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41. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Karori Mbũgua The Problem of Hell Revisited: Towards a Gentler Theology of Hell
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The doctrines of hell and the existence of God seem to pose a formidable paradox for both Christianity and Islam. The paradox can be stated as follows: Given that God is perfect in every sense, how can he allow any of his creatures to suffer eternal perdition? In this paper, I undertake a critical examination of the arguments for and against the doctrine of hell and conclude that on balance, arguments against the existence of hell heavily outweigh those for its existence. This calls for a radical revision of the traditional doctrine of hell. I contend that what is needed is a gentler and more sinner-friendly theology of hell that recognizes God’s mercy and infinite patience. Nevertheless, belief in hell can serve the social function of deterring potential sinners from sinning.
42. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
D.A. Masolo A Review of Kai Kresse’s Philosophising in Mombasa: Knowledge, Islam and Intellectual Practice on the Swahili Coast
43. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Jacinta Mwende Maweu Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and Modern Western Ecological Knowledge: Complementary, not Contradictory
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Indigenous knowledge is often dismissed as ‘traditional and outdated’, and hence irrelevant to modern ecological assessment. This theoretical paper critically examines the arguments advanced to elevate modern western ecological knowledge over indigenous ecological knowledge, as well as the sources and uses of indigenous ecological knowledge. The central argument of the paper is that although the two systems are conceptually different, it would be fallacious to regard one as superior to the other merely because they are premised on different worldviews.
44. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Reginald M.J. Oduor, Ph.D. Editorial
45. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Olumuyiwa Okuseinde, Oladipo O. Olubomehin Music Artistes and their Contribution to the Idea of Development in Africa, 1974-1987
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This paper is a historical analysis of the contributions of music artistes to the idea of development in Africa in the period between 1974 and 1987. Itseeks to show that concern for the development of the continent was not confined to the intellectual community. Music artistes were not merely interested in entertainment; they also paid attention to the real problems that confronted the society of their time, thereby sharing in the concern of political thinkers of all ages. The works of three artistes - Sonny Okosun, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Bob Marley - are selected for detailed examination, although references are made to other artistes. The study depended on primary and secondary source material. The paper is a contribution to knowledge in the field of African Political Thought.
46. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Adebayo A. Ogungbure The Tuskegee Syphilis Study: Some Ethical Reflections
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There are established ethical principles to protect human participants in biomedical research from undue exploitation by researchers. However, in the “Tuskegee Study” in the US, these principles were grossly violated. The task of this paper is to critically examine the ethical implications of that study on future practices in biomedical research, and to suggest ways of ensuring that such practices comply with appropriate ethical values.
47. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Innocent I. Asouzu Ibuanyidanda (Complementary Reflection), Communalism and Theory Formulation in African Philosophy
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This paper avers that most attempts at formulating viable theories in African philosophy are saddled with intrusions of ethnophilosophic and ethnocentric types: The author identifies this as the phenomenon of “unintended ethnocentric commitment”. He uses communalism, a socio-political theory in African philosophy, to illustrate his point. He further argues that overreliance on the method of synthetic deduction - as is widely practised in African philosophy - can impact adversely on the universal outreach of theories and limit our knowledge of the world. The paper contends that any theory that aspires to give us a clearer picture of the world should be in a position to contain the distortions arising from the promptings of sense experience. Likewise, such a theory should show clear evidence ofanalytic insight into the mechanisms and phenomena on the basis of which our knowledge of the world can be broadened and our judgement thereof improved. By recourse to the method and principles of ibuanyidanda (complementary reflection) philosophy, a systematic methodological approach to theory formulation in African philosophy, the author shows how theories in African philosophy can be articulated more resourcefully with a view to upholding their systematic and universal relevance.
48. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Rainer Ebert, Reginald M.J. Oduor The Concept of Human Dignity in German and Kenyan Constitutional Law
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This paper is a historical, legal and philosophical analysis of the concept of human dignity in German and Kenyan constitutional law. We base our analysis on decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, in particular its take on life imprisonment and its 2006 decision concerning the shooting of hijacked airplanes, and on a close reading of the Constitution of Kenya. We also present a dialogue between us in which we offer some critical remarks on the concept of human dignity in the two constitutions, each one of us from his own philosophical perspective.
49. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Reginald M.J. Oduor, Ph.D. Editor’s Note
50. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Reginald M.J. Oduor A Critical Review of D.A. Masolo’s Self and Community in a Changing World
51. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Peter M. Mumo Holistic Healing: An Analytical Review of Medicine-men in African Societies
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Since the advent of modernity and Christianity in Africa, indigenous African holistic healing, and especially its psychological aspect, has been given negative publicity. This article examines ways in which African traditional medicine men made and continue to make a significant contribution to healing in their societies. It argues that due to the numerous challenges in contemporary African societies, there is need for a pragmatic approach, in which all innovations that can alleviate human suffering are taken on board and encouraged as long as they do not compromise people’s health.
52. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Jacinta Mwende Maweu The Morality of Profit In Business: Transforming Waste Into Wealth Through The Iko Toilet Business Venture In Nairobi, Kenya
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The main argument of this theoretical paper is that the pursuit of honest profits in a voluntary market exchange is not only moral but also ingrained in human nature, in that human beings pursue activities that benefit them and avoid those that cause them loss. Through an examination of the Kenyan business venture called Iko Toilet (which is a mix of the Kiswahili word ‘iko’ meaning ‘there is’ and the English word ‘toilet’ to literally mean ‘there is a Toilet’), the paper contends that there is no inherent contradiction between doing well (engaging in honest voluntary business transactions) in order to do good (maximize legitimate profits).
53. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Oriare Nyarwath The Luo Care for Widows (Lako) and Contemporary Challenges
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This paper examines the Luo custom of caring for a ‘widow’ and for the home of a deceased husband, its rationale and some of its contemporary challenges. The paper maintains that this custom is still the best alternative available to the Luo widow and for the care of the home of one’s deceased brother, especially in the context of Luo culture. However, it recommends a number of adjustments to the practice to discourage some of the abuses that are becoming prevalent in it, with a view to making it more amenable to some of the challenges of our time.
54. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
J.O. Famakinwa Revisiting Kwame Gyekye’s Critique of Normative Cultural Relativism
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This article examines Kwame Gyekye’s critique of normative cultural relativism. It argues that the implications of normative cultural relativism mentioned by Gyekye do not necessarily undermine the theory. Nevertheless, the article concedes that the fact that Gyekye’s arguments do not undermine normative cultural relativism does not make the theory itself plausible.
55. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Reginald M.J. Oduor Odera Oruka’s Account of the Foundation of Human Rights: A Critique
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While H. Odera Oruka is best known for his views on sage philosophy, he spent a considerable portion of his philosophical career agonizing over the question of human rights. The present paper argues that there is need for further philosophical reflection on Oruka’s account of the foundation of human rights with a view to refining it.
56. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Jacinta Mwende Maweu A Critical Assessment of Odera Oruka’s Theory of Punishment
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This paper is a critical examination of Odera Oruka’s theory of punishment in his Punishment and Terrorism in Africa. It argues that although Oruka clearly highlights the weaknesses of the Retributionist and Utilitarian accounts of punishment and therefore calls for the Reformist view of ‘treating both the criminal and society’, he is mistaken in calling for the abolition of punishment simply because it cannot reform the criminal. The paper contends that the reform of the criminal is only one major function of punishment and not the only one, and so we cannot call for its abolition on the basis of this single consideration. The paper further urges that Oruka’s theory of punishment is rather deterministic: according to him, the criminal commits the crime because of the criminal forces which he or she has very little control over, so that he or she cannot be held morally responsible for his or her actions.
57. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Fayemi Ademola Kazeem H. Odera Oruka and the Question of Methodology in African Philosophy: A Critique
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This paper examines the contribution of Henry Odera Oruka, a Kenyan philosopher, to the discourse on the problem of methodology in African philosophy. It interrogates the veracity of various critical reactions to Oruka’s thesis on philosophic sagacity, as well as his rejoinders to some of them. The paper posits that in spite of the formidable critiques against philosophic sagacity as an approach to African philosophy, there are still some aspects of it worthy of note. In building on the strengths of philosophic sagacity, the paper suggests a transition to the method of ‘hermeneutico-reconstructionism’ in contemporary African philosophy.
58. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Chigbo Joseph Ekwealo Contextualizing ‘Philosophic Sagacity’ among the Igbo of South-Eastern Nigeria: An Examination of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
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This paper validates Odera Oruka’s assertion that Philosophic Sagacity is a pervasive phenomenon among African peoples. It argues that whereas Oruka mostly focused on the Kenyan social environment in defense of his thesis, his observations are also applicable to African communities outside Kenya’s borders, especially in their precolonial settings, where there were people who interrogated the rationale of their cultures’ beliefs and practices. Towards this end, the paper deploys textual exegesis on Chinua Achebe’s epic novel, Things Fall Apart, set among the Igbo of South-Eastern Nigeria.
59. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Oriare Nyarwath Understanding Social Freedom and Humanism in Odera Oruka’s Philosophy
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H. Odera Oruka’s philosophy, as can be discerned from his various works, revolves around the issue of social justice. In this paper I seek to show how Oruka’s idea of social justice is inextricably bound up with his conceptions of human rights and humanism, and his contention that one of the fundamental principles of social justice is the recognition and realization of the human minimum as the most basic universal human right.
60. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Oriare Nyarwath H. Odera Oruka: A Biographical Sketch