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81. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Babalola Joseph Balogun The Consequentialist Foundations of Traditional Yoruba Ethics: an Exposition
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Several treatises have been written on the foundations of African moral systems. A significant number of them favours the claim that these systems are founded on religion, with the latter providing a justification for the former. Others have taken a contrary position, denying the supposed necessary causal connection between religion and African moral systems. This paper neither seeks to support nor rebut any of the foundations proposed, but rather to argue for the thesis that from whichever perspective it is viewed - religious, humanistic or rationalist - the Yoruba moral system has strictly consequentialist foundations, and is hence subsumable under the general consequentialist ethical programme. However, the paper notes that Yoruba consequentialism diverges significantly from its western counterpart on the claim that “the end justifies the means”; for whereas this is true of western consequentialism, according to Yoruba consequentialism no evil, however well-intended, can bring about a good end. The Yoruba oral tradition, and particularly the Yoruba language as currently spoken and written among the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria, supplies tools of analysis, while ethical consequentialism provides the theoretical framework.
82. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Oyekan Adeolu Oluwaseyi Poverty and the Philosophy of Aid in Africa: Beyond Odera Oruka’s Theory of the Right to a Human Minimum
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Poverty in Africa has gained the attention of social activists, Non-Governmental Organizations, scholars from diverse fields, as well as governments. The contemporary reality of poverty, as revealed by various indices, shows that this problem has resisted the interventions so far. In view of the failures of earlier and current approaches to alleviating poverty in Africa, this paper explores the ethical and prudential approaches to setting anew, viable trajectory for poverty alleviation in twenty-first century Africa. It raises the fundamental question of whether or not the affluent individuals in African societies on the one hand, and the wealthy Western nations on the other have any obligation towards the poor in Africa. On the basis of a critical consideration of some ethical theories in relation to the question of poverty, the paper contends that for the sake of stability and progress in the continent, it is necessary to develop programmes for the effectiveassistance of the poor on altruistic and prudential grounds.
83. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Kibaba Makokha The Ethical Foundations of Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development
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One of the major challenges of the 21st century is the need to harmonize efforts at environmental conservation with endeavours to foster human development. This challenge has been on the world agenda for several decades, and was given great visibility through a report by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987. The report, popularly known as the Brundtland Report, calls for sustainable development to deal with the twin challenges of environmental conservation and human development. This paper reflects on the concept of sustainable development, and unveils some of the ambiguities andpolitics that have militated against the attainment of this noble objective. The thesis of the paper is that the imperative to attain sustainable development is a moral one, requiring all moral agents to rise to their individual and collective responsibility to secure the well-being of humans as well as that of the natural environment.
84. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Reginald M.J. Oduor Review of Helen Lauer and Kofi Anyidoho’s Reclaiming the Human Sciences and Humanities through African Perspectives
85. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Joseph Situma A Critique of Foucault’s Conception and Predictions of the Author-Function
86. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Reginald M.J. Oduor Editor’s Note
87. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Daniel Robert Aswani Review of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion
88. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ani From Marriage to Political Leadership: Lessons in Social Competencies from the Igbo Conception of Marriage
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Owing most probably to Western-style modernization, marriage is increasingly understood to be a business strictly for married couples. However, I argue that this is an error, as many inexperienced couples are left to their own devices, and thereby often fail to utilize marriage to acquire the social competencies that are crucial to wider social responsibilities, including political leadership. The modern atomic conception of marriage is influenced by the Kantinspired Western conception of moral autonomy. Nevertheless, I reject this conception as excessively absolutist, and argue that moral autonomy can be tempered by lack of experience, human desire and circumstantial pressures in life. Many African societies view marriage as a union of societies rather than that of individuals, and I argue that the moral support offered by the extended family and the community at large is ultimately geared to inculcate in the spouses inter-personal and social skills of restraint, prudence, tolerance, constructive criticism and other virtues desperately needed to execute societal responsibilities.
89. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Pamela Olivia Ngesa African Women Commuter Traders in Nairobi in the First Decade after World War 1: 1919-1929
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This article investigates African women commuter trading activities in Nairobi in the first decade after World War One. Its findings derive mainly from a research project carried out in 1989-1996. The major source of data for the study was oral interviews with the women who traded in Nairobi during the years under study, as well as with eyewitnesses to their trading activities. Sampling of such respondents employed the purposive technique because of its ability to deal with the problem of an incomplete population frame by conveniently drawing the required study sample from available resources. The research drew other data from library and archival sources, especially to corroborate the oral evidence. However, this article utilises additional archival and library data to achieve greater comprehensiveness than was attained in the earlier version. The article therefore makes an important intellectual contribution to the ongoing debate on the social, political and economic role and impact of African women’s economic activities such as commodity trade in African towns.
90. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Jare Oladosu Revisiting Africa’s “Socialist” Past to Design Africa’s Future Political Economy
91. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Humphrey J. Ojwang Review of Joshua Obuhatsa’s Values Education, African Tradition and Christianity
92. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
H.M. Majeed Religion and the Problem of Rationality: Insights from Akan Religious Thought
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Arguments against the practice of religion and, in general, against belief in metaphysical entities, have been made in different cultures and at different times in human history. This article, however, does not offer a historical outline of such arguments. Rather, it reflects on some contemporary remarks made, especially in Western thought, against religion. It illustrates how a correct understanding of Traditional Akan Religion renders untrue claims that seek to dismiss religion on the grounds of irrationality. Utilising philosophical reflection, it shows how rational belief in a Traditional African Religion such as the Akan one is.
93. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Fainos Mangena Ethno-philosophy is Rational: A Reply to Two Famous Critics
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In this article, I contend that philosophical reactions against ethno-philosophy, especially the arguments by professional African philosophers such as Paulin Hountondji and Kwame Anthony Appiah, cannot go unchallenged at a time when Africa is facing a myriad of problems such as disease, famine, ethnic conflicts, religious wars, and natural disasters which, in my view, stem from the continent’s failure to reflect on its past in the quest for lasting solutions. Having looked at the historical context of the emergence of ethno-philosophy or the project of cultural revivalism, and having closely examined the premises presented by Hountondji and Appiah against ethno-philosophy - which I consider to be unconvincing because of their tendency to glide into Western philosophical forms of thought - I argue that ethno-philosophy is just like Western philosophy, as it is based on a recognized form of reasoning, namely inductive reasoning, which is packaged in proverbs, riddles and other cultural resources. I also argue that religious beliefs are not an obstacle to the development of scientific thought in Africa; rather, they are an aid to it since both have complementary rather than opposing roles.
94. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Reginald M.J. Oduor, Ph.D. Editor’s Note
95. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Adebayo A. Ogungbure Towards an Internalist Conception of Justification in African Epistemology
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In current discussions on African epistemology, the issue of justification of beliefs has mainly been considered from an externalist perspective, such that justification is described as achievable merely through the means of empirical verification and social context of discourse. However, this results in a knowledge-gap since both internalist and externalist perspectives are needed to arrive at a holistic notion of epistemic justification. Consequently, the objective of this article is to fill this gap by employing the methods of conceptual and critical analysis to attempt an internalist interpretation of epistemic justification in the quest for a more balanced view of African epistemology.
96. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Balogun Babalola Joseph Ibi: An Examination of the Yoruba Traditional-Existentialist Conception of Evil
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The problem of evil is of universal concern to humankind. Various attempts have been made to account for it in Western philosophy as well as in world religions such as Christianity, Islam and African traditional religion. This article examines the Yoruba existentialist attitude to the problem of evil. Using the Yoruba oral tradition, it posits that for the Yoruba evil is the creation of each individual, so that God cannot be blamed for its existence. I conclude the article with my own personal view that given the individual as a carrier of evil seed, the best existential outlook is to be ready to face, with stoic courage, whatever life brings one’s way.
97. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Reginald M.J. Oduor A Critical Review of Leonhard Praeg’s A Report on Ubuntu
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This article opines that in view of its detailed presentation of the contemporary discourse on Ubuntu, its incisive analysis of key concepts in this discourse, as well as its bold and thoroughgoing critique of the assumptions of both the advocates of Ubuntu and the defenders of the hegemonic Western liberal tradition, Leonhard Praeg’s seminal work, A Report on Ubuntu, is an outstanding contribution not only to the Southern African discourse on Ubuntu, but also to the ongoing quest for methodology in African philosophy as a whole.
98. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Roger Künkel Philosophizing about Africa in Berlin
99. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Reginald M.J. Oduor Editor’s Note
100. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Ronald Olufemi Badru Colonial Legal Reasoning in the Post-Colonial African State: A Critique and a Defense of the Argument from African Metaphysical Epistemology
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This article focuses on legal reasoning and legal epistemology within the African context. It examines the system of legal justice in post-colonial Africa and submits that because of the colonial legacy, post-colonial African legal reasoning is methodologically founded on empiricism and positivism. It avers that despite its merit of scientific objectivity, such legal reasoning is largely incapable of addressing offences committed through the manipulation of metaphysical realities or other forms of covert criminalities and wrongdoing. Consequently, the article proposes that the methodology of African metaphysical epistemology be adopted to complement the colonial methodology of legal reasoning in Africa, as it has the advantageous result of helping in the search for truth concerning such offences, thereby promoting the delivery of effective legal justice, and thus contributing significantly to the development of a balanced and reliable justice system in contemporary African societies. The methods of critical analysis, reflective argumentation and oral interview were adopted to pursue the goals of the study.