THE IDEA OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF KWASI WIREDU: A PHILOSOPHICAL APPRAISAL

Author: Atueyi Afam Paschal
Department: Philosophy
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Africa is regarded as a continent of third world countries: an identity which effectively designates her as an under-developed part of the world; and rightly so. After several decades of colonialism, ‘self-rule, imperialism and neocolonialism, Africa is still immersed in confusion as regards her future. There is hunger, poverty and immense suffering. In some parts of Africa, the situation has so degenerated that the fundamental needs and rights of human life have become far-fetched. Therefore, Africa needs direction on the best way to develop so as to surmount her numerous challenges. On the question of whether philosophy has a direct impact on development, Wiredu answers in the affirmative. This is why in his work “Philosophy and an Africa Culture”, he argues that development will be attained through rational methods that have penetrated thought habits. If this is true in other parts of the world he holds, it is also true in Africa, since logic, which according to him is the focal point of rational thinking, is the same for all parts of the world. With analytical method, this work philosophically appraises Wiredu’s thought on development in search of the panacea to this existent problem. This work discovers that development in Africa must be an index of rationality. Therefore, irrationality in whatever form will only delay Africa’s march to self-realization and sustenance. Nevertheless, all philosophical reflections promoting illogicality as Africa’s logic do a great disservice to the African continent.

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