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editorial
1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Editorial
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2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Motsamai Molefe Critical Comments on Afro-communitarianism: Community versus the Individual
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This article draws our attention to the centrality of the normative idea of personhood in elucidating a robust Afro-communitarianism. To do so, it visits the debate between the so-called moderate and radical communitarians to argue that the assertion that a community takes priority over an individual is not an implausible position. It argues that this assertion, given a nuanced moral interpretation, can offer a promising African perspective on how to secure a life of dignity withoutnecessarily appealing to rights but to the normative idea of personhood. It submits that the idea of personhood entails a morality of duties that prioritizes the well-being of all. It is this prioritization of the well-being of all as the proper moral-political goal of Afro-communitarianism that moral-theoretically captures the essence of the assertion that a community takes priority over an individual.
3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Ada Agada The Apparent Conflict of Transcendentalism and Immanentism in Kwame Gyekye and Kwasi Wiredu’s Interpretation of the Akan Concept of God
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In this paper I compare Kwame Gyekye’s transcendentalist interpretation of the Akan conception of God with Kwasi Wiredu’s immanentist interpretation. I highlight the tension between the two thinkers’ interpretations of Akan religious thought within the broader conflict between transcendence and immanence. Using the analytic, critical, and interpretative method, I show how the reconciliation of Gyekye and Wiredu’s divergent, yet paradoxically overlapping visionscan be effected in the idea of panpsychism. In the process of effecting this reconciliation, I open up a new area of research in African philosophy of religion that African philosophers will find rewarding to engage.
4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Ndumiso Dladla Towards an African Critical Philosophy of Race: Ubuntu as a Philo-Praxis of Liberation
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Although 1994 is popularly represented as a year of major transition from an oppressive society to a democratic one in South African history, it did not mark the end of White Supremacy but instead its evolution from one constitutional form into another. This is because the so-called “right of conquest” remains affirmed in South Africa by the much celebrated constitution Act 108 of 1996. Since the early 90s, Ubuntu has been employed by the elite parties involved in the “negotiations” for the transition to the “new” South Africa, to justify the new society. This perverse employment of Ubuntu has been largely supported with the aid of sophistic academic posturing by the largely white academic establishment in South Africa and its network of international allies. Using African philosophical hermeneutics as a method, we will ground another interpretation of Ubuntu which stems from two interrelated roots. The first root is a firm understanding of and engagement with the Bantu languages and cultures which are its primordial philosophical basis (and thus crucial) on the one hand. The second is the study of the history of Ubuntu as lived and living philosophy responding to the challenge of the conquest of the indigenous people in the unjust wars of colonisation. Towards this end we will draw from the experience of Ubuntu-inspired movements in the history of the wars of resistance and the struggle for liberation ongoing since 1652.
5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Diana-Abasi Ibanga Philosophical Sagacity as Conversational Philosophy and its Significance for the Question of Method in African Philosophy
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In this study, I aimed to carry out a comparative analysis of the methods of conversational philosophy and sage philosophy as contributions towards overcoming the problem of methodology in African philosophy. The purpose was to show their points of convergence and probably, if possible, their point of divergence as well. I did not intend to show that the method of one is superior or inferior to the other. The objective was to provide an analysis to show that the two methods are essentially the same with little variations. Thereafter, I highlighted their significance as methods of doing African philosophy and discussed their problems aswell. I used the methods of analysis and hermeneutics. From the study, I concluded that conversational philosophy is an extension or a modified form of sage philosophy. The implication of this conclusion is that sage philosophy and conversational philosophy should overlap each other in research and purposes.
6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Motsamai Molefe, Mutshidzi Maraganedzha The Function of “It” in Ifeanyi Menkiti’s Normative Account of Personhood: A Response to Bernard Matolino
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This article is a response to Bernard Matolino’s criticisms against Ifeanyi Menkiti’s elucidations on the normative notion of personhood in African philosophy. This article argues that Menkiti’s article is best understood to be ultimately focused on articulating the normative notion of personhood; so understood, Menkiti’s analysis eschews many of the objections made against it by Matolino. We show that the confusion lies in a general failure in African philosophy to distinguish three distinct senses of the notion of a person. We further show how the referent ‘it’ as used to pick out infants by Menkiti, contrary to Matolino’s analysis that suggests that it is an instance of ‘mal-function’ may be charitably construed to be capturing the idea that infants have moral status and/or that they are morally neutral. A defense of Menkiti’s idea of personhood is crucial in a search for a robust African perfectionist ethics.
book review
7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Ada Agada African Philosophy in the Search of Authenticity and the Condition of Universality
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tribute
8. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Odia Ofeimun Abiola Irele: A Tribute to the Master
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