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editorial
1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Editorial
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2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Olatunji A. Oyeshile Modernity, Islam and an African Culture
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The human quest for the meaning of life is an unending one marked by undulating landscapes. In order to confront the flux of experience generated by this quest for meaning, the human embraces science, morality, politics and religion. Religion is said to provide the basis for transcendental values which give humans succour after the physical and material struggles have ended. At the same time, religion also uses the observable social world as the starting point for the embrace of transcendental values. In this essay, an attempt is made to examine the interconnectedness of modernity (which has its basis in the social world), Islam (which provides the human with transcendental values) and an African culture (which serves as a nexus of modernity and Islam). The essay is basically an exercise in analysis whereby the readers are made to draw some compelling inferences.
3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
David A. Oyedola Appiah on Race and Identity in The Illusions of Race: A Rejoinder
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Whether Appiah’s concession in [The Illusions of Race, 1992] that there are no races can stand vis-a-vis Masolo’s submission in “African Philosophy and thePostcolonial: some Misleading Abstractions about Identity” (1997) that identity is impossible, it is worthy to note that much of what is entailed in human societiestend toward the exaltation and protection of self-interest. Self-interest, as it is related to particular or individual entities, to a great extent, presupposes theontology of different races and identities. Paul Taylor in “Appiah’s Uncompleted Argument: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Reality of Race,” to begin with, asserts thatraces and identity struggles are real entities as individuals’: where this can be said to aid and abet racial differences. Though, there are those who lend credenceto Appiah’s and Masolo’s explications like Hountondji and Gyekye; however, it is noteworthy that philosophers like Du Bois, Nkrumah, Fanon, Mandela,Senghor, Hallen and Cabral who, in one way or the other, lend credence to Taylor’s claim, could not have said so without taking into consideration, the colonial and anthropological experiences which has, in one way or the other, has affected Africa and Africans. Despite the latter, certain flaws like (i) the failure toacknowledge the utility and global importance of human race or family, and (ii) the failure to recognize the distinctiveness of each existing race, tribe or ethnicities in a diverse political, religious, and culture-biased world, are inherent in Taylor’s, Appiah’s and Masolo’s views coupled with those who lend credence to their views. In this study, nevertheless, it is conceded that it is not enough, as a derivative of Appiah’s skepticism about race and identity, to gesture at racial andidentity concerns while using logical incoherence, globality, methodological separatism and cosmopolitan traits to undermine the relevance of identity whichis the soul of the postcolonial quest for a distinct African race or black (African) philosophy.
4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Cyril-Mary Pius Olatunji A Philosophical Critique of Ignocentric Search for Political Messiah in Nigeria
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Many of the philosophers of African politics who have argued that the political challenges of Nigeria, and of Africa as a whole are as a result of the impunity andcorruption of post-independence Nigeria leaders also give the impression that the people of Nigeria are mere innocent victims because in their arguments all the ills of the Nigerian state exist only because the country have not experienced or discovered an honest and capable political leader. The scholars argue to the effect that all that Nigeria can do is simply to hope for the ascendance of a Messiah, who being an honest, capable and patriotic leader will on his own volition become committed to the cause of reversing the situation in order to turn around all the ills of the nation. Employing the examples of two prominent scholars of African politics (Chinua Achebe and Larry Diamond) the paper employs the epistemological rigor of analysis and logic to examine and make a critique of the underlying assumptions of the scholars and identifies the theoretical flaws of believing that political representatives are substantively political leaders, that Nigerians are helpless victims who on their own are incapable of reversing the situation and that Nigeria should hope for a political saviour who will turn around all the social and political ills of Nigeria on his own accord.
5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Christian C. Emedolu From Magic to African Experimental Science: Toward a New Paradigm
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This paper assumes that there is a distinction between empirical and non-empirical science. It also assumes that empirical science has two complementary parts, namely, theorization and experimentation. The paper focuses strictly on the experimental aspect of science. It is a call for reformation in African experimental science. Following a deep historical understanding of the revolution that brought about experimental philosophy (as modern empirical science was called up to the time of Newton) this paper admits that magic was the mother, not just the “bastard sister” of empirical science. It uncovers the fact that magic added the dimension of experimentation to science. This paper somewhat maintains that most of the ideas presented by some African scholars contain vestiges of the magical tradition in them. Even though this might not be a flaw by any reasonable standard, the paper still argues that there is a genuine need to separate magic from science, if we ever crave for any form of material/physical progress in Africa. I insist that the thrust of the call for paradigm shift in this paper is centered basically on experimentation. The issue of theoretical entities was introduced only to the extent such entities enhance experimental realism in the practice of African science. Of course, reformation can equally take place at the level of scientific theorization, but that is strictly beyond the scope of this paper. The fact is that those who are versed on the issues of experimentation should begin to get more focused on that aspect; and those who are given to theorization should settle with the formulation of well-structured theories. Time has indeed come for us to properly streamline our thoughts and make progress in the direction of African experimental science. In making this clarion call, we adopted a combined approach of hermeneutics and analysis.
conversation
6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Conversation
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7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Augustine Atabor Postmodernism and Objectivity in the Social Sciences: A re-dress of Nweke's understanding of Atabor
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8. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Victor C. A. Nweke David Oyedola and the Imperative to Disambiguate the term “African Philosopher”: A Conversation from the standpoint of The Conversational School of Philosophy (CSP)
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book review
9. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Mesembe I. Edet The Limitations of Bernard Matolino’s “Limited Communitarianism”: Continuing the Conversations on Personhood in African Philosophy
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editorial
10. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Editorial
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11. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Fainos Mangena How Applicable is the Idea of Deep Ecology in t he African Context?
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In this paper, I outlined and discussed the idea of deep ecology as defended by Arne Næss (1973) as well as Bill Devall and George Sessions (1985). I specially looked at how deep ecology has responded to the dominant view in ecological ethics, especially its attendant theory – anthropocentrism or homo-centrism or simply the reason-based account – which I outlined and explained in the first section of this paper. In the final analysis, I looked at the feasibility (or lack thereof) of applying deep ecology in Sub-Saharan African ecological contexts focusing particularly on the Shona ecological matrix of Zimbabwe. My intention was to answer the question: How applicable is the idea of deep ecology in the African context? Having reviewed Zimbabwean literature, I came to the conclusion that the Shona enviro nment had a different form of deep ecology that was not only anchored on spirituality but that it also interpreted cosmology and ecology from a communitarian viewpoint
12. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Idom T. Inyabri Neo-Colonialism, Postcolonialism and the Bane of Neoessentialist Theorising in Current African Literature
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This paper is a response to Joseph Ushie’s argument for Neo-colonialism rather than Postcolonialism as the most appropriate theory for the criticism of what he calls Current African Literature. His proposition is based on the premise that Postcolonialism as a theory runs counter to the neo-colonial situation of Africa sincethe attainment of flag independence by different African nations. Hence, neo - colonialism answers directly to the socio-political and economic condition of mostAfrican countries and should be utilised in the appreciation of most literatures from the continent. In this meta-criticism we proceed by making bare the crux of Ushie’s argument, then identify obvious contradictions in his logic and critically present the merit of Postcolonialism as a cultural theory fit enough for the critical engagement of Current African Literature.
13. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Addressing Uduma’s Africanness of a Philosophy Question and Shifting the Paradigm from Metaphilosophy to Conversational Philosophy
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This conversation is inspired by Uduma O. Uduma’s essay entitled “The Question of the ‘African’ in African Philosophy: In search of a Criterion for the Africanness of a Philosophy”. In this essay, Uduma coined what he calls “the Africanness of a Philosophy Question which consists in the ultimate criterion for African philosophy. He was not the first to dwell on the Africanness issue in African philosophy but he was the first, to my knowledge, to christen it as such. Before Uduma framed the question into a proper metaphilosophical concern in African philosophy, old campaigners like Paulin Hountondji, Odera Oruka, Peter Bodunrin, Kwasi Wiredu, Sophie Oluwole, Innocent Onyewuenyi, etc., have all dwelt on it with some going more in-depth than others. I have also dwelt partly on this question before in an essay entitled “The Criteria Question in African Philosop hy: Escape from the Horns of Jingoism and Afrocentrism”. Incidentally, my treatment of the issue was not digestive enough as I did not mention the likes of Bodunrin, Wiredu, Oluwole and even Uduma himself—a terrible short-sightedness—one that I wish to correct in this discussion. My first aim in this work is to attempt to settle this metaphilosophical vicious circle once and for all. On the basis of this, I wish also to orchestrate a shift from the vicious circle of metaphilosophical engagements to a more f ruitful conversational engagement in contemporary African philosophy. Our method shall consist in critical conversationalism.
14. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
David A. Oyedola African Philosophy and the Search for an African Philosopher: The Demise of a Conflictual Discourse
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There are contending reasons why the rationale, qualification and justification for becoming an African philosopher are still facing the problem of ontology. Onereason, as Didier Kaphagawani posits, is premised on the challenges by anthropology and colonialism (1986, 86). Given Oruka, Makinde, Oladipo, Oke, and Hallen’s perception of these challenges, they concede that these challenges gave birth to the postcolonial search for a distinct African identity. On the one hand, D. A. Masolo’s submission that because “Africa cannot be re -subjectivised; hence, an identity which is peculiarly African is impossible” (1997, 283-285)downplays the concession of Kaphagawani, Oruka, et al. Moreover, there tend s to be agreement among certain philosophers who have devoted their time promoting Africana philosophy and culture-oriented discourse in Africa like Outlaw, Cabral, Fanon, Makinde, Oladipo, Oke, Hallen, Horton, etc., that “the Western discourse on Africa and the response to such discourse” (MASOLO 1994, 1) led many African philosophers like Nazombe, Okpewho, Tempels, Nkrumah, Nyerere, Senghor, Cesaire, Awolowo, Mandela, etc., to react using socio-political and academic means to establish a distinct African philosophical paradigm which craves for the re-subjectivisation of Africa. By implication, the response to the Western discourse on Africa, as Outlaw, et al, opine, lend credence to (a) therationale for the qualification and justification to be an African philosopher; (b) the existence of African philosophy, and (c) the modality of doing philosophy inAfrica. Nevertheless, the problem with Outlaw, et al, o n one hand, and D. A. Masolo, on the other, is the failure to recognize that any philosopher need not be ofAfrican descent or blood before he can make a meaningful contribution to address the problems facing the development of Africa in all spheres of lif e. This ispossible in as much as there is an adequate understanding of the subject under discussion or what it means to do African philosophy. It is this failure or weakness that we shall explore in this essay.
15. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Conversations in African Philosophy
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16. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Aribiah David Attoe Mental Surgery: Another Look at the Identity Problem: A Conversation with Jonathan Chimakonam
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17. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Victor C. A. Nweke Postmodernism and the Objectivity of the Social Sciences: An Interrogative Conversation with Augustine Atabor
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18. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Segun T. Samuel Finding a Place for Interrogatory Theory: A Critique of Chimakonam’s Patterns of Social Deconstruction, Reconstruction and the Conversational Order in African Philosophy
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book review
19. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Moses Ogah Irem Conversational Philosophy in Practice
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