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1. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Reginald M.J. Oduor Mental Impediments to Desirable Social Transformation in Contemporary Africa
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Africa’s current socio-economic predicament is often solely attributed to political and economic mismanagement. However, such an analysis is far from comprehensive, as it fails to account for the historical, sociological and psychological causes of the current unsatisfactory social conditions in the continent. Consequently, using the critical and prescriptive techniques of philosophic reflection, this paper examines four apparent mental impediments to desirable social transformation in contemporary Africa, namely, conservatism, feeble social consciousness, blind acceptance of the white-black dichotomy, and a fixation with foreign paradigms of managing public affairs. The paper calls for an interdisciplinary approach to the verifying, mitigating and/or eliminating of these impediments.
2. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Francis E. Owakah, Robert D. Aswani Technocracy and Democracy: The Challenges to Development in Africa
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In this paper, we argue that the future of development in Africa lies in the shift from democracy in the conventional sense to technocracy, where the role of the expert is recognized and appreciated. We set out by presenting conceptualizations of democracy and technocracy. Thereafter, we highlight the challenge posed by the demands of the information society to traditional concepts of democracy.
3. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Ademola Kazeem Fayemi Towards an African Theory of Democracy
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This paper argues that there is a general absence of democratic theory in African political scholarship in terms of providing the underlying principles, meaning, canons and criteria of democracy in African culture. The paper exposes the conceptual errors implicit in the conflation of democracy as a concept and as practiced in different political systems. Consequently, it contends that an eclectic appraisal of our indigenous democratic values and practices as well as democratic ideas from other cultural traditions can provide a resonant African theory of democracy. The paper concludes that eclecticism is consociational in principle, and can help solve many of the contemporary socio-political problems besetting current democratic experiences in Africa.
4. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Sirkku Hellsten Afro-Libertarianism and the Social Contract Framework in Post-Colonial Africa: The Case of Post-2007 Elections Kenya
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This paper examines the shortcomings and possibilities of the social contract approach in relation to the Kenyan post 2007 elections political crisis. The authorapplies philosophical analysis to a practical situation, using Kenya as a case study in the context of the challenges of post-colonial nation-building. The author reflects on the “Afro-libertarian” politico-economic framework, in which communitarian and communal traditions with egoistic and profit-making individualist libertarian market rationality are tangled in a fragile, patrimonial state, with strong sub-national loyalties preventing the building of a united nation and a strong state.The thesis of the paper is that if sustainable peace, social reconstruction and national unity are to be achieved, there is need to have an adequate understanding of the moral dimensions of the concept of “social justice”. The focus has to be on the building of an impartial state, with a clear national agenda and strong ethnically and politically neutral institutions and processes.
5. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Crispinous Iteyo Belief in the Spirits of the Dead in Africa: A Philosophical Interpretation
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This paper offers a philosophical interpretation of belief in the spirits of the dead in Africa, with a view to identifying rational grounds for accepting or rejecting them. This endeavour is premised on the view that in this rapidly changing world, philosophy should inquire not only in to theoretical problems, but also into practical ones. Plato and Aristotle’s theories of the soul being some of the most carefully discussed philosophical theories on immortality or lack of it, will provide the background of deliberation in this paper.
6. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Samson O. Gunga The Politics of Widowhood and Re-Marriage among the Luo of Kenya
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This study utilises philosophical deliberation to analyse the psycho-social and emotional conflicts that arise out of widowhood practices in the Luo community ofKenya. Towards this end, it explores the attendant effects of Luo widowhood practices on family, power and gender relations, and suggests resolutions to thechallenges they generate.
7. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Godwin Azenabor Odera Oruka’s Philosophic Sagacity: Problems and Challenges of Conversation Method in African Philosophy
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This paper examines the implications and challenges of Odera Oruka’s conversation approach to the study of contemporary African philosophy as enunciated in his “Philosophic sagacity”. In Oruka’s method, African philosophy is conceived as a joint venture and product of both the ancient (traditional) and modern Africanphilosophers. Consequently, it utilizes interview, discussion and dialogue.
8. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
D.A. Masolo Narrative and Experience of Community as Philosophy of Culture: (Community as Method and Principle of Thought)
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This paper argues that the distinctive feature of African philosophising is a communitarian outlook expressed through various forms of narrative. The paper firstillustrates the close relationship between narrative and community in the African cultural milieu. It then goes on to examine the way in which African academics invarious fields have employed the narrative technique in their works. Next, the paper urges that through migration to European and American institutions of higherlearning, African philosophers have had a significant impact on Western philosophy. Thereafter, the paper argues that while a communalistic outlook is part and parcel of African philosophising, it does not imply an insular approach to identity, but rather accommodates the fact of the dynamism of the sources of identity. Finally, the paper points out that one implication of the communalistic and narrativistic approach of African philosophy is that the dichotomy between “analytic” and “continental” philosophy, so common in the West, is not applicable to it.
9. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
D.A. Masolo Foreword
10. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Patrick Nyabul Moral Education and the Condition of Africa
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This paper explores the relationships among moral education on the one hand, and culture, politics, poverty and religion in Africa on the other. It sets out by examining the theory and practice of moral education, before reflecting on moral education and virtue ethics. Thereafter, the paper examines moral education in African cultures and in religion. Finally, it interrogates the connection between moral education in Africa on the one hand, and politics and poverty on the other. The paper concludes that there is still need for a new world order, in which the earth’s resources are fairly distributed nationally and globally. For us to realize this goal, we have the task of using politics, culture and religion to foster moral education for the good of everyone.