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1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
JO Chimakonam Editorial
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2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
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12. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Andrew Akpan Consensus as Democracy in Africa
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13. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Aribiah David Attoe Communal Dictatorships, Sexual Orientations and Perverse Labelling in Modern Africa
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Most Africans are generally in sync in their communal rejection of certain perceived moral threats – in this case, allegedly ‘unnatural’ sexual orientations – as immoral and un-African. It is the truthfulness of these assumptions that I seek to question. Thus, in this essay, I question the assumption that non-heterosexuality is immoral and un-African. To do this, I attempt to isolate the traditional African outlook on alleged ‘unnatural’ sexual orientations, the communal drive towards this outlook and the implications of both for individual freedom. Specifically, I introduce what I call communal dictatorships as the driving force behind the labels usually placed on nonconformal attitudes regarding sexual behaviours and orientations. I also examine what that means for the individual and whether such labelling is philosophically justified. I shall employ the conversational method of African philosophy as the methodology of this essay.
14. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Ada Agada The Idoma Concept of Ihotu (Love)
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The notion of love is one of the fascinating concepts available to humans. Love is perhaps the most powerful emotion a human being can experience. Love is immediately recognized as a feeling. It is only after observing human conduct that it dawns on us that there is a rational dimension of love. In this paper I will discuss the Idoma-African concept of ihotu, or love. Since the very idea of an Idoma philosophy of love is an entirely novel idea, with no prior identifiable research in this field, I will rely heavily on my knowledge of Idoma culture and conversations with Ihonde Ameh of Ochobo community who has an in-depth knowledge of Idoma value-system. I will proceed to show how the consolationist theory of love is a systematization of the basic ethnophilosophical data supplied by Idoma traditional thought. With consolation philosophy transcending the basic intuition of the African collective, in this particular case the Idoma of Central Nigeria, I will argue for the rationality of love by pointing out its indispensability in the formation and expression of what we consider right or moral behaviour. I will argue that a greater part of the conduct we approve of as ethical is founded on our emotional experience and that this emotional experience is to a large extent determined by the urgings of pity or empathy. I will attempt to exhibit the philosophical grounds of empathy from the African perspective of consolationism and, in the process, delve into philosophical psychology from the African place. In achieving these objectives, I will have recourse to the metaphysics and epistemology of love from the consolationist perspective. The methodology adopted here is the analytical, conversational, and evaluative methodology.
15. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Martin F. Asiegbu, Anthony Chinaemerem Ajah The Community and the Individual: Revisiting the Relevance of Afro-Communalism
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Afro-communalism has been largely conceptualized as a system in which individuals attain meaningfulness from the point of view of the community. We assess the implications of Afro-communalism on the individual’s rights. With particular focus on the transformative values of non-conformist features of individualism, this paper shows how Afro-communalism’s emphasis on the community is counter-productive. Our approach goes beyond the argument that Afro-communalism stifles the autonomy of the individual. Instead, we demonstrate how the community’s conformist expectations from the individual within the Afro-communalist system, sets the community against the individual and against itself. We draw the conclusion that Afro-communalism as a project is no longer relevant and needs to end. We do this by showing how most of the (re)interpretations of Afro-communalism are attempts to sustain a reductive contrast between the West and Africa. We also show how that contrast exaggerates the idea of community in Africa, to the detriment of a balance between the individual’s right and her duties to the community.
16. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Ruslan V. Dmitriev, Stanislav A. Gorokhov, Ivan A. Zakharov Spatial Expansion of Islamic Extremism in the Lake Chad Basin: Current Situation and Prospective Directions
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The article discusses the expansion of the Islamic extremist groups (especially Boko Haram) in the Lake Chad basin countries. The geopolitical zones and states of Nigeria, regions of Niger and Cameroon, macro-regions of Chad were selected as the territorial range. The religious affiliation data has been compiled from the DHS-database. Income levels and literacy rates were evaluated indirectly using body mass index and the degree of age-heaping (modified Whipple's index), respectively. A hierarchical cluster analysis, has allowed us to categorize the territorial-administrative units into four groups by the probability of new Islamic extremist groups appearing there. The article clearly shows that Boko Haram may expand in the Western and North-Western directions. Meanwhile, the new cells are more likely to form inside Nigeria than outside it. Thus, in the near future, the expansion of Islamic extremist organizations in the Lake Chad basin countries will occur at the local level.
17. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Marie Pauline Eboh Public Reason and Embodied Community-Intercultural Philosophical Perspective: An African Approach
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Every human person is a cultural being. Each culture has incomplete knowledge of reality, and the sharing of viewpoints makes for mutual enrichment, hence the need for intercultural perspectives. Even in a human being, body and spirit, emotion and reason reciprocally influence on each other. Life is dialogical. Action gives flesh to theory, and the abstract reason is exemplified in real things, which is what embodiment of reason is all about. Principles govern all things and public reason, as a causal principle, regulates the affairs of embodied homogeneous communities. African embodiment of reason is self-evident in names and allegories wherein rational thoughts and ideas are personified the way sentient robots embody or personify Artificial Intelligence (AI). In this treatise, we shall use allegory, nomenclature, traditional songs, apophthegms, etc., to show how Africans wisely incarnate ideas in things. As it is analogous to modern-day AI, we shall not only highlight the African approach to public reason and embodied community but also tangentially discuss the effect of AI on the global community, of which Africa is a subunit. In conclusion, we shall caution against the empowering of robots with logical reasoning, and the disempowering and denaturalizing of humans.
18. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Ovett Nwosimiri Ifá Divination System as an Embodiment of both the Internalist and Externalist bases of Justification in African Epistemology
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An essential part of the concept of knowledge is the belief that the basic premises for knowledge must be justified. This means that for a knowledge claim to be true, there is a need for its justification. In African epistemology, the justification of beliefs and epistemic claims has mostly been considered from an externalist perspective such that justification appears to be one dimensional. Since epistemic claims can be justified using either the internalist or externalist perspective, this paper aims at showing that there are internalism and externalism in African epistemology and that Ifá divination system embodies both the internalist and externalist basis of justification in African epistemology.
19. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Anthony Uzochukwu Ufearoh COVID -19 Pandemic as an Existential Problem: An African Perspective
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The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease and the efforts to contain the raging pandemic raise not only health, but also existential concerns. The present work sets out to examine how the pandemic impacts on the African socio-cultural life. The approach is analytical, phenomenological and above all conversational. For the African, the pandemic has two-pronged, positive and negative existential implications. On the one hand, the search for a possible cure and a vaccine for the novel coronavirus disease, when interpreted from the anthropological point of view, present an opportunity for cultural creativity in the areas of medicine and therapeutics. African traditional medicine as a cultural element is, here, referenced. On the other hand, it is discovered that the isolationist tendency of the pandemic, aggravated by another ‘virus of disinformation’ --- an infodemics, threatens the social relations within the African world that is largely interdependent. The work argues that a fruitful utilization of the good cultural traits the pandemic brings can serve to boost the African self-confidence and cultural pride. The positive cultural traits that trail the pandemic can be absorbed to enrich the African culture whereas the negative traits should be jettisoned.