Posts Tagged ‘Nnamdi Azikiwe University’

HUMAN EXISTENCE IN ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER: A DIALECTICAL APPROACH

April 10, 2017

Author: Ukaegbu Paschal Ozioma
Department: Philosophy
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Arthur Schopenhauer is a frontline German idealist. His metaphysics on human existence had attracted volumes of reactions from scholars down the centuries. Human existence has remained a metaphysical question yet to be resolved exhaustively. Why am I in this world? What is the meaning of life? Why suffering, hunger and death? These probing questions have disturbed the minds of most concerned scholars. Arthur Schopenhauer is not left out in this crusade. His major concern revolves round the human will in relation to the world. Exactly why he dramatically packaged his thought in his Magnum Opus, The World As Will and Representation. Summarily, Schopenhauer views human existence as meaningless and empty. This apparently sounds contradictory to the normal conception of life as sweet and valuable. This work is aimed at dissipating this strange thought of Schopenhauer and possibly striking a balance. We are convinced that dialectical method will bring us result since; it is the best method for contradictory assumptions and thoughts. Ultimately, metaphysics can never be known a priori or by means of the human intellect only. This is Schopenhauer’s view perhaps due to Kant’s influence. He maintains that the body’s subjective experience of the will was the key to metaphysics. There is this connection between the subjective experience of the will to the will’s objective experience and eventually the universal concept of the will. This dramatically represents Schopenhauer’s view. The universe known to the human perceiver, including the totality of the human organism is will objectified .This ‘will’ becomes representation and eventually is translated into perception. Schopenhauer’s philosophy values non existence and denial of being. This point is greatly reflected in his thought about suicide which till today remains the fabric of his writings especially as it relates to ethics. Consequently, the will –in-itself is compulsive, never satiated. It is readily attractive to appreciate Schopenhauer’s recommendation of intellectual aesthetic distraction which could be derived from art or music. These two sources can at least afford one the opportunity of temporal interludes where one contemplates freely and escapes the nagging demands of the insatiable will.

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ROBERT NOZICK’S CONCEPTION OF THE STATE: A PHILOSOPHICAL EVALUATION

April 10, 2017

Author: Ogbuishi Anthony Abuchi
Department: Philosophy
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The state viewed from Nozick’s perspective as argued in his Anarchy, State and Utopia, should control no more power than the minimal function of guaranteeing the entitlement rights of the individual citizens. In the named book, Nozick expounded a conservative and libertarian notion of the minimal state and the entitlement theory of justice as against the reformative and egalitarian notions of the state and distributive justice advanced in John Rawl’s book, A theory of Justice. The problematic, that this study undertakes to investigate borders on the strength and achievements of Nozick’s conception of the minimal state. Accordingly, the study, in seeking reasonably justifiable answers is poised to know: the extent of correctness of Robert Nozick libertarian and minimal conception of the state. It probes into the seeming ‘neutrality’ of Nozick’s conception of justice – his just and minimal state. In other words this study wish to scrutinize or perhaps clearly establish whether or not Nozick’s theory of justice succeeded in closing the gap that leads to oppression in the society. And why Nozick tends to hold curiously an anti-social and anarchistic postures regarding justice in state also forms part of our probing. Though the views on ‘the state’ have relatively changed through the ages, a general philosophical conceptualization of the state would at least be said to have been based on the origin, formation, nature, character, essence and purpose, of the state; the use of state power and apparatus; the entitlements and rights, of both the state officials and citizenry; and on how the ideal state should be. While this line of thought is what provides or informs our background, the subject of our study is Robert Nozick’s conception of the state. Having in mind the task of this study, which is to evaluate from the philosophical point of view Nozick’s notion of the state, the method adopted for this work is basically analytical which consists in analysis and would involve a step by step process of clarification of concepts by an elucidation of their use to our discourse. Our major findings are: that Nozick’s conception of the state is a defence of capitalism and free-market economy; Nozick is opposed to socialism and its welfarism but would tolerate this and / or other socialist activities so long as these do not infringe on the individuals rights which for him are basic and absolute. This rather immaculate Nozickean notion of the state is hard to attain and even if it is realized could easily relapse into anarchic society.

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THE CONCEPT OF FORCE IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF PLACIDE TEMPELS: A CRITIQUE

April 10, 2017

Author: Ogbo Ignatius N.E
Department: Philosophy
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The history of African Philosophy has been plagued with plethora of problems. Most of these problems came about as a result of the wrong impressions the western philosophers have about Africa and her philosophy. Among other things, they argued that African philosophy lacks depth, rationality, originality, coherency and that African philosophy is not true philosophy but ethnophilosophy. Amidst these problems, a Belgian Missionary, Placide Tempels who came to East Africa came up with his work “Bantu Philosophy”. In this work, he tried to show that Africa truly have their own philosophy. In an attempt to buttressing this fact he popularized the Bantu’s concept of force. He believed that this concept of force underlies the worldview not only of the Bantus but also of Africa. The problem here is that he tried to portray the Bantu concept of force as the overall belief of the whole of Africa. Again his contention anchors on a strict and narrow sense of philosophy which distances philosophy from being a collective enterprise. His position again does not in any way define Africa’s idea of being holistically. Moreover, his idea of Bantu philosophy is ethnophilosophy, a cultural display which has no solid foundation. Based on all these problems and findings we shall use the method of critical analysis to show that Placide Tempels did not approach the issue of African philosophy holistically viz-a-viz Bantu philosophy. This is absurd and not true in the African sense.

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AFRICAN IDENTITY, ITS RELEVANCE TO AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT

April 10, 2017

Author: Nnadozie Chibuike Micheal
Department: Philosophy
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The crisis of Africa identity has overwhelmingly been traced to the advent of colonialism. Though, colonialism has ended, and Africans are now in charge of their personal affairs; the probes of poverty, societal degradation, underdevelopment and the likes that the continent is faced with are seemingly perennial. The daunting nature of African identity is based on its expansive and nebulous category that can be contextualized in and approached from a bewildering array of ideological positions. It is this positions that we tried to juxtapose, in order to find a way they can aid in the development of African continent. This work however, goes to give the Africa the confidence, that there should be no need for Africans to give up their right to think for themselves and instead lazily fit into negative stereotypes contrived by those who have little respect for Africa and spare no opportunity to ridicule her. Considering the divergence opinion and theories held about the identity of the African, we shall apply the method of Dialectics. This is to ascertain the clarity in the different theories held about African and her identity and its relevance to the development of the African continent. Africans are by this study, asked not to give up their destiny in their hands in projecting her unique cultural heritage, in such manner that she can face the current challenges of globalization.

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RELIGION AND THE PARANORMALS IN PAUL KURTZ’S EUPRAXOPHY: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL

April 10, 2017

Author: Ejikemeuwa Ndubisi J. O
Department: Philosophy
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Human life is full of puzzles and wonder. Certain things in the world appear to be mysterious. More so, the human person is a being that desires to know. In a bid to understand the puzzles of life, some people make certain claims to knowledge. While religion makes claim to knowledge with reference to a supernatural being or a deity, the paranormals try to interpret the puzzles of life beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation. Religion and the paranormals tend to go beyond nature in their quest to understand nature. This study, therefore, concerned itself with a critical appraisal of Paul Kurtz’s Eupraxophy. Eupraxophy is the humanist philosophy of Paul Kurtz. It is concerned with the good and wellbeing of the human person from the point of view of the natural light of reason. Kurtzian Eupraxophy is based on the proper use of reason, critical intelligence and wisdom. It therefore rejects any supernatural interpretation of the world and sees the human person as the measure of all things. For Kurtz, every claim to knowledge must be empirically justified for it to be accepted as a true knowledge. Against the understanding of Paul Kurtz’s Eupraxophy, some fundamental questions quickly come to mind: How reliable are the claims of religion and the paranormals? Can the claims of religion and the paranormals be rationally and objectively demonstrated? Is there any basis for religious and paranormal beliefs? To what extent can we say that the claims of religion and the paranormals are meaningful or meaningless? Do religion and the paranormals have anything to add to human knowledge? So, employing the method of philosophical analysis, this onerous research work attempted to provide answers to the above and the related questions. This study observed that most of the claims of religion and the paranormals cannot withstand thorough rational justification. More so, the way and manners religious and paranormal believers practice their beliefs have some social, economic, political and health implications. It is the submission of this study that it is only the proper application of human reason that will help the human person to understand the puzzles of life and be able to solve human problems. The work, among other things, calls for a total transformation from the culture of believing-without-inquiry into critical inquiry- before-believing, especially among contemporary Nigerians. This, in the view of this study, is one of the ways to minimize the excesses or the irrationalities of religious and paranormal beliefs.

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