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- Volume 3, Issue 1, 2014
Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions - Volume 3, Issue 1, 2014
Volume 3, Issue 1, 2014
Interrogatory theory : patterns of social deconstruction, reconstruction and the conversational order in African philosophyAuthor Jonathan O. ChimakonamSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 3, pp 1 –25 (2014)More Less
Africa is in economic and social terms widely regarded as an underdeveloped continent even though we in interrogatory theory (IT) would prefer the term developing instead. Its societies are characterized by unstable institutions. Societies ride on the wheels of institutions. Institutions are social structures or building blocks of any society. Repressive colonial times replaced traditional institutions with non-compatible ones ignoring any usable part of tradition and admitting without censorship every element in the imposed modernity. My position in this essay is that social structures in postcolonial Africa are ramshackled hence the massive retrogression of the continent's social order. To get Africa on its feet and moving in the right direction requires the reconstruction of the social structures of Africa's modernity and the construction of its futurity. I postulate interrogatory theory (IT) as a conversational algorithm that would provide the theoretic base for the authentic African renaissance. It is constructively questioning rather than being exclusively critical i.e. it questions to reconstruct rather than being merely critical to deconstruct; dialogical rather than merely individualistic; rigorous rather than merely informative; yet radical rather than being conventional.
Author Benson OhihonSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 3, pp 26 –40 (2014)More Less
African names are not philosophical rhetoric, but they are believed to convey deep intrinsic significance for the bearer and the community as a whole. It is argued that African names evaluate nature, essence as well as provide a string of relationship between the living and the dead. This paper argued that though African names function thus much, the various incursions into Africa have continued to vitrify their context, nature and continuum. Through the gristmill of religious interpretive framework, it is argued that if this trend remains unabated, African names as part of African religious cultural value or heritage would in no distant time ebb into oblivion.
Author Umezurike John EzugwuSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 3, pp 41 –49 (2014)More Less
This paper is of the view that it is not bad for the Africans to defend their philosophy and their origin, as against the claims and positions of the few African thinkers, who do not believe that African philosophy exists, and a great number of the Westerners, who see nothing meaningful in their thoughts and ideas, but in doing so, they became biased and elevated their philosophy and relegated other philosophies to the background. This charge of ethnocentrism against those who deny African philosophy can also be extended to those African philosophers who in a bid to affirm African philosophy commit the discipline to strong ethnic reduction. This paper using Innocent Asouzu's Ibuanyidanda ontology, observes that most of the African scholars are too biased and self aggrandized in doing African philosophy, and as such have marred the beauty of African philosophy, just in the name of attaching cultural value to it. Innocent Asouzu's Ibuanyidanda ontology is used in this paper to educate the Africans that in as much as the Westerners cannot do without them, they too cannot do without Westerners. This paper therefore, is an attempt to eradicate ethnocentrism in and beyond Africa in doing philosophy through complementarity and mutual understanding of realities, not in a polarized mindset but in relationship to other realities that exist.
Author Peter BisongSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 3, pp 50 –66 (2014)More Less
What is it that constitutes personal identity, is a question that has engaged the minds of scholars for eons of years. This question has become more complex in recent times with the emergence of biomedical technologies like allotransplantation, xenotransplantation and other forms of genetic engineering, which have tended to obliterate the uniqueness that hitherto existed in individuals. With organs and tissues being transplanted at will from one human to another, it becomes difficult to define what constitutes personal identity of person A who received an allotransplant from person B. Is he person B or Person A or both? This question would be a hard nut to crack for the adherent to a bodily theory of personal identity like Chimakonam. To assume that personal identity resides in the continuation of the same body will amount to a conclusion that Mrs. B who had a face and breast transplant is not Mrs. B but somebody else. The society Chimakonam holds as a judge of personal identity, would actually see her as not Mrs. A. But is she really not Mrs. A? This work concludes that she is Mrs. A because it is the individual that is the judge of personal identity and not the society. Personal identity resides in the consciousness. This is because it is consciousness that marks human from animals. This is not to say that the body is not a criterion of personal identity, personal identity resides more in consciousness than in the body. The body could only serve as a criterion, where the consciousness is lost, but when consciousness is regained, the body ceases to be the criterion. The body could at best be said to be a temporary criterion of identity, and would give way when consciousness returns.
Author Edwin EtieyiboSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 3, pp 67 –82 (2014)More Less
I want to do a couple of things in this essay. First, I want to articulate the central direction that postmodern thinking or philosophy (or postmodernism or postmodernity) takes. Second, I want to present a brief sketch of African philosophy, focusing mostly on some aspects of African ethics. Third, I want to gesture towards the view that while postmodern thinking seems to suggest that African philosophy is a legitimate narrative or "language game" it could be argued that given its central ideas and doctrines African philosophy may be open to some of the worries facing modern thinking (or modernism or modernity).
Author Olukayode R. AdesuyiSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 3, pp 83 –95 (2014)More Less
The paper attempts an analysis of African philosophy from the commencement of its ontological debate and focuses on its relevance in culture. The paper does not contribute to the debate, since the debate is no longer a serious issue among African philosophers and scholars. It, however, states the importance of the debate to the field of African philosophy. It explains culture as an all encompassing phenomenon and that it serves as a relevant source for the discussion on African philosophy. It uses functionalism and structuralism as theories that could be used to understand African philosophy and culture. The theories are to expatiate how the concerned can analyze African philosophy and other relevant things. The paper concludes that given the understanding of these theories African philosophy can be understood in their directions.
Author Fainos MangenaSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 3, pp 96 –107 (2014)More Less
After reading an Article by Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu entitled: Trends in African Philosophy: A Case for Eclectism (2013, 275-287), I felt that as Africans of Black extraction, we were doing a disservice to our very own philosophy called Ethno-philosophy in ridicle. For many years African philosophy has not been taken seriously by both African Philosophers and Western Philosophers alike. To my knowledge, African philosophy has been disparaged and downgraded for failing to have, among other things, a coherent system of thought and a method that can be applied across all the cultures of this world. In this essay, I argue that philosophy needs not to have a method that is absolutely applicable across all cultures in order to be a philosophy that is worth celebrating. My position is that the current generation of African philosophers must develop a logic on which African philosophy should sit instead of "running away from their burning house only to seek refuge next door."
Author Lucky U. OgbonnayaSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 3, pp 108 –126 (2014)More Less
This work is of the view that the question of being is not only a problem in Western philosophy but also in African philosophy. It, therefore, posits that being is that which is and has both abstract and concrete aspect. The work arrives at this conclusion by critically analyzing and evaluating the views of some key African philosophers with respect to being. With this, it discovers that the way that these African philosophers have postulated the idea of being is in the same manner like their Western philosophers whom they tried to criticize. This work tries to synthesize the notions of beings of these African philosophers in order to reach at a better understanding of being. This notion of being leans heavily on Asouzu's ibuanyidanda ontology which does not bifurcate or polarize being, but harmonizes entities or realities that seem to be contrary or opposing in being.
The question of the "African" in African philosophy : in search of a criterion for the Africanness of a philosophyAuthor Oji UdumaSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 3, pp 127 –146 (2014)More Less
The African question in African philosophy is enigmatic because of the intentional attempt to rationalize Africans out of humanity. Eurocentric scholars and missionaries mutilated history and concocted a false image of Africans which they presented as the substantive African identity (MUDIMBE 1988); an identity that presents the African as pre-logical, barbaric and as such incapable of philosophic thoughts. This identity was foisted and consolidated on humanity including Africans, and intellectually accepted as the true African identity for over four centuries. Consequently, while the racist Eurocentric description of the African makes it impossible for one to suggest that there can be anything like African philosophy, the enslavement, balkanization, colonization and the introduction of a Western-oriented formal education into Africa further dehumanized, traumatized and alienated Africans from their culture. This experiment is what precipitated the identity problem in Africa. Hence, the issue of a criterion for the Africanness of a philosophy is a contentious one because Africans were by their intellectual orientation trained to believe that there is nothing as such. This training and orientation also makes it difficult for those who think that there is a distinct African mode of thinking to be able to present it in a clear and unambiguous manner. This is because such a criterion will restrict the scope of African philosophy to a given epoch. In this sense, African philosophy will be concerned with only a part of the African historical experience. Given the comprehensive nature of philosophy, we are inclined to the persuasion that a criterion for the Africanness of a philosophy ought to be derived from the totality of the African experience.
Njikoka Amaka: Further Discussions on the Philosophy of Integrative Humanism (A Contribution to African and Intercultural Philosophies), Godfrey O. Ozumba and Jonathan O. Chimakonam : book reviewAuthor Mesembe Ita EdetSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 3, pp 147 –152 (2014)More Less
A philosophic system is the general trend or course of thought of a particular time, school or group of thinkers. Indeed, throughout the history of philosophy, Western philosophy, for instance, many philosophers have had the same fundamental concerns in philosophy and maintained more or less the same views about man and the universe. Their theories and beliefs tend to form clusters pivoting around the same or almost the same belief. Thus there are not only different philosophers, but also groups of philosophers, distinguished by their own particular views or outlook on reality, that is to say, man, life, society, knowledge, human history, human destiny, and the universe itself, etc.