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Filosofia Theoretica

Volume 9, Issue 1, January/April 2020

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Displaying: 1-7 of 7 documents

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.