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Displaying: 1-7 of 7 documents


1. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Pascah Mungwini, Kudzai Matereke Rape, sexual politics and the construction of manhood among the Shona of Zimbabwe: Some philosophical reflections
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This paper interrogates the language that mediates sex and sexuality among the Shona of Zimbabwe. It draws from the method of ordinary language philosophy to argue that culture, and specifically language, can constitute an effective incubator for the emotions that result in rape. Further, the paper shows how the constructions of masculinity among the Shona render the female body a subject of male dominance. The paper contends that culture, through the stories that it tells about sex and the language it uses to tell them, has a strong potential to initiate and sustain emotions and behavior that lead to rape. However, this predatory behaviour can be struggled against and contested by revisiting the language that society uses in the important domain of sex.
2. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Oladele Abiodun Balogun Proverbial Oppression of Women in Yoruba African Culture: A Philosophical Overview
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This paper posits that there are elements of oppression in some of the Yoruba proverbs that relate to women. It argues that these proverbs violate the rights anddignity of women, and that they are indicators of discrimination against women in Yoruba culture. The paper further argues that the most fundamental but neglected aspect in gender discourse lies in the proverbial resources of the community. The paper provides textual evidence of proverbial oppression of the feminine gender in Yoruba culture, and also underscores their pernicious effects on the struggle for gender balance. The paper contends that there is an urgent need to review the assumptions underlying these proverbs.
3. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Sirkku K. Hellsten Empowering the Invisible: Women, Local Culture and Global Human Rights Protection
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This paper examines the problems that various contemporary human rights discourses face with relativism, with special reference to the global protection of women’s rights. These problems are set within the theoretical debate between the Western liberal individualism on the one hand, and African, Asian and Islamic collectivist communitarianism on the other. Instead of trying to prove the superiority of one theoretical approach over the other, the purpose here is to point out some of the most common logical fallacies and cultural biases that have led to false polarizations between the various theoretical foundations of human rights discourse. The paper highlights these errors and inaccuracies with a view to diminishing the dichotomies between the various philosophical foundations of human rights, particularly in connection to the promotion of women’s rights. This is done in order to pave the way for more open and impartial political, cultural and gender dialogue in the promotion of human rights both in theory and in practice.
4. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Adeolu Oluwaseyi Oyekan Human Nature and Social Order: A Comparative Critique of Hobbes and Locke
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Central to most intellectual debates on political organization is the issue of human nature, for one’s understanding of it influences one’s prescriptions on how best society can be governed. This paper examines the contractarian theories of Hobbes and Locke in their attempts to identify the conditions for social order. Deploying a critical and comparative method, the paper identifies the failure of the two theories to recognize the complexity of human nature, a complexity which forecloses the plausibility of a descriptive straitjacket. The paper further argues that contrary to Hobbes’ pessimism and Locke’s optimism towards human nature, the individual has qualities which point to a delicate balance of both. Consequently, the paper highlights the imperatives of social order in a manner that accommodates the complexity of human nature. It concludes that it is on the basis of the appreciation of these dimensions of human nature that we can hope to evolve an enduring social order.
5. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Barry Hallen “Ethnophilosophy” Redefined?
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The meaning of the term “ethnophilosophy” has evolved in both a significant and controversial variety of ways since it was first introduced by Paulin Hountondji in 1970. It was first challenged by the Kenyan philosopher, H. Odera Oruka, as based upon Hountondji’s unfair appreciation of Africa’s indigenous cultural heritage. Barry Hallen and J. Olubi Sodipo, using a form of analytic philosophy as foundational, thereafter argued that Yoruba ordinary language discourse also served to undermine Hountondji’s critique. The later work of the Ghanaian philosopher, Kwame Gyekye, and the Kenyan D. A. Masolo have further legitimized the epistemological status of elements of African culture that once would have been labeled as of no genuine philosophical significance because they were ‘ethnophilosophical’ in character. The end result of this debate seems to be that both the form and content of philosophy in culture generally must be relativized.The most significant consequence of this would be that African and non-Western philosophy generally would finally be culturally liberated from the oppressive influence, indeed dominance, of what has conventionally come to be known as ‘mainstream’ (Western) philosophy.
6. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Reginald M.J. Oduor Research Methodology in Philosophy within an Interdisciplinary and Commercialised African Context Guarding against Undue Influence from the Social Sciences
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This paper argues that despite pressures to conform to the research methodology of the social sciences, African philosophers must diligently work for the preservation of the distinct character of philosophy as a discipline. To do this, they will have to move away from the debate on the existence and nature of African philosophy, and focus their efforts on the quest for a criterion by which to distinguish philosophical works from non-philosophical ones, regardless of where the works hail from. They will also have to be busy engaging in other aspects of philosophical reflection, so that their discipline may grow in an all-rounded manner, and so that the research methodology of philosophy may be manifest to scholars from other disciplines. Only then will philosophy make its unique contribution to interdisciplinary research in Africa and beyond.
7. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
D.A. Masolo Debating the Autonomy of Reason
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This paper questions the assumption of the bulk of Western philosophy that reasoning in general, and moral reasoning in particular, can be undertaken without any consideration of the unique cultural experiences of those who engage in it. It proposes a communitarian alternative for thinking about subjecthood. It further contends that there is need for professional African philosophers to assist their people in the quest for solutions to current pertinent socio-economic challenges facing them.