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1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Ovett Nwosimiri COVID–19 and Job Losses: Should Affirmative Action and Preferential Hiring still be Applicable in South Africa?
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The SARS-COVID-2 virus that causes the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been having a challenging and devastating impact on finances and jobs worldwide. More specifically, in South Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a crippling effect on jobs. Companies and businesses are struggling to operate and retain workers as revenue streams are drying up. Owners of companies and businesses have been forced to make difficult decisions. An example is the retrenchment of workers by some organizations because of the financial fall-out due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, before the pandemic, South Africa had unemployment challenges, economic downgrading, and high levels of inequality (within the employment sector). These challenges bring to mind what the employment method and strategy will look like during the (post)-COVID-19. In view of these challenges, one question that comes to mind is: given the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the job losses affected people of all races, should the policies of affirmative action and preferential hiring still be considered in South Africa? Thus, this paper is a philosophical reflection on COVID-19, job losses, affirmative action, and preferential hiring in South Africa. In reflecting on the above, this paper aims to show that affirmative action and preferential hiring should not be considered in South Africa during the (post)-COVID-19. I conclude that in the face of this tragedy, for the sustainability of the economy, everyone needs to work together to re-establish and reconstruct the country and build an inclusive economy.
2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Adeolu Oluwaseyi Oyekan John Mbiti on the Monotheistic Attribution of African Traditional Religions: A Refutation
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John Mbiti, in his attempt to disprove the charge of paganism by Euro-American ethnographic and anthropological scholars against African Traditional Religions argues that traditional African religions are monotheistic. He insists that these traditional religious cultures have the same conception of God as found in the Abrahamic religions. The shared characteristics, according to him are foundational to the spread of the “gospel” in Africa. Mbiti’s effort, though motivated by the desire to refute the imperial charge of inferiority against African religions ran, I argue, into a conceptual and descriptive conflation of ATRs with monotheistic faiths. In this paper, I challenge the superimposition of Judeo-Christian categories upon African religions. I argue that monotheism is just a strand, out of many, that expresses belief in God(s), and that it differs substantially from the polytheistic pre-colonial African understanding of religion. I provide a panentheistic paradigm using traditional Igbo ontology and religion to refute Mbiti’s generalization.
3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Frederick Ochieng’-Odhiambo Césaire’s Contribution to African Philosophy
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The essay explicates Aimé Césaire’s contribution to the discipline of African philosophy, which ironically, is unknown to many scholars within African philosophy, especially in Anglophone Africa. In his Return to my Native Land, Césaire introduced two new concepts: “négritude” and “return”. These would later turn out to be crucial to the discourse on African identity and African philosophy. In his Discourse on Colonialism, Césaire raised two very closely related objections against Placide Tempels’ Bantu Philosophy. His first dissatisfaction was that Tempels merely followed Lévy-Bruhl and his adherents by proposing another point of view in support of the misguided theory of the prelogical. Secondly, in so doing, his aim was nothing more than to make a presentation of an argument in support of European imperialism and colonialism. His Discourse on Colonialism, therefore, set the ground for later criticisms that were levelled against ethnophilosophy as an approach to African philosophy.
4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Dunfu Zhang, Richard Atimniraye Nyelade The Racial and Olfactory Origin of Social Distancing
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With the rise of the coronavirus crisis, "social distancing," has emerged as a new buzzword. Politicians, journalists, commentators, news readers, senior executives, and experts use this term blindly. However, scrutinizing the word reveals a terminological mismatch between "physical distancing" and "social distancing." While revisiting the history of physical distancing and social distancing, this article attempts to show how the term "social distancing" moved through time and winded up floating in the atmosphere. This study is based on Critical race theory, which has as its aim to uncover the ideologies that have been constructed to perpetuate the oppression of some social categories on the fallacious pretext of race superiority and purity. After going down to the ancient roots of physical distancing practices, this work will recall social distancing behaviors during the slave trade era before delving into the current confusion between both terms in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work stresses the importance of social scientists to assess some official terminologies before their popularization.
5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
John Sodiq Sanni In the Name of God? Religion, Silence and Extortion
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This article critically analyses the role religion (I refer here to Islam and Christianity) has played in promoting silence and extortion in Africa with particular reference to Nigeria. In my philosophical analysis, African and Western literatures will guide my reflection on religion, the role it played in advancing the colonial agenda and its use in today’s African societies. This analysis seeks to present a case for the position that the colonial debris of disempowerment, injustices, manipulation, and extortion are still very much part of African society. They have only assumed new outlooks and language, thus plunging many Africans into silence in the face of what is often presented as sacred and unknown. The desired aim of this article is to present a philosophical critique of religion by comparing it with existing use of religion in Africa, especially Nigeria.
6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Eric Ndoma Besong Exploring the Logic of Gender Complementarity using Chimakonam’s Ezumezu System
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In this essay, I want to argue that the existence of gender most times translated as gender binary, is a biological fact. What is at stake is a framework for transcending unequal gender binary to gender complementarity. Here, I propose to use Chimakonam’s Ezumezu logic as a mechanism for disclosing gender complementarity. The illogical, irrational and subjective perspectives on lopsided gender differences between men and women will be challenged in this essay. I will analyze the thrust of Ezumezu logic, its major principles, structures, and pillars of thought. I will also demonstrate its global and contextual relevance. I will submit that Ezumezu logic can ground gender complementarity across global cultures. I argue that regardless of the physical differences between males and females, it is illogical to exploit such differences to promote gender stereotype.
7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Innocent I. Enweh “The Community and the Individual – Revisiting the Relevance of Afro-Communism”: A Response to MF Asiegbu and AC Ajah
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In a carefully and strongly worded critique, Asiegbu and Ajah have sought to close the dossier on Afro-communalist project by extolling solipsistic individualism which makes the individual an anarchic unit. Using the Okonkwo saga in Achebe’s [Things Fall Apart] to justify this type of individualism Asiegbu and Ajah bypassed, on the social plane, the ethical principle of individualism and Afro-communalism as forms of humanism. According to these critics, Afro-communalism is conformist, counter-productive, ambiguous, unsuccessful and irrelevant, and therefore should be discarded. The objective of this response is to show that an interpretative rehabilitation of Afro-communalism is opportune for elaborating a form of egalitarian society that would be responsive to the exigencies of African social-economic condition in a globalized world. The paper defends the view that while Afro-communalism in its ideological form was partly successful as an instrument for decolonization, its failure to achieve emancipation makes it an incomplete project. In its philosophical outfit, it appears despite its contributions, trapped in a vicious cycle because of the inability of some of its interpreters to provide it with a robust foundation. While as an ideology, it appropriated the economic relation model of scientific socialism, as a philosophy, it has under certain forms, continued to insist on the kinship/tribal relation model. Unfortunately, these two models lack the requisite institutional mechanisms for making Afro-communalism leverage on state or national life. Using descriptive and analytic methods, the paper argues that while Western individualist cultural attitude safeguarded by a contractual social relation model remains an authentic form of humanism, Afro-communalism in its traditional form needs, if it has to respond adequately to contemporary human experiences, to transit from the kinship/tribal model to amity of ethnic nationalities model.
8. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Motsamai Molefe The “Normative” Concept of Personhood in Wiredu’s Moral Philosophy
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The article explores the place and status of the normative concept of personhood in Kwasi Wiredu’s moral philosophy. It begins by distinguishing an ethic from an ethics, where one involves cultural values and the other strict moral values. It proceeds to argue, by a careful exposition of Wiredu’s moral philosophy, that he locates personhood as an essential aspect of communalism [an ethic], and it specifies culture-specific standards of excellence among traditional African societies. I conclude the article by considering one implication of the conclusion, which is that personhood embodies cultural values of excellence concerning the place and status of partiality in Wiredu’s moral philosophy.
9. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Simphiwe Sesanti Studying and teaching ethnic African languages for Pan-African consciousness, Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance: A Decolonising Task
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In order to conquer and subjugate Africans, at the 1884 Berlin Conference, European countries dismembered Africa by carving her up into pieces and sharing her among themselves. European colonialists also antagonised Africans by setting up one ethnic African community against the other, thus promoting ethnic consciousness to undermine Pan-African consciousness. European powers also imposed their own “ethnic” languages, making them not only “official”, but also “international”. Consequently, as the Kenyan philosopher, Ngũgῖ wa Thiong’o, persuasively argues, through their ethnic languages, European colonialists planted their memory wherever they went, while simultaneously uprooting the memory of the colonised. Cognisant of efforts in some South African institutions of higher learning to promote African languages for the purpose of promoting literacy in African languages, this article argues that while this exercise is commendable, ethnic African languages should be deliberately taught to “re-member” Africa and rediscover Pan-African consciousness. By doing this, African scholarship would be aiding Africans’ perennial and elusive quest for Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance.
10. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
JO Chimakonam Editorial
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11. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Peter Aloysius Agbonoga Ikhane Symontosis and Conceptual Ambivalence in Worldmaking
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In this paper, I explore an African metaphysics of virtual reality (VR). The questions that guide my analysis include: (i) how are we to understand the changes the virtual world causes in how our knowledge and awareness of life are rooted? And (ii) how do we perceive our lived-reality as we go in and come out of a world generated by the computer? Though I take VR to denote a not-quite-actual world that stands in contrast to the physical or primary world, I show that VR is a variant of worldmaking. On this, I controvert the intuition to take African metaphysics of virtual reality to be concerned with an analysis of the ontological contrasts between VR and the primary world. Drawing on the principle of symontosis, I show that African metaphysics of VR is to be concerned with an analysis of the ‘harmony’ of both worlds. In this vein, I present the primary world as providing the metaphysical anchor for the virtual world, as wherefrom, we are rooted and can organise our lived-experience of VR.
12. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Adeolu Oluwaseyi Oyekan Technology and Social Cohesion: Deploying Artificial Intelligence in Mediating Herder-Farmer Conflicts in Nigeria
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This paper argues for the role of technology, such as artificial intelligence, which includes machine learning, in managing conflicts between herders and farmers in Nigeria. Conflicts between itinerant Fulani herders and farmers over the years have resulted in the destruction of lives, properties, and the displacement of many indigenous communities across Nigeria, with devastating social, economic and political consequences. Over time, the conflicts have morphed into ethnic stereotypes, allegations of ethnic cleansing, forceful appropriation and divisive entrenchment of labels that are inimical to national existence. The reality of climate change and increased urbanization suggest that conflicts are likely to exacerbate over shrinking resources in the near future. Finding solutions to the conflicts, therefore requires innovative thinking capable of addressing the limits of past approaches. While mindful of the human and political dimension of the conflicts, I argue using the method of philosophical analysis that technology possesses the capacity for social transformation, and make a case for the modernization of grazing culture and the curbing of cross-border grazing through machine learning (ML) and other forms of artificial intelligence. Machine Learning represents a transformative technology that addresses the security challenges of irregular migration, accommodates the nomadic and subsistent mode of farming associated with the conflicting parties while enabling a gradual but stable transition to full modernization. I conclude that machine learning holds many prospects for minimizing conflicts and attaining social cohesion between herders and farmers when properly complemented by other mechanisms of social cohesion that may be political in nature.
13. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
David Anthony Pittaway Digital Hygiene: Pandemic Lockdowns and the Need to Suspend Fast Thinking
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The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the global trend towards spending increasing amounts of time online. I explore some of the potential negative consequences of lockdown-induced increases in time spent online, and I argue that the stressful context of the pandemic and lockdowns is exacerbated by being online beyond that which is required for essential purposes. Time spent online may increase stress levels by perpetuating the sympathetic nervous system's fight-or-flight response, draining a person’s energy and diminishing one’s ability to deal with illness. I frame the situation as one in which the pandemic context, combined with a mandatory need to be online more, forces many people into what Daniel Kahneman calls “System 1 thinking”, or “fast thinking”. I argue that digital hygiene requires the suspension of System 1 thinking, and that “philosophical perception” resonates with potential remedies in this regard. Keywords: digital society, System 1 thinking, System 2 thinking, philosophical perception, lockdowns.
14. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Abiola Azeez, Tosin Adeate Second-Wave AI and Afro-Existential Norms
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The idea of afro-existentialism connotes how Africans make sense of living and the meaning and meaninglessness attached to human existence. Different phenomena inform the way humans interpret existence, and one of such in the contemporary period, with great influence on Africans, is human involvement with non-human intelligence (AI), in its different eruptions. This paper focuses on the second-wave AI, which is a period of improved simulation of natural intelligence, whose singularity principle hypothesizes individualist motives. The paper asks, to what extent do Afro-existential norms accommodate second-wave AI? Partly in disagreement with the claim that AI is for everyone, we argue that second-wave artificial intelligence weakly adapts to Afro-existential practices, which is largely communal, emphasizing shared experience. We justify this claim by arguing that Western ethical patterns, which inform the features of the second-wave AI such as statistical patterns, smart algorithm, specialized hardware, and big data sets, emerge from individualist notions. This paper argues that second-wave AI trends do not reflect African norms of existence being factored into ordering algorithmic patterns that set up AI systems and programs. We infer that Afro-existential practices unsettles with the individualist principle which underlines second-wave AI and therefore, a conversation around the development and application of communal interpretation of AI is important.
15. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Uche Miriam Okoye, Esther Obiageli Ogbu, Gerald Ejiofor Ome The Place of Africa in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
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One can say that there is inadequate preparation, in Africa, to embrace the fourth industrial revolution. Two schools of thought argue as to the reason for this state of affair. While the Internalist school blames the situation on Africa’s culture and metaphysics, the Externalist school considers external factors as the ultimate explanation for Africa’s plight. We argue that both internal and external factors considered separately are not sufficient as the ultimate explanation for Africa’s lack of preparation, hence the need for a multi-dimensional approach which offers more than the conventional wisdom but critically considers what constitutes a complex explanation and solution for Africa’s plight. Furthermore, we suggest that more attention should be paid to Africa’s existential situation if she must rise to take her place in the emerging revolution. The study initiates a conversation around the theme of Africa’s fate in the looming fourth industrial revolution using phenomenological methods of research.
16. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Mohammed Akinola Akomolafe The Roles of Foreign Influences in the Evolution of Social and Filial Relations in Nigeria
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Nigeria, as a geographical entity is replete with various ethnic and cultural identities that have continued to evolve from pre-colonial times to recent times. Granted that civilizations from Europe and Arabia have dictated almost all spheres of living, both in the Northern and Southern geographies of the country and eroded nearly all traditional values that would have assisted in curbing social and filial tensions; it is pertinent to inquire into the social relations before this ‘encounter.’ This is important as this research seeks to invoke some aspects of the past that can be relevant for contemporary utility. Hence, through the method of critical analysis, this study takes a look at the socio-economic norms among the pre-colonial cultures that eventually evolved into Nigeria, paying attention to the place of slaves and women and laying emphasis on the filial and communal nature which allowed for a not too wide the gap between the rich and the poor. Even when this study is not unaware of the positive roles of foreign influence, it recounts the deficits of this presence and suggests that a proper way is to explore some indigenous ideas and apply them for contemporary living.
17. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Christian Sunday Agama Symbolism and Social Order among the Igbo
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In this essay, I argue that though symbolism performs many roles in different cultures, it has a uniquely moral one in Igbo land. That unique role which symbolism performs in the pristine communalistic Igbo society concerns the regulation of human freedoms and actions in order to maintain social order. But is this something that can be sustained in a modern Igbo society that is more individualistic than communalistic? This paper is of the view that through the proper maintenance of such symbolism: social control between individuals and groups shall be more coordinated in the contemporary Igbo world; regulate and checkmate the Igbo moral consciousness of oneness; control some cultural maladjustment and bring more about social unity in Igbo land.
18. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Anthony Chimankpam Ojimba, Ada Agada Nietzsche’s Idea of Eternal Recurrence and the Notions of Reincarnation in Onyewuenyi and Majeed
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This paper examines Nietzsche’s idea of eternal recurrence and the notions of reincarnation in Onyewuenyi and Majeed with a view to showing how convergence and divergence of thought in the Nietzschean, Onyewuenyean and Majeedean philosophy contexts can inform cross-cultural philosophizing. Nietzsche’s idea of eternal recurrence represents his deep thought, which claims that every aspect of life returns innumerable times, in an identical fashion. On the other hand, Onyewuenyi posits that reincarnation is un-African as he conceives it as the theory that when the soul separates from the body, at death, it informs another body for another span of life, while Majeed sees evidence of the African rootedness of the belief in reincarnation, based on his study of the Akan people of Ghana and concedes that the belief, itself, is irrational, since there is no scientific or empirical basis for it. Attempts are made to highlight the dynamics of Nietzsche’s idea of eternal recurrence and to articulate the essential ingredients of Onyewuenyean and Majeedean conceptions of reincarnation. These forms of thought will be examined critically to exhibit their convergence and divergence in the context of cross-cultural philosophizing.
19. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Cyril-Mary Pius Olatunji, Mojalefa Lj Koenane Qualified Objection to Ani’s Qualified Acceptance of Wiredu’s Notion of Consensus Democracy in Africa
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This essay offers a critical review of Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ani’s article ‘On agreed action without agreed notions.’ Ani’s paper makes a critique of Kwasi Wiredu’s consensual democracy to the conclusion that though desirable, left the way it is, the model of consensus on which the idea of Wiredu’s non-party democracy was founded is itself admirable but defective and, therefore, calls for further enhancements. While not suggesting that Wiredu’s idea is perfect, this paper provides some objections to Ani’s view without necessarily aiming to make an apologetic defence of Wiredu. In the process, this paper, employing a critical conversation method, examines the most salient criticisms of Ani against Wiredu to the conclusion that Ani’s suggestion, by which he has opened up a new horizon in understanding human nature and assisting in making scholarly post-deliberation analysis, is impracticable. That is, it is still practically incapable of necessarily impacting any significant value to the process involved in attaining consensus itself.
20. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Al Chukwuma Okoli The Phenomenon of Skolombo in Calabar and the Challenge of Urban Subalternism
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This paper examines the phenomenon of Skolombo in Calabar (Nigeria) in relation to the challenge of urban subalternism in that context. This is against the backdrop of the evolution of the Skolombo into a rising urban subaltern category involved in the underworld and ant-social activities. By means of exploratory and conversational discourse that relies on extant literature as well as insights from personal communications, the paper posits that Skolombo phenomenon represents an existential struggle by abandoned and rejected street children who are surviving against structural societal victimization. Away from home, these children have found the streets, not only an inevitable abode but also a space for opportunistic survival. Over the years, they have evolved a pattern of street living characterized, among other things, by restiveness, touting, gangsterism, and criminality. Associated with this pattern of existence is an emerging subaltern identity that highlights a crisis of urbanity in Calabar metropolis of Nigeria.