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editorial
1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Editorial
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2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Babalola Joseph Balogun Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights: The Yoruba Example
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Some foundations have been provided for the social validity of human rights in Western philosophical literature. Some African scholars have also sought to ground the notion of human rights within the traditional African cultural beliefs and practices. There is, however, a dearth in literature on the Yoruba notion of human rights. Perhaps this may be due to scholars’ attitude that any talk about human rights is incompatible with the communalistic social structure of the Yoruba. The present paper challenges this prevalent attitude by providing some philosophical foundations for human rights within the limits permitted by the Yoruba world-view. The paper attempts a theoretical reconciliation between the Yoruba claim to communitarianism and the possibility of human rights.The paper concludes that, in spite of the seemingly antinomic relation they bear to each other, the idea of human rights is neither practically meaningless/unintelligible in a communitarian society, nor is it conceptually incompatible with the communitarian ideology.
3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Simon Mary Asese Aihiokhai An African Ethic of Hospitality for the Global Church: A Response to the Culture of Exploitation and Violence in Africa
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Barely seventeen years into the twenty-first century, our world continues to be plagued by endless wars and violence. Africa is not immune from these crises. As many countries in Africa celebrate more than fifty years of independence from colonial rule, Africa is still the poorest continent in the world. Religious wars, genocides, ethnic and tribal cleansings have come to define the continent’s contemporary history. Corruption, nepotism, dictatorship, disregard for human life,tribalism, and many social vices are normalized realities in many parts of the continent. Rather than despair, a radical refocusing on Africa’s rich history of hospitality that affirms the flourishing of all life ought to be embraced. This article aims to do exactly this by exploring Africa’s role and place in the history of three Abrahamic religions; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. While celebrating Africa’s unique role as the gateway for the realization of divine hospitality, this article aims to serve as a witness to an ethic of life that is relevant for the global church’s vision and mission to a pluralistic world and for the mission of the churches of Africa to addressing the social, cultural, and political crises faced by the continent. To achieve these, this work appropriates a comparative theological method that sheds light on the centrality of Africa in these three Abrahamic religions with a bias for the flourishing of life.
4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
J. Chidozie Chukwuokolo Methodological Anarchism or Pluralism? An Afro-Constructivist Perspective on Paul Feyerabend’s Critique of Science
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In this article, I argue that methodological pluralism is not identical with methodological anarchism. While the former connotes the existence of different methods that could be legitimately employed in different disciplines or contexts, the latter tends to suggest the non-existence of any legitimate method at all. Consequently, I contend that Afroconstructivism, a recent development in African philosophy supports methodological pluralism but repudiates methodological anarchism. The corollary of this is a critical re-evaluation of Paul Feyerabend’s critique of method. My basic argument is that the epistemological framework ofAfro-constructivism accepts Feyerabend’s repudiation of the hegemonic imposition of the method of modern science as valid. However, I argue that an Afro-constructivist interpretation of Feyerabend’s critique gives credence to methodological pluralism as against methodological anarchism. I buttress this position using the methods of logical analysis and argumentation. I begin with an analysis of the question of method, Feyerabend’s critique of method and Afro-constructivism,and then proceed to examine the merit of Feyerabend’s critique from the perspective of Afro-constructivism. At the end, I submit that the logicalproduct of Feyerabend’s critique of method is methodological pluralism.
5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Ojah Uti Egbai Questioning the Group-Based Approach to Social Equality in the Post Apartheid South Africa
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In this paper, I investigate whether the pursuit of group-based social equality should constitute a political goal or not. I explain that social equality refers to the mechanism for horizontal presentation of opportunities to individuals in a given society to express their abilities. It could also mean the right to vie, contest, compete or take advantage of certain opportunities or even to the freedom to pursue or obtain certain opportunities among free citizens in any society. I argue that the position of the mainstream European South African population seems to be that this should be an individual-based exercise since the sectional policy of apartheid has been disestablished. However, the majority of native South Africans appear to hold that since the post-apartheid South African society is heavily lopsided that the pursuit of social equality, especially by the natives who experience great economic disadvantage as a political goal, should be group-based in order to address comprehensively the social and economic ills of apartheid. This groupbased approach is challenged by European South Africans who arguethat it introduces another form of inequality that places them at a disadvantage. I will analyze the arguments on both sides and attempt to justify the group-based approach in the light of the post-apartheid peculiar circumstances of native South Africans.
6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Oforbuike S. Odoh An Integrativist attempt to dissolve and Reconstruct Richard Rorty’s Conception of Ironism
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Richard Rorty draws a distinction between an activity of using old words in new senses for self liberation or private autonomy and an activity of searching ‘‘for theories which will get at real essence.’’ He calls those who engage in the former activity ‘‘ironists,’’ people like Proust, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Hegel and Derrida, and calls those who engage in the latter activity ‘‘metaphysicians,’’ people like Plato, Descartes and Kant (RORTYa 1989, 96—97). The ironists, he says, have radical and continuing doubts about their final vocabularies, because they have been impressed by other vocabularies. Unlike metaphysicians who search for words closer to reality, ironists engage only in playing off new words against old ones. When Rorty realized that this distinction is implausible, that both groups shared a certain unavoidable metaphysical link, he then called for replacement of theory with novel in ironism, which implies replacement of philosophy withliterature. Theory, he says, is about general ideas, while the novel is about people. This paper is aimed at averting this implication, by arguing that interpretation of the novel (which is the essence of it) implicates metaphysics and is theory-laden, and that ironism should not be seen in the Rortyan way as that opposed to metaphysics, but as a new (pragmatic) way of doing metaphysics. Integrativism, an African method of philosophy, is employed to dissolve Rorty’s distinctionbetween ironism and metaphysics, and to redescribe ironism as ‘‘innovativism.’’ The method of this work is argumentative, conversational, critical and redescriptive.
7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Diana-Abasi Ibanga Is Deep Ecology Inapplicable in African Context: A Conversation with Fainos Mangena
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In 2015, Fainos Mangena published an essay entitled “How Applicable is the Idea of Deep Ecology in the African Context?” where he presented a number of arguments to support his thesis that deep ecology as discussed in the West has no place in the African context. Mangena later presented a counter-version of deep ecology that he claims is based on African philosophy. In this paper, I interrogated Mangena’s arguments for rejecting deep ecology and found that they were based on certain erroneous presuppositions. Further, I developed a critique of Mangena’s Shona version of deep ecology which shows it to be impractical, unappealing, and based on a misunderstanding of the true nature of the modern African environment. I employ the method of conversationalism in this work.