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Displaying: 1-20 of 152 documents


1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Thaddeus Metz Pursuing Knowledge for its own Sake amidst a World of Poverty: Reconsidering Balogun on Philosophy’s Relevance
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In this article I critically discuss Professor Oladele Abiodun Balogun’s reflections on the proper final ends of doing philosophy and related sorts of abstract, speculative, or theoretical inquiry. Professor Balogun appears to argue that one should undertake philosophical studies only insofar as they are likely to make a practical difference to people’s lives, particularly by contributing to politico-economic development, or, in other words, that one should eschew seeking knowledge for its own sake. However, there is one line of thought from Professor Balogun, about philosophy being able to make life meaningful, that I argue ultimately––perhaps contrary to his intentions––entails that it can be appropriate to some degree to pursue philosophy that is unlikely to ameliorate poverty and similar social ills. My central aims in this article are to identify Professor Balogun’s strongest argument against pursuing any knowledge for its own sake and to argue that an appeal to meaningfulness constitutes a strong, competing reason to seek out some of it.
2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Oladele Abiodun Balogun Between Theory and Praxis: Reply to Thaddeus Metz
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In a Guest Lecture delivered by Professor Thaddeus Metz at a Colloquium organized in honour of my 50th birthday, he critically interrogated various aspects of my African philosophical scholarship with a particular focus on what I consider as the task of an African philosopher in the twenty-first century. Drawing on the existential and social problems in contemporary Africa (such as poverty, corruption, leadership problem, ethno-religious crisis, terrorism, refugee crisis, women’s right, amongst others), I have argued that African philosophy should be tailored towards ameliorating these problems as a way of making life meaningful. Metz’s striking criticism is that doing philosophy that does not necessary address existential and socio-political problems in Africa is worth taking seriously in African philosophy. He adds that the very idea of “meaningfulness constitutes a strong, competing reason,” to do philosophy for its own sake. In this article, I reply Metz, contending that his critique only differs in degree from the position I earlier defended but not in kind regarding the connection between theory and praxis. While we both agree on the imperativeness of theorizing in African philosophy, I argue further that African philosophy should go beyond this to solve the practical issues relevant to the advancement of humanity and the society.
3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Chukwueloka S. Uduagwu How Relevant is African Philosophy in Africa?: A Conversation with Oladele Balogun
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In this short piece, I re-visit Oladele Balogun’s thesis that African philosophy, in social terms, can be relevant in Africa. I argue that in theorizing only on the social relevance of philosophy in Africa, Balogun fails to do justice to the entire breath of possible practical value which African philosophy can offer to the continent. To show this, I shall converse with Balogun on his idea of social relevance by exposing its strength and weakness. For Balogun, it is in the social aspect of African philosophy such as questioning the belief of a given society in order to change their habit of thought, criticizing their ideology and cultural values etc., that African philosophy’s relevance in Africa can be found. However, I contend that this does not fully capture other areas of African philosophy’s relevance such as the epistemic, ethical and spiritual relevance.
4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Babajide Olugbenga Dasaolu Ideology and Oladele Balogun’s Perspective on Parenthood and the ‘Educated Person’
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Enormous but undue accentuation has been given to the acquisition of certificates and degrees over competence in Africa. Not only does this expand the gulf between thought and praxis, it also implies the compromised course of knowledge production and reproduction in Africa. As a result of the vegetative and epileptic nature of the development agenda in Africa, there has been as many theories as there are scholars who are seeking theoretical solutions but with almost nothing tangible. Oladele Balogun has shown intellectual concerns over this too but with a plausible panacea. Taking traditional Yoruba culture as his cue, Balogun sees a connection between ‘parenthood’ and traditional Yoruba perception of the ‘educated person’ as crucial elements for human development drive in Africa. While I concede that these in themselves are necessary, I contest their sufficiency. Hence, I add a third category – Ideology.
5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Olatunji A. Oyeshile, Omotayo A. Oladebo Philosophy as Sophia and Phronēsis: Interrogating Oladele Balogun’s Contribution to African Philosophy
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Philosophy, going by its historical trajectory emerged from a thorough-going quest for understanding the world. This ‘understanding’ is held, on the one hand, as an end in itself and, on the other hand, as a further means to manipulating the ‘other,’ object-world, to the ‘self’ or the subject-inquirer’s, upliftment/development. In this chapter, this dichotomy is revisited. We take a terse look at Balogun’s oeuvre in African philosophy, which essentially exemplifies the preceding dichotomy. Balogun, from our analysis, sought ingenious approaches to bridging the sharp divide between the advocates of pure-theoretical philosophy—Sophia—and praxis-oriented philosophy—Phronēsis. We employ Balogun’s contributions to social-ordering, statecrafting, culture and development as the base for our intervention and go on to argue that his ideas can be strengthened through a culture of activism and education. The African philosopher, we contend, should play a more serious role in the public-sphere. Our approach is conversational in style. We submit that philosophy must move beyond analyses to including making practicable interventions on issues of existence. The context of our inquiry is the traditional Yoruba thought system as it is implicated in the Nigerian state. Keywords: Traditional African Philosophy, Oladele Balogun, African development, Yoruba thought system, Sophia and Phronēsis.
6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Emmanuel Ofuasia Unveiling Ezumezu Logic as a Framework for Process Ontology and Yorùbá Ontology
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Ezumezu, a prototype African logic, developed by Jonathan Chimakonam as a framework which mediates thought, theory and method in the African place, is according to him, extendable and applicable in places non-African too. This seems to underscore the universal character of the logic. I interrogate, in this piece, the logic to see if it truly mediates thought, theory and method in Yorùbá ontology (African) on the one hand, and process ontology (non-African) on the other hand. Through critical analysis, I discern that each of these thought systems operate beyond the principles of classical logic and this is one of the factors that have vitiated their appreciation and comprehension. Upon critical reflection, however, these thought systems seem to follow the principles of Ezumezu logic hence my aim – to disclose how the logic undergirds theory and method for each of those systems.
7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Amara Esther Ani The Methodological Significance of Chimakonam’s Ezumezu Logic
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In this short piece, I argue that Chimakonam’s Ezumezu logic bears methodological significance for African scholarship as a whole. If method rests on logic, and method accounts for the distinction of one knowledge output from another, then the formulation of a system of logic which can creditably be described as African, even if simply in cultural inspiration, would provide for methodological liberation of African scholarship trapped in western knowledge hegemony since colonial times. First, I discuss in simple terms the theory of Ezumezu logic before showing its methodological significance.
8. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Gabriel Kafure da Rocha Hountondji And Bachelard: Pluralism as a Methodological and Phenomenological Concept in Approaching the Cultural Knowledge of Africa
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This paper explores convergences and divergences in the thoughts of Gaston Bachelard and Paulin Hountondji and their notions of rational pluralism and true pluralism, respectively. There is a problematic in which for Bachelard rational pluralism can be comprehended as the various epistemological profiles to understand a scientific phenomenon, as well as the coherence that such theories have among themselves, while Huontondji is concerned with criticizing a collective ethnological view of philosophy and considers that the true pluralism is precisely the capacity of philosophical singularities that appropriate the history of philosophy. Using Hountondji's criticism to exemplify the pluralism in African philosophy, his references to Bachelard in [African philosophy - Myth and reality], and other texts, we hope to get a better understanding of the rupture between ‘developments’ and ‘new involvements’ that reconstruct the old knowledge synthesized out of old philosophical perspectives. Here, I look for transversal dialogues among the few references to Bachelard in Hountondji's philosophy to find new possibilities for dialogue and engagement from an African phenomenology perspective. Thus, we study links between European and African thought, so presenting a new perspective on studies of Bachelardian philosophy itself.
9. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Elvis Imafidon, Bernard Matolino, Lucky Uchenna Ogbonnaya, Ada Agada, Aribiah David Attoe Are we Finished with the Ethnophilosophy Debate?: A Multi-Perspective Conversation
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In line with the tradition of the Conversational School of Philosophy, this essay provides a rare and unique space of discourse for the authors to converse about the place of the ‘ethno’ in African philosophy. This conversation is a revisit, a renewal of the key positions that have coloured the ethnophilosophy debate by the conversers who themselves are notable contributors to arguments for and against the importance of ethnophilosophy in the unfolding of African philosophy particularly in the last decade or so. There are four key positions that have been argued for in the pages of this paper: (1) ethnophilosophy is not African philosophy and it is useless and inimical to the growth of African philosophy and should thus be jettisoned – Matolino; (2) ethnophilosophy is the foundation for African philosophy as it provides the raw materials for African philosophical discourse – Ogbonnaya and Agada; (3) ethnophilosophy has some value for African philosophy but it is definitely not the foundation for genuine African philosophy the way criticism and rigours are – Attoe; and (4) ethnophilosophy can be adequately conceived as African philosophy particularly in terms of its etymology as culture or race philosophy, dealing with a philosophical or critical reflections on, and exposition of, immanent principles in African thought – Mangena and Etieyibo. These conversers provide good arguments for the positions they hold, arguments that are of course, open for further interrogation. Two points can be concluded from the ethnophilosophy debate provided in this essay: (1) the disparities in views among conversers it seems, stem ultimately from the understanding of ethnophilosophy that each converser holds, which varies from the notion of a method used at some point in the history of African philosophy, to an etymological understanding as culture philosophy; and (2) the debate about ethnophilosophy in the spirit of any philosophical tradition remains a perennial one that is yet to be concluded. This essay certainly concretises what is on ground and paves the way for further discussions.
10. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Hasskei Majeed, Mogobe Ramose Reincarnation, resurrection and the question of representation
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This article discusses critically the problems and significance of the concepts of reincarnation and the resurrection. It focuses on the contemporary debate on this topic between Robert Almeder and Stephen Hales. The Akan understanding of these concepts is invoked showing the contrast and,even comparison between the African and the Western understanding of the concepts. It is suggested in this article that the arguments for these concepts could still be ameliorated. This point is taken up by Ramose’s focus on the issues that arise from the critical discussion. Ramose points out that the concept of immortality requires a special place in the discussion since it is the axis around which both reincarnation and resurrection revolve. He complements the discussion accordingly. He further argues that the topic is as relevant today as it was since the dawn of humankind. Any attempt to exclude or discard the topic from philosophy is both questionable and an arbitrary limitation of the scope and meaning of philosophy.
book reviews
11. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Ada Agada A Philosopher’s Interrogation of Outworn Cultural Beliefs about Albinism
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12. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Ebunoluwa Olufemi Oduwole A Review of the Reflections on Yoruba Metaphysics and Jurisprudence
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editorial
13. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Muk-Yan Wong Inclusive Development, an Afro-Asian Perspective
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14. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Maduka Enyimba Sustainable-Inclusive Development through Conversational Thinking: Sustainable-Inclusive Development through Conversational Thinking: The Case for Africa – China Relations
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My aim in this paper is to show the necessity and possibility of implementing inclusive development that is sustainable in Africa-China relations using theConversational technique. I contend that the foremost challenges facing inclusive and sustainable developments are the dearth of constructive and balancedrelationships. If a programme of development is constructive, that is, takes into consideration every relevant variable and practicable measure, it would besustainable; and if it is balanced, that is, being fair to all groups, it would be inclusive. Michelle and Paula (2012) have proposed that inclusive development ispossible through a community-based strategy. This approach is bedeviled with difficulties which conversational thinking overcomes. Conversational thinking is anew approach in philosophical cogitation developed from the African place, but universally relevant. Its significance lies in the fact that it recognises the relevanceof contending variables in a given project, and creates room for their creative engagement that opens new vistas for thought, concepts and interactions.Conversational thinking prioritises relationships that exist among development variables or groups designated as either nwansa (out-group) or nwanju (in-group)and purveys strategies for making such relationships constructive and balanced. In highlighting the importance of cultivating constructive and balanced relationships and sustaining the same, I appeal to conversational philosophy as the needed pathway for the implementation of the ideals of sustainable-inclusive development in Africa-China relations. My methods will be expository, prescriptive and analytic.
15. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Samuel C. Y. Ku, Yuan-Ming Chiao Inclusiveness Matters: The Development of Ethno-Politics in Malaysia
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Malaysian voters made a historical decision in May 2018, ushering in what observers termed a “Malay political tsunami” by displacing the UMNO government’s decades-long rule. This paper argues that the spirit of inclusiveness played a crucial role in the first transition of power in Malaysia. Moreover, the inclusive representation of major ethnic groups in the multi-racial state by the winning Alliance Hope coalition was a key factor leading to the transition. This paper also examines the political development in Malaysia, from the beginning of inclusive politics in the early stage of its independence, to the decline of inclusiveness from the 1970s to 1990s, to the collapse of the inclusive politics since 2008 when the DAP (the Chinese opposition party) produced a major victory over the MCA (the Chinese party in the ruling UMNO government) in the May 2008 elections. Finally, this paper also explores the challenges of the new ruling Alliance Hope in Malaysia.
16. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Fainos Mangena Discoursing Inclusive Development and Governance in Zimbabwe: Pragmatizing Hunhu/ Ubuntu Philosophy
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In this paper, I reflect on whether the new Zimbabwe government under the presidency of Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has the capacity to arrest thedevelopmental challenges facing the country in order to bring about inclusive development which will see the needs of the marginalized or excluded groups suchas the poor, women, children, the elderly and people living with disabilities beingaddressed. I argue that two of the biggest problems bedeviling Zimbabwe todayare chronic poverty and disease, which are a legacy of the Zimbabwe governmentled by ousted former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe. I contend that Mugabe’s government failed to manage its politics, which, in turn, resulted in the decline of Zimbabwe’s economy in the last two decades leading to high unemployment, hyperinflation, brain drain, cash crisis and the outbreak of diseases among a host of problems. My claim is that the effects of the problems listed above are still being felt today. I submit that although the philosophy of hunhu/ubuntu became endangered during Mugabe’s reign, it can still be deployed in the new dispensation to bring about inclusive development by coming up with policies that will attract investors through improving relations with the developed world as well as dealing with the problem of corruption.
17. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Muk-Yan Wong Revisiting the Relationship between Economic Growth and Inclusive Development
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In Hong Kong, which is one of the highest GDP per capita cities in the world, the problem of poverty, particularly the housing of the poor, has been exacerbated as economic development has progressed. The received neocapitalistic view is that such poverty is an inevitable price for the economic growth which will eventually benefit everyone. In this essay, I criticize such view by examining how non-inclusive economic development in the past created barriers to inclusive economic development today. Through a comprehensive analysis of the housing problem in Hong Kong, I argue that these barriers, including not only physical constraints such as ownership and the lease of lands, housing prices and public housing policies, but also an ideological constraint adopted and advocated by the rich that regards poverty as a consequence of personal laziness and stupidity rather than a failure of the government, render the promise of the neo-capitalistic equality between rich and poor very difficult if not impossible to attain. I conclude that real equality can be attained only if we regard inclusive development as a necessary component of development from the beginning rather than a remedy for noninclusive development.
18. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Pius M. Mosima Inclusive Development: Some Perspectives from African Communitarian Philosophy
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In this paper, I argue that traditional African communitarian values such as togetherness, mutual cooperation and solidarity are more consistent with the socialstructure and the political organization of many traditional societies in Africa and could be a veritable framework for implementing a program of inclusivedevelopment. I establish that African communitarian values take into consideration the contributions of all stakeholders, including the poor, vulnerable, and the marginalized in a bid to address development issues. I also provide strong reasons for implementing communitarian strategies of togetherness, solidarity andmutual cooperation which support mutual interdependence and could promote inclusive development in Africa. I draw examples from traditional African ethicwith communitarian values salient among small self-governing communities, and reflect on the ethic / politics of consensus in light of important developmentalchallenges facing the world today. I draw the conclusion that a critical and creative reevaluation of the communitarian values may help Africans and the rest of humanity in meeting the challenges of inclusive development.
19. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Mhadeno Y. Humtsoe, Hilaria M. Soundari Inclusive Development of Naga Tribes in Nagaland: Strategy for Sustainability
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Naga Tribal communities residing in rural Nagaland are deprived of access to adequate health care services, livelihood opportunities, road connectivity,sanitation and education. About 71.14 percent (Census, 2011) of Naga Tribes inhabit rural areas; most of these tribal communities are engaged in agricultureand allied activities for livelihood. The absence of adequate road network suitable for all weather, public transportation system, and high cost oftransportation fares hinder the mobility of the tribal communities in the rural areas. The confinement of development to the urban areas has led to interdistrictdisparities and dearth of basic facilities in the rural communities. This study intends to portray the socio-economic status of the Naga Tribal communities in rural areas. The study will identify infrastructural challenges of the Naga tribal communities. Descriptive Research Design have been adopted and the study includes only secondary data. The Survey method was used in the analysis of the collected secondary data. The implementation of inclusive development has become an urgent need, in order to provide basic infrastructures with equity to the Naga tribal community in rural Nagaland. The study will show how achieving inclusive development can contribute to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the national and globallevel.
20. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Mojalefa Lehlohonolo Koenane Economic Development in Africa through the Stokvel System: ‘Our’ Indigenous way or ‘Theirs’
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Underdevelopment increases unemployment, which further worsens poverty levels among people in rural communities and inequality in the country at large. Atpresent, government financial institutions are failing to reach rural communities which they are meant to develop. The inability of such communities to accesscapital from formal financial institutions drives them to devise alternative means through which they can survive and improve their livelihoods. Stokvels areeffective self-help economic development strategies in rural South Africa which do not depend on external forces but rely totally on the determination of membersof the community to improve their lives themselves. The creation of self-help projects such as stokvels are founded on the principle of ubuntu, which goesbeyond the enrichment of the individual. Stokvels constitute an ethical framework that could improve the economic distribution in modern-day society. Adoptingindigenous African ways of dealing with African problems could therefore prove an effective tool for helping to alleviate poverty in rural areas.