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Filosofia Theoretica

Volume 7, Issue 3, 2018
Dedicated to Late Prof. Sophie Oluwole

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Displaying: 1-9 of 9 documents

1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Why we should Explore the Metaphysical and the Epistemological Dimensions of African Philosophy
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research article
2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Paulin J. Hountondji How African is Philosophy in Africa?
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Let me straight from the beginning confess one thing: I am not happy with the phrase “African Philosophy” used to describe a subject-matter, a specific discipline in the university curriculum. Why? Because it seems to particularize a kind of intellectual production taking place in Africa and to deny its universal validity. It apparently means, to use the words by Jonathan Chimakonam himself, “a bordersensitive, culture-bound exclusive system that holds only in Africa and is not universally applicable” This particularization, however, has its own story. I wish first in this paper to recall briefly the earliest stage of this story and then discuss alternative ways to remain authentically African while doing philosophy in Africa today.
3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Motsamai Molefe African Metaphysics and Religious Ethics
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Scholars of African moral thought reject the possibility of an African religious ethics by invoking at least three major reasons. The first objection to ‘ethicalsupernaturalism’1 argues that it is part of those aspects of African culture that are ‘anachronistic’ insofar as they are superstitious rather than rational; as such, they should be jettisoned. The second objection points out that ethical supernaturalism is incompatible with the utilitarian approach to religion that typically characterises some African peoples’ orientation to it.2 The last objection argues that religious ethics by their very nature require the feature (of revelation), which is generally lacking in African religious experiences. The facet of revelation is crucial for a religious ethics since it solves the epistemological problem of knowing the will of God or the content of morality. In this article, I construct a vitality-based African religious moral theory; and, I argue that it can successfully meet these objections.
4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Aribiah D. Attoe The Philosophy of Affirmative Action as a Constraint to Gender Equality: An Introduction to Ukém Philosophy
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In this paper, I attempt to show in clear terms what I believe to be the inconsistencies inherent in adopting affirmative action as a proper philosophy for remedying the gender imbalance in contemporary African societies. I have also gestured towards the fact that apart from the issues involved in adoptingaffirmative action as a principle, the concept quite ironically further widens the gap it is meant to seal. In the spirit of the conversational tradition of African philosophy, I excavate and interrogate a theory of equality that speaks to an indigenous Efik concept of equality. Thus, as a conversational response to theinadequacies of Affirmative Action, I have in this paper adopted ukém philosphy along with its principles of ówó and ikíkè, as an alternative model or tool for combating the ills of gender inequality.
5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Isaiah A. Negedu, Solomon O. Ojomah The Question of African Communalism and the Antithesis of Democracy
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In this paper, we argue that communalism is not uniquely African. It comes in different forms of social and psychological thinking which can be found in anyculture and society whether capitalistic or socialistic where the notion of social belongingness through reasoned reflection transcends the desire for personalgratification. We claim that some values of communalism such as altruism, mutual cooperation, complementarity etc., can be useful in shaping a viable system ofdemocracy for Africa, not because communalism is unique to Africa, but because it is not. We contend that part of the challenges of democratic practice in Africa is the inclination to extreme form of individualism embedded in its capitalist roots. We show that the structure of democracy can evolve to adapt to changes mediated by communal values. Using the methods of hermeneutics and conversational thinking, we will argue that democratic practice in Africa can profit fromcommunalism and should be restructured to admit relevant communal values.
conversational section
6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
M. John Lamola The de-Africanisation of the African National Congress and the Malaise of Afrophobia in South Africa
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This essay highlights the root causes of the pervasive discomfort with Africanness common among a significant portion of the South African population. It claimsthat this collective national psyche manifests as a dysfunctional self-identity, and is therefore akin to a psychosocial malaise we propose to name “the LimpopoRiver Fever”. The root cause of this pathological psycho-political culture, we venture to demonstrate, is the historical process of a systematic self-orientationaway from Africa, perceived as “Africa north of the Limpopo River”. This psychosis as presently manifesting as what is distinctly an Afrophobia, and notmere xenophobia, I argue, has principally been nurtured since the 1950s by the ascendency of an anti-Africanist ideology within the national liberation movement, the African National Congress (ANC), which has subsequently been the governing party since the defeat of the apartheid regime in 1994. It is concluded that even historic efforts at redirecting the South African body-politic toward a pan-African consciousness which evolved around Thabo Mbeki during his presidency could not achieve the aspired re-Africanisation of South African society.
7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
L. Uchenna Ogbonnaya What makes African Philosophy African? A Conversation with Aribiah David Attoe on ‘The Foundational Myth of Ethnophilosophy’
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One of the most debated issues in African philosophy concerns the question of ethnophilosophy. While most Particularists equate it to African philosophy, theUniversalists reject it as philosophy let alone being African philosophy. The rationale behind the second position is that ethnophilosophy is said to be descriptive and lacks argumentation, criticality, rigor and systematicity, which are the hallmarks of philosophy. What these two views revolve around is the question of the place of ethnophilosophy in African philosophy. Here, I focus on two scholars who have sought to address this question. The first is Ada Agada, who opines that ethnophilosophy plays a foundational role to African philosophy. The other is Aribiah Attoe, who sees this view as a myth that must be done away with. In this paper, I show two things: first, I show that these two conflicting views arose due to both scholars’ failure to clarify their ideas of what makes a philosophy African. Second, I converse with Attoe on his critique of the foundational role of ethnophilosophy as a myth. Here, I contend that Attoe’s view is a misreading of Agada’s views and that Attoe’s position that critical rigor instead of ethnophilosophy should be the foundation of African philosophy is unfounded. My argument is that criticality is just one among other tools of philosophy; and a tool of philosophy cannot be its foundation.
book review
8. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Chukwuemeka I. Awugosi A Systematic Review of ‘African Philosophy and the EpistemicMarginalization of Women’
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9. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Ademola K. Fayemi Remembering the African Philosopher, Abosede Sophie Oluwole: A Biographical Essay
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In this biographical essay, I survey the life and time of Sophie Abosede Olayemi Oluwole as a student, scholar and researcher in African philosophy. I show how she emerged as one of the first women to obtain a PhD and subsequently attained the rank of professor of African philosophy in Africa. I show that it was J.B. Danquah who first introduced her to African philosophy which was later to become the main focus of her research. I argue that in the course of a research inAfrican philosophy spanning almost four decades, Oluwole gave the most incisive philosophical interpretation of the Yoruba Ifa Corpus which climaxed in her comparison of Greek Socrates and Yoruba Ò ̣rúnmìlà. Employing the method of conversational thinking, I will discuss Oluwole’s works in African philosophy and conclude by contending that due to her work on Ifa corpus, Oluwole can be credited with the discovery of what is now known and studied as ancient Yorubaphilosophy.