for philosophy in Africa, the work avers that the affirmativeresponse in modern times is an advocacy for what Chimakonam refers to as systematic African philosophy; and the denialist response to the subject is anoutright rejection of the universal character of philosophy. For the laws of logic, the burden of axiology, the questions of metaphysics, the problems of sociopolitical philosophy and the concerns of epistemology all transcend geographical boundaries.
9. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Fainos Mangena Can Africana Women truly embrace Ecological Feminism?
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My starting point in this essay is that, if it can be ascertained that there is something called Black African feminism (which represents the interests of someBlack African women) as claimed by feminists and other like-minded African women, then the existence of Black African ecological feminism should be amatter of deduction. In this essay, I interrogate this position using Karen Warren’s version of ecological feminism which holds that there are important historical and conceptual connections between the domination of women in society and the domination of nature. This interrogation also prompts me to trace the history of traditional feminism with a view to showing that while, in the West, there could be important connections – historical, symbolic and theoretical – between the oppression of women and the cruel treatment of nature, the same cannot be said of Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa where nature is owned or guarded by the spirit world. Using the Africana womanist perspective and the deductive method in philosophy, I argue that traditional feminism together with Warren’s ecological feminism completely ignore the experiences and aspirations of Black African women, thereby ruling out the possibility of the existence – in the truest sense – of both Black African feminism and Black African ecological feminism.
10. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Heinz Kimmerle An Amazing Piece of Comparative Philosophy
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11. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Editorial
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12. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Interrogatory Theory: Patterns of Social Deconstruction, Reconstruction and the Conversational Order in African Philosophy
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Africa is in economic and social terms widely regarded as an underdeveloped continent even though we in interrogatory theory (IT) would prefer the termdeveloping instead. Its societies are characterized by unstable institutions. Societies ride on the wheels of institutions. Institutions are social structures orbuilding blocks of any society. Repressive colonial times replaced traditional institutions with non-compatible ones ignoring any usable part of tradition andadmitting without censorship every element in the imposed modernity. My position in this essay is that social structures in postcolonial Africa are ramshackledhence the massive retrogression of the continent’s social order. To get Africa on its feet and moving in the right direction requires the reconstruction of the social structures of Africa’s modernity and the construction of its futurity. I postulate interrogatory theory (IT) as a conversational algorithm that would provide the theoretic base for the authentic African renaissance. It is constructively questioning rather than being exclusively critical i.e. it questions to reconstruct rather than being merely critical to deconstruct; dialogical rather than merely individualistic; rigorous rather than merely informative; yet radical rather than being conventional.
13. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Benson Ohihon Igboin An African Religious Discourse on Names and Identity
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African names are not philosophical rhetoric, but they are believed to convey deep intrinsic significance for the bearer and the community as a whole. It isargued that African names evaluate nature, essence as well as provide a string of relationship between the living and the dead. This paper argued that thoughAfrican names function thus much, the various incursions into Africa have continued to vitrify their context, nature and continuum. Through the gristmill ofreligious interpretive framework, it is argued that if this trend remains unabated, African names as part of African religious cultural value or heritage would in nodistant time ebb into oblivion.
14. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Umezurike John Ezugwu Ethnocentric Bias in African Philosophy Vis À-Vis Asouzu’s Ibuanyidanda Ontology
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This paper is of the view that it is not bad for the Africans to defend their philosophy and their origin, as against the claims and positions of the few African thinkers, who do not believe that African philosophy exists, and a great number of the Westerners, who see nothing meaningful in their thoughts and ideas, but in doing so, they became biased and elevated their philosophy and relegated other philosophies to the background. This charge of ethnocentrism against those who deny African philosophy can also be extended to those African philosophers who in a bid to affirm African philosophy commit the discipline to strong ethnic reduction. This paper using Innocent Asouzu’s Ibuanyidanda ontology, observes that most of the African scholars are too biased and self aggrandized in doing African philosophy, and as such have marred the beauty of African philosophy, just in the name of attaching cultural value to it. Innocent Asouzu’s Ibuanyidanda ontology is used in this paper to educate the Africans that in as much as the Westerners cannot do without them, they too cannot do without Westerners. This paper therefore, is an attempt to eradicate ethnocentrism in and beyond Africa in doing philosophy through complementarity and mutual understanding of realities, not in a polarized mindset but in relationship to other realities that exist.
15. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Peter Bisong Bisong Jonathan O. Chimakonam’s Concept of Personal Identity: A Critical Reflection
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What is it that constitutes personal identity, is a question that has engaged the minds of scholars for eons of years. This question has become more complex inrecent times with the emergence of biomedical technologies like allotransplantation, xenotransplantation and other forms of genetic engineering, which have tended to obliterate the uniqueness that hitherto existed in individuals. With organs and tissues being transplanted at will from one human to another, it becomes difficult to define what constitutes personal identity of person A who received an allotransplant from person B. Is he person B or Person A or both? This question would be a hard nut to crack for the adherent to a bodily theory of personal identity like Chimakonam. To assume that personal identity resides in the continuation of the same body will amount to a conclusion that Mrs. B who had a face and breast transplant is not Mrs. B but somebody else. The society Chimakonam holds as a judge of personal identity, would actually see her as not Mrs. A. But is she really not Mrs. A? This work concludes that she is Mrs. A because it is the individual that is the judge of personal identity and not the society. Personal identity resides in the consciousness. This is because it is consciousness that marks human from animals. This is not to say that the body is not a criterion of personal identity, personal identity resides more in consciousness than in the body. The body could only serve as a criterion, where the consciousness is lost, but when consciousness is regained, the body ceases to be the criterion. The body could at best be said to be a temporary criterion of identity, and would give way when consciousness returns.
16. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Edwin Etieyibo Post-Modern Thinking and African Philosophy
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I want to do a couple of things in this essay. First, I want to articulate the central direction that postmodern thinking or philosophy (or postmodernism or postmodernity) takes. Second, I want to present a brief sketch of African philosophy, focusing mostly on some aspects of African ethics. Third, I want togesture towards the view that while postmodern thinking seems to suggest that African philosophy is a legitimate narrative or “language game” it could beargued that given its central ideas and doctrines African philosophy may be open to some of the worries facing modern thinking (or modernism or modernity).
17. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Olúkáyòḍé R. Adéṣuyì Cultural and Social Relevance of Contemporary African Philosophy
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The paper attempts an analysis of African philosophy from the commencement of its ontological debate and focuses on its relevance in culture. The paper doesnot contribute to the debate, since the debate is no longer a serious issue among African philosophers and scholars. It, however, states the importance of thedebate to the field of African philosophy. It explains culture as an all encompassing phenomenon and that it serves as a relevant source for the discussion on African philosophy. It uses functionalism and structuralism as theories that could be used to understand African philosophy and culture. The theories are to expatiate how the concerned can analyze African philosophy and other relevant things. The paper concludes that given the understanding of these theories African philosophy can be understood in their directions.
18. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Fainos Mangena In Defense of Ethno-Philosophy: A brief response to Kanu’s Eclecticism
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After reading an Article by Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu entitled: Trends in African Philosophy: A Case for Eclectism (2013, 275-287), I felt that as Africans ofBlack extraction, we were doing a disservice to our very own philosophy called Ethno-philosophy in ridicle. For many years African philosophy has not beentaken seriously by both African Philosophers and Western Philosophers alike. To my knowledge, African philosophy has been disparaged and downgraded forfailing to have, among other things, a coherent system of thought and a method that can be applied across all the cultures of this world. In this essay, I argue thatphilosophy needs not to have a method that is absolutely applicable across all cultures in order to be a philosophy that is worth celebrating. My position is thatthe current generation of African philosophers must develop a logic on which African philosophy should sit instead of “running away from their burning houseonly to seek refuge next door.”
19. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Lucky U. Ogbonnaya The Question of “Being” in African Philosophy
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This work is of the view that the question of being is not only a problem in Western philosophy but also in African philosophy. It, therefore, posits that being is that which is and has both abstract and concrete aspect. The work arrives at this conclusion by critically analyzing and evaluating the views of some key African philosophers with respect to being. With this, it discovers that the way that these African philosophers have postulated the idea of being is in the same manner like their Western philosophers whom they tried to criticize. This work tries to synthesize the notions of beings of these African philosophers in order to reach at a better understanding of being. This notion of being leans heavily on Asouzu’s ibuanyidanda ontology which does not bifurcate or polarize being, but harmonizes entities or realities that seem to be contrary or opposing in being.
20. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Oji Uduma The Question of the “African” in African Philosophy: In Search of a Criterion for the Africanness of a Philosophy
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The African question in African philosophy is enigmatic because of the intentional attempt to rationalize Africans out of humanity. Eurocentric scholars and missionaries mutilated history and concocted a false image of Africans which they presented as the substantive African identity (MUDIMBE 1988); an identity that presents the African as pre-logical, barbaric and as such incapable of philosophic thoughts. This identity was foisted and consolidated on humanity including Africans, and intellectually accepted as the true African identity for over four centuries. Consequently, while the racist Eurocentric description of the African makes it impossible for one to suggest that there can be anything like African philosophy, the enslavement, balkanization, colonization and the introduction of a Western-oriented formal education into Africa further dehumanized, traumatized and alienated Africans from their culture. This experiment is what precipitated the identity problem in Africa. Hence, the issue of a criterion for the Africanness of a philosophy is a contentious one because Africans were by their intellectual orientation trained to believe that there is nothing as such. This training and orientation also makes it difficult for those who think that there is a distinct African mode of thinking to be able to present it in a clear and unambiguous manner. This is because such a criterion will restrict the scope of African philosophy to a given epoch. In this sense, African philosophy will be concerned with only a part of the African historical experience. Given the comprehensive nature of philosophy, we are inclined to the persuasion that a criterion for the Africanness of a philosophy ought to be derived from the totality of the African experience.