Volume 5, Issue 2, 2016
Victor C. A. Nweke
Mesembe Edet’s Conversation with Innocent Onyewuenyi: An Exposition of the Significance of the Method and Canons of Conversational Philosophy
The basic thesis of this essay is that the progressive development of any discipline is propelled by incessant constructive criticisms, creative emendation and articulate reconstruction of established positions and received opinions in the discipline. Accordingly, the essay argues that the method and canons of Conversational Philosophy (CP) are very significant to the progressive development of African philosophy. This is because they are fundamentally articulated to promote the constructive criticism, creative emendation, and articulate reconstruction of established positions or received opinions in African philosophy. It
buttresses this point using Mesembe Edet’s conversation with Innocent Onyewuenyi on the question of the African belief on reincarnation. This choice stems from the explicit admittance of Edet that his conversation with Onyewuenyi adopts the method of conversationalism and the method of conversationalism is undergirded by the canons of CP. Specifically, this essay explicates how the conscious adoption of conversationalism and adherence to the canons of CP enabled Edet to engage Onyewuenyi in a very critical and creative conversation on the African belief in reincarnation which eventually led to a novel reconceptualization of reincarnation in African philosophy. It unveils the significance of conversationalism and the canons of CP in practice. It is therefore a conversational, expository and argumentative essay.