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1. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Reginald M.J. Oduor Editor’s Note
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2. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Pascah Mungwini ‘Philosophy and Tradition in Africa’: Critical Reflections on the Power and Vestiges of Colonial Nomenclature
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The colonial narrative in Africa is replete with instances and processes of naming that were used not only to (re)construct social realities and (re)produce power and privilege, but also to inscribe, reify or denigrate African cultures. This work examines how the discourse of naming, specifically terms selected, stipulatively defined and applied by Western colonialists and early Western anthropologists, continue to sustain ambivalent attitudes towards the African heritage. It analyses the way in which the popular term and prefix ‘traditional’ is used in Africa, and argues that it can be pejorative, as it is associated with the well-establishedcolonial custom of thinking of Africa as a continent stuck in the past. Thus the term predisposes scholars to making certain assumptions that perpetuate cultural stereotypes about African reality and experiences. The need for an analysis of the mentality that popularised its usage therefore remains pertinent. The work also attempts to address the challenge of how postcolonial Africa can engage with its past, and talk about it in terms that do not perpetuate colonial derogation, stereotypes, assumptions, attitudes and misrepresentations of indigenous African thought and culture.
3. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Reginald M.J. Oduor Justifying Non-Violent Civil Disobedience within the Kenyan Context: A Moral Perspective
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This paper employs the critical and analytical techniques of philosophical reflection to present a moral justification for the use of non-violent civil disobedience by Kenyan citizens in pursuit of their aspirations. It sets out with a brief review of political disobedience in Kenya from the advent of the British invasion and domination of the country in the late nineteenth century to the present. Next, it examines the nature of non-violent civil disobedience, outlining the views of four of its most influential advocates, namely, Étienne de La Boétie, Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas Karmachand Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. It then offers a moral justification for non-violent civil disobedience by presenting nine arguments in its favour, with special reference to the Kenyan context. Thereafter, it answers six objections to non-violent civil disobedience. The paper concludes that it is high time that Kenyans gave serious consideration to a commitment to non-violent civil disobedience.
4. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
James M. Njihia Critical realism and its prospects for African development research and policy
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This paper outlines critical realism, a relatively new philosophy of science, in an attempt to increase awareness of it amongst African researchers. The paper argues that this school of thought has important implications for framing social science research and development policy in developing countries. Critical realism is a radical critique of the Western philosophy, especially positivism that is closely associated with rational choice theory and Western modernity. It has four discernible progressive phases, each of which is a complete philosophical system. A discussion of its relevance to African scholars follows, centered on the fact that critical realism gives primacy to the human values of freedom and emancipation rather than to material concerns which are central to Western modernity. Recent publications have challenged contemporary African philosophy to be more responsive to popular aspirations for socio-economic development, instead of dwelling excessively on long running debates amongst different schools of philosophy. Critical realism is presented as worthy of further investigation by scholars in Africa that seek new ways forward, and relevance in a rapidly changing world. Development research and policy is used to illustrate its potential. It is found that a critical realist approach may lead to meeting of some important precedents necessary for any meaningful development to occur in Africa.
5. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Edwin Etieyibo The Ethics of Government Privatisation in Nigeria
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This paper seeks to determine whether or not the divesture of Nigeria’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) is ethical. Towards this end, it employs an analytic methodology to undertake a conceptual examination of the divesture of Nigeria’s SOEs by the FGN. The paper’s findings are:(1) A large proportion of the Nigerian citizenry is opposed to its government’s privatization policy.(2) A conducive socio-economic environment for privatization is lacking in Nigeria.The paper concludes that although privatization in general may be a “good” policy, it is ethically wrong for the FGN to privatize some (and perhaps most) of its SOEs, given the absence of a conducive socio-economic milieu.
6. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Francis E.A. Owakah, Daniel Robert Aswani The Ethics of Deontology in Corporate Communication
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This paper seeks to provide guidelines on how to respond to the ethical challenges entailed in corporate communication. It argues for the need for an ethical grounding for the practitioner of corporate communication, before critically examining the two broad ethical theories - deontology and teleology - and their place in ethical judgment. The authors underscore the importance of deontological ethics in the practice of corporate communication.
7. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Fasiku Gbenga, Oyelakin Richard Taye Phenomenal Characters of Mental States and Emerging Issues in African Philosophy of Mind
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There is a prevalent assumption that the phenomenal character of a mental experience is an ontological property existing as part of the fabric of the world. This implies that the problem of explaining the phenomenal property of a mental experience is a metaphysical one. Contrary to this assumption, the present paper argues that phenomenal properties of mental experiences are the results of our epistemological perspectives of the world. Consequently, the paper contends that in developing issues for African Philosophy of Mind, care must, ab initio, be taken to avoid the metaphysical pitfalls of considering phenomenal characters orproperties of mental states to be part of the fabric of the world.
8. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Idowu William From Cultural Popularity to the Paradox of Relevance: A Critical Discourse on the Endangered Status of Citizenship Theory
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The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the endangered status of the concept of citizenship. The methodology employed consists of textual analysis and philosophical argumentation. The main findings of the paper are:(1) The boundary of the meaning of citizenship keeps changing.(2) Citizenship constitutes one of the most worrisome sources of conflict in modern states.(3) There is no objectively correct interpretation of citizenship, both in its historical and contemporary understanding.The conclusion drawn from the findings is that various factors, especially the multicultural character of most contemporary societies, are impinging on the possibility of developing a theory of citizenship that is universally applicable and globally acceptable.
9. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
D.A. Masolo Review of Barry Hallen’s A Short History of African Philosophy, (Second edition 2009)
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10. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Pamela Ngesa Review of George Gona’s Andrew Mtagwaba Kailembo: The Life and Times of an African Trade Unionist
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