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101. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Aribiah D. Attoe The Philosophy of Affirmative Action as a Constraint to Gender Equality: An Introduction to Ukém Philosophy
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In this paper, I attempt to show in clear terms what I believe to be the inconsistencies inherent in adopting affirmative action as a proper philosophy for remedying the gender imbalance in contemporary African societies. I have also gestured towards the fact that apart from the issues involved in adoptingaffirmative action as a principle, the concept quite ironically further widens the gap it is meant to seal. In the spirit of the conversational tradition of African philosophy, I excavate and interrogate a theory of equality that speaks to an indigenous Efik concept of equality. Thus, as a conversational response to theinadequacies of Affirmative Action, I have in this paper adopted ukém philosphy along with its principles of ówó and ikíkè, as an alternative model or tool for combating the ills of gender inequality.
102. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Ademola K. Fayemi Remembering the African Philosopher, Abosede Sophie Oluwole: A Biographical Essay
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In this biographical essay, I survey the life and time of Sophie Abosede Olayemi Oluwole as a student, scholar and researcher in African philosophy. I show how she emerged as one of the first women to obtain a PhD and subsequently attained the rank of professor of African philosophy in Africa. I show that it was J.B. Danquah who first introduced her to African philosophy which was later to become the main focus of her research. I argue that in the course of a research inAfrican philosophy spanning almost four decades, Oluwole gave the most incisive philosophical interpretation of the Yoruba Ifa Corpus which climaxed in her comparison of Greek Socrates and Yoruba Ò ̣rúnmìlà. Employing the method of conversational thinking, I will discuss Oluwole’s works in African philosophy and conclude by contending that due to her work on Ifa corpus, Oluwole can be credited with the discovery of what is now known and studied as ancient Yorubaphilosophy.
103. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
M. John Lamola The de-Africanisation of the African National Congress and the Malaise of Afrophobia in South Africa
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This essay highlights the root causes of the pervasive discomfort with Africanness common among a significant portion of the South African population. It claimsthat this collective national psyche manifests as a dysfunctional self-identity, and is therefore akin to a psychosocial malaise we propose to name “the LimpopoRiver Fever”. The root cause of this pathological psycho-political culture, we venture to demonstrate, is the historical process of a systematic self-orientationaway from Africa, perceived as “Africa north of the Limpopo River”. This psychosis as presently manifesting as what is distinctly an Afrophobia, and notmere xenophobia, I argue, has principally been nurtured since the 1950s by the ascendency of an anti-Africanist ideology within the national liberation movement, the African National Congress (ANC), which has subsequently been the governing party since the defeat of the apartheid regime in 1994. It is concluded that even historic efforts at redirecting the South African body-politic toward a pan-African consciousness which evolved around Thabo Mbeki during his presidency could not achieve the aspired re-Africanisation of South African society.
104. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
L. Uchenna Ogbonnaya What makes African Philosophy African? A Conversation with Aribiah David Attoe on ‘The Foundational Myth of Ethnophilosophy’
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One of the most debated issues in African philosophy concerns the question of ethnophilosophy. While most Particularists equate it to African philosophy, theUniversalists reject it as philosophy let alone being African philosophy. The rationale behind the second position is that ethnophilosophy is said to be descriptive and lacks argumentation, criticality, rigor and systematicity, which are the hallmarks of philosophy. What these two views revolve around is the question of the place of ethnophilosophy in African philosophy. Here, I focus on two scholars who have sought to address this question. The first is Ada Agada, who opines that ethnophilosophy plays a foundational role to African philosophy. The other is Aribiah Attoe, who sees this view as a myth that must be done away with. In this paper, I show two things: first, I show that these two conflicting views arose due to both scholars’ failure to clarify their ideas of what makes a philosophy African. Second, I converse with Attoe on his critique of the foundational role of ethnophilosophy as a myth. Here, I contend that Attoe’s view is a misreading of Agada’s views and that Attoe’s position that critical rigor instead of ethnophilosophy should be the foundation of African philosophy is unfounded. My argument is that criticality is just one among other tools of philosophy; and a tool of philosophy cannot be its foundation.
105. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Isaiah A. Negedu, Solomon O. Ojomah The Question of African Communalism and the Antithesis of Democracy
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In this paper, we argue that communalism is not uniquely African. It comes in different forms of social and psychological thinking which can be found in anyculture and society whether capitalistic or socialistic where the notion of social belongingness through reasoned reflection transcends the desire for personalgratification. We claim that some values of communalism such as altruism, mutual cooperation, complementarity etc., can be useful in shaping a viable system ofdemocracy for Africa, not because communalism is unique to Africa, but because it is not. We contend that part of the challenges of democratic practice in Africa is the inclination to extreme form of individualism embedded in its capitalist roots. We show that the structure of democracy can evolve to adapt to changes mediated by communal values. Using the methods of hermeneutics and conversational thinking, we will argue that democratic practice in Africa can profit fromcommunalism and should be restructured to admit relevant communal values.
106. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Muk-Yan Wong Inclusive Development, an Afro-Asian Perspective
107. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Fainos Mangena Discoursing Inclusive Development and Governance in Zimbabwe: Pragmatizing Hunhu/ Ubuntu Philosophy
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In this paper, I reflect on whether the new Zimbabwe government under the presidency of Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has the capacity to arrest thedevelopmental challenges facing the country in order to bring about inclusive development which will see the needs of the marginalized or excluded groups suchas the poor, women, children, the elderly and people living with disabilities beingaddressed. I argue that two of the biggest problems bedeviling Zimbabwe todayare chronic poverty and disease, which are a legacy of the Zimbabwe governmentled by ousted former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe. I contend that Mugabe’s government failed to manage its politics, which, in turn, resulted in the decline of Zimbabwe’s economy in the last two decades leading to high unemployment, hyperinflation, brain drain, cash crisis and the outbreak of diseases among a host of problems. My claim is that the effects of the problems listed above are still being felt today. I submit that although the philosophy of hunhu/ubuntu became endangered during Mugabe’s reign, it can still be deployed in the new dispensation to bring about inclusive development by coming up with policies that will attract investors through improving relations with the developed world as well as dealing with the problem of corruption.
108. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Mhadeno Y. Humtsoe, Hilaria M. Soundari Inclusive Development of Naga Tribes in Nagaland: Strategy for Sustainability
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Naga Tribal communities residing in rural Nagaland are deprived of access to adequate health care services, livelihood opportunities, road connectivity,sanitation and education. About 71.14 percent (Census, 2011) of Naga Tribes inhabit rural areas; most of these tribal communities are engaged in agricultureand allied activities for livelihood. The absence of adequate road network suitable for all weather, public transportation system, and high cost oftransportation fares hinder the mobility of the tribal communities in the rural areas. The confinement of development to the urban areas has led to interdistrictdisparities and dearth of basic facilities in the rural communities. This study intends to portray the socio-economic status of the Naga Tribal communities in rural areas. The study will identify infrastructural challenges of the Naga tribal communities. Descriptive Research Design have been adopted and the study includes only secondary data. The Survey method was used in the analysis of the collected secondary data. The implementation of inclusive development has become an urgent need, in order to provide basic infrastructures with equity to the Naga tribal community in rural Nagaland. The study will show how achieving inclusive development can contribute to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the national and globallevel.
109. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Muk-Yan Wong Revisiting the Relationship between Economic Growth and Inclusive Development
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In Hong Kong, which is one of the highest GDP per capita cities in the world, the problem of poverty, particularly the housing of the poor, has been exacerbated as economic development has progressed. The received neocapitalistic view is that such poverty is an inevitable price for the economic growth which will eventually benefit everyone. In this essay, I criticize such view by examining how non-inclusive economic development in the past created barriers to inclusive economic development today. Through a comprehensive analysis of the housing problem in Hong Kong, I argue that these barriers, including not only physical constraints such as ownership and the lease of lands, housing prices and public housing policies, but also an ideological constraint adopted and advocated by the rich that regards poverty as a consequence of personal laziness and stupidity rather than a failure of the government, render the promise of the neo-capitalistic equality between rich and poor very difficult if not impossible to attain. I conclude that real equality can be attained only if we regard inclusive development as a necessary component of development from the beginning rather than a remedy for noninclusive development.
110. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Maduka Enyimba Sustainable-Inclusive Development through Conversational Thinking: Sustainable-Inclusive Development through Conversational Thinking: The Case for Africa – China Relations
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My aim in this paper is to show the necessity and possibility of implementing inclusive development that is sustainable in Africa-China relations using theConversational technique. I contend that the foremost challenges facing inclusive and sustainable developments are the dearth of constructive and balancedrelationships. If a programme of development is constructive, that is, takes into consideration every relevant variable and practicable measure, it would besustainable; and if it is balanced, that is, being fair to all groups, it would be inclusive. Michelle and Paula (2012) have proposed that inclusive development ispossible through a community-based strategy. This approach is bedeviled with difficulties which conversational thinking overcomes. Conversational thinking is anew approach in philosophical cogitation developed from the African place, but universally relevant. Its significance lies in the fact that it recognises the relevanceof contending variables in a given project, and creates room for their creative engagement that opens new vistas for thought, concepts and interactions.Conversational thinking prioritises relationships that exist among development variables or groups designated as either nwansa (out-group) or nwanju (in-group)and purveys strategies for making such relationships constructive and balanced. In highlighting the importance of cultivating constructive and balanced relationships and sustaining the same, I appeal to conversational philosophy as the needed pathway for the implementation of the ideals of sustainable-inclusive development in Africa-China relations. My methods will be expository, prescriptive and analytic.
111. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Pius M. Mosima Inclusive Development: Some Perspectives from African Communitarian Philosophy
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In this paper, I argue that traditional African communitarian values such as togetherness, mutual cooperation and solidarity are more consistent with the socialstructure and the political organization of many traditional societies in Africa and could be a veritable framework for implementing a program of inclusivedevelopment. I establish that African communitarian values take into consideration the contributions of all stakeholders, including the poor, vulnerable, and the marginalized in a bid to address development issues. I also provide strong reasons for implementing communitarian strategies of togetherness, solidarity andmutual cooperation which support mutual interdependence and could promote inclusive development in Africa. I draw examples from traditional African ethicwith communitarian values salient among small self-governing communities, and reflect on the ethic / politics of consensus in light of important developmentalchallenges facing the world today. I draw the conclusion that a critical and creative reevaluation of the communitarian values may help Africans and the rest of humanity in meeting the challenges of inclusive development.
112. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Samuel C. Y. Ku, Yuan-Ming Chiao Inclusiveness Matters: The Development of Ethno-Politics in Malaysia
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Malaysian voters made a historical decision in May 2018, ushering in what observers termed a “Malay political tsunami” by displacing the UMNO government’s decades-long rule. This paper argues that the spirit of inclusiveness played a crucial role in the first transition of power in Malaysia. Moreover, the inclusive representation of major ethnic groups in the multi-racial state by the winning Alliance Hope coalition was a key factor leading to the transition. This paper also examines the political development in Malaysia, from the beginning of inclusive politics in the early stage of its independence, to the decline of inclusiveness from the 1970s to 1990s, to the collapse of the inclusive politics since 2008 when the DAP (the Chinese opposition party) produced a major victory over the MCA (the Chinese party in the ruling UMNO government) in the May 2008 elections. Finally, this paper also explores the challenges of the new ruling Alliance Hope in Malaysia.
113. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Savio Abreu The Challenge of Stringent, Radical Nationalism to Inclusive Development
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In recent times, in Asia and more specifically in South Asia the discourse on ethnic and religious nationalisms that attempt to redefine the identity of locals in anexclusive and adversarial manner has dominated political and mainstream exchanges. This emphasis on stringent and radical nationalism has seriousramifications for inclusive development. This article critically examines the findings of the Inclusive Development Index 2018 (IDI) and link it with other reports and surveys like the Oxfam survey 2017 to find out the connections between stringent forms of nationalism and development. Besides analyzing briefly the notions of nationalism as played out concretely in the South Asian nations, this article makes an in-depth analysis of the specific case of the right wing ‘Hindutva’ ideology in India. The processes, institutions and structures that lead to various forms of systemic bias and discrimination against the minorities will be identified, and the role of stringent nationalism in reinforcing these biases and thus impeding the project of inclusive development will be scrutinised.
114. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Benedict Shing Bun Chan A Preliminary Consequential Evaluation of the Roles of Cultures in Human Rights Debates
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In the debates on the roles of cultures in the ethics of human rights, one of them concerns Confucianism and Ubuntu, two prominent cultures in East Asia andSouthern Africa, respectively. Some scholars assert that both cultures have values that are sharply different from the West, and conclude that the West should learn from these cultures. The aim of this paper is to philosophically investigate the roles of cultures in the ethics of human rights. I first introduce the works of Bell,Metz and others on community values such as relationships and harmony in Confucianism and Ubuntu. I then argue that even if their interpretations werecorrect, their works still would not justify the conclusion they want. I show that it is better to use consequential evaluation rather than cultural evaluation to justifyhuman rights. An example of human rights to health and privacy is discussed. This paper thus offers some preliminary but important philosophical investigations and addresses practical issues of consequential evaluation related to human rights.
115. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Jonathan O. Chimakonam Addressing the Problem of Mass Poverty in the Sub-Saharan Africa: Conversational Thinking as a Tool for Inclusive Development
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I argue that one way in which a problem such as mass poverty in the sub-Saharan Africa can be addressed is through inclusive development, which is a pro poor, pro all, programme. However, it appears that the theoretical framework that can deliver the values of inclusive development has yet to be clearly sorted out. This is because, while bringing together all actors and factors, inclusive development should not subsume individual endowments to collective values. I fault Amartya Sen’s Capabilities approach which mounts a defence of development through democratic deliberation as treating the individual in a way that seemingly trivialises the sort of relationship—a complementary one— required for inclusive development to happen, and Thaddeus Metz’s ubuntu approach which though upholds individual endowments, tends to also appeal to the collective in a way that appears to place premium on some collective values like solidarity which, I think, can blur the line between individual endowments and collective values. So, I claim that inclusive development can better be delivered using the approach of conversational thinking which has the capacity to drive the values of inclusive development such as complementarity and comprehensiveness while at the same time sufficiently isolating the endowments of the individuals from the trappings of the collective. Conversational thinking achieves this by taking the nature of the relationships of the relevant variables to factor into the effort aimed at combating social protection problems such as poverty.
116. Filosofia Theoretica: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Mojalefa Lehlohonolo Koenane Economic Development in Africa through the Stokvel System: ‘Our’ Indigenous way or ‘Theirs’
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Underdevelopment increases unemployment, which further worsens poverty levels among people in rural communities and inequality in the country at large. Atpresent, government financial institutions are failing to reach rural communities which they are meant to develop. The inability of such communities to accesscapital from formal financial institutions drives them to devise alternative means through which they can survive and improve their livelihoods. Stokvels areeffective self-help economic development strategies in rural South Africa which do not depend on external forces but rely totally on the determination of membersof the community to improve their lives themselves. The creation of self-help projects such as stokvels are founded on the principle of ubuntu, which goesbeyond the enrichment of the individual. Stokvels constitute an ethical framework that could improve the economic distribution in modern-day society. Adoptingindigenous African ways of dealing with African problems could therefore prove an effective tool for helping to alleviate poverty in rural areas.
117. 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.
118. 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.
119. 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.
120. 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.