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Displaying: 1-20 of 167 documents


1. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Aribiah David Attoe Communal Dictatorships, Sexual Orientations and Perverse Labelling in Modern Africa
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Most Africans are generally in sync in their communal rejection of certain perceived moral threats – in this case, allegedly ‘unnatural’ sexual orientations – as immoral and un-African. It is the truthfulness of these assumptions that I seek to question. Thus, in this essay, I question the assumption that non-heterosexuality is immoral and un-African. To do this, I attempt to isolate the traditional African outlook on alleged ‘unnatural’ sexual orientations, the communal drive towards this outlook and the implications of both for individual freedom. Specifically, I introduce what I call communal dictatorships as the driving force behind the labels usually placed on nonconformal attitudes regarding sexual behaviours and orientations. I also examine what that means for the individual and whether such labelling is philosophically justified. I shall employ the conversational method of African philosophy as the methodology of this essay.
2. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Ada Agada The Idoma Concept of Ihotu (Love)
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The notion of love is one of the fascinating concepts available to humans. Love is perhaps the most powerful emotion a human being can experience. Love is immediately recognized as a feeling. It is only after observing human conduct that it dawns on us that there is a rational dimension of love. In this paper I will discuss the Idoma-African concept of ihotu, or love. Since the very idea of an Idoma philosophy of love is an entirely novel idea, with no prior identifiable research in this field, I will rely heavily on my knowledge of Idoma culture and conversations with Ihonde Ameh of Ochobo community who has an in-depth knowledge of Idoma value-system. I will proceed to show how the consolationist theory of love is a systematization of the basic ethnophilosophical data supplied by Idoma traditional thought. With consolation philosophy transcending the basic intuition of the African collective, in this particular case the Idoma of Central Nigeria, I will argue for the rationality of love by pointing out its indispensability in the formation and expression of what we consider right or moral behaviour. I will argue that a greater part of the conduct we approve of as ethical is founded on our emotional experience and that this emotional experience is to a large extent determined by the urgings of pity or empathy. I will attempt to exhibit the philosophical grounds of empathy from the African perspective of consolationism and, in the process, delve into philosophical psychology from the African place. In achieving these objectives, I will have recourse to the metaphysics and epistemology of love from the consolationist perspective. The methodology adopted here is the analytical, conversational, and evaluative methodology.
3. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Martin F. Asiegbu, Anthony Chinaemerem Ajah The Community and the Individual: Revisiting the Relevance of Afro-Communalism
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Afro-communalism has been largely conceptualized as a system in which individuals attain meaningfulness from the point of view of the community. We assess the implications of Afro-communalism on the individual’s rights. With particular focus on the transformative values of non-conformist features of individualism, this paper shows how Afro-communalism’s emphasis on the community is counter-productive. Our approach goes beyond the argument that Afro-communalism stifles the autonomy of the individual. Instead, we demonstrate how the community’s conformist expectations from the individual within the Afro-communalist system, sets the community against the individual and against itself. We draw the conclusion that Afro-communalism as a project is no longer relevant and needs to end. We do this by showing how most of the (re)interpretations of Afro-communalism are attempts to sustain a reductive contrast between the West and Africa. We also show how that contrast exaggerates the idea of community in Africa, to the detriment of a balance between the individual’s right and her duties to the community.
4. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Ruslan V. Dmitriev, Stanislav A. Gorokhov, Ivan A. Zakharov Spatial Expansion of Islamic Extremism in the Lake Chad Basin: Current Situation and Prospective Directions
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The article discusses the expansion of the Islamic extremist groups (especially Boko Haram) in the Lake Chad basin countries. The geopolitical zones and states of Nigeria, regions of Niger and Cameroon, macro-regions of Chad were selected as the territorial range. The religious affiliation data has been compiled from the DHS-database. Income levels and literacy rates were evaluated indirectly using body mass index and the degree of age-heaping (modified Whipple's index), respectively. A hierarchical cluster analysis, has allowed us to categorize the territorial-administrative units into four groups by the probability of new Islamic extremist groups appearing there. The article clearly shows that Boko Haram may expand in the Western and North-Western directions. Meanwhile, the new cells are more likely to form inside Nigeria than outside it. Thus, in the near future, the expansion of Islamic extremist organizations in the Lake Chad basin countries will occur at the local level.
5. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Marie Pauline Eboh Public Reason and Embodied Community-Intercultural Philosophical Perspective: An African Approach
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Every human person is a cultural being. Each culture has incomplete knowledge of reality, and the sharing of viewpoints makes for mutual enrichment, hence the need for intercultural perspectives. Even in a human being, body and spirit, emotion and reason reciprocally influence on each other. Life is dialogical. Action gives flesh to theory, and the abstract reason is exemplified in real things, which is what embodiment of reason is all about. Principles govern all things and public reason, as a causal principle, regulates the affairs of embodied homogeneous communities. African embodiment of reason is self-evident in names and allegories wherein rational thoughts and ideas are personified the way sentient robots embody or personify Artificial Intelligence (AI). In this treatise, we shall use allegory, nomenclature, traditional songs, apophthegms, etc., to show how Africans wisely incarnate ideas in things. As it is analogous to modern-day AI, we shall not only highlight the African approach to public reason and embodied community but also tangentially discuss the effect of AI on the global community, of which Africa is a subunit. In conclusion, we shall caution against the empowering of robots with logical reasoning, and the disempowering and denaturalizing of humans.
6. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Ovett Nwosimiri Ifá Divination System as an Embodiment of both the Internalist and Externalist bases of Justification in African Epistemology
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An essential part of the concept of knowledge is the belief that the basic premises for knowledge must be justified. This means that for a knowledge claim to be true, there is a need for its justification. In African epistemology, the justification of beliefs and epistemic claims has mostly been considered from an externalist perspective such that justification appears to be one dimensional. Since epistemic claims can be justified using either the internalist or externalist perspective, this paper aims at showing that there are internalism and externalism in African epistemology and that Ifá divination system embodies both the internalist and externalist basis of justification in African epistemology.
7. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Anthony Uzochukwu Ufearoh COVID -19 Pandemic as an Existential Problem: An African Perspective
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The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease and the efforts to contain the raging pandemic raise not only health, but also existential concerns. The present work sets out to examine how the pandemic impacts on the African socio-cultural life. The approach is analytical, phenomenological and above all conversational. For the African, the pandemic has two-pronged, positive and negative existential implications. On the one hand, the search for a possible cure and a vaccine for the novel coronavirus disease, when interpreted from the anthropological point of view, present an opportunity for cultural creativity in the areas of medicine and therapeutics. African traditional medicine as a cultural element is, here, referenced. On the other hand, it is discovered that the isolationist tendency of the pandemic, aggravated by another ‘virus of disinformation’ --- an infodemics, threatens the social relations within the African world that is largely interdependent. The work argues that a fruitful utilization of the good cultural traits the pandemic brings can serve to boost the African self-confidence and cultural pride. The positive cultural traits that trail the pandemic can be absorbed to enrich the African culture whereas the negative traits should be jettisoned.
8. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Pascah Mungwini The critique of Ethnophilosophy in the Mapping and Trajectory of African Philosophy
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By ignoring the history of thinking in other traditions around the world, philosophy established itself as a narrow tradition, and in the name of reason, according to Bernasconi, it constituted itself as a narrative shaped largely by exclusions. Similar exclusionary tendencies have also permeated the field of African philosophy. In an effort to legitimise and indeed consolidate their discipline, a generation of academic philosophers in Africa have attempted to establish the boundaries of African philosophy with significant consequences on its meaning and future development. Their effort is credited with putting African philosophy on the world map. However, by aligning the practice of African philosophy to a particular conceptualisation of the enterprise, what was meant to serve as the springboard for intellectual freedom, including the liberation of thought and imagination in Africa became restrictive if not intolerant or repressive in its outlook. In this essay, I wish to assess the impact of the critique of ethnophilosophy on the growth and expression of African philosophy as an autonomous discipline. In doing so reference will be made to what Mudimbe has called ‘the bible of anti-ethnophilosophers.’
9. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Joseph N. Agbo Against the Political and Moral Conception of Globalization
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Is globalization a product or a process? This paper is given a foundation by a worry and a fillip by a desire. The worry is the obvious unphilosophical grasp of the phenomenon of globalization that led to it being engaged in political and moral terms. The desire is to release globalization from its conception as a product, packaged and exported by some people or some cultures in order to continue an agenda of domination. The paper argues that globalization is a process brought about by inevitable interaction and that blaming or praising any person for being part of it, is sheer misunderstanding. That the process of globalization generates certain states within our world does not justify the conclusion by some analysts that these are created into finished, exportable products. It further posits that we need to literally and literarily depersonalize globalization if we will not continue to dissipate energy in an attempt to pull the rug that we not only laid and are standing on, but one we cannot but stand on. The paper equally debunks the link of slavery, colonialism and imperialism with globalization especially within the African context; and concludes by arguing that the reason for the politicization and ideologization of the concept of globalization is because of weakness (in participation) and fear (by African rulers) that their maladministration will continually be exposed to the global community.
10. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Emmanuel Ofuasia Between Fiction and Fact: Further Reflections on Jonathan Chimakonam’s Critique of Kwesi Tsri on Blackness and Race
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In his [Africans are not Black: The Case for Conceptual Liberation], Kwesi Tsri relies extensively on myths and non-fictional narratives to dictate the origin of the racial disparagement of Afro-Americans and Africans from south of the Sahara. Owing to the synonymy between ‘black’ and ‘Africa(n)’ as well as the derogatory symbolism in the former that fuels the latter, Tsri submits the need to disassociate Africans from the concept, ‘black.’ Upon a critical conversation with Tsri’s text however, Chimakonam discerns three flaws. Granted, the objections are salient, I augment herein, one of Chimakonam’s critiques – the exclusion by Tsri, of non-fictional or scientific texts on the race discourse. Whereas I agree with Chimakonam that both the fictional and non-fictional accounts on race are pertinent for intellectual balance in Tsri’s disquisition, I further suggest that in most cases, non-fictional or scientific theories on race are undergirded by the prejudice initiated by mythical and/or fictional narratives. I substantiate my thesis, relying on Karl Popper’s evolutionary epistemology, with 21st century science admission that human genetic diversity cannot be captured by scientific theories of race.
11. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Olukayode A. Faleye Irregular Migration and the EU-External Border Policy in Africa: Historical and Philosophical Insights
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This paper advances a historical and philosophical explanation of the dynamics of irregular migration and the EU-external border policy in Africa. The refugee crisis in Europe has led to tougher security measures, including the EU’s externalization of its boundaries to transit countries with serious implication for human security and regional stability in Africa. In re-assessing the foundation of international migration policies through historical and philosophical lenses, this work brings to the fore the internal contradictions in EU-external border policy in Africa. Whereas migration studies have drawn insights from political and applied moral philosophy, this approach is rare in the debate on irregular migration and informal transborder flows between the EU and Africa. The article particularly unveils the inter-relational complexity between globalization, migration, human rights and development. The approach is qualitative based on the critical analysis of ethnographic survey, government documents, mass media reports and existing literature. Underpinned by the philosophical tenets of the Hobbesian “collective right” and Lockean concept of “inalienable” human rights, as well as the discourse on the “priority thesis”, it concludes that the resolution of the migration dilemma lies in the ethical modification of the immigration laws in line with the universal notion of democratic values, the rule of law, human rights and the reality of global inter-connectivity.
12. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
SimonMary Asese Aihiokhai Making a Case for an Economic Alternative for our Globalized World: Insights from the Margins
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Economic inequality is a pressing issue that the global community must address in an urgent and detailed manner if global peace is to be sustained. This paper makes the claim that viable alternative solutions to global economic inequality can be found outside the boundaries of western capitalism. This claim is defended via three movements: first, a critique of Christian teachings on the common good is presented as a pathway to this economic alternative. Second, insights from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that call for strategic solidarity to help undo structures of inequality in our world are appropriated. Third, a cultural and philosophical notion of what it means to be human in African thought is presented as a means for justifying the relevance of the African ethic of Ubuntu as a global economic alternative; one that grounds cosmic flourishing in a vision and praxis of relationality and shared identity for all.
13. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Diana Ekor Ofana Rethinking the Problem of Gender-Based Violence in South Africa: A Conversational Perspective
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This paper argues for an understanding of the problem of gender-based violence, specifically, the problem of rape that is not only based on sociological and psychological factors but also based on morality. This is premised on the fact that research on the problem of rape in South Africa points to different causes other than morality. I contend that besides social and psychological factors; rape should also be analyzed as a problem of moral failings. Hence, I explain the importance of reawakening an individual moral consciousness through self-conversation. I tap into conversational thinking to show that another veritable way of addressing the problem of rape as a strand of gender-based violence would be a mechanism of ‘self-conversation’ which involves a strategy of helping the rapist rethink, and unlearn the consciousness that encourages rape in South Africa.
14. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Erasmus Masitera Traditional Communal Understanding of Crime and the Role of Social Therapy: Ideas from African Philosophy
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In this essay, I challenge the contemporary social practice of conceptualizing crime as solely an individual’s fault and one’s responsibility. The individuation of the person is highly impersonal, causes fragmentation, marginalisation of the individual, and the destruction of the traditional practice of considering an individual as an integral part of the society. In contrast to this perspective, I make a case for a communal correctional system that is based on a traditional African social therapeutic system. This is a system that considers crime as causing ontological disorder or disharmony especially in communities that are communitarian in nature, and which considers all crimes as disrupting communal harmony. Furthermore, I argue that correcting wrongdoing is also an opportunity for communities to introspect themselves, i.e. reconsider existing practices and views for the community’s benefit and that of a faltering individual. My focus in this essay is on revealing African understanding of crime and correcting it as a plausible alternative to the existing western correcting system.
15. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Chukwueloka S. Uduagwu Interrogating the Relationship between Language and Thought Versus Individual and Community: A Conversation with Agada and Egbai
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In this short essay, I will converse with Ada Agada and Uti Egbai on their article titled “Language, Thought, and Interpersonal Communication: A Cross-Cultural Conversation on the Question of Individuality and Community,” published in [Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Religions and Culture Vol 7, No 2, 141 -161, 2018]. I will articulate the major contributions of the authors and critically engage their ideas in order to open new vistas for thought. I contend that the relationship that exists between language and thought is like the relationship that exists between individual and community in the debate of personhood in African philosophy. This relationship is what I call “arumaristic relationship”.
16. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Thaddeus Metz Pursuing Knowledge for its own Sake amidst a World of Poverty: Reconsidering Balogun on Philosophy’s Relevance
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In this article I critically discuss Professor Oladele Abiodun Balogun’s reflections on the proper final ends of doing philosophy and related sorts of abstract, speculative, or theoretical inquiry. Professor Balogun appears to argue that one should undertake philosophical studies only insofar as they are likely to make a practical difference to people’s lives, particularly by contributing to politico-economic development, or, in other words, that one should eschew seeking knowledge for its own sake. However, there is one line of thought from Professor Balogun, about philosophy being able to make life meaningful, that I argue ultimately––perhaps contrary to his intentions––entails that it can be appropriate to some degree to pursue philosophy that is unlikely to ameliorate poverty and similar social ills. My central aims in this article are to identify Professor Balogun’s strongest argument against pursuing any knowledge for its own sake and to argue that an appeal to meaningfulness constitutes a strong, competing reason to seek out some of it.
17. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Oladele Abiodun Balogun Between Theory and Praxis: Reply to Thaddeus Metz
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In a Guest Lecture delivered by Professor Thaddeus Metz at a Colloquium organized in honour of my 50th birthday, he critically interrogated various aspects of my African philosophical scholarship with a particular focus on what I consider as the task of an African philosopher in the twenty-first century. Drawing on the existential and social problems in contemporary Africa (such as poverty, corruption, leadership problem, ethno-religious crisis, terrorism, refugee crisis, women’s right, amongst others), I have argued that African philosophy should be tailored towards ameliorating these problems as a way of making life meaningful. Metz’s striking criticism is that doing philosophy that does not necessary address existential and socio-political problems in Africa is worth taking seriously in African philosophy. He adds that the very idea of “meaningfulness constitutes a strong, competing reason,” to do philosophy for its own sake. In this article, I reply Metz, contending that his critique only differs in degree from the position I earlier defended but not in kind regarding the connection between theory and praxis. While we both agree on the imperativeness of theorizing in African philosophy, I argue further that African philosophy should go beyond this to solve the practical issues relevant to the advancement of humanity and the society.
18. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Chukwueloka S. Uduagwu How Relevant is African Philosophy in Africa?: A Conversation with Oladele Balogun
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In this short piece, I re-visit Oladele Balogun’s thesis that African philosophy, in social terms, can be relevant in Africa. I argue that in theorizing only on the social relevance of philosophy in Africa, Balogun fails to do justice to the entire breath of possible practical value which African philosophy can offer to the continent. To show this, I shall converse with Balogun on his idea of social relevance by exposing its strength and weakness. For Balogun, it is in the social aspect of African philosophy such as questioning the belief of a given society in order to change their habit of thought, criticizing their ideology and cultural values etc., that African philosophy’s relevance in Africa can be found. However, I contend that this does not fully capture other areas of African philosophy’s relevance such as the epistemic, ethical and spiritual relevance.
19. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Babajide Olugbenga Dasaolu Ideology and Oladele Balogun’s Perspective on Parenthood and the ‘Educated Person’
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Enormous but undue accentuation has been given to the acquisition of certificates and degrees over competence in Africa. Not only does this expand the gulf between thought and praxis, it also implies the compromised course of knowledge production and reproduction in Africa. As a result of the vegetative and epileptic nature of the development agenda in Africa, there has been as many theories as there are scholars who are seeking theoretical solutions but with almost nothing tangible. Oladele Balogun has shown intellectual concerns over this too but with a plausible panacea. Taking traditional Yoruba culture as his cue, Balogun sees a connection between ‘parenthood’ and traditional Yoruba perception of the ‘educated person’ as crucial elements for human development drive in Africa. While I concede that these in themselves are necessary, I contest their sufficiency. Hence, I add a third category – Ideology.
20. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Olatunji A. Oyeshile, Omotayo A. Oladebo Philosophy as Sophia and Phronēsis: Interrogating Oladele Balogun’s Contribution to African Philosophy
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Philosophy, going by its historical trajectory emerged from a thorough-going quest for understanding the world. This ‘understanding’ is held, on the one hand, as an end in itself and, on the other hand, as a further means to manipulating the ‘other,’ object-world, to the ‘self’ or the subject-inquirer’s, upliftment/development. In this chapter, this dichotomy is revisited. We take a terse look at Balogun’s oeuvre in African philosophy, which essentially exemplifies the preceding dichotomy. Balogun, from our analysis, sought ingenious approaches to bridging the sharp divide between the advocates of pure-theoretical philosophy—Sophia—and praxis-oriented philosophy—Phronēsis. We employ Balogun’s contributions to social-ordering, statecrafting, culture and development as the base for our intervention and go on to argue that his ideas can be strengthened through a culture of activism and education. The African philosopher, we contend, should play a more serious role in the public-sphere. Our approach is conversational in style. We submit that philosophy must move beyond analyses to including making practicable interventions on issues of existence. The context of our inquiry is the traditional Yoruba thought system as it is implicated in the Nigerian state. Keywords: Traditional African Philosophy, Oladele Balogun, African development, Yoruba thought system, Sophia and Phronēsis.