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41. 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.
42. 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.
43. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Segun T. Samuel Finding a Place for Interrogatory Theory: A Critique of Chimakonam’s Patterns of Social Deconstruction, Reconstruction and the Conversational Order in African Philosophy
44. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Idom T. Inyabri Neo-Colonialism, Postcolonialism and the Bane of Neoessentialist Theorising in Current African Literature
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This paper is a response to Joseph Ushie’s argument for Neo-colonialism rather than Postcolonialism as the most appropriate theory for the criticism of what he calls Current African Literature. His proposition is based on the premise that Postcolonialism as a theory runs counter to the neo-colonial situation of Africa sincethe attainment of flag independence by different African nations. Hence, neo - colonialism answers directly to the socio-political and economic condition of mostAfrican countries and should be utilised in the appreciation of most literatures from the continent. In this meta-criticism we proceed by making bare the crux of Ushie’s argument, then identify obvious contradictions in his logic and critically present the merit of Postcolonialism as a cultural theory fit enough for the critical engagement of Current African Literature.
45. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Fainos Mangena How Applicable is the Idea of Deep Ecology in t he African Context?
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In this paper, I outlined and discussed the idea of deep ecology as defended by Arne Næss (1973) as well as Bill Devall and George Sessions (1985). I specially looked at how deep ecology has responded to the dominant view in ecological ethics, especially its attendant theory – anthropocentrism or homo-centrism or simply the reason-based account – which I outlined and explained in the first section of this paper. In the final analysis, I looked at the feasibility (or lack thereof) of applying deep ecology in Sub-Saharan African ecological contexts focusing particularly on the Shona ecological matrix of Zimbabwe. My intention was to answer the question: How applicable is the idea of deep ecology in the African context? Having reviewed Zimbabwean literature, I came to the conclusion that the Shona enviro nment had a different form of deep ecology that was not only anchored on spirituality but that it also interpreted cosmology and ecology from a communitarian viewpoint
46. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Victor C. A. Nweke Postmodernism and the Objectivity of the Social Sciences: An Interrogative Conversation with Augustine Atabor
47. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Aribiah David Attoe Mental Surgery: Another Look at the Identity Problem: A Conversation with Jonathan Chimakonam
48. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Addressing Uduma’s Africanness of a Philosophy Question and Shifting the Paradigm from Metaphilosophy to Conversational Philosophy
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This conversation is inspired by Uduma O. Uduma’s essay entitled “The Question of the ‘African’ in African Philosophy: In search of a Criterion for the Africanness of a Philosophy”. In this essay, Uduma coined what he calls “the Africanness of a Philosophy Question which consists in the ultimate criterion for African philosophy. He was not the first to dwell on the Africanness issue in African philosophy but he was the first, to my knowledge, to christen it as such. Before Uduma framed the question into a proper metaphilosophical concern in African philosophy, old campaigners like Paulin Hountondji, Odera Oruka, Peter Bodunrin, Kwasi Wiredu, Sophie Oluwole, Innocent Onyewuenyi, etc., have all dwelt on it with some going more in-depth than others. I have also dwelt partly on this question before in an essay entitled “The Criteria Question in African Philosop hy: Escape from the Horns of Jingoism and Afrocentrism”. Incidentally, my treatment of the issue was not digestive enough as I did not mention the likes of Bodunrin, Wiredu, Oluwole and even Uduma himself—a terrible short-sightedness—one that I wish to correct in this discussion. My first aim in this work is to attempt to settle this metaphilosophical vicious circle once and for all. On the basis of this, I wish also to orchestrate a shift from the vicious circle of metaphilosophical engagements to a more f ruitful conversational engagement in contemporary African philosophy. Our method shall consist in critical conversationalism.
49. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
David A. Oyedola African Philosophy and the Search for an African Philosopher: The Demise of a Conflictual Discourse
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There are contending reasons why the rationale, qualification and justification for becoming an African philosopher are still facing the problem of ontology. Onereason, as Didier Kaphagawani posits, is premised on the challenges by anthropology and colonialism (1986, 86). Given Oruka, Makinde, Oladipo, Oke, and Hallen’s perception of these challenges, they concede that these challenges gave birth to the postcolonial search for a distinct African identity. On the one hand, D. A. Masolo’s submission that because “Africa cannot be re -subjectivised; hence, an identity which is peculiarly African is impossible” (1997, 283-285)downplays the concession of Kaphagawani, Oruka, et al. Moreover, there tend s to be agreement among certain philosophers who have devoted their time promoting Africana philosophy and culture-oriented discourse in Africa like Outlaw, Cabral, Fanon, Makinde, Oladipo, Oke, Hallen, Horton, etc., that “the Western discourse on Africa and the response to such discourse” (MASOLO 1994, 1) led many African philosophers like Nazombe, Okpewho, Tempels, Nkrumah, Nyerere, Senghor, Cesaire, Awolowo, Mandela, etc., to react using socio-political and academic means to establish a distinct African philosophical paradigm which craves for the re-subjectivisation of Africa. By implication, the response to the Western discourse on Africa, as Outlaw, et al, opine, lend credence to (a) therationale for the qualification and justification to be an African philosopher; (b) the existence of African philosophy, and (c) the modality of doing philosophy inAfrica. Nevertheless, the problem with Outlaw, et al, o n one hand, and D. A. Masolo, on the other, is the failure to recognize that any philosopher need not be ofAfrican descent or blood before he can make a meaningful contribution to address the problems facing the development of Africa in all spheres of lif e. This ispossible in as much as there is an adequate understanding of the subject under discussion or what it means to do African philosophy. It is this failure or weakness that we shall explore in this essay.
50. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
David A. Oyedola Appiah on Race and Identity in The Illusions of Race: A Rejoinder
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Whether Appiah’s concession in [The Illusions of Race, 1992] that there are no races can stand vis-a-vis Masolo’s submission in “African Philosophy and thePostcolonial: some Misleading Abstractions about Identity” (1997) that identity is impossible, it is worthy to note that much of what is entailed in human societiestend toward the exaltation and protection of self-interest. Self-interest, as it is related to particular or individual entities, to a great extent, presupposes theontology of different races and identities. Paul Taylor in “Appiah’s Uncompleted Argument: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Reality of Race,” to begin with, asserts thatraces and identity struggles are real entities as individuals’: where this can be said to aid and abet racial differences. Though, there are those who lend credenceto Appiah’s and Masolo’s explications like Hountondji and Gyekye; however, it is noteworthy that philosophers like Du Bois, Nkrumah, Fanon, Mandela,Senghor, Hallen and Cabral who, in one way or the other, lend credence to Taylor’s claim, could not have said so without taking into consideration, the colonial and anthropological experiences which has, in one way or the other, has affected Africa and Africans. Despite the latter, certain flaws like (i) the failure toacknowledge the utility and global importance of human race or family, and (ii) the failure to recognize the distinctiveness of each existing race, tribe or ethnicities in a diverse political, religious, and culture-biased world, are inherent in Taylor’s, Appiah’s and Masolo’s views coupled with those who lend credence to their views. In this study, nevertheless, it is conceded that it is not enough, as a derivative of Appiah’s skepticism about race and identity, to gesture at racial andidentity concerns while using logical incoherence, globality, methodological separatism and cosmopolitan traits to undermine the relevance of identity whichis the soul of the postcolonial quest for a distinct African race or black (African) philosophy.
51. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Olatunji A. Oyeshile Modernity, Islam and an African Culture
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The human quest for the meaning of life is an unending one marked by undulating landscapes. In order to confront the flux of experience generated by this quest for meaning, the human embraces science, morality, politics and religion. Religion is said to provide the basis for transcendental values which give humans succour after the physical and material struggles have ended. At the same time, religion also uses the observable social world as the starting point for the embrace of transcendental values. In this essay, an attempt is made to examine the interconnectedness of modernity (which has its basis in the social world), Islam (which provides the human with transcendental values) and an African culture (which serves as a nexus of modernity and Islam). The essay is basically an exercise in analysis whereby the readers are made to draw some compelling inferences.
52. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Cyril-Mary Pius Olatunji A Philosophical Critique of Ignocentric Search for Political Messiah in Nigeria
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Many of the philosophers of African politics who have argued that the political challenges of Nigeria, and of Africa as a whole are as a result of the impunity andcorruption of post-independence Nigeria leaders also give the impression that the people of Nigeria are mere innocent victims because in their arguments all the ills of the Nigerian state exist only because the country have not experienced or discovered an honest and capable political leader. The scholars argue to the effect that all that Nigeria can do is simply to hope for the ascendance of a Messiah, who being an honest, capable and patriotic leader will on his own volition become committed to the cause of reversing the situation in order to turn around all the ills of the nation. Employing the examples of two prominent scholars of African politics (Chinua Achebe and Larry Diamond) the paper employs the epistemological rigor of analysis and logic to examine and make a critique of the underlying assumptions of the scholars and identifies the theoretical flaws of believing that political representatives are substantively political leaders, that Nigerians are helpless victims who on their own are incapable of reversing the situation and that Nigeria should hope for a political saviour who will turn around all the social and political ills of Nigeria on his own accord.
53. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Christian C. Emedolu From Magic to African Experimental Science: Toward a New Paradigm
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This paper assumes that there is a distinction between empirical and non-empirical science. It also assumes that empirical science has two complementary parts, namely, theorization and experimentation. The paper focuses strictly on the experimental aspect of science. It is a call for reformation in African experimental science. Following a deep historical understanding of the revolution that brought about experimental philosophy (as modern empirical science was called up to the time of Newton) this paper admits that magic was the mother, not just the “bastard sister” of empirical science. It uncovers the fact that magic added the dimension of experimentation to science. This paper somewhat maintains that most of the ideas presented by some African scholars contain vestiges of the magical tradition in them. Even though this might not be a flaw by any reasonable standard, the paper still argues that there is a genuine need to separate magic from science, if we ever crave for any form of material/physical progress in Africa. I insist that the thrust of the call for paradigm shift in this paper is centered basically on experimentation. The issue of theoretical entities was introduced only to the extent such entities enhance experimental realism in the practice of African science. Of course, reformation can equally take place at the level of scientific theorization, but that is strictly beyond the scope of this paper. The fact is that those who are versed on the issues of experimentation should begin to get more focused on that aspect; and those who are given to theorization should settle with the formulation of well-structured theories. Time has indeed come for us to properly streamline our thoughts and make progress in the direction of African experimental science. In making this clarion call, we adopted a combined approach of hermeneutics and analysis.
54. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Augustine Atabor Postmodernism and Objectivity in the Social Sciences: A re-dress of Nweke's understanding of Atabor
55. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Victor C. A. Nweke David Oyedola and the Imperative to Disambiguate the term “African Philosopher”: A Conversation from the standpoint of The Conversational School of Philosophy (CSP)
56. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Oseni Taiwo Afisi Is African Science True Science? Reflections on the Methods of African Science
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The general character of science and the methodology it employs are in specific terms referred to as observation and experimentation. These two ethodologiesreflect how science differs from other systematic modes of inquiries. This description characterises, strictly, ‘Western science’ and it is contrasted with the indigenous mode of enquiry that has come under the name, ‘African science’. In contemporary scholarship, ‘African science’ is being condemned to the level of the mysticoreligious or supernaturalist worldview. ‘African science’ is said to be purely esoteric, personal, and devoid of elements of objectivity and rigorous theorization. In this paper, I re-examine this recondite issue by further reflecting and strengthening some of the ideas put forward by some African scholars to affirm that there is a distinct method of ‘African science’ that can be termed scientific. In defending a pluralist thesis toward knowledge, scientific inclusive, this paper posits that there exist varieties of inquiry beyond what has been developed in the ‘West’ which can still be justifiably termed scientific. In addition to pluralism, it argues further that the social character of science, which makes it a part of social and cultural traditions, qualifiedly justifies ‘African science’ as a true science. I will employ the newly formulated conversational method endorsed by the Conversational School of Philosophy (CSP) in this inquiry.
57. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Innocent I. Asouzu Fidelity to Western Metaphysics: A Challenge to Authentic African Existence
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In this paper, I tried to show how Western attitude to reality can be traced to the divisive exclusivist type of mind-set behind Aristotle’s conception of the world. Igesture toward some of the severest consequences of approaching the world with such a mind-set, and how such has complicated matters in some of the major debates in African philosophy. By recourse to ibuanyidanda or complementary philosophy, the author explores ways of addressing some of the challenges approaches of this kind present in view of resolving issues that have relevance for authentic existence.
58. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Aribiah David ATTOE An Essay Concerning the Foundational Myth of Ethnophilosophy
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Ethnophilosophy, although glorified by some African philosophers, remains a problem in our undertakings in African philosophy. In its infancy, the problemrevolved around the call for a total decolonization of African thought and philosophy, which eventually led to the proliferation of a vast array of mostly descriptive literature about the cultural views and practices of the African, sold to us as not only philosophy but genuine African philosophy. In more recent times, due tothe growing development of African philosophy, this drive towards descrciption is gradually waning and from its dying flames, a new and more subtle problem hasarisen. This problem lays in the call by most African philosophers, to make philosophy done in Africa to be more African in nature, the methodology and/orlogic of African philosophy becomes a narrow discourse which is based on the dogma of descriptive story telling of ethnophilosophy. This is the problem which this essay seeks to address. Thus I shall in this essay, expose the myth of ethnophilosophy and thereafter suggest that African philosophy builds its foundation on criticality rather than ethnophilosophy. As an addendum to this, it is also suggested here that the narrow nature of the false descriptive methodology of mainstream African philosophy (which is based on the more subtle implications of ethnophilosophy) be at the very least, de-emphasised. I shall employ conversationalism as the method of my inquiry.
59. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Adeolu Oluwaseyi Oyekan Reparation, Slavery and Political Realism: The Challenge of Contemporary African Leadership
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In spite of some revisionist attempts to rationalise slavery as just another form of trade between interested parties, there is an overwhelming conviction that itrepresented an age of man’s highest inhumanity to fellow man. Accordingly, calls have been loud and persistent as to the need for reparation which though will never compensate for actual loss, nevertheless has the possibility of symbolising penitence and serve as cushion for some of the debilitating damages done. This paper examines the moral basis of the call for reparation. In agreeing with the moral validity of the claims, the paper probes further in a realistic manner and argue that African states in their present situation cannot make a serious case for reparation. The paper argues further that for African states to position themselves for genuine reparation struggles in this age of political realism, urgent steps must be taken to ensure the useful and productive deployment of available resources in Africa and remove the continent from its appendage status with the west. The paper concludes that only when African states are able to break the cycle of poverty and underdevelopment, freeing themselves from external manipulations can a credible and rewarding case for reparation be made.
60. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Victor C. A. Nweke Questioning the Validity, Veracity and Viability of the Case for “Cogno- Normative (Complementary) Epistemology”: A Conversation withChimakonam
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In this short conversation, I will engage Jonathan Chimakonam’s essay entitled “The knowledge Question in African Philosophy: A Case for Cogno-Normative(Complementary) Epistemology” published as the chapter four of [Atuolu Omalu: Some Unanswered Questions in Contemporary African Philosophy]. I will identifythe major submissions of the essay and engage them critically with the aim of opening new vistas of thought. My method will be conversationalim.