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1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
M. John Lamola Orcid-ID Introduction: The Crisis of African Studies and Philosophy in the Epoch of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
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The very claim of the historical instance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is increasingly being subjected to critical interrogation from a variety of cultural and ideological perspectives. From an Afrocentric theory of history, this questioning of the ontology of the 4IR is sharpened by Africa’s experience of the claimed progressive mutation of global industrial progress from the “first” to this “fourth” revolution. Africa experienced the first industrial revolution as a European revolution in the exploitation of her natural and human resources, as well as the despoliation of her cultural-epistemic sovereignty. The challenge to fully engage in the theorisation of this 4IR, given the overwhelming and inexorable effects of its digital technologies on the personhood, sociality and geopolitical state of Africa has exposed the critical need for a set of rigorous Africanist analytical tools and epistemological approaches capable of guiding Africa’s appropriation of this techno-social revolution. This essay introduces the collection of research papers that have been selected for their endeavour to meet this challenge. It is highlighted that all of them move from a unique approach that asserts that technological progress is historical-cultural and socially embedded. Some of them address the question of the historico-ontological status of the 4IR innovatively with original African methodological tools, while others demonstrate how an African epistemology can be applied to issues such a digital virtual communities and robotics. This contribution to the bourgeoning field of African Philosophy of Technology is admired as work in progress.
2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Ferdinand Mutaawe Kasozi Orcid-ID Ntu’ologico-Agnostic Reflections on the Fourth Industrial Revolution Premise
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This paper proposes an ntu’ologically analytical questioning of the contentious Fourth Industrial Revolution phenomenon, as it suggests that an industrial revolution ought to be appreciated in causation or causality terms. The cause of an industrial revolution is required to comprise ‘adequacy quality causing interactions’ among entities of specific ntu categories. These interactions bring into being nine basic ntu’ological adequacy qualities or industrial revolution criteria. For that reason, nine selected modes of interaction, called in this paper, ntu’ological interactions forms, guide the analytical questioning of the possible existence of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. The aforementioned nine criteria are incontestable in respect of the First, Second and Third Industrial Revolutions. This paper, however, takes the agnostic position that: the Fourth Industrial Revolution may exist, but we cannot prove this with theoretical reason.
3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
A.A. Oyekunle Orcid-ID Ideating African Indigenous Knowledge Systems for Africa’s Participation in the 4IR: From Content Framework to Process Formation
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With its envisioned benefits of increased productivity, enhanced decision making with digital-based tools, qualitative and efficient processes, improved life expectancy rate, etc., the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a desideratum for contemporary society. The need to prioritize skills and knowledge needed for the participation of Africa in the 4IR thus becomes imperative. This paper argues for indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) as a possible approach to enhance African participation in the 4IR. Consequently, the paper examines the methodical perspectives that would be appropriate for framing African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS) as a tool for advancing science and technology. It argues for the process form of ideating IKS against the content forms implicit in the various views on IKS. It is concluded that the process form of ideating IKS – which essentially focuses on the critical analysis of the systematic formations and development of IKS – unearths the epistemological basis for scientific postulations and technological advancement in Africa.
4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Uchenna A. Ezeogu Orcid-ID Fourth Industrial Revolution and Geopolitics of Knowledge Production: The Question of Africa’s Place in the Global Space
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Francis Fukuyama postulated that there are two powerful forces at work in human history. One, he calls, ‘the logic of modern science’ and the other, ‘the struggle for recognition’. I agree with Fukuyama that human developmental progression is propelled by these twin principles. It is my position that these principles have been the drivers of geopolitics. In this paper, I argue that, in addition, knowledge production is a major factor in geopolitics and that the Euro-American worldview has occupied the place of hegemony by reason of knowledge production. Africa has been denied having any form of epistemic tradition by the Euro-American world to sustain itself in the position of hegemony. In the era of Fourth Industrial Revolution, it will be antithetical for Africa to continue to adopt or consume technologies driven by Eurocentrism without projecting its contribution to the global space. Hence, using a critical hermeneutical approach, I contend that Africa needs to make a unique African contribution in the era of Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is Africa’s unique contribution that will guarantee Africa a place in geopolitics.
5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Reginald M.J. Oduor Orcid-ID The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Inclusiveness, Affordability, Cultural Identity, and Ethical Orientation
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Discussions on the impact and future directions of technology often proceed from an empirical point of view that seems to presume that the ebb and flow of technological developments is beyond the control of humankind, so that all that humanity can do is adjust to it. However, such an approach easily neglects several crucial normative considerations that could enhance the standing of individual human beings and whole communities as rational users of technology rather than its slaves. Besides, more often than not, technological products are designed in ways that neglect the needs of persons with disabilities, thereby perpetuating their exclusion from society. Consequently, this article proposes four normative considerations to guide the initiatives of African societies in their deployment of the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, namely, inclusiveness to meet the needs of all human beings, affordability to bridge the digital divide, respect for cultural identity to guard against cultural imperialism, and an ethical orientation as the overarching guide to building a truly human society.
6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Irina Turner, Orcid-ID Siri Lamoureaux, Orcid-ID James L. Z. Merron Orcid-ID Indiscipline as Method: From Telescopes to Ventilators in Times of Covid
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There is no unproblematic way to study things as “African”, yet an epistemologically situated approach based on concrete technological projects situated in Africa and their social and political implications offers an important account of the intersection of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and African Studies. We explore this perspective through the notion of “indiscipline” using the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope project (SKA) based in South Africa as a case study through which to observe “indiscipline” as a methodological approach to technoscience at work. Indiscipline helps frame the socio-technical (by)products of astrophysics and engineering, and we present the production of ventilators for COVID-19 patients as an example of how the design of mega-science projects can become entangled with the dynamic concerns of society. Our conclusion elaborates on the politics of large technological systems, opening up a conversation on the intersection of science and society in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in African settings, using the template of experiences with the SKA and the National Ventilator Project in South Africa.
7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Stephen Nkansah Morgan, Orcid-ID Beatrice Okyere-Manu Orcid-ID African Ethics and Online Communities: An Argument for a Virtual Communitarianism
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A virtual community is generally described as a group of people with shared interests, ideas, and goals in a particular digital group or virtual platform. Virtual communities have become ubiquitous in recent times, and almost everyone belongs to one or multiple virtual communities. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its associated national lockdowns, has made virtual communities more essential and a necessary part of our daily lives, whether for work and business, educational purposes or keeping in touch with friends and family. Given these facts, how do we ensure that virtual communities become a true community qua community? We address this question by proposing and arguing for a ‘virtual communitarianism’—an online community that integrates essential features of traditional African communitarianism in its outlook and practice. The paper’s position is that virtual communitarianism can make for a strong ethical virtual community where members can demonstrate a strong sense of group solidarity, care and compassion towards each other. The inclusion of these virtues can bring members who often are farapart and help create a stronger community bond. This will ensure that the evolution of virtual communities does not happen without the integration of progressive African communitarian values.
8. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Catherine F Botha Orcid-ID Gender and Humanoid Robots: A Somaesthetic Analysis
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I discuss in this paper how robotic scientists tend to produce replicas of human bodies that are consistent with their own cultural norms by exploring how gender is embodied in humanoid robots. My focus is specifically on care robots, and their reception in the African context. I argue that since the bodies of the robotic scientists are the reference points according to which they design and manufacture robots, a somaesthetics of robotics can best reveal and challenge how gendered norms are materialised in these machines.
9. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Chrysogonus Okwenna Orcid-ID An African Response to the Philosophical Crises in Medicine: Towards an African Philosophy of Medicine and Bioethics
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In this paper, I identify two major philosophical crises confronting medicine as a global phenomenon. The first crisis is the epistemological crisis of adopting an epistemic attitude, adequate for improving medical knowledge and practice. The second is the ethical crisis, also known as the “quality-of-care crisis,” arising from the traditional patient-physician dyad. I acknowledge the different proposals put forward in the quest for solutions to these crises. However, I observe that most of these proposals remain inadequate given their over-reliance on the Western biomedical tradition (WBT) and the medical hegemony that underpins the proposals themselves. Contrary to the approach employed in these proposals, I propose medical pluralism as a viable platform for resolving the philosophic crises in medicine, by critically engaging non-Western medical traditions (NMTs) and thought systems. Ultimately, I make a push for the deliberate inauguration of an African philosophy of medicine and bioethics (APMB) and other context-specific or indigenous philosophies of medicine and bioethics that will ensure continuous investigations into NMTs and their contribution to global medical issues.
10. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Isaiah Ola Abolarin Orcid-ID Festivals and Rites as Mediums of Moral Education: A Case Study of Mobaland in Ekiti State, Nigeria
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This study explored how the people of Moba in Ekiti State, Nigeria, use three of their traditional festivals and rites—odun ijesu, itugbe and oku-omo-ile—for moral education. Qualitative method of research was used with unstructured interview guide utilized for data collection. Purposive sampling technique was adopted for selecting people comprising leaders and practitioners, who have deep knowledge of the three festivals as participants for the study. Interviews were conducted and the data collected were content analysed. The study found that there are moral lessons embedded in these festivals particularly in every act of the celebration. The leaders need to deliberately highlight these lessons emphasising their significance as the very essence of the festivals and rites in order for people to understand, imbibe and put them into practice.
11. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Dennis Masaka Orcid-ID Towards a more Inclusive idea of World Government
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In this paper, I consider how a world government constructed from the perspectives of both the global North and the global South could be a more promising one as it seeks to challenge the idea of world government constructed principally from the perspective of one geopolitical centre. I will call this position the ‘inclusive world government paradigm’. Specifically, after giving a brief presentation of some reasons behind the construction of a world government, I proceed to consider Luis Cabrera’s (2004) idea of world government that essentially denotes assisting the global impoverished to improve their lives through progressive, democratically accountable integration between states. Thereafter, I offer some responses to Cabrera’s idea of world government. Finally, I suggest how the idea of world government could be understood differently if both the global North and the global South could be its co-creators and influence its agenda. I reckon that this could only be possible if the asymmetrical power relations in the present world are reversed and replaced by a more just and a more respectful relationship between these geopolitical centres.
12. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Joseph Aketema, Ọbádélé Bakari Kambon Maat and the Rebirth of Kmt ‘Land of Black People’: An Examination of Beatty’s Djehuty Project
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In this paper we examine Ɔbenfo Mario H. Beatty’s chapter, ‘Maat the Cultural and Intellectual Allegiance of a Concept’ in terms of its articulation of MꜢꜤt ‘Maat’. This examination sets out to delineate how a return to the principles inherent in MꜢꜤt ‘Maat’ can serve to bring about the Wḥm Mswt ‘Rebirth/Renaissance’ of Kmt ‘Land of Black People’ and Kmt(yw) ‘Black People’ economically and politically. This research is significant in that it points us away from the semantically vacuous and etymologically opaque terms “Africa” and “Africans” to terminology, principles and practices that restore our original identity as Kmt(yw) ‘Black People’.
13. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Douglas Thomas Orcid-ID Islamic Theism as a Response to White Supremacy: The Case of Shaikh Amadu Bamba Mbacké
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This article examines Shaikh Amadu Bamba Mbacké and his theology as a cogent response to White Supremacy as expressed in French Colonization of Africa. White Supremacy has as its primary goal, the recreation of the whole world in the image of Whiteness upon the premise that the possession of White skin makes one inherently superior. Theism counters this ontological assault with an unabashed turn to a believer's God. Shaikh Amadu Bamba Mbacké's insistence on Islam counters White Supremacy thereby providing an ideological and metaphysical space for the non-whites of Senegal to exist without succumbing to the temptation to aspire to a Euro-centric ideal.
14. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Anthony Uzochukwu Ufearoh Orcid-ID Igbo Eschatology and Environmentalism
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The present work sets out to examine the intersection between Igbo eschatology and environmentalism. It seeks to determine how the tenets of Igbo eschatology impact on environmental conservation. The approach is conversational. Given that the work centers on a particular cultural area, an ethnic nationality in West Africa with unique cultural symbols, the paper also employs the tool of hermeneutics. It is discovered that the Igbo eschatology is characteristically this-worldly, cyclic and perceives human existence as continuous given the possibility of reincarnation. Accordingly, it impacts a sense of permanence or semi-immortality on the evanescent earthly existence thus rendering the optimism or motivation which environmentalism, a futuristic endeavor, demands. This is unlike an otherworldly, linear and terminal eschatology which forecloses the possibility of continuous existence and demotivates for the care of the environment. Secondly, given the animistic and this-worldly orientation, the symbolic presence of the eschata (new realities) such as the ancestors and spirits in the mundane world elevates the status and compels respect and care for nature or the environment. The paper therefore submits that the Igbo eschatology is pro-environmentalism.
15. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Nelson Udoka Ukwamedua Orcid-ID Revisiting the Ontology of Deities among the Igbo
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Existentially, Igbo-African metaphysics swivels around ethics, morality, justice, and medicine. This state of being is evident in their credo on the ontology of the deities, which they see as a strategic variable in their hierarchy of beings and a critical agent in their quest for sane, responsible, peaceful existence and coexistence. Based on these premises, this paper interrogated these variables to establish the symmetry between them. In doing this, this research employed the critical analytic cum existential model in its analysis. After which, it became palpable that the existence and ontology of the deities accentuates the mode of operation of the Igbo-African and from that position; it was blatant that the communal life of the Igbo-African makes African metaphysics a lived-metaphysics or what I have called anthropologised-metaphysics.
16. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Columbus N. Ogbujah Orcid-ID Equality, Equity and Justice in Resource Distribution in Nigeria
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In ethics and political philosophy, the concepts of equity, equality, need satisfaction, and justice are significant for the fulfilment of underlying requirements of human rights, and the attainment of peace in societies. Studies show these as potential frames for defining processes, distributing resources, sharing responsibilities, allocating rewards, demonstrating respect and dispensing with unequal treatments. Justice, as the ideal that impels us to impartially adjudicate between competent claims, is linked to equality. But as the moral force that propels actions for needs’ satisfaction, it is linked to equity. Hence, equality and equity are two elements of the theory of justice: both are grounded on the principles of distributive justice. This ‘common grounding’ apparently obfuscates their distinctive features, and over time, has elicited their equiparation. This essay highlights the archetypal frames of the notions of equity and equality as indispensable principles of social justice. It identifies the skewed distribution of resources in Nigeria as arising from a legal framework that removes the power of personal/group autonomy from the people. The essay notes the misleading tendency in the insulated use of equality for justice, and accepts the primacy of distributive justice amongst rival pathways to national cohesive living.
17. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Benjamin Obeghare Izu Orcid-ID Traditional Festivals as a Symbol of Culture in Africa: The Example of the Ovwuvwe Festival of the Abraka People
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Traditional festivals have become a prominent topic of research because of their social-cultural values. The values, and beliefs of a people are demonstrated through festivals. However, thus far, limited research has been conducted on the more profound issue of the possible contribution of festivals as a cultural symbol. This study aims to portray the symbols of the Abraka people’s culture through the Ovwuvwe festival celebration. The Ovwuvwe festival was chosen as the study area, due to its rich and unique cultural heritage, with the main aim of creating an avenue in preserving and displaying the cultural heritage of the Abraka people through the Ovwuvwe festival celebration. Through participation, interviews and critical observation, this paper demonstrates the cultural symbol of the Abraka people through Ovwuvwe.
18. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Ovett Nwosimiri Race, Ethnicity and a Post-racial/ethnic Future: A Philosophical Reflection
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Ethnicity and racial identity formation are elements of our social world. In recent years, there has been numerous works on ethnicity and race. Both concepts are controversial in different disciplines. The controversies around these concepts have been heated up by scholars who have devoted their time to the discourse of ethnicity and race, and to understand the ascription of both concepts. Ethnicity and race have been causes of conflict, prejudice and discrimination among various ethnic and racial groups around the world. Thus, this paper is an attempt to discuss and critically reflect about race, ethnicity and a post-racial/ethnic future in line with Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze’s idea of the post-racial future.
19. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Emmanuel C. Anizoba, Orcid-ID Edache Monday Johnson Orcid-ID Patterns of Traditional Religious and Cultural Practices of the Idoma People of Nigeria
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The research focuses on the patterns of traditional religious and cultural practices of the Idoma People of Nigeria. The study also seeks to investigate the cultural beliefs and practices of the Idoma traditional society which were affected by the advent of Christianity in the area. Some of the cultural beliefs and practices of the Idoma people before the advent of Christianity will be examined, as well as the people response to the new faith and the propelling factors behind the responses of the people. The study adopted qualitative phenomenological research design and descriptive method of data analysis. Personal interview forms a primary source of data collection while the secondary source includes library sources. The study reveals that the advent of Christianity in the Idoma traditional society had some impact and consequences on their traditional and cultural practices. Some of the Idoma beliefs and practices affected include ancestor veneration, polygamous marriage, burial rites, widowhood practices, naming ceremony among others which are no longer practiced the way it used to be practiced before the advent of Christianity. The study recommends among other things that, there should be a synergy between Idoma traditional beliefs and practices and Christianity for peaceful co-existence, progress and developments in the area.
20. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Amara Esther Chimakonam Orcid-ID Towards a Personhood-Based Theory of Right Action: Investigating the Covid-19 Pandemic and Religious Conspiracy Theories in Africa
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Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in religious conspiracy theories (henceforth RCTs) in Africa, ranging from outright denial, partial acceptance to spreading misinformation about the Coronavirus. This essay will argue that RCTs pose serious challenges to Covid-19 prevention by encouraging non-compliance to Covid-19 preventive measures and refusal to take Covid-19 vaccination. It will then formulate a personhood-based theory of right action. This new theory will be teased out of Ifeanyi Menkiti's account of the normative conception of personhood and deployed here as a veritable tool for overcoming the challenges posed by RCTs in the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa.