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41. 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.”
42. 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.
43. 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.
44. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Editorial
45. 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.
46. 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.
47. 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.
48. 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.
49. 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.
50. 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.
51. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Heinz Kimmerle An Amazing Piece of Comparative Philosophy
52. 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
53. 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.
54. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Moses Ogah Irem Conversational Philosophy in Practice
55. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Conversations in African Philosophy
56. 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
57. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Victor C. A. Nweke Postmodernism and the Objectivity of the Social Sciences: An Interrogative Conversation with Augustine Atabor
58. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Aribiah David Attoe Mental Surgery: Another Look at the Identity Problem: A Conversation with Jonathan Chimakonam
59. 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.
60. 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.