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Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology

Volume 8, Issue 2, 2011

Values and Intercultural Communications

Isaac E. Ukpokolo
Pages 235-252

Between Group Mind and Common Good
Interrogating the African Socio-Political Condition

The paper is challenged with the seeming contradiction resulting from the prevalent conception of the group mind and common good in African and Western cultures or societies. Many African scholars have theorized about the communalistic nature of African communities which leads to the flourishing of group consciousness as opposed to individualistic attitudes. This is often discussed against the background of the liberalism of Western societies which tend to elevate individual consciousness and self-realization over that of the group. With this picture in mind, one would expect the common good to flourish in the former more than the latter. Present African socio-political conditions examined against similar scenarios in the West makes it glaringly obvious that the exact opposite is the case. Being that the group mind principle needed for the attainment of the common good seems absent in contemporary African states, the paper therefore recommends that a critical self-examination is needed by the African states in order to develop a genuinely African group consciousness for the attainment of the common good.

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