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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.
11. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Reginald M.J. Oduor Editor’s Note
12. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Oseni Taiwo Afisi Human Nature in Marxism-Leninism and African Socialism
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Understanding the true nature of the human being is no doubt a sine qua non for developing an ideology for a desirable praxis. This paper examines the pitfalls of Marxist-Leninist scientific socialism and African socialism. It argues that a critical analysis of both ideologies reveals a lack of clear understanding of the nature of man by their proponents. An exhaustive account of the nature of man must explain self-consciousness, the urge to avoid pain, the desire for a purposeful life and for freedom from external interference, the passion for distinction, and, most importantly, the desire to acquire personal property. The paper further contends that socialism (whether scientific or African), does not allow room for the pursuit of personal ambition. This accounts for the failure in the implementation of both Marxist-Leninist socialism and African socialism. The paper avers that there is need to understand that the human being cannot simply be seen as a socio-economic or historical being; rather, consideration of the intrinsic elements which constitute the true nature of personhood is quintessential to achieving awell-ordered society.
13. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Samson O. Gunga Reginald M.J. Oduor’s Introduction to Ethics
14. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Jennifer Lisa Vest Perverse and Necessary Dialogues in African Philosophy
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This article examines the concerns and debates that have arisen in African philosophy over the last few decades, and asks whether it continues to be necessary for African philosophy to take on what the author calls “perverse questions” or “perverse preoccupations” with the West. The author argues that to engage and respond to questions about the intellectual capabilities of African thinkers or the possible existence of philosophical resources in African cultures is to respond to perverse questions. To engage in academic dialogues implicitly or explicitly guided by a request or a felt need to justify and defend the very possibility of African philosophy or African rationality is to engage in perverse and unnecessary dialogues. Because these perverse debates often precede, prevent, or condition the formulation of what count as necessary debates, it is important that they be identified and critically assessed, and when possible, dispensed with. Only then can African philosophy pursue necessary and fruitful debates.
15. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Oladele Abiodun Balogun A Philosophical Comparison of the Educational Thoughts of Obafemi Awolowo and Tai Solarin
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This paper compares the educational thoughts of Obafemi Awolowo and Tai Solarin. Its methodology is critical and comparative. The paper argues that the variations of the political philosophies of the two thinkers account for the differences in their views on education. It further contends that the educational ideas of both thinkers reflect African cultural experiences. The paper also explores the possibility of integrating the insights of the two thinkers into the educational policies and practices of contemporary African societies.
16. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Makumi Mwagiru Re-inventing the Future: Linkages between Human Rights, Foreign Policy and Regional Integration
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This paper raises questions concerning the emerging trends of regional and international relations. In this endeavour, it examines new insights from traditional perspectives. The paper explores the outer contours of the conceptual linkages between human rights, foreign policy and regional integration in the East African context. Its central argument is that the major debates in the discipline of international relations are ultimately controversies about its theoretical basis.
17. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Nahashon W. Ndung’u Persistence of Features of Traditional Healing in the Churches in Africa: The Case of the Akurinu Churches in Kenya
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One of the attractions of new converts from mainline churches to the African Instituted Churches (AICs) is faith healing. Healing understood in its wider sense asthe restoration of the wholeness of life is not new to African communities, since they practiced it long before the coming of Christianity into their continent. This article examines some features of traditional healing which are manifested in faith healing in the AICs. The persistence of these features pauses a challenge to mainline churches in Africa, forcing them to rethink their approach to life threatening issues such as witchcraft and barrenness that continue to preoccupy many of their adherents.
18. Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Ademola Kazeem Fayemi, O.C. Macaulay-Adeyelure A Philosophical Examination of the Traditional Yoruba Notion of Education and its Relevance to the Contemporary African Quest for Development
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This paper undertakes a philosophical investigation of the implications of the traditional Yoruba understanding of education for the contemporary African quest for development. The paper argues that the Yoruba conception of education is marked by the underlying philosophical principles of functionalism, moralism and progressivism. These principles, the paper contends, are of great relevance to the quest of contemporary African societies for education that will serve as a catalyst for development.
19. 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.
20. 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.