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Volume 4, Issue 2, 2015
Source: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 4, pp V –VIII (2015)More Less
Without philosophy, the world would be filled with brutes! But the essence of philosophy practice does not lie in agreements rather; it lies chiefly in disagreements. Where people usually agree, there reason has gone on holiday and the spirit of philosophy vanquished. But our disagreements must be respectful to distinguish it from the banter of brutes or charlatans. This is what Filosofia Theoretica stands for hence, conversational thinking.
Author Olatunji A. OyeshileSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 4, pp 2 –18 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ft.v4i2.1More Less
The human quest for the meaning of life is an unending one marked by undulating landscapes. In order to confront the flux of experience generated by this quest for meaning, the human embraces science, morality, politics and religion. Religion is said to provide the basis for transcendental values which give humans succour after the physical and material struggles have ended. At the same time, religion also uses the observable social world as the starting point for the embrace of transcendental values. In this essay, an attempt is made to examine the interconnectedness of modernity (which has its basis in the social world), Islam (which provides the human with transcendental values) and an African culture (which serves as a nexus of modernity and Islam). The essay is basically an exercise in analysis whereby the readers are made to draw some compelling inferences.
Author David A. OyedolaSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 4, pp 20 –45 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ft.v4i2.2More Less
Whether Appiah's concession in [The Illusions of Race, 1992] that there are no races can stand vis-a-vis Masolo's submission in "African Philosophy and the Postcolonial : some Misleading Abstractions about Identity" (1997) that identity is impossible, it is worthy to note that much of what is entailed in human societies tend toward the exaltation and protection of self-interest. Self-interest, as it is related to particular or individual entities, to a great extent, presupposes the ontology of different races and identities. Paul Taylor in "Appiah's Uncompleted Argument: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Reality of Race," to begin with, asserts that races and identity struggles are real entities as individuals': where this can be said to aid and abet racial differences. Though, there are those who lend credence to Appiah's and Masolo's explications like Hountondji and Gyekye; however, it is noteworthy that philosophers like Du Bois, Nkrumah, Fanon, Mandela, Senghor, Hallen and Cabral who, in one way or the other, lend credence to Taylor's claim, could not have said so without taking into consideration, the colonial and anthropological experiences which has, in one way or the other, has affected Africa and Africans. Despite the latter, certain flaws like (i) the failure to acknowledge the utility and global importance of human race or family, and (ii)the failure to recognize the distinctiveness of each existing race, tribe or ethnicities in a diverse political, religious, and culture-biased world, are inherent in Taylor's, Appiah's and Masolo's views coupled with those who lend credence to their views. In this study, nevertheless, it is conceded that it is not enough, as a derivative of Appiah's skepticism about race and identity, to gesture at racial and identity concerns while using logical incoherence, globality, methodological separatism and cosmopolitan traits to undermine the relevance of identity which is the soul of the postcolonial quest for a distinct African race or black (African) philosophy.
Author Cyril-Mary Pius OlatunjiSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 4, pp 46 –67 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ft.v4i2.3More Less
Many of the philosophers of African politics who have argued that the political challenges of Nigeria, and of Africa as a whole are as a result of the impunity and corruption of post-independence Nigeria leaders also give the impression that the people of Nigeria are mere innocent victims because in their arguments all the ills of the Nigerian state exist only because the country have not experienced or discovered an honest and capable political leader. The scholars argue to the effect that all that Nigeria can do is simply to hope for the ascendance of a Messiah, who being an honest, capable and patriotic leader will on his own volition become committed to the cause of reversing the situation in order to turn around all the ills of the nation. Employing the examples of two prominent scholars of African politics (Chinua Achebe and Larry Diamond) the paper employs the epistemological rigor of analysis and logic to examine and make a critique of the underlying assumptions of the scholars and identifies the theoretical flaws of believing that political representatives are substantively political leaders, that Nigerians are helpless victims who on their own are incapable of reversing the situation and that Nigeria should hope for a political saviour who will turn around all the social and political ills of Nigeria on his own accord.
Author Christian C. EmedoluSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 4, pp 68 –88 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ft.v4i2.5More Less
This paper assumes that there is a distinction between empirical and non-empirical science. It also assumes that empirical science has two complementary parts, namely, theorization and experimentation. The paper focuses strictly on the experimental aspect of science. It is a call for reformation in African experimental science. Following a deep historical understanding of the revolution that brought about experimental philosophy (as modern empirical science was called up to the time of Newton) this paper admits that magic was the mother, not just the "bastard sister" of empirical science. It uncovers the fact that magic added the dimension of experimentation to science. This paper somewhat maintains that most of the ideas presented by some African scholars contain vestiges of the magical tradition in them. Even though this might not be a flaw by any reasonable standard, the paper still argues that there is a genuine need to separate magic from science, if we ever crave for any form of material/physical progress in Africa. I insist that the thrust of the call for paradigm shift in this paper is centered basically on experimentation. The issue of theoretical entities was introduced only to the extent such entities enhance experimental realism in the practice of African science. Of course, reformation can equally take place at the level of scientific theorization, but that is strictly beyond the scope of this paper. The fact is that those who are versed on the issues of experimentation should begin to get more focused on that aspect; and those who are given to theorization should settle with the formulation of well-structured theories. Time has indeed come for us to properly streamline our thoughts and make progress in the direction of African experimental science. In making this clarion call, we adopted a combined approach of hermeneutics and analysis.
Author Augustine Akwu AtaborSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 4, pp 90 –94 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ft.v4i2.6More Less
The opening topic whose thesis needs clarification is, "The Question of Objectivity, its Implications for the Social Sciences in the Era of Postmodernism: Africa in Perspective", published in the Special Issue of this journal on Postmodernism and African Philosophy (Volume 3, Number 2, July-December 2014, pp.50-61). The sequence of the argument in this paper which was meant to create a liberating ground from the suspicious position of the African mind in relation to globalization takes the following pattern: can the social sciences be regarded as science? Must the social science be reduced to the methods in the natural sciences before it can be called science? Does the social science retain any capacity for objective truth? To the above questions, what could be gleaned from the paper is that, the social sciences can justifiably be regarded as science, the social science must not necessarily meet the requirements of the methods of the natural sciences to be called science and that the social science has a right claim to objectivity.
David A. Oyedola and the imperative to disambiguate the term "African philosopher" : a conversation from the standpoint of the conversational school of philosophy - the calabar circle (CSP)Author Victor C.A. NwekeSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 4, pp 94 –99 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ft.v4i2.7More Less
One of the most enduring questions that survived the Great Debate on African philosophy is the question of the criterion for African philosophy. A number of articles that tend to tackle this controversial question have been published in previous volumes of this journal. The most recent are: Uduma (2014), Segun (2014), Chimakonam (2015b) and Oyedola (2015). The major focus of this work is on how Oyebola's analysis of the criterion question calls for an explicit definition of who an African philosopher is and this shall be done using the standpoint of The Conversational School of Philosophy - The Calabar Circle also known as The Calabar School of Philosophy (CSP) on the criterion for African philosophy as articulated by Chimakonam (2015a, 2015b, 2015c,). My contention is that the discussions in Oyebola's article call for the disambiguation of the term African philosopher and that an adequate understanding of the position of the CSP on the criterion for African philosophy makes it easy to identify who an African philosopher is or should be.
The limitations of Bernard Matolion's "limited communitarianism" : continuing the conversations on personhood in African philosophy : book reviewAuthor Mesembe ItaSource: Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 4, pp 99 –112 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ft.v4i2.8More Less
Bernard Matolino perceives some confusion arising from the diversity of opinion on the subject of "personhood" in African philosophy, hence his latest book of that title: [Personhood in African Philosophy], described on the blurb as "the first and only monograph wholly and exclusively dedicated to the concept of person in African philosophy". The book, written in five chapters is indeed a comprehensive discussion of the concept as it has been grappled with by various philosophers on the continent in extant literature. It is worth pointing out that Matolino's style in composing the book was typical of The Conversational School of Philosophy's (The Calabar School of Philosophy's) method of conversationalism. I wish to employ this method also in this review.