n Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions - Finding a place for interrogatory theory : a critique of Chimakonam's patterns of social deconstruction, reconstruction and the conversational order in African Philosophy

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2276-8386
  • E-ISSN: 2408-5987



Chimakonam's brilliantly pieced article on Interrogatory Theory is his idea of a viable social philosophy for postcolonial Africa. The article is structured into two broad aspects namely: (i) Interrogatory Theory and (ii) Conversational order in African philosophy. Our attention in this critique will be on the first.

Interrogatory Theory (IT) is a social philosophy that seeks a revitalization of institutions in modern Africa. Its purpose is a "reflective assessment or interrogation of social structures (tradition and modernity) in order to deconstruct, construct/reconstruct or synthesize where necessary in pursuit of the future which contains the ideal" (CHIMAKONAM 2014, 2). In its introduction, Interrogatory theory makes what I think is a specious and audacious claim that "No society would ever develop if its inhabitants are free to live the way they please" ( CHIMAKONAM 2014, 3). Ideas such as this are unmistakably dangerous for any society and a danger to civilization. Chimakonam believes that as a developing continent, Africa needs to hobble, the freedom of citizens to a certain extent, in what he calls "positive repression of treacherous human freedom in Africa" (3). It appears that he mistook the true philosophical import of what liberty or freedom entails, which is a knowledge that "where my freedom stops, another's begins". Furthermore, insisting that the purpose of the constitution is to dominate and repress human freedom is a limpid example of a misconstrued notion of the principles of "". Laws are put in place to reward the diligent compliant and punish or sanction the rebellious. Thereupon, it is not done with the intention to shackle freedom but rather as an attempt to secure it.

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