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Filosofia Theoretica

Volume 8
Special Issue on Inclusive Development: Africa and Asia

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Displaying: 1-20 of 31 documents


1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Pascah Mungwini The critique of Ethnophilosophy in the Mapping and Trajectory of African Philosophy
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By ignoring the history of thinking in other traditions around the world, philosophy established itself as a narrow tradition, and in the name of reason, according to Bernasconi, it constituted itself as a narrative shaped largely by exclusions. Similar exclusionary tendencies have also permeated the field of African philosophy. In an effort to legitimise and indeed consolidate their discipline, a generation of academic philosophers in Africa have attempted to establish the boundaries of African philosophy with significant consequences on its meaning and future development. Their effort is credited with putting African philosophy on the world map. However, by aligning the practice of African philosophy to a particular conceptualisation of the enterprise, what was meant to serve as the springboard for intellectual freedom, including the liberation of thought and imagination in Africa became restrictive if not intolerant or repressive in its outlook. In this essay, I wish to assess the impact of the critique of ethnophilosophy on the growth and expression of African philosophy as an autonomous discipline. In doing so reference will be made to what Mudimbe has called ‘the bible of anti-ethnophilosophers.’
2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Joseph N. Agbo Against the Political and Moral Conception of Globalization
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Is globalization a product or a process? This paper is given a foundation by a worry and a fillip by a desire. The worry is the obvious unphilosophical grasp of the phenomenon of globalization that led to it being engaged in political and moral terms. The desire is to release globalization from its conception as a product, packaged and exported by some people or some cultures in order to continue an agenda of domination. The paper argues that globalization is a process brought about by inevitable interaction and that blaming or praising any person for being part of it, is sheer misunderstanding. That the process of globalization generates certain states within our world does not justify the conclusion by some analysts that these are created into finished, exportable products. It further posits that we need to literally and literarily depersonalize globalization if we will not continue to dissipate energy in an attempt to pull the rug that we not only laid and are standing on, but one we cannot but stand on. The paper equally debunks the link of slavery, colonialism and imperialism with globalization especially within the African context; and concludes by arguing that the reason for the politicization and ideologization of the concept of globalization is because of weakness (in participation) and fear (by African rulers) that their maladministration will continually be exposed to the global community.
3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Emmanuel Ofuasia Between Fiction and Fact: Further Reflections on Jonathan Chimakonam’s Critique of Kwesi Tsri on Blackness and Race
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In his [Africans are not Black: The Case for Conceptual Liberation], Kwesi Tsri relies extensively on myths and non-fictional narratives to dictate the origin of the racial disparagement of Afro-Americans and Africans from south of the Sahara. Owing to the synonymy between ‘black’ and ‘Africa(n)’ as well as the derogatory symbolism in the former that fuels the latter, Tsri submits the need to disassociate Africans from the concept, ‘black.’ Upon a critical conversation with Tsri’s text however, Chimakonam discerns three flaws. Granted, the objections are salient, I augment herein, one of Chimakonam’s critiques – the exclusion by Tsri, of non-fictional or scientific texts on the race discourse. Whereas I agree with Chimakonam that both the fictional and non-fictional accounts on race are pertinent for intellectual balance in Tsri’s disquisition, I further suggest that in most cases, non-fictional or scientific theories on race are undergirded by the prejudice initiated by mythical and/or fictional narratives. I substantiate my thesis, relying on Karl Popper’s evolutionary epistemology, with 21st century science admission that human genetic diversity cannot be captured by scientific theories of race.
4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Olukayode A. Faleye Irregular Migration and the EU-External Border Policy in Africa: Historical and Philosophical Insights
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This paper advances a historical and philosophical explanation of the dynamics of irregular migration and the EU-external border policy in Africa. The refugee crisis in Europe has led to tougher security measures, including the EU’s externalization of its boundaries to transit countries with serious implication for human security and regional stability in Africa. In re-assessing the foundation of international migration policies through historical and philosophical lenses, this work brings to the fore the internal contradictions in EU-external border policy in Africa. Whereas migration studies have drawn insights from political and applied moral philosophy, this approach is rare in the debate on irregular migration and informal transborder flows between the EU and Africa. The article particularly unveils the inter-relational complexity between globalization, migration, human rights and development. The approach is qualitative based on the critical analysis of ethnographic survey, government documents, mass media reports and existing literature. Underpinned by the philosophical tenets of the Hobbesian “collective right” and Lockean concept of “inalienable” human rights, as well as the discourse on the “priority thesis”, it concludes that the resolution of the migration dilemma lies in the ethical modification of the immigration laws in line with the universal notion of democratic values, the rule of law, human rights and the reality of global inter-connectivity.
5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
SimonMary Asese Aihiokhai Making a Case for an Economic Alternative for our Globalized World: Insights from the Margins
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Economic inequality is a pressing issue that the global community must address in an urgent and detailed manner if global peace is to be sustained. This paper makes the claim that viable alternative solutions to global economic inequality can be found outside the boundaries of western capitalism. This claim is defended via three movements: first, a critique of Christian teachings on the common good is presented as a pathway to this economic alternative. Second, insights from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that call for strategic solidarity to help undo structures of inequality in our world are appropriated. Third, a cultural and philosophical notion of what it means to be human in African thought is presented as a means for justifying the relevance of the African ethic of Ubuntu as a global economic alternative; one that grounds cosmic flourishing in a vision and praxis of relationality and shared identity for all.
6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Diana Ekor Ofana Rethinking the Problem of Gender-Based Violence in South Africa: A Conversational Perspective
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This paper argues for an understanding of the problem of gender-based violence, specifically, the problem of rape that is not only based on sociological and psychological factors but also based on morality. This is premised on the fact that research on the problem of rape in South Africa points to different causes other than morality. I contend that besides social and psychological factors; rape should also be analyzed as a problem of moral failings. Hence, I explain the importance of reawakening an individual moral consciousness through self-conversation. I tap into conversational thinking to show that another veritable way of addressing the problem of rape as a strand of gender-based violence would be a mechanism of ‘self-conversation’ which involves a strategy of helping the rapist rethink, and unlearn the consciousness that encourages rape in South Africa.
7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Erasmus Masitera Traditional Communal Understanding of Crime and the Role of Social Therapy: Ideas from African Philosophy
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In this essay, I challenge the contemporary social practice of conceptualizing crime as solely an individual’s fault and one’s responsibility. The individuation of the person is highly impersonal, causes fragmentation, marginalisation of the individual, and the destruction of the traditional practice of considering an individual as an integral part of the society. In contrast to this perspective, I make a case for a communal correctional system that is based on a traditional African social therapeutic system. This is a system that considers crime as causing ontological disorder or disharmony especially in communities that are communitarian in nature, and which considers all crimes as disrupting communal harmony. Furthermore, I argue that correcting wrongdoing is also an opportunity for communities to introspect themselves, i.e. reconsider existing practices and views for the community’s benefit and that of a faltering individual. My focus in this essay is on revealing African understanding of crime and correcting it as a plausible alternative to the existing western correcting system.
8. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Chukwueloka S. Uduagwu Interrogating the Relationship between Language and Thought Versus Individual and Community: A Conversation with Agada and Egbai
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In this short essay, I will converse with Ada Agada and Uti Egbai on their article titled “Language, Thought, and Interpersonal Communication: A Cross-Cultural Conversation on the Question of Individuality and Community,” published in [Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Religions and Culture Vol 7, No 2, 141 -161, 2018]. I will articulate the major contributions of the authors and critically engage their ideas in order to open new vistas for thought. I contend that the relationship that exists between language and thought is like the relationship that exists between individual and community in the debate of personhood in African philosophy. This relationship is what I call “arumaristic relationship”.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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
19. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Ada Agada A Philosopher’s Interrogation of Outworn Cultural Beliefs about Albinism
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20. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Ebunoluwa Olufemi Oduwole A Review of the Reflections on Yoruba Metaphysics and Jurisprudence
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