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THOMAS PAINE’S PHILOSOPHY OF RIGHTS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
Divination in Africa: An Investigation of its Philosophical Basis
It belngs to the Philosopher as a lover wisdom to conceptualize the concrete and the abstract, the real and the ideal, the tangible and the intangible realms of existence and by so doing, be able to give meaning to life and its challenges.
This research work is basically analytical and expository in nature and it is centered on John Locke's theory of justice in the light of the questions of Justice in Nigerian body politic.
Freedom is an ideal and dream of individuals, groups, societies and nations, no matter how primitive they are. It is a metaphysical term translatable into concrete historical reality.
The history of philosophy and science can rightly be termed, the history of theories of the world. Man has not for once stopped the search for new means of interpreting his world and transforming his environment.
With a pragmatist approach which he calls Ironism, Richard Rorty makes an attempt to eliminate metaphysics, and finally to replace philosophy with literature. What Rorty sees as metaphysics is the traditional philosophical view that mind or language represents the true nature of things, the universal and changeless essence of reality. And what he sees as Ironism, an attempt to eliminate metaphysics, is redescription of metaphysical concepts (such as truth, mind, reason, etc.). Redescription of the concepts means replacing their speculative metaphysical senses with pragmatic senses. For instance, Rorty argues that the word “truth” is not found, but made, because truth is not an objective reality out there, but a function of sentences made by humans. He argues that the word ‘mind’ is not an immaterial entity that mirrors reality, but the ability to use persuasion rather than force to make people do what one wants. When Rorty realized that redescription of vocabularies using theory cannot eliminate metaphysics because theory is about general ideas (the metaphysical), he then recommended use of novel in the place of theory for Ironism. He argues that literature should replace philosophy, because philosophy is not a search for truth, but a literary enterprise—arguments about what words to use. The objectives of this study are: (i) to expose Rorty’s Ironism in detail; (ii) to expose metaphysics itself which Ironism is made to eliminate; (iii) to evaluate Rorty’s claim that metaphysics or philosophy is replaceable by Ironism or literature; (iv) to argue that Ironism as an attempt to eliminate metaphysics is a misnomer and ill-founded; and (v) to create a new sub-branch of philosophy out of Rorty’s Ironism. Expository, evaluative and hermeneutic methods were used to achieve the objective. The conclusion of the study (which is its main thesis) is that Ironism is not opposed to metaphysics, but a pragmatist kind of metaphysics which is opposed to the idealist kind.
KEYWORDS: Ironism, metaphysics, redescription, creativity, innovation
The predominant opinion that science has the explanation and solution to natural and social problems can be summed in the words of Mel Thompson that ‘science is a massive problem-solving and information gathering enterprise’. Thoughts such as this relegate other forms of knowledge and the benefits therein to the background or sometimes dismissing them as primitive myths or traditional gibberish. However, Karl Popper believes that myths and traditions are essential component of modern science and that without tradition knowledge is impossible. Myths survive via tradition. Popper argues for a critical examination of myths and tradition before rejecting or accepting them. Along this line, the study analyzed and evaluated Popper’s thoughts on myths and traditions. Specifically, the study, using Popper’s theory of critical rationalism as a framework, tried to situate the appropriateness or otherwise of myths and traditions for the enhancement of scientific and social knowledge; discover the philosophy behind myths and traditions; how they are created, sustained and transmitted and finally, discover the role it had played and could play in the development of science and society. The study affirmed Popper’s view that tradition is a very important source of knowledge and that science originates from myths and traditions. It was also established that the philosophy behind every myth and tradition is the explanation and justification of all human experiences and actions. It was equally discovered that cosmological and physical regularities and irregularities give impetus for the creation of myths and traditions. The study advocates the enthronement of the culture of logical curiosity in cultures where critical thinking is not a tradition in other to preserve their myths and traditions for future generations.
Morality entails everything about man's action, what he ought to do and what he ought not to do. Like moral standards and moral values, morality forms part and parcel of the life of every social group and civil society. Man as a social and rational being, is naturally moral and political. Politics on the other hand entails everything about the political life in the society. This includes who should, and how the ruler ought to rule. "The Concept of morality and politics in Aristotle" is a fresh and specific approach adapted by the writer to have a philosophical and a critical view of Aristotelian morality and politics. Aristotle argues that there is an end which stands above other ends in relation to human function. He calls it happiness- the highest good. Medieval philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine call it summum Bonum. This is not in contradiction with the Aristotelian notion. Aristotle views the end as generality by postulating that everyone pursues it, both in the political life and in the moral life. For the excellence of the individual equals that of the state. For even the state should aim at providing the ultimate happiness for its citizens. For an individual does not seek morality in a vacuum but in a political society. The state should aim at achieving the ultimate happiness for its citizens. In this regard, this work sets out to discover the relationship of morality to politics and to show the relevance of morality in achieving a sound political system in Aristotle.
George Edward Moore, in his quest to establish a direct realist account of cognition and to refute skepticism and absolute idealism, which is a brand of metaphysical monism, argued that at least some of our beliefs about the world are absolutely certain. Moore argues that these beliefs are ‘commonsense’. All the arguments put forth by G.E. Moore in his classic works; A Defense of Commonsense, Proof of An External World, The Nature of Judgment, Refutation of Idealism and A Reply to My Critics are all in a bid to prove the existence of an absolute external world whose existence is perceivable (knowable) via the ‘Commonsense’ understanding of reality (actuality). Although, Moore’s direct realist account of cognition states that perception or cognition of the external world is gained via the senses directly unmediated, such that there is no gap between the human mind and external world objects. However, it was discovered that the relationship between the distal stimulus and its percept was indirect; though for Moore the relationship between the distal stimulus and its percept is direct. Moore’s ontological account of cognition was quite unique and illuminating; however his ontological account of cognition was inadequate. The tenability of Moore’s position is questionable because it can only be sustained on the basis of naturalization of all epistemological account of cognition in relation to a given consensual language domain.
The. concept "authority" raises basic questions, namely : who should
exercise the authority of the State? Under what conditions should authority be
exercised and within what limits? Thomas Hobbes holds that, in all government the
sovereign authority must be absolute, unlimited and irrevocable, to be able to
maintain peace and security in the State. His choice of an absolute sovereign
authority strictly follows from his notion of human nature, his theory of the state of
nature and the social contract. Whereas in traditional Igala political thought "Onu
n'oja k'oja n'onu" - which translates to "the sovereign authority owns the
subjects as the subjects own the sovereign authority". Hence, although the
authority of the sovereign (e.g. Ata Igala) holds a unique position in the
community, he is in no way divorced from his people neither is his authority
absolute. All decisions are by consensus.
Ideological constructions for the betterment of the society have remained
man's characteristic response to experiential perceptions of prevailing inhuman
conditions at different points in history. At independence, African nations had
cause to review the legacies of westernism with particular reference to
neocolonialist tendencies and attitudinal capitalism with quite regrettable results. This left the African leadership clainouring for possible ideological alternatives and strategization that would restore Africa's lost self-hood and values exemplified in egalitarianism, cultural revivalism, ~noral sensitivity and other such fraternal considerations.
This dissertation therefore examines the nature and implication of colonial administration of colonial administration in Bafut during the german and British administration eras.
Not long ago, Nigerians were tired of military imposition in authority. They detested military dictatorship with all the veins in their system.
Development studies are an interdisciplinary excercise that seek to co-odinatw the massive formation available in the various science into a manageable data base for easy access to policy makers, administrators, religious leaders, heads of families various units and moral bodies