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Myth and Reality
"Hountondji... writes not as an 'African' philosopher but as a philosopher on Africa.... Hountondji's deep understanding of any civilization as necessarily pluralistic, and often even self-contradicting as it evolves, is simply magisterial.... This is a precious gem of a book for anyone who wishes to reflect on civilization and culture." -- Choice
In this incisive, original exploration of the nature and future of African philosophy, Paulin J. Hountondji attacks a myth popularized by ethnophilosophers such as Placide Tempels and Alexis Kagame that there is an indigenous, collective African philosophy separate and distinct from the Western philosophical tradition. Hountondji contends that ideological manifestations of this view that stress the uniqueness of the African experience are protonationalist reactions against colonialism conducted, paradoxically, in the terms of colonialist discourse. Hountondji argues that a genuine African philosophy must assimilate and transcend the theoretical heritage of Western philosophy and must reflect a rigorous process of independent scientific inquiry. This edition is updated with a new preface in which Hountondji responds to his critics and clarifies misunderstandings about the book's conceptual framework.
A Restorative Epistemology
This monograph is intended to examine the epistemology of restorative rights in view of the continuing violation of rights in all aspects of life on the African continent and other parts of the world. It is based on the research, which the Marcus Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute undertook between 2006ñ2008, under a cross-disciplinary research project entitled Restorative Justice and its Relationship to International Humanitarian Law, which resulted in a Comprehensive Report that was later discussed at an international conference in Nairobi in August 2008. This conference was opened by the Prime Minister of Kenya, Right Hon. Raila Odinga and attended by Ministers of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, judges and other ministers from the five countries in which the research was carried out, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Southern Sudan. The objective here is to relate the concept of restorative justice, in its broad and cross-disciplinary meaning to the epistemology of Afrikology and transdisciplinarity, which aim at breaking down disciplinary boundaries between the different academic disciplines, which inhibit our capabilities of looking at realities in a comprehensive, holistic manner; leading to the adoption of fragmented solutions to problems, which inevitably fail to address those problems. As stated in the monograph on the epistemology of Afrikology, knowledge is created holistically by the heart and the basis of the perceptions and experiences of the five senses. The knowledge created through the word, which ultimately constitutes the language and the community, is related to our cosmic forces and reason, which gives cosmic significance to our existence. We cannot therefore detach ourselves from these cosmic forces and reality must be examined from this combinatory holistic understanding.
How do we understand and create kowledge? Does scientific knowledge cover all knowledge? Afrikology tries to answer these questions by tracing the issue of epistemology to the Cradle of Humanity in Africa and through such a reflection the Monograph establishes a basis for holistic and integrated ways of knowledge production that makes it possible to interface scientific knowledge with other forms of knowledge. In this way Afrikology responds to the crisis created by the fragmentation of knowledge through existing academic disciplines. Afrikology therefore advances transdisciplinarity and hermeneutics to a level where they attain a coherent basis for interacting with Afrikology as an epistemology which returns wholeness to understanding and knowledge production.
Richard Kearney and the Religious Turn in Continental Philosophy
Who or what comes after God? In the wake of God, as the last fifty years of philosophy has shown, God comes back again, otherwise: Heidegger's last God, Levinas's God of Infinity, Derrida's and Caputo's tout autre, Marion's God without Being, Kearney's God who may be. Sharing the common problematic of the otherness of the Other, the essays in this volume represent considered responses to the recent work of Richard Kearney.John Panteleimon Manoussakis holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston College. He is the author of Theos Philosophoumenos (in Greek, Athens 2004) and co-editor of Heidegger and the Greeks (with Drew Hyland). He has also translated Heidegger's Aufenthalte.
New Essays on Fichte's Later Philosophy
The career of J. G. Fichte, a central figure in German idealism and in the history of philosophy, divides into two distinct phases: the first period, in which he occupied the chair of critical philosophy at the University of Jena (1794 1799); and the following period, after he left Jena for Berlin. Due in part to the inaccessibility of the German texts, Fichte scholarship in the English speaking world has tended to focus on the Jena period, neglecting the development of this major thinker's mature development. The essays collected in this book begin to correct this imbalance. Concerned in a variety of ways with Fichte's post Jena philosophy, these essays by distinguished and emerging scholars demonstrate the depth and breadth of Fichte scholarship being done in English.
Secularity, Globalization, and the Reenchantment of the World
After Modernity? addresses a cluster of questions and issues found at the nexus of globalization and religion. This unique volume examine various religious-especially Christian-evaluations of and responses to globalization. In particular, the book considers the links among globalization, capitalism and secularization-and the ways in which"religion"is (or can be) deployed to address a range of"hot button"topics. With cross-disciplinary analyses, the collection argues consistently for the necessity of a"post-secular"evaluation of globalization that unapologetically draws on the resources of Christian faith. The"conservative radicalism"represented in these contributions will resonate with a broad audience of scholars and citizens who seek to put faith into action.
Although physicalism has been the dominant position in recent work in the philosophy of mind, this dominance has not prevented a small but growing number of philosophers from arguing that physicalism is untenable for several reasons: both ontologically and epistemologically it cannot reduce mentality to the realm of the physical, and its attempts to reduce subjectivity to objectivity have thoroughly failed. The contributors to After Physicalism provide powerful alternatives to the physicalist account of the human mind from a dualistic point of view and argue that the reductive and naturalistic paradigm in philosophy has lost its force.
A Language for Our Biotechnological Future
Biotechnological advancements during the last half-century have forced humanity to come to grips with the possibility of a post-human future. The ever-evolving opinions about how society should anticipate this biotechnological frontier demand a language that will describe our new future and discuss its ethics. After the Genome brings together expert voices from the realms of ethics, rhetoric, religion, and science to help lead complex conversations about end-of-life care, the relationship between sin and medicine, and the protection of human rights in a post-human world. With chapters on the past and future of the science-warfare narrative, the rhetoric of care and its effect on those suffering, black rhetoric and biotechnology, planning for the end of life, regenerative medicine, and more, After the Genome yields great insight into the human condition and moves us forward toward a genuinely humane approach to who we are and who we are becoming.
In this deeply considered meditation on aging in Western culture, Jan Baars argues that, in today’s world, living longer does not necessarily mean living better. He contends that there has been an overall loss of respect for aging, to the point that understanding and “dealing with” aging people has become a process focused on the decline of potential and the advance of disease rather than on the accumulation of wisdom and the creation of new skills. To make his case, Baars takes the reader on a survey of contemporary theories of aging, confronting them with their philosophical foundations. He draws on the works of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, as well as on such contemporary philosophers as Husserl, Heidegger, Habermas, and Foucault. Aging and the Art of Living shows how people in the classical period—less able to control health hazards—had a far better sense of the provisional nature of living, which led to a philosophical and religious emphasis on cultivating the art of living and the idea of wisdom. This is not to say that modern society’s assessments of aging are insignificant, but they do need to balance an emphasis on the measuring of age with the concept of "living in time." Gerontologists, philosophers, and students will find Baars' discussion to be a powerful, perceptive conversation-starter.
A Brief Metaphysics for Today
In Aims: A Brief Metaphysics for Today, James W. Felt turns his attention to combining elements of Thomas Aquinas's metaphysics, especially its deep ontology, with Alfred North Whitehead's process philosophy to arrive at a new possibility for metaphysics. In his distinctive style, Felt concisely pulls together the strands of epistemology, ontology, and teleology, synthesizing these elements into his own “process-enriched Thomism.” Aims does not simply discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each philosopher’s position, but blends the two into a cohesive argument based on principles derived from immediate experience. Felt arrives at what he calls a “Whiteheadian-type solution,” appealing to his original concept of the “essential aim” as necessary for understanding our existence in a coherent yet unique world. This concise, finely crafted discussion provides a thoroughly teleological, value-centered approach to metaphysics. Aims, an experiment in constructive metaphysics, is a thorough and insightful project in modern philosophy. It will appeal to philosophers and students of philosophy interested in enriching their knowledge of contemporary conceptions of metaphysics.