Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions.

Vol 1 No 1 ISSN: 2276-8386 (Print) E-ISSN: 2408-5987 2021

Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions. ISSN: 2276-8386 (Print) E-ISSN: 2408-5987 (Online)

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  CONTENTS 1. An Investigation into the Nature of Mathematical Meaning Jonathan C. Okeke - - - - 1 2. Humanistic Basis for African Traditional Religious Theology and Ethics: (A Challenge to the Church in Nigeria) Udobata Onunwa - - - - 39 3. Humanistic Epistemology Chris O. Ijiomah - - - - 62 4. “Ibuanyidanda” and the Philosophy of Essence Innocent I. Asouzu - - - - 79 5. Igbo Jurisprudence: A Discourse on the Nature of Punishment in Traditional African Society Ejikeme Dennis Igwe - - - - 119 6. Inquiry into the Defining Conditions of Knowledge Claim: An Exercise From the Perspective of Integrative Epistemology Adekunle A. Ibrahim - - - 132 7. Integrative Humanism and Complementary Reflection: A Comparative Analysis Godfrey O. Ozumba - - - - 151 8. Kant's Idea of Space and Time in Relation to African Notion of Reality: Making Sense out of a Senseless World Mamadu T. Titus - - - - 171 9. Mental Surgery: Another Look at the Identity Problem Jonathan C. Okeke - - - - 195 10. Philosophy and Method of Integrative Humanism Reviewer: Agu N. Sunday - - - 209 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 HUMANISTIC BASIS FOR AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS THEOLOGY AND ETHICS: (A CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA) By Udobata Onunwa Professor of Religious Studies University of Birmingham UK Email: Preamble ‘African Theology has been a very confused term in theological discurse. It has been described as the Theology of African Traditional Religion or African version of Christian Theology. Each view has had its own strong supporters and has been projected to imply African ideas. In this paper, the present writer would uphold African Theology to mean and represent the theological expression of the Traditional African Religion which is the modern version of the religion of the ancestral founding fathers of the communities. The ethics also relate to the same religious faith of the ancestors. Christian theology is yet to be made African both in its ontological existence and expression by African indigenous Christians. Sad enough, many African Christians have no Christology in their vernacular and cannot think of God and Jesus in their local language. Many in fact find it difficult to pray in vernacular and as such cannot express Christian theological ideas in their own language, thought-pattern and conceptual scheme. This lack of in depth experience of Christianity in many African minds has made African brand of Christianity a mere epiphenomenon on both African life and society. The Jewish cosmology and milieu which formed the core background of Jesus' teaching and explanation of the universe while he was here on earth has continued to be appropriated by many different African groups who cannot fully decode and apply Jesus' teaching in their own context. It is sad to note that the early attempt to translate the Bible in many African Languages, though a noble effort, was mere transliteration rather than deep meaningful and contextual translation. A deep and analytical reading of the Igbo Bible in particular, by one who understands classical Hebrew and Greek would discover many pitfalls in the efforts of those early translators whose knowledge of Hebrew and the Igbo was not deep FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 enough. More so, they translated from the King James Version of the Bible with its numerous weaknesses and errors. Many early missionaries and colonial administrators who came to evangelize and civilize Africa rejected African ways of life as inarticulate and unintelligible. First there was that overt cynicism as to whether Africans ever had a religion. Secondly, Emil Ludwig and those of his own milieu and views projected the hypothesis that Africans have no knowledge of God on the grounds of intellectual inferiority. Thirdly, it was inferred that since Africans had neither religion nor knowledge of God, their moral world was without basis. The African mind was a clear illustration of the negative source of being- The Devil. This outdated European view led to their distorted picture of African Society as the incarnation of evil (Pobee,102). Moral values were therefore non-existent in Africa. Thomas Thompson, the first African missionary to the then Gold Coast- present Ghana- was nurtured in the age that projected this distorted view of Africa. Having been fed with the prevalent lies of his milieu that Africans were morally depraved because of their ignorance of the Supreme Being, Thompson spoke pejoratively of the Fante people of Ghana in a tone that depicted his ignorance of the people's way of life and thought. For instance, he was heard to say at a time that: as to their sense of vices and virtues, they have only cold and unaffecting notions of both… spiritual matters made no impressions on them (Thompson, 688) The notion that the traditional African had no sense of sin but at best belonged to a Shame Culture rather than a Guilt Culture whose norms and sanctions of morality derive from society is now an over flogged issue. (Welbourne, 182 – 189)The present writer has no time to debunk it. The School of Thought which upholds the Shame- Culture stance insists that in African ethical system, which is invariably a product of their theological belief; the greatest deterrent is the shame and loss of esteem which follow the exposure of a person's misconduct (Ikenga-Metuh,97). To them, offences are against the spirits and ancestors and never against the Supreme Being (Sawyer, 63). This long and outdated view is beyond the scope of this paper. Nonetheless, some later indigenous African theologians and scholars influenced by the views of this School of Thought had expressed similar views in a different way. For instance, F.A. Arinze had in the early 1970s opined that although Chukwu is ranked Supreme in estimate and attributes in Igbo traditional religious system, he is not generally given pride of place in the Igbo man's mind on moral issue (Arinze, 31). In other words, the Supreme Being is not primarily the first port of call in moral and ethical decisions. On the other hand, another Church Prelate, A.K. Obiefuna, a contemporary of Arinze holds a different view. To him, there are people who feel the pricking of conscience- obi ya piara ya utali, when they felt remorseful and penitent on realizing that they had committed some sins. Similarly, he discussed, onye obi ya kwu ekere si which implies one with a straight heart and one with clean conscience (Obiefuna, 19). This paper is not a critique of those who hold either view on African Traditional Religious ideas, their ethics and theology nor is it out to explain the traditional indigenous ethical or theological systems. It is indeed a new approach to unravel the subtle and complex problems surrounding morality in today's Nigerian society. It will try to argue that the African traditional religious ethics seems to have influenced the type of morality which Christians operate with in today's Nigerian society. It will further corroborate the idea that since African Traditional Religious Theology and Ethics is basically humanistic rather than theistic, man-centred rather than God-centred, it has invariably influenced the contemporary Christian theological views in many African Christian churches. Although Theology is literally Theo- Logos- God Word, in African traditional theological parlance, understanding and praxis, it is man-centred and focused. The new investigation is trying to examine the anthropocentric import in every ethical and theological norm and expression in African traditional religious system which invariably has affected African Christianity. This is based on the centrality of man- Homo Sapiens – in the traditional religious cosmology of the Africans. The primary focus of this work, in other words, is to establish that African traditional religious theology which is basically ethical in nature is centred on preservation of human interest, life, fecundity and destiny. Every ethical norm or rule is devised to preserve man. Today's African church seems to be more interested in the welfare and success of man than in the glory of God. Hence the popularization of Prosperity Gospel! The data for this work which were obtained through primary and secondary sources came from the Igbo of South Eastern Nigeria. They have been supplemented with some evidences from some other African societies which help to throw more light and validate our view points. A holistic approach has been adopted in the presentation and analysis of the data because of the all embracing nature of African traditional religion. 2. Historical Relationship between Religion and Morality (Ethics) in Traditional African Society The African worldview is primarily religious. Morality is basically the sum total of the outlook and way of life of a given religious community, their concept of what may be done or avoided in the effort to attain the goal of union with the Supreme Deity. Morality in its religious signification is always with reference to God implying that it is concerned with how humans should behave in order to attain a standard of life that would please the gods and the Supreme Being. From the Latin root mos/moris, (hence moral), morality refers to conduct, the way of life of humans in society. It is the relation of human act to man's absolute value (Higgins, 352). In classical society, it must be distinguished from Ethics- which in its philosophical connotation is concerned with the Codes of Conduct of society. From the Greek word Ethos/ethica, it refers to the norm and rule of conduct, manner or way or custom of doing things or simply sphere of duty. (Rahnar, 152) It refers to the prevailing custom and manner of acting which a particular society approves or disapproves as helpful or harmful to the common interest. Those concepts are expressed and concretized in Laws called Moral Laws. This distinction is not very clearly marked in traditional African society. The African society is holistic and has not been plagued by Cartesian dualism which was prevalent in Europe at the initial period of development and maturation of the study of religion as an academic discipline. Similar distinction cannot be clearly made between Religion and Morality (ethics) in African traditional setting. We know that religion is simply the bond of relationship between man and God (deities). Morality is the concrete expression of this bond in human life. Hence, moralities and ethics are in practice inseparable particularly in traditional African society. There is, however, a degree of separation between ethics (morality) and religion in complex societies. In traditional and un-dislocated African societies, the violation of the moral order is also a breach in religion and also an invitation to incurring supernatural chastisement. We shall throughout this work see morality/ethics and religion in African traditional society as completely inseparable although each has its own corporate existence and identity. Just as E. E. Evans-Pritchard had earlier warned, we shall in this paper try to avoid imposing Western theological and philosophical concepts of sin and ethics on the Africans whose lives are essentially holistic (Pritchard, 5). The integral quality of religion and ethics (morality) in traditional African society is not simply an ideological fusion. Societies with prescriptive religious system within which detailed rules of conduct are laid down are always seen to produce predictable results which fit into the total social system. For instance, careless ritual or immoral behavior can nullify the efficacy of a man's religious action and even endanger the life of a religious celebrant of a ritual sacrifice. An inexplicable thunder could kill the offending priest (Kalu, 44). 3. The Place of Man in African Traditional Religious Cosmology Many scholars have not seriously examined the place and role of man - homo sapiens- in African traditional religious worldview. Dominic Zahan and Emefie Ikenga -Metuh had, however, in the early 1970s and 1980s respectively tried to explore this apparently neglected aspect of African studies. They both in separate studies tried to explore the relationship between God and man as well as the unique position of man in African traditional religious cosmology (Zahan, 4; Metuh, 3). Through their incisive hermeneutical exposition, the central position of man in African traditional worldview has been made obvious and convincing. It was discovered that the whole African world revolves on Man. Obed Anizoba picked up the gauntlet and threw more light on the dignity and centrality of Human life in African traditional scheme of things. In a brilliant doctoral thesis, he tried to establish the dignity of man in Igbo traditional world view which is a representative of African concept of man in the universe. Professor Anizoba clearly stated that the laws, moral and ethical regulations, covenant enactments and ritual performances in African societies are primarily focused on the central and dignified position of man- homo sapiens- in African cosmos. Ethical laws are enacted to protect man's highly and dignified position and to enhance his welfare (Anizoba, 24-30) The African traditional religion affirms that the human life is superior to any other created in the cosmos. Man is the Supreme irreducible reality. The divinity itself enters human affairs in the same way as do other beings which man is close to and uses. . This underlines the importance of the Homo sapiens in the religious context. Even the deity is meant to serve human interests. Man does not, however, place himself in opposition to God (Supreme Deity). It is this relationship that brings the full cycle of life which includes reincarnation into focus. It is pertinent to note that when an African venerates the divinity, it is not for the glory of the deity per se but for man's personal development, progress and security. Religion and its ethical implications become thus essentially a function of the human element and of its domain, the Earth. It is not only utilitarian but also teleological (Zahan, 6-9). The Primacy of man in relation to the rest of the world is due to his central position in the Universe. In a graphic imagery and presentation of the African world, God (the Supreme Deity), is at the apex of an isosceles triangle. The ancestors are at the base while the divinities and the other spiritual forces occupy the other two sides of the triangle. Man (Homo Sapiens), is placed at the centre of the triangle. Looking at the illustration critically, it seems as if man appears like a microcosm in which converge the innumerable forces and influences from the beings which inhabit the other arms of the triangular figure. On the other hand, if we accept the cyclical figure or view of the universe, man is still at the centre of the world and around him, all beings move in a continuum: each object, moving away from man, only returns to him, seizes in the course of the voyage, all that is not man himself and which surpasses him. (Zahan 1970:20). Man is the central object in which converge the innumerable invisible threads spun by objects and beings between themselves, in consonance with the rules of correspondence given by categories of classification. He does not see himself as the King of Creation but rather as a central element of a system on which he imposes centripetal orientation (Zahan, 6). This implies that African Traditional world- view and Religion are God Other Spiritual Force Divinities Ancestors Man God Other Spiritual Force Divinities Ancestors Man 43 44 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 anthropocentric. It is a humanism of a sort. Certainly man sees himself as the centre of the universe and when he speaks, he tries to strike his chest- a whole me, me alone! Therefore, all of African spiritual life is based on this vision of man's situation and role. The idea of finality outside of man is foreign to … Man was not made for God or for the universe… It is not to please God or out of love for God that the African prays, implores or makes sacrifice but rather to become himself and to realize the order in which he finds himself implicated (Zahan, 5). Man's central position in African cosmology is overtly expressed in the myriads of creation myths that exist in every community. From the myths emerge the world views. It is essential to stress that world views are the intellectual or rational explanations of the order which under-girds human lives and environments. (Kalu, 44) The pattern of this underlying order could be derived from the myths, taboos, customs and proverbs of a community. Through the world view, man achieves much. For instance, the insecure feeling of being lost in an inexplicable, uncontrollable and unpredictable cosmos is taken care of. (Onunwa, 6). Thus, maintenance of social order, control of various forms of forces, and the quest for survival and happiness are possible if man understands his central position in the universe as well as the things that make the world tick. Consequently, devices to control and predict space-time (tempero-spatio) events are constructed by man who finds himself at the centre of a precarious world. Among such devices were self discipline, prayers, character modeling, character moderation, charms, etc. 4. Implications of Man's Realization of His Central Position in the Cosmos. Sequel to man's realization of his central position in the universe is his use of his intellectual power to control the innumerable forces that converge on him. The precarious universe must be brought under control. He himself must bring his own movement under control. He must curb his excesses if he would survive in a precarious environment. The ethical implications of such a universe (where man is at a central position) are immense. In a world view that is predominantly religious, both human life and nature are held to be sacred. Human life, in FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 particular is held to be sacrosanct. Since human life is held to be sacred, whenever man is faced with uncontrollable forces of nature, his reaction will be to imbue them with spirits and seek the aid of good and friendly ones, patron ancestors, magic, divination and elaborate propitiatory rituals as counters to the evil forces. Worship in such settings (in fact in most cases) emphasized the wish of the client. A votary would variously plead with patron gods, placate the angry and evil spirits, and end up by threatening any deity that if he failed to perform, his grove and shrine will be overgrown with weeds. (Kalu, 42). There is no need, after all for an African to continue to waste time and precious gifts on a deity that cannot help. There are many occasions when man's actions are explained in terms of the Machiavellian policy which states that the end justifies the means. The African is interested in results. He can offer sacrificial rituals to both good and evil spirits. The essence is to secure the good of man, the happiness of the central figure who occupies the cosmos. He is not particularly interested in seeking the glory of the deity per se. Man is not particularly materialistic in that sense. He is quite aware of the fact that character is essential in all his activities. For instance, the Igbo of South East Nigeria would insist that Agwa bu nma-, in other words, character is the essence of beauty, and character is essential to achieving good living conditions. In this case, character implies moral uprightness, peace with the gods, natural forces and peace with men and other peers. Purity of life is therefore essential in blocking the anger of evil spirits and ancestors. Any immoral act could incur the wrath of spirit beings who could withhold rains, sunshine, fertility, etc. For the African, therefore, laws and moral constructs are made in order to enhance the position of man on earth. People are more important than profit, policies, ideologies and systems because human life is sacred and sacrosanct. . The sanctity of human life, its preservation and protection, become the primary aim of individual and social ethic. When an individual or a community offers sacrifice to God or a deity, the plea is to God to come down for man's good and to bless him. Man does not pray to God or to a deity, to wait for him above or to rapture him in the end some where above the universe. Man rather persuades the deity to come and dwell among men for the good of humans in the world. In Africa, therefore, religion and its inseparable ethical implications become a function of human development and improvement of social conditions. The African places high premium on life. Anything that threatens human life or impedes his success on earth is resisted with vehemence. Bad character is one of those impediments. The Igbo call human beings Nmadu- a shortened form of Nma-Ndu. Literally, a close translation would mean 'the Beauty of Life'. The essence of this name is that human life on earth is the source of beauty to the created Universe. The universe according to the Igbo creation myth was dull, meaningless and uneventful till the first human being who was created came into the world. If there are no human beings populating the world, the whole place would not be vibrant and active. It is the position of man in the universe that has made him construct the theory of reincarnation which gives him hope to 'return' after physical death, to continue with another cycle here on earth. One of the conditions for such privilege is pure ethical life lived in this present world of time and space. For the African, it is important to state that there is no theological summae that teaches a paradise to hope for or hell to avoid in the hereafter. The soul of man does not hope for spiritual redemption or for a closer contact with a Big Deity or God in the next world beyond. This is important if we really want to understand why there is much emphasis of African religiosity or spirituality on things that would enhance man's life here and now. For instance, exploitation of man by either a deity or fellow man is abhorrent to man's concept of the dignity and sanctity of the human person. Any African Christian is still influenced by this thought pattern. He can be a very highly disciplined man who believes in God seriously and even can serve as a highly placed Church prelate in his Christian denomination. Yet he scarcely believes in the Mansion above in John 14 which Jesus promised those who believe in him. The African Church leader would amass wealth; some unscrupulous ones could even own jets and houses all over Europe and Africa in the name of Prosperity Gospel. A traditional African religious votary would do similar thing, i.e. amass as much wealth as he could, hoping to come back to the world through the process of reincarnation and repossess what he bequeathed his children before his demise. A typical Christian whose world-view is like Christ's would be reluctant to amass wealth here on earth where moth and termites eat and devour. Such Christians are hard to come by in today's Nigerian Church where every one aspires to be a millionaire! African names are reflective of the centrality of man and the sanctity of human life in the traditional religious scheme of life. A few examples drawn from the Igbo of Nigeria can suffice to validate our view points. FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 Madu-akolam - May I not lack human beings Maduka - humans are more precious than any other material possessions Madubuike - human being is the source of support and strength. Madu bu –uko - humans are essence of fame and wealth Maduwu-uba - humans are evidence of wealth, humans are the essence of wealth From such high premium placed on the central position of humans in African world view, we can appreciate why all ethical principles, systems, norms and rules are geared towards the preservation, protection and enhancement of human conditions in African society. If there is a programme or project that does not promote the human life, it is rated low. The human-face factor in a policy makes it more acceptable and popular. A policy is in-human if it does not project the high premium the Africans place on human life. (Magesa, 45) 5. Humanistic Factor in African Nationalism In this section, we intend to apply the traditional African humanistic philosophy and ethical principles to an entirely different sector of human affairs. It is not necessarily a religious issue per se. But African religion is holistic and affects every aspect of life and action. This section may rightly be described as secular or political but from the holistic nature of African traditional religion, no aspect of human life and action is outside its scope. From this premises, therefore, we may infer that in a subtle way, many African nationalists who fought for the rights and independence of their nation from colonial rule and post colonial oppression of their people were influenced by the 'humanism ' of African traditional religion and ethics which indirectly and unequivocally influenced their lives in their younger days. They might not come up openly to claim that they were influenced by the traditional religious customs of their people, but unconsciously their mind- set and psyche were influenced by the ethical system into which they were born. It is important to emphasize the primacy of man – homo sapiens- in relation to the rest of the world in African perception. It is an anthropocentric world, a man-centred, person-centred and people-oriented world. God is always mentioned only in relation to the welfare and best interest of human beings. Man tries to use God primarily to achieve the highest good for man on earth. In Africa, the individual can firmly say that I am because we are FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 and since we are, I am. This is a cardinal point in the understanding of the African concept of man and his place in human society. (Mbiti, 108 – 109). The African warm heart makes him gregarious, rugged individualism of the West is rare in African social system as well as in his religious world. The ethical prohibition of certain anti-social acts like incest, adultery, homosexuality, stealing, lying, cheating of fellows, and such other vices, is based on the understanding of their dehumanizing effect on the individual not necessarily offences that can wound the heart of a loving God. It is the painful effect of the crime of stealing on the victim that the Africans condemn the act as inhuman and not necessarily ungodly. Their explanation of the enormity of any evil is based on its effect on human victims and not on the spiritual beings who dwell in the Spirit world or on God who dwells in his own domain away from the home of man here on earth. It is still difficult for the African to conceive of a Weeping God who is wounded by the physical injury on a little child raped by angry and vicious paedophile. Some unconventional acts of misconduct might be allowed in some African societies primarily because they served as social short term relief for the good of man. Often the good of humans are looked upon as being more important than rules, principles and ideologies. Where a rule becomes a burden on man, such rule is reviewed or abrogated. (Isichie, 121 -134). It is in-human! It is not in favour of man. When the late Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana got up to fight imperialism of the colonial administration, he stated that he did so because it dehumanized the African people of Ghana. He stated that his aim was the building of a society in which the principles of social justice, human dignity, full employment, good housing and equal opportunity for education would be paramount. (Nkrumah, 118). He saw in British colonial system of administration, laws and policies in pre independent Ghana, evidences of dehumanization-something he considered a travesty of the traditional African way of life. Although Nkrumah or other nationalists did not state that they were influenced by the traditional religious values of their people, they nonetheless, subscribed to those humanistic principles of African society. In the same vein, late Julius Nyerere (118) was articulate to state that he opposed British system of government which seeks to build a happy society on the basis of the exploitation of man by man. Exploitation is ethically obnoxious to the African concept of the dignity of the human person. The nationalists saw in foreign governments' policies, serious attack on the cherished African ethical values. Similarly, the late Sekou Toure of Guinea in the West African sub-region, spoke with some emotion when he stated that the primary task of African leaders was to harmonize living conditions by correcting the contradictions between the haves and the have-nots without necessarily dispossessing the haves and turn them into have -not's. (Toure, 18). This has an implication of co-existence which is paramount in the traditional ethical system of Africa. The notion of co-existence, live and let live, demands absolute moral principle of mutual respect, one for the other. No one should look down on the other nor cheat his fellow. Both rich and poor, male and female, literate and illiterate, should live side by side and respect the rights of each other. The primary and constant slogan of Kenya Africa Union- (KAU) - the leading political party in the country at the hey-day of colonial administration was Uhuru- meaning freedom. By all implication, freedom in traditional socio-religious Kenyan society meant re-acquisition of the land from colonialists. Jomo Kenyatta, an outstanding Kenyan nationalist, fought against such oppressive acts by the whites. He saw it as dehumanization of the African peoples, de-sacralization of the religio-economic and political factor –the land- which is the physical expression of the Earth deity in Kenyan society. (Kenyatta, 22) This was a situation that impoverished the citizens, reduced their freedom and turned them into paupers and puppets The dignity and sanctity of the human person as conceptualized by Africans was thus defiled. The late Nnamdi Azikiwe – the famous Zik of Africa- did Africa proud when he made the motto of the first indigenous university in Nigeria, the University of Nigeria Nsukka, established in October 1960, To Restore the Dignity of Man. It was a direct response to the white colonialists that higher education planned and run by the Black man would restore his dignity despite many years of dehumanization and exploitation by white imperialists. We see in the above examples a common theme of humanism running through the motives and actions of African nationalists in their efforts to redeem their people and restore the dignity of man. Political, economic as well as religious freedom was a factor of the human values deeply imbedded in African religion and spirituality and their unwritten theological and ethical beliefs and practices extol the ideas. African ethics has thus been primarily and pre-eminently 'humanistic' and man-centred. 6. The Humanistic Ethical System and Contemporary Christian Theology The traditional African humanistic ethics seems to have made in roads in contemporary Christian theology in Africa. More often than not, the glory of God is not the key issue and immediate reason for Christian belief and practice. Just like Moses continued to tell the Hebrews that they should keep the commandments and obey Jehovah in all things so that things may go well with the people and their children ( Deut. 4: 40), it seems that many people in the Churches obey God these days primarily to escape punishment here and now and for immediate prosperity now. The Prosperity Gospel which promises immediate increase in fortune for those who sow seeds of faith, pay tithes regularly, appreciate the minister regularly with gifts of money and provisions and fully give sacrificially to the Church , seems to make people get closer to God and obey him primarily for immediate reward and solution to their problems. The poor, sick, unemployed, hungry, emotionally distressed, frightened rich and those seeking high political offices seem to flock to the Crusade ground to hear the Good News, not necessarily of Salvation of the Soul but of deliverance from the hands of the enemy and increase in material prosperity. No Pentecostal preacher or his audience would openly accept this view but inwardly, it is what many of them expect and why they flock to him. Satan was bold to challenge God to the face that Job was faithful because God had blessed him and protected him from harm. He challenged God to withdraw his help from Job and see how Job would immediately curse God. (Job 1: 8- 10). More often than not, most Africans who go to Church do so primarily for various reasons. There has been critical investigation into the motives for African conversion to Christianity. The early missionaries brought the Gospel wrapped in European cultural garb full of many goodies which attracted the prudent African leaders and converts. Many who saw the acceptance of 'white man's religion' as a stepping stone to social high ranking , obviously became Christians but retained their faith in their time-tested ancestral faith. Some would be Christians in the day but revert to the traditional religious worship in the night, especially in times of great suffering, hardship, sickness and extreme family difficulty that stubbornly resisted all known medical or modern western remedy. That is why any theological stance that ignores the welfare and success of the human person would eventually collapse. Any preaching that does not make an African Christian a wealthy man here is losing ground. That is one of the secrets of the success of the Pentecostal theological trends in every African Christian Church today. Pentecostalism is no longer peculiar to those who claim to be Pentecostal but common trend in all churches in Africa. The contemporary New Religious Movements in Africa especially those espoused by the Pentecostal revival groups seem to have caught the African traditional concept of centrality of human needs at the core of African Spirituality. Although Pentecostals seem to give frontal attack on the fetish traditional belief systems and practices, they are out to admit and pursue in practical terms all that the African man needs- protection, material success, healing, abundant life, fecundity, prosperity and absence of death. Most Pentecostal prayers are full of attack on the enemy that might block man's chances to success. The Deliverance Ministries are geared towards fighting the spiritual and physical enemies that block man's chances to a good and pleasant life. Ancestral and generational evil spirits are cast out and bound together in order to allow the living prodigies of a wicked man to enjoy life here in great freedom and abundance. Every African sickness and misfortune must be given spiritual interpretation. The Africans know how to spiritualize every misfortune or incident. The explanatory category for any misfortune must be through the instrumentality of evil, witchcraft, enemy attack or failure on man's ethical behaviors. A very strict moral behavior is enjoined in order to block the anger of the evil spirits. The prophecies in most Pentecostal churches and indigenous religious movements seem to corroborate the traditional divining processes that predict the future. Some Pentecostal theological emphasis on strict puritanical life-style, ascetic and modest way of life, night vigil, fasting and longish prayers aim at making man's life here on earth a very easy and enjoyable one. The Fast is not to glorify God per se but to obtain success that will be for the good of the worshipper. More often than not, the prayers of a typical African turn to be a Shopping List to a benevolent Father Christmas somewhere above the sky or a strong persuasive insistence on trying to win the favour of an unwilling Deity. It may look like an exercise of faith but in most cases it is the uncertainty of the goodness and willingness of a Holy God and Father of Jesus Christ that makes people scream and punish themselves in prayers like those Baal Worshippers who contended with Elijah on Mount Carmel. (1 Kings 18: 1 – end). Pentecostal churches where miracles take place regularly seem to be attracting many suffering Africans. Hence there was mass exodus from the established Mission Churches at the early 1970s to the Churches that promised healing, success and break through in financial matters. The wise African Church Leaders have been able to incorporate this trend in their theological thinking, liturgy and practice. Hence Pentecostalism is no longer a group of individual churches that go that way but a common trend in all the Churches. Even the conservative Roman Catholic Church which refused to change the language of the Mass till of late has now approved the use of Pentecostal forms of prayers and practices in order to retain her members from drifting away to other churches that offer them full African humanistic solution to their problems. If the churches in Africa would grow as African Churches, not as extensions of the parishes of Rome and Canterbury, they must be deeply rooted in African soil. They must appeal to the African traditional religious spirituality and confront African felt-needs in such a way that makes Jesus the Real Saviour of the World including the Africans. In most cases, when an African Christian fails to find a solution to his needs, there is nothing more he could do than to revert to his time-tested ancestral faith to seek relief and solution or move from one church to the other where he is informed that a mighty Man of God is performing wonders. The adverts on many posters for Open Air Crusade Missions in Africa read thus: Bring the sick, the lame, the blind, the barren, the dumb, and the deaf. Looking for financial breakthrough, success in examination, etc? There will be prayers for family deliverance,liberation, ministrations of all kinds. Come and meet the Great Healer and Saviour Why should this not happen in a country where social services to the poor are non-existent, no medical care, no social security and no free education to the less privileged? If there is free and affordable health care delivery, many could contact their family doctors and physicians for little ailments that people take to the Crusade Grounds. It is obvious in the minds of many clients and worshippers that they came for solution of problems that debase their lives, impoverish them, humiliate them, and reduce their dignity. A lame is turned to a beggar which is a diminution of human dignity in many parts of Africa. Barrenness is regarded as the greatest misfortune to a woman and a curse of immense magnitude. To remove the reproach, one can appeal to the God Almighty that gives babies. To appeal to that God is primarily for the good of man who comes as a clientele. Invariably, the human -needs factor determines to a large extent the reasons why people flock to modern day religious groups. It used to be so in the traditional religious community that saw the deities as agents of solution to the problems. Any deity who could not deliver or offer the needed help would be abandoned. Although grace is mentioned in many Churches today, invariably, it is difficult for most people to appreciate it in the way St Paul understood it. In many African traditional societies, we are saved by good works but in orthodox Christian theology, we are saved for good work. Christians who have the humble faith in the God of Grace like Paul and other apostles would be hesitant to pray in the way many people pray in the churches in Africa today. The will of God is not done but mine. I become more important, central and prominent than the glory of the Almighty God. That is why the priest or diviner of African traditional religion would recommend an elaborate ritual offering to a votary to attract the patronage of a deity if one wants success. The essence is to get what you want. A Christian of the mid 19th Century like Augustus Toplady would not pray that way. In a popular hymn, Rock of Ages, he writes in verses two and three: 2. 3. Not the labours of my hands can fulfill Thy Laws demands Could my zeal for no respite know? Could my tears for ever flow? All for sin could not atone Thou must save and Thou alone Nothing in my hands I bring Simply to thy Cross I cling Naked come to Thee for dress Helpless look to Thee for grace Foul to the Fountain I fly, Wash me Saviour or I die. (Toplady, 1834) In African traditional theological parlance, we must do something to deserve the help of the deity or the Supreme Being – that is either in material or spiritual offering. In other words, strict ethical observance or complex sacrificial ritual must precede an act of salvation or help from the deity. You must sow a seed, or make a pledge or a vow to the Lord, in some today's churches before you get a miracle. You must challenge God by offering or pledging to offer some money in anticipation of success, big contract award or any form of blessing! What a travesty of Christian Theology of Grace! A person like St Paul in the New Testament would be unwilling to see the trust and faith in God this way. This could be seen as a modern day priest- craft where the officiating minister preys on the gullible and vulnerable members instead of praying for them. This traditional religious idea of deity has influenced our current theological view of the Almighty God, the Father of Jesus Christ. The New Testament did not record any time or place where Jesus advised those he helped or healed to offer sacrifice first or promise to offer something before he healed them. Rather he encouraged recipients of Divine help to offer thanks to God for their miracle. He advised the healed leper to go and show himself to the priest and offer the prescribed sacrifice by the Law of Moses. (Mk 1: 43- 44) 7. Analysis and Evaluation Thus far, this paper has struggled to establish the centrality of the Human Person in African cosmological views. This seems to have placed human needs far above the glory of the deity. Most African spiritual quests for success and perfection are aimed at the welfare of the human person- (man- anthropos). The primacy of the Homo Sapiens in African conceptual scheme has made humans seek human success more than the glory of the deity. The importance of man in African religious system is practically illustrated in the ethical norms and regulations constructed to protect, secure and preserve the interest and life of the central figure – man himself. It is man who devised or contrived the schema for his own good not necessarily for the good or honour of the deities and other supernatural powers. This goes to confirm the fact that Theology is a human construct to explain the deity. The ethical system which regulates man's character in the world embraces every aspect of his life. Man's ethics emerge in his daily conversations, sayings, proverbs, myths, folklore and names which sometimes spell out his ideals, aspirations as well as his philosophy of life and theology. It is gathered from the primordial myths that man's rebellion precipitated in the disruption of God's plans for an orderly society. In such precarious situation man suffers most. God and the divinities may be provoked but the victim of any breach of order in the cosmos is Man himself. He and his offspring suffer the awful consequences of any mishap and disruption in the scheme of ordered universe. Man has carefully and wisely realized that both the divinity and the sky exist to please him, serve his own purpose and advance his own course. In order to enjoy such bountiful benefits to the full, man's own contribution is to lead an upright life, an ethical life that is without blemish and this has been incorporated in a theology that gives the corpus of the religion a holistic view. Any misdemeanor will certainly cause a disruption in the ordered universe. Any immoral act can result in a disruption in the systematic order of events. There is harmony and rhythm in the created cosmos. The more the stability and harmony is maintained, the better and safer for man's existence in the world of time and space. Man believes that failure in role performance and fulfillment on his part might spell out misfortune which would not be to the best interest of an individual and his community. Consequently, rebellion-prone man is controlled and held in check by the construction of ethical norms which include prohibitions, legal constructs, taboos, enactment of covenants, establishment of totems, etc. Man's very existence in the universe where he occupies a central position is somehow dependent on the conditions that he maintains harmonious relationship between himself, God, the natural forces and other created beings that surround him (Barret, 186). Besides, any human misdemeanor has two dangerous consequences- moral and ontological. Morally, it is a rebellion against the Deity – whose protective favour he risks by incurring the wrath of One who could help his sojourn through the vicissitudes of life in a precarious world. Secondly, man's wrong acts can trigger a chain reaction which could disrupt the inherent existential system which invariably might set in motion a multiplicity of physical evils to the detriment of humans who occupy the universe. In all the Myths of Paradise Lost, it is man's misbehavior (especially that of a woman) that caused the alienation of man from God. To restore the relationship, man has devised and contrived such methods like strict ethical norms, magic, charms, good character, sacrificial rituals, etc. Many taboos and prohibitions in African societies against women and children are not only a function of chauvinistic male dominated society but also a life saving device to protect humans on the face of the earth. Not many investigators have critically concentrated on the ultimate scope of African traditional ethics and morals. We believe that African ethics is teleological and this has helped to shape the form of traditional theological explanation of religious events and actions. Yet it would have been relatively easy to perceive that the African valorizes above all, the mastery of self, making it, in fact, the foundation of his conduct. (Zahan, 110) .It is through the knowledge of self that the human being arrives at the mastery of the self. Self knowledge is as it were, the motive force behind the mastery of self, which is the foundation of ethics. To know oneself, is to be aware of one's humanity, of the favourable and privileged position which as a Man, one occupies in the universe. The centrality of the position of Man- homo sapiens- in the cosmos makes his actions have long term implications within the system. On realizing this, man does not any more see himself as a helpless pawn in the hands of many capricious ubiquitous spirits in the universe. Although he is fated to a point, he sees himself as one who is a free moral being who with good character and effective sacrificial rites and charms can manipulate the universe to his own good. This is a theological notion that has subtle import and relevance that attracts the African Christian in his expression of his Faith as a Christian in Africa. It is a form of theology that enables him act and behave in some stipulated and systematic order that would enable him overcome the ills of a society that is full of unwanted and unfriendly spiritual beings. Sylvia Leith-Ross observed soon before the Second World War that an Igbo attends Holy Communion at the same time as he believes in the potency of traditional magic; he ties in the same handkerchief the Rosary and the traditional talisman and plants side by side in the garden round his new cement and corrugated iron sheets, some traditional ritual Ogilisi plants and hibiscus flowers (292-293). It is still doubtful if such is still not happening in many parts of the country. A theology that places the security and interest of the human worshipper at the centre of the cosmos and far above the glory of the Lord Almighty would always encourage such inconsistency and dual loyalty in religious expression of faith. It is basic in African traditional religion. 8. Summary and Conclusion The primacy of Man in African cosmology is the basic factor in understanding the foundations and ultimate goals of ethics and religious expression in African societies. This is also a fact in African traditional theology. Man's primary interest, security, preservation, fecundity, FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 longevity and other aspects of comfort in the world are the primary motives for leading an ordered and disciplined life in society. It is not for a heaven to gain or hell to avoid in the hereafter. The aim is not to glorify a deity but to preserve human life. (Magesa, 45). Most traditional moral codes are common –sense prescriptions which are prerequisite for co-existence and progress if man would happily live on earth. They are not essentially heaven-oriented code but earth-oriented devices and stipulations for peaceful and successful life here. For instance, the Igbo call such ethical and moral laws Omenala – (Omenani). Culturally-speaking, Omenala is the means by which social ethos are measured, the values of the society are continued from one generation to another, and the processes of socialization through the education of the young ones are facilitated. Harmony and equilibrium are in this way maintained as every member of the society knows what to expect from his neighbors and what to give in return, simply by observing the well known customary way of behavior and moral code that is acceptable and normal (Ilogu, 22-23, 124 – 126). It is implying – things that happen normally on earth, traditions, customs, etc. All abominations and taboos are Nso-Ala- what the Earth goddess abhors. A society whose economy is predominantly agricultural cannot afford to toy with the land which is the chief factor of production. The Earth has to be deified in order to give validity to a system on which the human life depends. Man builds his house on the Earth, he gets his food from there and when he dies, he is buried in the Earth- the Mother Earth- and on reincarnation, he comes back to continue another course of sojourn on the Earth. Man is a persistent Earth dweller. Human life depends on it. Laws are therefore enacted to preserve life on earth. Man's primary concern is not to please God or other beings but to preserve Humanity- the most important and central figure in African created universe. Divinity enters the affairs of man in the same way as do other beings. In other words, to be divine, sacred, holy and religious, is to be human. This Human –face factor becomes the basis for all human thought and action in traditional religious life and society. The joy and blessings on man are at the centre of worship and all other religious functions. Man is in the end the greatest beneficiary or loser if a religious system does not put him at its centre. No matter the amount of criticisms a detached non-votary gives African concept of life- shame culture, guilt culture, materialistic, teleological, etc, the underlying Humanism that looms high in African world view makes him World-Affirming and not World- Renouncing. The negative impact of this World-affirming theological belief has made African Christians invest very heavily on earth. Many Christians interpret heavenly blessings with acquisition of material wealth here on earth. That faith is germane in African traditional religious belief. It is doubtful if any African Christian does not interpret God's blessings with material success on earth and successful wealthy life-style as an index of Divine Favour- a theology that has got root through Prosperity Gospel in Africa. The danger of ethics of material success is that it breeds greed, jealousy, corruption, affluent life-style and desire to live like the Joneses. No wonder, in spite of the overt expression of vibrant Christianity in Nigeria, corruption is still endemic in the society. Works Cited Andrews, Kenneth. Ethics in Practice. Harvard Business School. , Dec 1989. Arinze, F.A. Sacrifice in Igbo Religion. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press, 1970. Anizoba, O. E. , The Dignity of Man in Igbo Traditional Belief. Unpub. PhD Thesis, University of Nigeria, 1986). Barnes, Michael. Christian Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems. Cambridge: CUP, 1999. Barrett, Leonard. "African Religions in the Americas: The Island between". in Newell Booth Jr. (ed). African Religions : A Symposium. London: NOK Publishers, 1979. Bok, Sisiela. Lying: Moral Choices in Public and Private Life. Vintage Press, 1999. Carter, Stephen L. The Culture of Disbelief. Anchor, Reprint. Edition, 1994. . . . Integrity. Harper, Perennial, Dec 1996. Colwell, John. Living the Christian Story: The Distinctiveness of Christian Ethics. .T& T Clark, 2nd Edition. , 2001. Evans-Pritchard, E. E. Nuer Religion. London: Oxford University Press, 1965 Hartman Lauren. Perspectives in Business Ethics. McGraw- Hill, Irwin. 2004. Higgins, J. T. Man as Man. Milwaukee: The Brice Publishing Co, 1958 Ikenga- Metuh, E. E. "Religion and Morality in the Traditional African Beliefs: Assessment of Viewpoints". West African Religion, Vol. 18, nos. 2 ND 3, 1979. P. 97 .......... God and Man in Africa. London: Geoffrey Chapman. 1981. . ......... Comparative Studies of African Traditional Religions. Onitsha: Imico Publishers. 1987. Ilogu, E. C. Christianity and Igbo Culture. New York. NOK Publishers, 1974 Reprinted 1985. Isichie, Elizabeth. "Igbo and Christian Beliefs: Some Aspects of Theological Encounter". African Affairs. Journal of Royal African Society. Vol. 68, no. 271. 1969 Kalu, O. U. (ed.) Readings in African Humanities. Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishes, 1978. Kenyetta, Jomo. Facing Mount Kenya. N.Y.: Vintage Books. 1962 Kotter, John P. Corporate Culture and Performance. Free Press, 1992. Kurtz, Paul. Forbidden Fruit,: The Ethics of Humanism. , Prometheus Books. (n.d) Leith- Ross, Sylvia, The African Women. London, 1939. Magesa, Laurenti. Moral Foundations for Abundant Life. Mary Knoll: Orbis Books, 1997 Mbiti, J. S. African Traditional Religion. London: Heinemann Educational Publishes, 1969, Reprint 2005. Nkrumah, Kwame. Africa must unite. London: Heinemann, 1963 Nyerere, J. Freedom and Unity. London: Heinemann, 1963 59 60 Obiefuna, A.K. "Some Aspects of Traditional Moral Heritage with particular Reference to the Igbo people of Nigeria". Lucerna. Vol. 1, no. 1, July – Sept 1978. Onunwa, U. R. African Spirituality: An Anthology of Igbo Religious Myths. England: Arima Publishers, 2005. Pobee, John. Towards an African Theology. London: Abingdon Press, 1979. Rachels, James. The Elements of Moral Philosophy. McGraw-Hill Companies, Rahnar, Karl. Concise Theological Dictionary. New York: Burnes & Oates. 1968, Revised. 2007. Sawyerr, H. "Sin and Forgiveness in Africa". Frontier. Vol. 7, No. 1, (1964). Sterba, James. Morals In Practice. Wadsworth Publishing, 2003. Thompson, Thomas. An Account of Two Missionary Journeys. London: SPCK 1937, Reissued. 1986 Timmons, Mark. Readings in Moral Theology. Belmont: Wadsworth Publication, 2005 Toure, S. Guinea Revolution and Social Progress. Cairo: S.O.P. Press. 1963 Wannesnnetsch, Bernd. Political Worship: Ethics for Christian Citizens. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Welbourne, F.B. "Some problems of African Christianity: Guilt Shame", C.G. Baeta (ed.) Christianity in Tropical Africa. London: 1968 Yoder, John Howard. The Politics of Jesus. Eerdmans, 1992, 2nd Ed. Zahan, Dominic. in The Religion, Spirituality and Thought of Traditional Africa. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1970 61 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 HUMANISTIC EPISTEMOLOGY* By Chris O. Ijiomah Professor of Philosophy University of Calabar Nigeria Email: 1. Introduction In a brief comment I will appeal first to common sense conditions of our time which motivate me as I think along the line of the subject of this work; secondly I will locate the basic thesis of this assignment. On the first motivation, I assume a wide range of agreement that today in our culture, people more than ever before, face dilemma in the areas of our country's governance or administration. Are they to look up to the formerly educated or are they to follow the leadership of those who are not formerly tutored? The leadership disappointments our people have suffered in the hands of almost all creams of this population has in part been caused fundamentally by our leaders' insensitivity to the moral dimension of knowledge. To appreciate this situation is both a domestic and national necessity. To act otherwise is to call for damaging consequences unto the nation as this work will attempt to show. Thus there is a challenge to “ALL” on the use and task of knowledge. All are involved because every position is at least justified on the basis of its structural authority. In this light, every authority assumes a degree of knowledge commensurate to the exercise of such an authority. For any person who is in a position of authority to do well he must be conscious of the assumed justification of his position. The assumed justification is thus epistemic in nature. The thesis of this essay therefore is an inference that for epistemology to be functional to our leaders and administrators at all levels, rational evaluation, justification or methodological excavation in epistemology must be built on the metaphysics of the subject matter of epistemology. It is only this that can bring to the consciousness of our FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 people the “is” of that base on which they can justify their leadership positions. However, this work does not aim at developing a definite theory of knowledge. It simply interests itself in bringing to focus the missing base in our today study of epistemology. It will also touch on the problems of such an oversight. Even then, this research does not promise to be exhaustive by dealing with all the implications of the missing fundamental. 2. The Contemporary Trend and Its Problems in Epistemology One of the great advantages of skepticism is that it ushers in epistemology which is traditionally known as theory of knowledge. But epistemology is not limited to theories of knowledge: instead it includes theories of non-knowledge. For example the knowledge of 'x' involves not only the content of 'x' but also the limits of 'x'. But to discuss the limits of 'x' is to find out what is 'x' and what is not 'x'. Here is the justification of our definition of epistemology as the theory of knowledge and non-knowledge. From the contemporary stand-point according to John Pollock, epistemology as the theory of knowledge would seem most naturally to have knowledge as its principal focus. But that is not always the case. The theory of knowledge is an attempt to answer the question. “How do you know” but this question is about how one knows and not knowing per se. Thus epistemology has traditionally focused on epistemic justification more than on knowledge. Traditional epistemology might better be called doxastology (Pollock, 7; Chisholm as cited by Wolf, 239). John Pollock seems to identify 'is' with 'what should be the case”. That a particular way of operation is said to be orthodox does not in essence justify the operation. It is only a sociological description of that process. Therefore the statement of Pollock that a people at a particular time did, for whatever reason, look at epistemology only from a justificatory and procedural point of view, is not self justifying. One cannot successfully philosophize on a phenomenon without touching on the nature of the being of that phenomenon. On the premise of the above argument, Pollock's statements are suspect. On the contrary John Kekes notes with dismay this very problem in contemporary epistemology. However, he does not attempt to redirect current epistemological efforts FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 to the right focus. What he still does is to tackle the problems of justification (87): this is shying away from the game. Though this work agrees with Kekes premise, yet it adopts a direct approach to the matter. Following Kekes terminology, therefore this paper goes on to humanize epistemology. It does this by highlighting what it is to know which is the central point in epistemology. In so doing it shows that knowledge is practically a moral affair. The traditional idea of knowledge which has been taken whole and entire by the contemporary epistemologist is that knowledge is a true belief. In other words one is said to know or has knowledge when one believes or accepts something and that thing turns out to be true, in a referential manner. But Chisholm argues that knowledge is more than a true belief. For him there should be an addition of “justified' to “true belief”. He finds this additional qualification in what he calls “the problem of Theaetetus” (90). He notes that traditionally knowledge is a justified true belief. This means that knowledge is a belief with evidence. Summarily therefore, what is called knowledge has to meet three conditions namely: 1. 2. 3. What is said to be knowledge must be true The humans involved in knowledge process must accept what is said to be knowledge and That what is said to be known must be evident for the knowing person. This means that the person ought to have a reason to accept it (91). This approach to conditions of knowledge has its problems: is truth understood in relation to correspondence, pragmatic or coherence theory? If one adopts correspondence theory he invariably inherits the empirical and conceptual interpretational problems. It is not my intention to pursue these problems. However, to show some of the complications in this conditional type analysis, Chisholm introduced “the problem of Gettier” which says that the evidence for what is supposed to be known may be false. In such a case knowledge is based on falsity and by a thinking that if evidence is the same as entailment, retrospectively, every knowledge would have a reason to be false. For example, if a man looks at a Clock that is not functioning, he says “the time is Four O'clock' because the long hand of the clock is at “12” while the short hand is at “4”. Though the actual time may be four O'clock' the statement is incorrect because that information is based on the false assumption that the clock is functioning. Because of this complication in Gettier's position, Chisholm avoids self-consciousness and ultimate evidence as conditions of knowledge. He, by implication settles to a position which claims that knowledge is in degree, depending on what conditions that are met. He calls this the principle of objectivity. He puts it this way: one may know “H” without relating any evidence to “H”: but more knowledge could be acquired if the evidencing proposition is not false, a greater knowledge is possessed if one grasps what makes “H” evident, that is if he is conscious of the evidence (100). One thing is evident from the modern epistemologists' positions we have discussed. They simply queue with the traditional justificatory approach to the theory of knowledge. They never involve themselves in “what is knowledge”. The modern trend therefore in final analysis misses the moral aspect of knowledge. 3. Metaphysical Approach to Theory of Knowledge From what has been said it can be admitted that, at least, most of the contemporary epistemologists have not departed from the primary problem of the traditional epistemology. Their focus is still on justification, methodology, evaluation and other concepts structured on these. This approach does not seem to recognize the fact that it is the nature (what is) of an object that determines its justification, methodology and evaluation, if this approach does, it could have first started from the metaphysics of knowledge and secondarily gone to other aspects of the study. The contemporary view of epistemology commits what I may call the scandal of metaphysics in that, such a theory gives less or no thought to what a thing is, before delving into what are its conditions. John Pollock in his bold face attempt to support the non-metaphysical base of epistemology argues vigorously (7). His position is equivalent to arguing that once the conditions for X are established that the nature of X is revealed. This could not be correct since there is a wide difference between condition and generic types analysis. Condition-type analysis results from asking prior questions such as “what are the contextual conditions governing the proper use of the term X or what are the contextual conditions under which X might be said to existing”. On the other hand generic type analysis aims at finding out the necessary conceptual or empirical components or feature of a thing. This answers FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 the question, “what is an X or what features make something an X?” A condition or criterion of anything is like “form” while what that thing is, is like “matter”. This work is thus saying that epistemology cannot be started from a formal mood (talking about propositions). It requires a fundamental discussion on the material mood (what something is). In this connection Robert Ackermann has this to say” Indeed another question must be answered first: What is described when one speaks of human knowledge? Unless this question is answered, a study of epistemology is totally useless, since it would not be possible to distinguish those moments which represent, for example, the acquisition of nonsense(1). It is true that Ackermann gives this fundamental remark, but in implementation he goes ahead to discuss all sort of paradigm cases of knowledge. This is not too far from what Theaetatus did when he was asked by Socrates to define knowledge. Theaetatus went on to give various examples of knowledge. It is not only in the area of epistemology that the primacy of metaphysical foundation is advocated. M. E. Spiro reiterates that it is necessary before examining various approaches to the explanation of religion, to first agree about what it is. According to him what religion is must be agreed upon for there to be any reasonable discussion on it (85). Corollarily therefore, if one is unclear about what knowledge is, there is a possibility that the one may not recognize it even if he stumbles against it. Even, if the one possesses it, he may not be sure of the demands of what he has. In this case the situation of possession becomes morally worse than the state of non-possession. One of the implications of this is that epistemology and of course its main object fundamentally require a metaphysical investigation. What those who focus their attention on justification, methodology and evaluation premise is that the process through which a thing is realized is the thing itself, this is pure psychologism. If they had thought otherwise, this over-emphasis could not have arisen. In a descriptive language, those epistemologists are committed operationalists. Perhaps it has not occurred to them that there is a difference between a process and that which is realized from the processes. Even in philosophy where the process and the produced world- FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 view acquire the status of philosophies, there is still a difference between them. In the above case the process can fall under analytic philosophy while the result or world-view is a normative philosophy. So, no matter how one looks at process/operation and result, the two are different. Thus, it is only when the product of operation, the world-view or the unquestioned belief is submitted to questions of status that justification, evaluation and methodology come in as matters of epistemology. Having argued for the metaphysical foundation of epistemology we will start to address the question of “what is knowledge”. In Africa, to be more precise, among the Igbos, there are epistemic concepts which correlate with one another. A discussion on these correlations may expose the nature of knowledge or what we mean by “knowing” or still what Charles pierce calls fixing of belief (see chpt. II). In Igbo epistemic world-view, concepts such as Ako (wisdom or moral knowledge), Ama-mi-he (depositional knowledge or intelligence) and Uche (thought or thinking) make up the epistemic circle which in turn express the idea of knowledge as a continuum. Uche or Echiche is a receptacle in which there is a disposition or potency called, Ama-mi-he (intelligence). This disposition is an insight into the relationships among the components of any reality. This potentiality yet creates another insight for discriminating between independent realities. This disposition is a very relationship among the components of any reality. This potentiality yet creates another insight for discriminating between independent realities. That is why Fred. N. Kerlinger says that relations are the essence of knowledge (55). For him what is important in science is knowledge of relations among phenomena. Thus, we know that something is what it is only because we have related it to something else. He goes on to say that educational scientists can know about achievements only as they study achievements in relation to non-achievements and in relation to other variables. Kerlinger further says that the relational nature of knowledge is clearly seen even when seemingly obvious facts are analyzed. It is this manner of thought that made the early twentieth century philosophic minds to face the ideas of genesis and structure as processes of explanation. They agreed that the historical investigation of a reality is a necessary factor for its understanding; however, they accepted that the present structural relational understanding of the reality has a logical precedence over the former. This affected philology as found in the writing of De Saussure who put the synchronic over the diachronic theory FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 of language. This also affected psychology; the depth-psychologies of Freud, Jung and Adler interested themselves in the structure of human psyche (Delfgaauw, 17). Here is the genesis of analytic philosophy. Coming back to the concept of Uche, it is only when “problems” disturb this receptacle that the content, intelligence or dispositional knowledge, becomes ionic through the agitation of Uche, thus the work of Uche is to produce a conceptionally analyzing disposition directed towards the problem responsible for the agitation of Uche. There is yet another concept (or faculty) in the epistemic circle. It is Ako. It is the active or moral part of knowledge. It can also be called wisdom. It is wisdom or moral dimension of knowledge because its function is to humanize or moralize man by using the product of Uche to solve human problems. It is at this point of moralizing of human beings that a full circuit of knowledge is completed. At this stage what the circle represents is what the Igbos call Ako-na-Uche otherwise known as knowledge. Thus knowledge becomes the application of the contents of Uche to particular problems by Ako. Because mme-kpa-ahu(human problem) is not static, the whole knowledge is self-reconstructing. It must be pointed out here that Ako is ambivalent. It can be positive (good) or negative (bad). When it at least aims at solving social problems, it retains its status. But when it is used selfishly or to cause confusion, instability and trouble, it loses its value and degenerates to Aghugho (teachery) as shown in the diagram below: Drawing from what we have been saying we seek knowledge for two motives. First, the natural feeling of wonder 9problem or astonishment) which accompanies our initial perception of things and FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 events prompts us to seek information about the relationship between the things and event intelligible and understandable. This is a possession of intelligence and it is a handmaiden of knowledge. At times it is called the knowledge for knowledge's sake. It is for the refinement of the intellect. This is only proximate to knowledge itself. In an ultimate sense knowledge is a power of a piece of information to minister to our human problem; it is used for the guidance and conduct of our lives, for the orientation of our activities and for the improvement of our condition ( Coffey, 8). Knowledge thus is a power in a piece of information and it is positive. This power is dynamic because human problems which it tackles are also dynamic. Thus knowledge is not a static fact as the traditional epistemologies would think. It is a process hence it grows by accumulation and at times by modification or even abandonment of what has earlier been accepted as true but which no longer satisfies the cognitive need of man. In the face of an inappropriate piece of knowledge, a new satisfactory one is accepted even if it is an orthodox in formation. It can be incorporated to a set of in formation that gears towards the satisfaction of human need. The unifying character of knowledge is its moralizing tendency. From what has been said, knowledge is a potentiality that finds its full weight in actualization. It starts from a mere disposition and terminates in a behavioural act. So when I say that I know X, I mean that I have accepted that I have in my mind insight into a reality, 'X'. This insight gives one an ability to discriminate between this 'X' and other realities. Through this discrimination, otherwise called a relational understanding, I am able to solve human problems. Solving human problems is another way to individual realization or social actualization. So, if I say that I know chemistry, it means that in addition to the potentiality and confidence which I have, I show demonstratively that certain, chemical materials can be released for human good if certain relational organization is induced among chemical elements. Because of this, knowledge can be defined yet, in another way; it is disposition demonstrated behaviourially in a manner that is favourable to human welfare or to the solution of human problems. Does this definition trigger any kind of relativism or does it establish absolutism? It has already been said that knowledge is self reconstructing; it cannot therefore be absolute. Though it is relative but its relativity does to smark off individualism. It is only relative because it at each time emerges as a result of a particular social community problem. Every knowledge arises from a contextual problem and returns to it. It is also relative as long as it is a selective penetration into a reality. This is so because it is a particular problem that determines a particular concomitant knowledge. Thus in the course of penetration into realities through knowledge, individuals and of course societies get admission into these realities through entrances that are relevant or meaningful to their problems. 4. The Moral Dimension of Knowledge Now that we have discussed at length the “Whatness of knowledge”, we are justified to ask whether knowledge has a moral bottom? Paul K. Conkin puts a part of the answer this way: The body of existing knowledge may be studied for its purely formal consistency or contemplated in the beauty of its completed structure but this is a matter of logic or esthetics. It may be approached purely in terms of its application or use, but then it is a matter of morality and without some question of its reliability (it is) rather irresponsible morality (370). It is this moral dimension that is the main focus of this work. Knowledge has a moral dimension in so far as it has significance for human realization or actualization. This dimension concerns itself with the qualitative rather than the quantitative nature of knowledge. In a pragmatic sense the quest for knowledge begins at the cradle of problems. Without this nativity there will be nothing like knowledge. In other words every knowledge has an end, the solution of the problem that generated it. It is this problem solving that justifies it. This problem must however be seen from a communal point of view. One may argue that some problems are personal and could be the selfish interest of an individual. But we know that an individual becomes meaningful only in an organic complementary social realm. No man is ego solus. Therefore whatever experience a man has as an individual, invariably affects his social order. From this perspective, knowledge per excellence is established when the end of knowledge is a social purpose. Put in a positive formular, it becomes that “the degree of any knowledge is directly proportional to its social services. If the purpose of any “knowledge” is thinned down to an individualistic or parochial scheme, it losses its effectiveness and educativeness and it becomes unknowledge. We are not saying that knowledge has no function for an individual. It does have, only in so-far-as the individual serves as a means to humanity welfare. This is where we have parted with the contemporary epistemologists. These epistemologists have supplied us the sick half of knowledge but we must now fill it out with the healthy one and a half. Even when one speaks of services of knowledge to an individual, one discovers that this service is only possible on the platter of morality. We shall expatiate on this position through the ideas of some psychologists. A H. Maslow's chief contribution to the study of personality psychology is his investigation into the actualized self. He assets that psychological (cognitive) health is achieved at a point of self-actualization (Weiken, 451). For W. Weiken, self-actualization is a need to fulfill one's potentiality. This potentiality is the dispositional aspect of knowledge that has not yet borne any fruit. If the disposition is not allowed to actualize itself, frustration crawls. It is true that the scripture tells us to deny ourselves (Lk. 9:23-25) but this self is not the self that rejoices in work; it is not the self that cherishes friends or families, perhaps it is not even the self that worries a bit about the future. But there is a self to be denied. It is the self that is contended with passitivity: it is the self that is a spectator in life; it is the self that is indifferent to its potentialities and their realizations. A self that is not realized is worse than a self that is unborn. Permit us this poetic digression. We suspect that Maslow will agree with us for the says that the apex of human mental activity is witnessed in what he calls self-fulfilment (Weiken, 372). This is the behavioural aspect of knowledge. It is that action of man that comes as a logical end of his true belief. From this, one can picture a cognitive triad: a problem generates a disposition in a person and he is educated to behave in line with that disposition in order that he could turn around to deal with that problem. This is why I did interpret the concept of education from the inner curve of the root words, educere and educate. The former means to lead out or expose that disposition which is within the educand. While the latter means to train to act according to the discovered disposition. This interpretation removes the conflict between the naturalist and the formalist in child rearing and substitutes the conflict with complementarity (Ijiomah, 339-340). This is why Maslow insists that whatever a man can be he must be (46). In what actualization implies, Maslow includes, (1) clear and efficient perception of reality (2) spontaneity, simplicity and naturalness and (3) ethical discrimination between means and ends and between good and evil (Weiken, 451). This illustration shows that knowledge is a tool meant to moralize the individual who owns it, otherwise it is something other than knowledge. It is this moralizing function of knowledge that makes Dewey to insist that cognitive propositions are instrumental and not initiative (Conkin, 371). One could thus say that knowledge helps man to take control of his environment. For knowledge to maintain this social function it has to adjust according to the needs that make people human begins. In this sense knowledge can be self reconstructing. There is yet another way to express the moral commitment that goes with the ability to know. According to R. M. Chisholm to know that 'h' is true involves in addition to true opinion, a certain right or duty with respect to 'h' (Wolf, 239). He uses the words duty, in terms of an action emanating from the state in which the knowledge has placed the knower. This means that every knowledge produces action and at the same time makes the owner of the action responsible for what he does. This explains why a mentally sick person as long as he is in the state of that disorder is not accountable for his action: he cannot articulate the knowledge (reason) that gives credence to this action J. L. Austin explains the same commitment from what he calls performative functions of the phrase, 'I know' (Hudson, 174-175) the notion of performative explains that certain utterances amount to “doing” in appropriate circumstances. He worked out the classification of performatives in according with their functions. The phrase “I know” expresses an exercise of authority or right. “I know implies that I am well informed about an issue and therefore competent. Whatever I do about that issue has an authoritative status. Also when one says that he knows, he is by implication promising that whatever he does, in relation to what he knows should be adequate. In this circumstance the public can rely on what the one says and uses that to direct realities and public affairs. From this therefore, “to know” is an acceptable phrase only when it can be translated into action and the action satisfies human or public needs. To say that “I know” commits human behaviours to a particular belief and direction. The moral adequacy of knowledge is thus achieved when as a means, knowledge infuses an uncoerced community acceptance into those who are actively involved in the “knowledge public”. This defines the moral task of knowledge. About the location of a moral task, our attention should be drawn to the fact that those relationships in which our actions do affect others and those relationships within which inter-dependence is required make up the domain of moral task of knowledge. This is why Bruce Raup says that a standard of action has moral validity only when a community for which the action is performed, freely and in common agrees that the action is the best as the community sees and experiences its application and implication (Raup, 35 41). What we are projecting is that knowledge has both egocentric and sociocentric perspectives. An approach to knowledge other than this is to limit the concept. This is the view of Jonas F. Soltis when he remarks that, the earlier dominant view of epistemology is mainly egocentric (97). By this he means that such a view concentrates on the dispositional aspect of knowledge. Soltis adds that a new view considers not only the personal but also takes into account the cultural nature of knowledge. In this sense knowledge is defined as individual and social, personal and public constructions designed to make sense of and provide for effective action (98). It then means that a propositional stage in the knowledge process is a mere construction in the mind. But for it to be actualized it has to transcend the mind in form of human action to make human Excellencies effective. Though knowledge at a stage is a disposition of enlightenment, an apprehension of relational structures in a thing, yet it is motivated by social problems and needs actualization. Therefore for knowledge to assume its full status there must be a transition from the dispositional to the behavioural stage. Soltis points out that this view can attract many criticisms. For example the critic may argue in the following frame of mind: if it is impossible to eliminate completely the subjective elements from knowledge, then knowledge is a social product that differs from one culture to another, therefore, every knowledge is relative and therefore no two theories can be compared nor their correctness or falsify be justified. Ijiomah (1990: 5-10) dealt in details with some of these questions. For the purpose of this work it suffices to say that such questions are premised on an assumption of egocentric view of knowledge. Soltis argues that knowledge has its object (realities). These realities are available to us only within the limit of our social environment. In other words, no one can develop any theory of knowledge beyond what his environment provides. Whether it is knowledge of acquaintance or description, the environment of one's active life determines the possibilities of his knowledge. On matters of subjectivity, reality and incommensurability, Soltis adopts Michael Polanyi's position. According to Polanyi it is not one's immediate perception of things that is most objective. What is objective is the position held up to social and public inspection and argument for acceptance or rejection based on relevant ground (4). For Polanyi and Solti it is only a shared view that is objective. Soltis equally argues that what we think or know is in a very high degree sharpened by the language of our local environment. In this respect environment and one's culture colour his knowledge. This view avoids unbridled relativism by pointing at the fact that what might be relative to a smaller social community might melt away when that smaller community is considered from a larger group in which the smaller one belongs. This implies that relativity is in itself relative. Briefly therefore, from the sociocentric perspective, knowledge is not just the state of the mind or what is contained in the brain or journals or papers, it entails what is acted out as humans take part in social activities (Soltis, 103). Thus knowledge is supposed to provide our needs, satisfy our wants, regulate our blood pressures, release the captives, mend the broken hearted and heal the sick: here lies its morality. As we have occupied ourselves with the excavation of the moral dimension of knowledge, we should as a matter of balancing our discussion, at least briefly talk about the immoral aspect of the concept. Today, in our community the immoral dimension of knowledge seems to be gaining an upper hand over the positions of those who affirm the moral function of the same. The former knowledge's proper business is with technical and pedagogical means of raising the young. This position argues that the total context of knowledge is skill. In this sense no goal or purpose of knowledge goes beyond the material organization of man. Accordingly, knowledge has nothing to do with the spiritual, valuational and emotional aspects of man except in so far as it is deterministic to them. On the contrary A. S. Clayton says that such a position is a separation of human essences from knowledge and that it is immoral (145-153). He called it immoral because it places knowledge within a value free context. Thus knowledge becomes a formalized notion which can be applied to any situation irrespective of what the recipients suffer. Another immoral dimension of knowledge is met when people think that any given biological nature of man should be satisfied or photocopied into human knowledge. In other words, any manipulation of the mind even to steal, cheat, kill, etc., answers knowledge. But William Frankena calls this ability, mis knowledge for it does not represent excellence. 5. The Advantages of Humanizing/Humanistic Epistemology We have in this work attempt to locate an epistemic fact which is very problematic to contemporary epistemologists but helpful to social communities. The fact is that contemporary epistemologists focus their attention on the processes, evaluation or condition of knowledge at the expense of “what knowledge is”. This has its behavioural implications, major among which is the attitude to deny knowledge of its substantive moral component. In such a situation a veil runs on the consciences of many in authority that they neither realize that knowledge is a fundamental justification for their 'position', nor do they accept that “knowledge” without a human purpose is unknowledge. Our use of the notion of humanism is different from the western idea of the concept. The western humanism lays emphasis on the belief that man is the measure of all things and hence can do anything on the basis of his thinking capacity. In this attempt God has no room in human affairs. But in African humanism God is acknowledged us the Creator of all things, including man. Man’s capacities are gifts from God. However in this African use, man’s interest and nature has a centripetal force. Such a centrally pulling force proposes that something is call good by the degree to which it helps to developed human quality in human beings. It is called bad for the extent it retracts from helping man achieve his human nature. this is the way we use humanism in this work. The analysis we have adopted in our metaphysics of knowledge has atleast two advantages: it can be used to throw light into the Socratic paradox of “virtue is knowledge”, secondly, by hacking on the fundamental justification for leadership position, it challenges and directs our administrators. On the first, a set theoretic membership “E” (not inclusion 'C') can be used to express “virtue is knowledge'. Using 'V' and 'K' we have VEX. Thus to say that virtue is knowledge confronts us with many possible interpretations, namely, membership, identity and equivalence interpretations. Identity interpretation being recursive in nature has a problem of quick translation of knowing into doing. Equivalence interpretation has a similar problem with the identity interpretation at least functionally. The reason is that the formulation of equivalence theory in final analysis dissolves into a sheer identity theory, for example, V º K is the same as (VכK) ¡ (KכV). Following this symbolism one can argue that if V can imply K and K can imply V then V and K are identical functionally. Therefore the problem of V º K is a problem in (VכK) ¡ (KכV). We are now left with the option of membership interpretation V E K. This interpretation says that virtue is just a member in a set called knowledge. This does not imply that he who has virtue has knowledge. It simply means that virtue is one of the factors or components that make up knowledge. As pointed out by Gould, Socrates used knowledge to mean confidence or practical ability. The either/or here is used in an inclusive manner. Thus Gould argues that knowledge as used by Socrates refers to both knowledge “that” and knowledge “how” (206). Confidence is interpreted as a dispositional ability while practical ability refers to behaviour. Further to our argument, that Plato uses the notion of knowledge in a composite sense, one notices that in his Apology he talks about knowledge “that” (29a). To illustrate the other component part of knowledge, Socrates, in a circumvented manner to answer Memo's question on the way virtue could be acquired, says; Virtue as something good is advantageous; yet for anything to be advantageous it must be rightly used, that is, used with knowledge and therefore virtue is knowledge either in whole or in part (87d, 89c). The last part of this quotation gives credence to our position that virtue or morality is a necessary part of knowledge. The other part is the dispositional or intellectual (dispositional) and the active (moral) components of knowledge. Thus to say that virtue is knowledge is to mean that virtue is only an element in knowledge. Finally, from the fundamental justification of authoritative positions already discussed, leaders, administrators, heads of departments, etc., have a lesson to learn. It is that every position is rationally held only when the authority is justified on the basis of knowledge as we have used the word. That is, knowledge itself cannot be complete without the humanizing or moral side of the notion. The hypothetically syllogistic implication, therefore, is that a leader who is not moral has no justification for his position. Works Cited Ackermann, R. Theories of Knowledge: A Critical Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1965. Buchler, J. (ed). Philosophical Writings of Peirce. New York: Dover Publishers, 1995. Chisholm, R. M. Theory of Knowledge. Englewood Cliffs: Printice-Hall Inc., 1989. Clayton, A.S. “Education as a Moral Enterprise” in Educational Theory. pp.145-153 Conkin, P.K. Puritans and Pragmatists: Eight Eminent American Thinkers. New York: Dodd Mead Company, 1968. Delfgaauw, B. Twentieth-Century Philosophy. N.D. Smith (Trans). Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1969. Hudson, W.O. “Is Religios Education Possible?” in New Essays in the Philosophy of Education. Langford and O'Connor (Eds). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973. Ijiomah, C.O. “Applying Frege's Philosophy of Mathematics to Selected Aspects of Nigerian Education”. An Unpublished Ph.D Dissertation, University of Calabar, 1991.. . . “Evaluation of Third World Values: The Dilemma of Detached Scholarship” Academia Digest, Vol. 1 No. 3, 1990. Kekes, J. “Recent Trends and Future Prospects In Epistemology” Metaphilosophy. Vol.8 No. 2 and 3, April/July, 1977. Kerlinger, F.N. Foundations of Behavioural Research. London: Holt Rinchart and Winston Inc. 1986. Maslow, A.H. Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper and Row, 1970. Plato, Apology. 29A Plato, Meno. 87d, 89c Polanyi, M. Personal Knowledge. New York: Harper and Row, Torch Books, 1964. Pollock, J.L. Contemporary Theories of Knowledge. London: Century Hutchinson, 1987. Raup, B. “The Moral Dimension of Education” in Educational Theory. Spiro, M.E. “Problem of Definition and Explanation” in An Anthropological Approach to the Study of Religion. London: Tavistock Publications, 1961. Viatos, G. Platonic Studies. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973. Weiken, W. Psychology, Themes and Variations. California: Pacific Grove Publications, 1989. Wolf, R.P. Philosophy: A Modern Encounter. New Jersey: Princeton Hall Inc. 1971 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 IGBO JURISPRUDENCE: A DISCOURSE ON THE NATURE OF PUNISHMENT IN TRADITIONAL AFRICAN SOCIETY By Ejikeme Dennis Igwe Lecturer and Doctoral Candidate, University of Uyo, Nigeria Email: 1. Introduction Punishment under law is basically a technique of social control, and every society has its own means of controlling the social behavior of its citizens in order to attain its desired goals. A philosophical look at this legal exercise is called jurisprudence and this is a study of Igbo jurisprudential look at the theory of punishment. The importance of the legal framework in any society cannot be overemphasized. The law thus, provides, among other things, the penal technique by which those found guilty of offences abhorred by the society are punished. The traditional African society has its body of customary laws, a rich penal system that governs the affairs of its people. Though largely unwritten, prior to the advent of the colonialists, this legal system integrated and fostered the unity of various African societies and ensuring their development. We shall in this paper, critically assess the notion of punishment as it relates to traditional Africa with particular reference to Igbo society of Nigeria. In doing this, we shall consider what punishment is; why punishment is upheld in the society; who the Igbos are; the traditional Igbo society; and punishment in traditional Igbo society. Finally, we shall critically analyze the notion of punishment as it regards traditional Igbo society. 2. Punishment Punishment is the authoritative imposition of something negative or unpleasant deemed wrong by an individual or group (Kleining, 259). It can also be defined as the penalty for wrongdoing. Furthermore, it can be defined as the authorized imposition of deprivations of freedom or privacy or other goods to which the person FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 otherwise has been found guilty of some criminal violation, typically (though not invariably) involving harm to the innocent (Currie, 44). Hobbes views it by reference to imposing pain rather than to deprivations. From the various definitions given, some points are essential when dealing with the notion of punishment. First, punishment is an authorized act, not an accidental or incidental harm. It is an act of the political authority having jurisdiction over the community, area, state or nation where the wrong occurred or the crime committed. Second, punishment is constituted by imposing some burden or by some form of deprivation or by withdrawing some benefit. Third, punishment is a human institution, not a natural event outside or beyond human acts or intentions. Fourth, punishment is imposed on persons who are believed to have acted wrongly. Fifth, there's no particular or single aim or purpose. The practice, as Nietzsche first observed, is consistent with several purposes or functions. In other words, it is inconsistent with having no purposes or functions whatever. Punishments are applied for various purposes, most generally, to encourage and enforce proper behavior as defined by society or family. Criminals are judicially punished by fines, corporal punishment or custodial sentences such as prison; detainees can further be punished for breach of internal rules. Children, pupils, students, apprentices and other trainees may be punished by their educators or instructors (usually parents, guardians, teachers, tutors and coaches). Servants are also punished by their masters. Employees are also punished by fine or detention. In organizations such as military and police forces, as well as churches, rigid internal discipline is maintained in the form of punishment. They also have a judicial system of their own in the form of court marshal, canonical courts, and disciplinary panels. Punishments are carried out for various reasons. In other words, many possible reasons are given to justify or explain why someone ought to be punished. First, “rehabilitation”, to rehabilitate or reform the wrongdoer so that they will not commit the offence again is one of the reasons given to justify punishment. The goal is to change the offender's attitude to what he or she has done, and make him come to see that his behavior was wrong. Second, “deterrence” or “prevention”, deterrence as a justification for punishment is intended to prevent a re-offence by the offender by imposing a punishment that he or she wouldn't want to experience again. The aim is also to deter others in the community from FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 committing the same or a similar offence. Third, “restoration”, punishment, for minor offences, may take the form of the offender righting the wrong. In more serious cases, punishment in the form of fines and compensation payment may be considered a sort of restoration. Fourth, “retribution”, this is the practice of “getting even with a wrongdoer. Here, the suffering of the wrongdoer is seen as good in itself, even if it has no other benefits. Retribution sets an important standard on punishment – the offender must get what he deserves, but no more. A murderer thus, put to death is retribution; a thief put to death is not. Another justification of punishment is “education”, punishment can be explained by positive prevention theory to use criminal justice system to teach people what are the social norms for what is correct and acts as reinforcement. It teaches people to obey the law and eliminates the free-rider principle of people not obeying the law and getting away with it. This is very evident in German criminal law. Finally, “denunciation” or “condemnation” is another justification for punishment. Punishment can serve as a means for society to publicly express condemnation of a crime. Punishment in this way helps to give society a sense of moral uprightness, tending to confirm its moral right to have a justice system that exerts punishment on those who do not conform to society's norms. 3. The Igbos The Igbos form one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. They belong to the Negro race in Africa and speak a language that belongs to the Kwa group of languages found in West and Central Africa (Nwala, 15). In terms of geographical location, the Igbos are occupying the Southern Nigeria between latitude 5 to 7 degrees North and longitude 6 to 8 degrees East (Uchendu, 14). They are bound in the North by the Igala and the Tiv people, in the East by the Ekoi, in the South by the Annang, the Ijaw and the Ogoni people, and in the West by the Bini and Isoko people. The Igbos occupy mainly Eastern part of Nigeria. They are found in high concentration in Abia, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, and Enugu states of Nigeria. There are also large Igbo populations in Delta and Rivers states. The Igbos are a very immigrant race. They are in large numbers resident in Northern Nigeria and in old Ogoja, Calabar, Benin and Lagos. There are also large populations of the Igbos in Europe and America. As a result of cultural diffusion experienced at home due to colonial incursion and neocolonialism and by the Diaspora much influenced by western culture, much of the traditional practices of the Igbos have undergone serious modifications. This obviously owes to Igbos receptivity and amenability to change (Ottenberg, 103). 4. Traditional Igbo Society Traditional Igbo political organization was based on a quasi-democratic republican system of government. This system, in most Igbo communities, guaranteed its citizens equality, as opposed to a feudalist system with a king ruling over subjects (Furniss, 65). With the exception of a few notable Igbo towns such as Onitsha, which had kings called Obi, and places like the Nri kingdom and Arochukwu which had priest kings, Igbo communities and area governments were basically ruled by a republican consultative assembly of the common people. Communities were usually governed and administered by a council of elders. Igbo culture emphasizes self-reliance, equality among People, democratic processes, and vigorous competition for social, economic, and political achievement. Traditional Igbo society consists of independent village groups (confederations of villages) and city-states (cities and surrounding territory). These communities were linked by religious and professional groups, a network of markets and shrines they all shared. Igbo culture, undoubtedly, stems from their worldview. A worldview represents the sedimentation of a people's conception of the way things are and how they should be. Kraft (53) in this regard, calls it a “control box” that governs the application of the people's conceptualization of their relationships to reality. Similarly, Okafor sees a people's worldview as “the concepts of the basic notions underlying their cultural, religious and social activities” (13). It is a rational explanation of the order which underlies human lives and the environment. It is mostly derived from myths, taboos, customs, and proverbs of the community. People's worldview draws heavily on their surroundings and their cultural past. It is not static but is constantly being reinterpreted and reformulated in the light of new experiences within the community and stimuli from external contacts (Metuh, 49). The worldview of a people helps them in the explanation, prediction and control of space-time events. To know people's worldview is basically to understand how the people evaluate life and a people's evaluation of life provides them with a charter of action and justice for behaviour. The Igbo people of Nigeria also have their worldview, which have much influence on the way they act, live and have their being. It is crucial to enumerate some elements of traditional Igbo worldview. The Igbos believe in the existence of a Supreme Being – God whom they call different names according to sub culture area groups. Among the Igbo names of God are Chukwu, Chineke, and Obasi bi n'elu. Chukwu is made up of two words: Chi (God) and Ukwu (Big). The Supreme Being is called “Chi-Ukwu” to differentiate Him from other gods. According to Fage (20), it means “the biggest Deity of all”. Chineke means God that creates. The people believe that no other deity has the ability to create except the Supreme Being. Obasi bi n'elu on the other hand, means God who lives above. The Igbos accept that the Supreme Being lives in the sky, hence, the name, “Obasi bi n'elu”. Among the Igbos, there is a very strong believe in the existence of divinities. The divinities are generally believed to have come into being in consequence of the Supreme Being. The divinities are those spiritual beings or gods that are usually referred to as “agbara” in many parts of Igboland and they usually act as servants of God in His theocratic government of the universe. Their nature is bound up with human experience, hence, they require many temples, shrines, priests, cults, images and offerings to organize the frequent transactions between them and mankind. The divinities usually receive worship which shows man's recognition of their divine nature. The Supreme Being in Igbo Traditional Religion is approached through the divinities which are regarded as intermediaries between man and the Supreme Being. It is believed that the divinities derived their powers and authorities from the Supreme Being. They perform useful functions and as agents and ministers of God, they assist Him in governing the universe. Another element of Traditional Igbo worldview is the belief in spirits. Spirits, the traditional Igbos believe, are good or evil, benevolent or malevolent. Some of the spirits are conceived from the natural phenomena or forces. To differentiate divinities from the spirits, shrines are usually built for the divinities and priests are dedicated to their service. They are regarded as the appropriate channels through which the Supreme Being could be reached (Awolalu and Dopamu, 7). Believe in the ancestors is another element of traditional Igbo worldview. Ancestors are departed spirits who stand in close relation to their family or tribe (Anyanwu, 112). The ancestors, though dead, are still regarded as heads and parts of families and communities to which they belonged while they were humans. They are believed to intervene in the day to day activities and lives of their descendants. Finally, belief in magical forces is another element of traditional Igbo worldview. The traditional Igbo believe that the universe is charged with some kind of forces which can be harnessed and utilized for the enhancement of life. This strong belief in spiritual powers or forces constitutes the source of magic, sorcery, witchcraft, and other forms of occultism. The forces thus, can be used positively and negatively. 5. Punishment in Igbo Jurisprudence In order to ensure peaceful co-existence and justice among individuals in the society, the Igbos have rules of conduct guiding their activities which when violated, attracts punishment. Punishment thus, comes as a result of crime. Crime in other words, precipitates punishment, and in order to avert crime, the Igbos have laws governing them to ensure peace and harmony. The idea of a legal system thus, is evident in traditional Igbo society. Studies in the nature, sources, justification and impact of these traditional norms have come to constitute the subject matter of Igbo jurisprudence but for want of space, we shall not dwell on it at a subject matter level here. We shall limit however, this inquiry to legal provisions for punishing offenders who break certain laws in a prototype African society. Part of what we want to show here is that Africans had a history contrary to the popular intellectual opinion in the 18th and 19th century Europe. On the whole, the laws which regulate and govern the lives of Igbos have an ordered hierarchy and derive from various sources. Broadly, Igbo laws can be classified into two: Divine laws and Human laws. Divine laws are laws pertaining to God, divinities, spirits, and ancestors. The breach of these laws is held to be not only illegal but also an offence against a supernatural power. Certain remarkable features are characteristic of these laws. First, they are not written by man, yet, seem to have been written in the hearts of the Igbos. They are usually referred to as part of the Omenala (custom). Okafor (45) remarks that the inability to trace these laws to any historical source or any source whatsoever brings to the fore, the other side of the divine law as the natural law. As the offences or crimes are basically against God, the creator, divinities, spirits, or ancestors, they are regarded as very grave, hence, attract severe punishments issuing as it were from the divine authority. Third, violation of divine laws is unpardonable. Offenders cannot escape the wrath of the supernatural forces. The offenders must be punished, either during their life time or at the end of it, or even during their next life circle (i.e. when the person reincarnates). In Igbo tradition, natural laws govern man, and he is expected to abide by the dictates of these laws which are the laws of reason. Man by nature, the Igbos believe, is endowed with reason, therefore, must be rational in dealing with nature. Rationality serves as a connecting factor between divine law, natural law and moral law in traditional Igbo society. Moral law for the Igbos, is not distinct from divine or natural laws. More so, morality and religion overlap in traditional Igbo thought. Morality within the confines of reason alone possible in western ethics is abhorred in Igbo tradition. An act in traditional Igbo society is bad or immoral either because it offends God or the ancestors or because it is contrary to Omenala (custom of the land). Omenala thus, in this case, becomes the 'grundnorm', using Kelson's terminology, after which the validity of every other law and norm must be determined. “Human laws” is the second classification of Igbo laws. The Igbos make laws on a wide range of matters, ranging from economic, social, and political matters. The Igbos do not have a permanent legislative body or a specialized legal institution with powers to make laws. Laws are nevertheless, made by Oha (an adhoc general assembly), Ndi Ichie (elders), or Umunna ( a male line of descent from a founding ancestor with groups of compounds containing closely related families headed by the eldest male member). On economic matters, laws can be made in respect of the use of the market places, ownership and control of certain economic trees and common natural resources such as lakes and streams that provide fishes for human consumption and for the market. On the social aspect, laws can be made to give social directives on the use and maintenance of public facilities like roads, village squares, springs, etc. Laws can also be made to ensure political issues, especially to govern the political and diplomatic relationship between one village and another. A crime, in Igbo thought, is really an act that breaks the law (divine or human) and is punishable by law. Crimes in Igboland include: homicide, incest, suicide, arson, theft, altering of land boundaries, unmasking a masquerade, adultery, killing or eating of a totem animal, eating food sacrificed to divinities, sexual relations by a widow while still in the period of mourning her dead husband, having sexual relations with or marrying an Osu (an outcast) by a freeborn (diala), a woman climbing a tree, a woman breaking kolanut, etc. We shall consider some crimes in relation to how the criminal justice is administered in traditional Igbo society. The case of homicide in traditional Igbo society is regarded as very grave, not only against the society but also a violation of the divine law. Life is believed to have come from God, the creator of the world. Therefore, shedding another's blood is an abomination – aru. Even in times of war, those who participated in it, especially those involved in killing, undergo ritual cleansing. In the event of one killing another, such is expected to hang himself or is banished from the community. If the person flees, his family is excluded from most community privileges and also have their properties confiscated. This is usually the case with killing one's kinsman. The case is different if the murderer is from another village. A typical example is depicted in Achebe's Things Fall Apart when the wife of Ogbuefi Ezeudo from Umuofia village was killed by the people of Mbano. The people of Umuofia resolved to be compensated with a young man and a virgin or embark on war against Mbano. Okonkwo, a great Umuofia warrior, was delegated by his community to carry the message to Mbano. Achebe records that Okonkwo “returned from his mission two days later with a young lad of fifteen years old and a young virgin” (67). Thus, in the execution of retributive justice, the young virgin was given to Ogbuefi Ezeudo as wife while the young lad, Ikemefuna was murdered on the community's wish. Even in the case of accidental killing, heavy compensation is paid. Punishment thus, as could be seen above, is both compensatory and expiatory in nature. This takes care of both the human and divine disharmony created by the offence of murder. In the case of having no empirical proof for murder, especially murder through spiritual poisoning or other occult means, the suspect would be required to swear before a deity that he is innocent. It is believed that after a year or two and no harm befalls the accused, then he would be acquitted by the supernatural tribune. Otherwise, the deity or ancestors would either kill him or inflict him with some grave punishment in the form of blindness, small pox, death of family members, etc. An alternative to oath swearing will be to make the suspect drink the bath water of the deseased in order to prove his innocence and the effect would be same as in swearing. The case of incest is another breach of the divine law. Incest is sexual activity between persons who are bloodily related, as such, cannot be married to themselves. Often, offenders are sold into slavery as they are thought to have polluted the land. They have offended the earth goddess. In some Igbo communities, the culprits are banished for two months. If they are below the age of eighteen, they are required to bring white fowl each and fetch water and firewood for the earth goddess priest continuously for two weeks. If they are adults, besides being banished for a period of three months, they will be required to bring two fowls, a basket full of yam and cocoa-yam, a pot of palm wine, and a lump of chalk (Ndubuisi 69). Only then, would the impending danger from the earth goddess be averted. Unmasking a masquerade is another serious offence in traditional Igbo society. The masquerades which perform during important ceremonies are believed to be the spirits of the ancestors. To unmask a masquerade therefore, is an abomination, for it is akin to killing an ancestral spirit. Such act, the traditional Igbos believe, would make the ancestors withdraw their good services from the community. One guilty of the act is liable to death and his body taken to the forest and burnt. Theft is also frowned at in traditional Igbo society. A suspected thief is usually given a public trial at the village square. If found guilty, will be seriously flogged and sometimes striped naked and decorated with ashes depending on the gravity of the offence. He will also be fined. More so, he automatically loses membership of his age grade and other organizations he may belong. He may however, regain his membership of the associations if proven he had turned a new leaf. Adultery is another odious crime in traditional Igbo society. It is seriously frowned at. It is seen on the part of the woman involved as great dishonesty and disregard for her husband, and on the part of the man as an encroachment on the private life of another man. As a punishment, the woman involved is banished from her husband's home for one month. At the expiration of the period, she would come in the company of her kindred with two pots of wine, a basket full of yam and cocoa-yam, and a fowl to apologize to her husband and his people. If the apology is accepted, she would be reabsorbed into the family with a strong pledge to be of good behavior. Her male counterpart on the other hand, is also FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 meant to apologize to the woman's husband and his people accompanied by his own kindred and two pots of wine, a basket full of yam and cocoa-yam, and a fowl. If he is a titled man, would be striped of all his titles until he is forgiven. However, he is not banished as the woman. Lying is another distasteful crime in traditional Igbo society. Lying entails dishonesty, insincerity and betrayal of trust. A liar is viewed in traditional Igbo society as one whose character is feeble, a misfit, and a cheat. He is considered a threat to the wellbeing of the community. Lies in traditional Igbo society attract fines ranging from yams, fowls, goats, cows and money depending on the intensity or effect of the lie. A liar is debarred from witnessing and serving as a member of a committee or panel and could also be suspended from being a member of the town's union and Age grade. It is pertinent to state at this point that in traditional Igbo society, in the case of violation of laws concerning interpersonal relation, the procedure involves much of human agents. The aggrieved party may first appeal to the head of the family of the offender or a body of village arbitrators. If this fails, the aggrieved party may summon the Amala, a higher body than the former with some members of the extended family and close friends of the litigants in attendance. If this also fails, other institutions may be appealed to, such as the Age grade, the Dibia fraternity, various titled societies , town union and Mmanwu (masquerade) society. When all these fail, then, as a final resort, a submission is made to the supreme tribunal in form of oath swearing, which after the stipulated period, would reveal the guilty. The punishments that may ensue include death, ostracism, banishment, fine and forfeiture of valuable properties. 6. Further Analysis Obviously, underlying the notion of punishment in any society is the desire for order and peaceful coexistence without which happiness; the summum bonum which all men seek becomes a mirage. Law thus, is promulgated, backed with some measure of sanctions which manifests itself in an organized society in the form of punishment to achieve peace and harmony. Authorities are constituted to ensure observance and maintenance of law. Constituted authorities are therefore, indispensable insofar as peaceful coexistence among men is concerned. Without constituted authorities, Hobbesian state of nature in which man's life was 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short' will undoubtedly, be the case. Traditional Igbo society, much aware of this fact, had constituted authorities that arbitrate in all matters concerning the members of the community. This manifests in the form of Ndi Ichie, Umunna, Oha, Age Grade, etc. From what has been revealed so far on crime and punishment as it concerns traditional Igbo society, it is obvious that the traditional Igbo society has an organized system premised on reason contrary to the views of some western thinkers who hold that Africans lack rationality and are uncivilized. G. W. F. Hegel, for instance, in his Philosophy of History, postulated that Africans are not only less developed in civilization and morality, they are less developed metaphysically. They exhibit the natural man in his completely wild and untamed state (20). This is false. Punishment in traditional Igbo society is a product of reason aimed at ensuring peace and harmony in the society just as it is in western communities; and the punishment is meant to be in proportion to the offence committed. This, undoubtedly, is justifiable for justice requires that a man should suffer in proportion to his moral wrongdoing. Murder in traditional Igbo society which attracted death penalty still stands the test of time; hence, we have capital punishment practiced in virtually all societies in the globe today. Punishment for stealing, adultery, incest, and other vices is also crucial to ensuring the unity and maintenance of the ontological hierarchy leading to peace and harmony. Fair hearing is accorded to all involved in cases to ensure justice and equity. More so, none is above the law of the land, hence, titled men are striped of their titles in the invent of a serious crime. Some are even banished depending on the intensity of the crime. Some reservations, however, are expressed. First, is the place of women in the society. Women in traditional Igbo society do not contribute meaningfully to the polity. Basically, they are expected to take adequate care of the children and the kitchen, and not be involved in political matters. This is true as women are not part of Ndi Ichie, Umunna, Dibia fraternity, Age grade and so on. Second, is the lack of power separation, the three arms of government – Executive, Legislature and Judiciary tend to be fused in traditional Igbo society. The same group of people involved in making laws also interprets and enforces the laws. This contravenes democratic principles. Third, is the much belief in spiritualism, traditional Igbo society is hyper spiritual! Virtually every happening is given a spiritual interpretation. This is wrong. Some occurrences can be naturally explained. This hyper spiritualism has somewhat led to idolatry which is wrong as the Almighty God is no more the object of worship. Fourth, punishment in traditional Igbo society could be harmful to the innocent. This is so because members of the family of a man found guilty of crime sometimes suffer. When a murderer is banished, he is banished together with his family. This is wrong for one should bear the consequences of his crime: 'whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap'. The case of Ikemefuna in Achebe's Things Fall Apart is very pathetic. The young lad was killed for the crime committed by others. Finally, oath taking is believed to reveal truth concerning crimes. After taking an oath, if one dies, falls ill or experiences misfortune within the stipulated period, it is concluded that such is guilty. This, for us, may not always be true. Humans as finite beings experience mishap from time to time. So, if one experiences any within the stipulated period after the oath taking, it is no convincing proof that he is guilty of the offence. There's no observable necessary connection between the incident and the oath taking, going by Hume's thesis. As a finite being, man can experience misfortune at any time; and when it happens, it is no convincing proof that one who took an oath within the period is guilty. It could happen by chance. 7. Conclusion Punishment in traditional Igbo society is a product of reason to ensure peaceful coexistence in the society, thereby, averting anarchy and injustice. Punishment in traditional Igbo society is carried out for various reasons: rehabilitation, deterrence, restoration, retribution, education, and condemnation. All these are geared towards giving the community a sense of moral uprightness, tending to confirm its moral right to have a system that revels on justice and equity, thus, ensuring happiness for the members of the community. Indeed, traditional Igbo society has an organized political system premised on reason, contrary to the views of some western thinkers that Africans are lacking in rationality and organized political system. However, some problems are associated with the system such as: nonparticipation of women in political matters, lack of power separation, hyper spiritualism, and suffering of the innocent. Works Cited Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann,1981. Anyanwu, H. O. African Traditional Religion from the Grassroots. Owerri: Lasen Publishers, 1999. Awolalu, J. O. and P. A. Dopamu. West African Traditional Religion. Nigeria: Onibonoje, 1979. Chigere, Nkem. Foreign Missionary Background and Indigenous Evangelization in Igboland. Berlin: Berlin-Hamberg, 2001. Currie, Elliot. Confronting Crime. An American Challenge. New York: Pantheon, 1985. Fage, J. D. A History of West Africa. London: UP, 1969. Furniss, Graham. Power, Marginality and African Oral Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995. Hegel, G. W. F. Philosophy of History. New York: Dover Publications, 1956. Kleining, John. “R. S. Peters on Punishment”. British Journal of Educational Studies. Vol. 20. October, 1972. Kraft, C. Christianity and Culture. New York: Orbit Books, 1973. Ndubuisi, F. N. “Crime and Punishment of an Ancient African Morality”. Footmarks on African Philosophy. Ed. A. F. Uduigwomen. Lagos: Obaroh and Ogbinaka Publishers Limited, 2002. Nwala, T. U. Igbo Philosophy. Lagos: Literamed Publications, 1985. Ottenberg, C. S. “Ibo Receptivity to Change”. Continuity and Change in Africa. Eds. W. R. Bascom and M. J. Herskovits. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1959. Uchendu, V. C. The Igbo of the South-Eastern Nigeria. New York: Rine Hart and Winton, 1965. FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 “IBUANYIDANDA” AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF ESSENCE 1 By Innocent I. Asouzu Professor of Philosophy Department of Philosophy University of Calabar Nigeria Email: 1. Philosophy and ultimate questions The first task in this lecture is to explicate the concept “philosophy”. From the insight thereby derived, I shall proceed to shed light on the expression “philosophy of essence”. Thereafter, I shall expound the concept “ibuanyidanda” and show how a philosophy articulated around this concept can help us avoid some of the difficulties presented by a “philosophy of essence”. The insights derived from these expositions would lead to a new understanding of philosophy as the “science of missing links”. To the question, what is philosophy? - most philosophers are likely to agree with the observation that “What Philosophy is and what its value is, is contentious” (Jasper, Einführung in die Philosophie, 9). This observation itself is the foundation of most controversies and disagreements in philosophy, and goes to show the character of philosophy as the apex of all honest concerted efforts at understanding and explaining reality ultimately. A. J. Ayer raises a question, which he answers himself, that would enable us understand better what philosophy, and with it a philosopher is. Thus he asks: “What has the philosopher to contribute? And with what authority? The easiest way to answer this question will be to show philosophy at work in one of its branches, and for this purpose I shall start with metaphysics” (The Central Questions of Philosophy 2), which for him studies “reality as a whole”. Not only Ayer proceeds in this way, but Aristotle, one of the most famous ancient philosophers, seeks to demonstrate what FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 philosophy is by reference to one of its branches, “metaphysics”. Because metaphysics, in the words of Aristotle studies “being qua being” or the ultimate cause of reality, it is “first philosophy”. It is in this sense that metaphysics is “arguably more fundamental” than other branches of philosophy (Carr, Metaphysics, An Introduction 2) and brings out the philosophical temperament more clearly, as the honest attempt to penetrate reality ultimately. My understanding of philosophy in this lecture shall equally be guided by its affinity with metaphysics, in keeping with the tradition that seeks to penetrate reality ultimately and selflessly. It is within this context that the literal meaning of the word “philosophy” can become clearer. Literarily, the concept “philosophy” is taken from two Greek words “philein” (to love), and ”sophia” (wisdom). Philosophy or to philosophise is then the natural urge to love wisdom. It is not in all cases that this urge to love wisdom leads also to quest for ultimate truth. This is the case when such urge to love wisdom is guided by some mundane considerations other than truth and knowledge for knowledge sake. Hence, the moment the urge to love wisdom becomes self serving it loses its flavour as philosophy - this is the moment philosophy degenerates to mere ideology. It is in this selfless quest that the philosophers seek to give honest answers or opinions to the question, why there is so much suffering in the world, when the world is sustained by a necessary being, God, that cares infinitely for the world. Similarly, philosophers wish to enlighten dispassionately if life is worth living, and why? In the face of human insufficiency and the limited character of our faculties, the philosopher wonders if we can ever know truth in its entirety or if human existence is condemned to half truths, to uncertainties and falsehood. Philosophy is a practical activity which wonders over, if there is a form of enduring goodness that surpasses the evils and wickedness we experience in this world. If wicked people can be rewarded quite undeservedly, what then is justice? The philosopher dares to ask. In the face of the unsatisfactory nature of leadership styles, the philosopher would like to reflect over the nature of good governance and government in general. In all these cases, the philosopher adduces very good reasons backed by insightful arguments, and in a dispassionate mood, seeks to give answers to both practical and theoretical questions of existence. His desire is always to enlighten selflessly. How do we attain peace, harmony and brotherhood in a world that often tends to violence and segregation? This and many more are such questions that preoccupy a philosophical mind. In seeking to handle these issues, each philosopher, ultimately, strives to enhance human happiness with his questions, reflections and answers about the world. If he wishes to know if God exists or seeks to enlighten on the existence of God, he does this with the sincerity of purpose that seeks to further human happiness and not one that seeks to diminish it. This is why the atheistic philosopher who denies the existence of God does so in the belief that he seeks to enhance and further human happiness, just like the one that affirms God's existence. Hence, philosophers do not see variations in opinion concerning these issues as ends in themselves. This dispassionate striving towards genuine answers, selfless enlightenment and furthering human happiness characterises the nature of philosophy. One thing should become clear from this exposition, in the sea of opinions that characterise philosophy, pure ideological over-simplifications should never be mistaken for the real philosophical attitude. This is why neither religious fanaticism, ethnic chauvinism nor political extremism, for example, can be pursued under the guise of any philosophy. Their restricting and non-comprehensive outreach diminishes their philosophical significance grossly. Philosophy is an exercise borne from the fundamental love for truth beyond ideologies and attractive packages of pay masters and depraved consciences. As a non-ideological exercise, philosophy is not a slave to authority neither does it despise authority. If there is a master to which it owes allegiance, that master can be called “the truth” which it seeks critically and dispassionately. Hence, even if it thrives within the context of open and democratic discourse, its answers go beyond such discourse, since it has ultimate reality and truth as its guide. Hence, in all philosophical enterprises, it would be fatal to equate the truths embedded in diverse opinions with definite answers. What this means is that, to equate evidence with philosophical answers would be a big mistake. What evidence and opinions do is to give us alternatives, and in some cases, better ways of viewing those questions that puzzle us. In all those instances where very honest attempts are made to elucidate puzzles of existence philosophy is active. In all those cases where we dispassionately, and guided by truth, seek answers without sounding absolutistic, we have the philosophical temperament. In all those cases where we are committed to the openness of the future as a condition of FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 possibility towards seeking apodictic answers into these questions of existence that agitate our minds, this future reference marks us out as realistic. Thus, we find philosophy active across the length and breadth of our daily activities. In the academia, philosophy is active in history, as philosophy of history, in law, as jurisprudence. Political philosophy coves the conceptual questions raised in political science. In the social sciences, philosophy is pursued as philosophy of social science. In the same way, philosophy is active in education, in the humanistic, natural and social sciences etc. Since there is a wide variety of these men and women of goodwill who seek dispassionate honest answers to the puzzles and problems of existence, we are then not surprised if the range of philosophical subject matter is as wide an varied as our world. Thus, we have philosophy of environment, business philosophy, feminist philosophy, philosophy of medicine etc. Thus, as a discipline, “philosophy of something” can always be mounted for specific areas, as the situations and times demand. This is why Solomon holds that “Philosophy is not like any other academic subject; rather it is a critical approach to all subjects” (Solomon, Introducing Philosophy, 11) It is this philosophical spirit that guided the earliest philosophers, who sought to articulate these philosophical questions when they wondered about “the first beginning”, or “origin of everything” (Coreth, Metaphysics 17). More recently the same question has been reformulated more pointedly by Martin Heidegger who sees the fundamental question of metaphysics to subsist in the questions: “why is there anything at all, rather than nothing” (An Introduction to Metaphysics, 1). The numerous creation myths in our diverse localities are evidences of the agitation in the minds of peoples to grasp into the foundation of reality. This shows how widespread and universal this philosophical concern is. When now Ayer, in reference to Aristotle's opinion on this matter, says that philosophy studies “reality as a whole”, we see how the subject matter of philosophy, as a science, equally constitutes the very object that agitates the minds of anyone who raises philosophical questions. Yet, it has to be noted that merely raising such questions does not automatically elevate a person to the status of a philosopher. Granted that people do not need to be very sophisticated to raise philosophical questions, yet those who merely live out of their fantasies can hardly qualify as philosophers even if fantasy is an essential ingredient of our creative and intuitive existence (Pannenberg, Anthropologie 365-372). This notwithstanding, philosophy remains an honest concerted effort to understand the fundamental questions of reality, when they strike the mind, as the cases of many ancient philosophers stand to testify. This is why even mythological thinkers, according to Aristotle, qualify as philosophers. (Metaphysica, Book A, 2). One thing should be clear from our exposition of the notion of philosophy that would be constitutive for the articulation of an “Ibuanyidanda philosophy”, as this forms one of the foci of this lecture: Everything about philosophy has to deal with the mind-set or disposition with which we embrace reality. In its diverse modes of articulation philosophy, beyond trying to understand and explain reality, seeks to inculcate the correct type of mind-set or disposition in our relationship with the world. Having now tried to show what philosophy is, let us now proceed to understanding what the expression “philosophy of essence” entails by recourse to Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers, who worked out some of the basic constituents of a philosophy of essence. 2. Aristotle and the Philosophy of Essence Aristotle presents some of the core features of “philosophy of essence” in his work “Metaphysics”. Here, the teaching about “essence” or “substance”, as this is contrasted with accidents, plays a dominant role. In his Metaphysics Book C, 2, Aristotle refers to metaphysics as “first philosophy” because for him, it investigates the first principles, the ultimate cause of all things and the foundation of all truths. He refers to it as “the science of substance” which “must be of the nature of Wisdom.” (Metaphysica, Book B, 2) This science that studies “substance or essence” is different from those that study the accidental or fragmentary structures of reality. Within this context Aristotle expounds: “THERE is a science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to this in virtue of its own nature. Now this is not the same as any of the so-called special sciences; for none of these others treats universally of being as being.” (Aristotle, Metaphysica Book C 1). For Aristotle, therefore, the focus of metaphysics, as the science that treats universally of being as being, is the study of substance or essence. Even if there are many substances, Aristotle recognises that metaphysics or first philosophy has to do with the unchangeable substance. Thus, he adds: “if there is no substance other than those which are formed by nature, natural science will be the first science; but if there is an immovable substance, the science of this must be prior and must be first philosophy, and universal in this way, because it is first. And it will belong to this to consider being qua being-both what it is and the attributes which belong to it qua being.” (Book E, 1). Thus, metaphysics as the science of being qua being is the study of the unmoved immutable substance, which is the most fundamental constitution of all beings. It is in this capacity that metaphysics concentrates on determining the essential structures of all things. Thus, for Aristotle, all beings are constituted of substance and accidents. (Metaphysica Book A, 2, 6, 8). On their part the substance or essence, belongs to real character of being, because: “if these are not substance, there is no substance and no being at all; for the accidents of these it cannot be right to call beings.” (Book B, 5). For him, it belongs to the character of the wise to know being as being, which is the essence or substance of reality. The reason for this is because: “the wise man knows all things, as far as possible, … secondly, that he who can learn things that are difficult, and not easy for man to know, is wise (sense-perception is common to all, and therefore easy and no mark of Wisdom); again, that he who is more exact and more capable of teaching the causes is wiser, in every branch of knowledge; and that of the sciences, also, that which is desirable on its own account and for the sake of knowing it is more of the nature of Wisdom than that which is desirable on account of its results, and the superior science is more of the nature of Wisdom than the ancillary; for the wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him.” (Aristotle, Metaphysica, Book A, 2 – emphasis mine). One of the things most striking about his metaphysical teaching is that it is conceptualised with a mindset that sees reality, human interpersonal relationship and science in a polarised, exclusivist, non-complementary mode. When, now I use the expression “philosophy of essence” in this work, this usage shall not be restricted to Aristotle's philosophy as this is clearly articulated in his Metaphysics. The expression “philosophy of essence” is rather used here in a broader sense, to designate any attempt to understand and relate to reality after the mindset of Aristotle's metaphysics. It is the attempt to relate to the world in a disjointed, disharmonious, exclusivist, polarising mode as to negate the mutual complementary interrelatedness between all existent realities. It is for this reason that I see “philosophy of essence” quite given in extreme forms of existentialism, idealism, realism, positivism, relativism, absolutism, Afro-centricism, Euro-centricism, rationalism, empiricism etc, that chart a path of philosophical orthodoxy, which seeks to exclude aspects of reality from its consideration. This is precisely how most scientific projects that are beclouded with what I call “unintended ethno-centric commitment” equally qualify as “philosophy of essence” (Asouzu, Ibuar? 25-58). 3. Some Severe Implications of Fidelity to a Philosophy of Essence Dichotomising, polarising conception of reality Undeniably, Aristotle's philosophy of essence played a major role in shaping the way later generations understood reality and human interpersonal relationship. This is why most later-year philosophers and scientists, who were committed to a philosophy of essence, after the mind-set of Aristotle, had to contend with some of its most severe implications. It is interesting to note, that most contentions in Western philosophy, in diverse guises, revolve around the relationship of substance (essence) to accidents. Besides, most metaphysical text books, used in teaching teachers of teachers for decades, for example, have subscribed to Aristotle's radical distinction between “essence” or “substance” and “accidents”. For this reason, they subscribe largely also to Aristotle's teaching that substance or essence does not need accidents to subsist, whereas accidents need substances on which they inhere. Going by this teaching, reality or being, in the true sense of the word, belongs to the region of substance or essence. This is why for Aristotle “if these are not substance, there is no substance and no being at all; for the accidents of these it cannot be right to call beings.” (Book B, 5). By implication this would mean that to be is to be essence or substance. This teaching would become, in diverse ways, constitutive for what is generally recognised as Aristotle's enormous influence on the way human interpersonal relationship, science and reality are conceptualised, most especially in the Western history of ideas. Here, we are reminded that at a certain historical epoch: "Aristotle's works, which had been preserved by Arabian scholars, were acclaimed by the Church as criteria of truth which were to be accepted by all Christians just as they accepted the traditional dogma of the Church. Anyone who contradicted Aristotle was to be adjudged guilty of heresy" (Sahakian 103). This goes a long way in bringing out more clearly the type of influence Copleston had in mind when he observes that Aristotle's metaphysics “had a tremendous influence on the subsequent thought of Europe” (Copleston, A History of Philosophy 30). Hirschberger echoes the same sentiments when he points to the fact that Aristotle's “Metaphysics” is a clear reflection of his “Logic” (Hirschberger 163, 183; 163-208), so that his influence has actually to do with bequeathing, most especially to Europe thinking, the logic of his metaphysical thinking. Generally, fidelity to Aristotle's metaphysics has resulted in the tendency to see reality as something disjointed, bifurcated and polarised; where what is essential or substantial is easily equated with what is superior, whereas what is accidental is equated with what is inferior and inconsequential. Such a dichotomising and polarising approach is not restricted to the conceptualisation of reality, but is visibly evident in the philosophy of praxis, which insists on “the primacy of practical over theoretical reason, or the primacy of practical over technical reason”. (Schwemmer, Theorie der rationalen Erklärung 25-26). Introduction of undue rivalry in the scientific community Metaphysics, for Aristotle, as the study of the essential or substantial structure of reality is wisdom per excellence, and in this capacity the very ideal of science. It is for this reason that he considers metaphysics a much more superior science than the other sciences (“ancillary” sciences) that study accidental qualities. This unfortunate distinction between metaphysics and the other sciences would have a tremendous consequence for the way science is understood and scientific debates conducted. It has to be noted that history of ideas in medieval Europe had much to do with liberation of human reason from ecclesiastical dogmatism which was largely dictated by a mindset deeply imbedded in Aristotle's metaphysical orthodoxy. In spite of the critical liberal attitude ushered in by the Renaissance, most of Europe had gone through a radical transformation dictated by Aristotelianism which was imbibed in the process of education, indoctrination and socialisation. This is why even in the face of the new-won liberalism, the scientific community was not spared some of the worst excesses of a philosophy of essence while seeking for solutions (Asouzu, Ibuanyidanda 158-176). The new-won critical attitude notwithstanding, most scientists soon started seeing themselves as rivals and competitors paying allegiance only to the subject matter of their sciences. Here, Aristotle's division of the sciences between a metaphysics that is superior and the other sciences that are inferior added impetus to the acrimony sustaining scientific debates. Thus speaking with one voice based on a unified perception of reality was not considered a priority. On the contrary, each researcher was inclined to see the world in a disjointed, polarised exclusive mode. In the realm of philosophy, for example, instead of philosophers speaking with one voice based on a unified subject matter, most philosophers soon found themselves defending scientific propositions in keeping with the demands of their inclinations and localised interests. Without prejudice to very honest efforts invested in the cross-fertilisation of ideas beyond national boundaries and other mundane considerations, there were visible signs of segmentation of ideas along ethnic, ideological and religious lines. It is in this way that rationalism, for example, became heavily associated with French-Rationalism, empiricism with British-Empiricism and Idealism with German-idealism. We shall have American Pragmatism later on. One of the most severe consequences of this is that scientific debates will soon be degraded to an instrument of folks ideology tussles often quite removed from the genuine concerns of science. This trend becomes most pronounced and radicalised, later on, in what can be characterised as a reversal of fortune for those sciences that Aristotle degraded to mere ancillary status. Emboldened by what some of its practitioners considered their new-won superior status, and in an attitude that almost bordered on pure irrationalism, logical positivism, which goes by diverse names (logical empiricism, logical positivism etc), with greater intensity, rejected metaphysical knowledge. For the positivists, positive knowledge deals with facts, whereas metaphysics is a “meaningless pursuit” which claims access to knowledge inaccessible to empirical science and one which transcends this. (Kraft, The Vienna Circle 24, 30-33; Ayer, The Impossibility of Metaphysics 36; Carnap, Elimination of Metaphysics through Logical Analysis of Language). Hence, in an eliminative, dismissive attitude towards metaphysical knowledge, positivism describes metaphysics and allied disciplines, such as theology, as grandmothers of all obscurities causing trouble in the house of science (Sauter, Der Wissenschaftsbegriff der Theologie 286). In this point, logical empiricists show their bias and their commitment to a dichotomising exclusivist type of mindset characteristic of a philosophy of essence; but this time the ancillary sciences have suddenly gained so much so in importance as to claim the title of substantial sciences; a title previously reserved for metaphysics. Not only logical positivism even J.S. Mill had earlier on doubted the scientific status of the social sciences ( Alan Ryan, Is the Study of Society a Science? 8-9). Here in Nigeria, the disproportionate attention that is accorded the natural sciences speaks volumes of the mindset with which we approach reality. This is all the more the case when our admission quota favours the natural sciences, which by implication are rated higher than other disciplines (Asouzu, Humanistic Education, Technology and National Development). All these are instances where contenders approach reality with a mindset that is polarised and bifurcated. This is precisely why rationalism and empiricism, for example, hardly meet. With this, there is a radical departure from the understanding that the philosopher and the scientist are truth seekers and that wisdom is lovable. Since a philosophy of essence negates the intrinsic mutual complementary dependence between all existent realities, it easily steers a course of irrationalism. Stegmüller recognises this fact when he calls attention to the fact that in adopting an extremists stand against metaphysics, positivism found its way on the path of irrationalism believing that it can avoid all together the very problems metaphysic poses (Stegmüller, Main Currents in Contemporary Philosophy 10). This type of irrationalism is quite unavoidable for any philosophy of essence that pays undue attention to only one aspect of reality. It is also quite unavoidable for anyone who seeks to define existence as the capacity to be alone in total negation of all the other units that constitute the whole. There are two major things we can learn from these historical facts and rivalry, most especially as this relates to the reversal of fortune between metaphysics and the other sciences. First, in changed asymmetrical situations of power imbalance those who have the advantage of power tend to lord it over those they perceive as weak, unwise and inconsequential; just as it is the prerogative of the wise to order and not to be ordered. Second, those things we designate as accidental can always be redefined in keeping with the interests guiding human beings in society to appear substantial and vice versa. Thus, knowingly or unknowingly, Aristotle elevates the human innate urge to put one's interests first, at the cost of the interests of other stakeholders, to a folks ideological metaphysical teaching. He, thereby, underrated and even ignored the fact that, in asymmetrical situations of power imbalance those who have the advantage of power tend to interpret this in keeping with their most cherished interests and use the means at their disposal to secure their interests first in keeping with the promptings of our fundamental primitive instinct of self-preservation. Evoking an artificial conflict between the subject matter of the sciences Going by Aristotle's approach, it would seem as if there is real opposition between the subject matter of diverse sciences. This must not be the case, because metaphysical problems are very relevant to natural sciences, just as the problems of the real world are an integral aspect of metaphysics. Since all sciences claim to do service to humanity and the world in general, they are humanistic in orientation and must be concerned with the human problems. And here, clear-cut empirical or metaphysical answers do not suffice. It is quite unfortunate, as logical empiricism has shown, that many do not consider it worthwhile to aspire towards understanding the ultimate constitution of reality as being. If one remembers that being, so ideally constituted, remains the very motor that drives reality, no self respecting scientist would be content with giving us half truths by focusing only on those realities that are directly accessible to experience (Asouzu, African Metaphysics and Challenges of Science). What this means is that to assign primacy to those sciences that study being over those that study its attributes is an unfortunate undertaking, if we remember that all sciences, no matter their methods, have the ultimate end to serve nature in all its ramifications. Thus the division of labour among the sciences as this is based on Aristotle's metaphysics of essence is an unfortunate division, which unnecessarily polarises the sciences, and their practitioners. Based on this unfortunate division, many natural scientists pretend that questions that go beyond the realm of the cognitive empirical are outside the range of their investigation and responsibility. Scientists always strive, to the best of their ability, to tell us the whole truth. What this shows is that scientists, in principle, do not seek partial grasp, but full grasp of their subject matters and by so doing they demonstrate that the ideal of science is and remains to tell us the truth and if possible the whole truth, about the world. Visible sign of commitment to truth subsists in commitment to both the metaphysical and empirical dimensions of reality, as these constitute a whole. What this implies is that any science that seeks to polarise reality, by commitment only to one aspect of it, always runs the risk of abdicating its responsibilities. As this matter relates specifically to philosophy, Eze claims that it is the "modest dream of philosophy to speak the truth (even if, as the case may arise, such truth needs be spoken to power)" (Eze, In Search of Reason's Traces 40). This dream is not restricted to philosophy alone, but to all sciences that seek to remain humanistic. Yet, the difficulty arises on how this truth has to be spoken to power. Here, philosophy, as the science that seeks to penetrate ultimate reality has much role to play. However, it cannot play this role convincingly if in its eagerness to speak the truth it usurps power by sounding absolutistic, as the case of Aristotle shows who idealises metaphysics beyond all conceivable limits. In other words, all sciences must pursue the type of wisdom that never divides and never polarises in their search for truth. It is in this way that they can demonstrate that the wisdom they seek is the type that units and not one that divides. It is in this way that their truth claims must be such that reconciles the essential with the accidental, the relative with the absolute. Where, on the other hand, they seek to speak the truth as the arrogant wisdom that knows all things and commands all things, chances are that they would invariably tend to impose such truths, dogmatically and arbitrarily, on those they consider unwise. Enhancement of “unintended ethnocentric” commitment Consistent commitment to a philosophy of essence enhances what I call “unintended ethnocentric commitment” (Asouzu, Ibuar? 25-63) both in inquiry and human interpersonal relationship. This phenomenon ensues the moment actors seek to encounter the world with a polarised mindset. Unintended ethnocentric commitment is unfortunately quite widespread today even within the academia. I consider its impact more severe than that of the much discussed “value-oriented bias” in inquiry. One of the major reasons for this is because we are dealing here directly with the impact of clannish and ethnic mentalities on inquiry, and as these have the capacity to complicate coexistence of peoples in a world of globalisation. I have tried to work out the major features of this phenomenon by reference to the conceited way many so-called Western philosophers and scientists relate to those they identify as non-Western philosophers and scientists (Asouzu, Ibuar? 25-192). I call the phenomenon an “unintended intrusion” “because there is every indication that in spite of the declared goodwill of many researchers and thinkers to steer the course of scientific objectivity in their philosophical endeavours, there are often worrisome traces of unintended ethnocentric commitment in their minds and thinking. These are some of those biases arising from our value commitments; most especially because of the excessive importance we attach to matters that concern us most, and matters relating to our ethnic and tribal affiliations. In most cases, in doing philosophy, we often wish to uphold and defend our ethnic and tribal identities and values no matter how hard we try to steer an objective course” (Asouzu, Ibuanyidanda 13). We see this phenomenon very pronounced in the so-called “Black Athena” debate which has polarised and is tearing apart academic debates in USA (Asouzu, Ibuanyidanda 110-112). The same thing holds true for the debates surrounding the so-called, “the Philosophy of Stolen Legacy” and “Copy-Cat Philosophy” (Asouzu, Ibuar?, 30,36, 287-292). Here, scientific combatants waste precious time and energy contradicting each other and adducing evidence to demonstrate the indemonstrable concerning the origin of philosophy. Worst still is when they accuse each other of theft. Here, they forget that all ideas, just like all human values, originate in mutual complementary dependence of all stakeholders. This issue of “unintended ethnocentric commitment” is quite widespread also in the way African philosophy is conducted. This is most especially evident in the ethnocentric–induced style of philosophising, where many African philosophers endeavour to reclaim uncritically their cultural patrimonies in the name of philosophy. This type of philosophising is evident in the works of Tempels, Kagame, Okere, Ramose, Iroegbu, and the self-proclaimed ethno philosopher, Nwala (Asouzu, Ibuanyidanda 176-227, Ibuar? 36-101). Knowledge at the service of ideology and the paradox of irrationalism of reason Aristotle's commitment to a philosophy of essence made it difficult for him to present, convincingly, metaphysics, which he calls “first philosophy”, as the very ideal of wisdom. If now for him “the wise man must not be ordered but must order, he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey” - a position quite in tune with Plato's elitist idealism (Boyd William, Plato's Republic for Today 95-110), then, acquisition of wisdom entails, among other things, all the processes needed to use knowledge as an instrument of subjugation. If it is the prerogative of wisdom to command and bring the less wise to obedience and subjugation, then Aristotle's wisdom has the unavoidable connotation of arrogant placement of knowledge at the service of power and ideology. Worst still is the fact that it is not in the character of such knowledge or wisdom to compromise or complement. On the contrary, Aristotle's wisdom is not bound to obey the less wise; it is the less wise who is bound to obey the wise whose prerogative it is to command and not to obey. This understanding of wisdom or knowledge is clearly echoed in the maxim “knowledge is power”; a saying attributed to Francis Bacon and one which stops at nothing in misusing knowledge as a veritable expansionist instrument of conquest, subjugation and domination. Many associate this doctrine with what is referred to as the triumph of “Western rationality”. Many see this doctrine clearly reflected in Aristotle's political philosophy, when he, according to Dallmayr opines that ”barbarians should be governed by the Greeks”; a conviction which according to Dallmayr “furnished welcome support to his Macedonian pupil Alexander when he embarked on his far-flung military conquest and imperial ventures” (Dallmayr, Empire or Cosmopolis? 53). For Dallmayr “the main justification for this claim was the Greeks' (supposed) greater rationality and self-control as compared with the barbarians” (Empire or Cosmopolis? 53). As this relates to contemporary world politics, Dallmayr sees the same Aristotelian mentality being fostered by most Western powers as they seek to be in control of most things strategic, and most especially nuclear weapons, under the supposition that they alone have the higher rationality and needed self-control to use them properly. Here, Aristotle is sometimes described by Westerners as “the master of all who know” (Asante, The Afroentric Idea 8), so that Richard Tarnas' book “The Passion of the Western Mind”, which seeks a deep affinity between Aristotle and what is celebrated as “Western rationality”, became an instant bestseller, the moment it hit the bookstands.(Tarnas, 55). This notwithstanding, any attempt to monopolise reason by any person or groups of individuals leads invariably to the paradox of irrationalism of reason, where in our eagerness to claim reason for ourselves alone we negate the fact that reason is a universal attribute of all beings that are rational. Commitment to a philosophy of essence easily induces to paradoxes and contradictions of this type. If philosophy must remain love of wisdom and truth, it must strive beyond all paradoxes and contradictions. In this case, it must be a philosophy of complementation and not one of rejection and exclusiveness. Here, philosophy has the duty to demolish all forms of ideology and ethno-centric inspired understanding of the world that negate the idea of mutual complementary relationship between all existent realities. 4. Fundamental Existential Challenges of Philosophy Tension-laden human existential situations It is necessary to emphasise that the tendency for human beings to relapse to extreme, exclusivist polarising measures in seeking solutions to problems is not something peculiar to a philosophy of essence, which merely served as model for all tendencies to relate to the world with a mindset that is exclusivist and divisionary. If all matters of philosophy have to deal with the type disposition or mind-set with which we embrace reality, then all types of philosophies are subject to the same criterion of legitimisation. Here, any undertaking that steers the course of philosophical orthodoxy and claims to be wisdom, has to fulfil the minimum criterion of abdicating a non-conciliatory bifurcating, divisive FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 absolutistic type of mindset. Unfortunately, this criterion has to contend with one of the most severe challenges to which our existence as human beings is subjected. This challenge subsists in the fact that the tendency to see the world in a polarised, exclusivist, non-conciliatory mode is something deeply entrenched in our being and consciousness. Fundamentally, human beings tend to secure their interests first, in the course of which they tend to negate the interests of others, due to the challenges of our primitive instinct of self preservation, which we share with other lower creatures. They devise all thinkable strategies to secure their interests first. However behind most of these strategies is a maxim that impels their actions and convictions. Generally, human beings act after what I call the super maxim, which states: “The nearer the better and the safer”. In keeping with this super-maxim, we assume in our actions that those persons and things nearest to us are better and safer by reason of their belonging to us intimately i.e. because they are nearest to us; these are our kith and kin, members of our community, our clan, members of our extended family system, members of our race, tribe, sex, religion, those from out local governments, our states, our churches, those who share some sort of intimate affinity with us, etc. (Asouzu, Method and Principles, (2005 edition) 78, (2004 edition) 69; Asouzu, Ibuanyidanda, 317-323; Asouzu). In seeking to preserve their interests first at the cost of other stakeholders human beings, at the same time, devise measures to negate the interests of those others they adjudge a threat to their most cherished interests and for this reason they become exclusivist and intolerant. The impact of this primitive drive on our being is all the more enhanced due to the fact that all human existential situations are ambivalent and tension-laden. For these reasons, our being is fundamentally bi-polar structured. This is most evident in our capacity to affirm and to negate, to preserve and to devastate, to construct and to destroy, to say yes and to say no, all at the same time. Authentic existence, from which authentic philosophising springs, entails therefore the capacity to equilibrate the tension arising from the inner recesses of our being in a way that guarantees mutual coexistence of all units within the framework of the whole. Regrettably, again, steering a course of mutual complementation and harmony is not always an easy task, since all human existential situations in addition to being ambivalent have an inherent dimension of what we call in Igbo language ihe mkpuchi anya 93 94 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 (the phenomenon of concealment): Literally this translates to: “the thing that covers the eyes” or “the thing that impairs vision”. If the ambivalence points at the double capacity of our interests and the world in general, the phenomenon of concealment (ihe mkpuchi anya) points at our ability to mismanage this ambivalence. In all existential situations, actors are constantly exposed to the dangers of error of judgement in their relationship to the world, due to this ambivalence and ihe mkpuchi anya. We encounter an instance of such an error of judgement when, in our encounter with the world, we usually believe that “the nearer the better and the safer” and adopt this as a general principle that guides our action. Generally and naturally, we perceive and adjudge those nearest to us better and safer, but this must not always be the case since those nearest to us are not always the safest and best. (Asouzu, The Challenges of Super-maxim to Judgment and Actions, xix). It is due to our disposition to commit errors of judgment of this kind, that actors also have the innate tendency to resolve conflicts in a one dimensional absolute mode and by recourse to extreme and polarising measures. Even if ihe mkpuchi anya is an existential condition that impacts on the individual, it can evoke a depraved exclusivist, non-conciliatory collective consciousness, when concerned individuals unite in pursuing certain interests they cherish most. The act of existing (I di) misunderstood as the capacity to be alone (ka s? m? di) Grappling successfully with the challenges posed by our tension laden ambivalent existential situations and ihe mkpuchi anya (phenomenon of concealment) can be decisive for the type of philosophy and science we pursue, the type of society and human interpersonal relationship we are capable of building. One of the most adverse effects of the challenge arising from the phenomenon of concealment (ihe mkpuchi anya), is its capacity to becloud our intellect. It is another way of saying that this phenomenon has the capacity to twist our consciousness and induces us to perceive and interpret reality always depravedly. In this case, it induces us to always interpret situations only to our advantage and ignore out rightly the interests of other stakeholders and some of the most severe consequences ensuing from our actions. When this happens, we tend to perceive reality in a disharmonious, exclusivist, polarising mode and tend also to FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 interpret the act of existing (I di) or to be, most selfishly, as the capacity to be alone (ka s? m? di). For this reason, human coexistence is easily perceived as a ceaseless struggle between irreconcilable opposites. It is in this way that ihe mkpuchi anya can intensify the feeling that we can live alone without the help of those we identify as inconsequential and dispensable. Such feelings are all the more intensified the moment the ego perceives itself as better than others due to certain momentary advantages bestowed by circumstances, such as position, technological achievements, learning, power, affluence, sex, religious and political affiliations and all those conditions that can make us feel superior over others. Due to this feeling of superiority over others, the ego is immediately misled to believe that it is also very wise, very crafty and capable. Besides, the ego starts to see itself as the absolute architect of its own achievements. Such an existential condition induces the feeling of omnipotence and omniscience. This is the moment the ego also starts having the feeling of absolute certainty, absolute security and invincibility. Since the ego believes that it can achieve everything alone, it also seeks absolute privileges over other stakeholders whom it perceives as inessential, inconsequential and dispensable. Because the phenomenon of concealment makes us believe that we are completely different from other stakeholders, we equally believe that we can act quite unrestrainedly. This is equivalent to the ego elevating itself to an absolute exclusivist subsisting essence capable of existing without other stakeholders; quite reminiscent of Aristotle's essence or substance that does not need the accidents to subsist. We can then understand, why in asymmetrical situations of power imbalance, those who have the advantage of power often consider themselves substantial, untouchables and also seek to lord it over those they identify as weak, unwise, accidental and inconsequential. The paradox of human existential situations Since our tension-laden existential situations becloud our reasoning and twist our consciousness, they easily also magnify and exaggerate our needs, build unfounded fears in us, make us unimaginative and conceal our responsibilities from us. Once caught in this disposition or mindset, actors in seeking to secure and preserve their interests easily resort to very extreme and often very irrational means thinking that these are the most viable ways of upholding their most cherished interest. So blinded, in their eagerness to uphold their interests by recourse to very questionable and often irrational means, they often also succeed in putting the social order on its head, and this notwithstanding, they persist in their actions thinking that they are acting wisely. When now the social order has been destabilised and tensions arise, due to the irrational means actors adopt in seeking solutions to their problems, they start raising alarm and start complaining about the precariousness of the situation. In making such complaints and raising an alarm, they easily forget, because beclouded by ihe mkpuchi anya, that precisely those extreme irrational measures they consider most appropriate are the very causes of the problems they are complaining about. Here, we see how due to the impact of the phenomenon of ihe mkpuchi anya (phenomenon of concealment), it is not always immediately evident to us that we can be the very cause of those very problems that are weighing us down. In such situations, it is not always clear to us that precisely our personal anti-social acts are the very causes of the problems we are complaining about. Taking Nigeria as a typical example, we are faced with a situation, where, precisely, those things we condemn and abhor, those things which almost everyone says is wrong, is what almost everyone persists in doing, and at the same time complaining about their consequences. This is a paradox and the tragedy of human ambivalent existential situation, as this is complicated by ihe mkpuchi anya (phenomenon of concealment). It is a form of corruption of the mind, which hardly gives the victim any chances, and which can force even the strongest and keenest to their knees. Here, we see how in spite of our knowledge about a given condition that is precarious, we can hardly undertake something tangible to address it. We complain about it, but find it irresistible to do what we condemn as wrong. This notwithstanding, we hardly believe that we are the cause of the problem and this is why we complain to anyone who cares to listen. As this relates to individuals and to collective group consciousness, we always seek to rationalise the situation by looking for excuses and scapegoats. In looking towards the outside, we demonstrate a culpable ignorance that can only be understood be reference to the character of the phenomena that hold us down. This is a typical case where one can be the cause of one's problems in full insight and can still not have the capacity to take responsibility for one's action. This is the paradox. Here in Nigeria today almost everyone is an untrained expert in almost all problems of our nation. Who does not feel overqualified to take one leadership position or the other, when the need arises? Which of us does not know the best theories and solutions to some of our most teething problems? Put up a debate today on how best to manage our overhaul-worthy lives and institutions, you will be surprised by the calibre of enlightened input you will get. But most actions which we perform contrary to demands of common sense put a big question mark on our claims to expertise, and to our sincerity of purpose, and, unfortunately also, on our sanity. It is a typical situation where one seeks to deceive oneself, tells oneself a lie and thinks that this is the best and wisest existential strategy; over and above all one thinks that one is very smart and crafty. The global scene is not even better: the world speaks against hunger and inequalities, but those who have the advantage of power use this to make life unbearable for the weak and underprivileged. The world speaks out against violation of human rights, condemns extremism, condemns dictatorship, but those who think that it is the prerogative of the wise to order and to command, put mechanisms in place to uphold their supremacy and primacy at the risk of sounding contradictory. The world has expert theories about economic discrimination and exploitation; about asymmetry in labour and employment conditions and opportunities, about freedom of movement and immigration, but very stiff legislations and anti-immigration and labour laws are again put in place to protect what many perceive as their privileged interests and in the event they undermine the very ideals they seek to protect. In our eagerness to explore our freedom to the fullest, we embark precisely on those measures that put our lives in perpetual dangers of extinction. Since the ambivalence of our existential situations enhances our optimism, and the phenomenon of concealment (ihe mkpuchi anya) makes us blind concerning our limitations, we easily operate with false hopes believing that all problems can be solved given the time and requisite technology. Here, we may be wrong, because, in most cases precisely those measures we employ to uphold our interests at all cost are the very measures that rebound and threaten our right to exist. Looking at these widespread existential paradox, it becomes very clear that hardly any human problem is a localised problem. Those who think that the problems of corruption, nepotism, graft, laziness, injustice, violence, greed, embezzlement, bribery, tribalism, wastefulness, recklessness, insincerity, negligence, 419, religious fanaticism, clannish mentality, racism, cronyism, scientism, terrorism, plundering of national wealth, insatiable appetite for material possession, and all forms of irrational extreme tendencies are typical problems of any region of the world must think again. These are universal human problem that have to deal with the structure of human consciousness which always seeks its autonomy outside the foundation of its unity. They are universal human problems, just as the phenomenon of excessive self-interest is a human problem beyond races, nations and religions. Where we are not able to manage our tension-laden existential situations well, we are likely also to develop a divisive exclusivist type of mindset which evokes those problems we abhor. With this we can clearly see the psycho-pathological dimension of the problem of any philosophy that makes recourse to extreme measures in addressing the world and reality in general. This is why most difficulties raised by a philosophy of essence can be addressed adequately within the context of a philosophy of the mind putting into consideration the fact that philosophy is all about inculcating the correct type of mindset and disposition. How to come to grips with this falls within the domain of the pedagogical and psycho-therapeutic function of ibuanyidanda philosophy. We can now understand why the problems associated with Aristotle's philosophy of essence are universal human problems that have to deal with human inability to come to terms with the demands of our tension-laden existential situations. For this reason, any of us can be confronted with the same problems anytime and anywhere, either as victims or as perpetrators. 5. Addressing the Subject-object Tension And Dichotomy Ibuanyidanda and the Philosophy of Essence If by recourse to a philosophy of essence the human consciousness easily becomes a victim of its tension-laden ambivalent situations and ihe mkpuchi anya (phenomenon of concealment), the question then arises: How can actors relate to the world in view of overcoming the divide and tension generate in human consciousness. To answer this question adequately entails looking for a strategy for addressing the major shortcomings of a philosophy of essence while retaining its benefits. To start with, there is need to recognises the fact that the ultimate idea of being is very constitutive in our understanding of reality and in our relationship to the world. It is the very idea that drives science and society (Asouzu, African Metaphysics and Challenges of Science). In this point Aristotle is right when he points at the fundamental, enduring and ultimate character of the notion of being. However in seeking to arrive at this ultimate enduring idea of being, all the means needed to attain it must remain harmonised with the ideal it enshrines. This is where Aristotle's approach calls for an overhaul. If for Aristotle metaphysics which ”treats universally of being as being, is the study of substance or essence” it can not do this successfully if essence and accidents are conceptualised as if they are situated at diverse regions of being. In other words, in doing philosophy or metaphysics, there must be the possibility to relate being to its attributes in the most natural way, and such that makes it possible for us to uphold a harmonised idea of reality. Furthermore, it is only by recourse to such a harmonised idea of being that our idea of science and human interpersonal relationship can remain complete and harmonised. This can be achieved if there is a way to relate essence (substance) and accidents, ends and means, practical reason and theoretical, practical reason and technical, such that in their realisation they are mutually harmonized (Asouzu, Eine Analyse und kritische Bewertung; Kritische Betrachtung der konstruktiven Wissenschaftstheorie 106-111). Any philosophy that can help us achieve this must help the ego perceive reality, and the world in general, in a complementary mutually harmonised way. Besides, the method of such a philosophy should be adequate towards penetrating and understand the internal workings of the human consciousness in view of addressing the tension thereby generated. This is important because such tension is the major cause of the subject-object divide and dichotomy. Such is the character of Ibuanyidanda philosophy. We can then say that Ibuanyidanda philosophy is a transcendent complementary comprehensive systematic inquiry into the structure and dynamics of human consciousness as to determine the reason for the subject object tension and dichotomy by reason of which the ego always seeks its autonomy outside the foundation of its unity. It is an attempt at addressing this tension with a view to providing workable solutions towards its containment in a complementary comprehensive mutually harmonised fashion. Contrary to a philosophy of essence which derives from a metaphysics that polarisation and absolutises aspects of reality, the major task of an ibuanyidanda philosophy is to show how a systematic non-absolutistic metaphysics is possible; it is an attempt at showing how the ego can relate to reality in a mutually harmonised non-absolutistic mode. As this relates to the legitimising role of philosophy as the ideal of science, Ibuanyidanda philosophy wishes to show how the propositions or statements of any given science, intended for human interpersonal relationship, can be validated, both to the inside and the outside, without falling into the three fold trilemma of infinite regress, of circularity, and of arbitrariness (Hans Albert, Traktat über kritische Vernunft 11-15). Since all sciences claim to foster human happiness, ibuanyidanda philosophy wishes to show how this task of legitimisation is a responsibility mutually shared by all the sciences and not one that is reserved specifically to philosophy. With this, ibuanyidanda philosophy shows that there can be real convergence in the subject matters of diverse sciences, contrary to insinuations of a philosophy of essence for which the subject matters of the diverse sciences are at odds with each other. Hence, ibuanyidanda philosophy wishes to demonstrate how unified statements about being and the world in general can be possible, within an integrated systematic framework, and one that allows freedom of expression and which considers all things adequately, the fragmentation of their historicity notwithstanding. Generally, ibuanyidanda philosophy wishes to show how philosophy, as wisdom, can play its legitimising role, both theoretically and practically, such that relapse to extreme measures in addressing reality and human interpersonal relationship can be curtailed and if possible eliminated. If now a philosophy of essence polarises reality, ibuanyidanda philosophy explores a method and principles for coalescing the real and the ideal, the essential and accidental into a system of mutual complementing units. It is a challenge to show how philosophy can be relevant to all units constituting a whole, such that the essential and accidental, the necessary and contingent, the universal and the particular, the absolute and relative, the conservative and the progressive, the constructive and the deconstructive; both the consequential and inconsequential, both the essential and inessential, both the real and the ideal, both the transcendental and world-immanent, can more easily be grappled with within the same framework. When ibuanyidanda philosophy performs this task, it immediately portrays itself as that undertaking that seeks to penetrate and explore the idea of being, complementarily, in the dynamism of its immediacy and considers all things that exist as missing links of reality. Philosophy the science of missing links of reality Ontology means the study of being, just as biology means the study of living organisms. The designation “ontology” is used to bring out more properly the subject matter of metaphysics. If Aristotle-based metaphysics or ontology seeks an unmediated access into the notion of being in its essentiality, Ibuanyidanda ontology attempts to penetrate and grasp being, and with it ultimate reality through mediation or via the instrumentality of mutual relations. It is for this reason that while a philosophy of essence in approaching reality seeks to divide and polarise it, Ibuanyidanda ontology seeks to harmonise, complement, and unify the same. The concept Ibuanyidanda draws its inspiration from the teachings of traditional Igbo philosophers of the complementary system of thought. The closest English equivalent to the word “Ibuanyidanda” is “complemenatrity”. Danda are ants that have the capacity, in mutual dependence and interdependence, to carry loads that appear bigger and heavier than themselves. What this implies is that they can surmount very difficult challenges when they are mutually dependent on each other in the complementation of their efforts. Hence, traditional Igbo philosophers insist that: ibu anyi danda (no task is insurmountable for danda). It is from this synthetic idea “ibu anyi danda” that served a heuristic pre-scientific function within the context of traditional Igbo experience that the synthetic-analytic concept “Ibuanyidanda” is derived through abstraction. (Asouzu Ibuanyidanda 11). It is precisely this idea of mutual dependence and interdependence in complementarity, that is negated by any philosophy of essence. Within an Aristotelian context, reality can be represented ideally by recourse to the concept of essence or substance which does not need its accidents to subsist. For this classical idea of being, therefore, the notion of being is indefinable since it is only being that subsists and endures (Van Steenberghen, Fernand. Ontology 23; Dougherty, Kenneth. Metaphysics 35). In other words, there is no intermediary 101 102 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 between being and its negation. This is why within this context the negation of being is nothingness. Due to its Aristotelian fidelity this classical notion of being shows its glaring disjunctive and exclusivist flavour. (Joseph, H.W.B. An Introduction to Logic 181-182; Stebbing, L.S. A Modern Introduction To Logic, 69-78). In Ibuanyidanda philosophy, I see it otherwise. Hence, I dare define the idea of being; here I claim that being is that on account of which anything that exists serves a missing link of reality. In other words, within an Ibuanyidanda context reality presents itself to us as missing links of reality within whose framework the idea of being reveals itself and is defined. I designate as “missing links”: “diverse units that make up an entity within the framework of the whole and as they are complementarily related. They are all the imaginable, fragments, units, components, and combinations that enter into our understanding of any aspect of our world. They are also all the units and combinations necessary in the conceptualisation of an entity or of the whole. Thus missing links are, for example, thoughts and the thoughts of thoughts. They are diverse modes of manifestation of being in history. They are categories and the categories of categories. They are the units and the units of units, entities and the entities of entities, things and the things of things. They are ideas and the ideas of ideas, etc. as these can possibly be abstracted and related to each other as conditions of possibility of their perfectibility in a harmonious systemic manner” (Asouzu, Method and Principles (2005 edition), 285-286; (2004 edition), 277 278; Asouzu, Progress in Metaphysics: The Phenomenon of “Missing Link” 82-91) For Ibuanyidanda philosophy, therefore, to be is to be in mutual complementary relationship (ka s? m? adina) and its negation is to be alone (ka s? m? di) and not nothingness. This is why it is a tragedy to locate the essence of existence in the capacity to be alone (ka s? m? di); in the capacity to act outside of the framework provided by all missing links of reality. In this sense, the act of being and with it existence, is all it takes to affirm that anything that exists serves a missing link of reality towards the joy of being. With this, ibuanyidanda wishes to supersede that approach to reality were the idea of being can be equated to being alone ((ka s? m? di). By this, I affirm that being is dynamic in a FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 complementary sense and not dynamic in a world immanent pre deterministic sense. It is very important to remark that commitment to this repugnant idea of being in the dynamism of its world immanent pre deterministic concomitancy is very widespread in African philosophy today, due to devastating influence of what I call the “Tempelsian Damage” among many African philosophers. (Ibuar? 74-101). The major task of any philosophy subsists therefore in the harmonization of our perception of reality in the face of a world that presents itself as varied and fragmented. This task can be accomplished within the context of a philosophy whose goal is to harmonise and complement reality instead of one that seeks to divide, polarise and bifurcate it. It is within such a context, that we say that philosophy is the science of missing links of reality as against a philosophy of essence for which philosophy, as wisdom is a science of pure essences. We can then understand why an ibuanyidanda philosophy is the very limit of a pure empiricist-based and pure rationalist based truth claims. By so doing an ibuanyidanda epistemology challenges the validity of a pure empiricist or a purely rationalist based epistemology, as these form the foundation on which the ideological tension that overheats and overshadows scientific debates is located. Here, we aver that all matters of knowledge both in their genesis and further development are complementary (Ibuar? 242-255). One can then understand our contention that in the genesis and perfectibility of our ideas, members of the human family are interminably in a relationship of mutual dependence and interdependence in complementarity. It is for this reason that we aver that the debate concerning the origin of philosophy, and with it the “Black Athena” debate, that have polarised the Eurocentric and Afrocentric camps are ethno-centric induced excesses far removed from genuine concerns of science (Asouzu, Ibuanyidanda 110-114, Ibuar?, 287-292). The same can be said of much of the debates based on a positivist induced rationality that seeks to do away with a metaphysical knowledge. Contrary to the pretension of these opposing camps, Ibuanyidanda, as a philosophy of mutual complementation, is of the view that Philosophy originated neither in Greece nor in Egypt. As wisdom, it is an exercise in mutual dependence of all missing links in their complementary interrelatedness. Hence, all cultures, peoples, races, tribes, sexes, languages, nations, religions, political affiliations etc. are in mutual complementary indebtedness to each other, in their privileges and responsibilities. For this reason, Ibuanyidanda philosophy avers that all forms of ideas and modes of knowledge, in their excogitation, in their acquisition, execution and further development are complementary. Ibuanyidanda thus pursues an idea of mutual indebtedness and interdependence in complementarity in a way that makes the issue of who takes the credit, for example in a production line, more manageable. Just as a philosophy of essence that considers being indefinable has as its subject matter all things that exist in so far as they are pure essences or being as being without qualification, ibuanyidanda philosophy likewise has as its subject matter all things that exist, but insofar as they serve each other interminably as missing links of reality. If now the strategy of a philosophy of essence leads to divisiveness in human interpersonal relationship, this is a sure indication that its claim to be wisdom is one where theory and praxis are at variance with each other. For this reason, Ibuanyidanda philosophy sees as one of its primary functions the need to restore the broken unity between theory and praxis. Harmonization of theory and praxis A philosophy of essence targets human action due to the impact theories have on action. To revise the exclusivist, hegemonic impact arising from a philosophy of essence on human action entails pursuing a philosophy of complementation that is valid both as a theoretical and as a practical philosophy. In Ibuanyidanda philosophy we have such a philosophy which seeks to harmonise theory and praxis through its principles, imperative and what I designate as the “truth and authenticity criterion”. (Asouzu, Method and Principles, (2005) edition, 281-285; (2004 edition) 273-277). I call the metaphysical variant of the Ibuanyidanda principle, the principle of integration. This principle claims: “Anything that exists serves a missing link of reality”. The principle of progressive transformation serves as the practical variant of this principle. It states: ”All human actions are geared towards the joy of being”. The imperative of ibuanyidanda philosophy states: “Allow the limitations of being to be the cause of your joy”. Whereas the truth and authenticity criterion states: ”never elevate any world immanent missing link to an absolute instance”. What is striking about the principles and imperative of Ibuanyidanda philosophy and its truth and authenticity criterion is that they lay much emphasis on human insufficiency, while bearing in mind human determination to absoluteness and comprehensiveness in his future reference. Thus, Ibuanyidanda philosophy seeks to show how the essential and accidental, how being and its various modes of expression form an integrated complementary whole. Here, we wish to show how being becomes manifest as the authentic mutual joyous experience that unifies all missing links in the service they render to each other. This is the joy of being, which becomes accessibly as the experience enshrined in the affirmation sustaining all authentically well executed tasks, when we say in Igbo jide k' iji. Thus, in the affirmation, jide k' iji we allude to the mutual unifying experience of transcendent complementary unity of consciousness arising from the forms of the mind (akara obi/akara mm?? or transcendent categories of unity of consciousness) which enable actors to be committed to the insight that anything that exists serves a missing link of reality. This transcendent experience remains the ultimate end of all complementary or ibuanyidanda actions and offers the possibility of experiencing being truly and concretely. It becomes most evident in concrete encounter with the opposite other as human subjects who share similar experiences and interests with each other. 6. Restoration of True Personal Autonomy Noetic propaedeutic: The pedagogical and psycho-therapeutic dimensions of ibuanyidanda philosophy Fortunately, there are attempts at giving philosophy a more human face far removed from some of the excesses of a philosophy of essence. For some, this can be accomplished through the rejection of what has come to be known as dogmatic system-building type of philosophy which for many signifies commitment to a stringent polarising philosophical orthodoxy. This shows how averse many have become to a philosophy of essence. However, ibuanyidanda does not see the solution in abandoning or rejecting system building altogether, since for it the problem subsists in the type of mindset with which systems are built (Asouzu, Ibuanyidanda 46-55). Determined to avoid some of the excesses of a philosophy of essence, many seek to steer a course of a more liberal democratic philosophy of culture that unifies. How successful such approaches can become depends on how adequate their methods are towards addressing the conflict arising from the structure of human consciousness. Here, many believe that the subject-object tension and divide and most especially the chasm existing between being and its attributes can be bridged very easily by recourse to various methods of discourse and dialogue. In this connection, Wilhelm Kamlah and Paul Lorenzen (Kamlah/Lorenzen Logische Propädeutik), spoke of the need for a logical propaedeutic as a precondition for all modes of rational discourse. Kamlah and Schwemmer (Kamlah, Philosophische Anthropologie; Schwemmer. Theorie der rationalen Erklärung), in their constructivism, envisaged a logical, linguistic propaedeutic of a constructive type, as a precondition for rational discourse concerning goals and norms of action in the “cultural sciences”. Having similar intentions of overcoming a philosophy of divisiveness and polarisation, , intercultural philosophy (Ibuanyidanda, 28-43) pursues a cultural philosophy that seeks to unify diverse cultures through its methods of dialogue and polylogue. Both constructive philosophy of science and intercultural philosophy share the similarity that they see the need for a conducive condition to be created for the success of any form of discourse or dialogue as means of addressing the issues relating to subject-object divide and tension. Whereas constructivism locates such a condition in following methodologically pre-constructed logical and semantic rules, intercultural philosophy, on its side, locates this in following rules guiding dialogue or polylogue. By following this route, they forget that all human existential situations are ambivalent and have the inherent dimension of ihe mkpuchi anya (phenomenon of concealment). Where these challenging existential conditions are not first addressed, chances are that they have the capacity to render all pre-constructed rules ineffective. Besides, offering preconditions for the success of discourse, constructive philosophers of science, on their side, are firmly committed to the distinction between the primacy of the practical over theoretical or technical reason; a position quit in consonance with Aristotle's philosophy of essence and division. Generally, one can say that most recent attempts by some major European philosophers to steer a course quite removed from a philosophy of essence has to be greeted with joy. However if one comes to think of it that most of them are still caught in the web of unintended ethno-centric commitment in the way they do science and philosophy, there is every reason then to conclude that they still have a lot of work to do (Ibuar? 25-36). In other words, it is not always easy to renounce a non-conciliatory, conceited, polarising and discriminative type of mindset FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 acquired through long years of education, socialisation and indoctrination (Ibuanyidanda, 24-70). Since for Ibuanyidanda philosophy the problem has to do with the mind-set with which one relates to the world, there is need to probe first into the conditions needed for the mind to perform its functions well. With this, we see why I contend that all matters of philosophy have to do with the mind or with the disposition with which we relate to the world. Where the correct disposition is not given, philosophy can hardly remain that dispassionate self-less wisdom that it is. It is for this reason that Ibuanyidanda philosophy insists on a noetic propaedeutic or the pre-pedagogy of the mind or human reason itself as the condition of possibility for all rational and ethical discourses, and for authentic human action (Asouzu, Ibuanyidanda 80-85). With its noetic propaedeutic, ibuanyidanda philosophy pursues the preconditions for authentic rational human actions and statements seeking validity within frameworks of mutual interaction. Where the mind is healthy chances are that it can enable interlocutors and actors carry out healthy and successful interaction. With this, we arrive at the pedagogical and psycho-therapeutic dimension of ibuanyidanda philosophy by reason of which it seeks to address the subject-object tension and divide inherent in human consciousness in view of containing these. By noetic propaedeutic, I mean a pre-education of the mind, and human reason with a view to overcoming the broken unity in human consciousness caused by the challenges of the tension-laden human ambivalent existential situations and ihe mkpuchi anya (phenomenon of concealment). Through such a rigorous propaedeutic, actors are enabled to define their interests within the ambit of all missing links and to know reality in its true and authentic constitution. Thus, the major task of a noetic propaedeutic is to help the ego eliminate this broken unity and to help restore the subject to true self such that it can affirm insightfully that to be is to be in mutual complementary relationship with all missing links of reality ((ka s? m? adina). It is the moment actors succeed in affirming their being in this way, that we can say that they are living in the true sense of the word. It is the moment actors succeed in affirming their being within the framework of all missing links that it becomes evident to them also that to be is not to be alone (ka s? m? di). On the contrary, they become conscious of the fact that to be entails all the processes needed to overcome the demands of uche/obi ak?l?, uche agh?gh? or uche ka s? m? di (negative wisdom or intelligence, hegemonic or exclusivist type of mindset), which is the seat of all negative acts and exclusivist tendencies. It is by reason of the same insight that they strive always to act from the promptings of a complementary comprehensive type of mindset (obi/uche ka s? m? adina). Where such transformations take place, actors would come to recognise authentic existence as the capacity to gain full self-knowledge in the process of which the challenges arising from ihe mkpuchi anya (phenomenon of concealment) and human ambivalent situations are contained (Asouzu, Ibuanyidanda 313-327). Recourse to the transcendent categories of unity of consciousness (akara obi/akara mm??) Overcoming this existential tension and the phenomenon of concealment (ihe mkpuchi anya), entails a return of the subject to the inner recesses of its being and consciousness, in view of exploring some of the latent potentialities thereby imbedded and which are needed to equilibrate this tension. To start with, although the tension generated by human ambivalent situations and the phenomenon of concealment (ihe mkpuchi anya) can limit our capacities, impair our perception of our existential conditions, limit the freedom and autonomy of the individual, nevertheless, the ego is not completely condemned to its existential conditions. On the contrary, the ego has inexhaustible innate potentialities to change its situations for good. This follows from the fact that the human person, in the double capacity of his existence, is a being imbued with mechanisms that guarantee his happiness, his predicaments notwithstanding. These mechanisms are what we call in Igbo language “akara obi/akara mm??” or the transcendent categories of unity of consciousness. They are transcendent because they help the mind go beyond challenged existential conditions. In other words, they are not transcendental categories, even if they share in the dimension of transcendentality (Asouzu, Method and Principles (2005 edition), 142; (2004 edition), 132). These transcendent categories include: “absoluteness”, “relativity”, “historicity” “fragmentation” or 'world-immanent predetermination”, “universality”, “comprehensiveness”, “unity”, “totality”, and “future reference”. They indicate the innate capacity of the mind to always act from the impetus deriving from these categories. The mind or intellect shares these categories with all missing links of reality, which in their relativity are determined to absoluteness. As human subject, even if these categories are innate to our being, they can be rendered ineffective, still, due to the challenges of human ambivalent situation and ihe mkpuchi anya. How we relate to these categories in our active engagements with other missing links goes a long way in determining the character of our being, the type of society we build, the type of philosophy and science we practice and the type and quality of actions we perform. It is the function of philosophy to bring to the fore the legitimising role these categories play in our encounter with the world in general. It is in fulfilling this function, that Ibuanyidanda philosophy accomplishes its pedagogical and psycho-therapeutic functions. In performing this function, it portrays its positive understanding of the nature of the human person and the world in general, their predicaments notwithstanding. In other words, their insufficiency notwithstanding, the human person and all missing links of reality are destined for higher levels of legitimisation. This is precisely why in other to uphold their authenticity, actors have to encounter all missing links in full awareness of their relativity, historicity and fragmentation, while, at the same time bearing in mind their ultimate determination to absoluteness, universality, comprehensiveness, unity, totality, and future reference. First and foremost, it is in their relativity that missing links, in their world immanent predetermination, show themselves for what they are in the ambivalence of their expression. It is within this context that the phenomenon of ihe mkpuchi anya beclouds our senses and impairs our imagination in our relationship with the world. In their relativity, missing links are fragile and insufficient, but ultimately, they are determined to comprehensiveness, absoluteness, unity, universality and totality in future reference. It is on account of this bipolar determination that human beings are subjected to tension, in the first place. For this reason, it would be a big mistake to encounter missing links only at one pole of their determination and worst still merely as relative world immanent subjects and objects. To explore the full potentialities of their being, actors have to encounter them not only as beings that are relative, but more so as ones determined to absoluteness, for example. Where actors methodically and consciously try to encounter the world in relativity and fragmentation, as aspects of authentic existence, while bearing in mind the absolute reference of the world all at the same time, they have the possibility of seeing themselves as mere mortals and the world in general as transient. With this, the danger of absolutistic ambitions and absolutisation of the ego and of world immanent missing links can be greatly curtailed. The same is applicable to the tendency to polarise missing links which remain harmonised in consciousness due to the fact that they are presented to us not as purely fragmented subject or objects but as beings that are also destined to absoluteness. This is why in the imperative of ibuanyidanda we demand: In all tension-laden existential situations allow the limitations of being to be the cause of your joy. That is to say, beyond their insufficiency, missing links are destined towards a higher level of legitimisation on account of which they constitute necessary dimensions of our happiness. In other words, the challenges of our world, in its world-immanent pre-determination, notwithstanding, the world always has a positive role to play in the determination of our happiness. For this reason, adverse existential conditions or existential challenges must not be reasons for human being to indulge in deviant acts; on the contrary, the world in its insufficiency and fragmentation, even as a world that is vigorously challenged, has all it takes to uplift our being to the most exalted transcendent experience. Acting for the joy of being presupposes, therefore, encountering and grasping missing links, not only, from the fragmentation of their expression, but more so, in full awareness of the absoluteness, unity, totality, universality, comprehensiveness and future reference of their determination and constitution. In other words, in all tension-laden existential situations, the joy of being can be guaranteed if in our actions we encounter world immanent missing links, not only as fragmentary and relative entities only, but as entities destined for totality, universality, comprehensiveness and absoluteness in future reference. The openness of the future shows the capacity for all missing links to evoke new, and quite surprising experiences. In other words, it is an openness that holds possibilities for missing links in view of perfectibility, of full positive transcendence, of positive self-affirmation, of positive self transformation and positive self-actualisation, the relativity inherent in their being notwithstanding. Without this future reference, world immanence would be self-constituting and such that attempts by missing links to exceed their relativity and fragmentation would always be self-defeating. It is in view of the future orientedness, which they bring towards each other, that they realize that there are viable alternatives in the face of difficulties and deadlocks. It is on account of this future reference, inherent in missing links, that they can put their freedom into positive use and are vicariously ready to grant the same freedom to others. It is on account of our acceptance of this future direction of our being that we dare ask philosophical questions and seek answers dispassionately and veritably. Where this future orientation is lacking, the temptation to elevate the ego to its own law giver, oblivious of its ceaseless need for validation is always given. It is on account of this character of our being that we have the capacity to become insightful of our mistakes and excesses, and for this reason seek amend and forgiveness. By token of this insight, we amass the courage to accept responsibility for our actions, most especially as this relates to our failings that are integral parts of the tension that threatens our being and all missing links of reality. To attain this level of insight, the subject needs to be committed to the mechanisms needed to attain full personal autonomy. Full personal autonomy through “ima-onwe-onye” (being-in-control) Restoration of full personal autonomy is effected by the subject in the act of ima-onwe-onye (being-in-control), as we call it in Igbo language. This is the highest form of self-consciousness through which the thinking and acting subject comes to authentic personal insight into the fact that to be is the capacity to be in control of our tension-laden existential situations and the phenomenon of ihe mkpuchi anya (phenomenon of concealment). In the act of ima-onwe-onye- the ego experiences itself therefore as a being-in-control (onye-ma-onwe-ya). As the processes needed to translate the transcendent categories of unity of consciousness into act of pure self-consciousness, the act of ima-onwe-onye is referred to as the act of existential conversion; this is nothing other than the translation of the transcendent categories of unity of consciousness into lived experience. It is ima-onwe-onye or being-in-control in action. It is in the act of existential conversion that an acting and a thinking subject is enraptured and such that finds expression in the experience of transcendent complementary unity of consciousness with all missing links. When this transcendent complementary experience finds expression in practical acts, actors in all existential situations seek to put into practice the demands of these transcendent categories as expression of the demands of the principles and imperative of complementary reflection. It is through this act of authentic self-consciousness (ima-onwe-onye), that the human subject shows the high level of freedom and insight that characterizes its being as opposed to the form of determination characteristic of those beings that do not have the capacity to grasp and interpret this tension meaningfully. In the act of ima-onwe-onye or being-in-control, we seek to experience this tension meaningfully and interpret it as an integral part of our historicity and fragmentation which cannot be wished away just because we are rational and wise. It is in this form of meaningful, self-conscious management of this tension that we show the type of human beings we actually are, the type of science and philosophy we are capable of practising and the type of society and human interpersonal relationship we are capable of entering into. In the complementary transcendent act of ima-onwe-onye, actors come to full realisation that to be and to exist translate to being-in control of all tension-laden existential situations in the evident insight that anything that exists serves a missing link of reality (ka s? m? adina) and in total rejection of anti-ibuanyidanda mind-set ka s? m? di (that I may be alone). This anti-ibuanyidanda mindset is the same uche/obi ak?l?, uche agh?gh? or uche ka s? m? di (negative wisdom or intelligence, hegemonic or exclusivist type of mindset) that is at the foundation of a philosophy of essence; a mindset whose prerogative is to command, to dominate, to subjugate, to absolutise and to polarise. Actors attain the highest level of this transcendent complementary act of ima-onwe-onye (authentic self consciousness) in the realisation that consistent self-interest is anti-self-interest. Here, actor come to the full insight that excessive acts of selfishness is contradictory and always boomerang on the actor. This is what I refer to as “ontological boomerang effect” (Asouzu, Ibuanyidanda 391-400). This is the moment also the limited character of the super-maxim of “the nearer the better and the safer” is exposed and the validating character of principles and laws enhanced in our consciousness. One can, therefore, say that in the act of ima-onwe-onye, the contradictions and paradoxes enshrined in the ambivalence of all human existential situations and intensified by ihe mkpuchi anya are presented to our consciousness very lucidly and the intricate consequences of the FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 bipolar character of our instinct of self-preservation become equally very clear to the mind. Besides, actors start to understand better the impact of excessive selfishness, and all anti-social acts on the common good. These processes lead ultimately to the unmasking of the phenomenon of concealment or ihe mkpuchi anya such that actors start to see clearly and distinctly what is demanded and expected of them as rational creatures destined for higher levels of legitimisation. 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A Modern Introduction To Logic, Methuen, London 1933. Stegmüller Wolfgang. Main Currents in Contemporary German, British and American Philosophy, D. Reidel Publishing, Dordrecht, Holland, 1969. Tarnas, Richard. The Passion of the Western Mind. Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View. Ballantine Books, New York, 1993. Tempels, Placide. Bantu Philosophy. Presence Africaine, Paris 1959. Van Steenberghen, Fernand. Ontology. Translated by Martin J. Flynn, Joseph F. Wagner, London 1952. 117 118 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 INQUIRY INTO THE DEFINING CONDITIONS OF KNOWLEDGE CLAIM: AN EXERCISE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF INTEGRATIVE EPISTEMOLOGY1 By Adekunle A. Ibrahim, Doctoral Candidate and Lecturer Cross River University of Science and Technology Calabar, Nigeria 1. Introduction The search for the proper characterization of the nature of knowledge has remained an endemic problem in the field of epistemology. This search for the constitutive elements of knowledge is a product of the attempt to negate the skeptic's denial of objective knowledge. In his dialogue, Theatetus, Plato defines knowledge as a justified true belief. This definition of knowledge is generally referred to in epistemology as “the traditional or standard account of knowledge” and has been at the centre of all epistemological works. However, in 1963 Edmund L. Gettier called the attention of the epistemological world to the inadequacy of the traditional account of knowledge through a set of thought experiments. The aim of Gettier's essay “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” is to demonstrate the insufficiency of the conditions of knowledge provided by the traditional account. This implies that Gettier's essay is not a rejection of the three conditions; rather it is a call for the search of a fourth condition. Consequently, all post Gettier epistemological works have been directed towards the search for the fourth condition of knowledge. Against this background, this paper seeks to examine the conditions under which knowledge claims can be duly regarded as proper knowledge. To achieve this aim, the paper attempts a clarification of the concept, 'knowledge'. It also unravels the inadequacy of the traditional conception of knowledge as 'justified true belief' on the basis of one of Gettier's thought experiments. Furthermore, the paper examines (with the aid of thought experiments); three notable attempts by Post-Gettier philosophers to supply the fourth condition of knowledge. And finally, the paper extrapolates on the basis of the inadequacies of the theories examined and the insights from integrativism, the idea of knowledge as FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 “integratively justified true belief” 2. What is Knowledge? The above question seems to be asking for a “one sentence” definition. It assumes that what knowledge is can be given in the form of one-word answer. But obviously, it is not the case that we can give an answer to the question in a brief phrase. An attempt to derive a satisfactory explanation of the nature and meaning of knowledge is a very rigorous and difficult task to embark on. In fact, it is a task far more difficult than that encountered in finding an explanation for some physical phenomena. The more we try to ascertain a definition of knowledge that will satisfy all shades of interests, the more complicated it becomes. Like many concepts in philosophy, knowledge is so fundamental and general that it includes itself in its own scope (Pears, 2). In his book, The Nature of Knowledge, P.C Jones explains the peculiar problem that confronts concepts of this nature. According to him: “an explanation of knowledge must be in terms of something more fundamental than knowledge and that obviously is something unknown (21). What Jones seems to be saying here is that to define knowledge, certain fundamental concepts must be involved, and these concepts themselves are problematic and subjects of speculation. The usage of the word “knowledge” has diverse content; that is, it is one of the elastic terms that can be stretched to mean anything we choose. For instance, we do not mean the same thing by the phrase “to know something”. The meaning of this depends greatly on the perspective through which it is conceived. Let us consider some usage of the word “know”. i. Knowing how: This has to do with the ability to engage in a certain activity. Usually, it is a learned ability like “to know how to swim or drive a car, to know how to behave myself” (Ayer 8). It involves having the technical know-how to do many things that people do not. It also includes knowing how to do something without having learnt it. This is referred to as knowing by instinct or being programmed genetically to act in specific way. For instance, lambs know how to walk immediately after birth. ii. Knowing by acquaintance: This is based on direct non-propositional awareness of something. It involves the perceptual features received by the senses during its contact with physical objects. For instance, knowing in the sense of being familiar with, a person or a place; of knowing something in the sense of having had experience of it… of knowing in the sense of being able to recognize or distinguish, as when we claim to know an honest man when we see one or to know butter from margarine. (Ayer, 8). Some philosophers have sometimes referred to this as “knowledge by acquaintance”. Some are of the opinion that this is simply acquaintance, not knowledge. Knowledge, they argue goes beyond mere sensual perception of physical objects. It entails having before one's mind some statements that are either true or false. Although, there could be no knowledge without acquaintance, but still acquaintance is not knowledge, it only provides the materials for knowledge. iii. Knowing that: This is propositional knowledge which involves knowing that something is the case. That is, knowing that some situations or state of affairs actually occur or exist. You do not have knowledge until you are in a position to claim that something is the case. Knowledge is simply propositional; it involves some knowledge of truth. Simply put, it is the sense, or senses, in which to have knowledge is to know that something or another is the case. (Ayer, 8) 3. The Gettier Problem and the Traditional Account of Knowledge The traditional account of knowledge otherwise known as the tripartite account is an attempt in response to the skeptical challenge on the possibility of knowledge. Because there are three parts to this definition it is called tripartite definition or the tripartite account (Dancy, 23). It was an account aimed at presenting a defense for the possibility of objective knowledge through the identification of the elements that constitute knowledge (Ojong & Ibrahim, 126). It holds that there are three main conditions of knowledge. These conditions were suggested in one of Plato's dialogues, Theatetus by defining knowledge as a justified true belief. This definition has been generally accepted as the standard account of knowledge for hundreds of years before Gettier. The central message of the traditional account of knowledge is that propositional knowledge has three necessary and sufficient conditions. That is, it can only be said that Mr. X knows a proposition P if and only if: 1. 2. 3. P is true Mr. X believes Mr. X is justified in believing that P is true. In the above argument, the first two conditions mean that to know a proposition, we must believe it, and it also must be true. That is, knowledge requires true belief. Certainly, we cannot know a proposition unless we believe it, and we obviously cannot know it if it is not true. We cannot know that rectangles are round because rectangles are not round. We just can't know what is not so. And if we know that rectangles are not round, then we must believe that rectangles are not round. The traditional account of knowledge holds that even though true belief is necessary for knowledge; it alone is grossly insufficient for knowledge. Propositional knowledge requires more than true belief because we obviously can have true belief and still not have knowledge. For instance, if Mr. X for no good reason believes that, right at this FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 moment, Mr. President and his wife are at Obudu Cattle Ranch. In addition, suppose Mr. X is right - they really are at the Ranch. Mr. X thus have a true belief. But does he then know that they (Mr. President & wife) are right in the Ranch? Not at all! In the traditional account of knowledge, if Mr. X have no reason for believing that they are there, Mr. X can't know that they are. Mr. X's true belief about their presence would be no better than a lucky guess, and guesses can't be knowledge. Consequently, knowledge seems to require, not only that our beliefs be true, but that we have good reasons for or be justified in believing them to be true. Thus, according to the traditional account, knowledge is justified true belief. Although, the above account of knowledge seems very plausible, Gettier's counter example weakens it. In 1963, Edmund L. Gettier in his influential essay “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” presents two simple thought experiments to suggest that there was a problem with the traditional account. Gettier's thought experiments seem to show that the traditional account was inadequate by proving that someone could have a justified true belief that was not knowledge, thus, showing that the three conditions mentioned earlier were not jointly sufficient for knowledge. Here, we shall consider one of Gettier's thought experiments called “Gettier's Job Seekers”. According to Gettier: Suppose that Smith and Jones have applied for a certain job. And suppose that Smith has strong evidence for the following conjuctive proposition:(d) Jones is the man who will get the job, and Jones has ten coins in his pocket. Smith's evidence for (d) might be that the President of the company assured him that Jones would in the end be selected, and that he, Smith, had counted the coins in Jones pocket ten minutes ago. Proposition (d) entails: (e) the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. Let us suppose that smith sees the entailment from (d) to (e), and accepts (e) on the grounds of (d), for which he has strong evidence. In this case, Smith is clearly justified in believing that (e) is true. (121). Gettier brings his thought experiment to the crucial point (that crumbles the traditional account) when he implores us to suppose further that: Unknown to Smith, he himself, not Jones, will get the job. And, also, unknown to smith, he himself has ten coins in his pocket. Proposition (e) is then true, though proposition (d), from which Smith inferred (e), is false. (121-122). Gettier then draws the conclusion that; In our examples, then, all of the following are true: (i)(e) is true, (ii) Smith believes that (e) is true, and (iii) Smith is justified in believing that (e) is true. But it is equally clear that Smith does not know that (e) is true; for (e) is true in virtue of the number of coins in Smith's pocket, while Smith does not know how many coins are in Smith's pocket, and bases his belief in (e) on a count of the coins in Jones's pocket, whom he falsely believes to be the man who will get the job (122-123). In the traditional account, if someone has a justified true belief (as in the case of Mr. X concerning the where-about of Mr. President and his wife), then he should have knowledge. But in Gettier's thought experiment above, Smith has a justified true belief yet clearly does not have knowledge. This is simply because his knowledge of (e) seems to be a mere coincidence. In other words, Smith arrives at a true proposition on the basis of facts that are not relevant to the truth of the proposition. He reaches the truth, but his route is somehow illegitimate (Schick & Vaughn, 430). It is important to point out at this juncture that, although Gettier was the first philosopher to diagnose the inadequacy of the traditional account of knowledge, there were certain other cases which had puzzled earlier philosophers and could also have been used to show that the traditional definition requires modification (Chisholm 93). These cases are similar in principle with those of Gettier and one of such cases was presented by Bertrand Russell in 1948 as follows: There is the man who looks at a clock which is going, though he thinks it is, and who happens to look at it the moment when it is right; this man acquires a true belief as to the time of day, but cannot be said to have knowledge. (155) In the above scenario, if we assume, in this case, that the true propositions in question are also justified, then this case is counter to the traditional definition of knowledge. The lesson Gettier and Russell want us to derive from these thought experiments is that knowledge claim cannot be based on the ground of coincidence or guess work and that what we know, how we know it and why we think we 136 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 know it must never be mistaken. Ozumba outlines the lessons in Gettier and other similar analysis of the traditional account of knowledge as follows: 1. We can be mistaken about what we think we know 2. 3. The most reliable source of information can deceive us We may end up true in what we believe but not truly and procedurally in order, in our claim to have that knowledge. 4. Our knowledge or grounds for knowledge may be based on mere coincidence. 5. Our claim to knowledge must be clear, certain and based on the proper preconditions. (55) 4. The Search for the Fourth Condition of Knowledge As we have seen from the foregoing discussion, the traditional account of knowledge as justified-true-belief was called to question by Gettier's diagnosis. And with this diagnosis of the defect in the tripartite analysis of knowledge, Gettier opened a new chapter in the history of epistemology. This defect noted by Gettier has since become known, appropriately as, “the Gettier problem”. It is also called, “the problem of the fourth condition, “since it leads one to ask, “Is there some suitable fourth condition which may be added to the three that are set forth in the traditional definition of knowledge?” (Chisholm, 91). In response to Gettier's call for the fourth condition to supplement the three elements initially suggested by the traditional account, most philosophers have proposed various theories about the correct answer to the question “what is knowledge?” Here, we shall review three of the more noteworthy theories and assess (with the aid of thought experiments) whether any offers a better answer to the question. The Defeasibility Theory What exactly is the problem that the Gettier's diagnosis brings to focus? One sure response to this question is this: someone has a justified-true-belief, but then lurking in the background is another piece of evidence that the person doesn't possess; that under-cuts the justification for that belief (and prevents knowledge) (Schick & Vaughn, 433). For instance, in our case of Mr. X knowing the where about of Mr. President and wife, we might say that Mr. X has a justified true belief that Mr. President and wife are presently at the ranch, but another piece of evidence – the true proposition that the President and wife left the Ranch unannounced due to security reasons last night – undermines his justification (and disallows his knowledge). In other words, the problem in such cases is that Mr. X's justification is defeated by evidence that he does not possess. That is, Mr. X's justification is defeasible (capable of 137 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 being made void). In effect, if the above diagnosis is correct, it means that the solution to the Gettier problem is to formulate a new account of knowledge that accommodates this notion of defeasibility. In this new account, we would include the traditional three conditions and add a fourth in respect of defeasibility. In this sense, we would say that knowledge requires justified true belief-but also that any future discovery of additional evidence should not defeat the knowledge justification. Thus, to have knowledge, our justification must be indefeasible. With this conclusion, it seems we have arrived at the solution to the Gettier problem, and this is the defeasibility theory: The doctrine that knowledge is undefeated justified true belief. (Schick & Vaughn, 433). So, according to the defeasibility theory, knowledge has four necessary and sufficient conditions. It holds that X knows a proposition P if and only if: 1. 2. 3. 4. P is true X believes that P is true X is justified in believing that P is true The justification for believing that P is true is not capable of being defeated by future evidence. On its face value, the defeasibility theory appears to have sealed the search for the fourth condition of knowledge. But, several thought experiments have pointed out the inadequacy therein. One of such thought experiments is presented by Lehrer and Paxson as follows: Suppose I see a man walk into the library and remove a book from the library by concealing it beneath his coat. Since I am sure the man is Tom Grabit, whom I have often seen before when he attended my classes, I report that I know that Tom Grabit has removed the book. However, suppose further that Mrs. Grabit, the mother of Tom, has averred that on the day in question Tom was not in the library, indeed, was thousands of miles away, and that Tom's identical twin brother, John Grabit was in the library. Imagine, moreover, that I am entirely ignorant of the fact that Mrs. Grabit has said these things. The statement that she has said these things would defeat any justification I have for believing that Tom Grabit removed the book. Thus, I could not be said to (know) that Tom Grabit removed the book. The preceding might be acceptable until we finish the story by adding that Mrs. Grabit is a compulsive and pathological liar, that John Grabit is a fiction of her demented mind, and that Tom Grabit took FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 the book as I believed. Once this is added, it should be apparent that I did know that Tom Grabit removed the book. (225-237). From the above thought experiment, it is deducible that the claim of the defeasibility theory is unfounded. The observer in the thought experiment could not be said to have known that Tom Grabit stole the book. The reason is that there is one piece of evidence (Mrs. Grabit's statement) that had the observer known about it would have destroyed his original justification. But, in the light of the additional information that Mrs. Grabit is a demented liar, it becomes obvious that the observer does know that Tom Grabit stole the book. Here, then, is an instance of defeated justified true belief that counts as knowledge. The Causal Theory This theory holds that knowledge is suitably caused true belief. The expression “suitably caused” simply means produced by the state of affairs that makes the belief true. The argument here is that you know there is a book before you because the book itself, through your perception of it, causes you to believe that there is a book before you. An invigilator knows that a student is cheating in the exams because the act causes her to behave in an unusual way, and her behaviour causes the invigilator to believe that the student is cheating. In the case of Gettier's job seekers thought experiment, the true belief is” (e) the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket”. What makes this belief true is the fact that Smith will get the job and he has ten coins in his pocket. But what caused smith to believe (e) is that he has strong evidence for Jones' getting the job and having ten coins in his pocket. There seems to be no proper connection between Smith's true belief and the state of affairs that made the belief true. What is missing here, according to the causal theory, is some kind of link between belief and truth. Thus, a causal link is the condition we need to add to belief and truth. It is therefore argued that for X to know P, P should cause X's belief that P. It is important to note at this juncture that the causal theory is a clear departure from the traditional account because the justification condition is being replaced here with a causal requirement. Knowing something according to the causal theory is not a matter of internal or subjective form of justification. It is rather a case of external objects causing belief in us. This dependence on external factors in the process of knowing is why the causal theory is sometimes referred to as an externalist account to knowledge. This stands against the traditional 138 139 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 account which is simply an internalist account because what changes true belief into knowledge here depends on something that is part of the knower's mental composition. But is 'suitably caused true belief' really sufficient for knowledge? That is, are there no situations in which suitably caused true belief does not amount to knowledge? To answer this question, we need to consider a thought experiment called Goldman's Fake Barns. In his paper, “Discrimination and Perception” Goldman narrates a story thus: Henry is driving in the countryside with his son. For the boy's edification Henry identifies various objects on the landscape as they come into view. “That's a cow,” says Henry. “That's a tractor,” “That's a silo,” “That's a barn,” etc. Henry has no doubt about the identity of these objects; in particular, he has no doubt that the last mentioned object is a barn, which indeed it is. Each of the identified objects has features characteristic of its type. Moreover, each object is fully in view, Henry has excellent eyesight, and he has enough time to look at them reasonably carefully, since there is little traffic. (357). In order to call attention to the inherent inadequacy in any causal explanation of our knowledge, Goldman writes further that; Given this information, would we say that Henry knows that the object is a barn? Most of us would have little hesitation in saying this. Contrast our inclination here with the inclination we would have if we were given some additional information. Suppose that, unknown to Henry, the district he has just entered is full of papier-mâché facsimiles of banes. These facsimiles look from the road exactly like barns, but are really just facades, without back walls or interiors, quite incapable of being used as barns. Having just entered the district, Henry has not encountered any facsimiles; the object he sees is a genuine barn. But if the object on that site were a facsimile, Henry would mistake it for a barn. Given this FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 new information, we would be strongly inclined to withdraw the claim that Henry knows the object is a barn. Henry's belief that the object is a barn is caused by the presence of the barn; indeed, the causal process is a perceptual one. Nonetheless, we are not prepared to say, in the second version that Henry knows. (358-360). From Goldman's Fake Barns, it becomes clear that a suitably caused true belief is not a guaranteed stand point to claim knowledge. As in the case of Henry, he seems to have a suitably caused belief but he obviously does not have knowledge. The Reliability Theory The reliability theory holds that knowledge is reliably produced true belief. This is another case of an externalist account of knowledge. Like the causal theory, what turns true belief into knowledge is the reliability of the process of producing belief. And since the process is not internal, no internal factor like the justification condition pointed out in the traditional account is required. Knowing according to this theory is a matter of registering truth, like the thermometer registering the temperature of a room (Schick & Vaughn, 437-438). In relating the reliability theory to Gettier's case of job seekers, a reliabilist could say that Smith arrived at the true belief (that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket) by unreliable means. The process was unreliable because it yielded true belief by pure accident. It was simply a case of luck that Smith himself happened to have ten coins in his pocket. If not for this accident, Smith belief would have been false. Thus, according to the reliabilist theory, Smith does not know, and for him to know, the process of knowing must be reliable. But is reliably produced belief knowledge? To answer this question Keith Lehrer presents a thought experiment as follows: Suppose a person, whom we shall name Mr. Truetemp, undergoes brain surgery by an experimental surgeon who invents a small devise capable of generating thoughts. The device, call it a tempucomp, is implanted in Truetemp's head so that the very tip of the device, no longer than the head of a pin, sits unnoticed on his scalp and acts as a sensor to transmit information about the temperature of the computational system in his brain. This device, in turn, sends a message to his brain causing him to think of the temperature recorded by the external sensor. Assume that the tempucomp is very reliable, and so his thoughts are correct temperature thoughts. All told, this is a reliable belief-forming process. Now imagine, finally, that he has no idea that the tempucomp has been inserted in his brain, is only slightly puzzled about why he thinks so obsessively about temperature, but never checks a thermometer to determine whether these thoughts about the temperature are correct. He accepts them unreflectively, another effect of the tempucomp. Thus, he thinks and accepts that the temperature is 104 degrees. Does he know that it is? Surely not, he has no idea whether he or his thoughts about the temperature are reliable. What he accepts, that the temperature is 104 degrees, is correct, but he does not know that his thought is correct. (163-164). From the above thought experiment, it is difficult to see how Truetemp can be said to know that the temperature is 104 degrees if he has no idea that his reliable belief-forming process even exists. He is in possession of correct information, but he has no idea if that information is correct. In response to this, the reliabilist would say having evidence regarding whether the information is correct is irrelevant. But this position looks absurd because knowing seems to require that we have some adequate indication that the information is correct. Without such indication, our claim becomes a mere coincidence or a lucky guess. But as we have pointed out earlier, a lucky guess cannot be knowledge. 5. A Conception of Knowledge from the Perspective of Integrativism The attempt here is to work out a definition of knowledge that will serve as a comprehensive standard at achieving a qualitative and quantitative understanding of our knowledge claim. This, we hope, will enrich our understanding of the world to the benefit of humanity. It is important to point out at this juncture that, this current attempt towards a definition of knowledge is situated within the philosophy of integrative FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 humanism. That is, it is an epistemic exercise from the perspective of integrativism. Integrative Humanism is a new philosophical current of thought which aims at presenting an integrative perspective in the understanding of man and his environment. This new philosophical current of thought is the brain child of Professor Godffrey O. Ozumba. In his book “Philosophy and Method of Integrative Humanism” (2010), Ozumba presents a detailed methodological and systematic outline of integrative reflection with a universal appeal. In this book, he outlined the tenets, methodology and applicability of integrativism. By integrativism, we mean “harnessing, processing through engrafting of the different components of knowledge” in order to achieve a clear insight into our knowledge claims (Philosophy and Method… 41). In this sense, philosophers are seen as engineers of ideas. Integrativism therefore, is a philosophical process that enhances co-operative efforts in arriving at a clear understanding of any discourse for the benefit of man. Thus, an integrativist is a bridge-builder, an inclusivist and ultimately a mediator. In line with this description, Ozumba delineates the mediatory role of integrative humanism as follows: Our method is… concerned with resolving conflict, enlarging the frontiers of knowledge, for comparative and integrative studies. It will also help us in fathoming the reason for disagreements and divergencies of opinions, seeking of missing links and in identifying meeting points of ideas and facts (Philosophy and Method… 37). The above articulates the central focus of integrativism as a system that provides the theoretical base and framework for the position of this paper. Suffice it to say, however, that Ozumba, with the articulation of integrativism as a system of doing philosophy, has provided a solid platform for the breakthrough of new and insightful ideas within and outside philosophical circles. An immediate offshoot of this is the articulation of Integrative Epistemology (IE) by Okeke Jonathan in his article “Current Trends in Epistemology”. We now briefly consider the subject matter of integrative epistemology. 6. The Message of Integrative Epistemology In his article “Current Trends in Epistemology” Okeke traces the 142 143 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 pistemological controversy over the definition of knowledge from the traditional “justified true belief” (JTB) account of knowledge, to its demolition by Gettier's counter examples to contemporary efforts towards repairing the JTB account of knowledge. On the basis of this, he articulates some current trends in epistemology to include: the Internalist and Externalist Divide, Mentalism, Genetic Epistemology, Virtue Epistemology, Evolutionary Epistemology and Integrative Epistemology the latter being the most current. In as much as our concern in this paper is to present a definition of knowledge within the ambience of integrativism, it is excusable to limit our discussion here to integrative epistemology. Integrative Epistemology (IE) is an epistemic theory which emphasizes the impossibility of the creation of a single theory that satisfies all shades of epistemic interests and the necessity to work out a compromise among competing theories as they all have meaningful insights into the subject-matter. According to Okeke: … philosophers of varied orientations dutifully reject one another's theories in search of a consensus theory that would answer all the epistemic questions. Integrative epistemology recognizes the impossibility of such a universal theory (Living Issues… 40). From the above, a critic may point out that if Integrative Epistemology recognizes the impossibility of a universal theory, and claims to provide a framework for compromise between competing theories, then, it amounts to a self contradiction. The responses to this criticism will be presented in the course of our discussion in this paper. Okeke in his article went further to articulate the thesis of Integrative Epistemology as follows: (i) that sources of knowledge are multilayered and so are the theories of their justification; (ii) that there are three types of knowledge; knowledge about the world, about the self and about the other; (iii) that these three types of knowledge represent what we call epistemic parallelism; (iv) that epistemically parallel theories cannot have similar justifications; (v) that epistemological theories are to be restricted in application to the type of knowledge they seek; (vi) that all viable theories are those that interpret accurately the framework of a given type of FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 knowledge and finally, (vii) that all viable theories form a holism and serve the goal of appropriately describing reality, while individually, variously describing a given sphere of reality (40). From the above lengthy quotation, it is deducible that knowledge is a boundless entity with individual(s) assessing it from their subjective position of advantage. As such, our justification of knowledge is dependent on our angle of accessibility. This, therefore, is a pointer to the fact that each theory is viable within its position of advantage and limited within its position of disadvantage. Consequently, no theory is to be rejected in it's entirely for not fully accounting for the boundlessness of knowledge as it contains an important element which others do not have. So, within the integrative spirit, these various theories can be brought together by: drawing useful rational, reasonable, believable, consistent, coherent philosophical insights from all areas that will enhance the knowledge of our world and man as a continuing eternal entity. (Philosophy and Method… 44). From the above, it is evident that integrative epistemology sees various theories as a continuum of understanding reality. That is, each theory provides the missing link between one aspect of reality to the other in the attempt to gain a synoptic picture of reality. In this sense, knowledge becomes a collective or integrative effort to understand ourselves in relation to our world. In line with this reasoning, the IJTB account of knowledge as presented in this paper recognizes and encourages individual ingenuity and collective necessity in any epistemic process; as the unit(s) strengthens the whole while the whole serves as a protective belt to the unit(s). This inter-dependence of ideas underscores an integrative necessity in the process of knowledge acquisition. The integrative necessity among theories is pointed out by Okeke when he observes that: appropriately All viable theories form a holism and serve the goal of describing reality, while individually, variously describing a given sphere of reality. This means therefore that no viable theory is to be rejected for not 144 145 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 fully accounting for all sheds of reality (40). The above re-echoes Lakatos' idea of proliferation of theories in science. By this view, according to Ojong, Lakatos does not imply the rejection of theories. Rather, his method of science allows for the incubation of ailing theories in the hope that the intent be resuscitated by creative content increase. (72-73). It is Lakatos' view that: An assessment of the relative merits of competing theories should be delayed until proponents of the theories have had time to explore modifications in their theories which might make them better able to cope with anomalies (Newton-Smith, 79). From this standpoint Lakatos concludes that: The history of science has been and should be a history of competing research programmes (or, if you wish, paradigms') but it has not been and must not become a succession of periods of normal science: the sooner competition starts, the better for progress. (Lakatos and Musgrave, 155). In line with this Lakatosian model, integrative Humanism, integrative Epistemology and the IJTB account of knowledge allow the proliferation of theories which constitutes multi-dimensional approach in our understanding of reality. In this way, an integrative effort will be sustained in striving towards the growth and advancement of humanity. Hence, the more theories there are, the more we are able to unravel the endless secrets of reality. It is important to point out at this juncture that Ozumba's Integrative Humanism or Integrativism provides the platform for Okeke's articulation of Integrative Epistemology while the two (integrative humanism and integrative epistemology) jointly provide the theoretical framework for the present epistemic exercise. That is, the conception of knowledge as an integratively justified true belief. 7. Knowledge as Integratively Justified True Belief (IJTB) Having gone through some of the major attempts to fortify the standard account of knowledge (JTB) and the consequent unsatisfactory nature of these attempts, it becomes imperative for this paper to articulate a new horizon for understanding the complex nature of knowledge. It is important to stress the point that all the attempts considered in this paper and those that were not mentioned have significant contributions to our understanding of knowledge. Hence, they have provided the necessary impetus and raw materials needed to carry out this present attempt. That is, they serve as the springboard of our position. However, these attempts are limited in scope, in that, knowledge, within their understanding is limited to an aspect of the multi-facetedness of its characterization. These accounts close the possibility of having alternative and complementary insights into the corpus of knowledge. Consequently, they create tensions, exclusiveness and conflicts in the epistemic fora. This is occasioned by the one-sidedness inherent in their approach. Contrary to these exclusive accounts of knowledge, the present attempt seeks to build bridges among the various accounts of knowledge on the proper characterization of knowledge. Hence, knowledge is an “integratively justified true belief”. This definition of knowledge requires that whenever a knowledge claim is made, we are expected to examine such claim by criss-crossing the insights provided by epistemic theories available and necessary to the discourse at hand. This becomes necessary in as much as the sources of knowledge are multi layered, interwoven and intertwined. That is to say, any knowledge claim should be subjected to the rigorous test of available epistemic theories for inputs. For instance, in our earlier example of Mr. X's claim to know the where-about of Mr. President and wife, to ascertain the epistemic status of this claim (in line with our conception of knowledge as an “integratively justified true belief”). We are required to employ the useful insights of the available theories that could shed more light on the claim. Firstly, from the perspective of the defeasibility criterion we ask; Are there no other pieces of information that Mr. X does not possess which may under-cut his justification? Secondly, from the causal theory criterion, we ask; is Mr. X's claim suitably caused? Thirdly, from the reliability theory criterion we ask; is Mr. X's claim reliably derived? And so on. If at the end of this criss-crossing epistemic exercise, we are able to provide an outcome that satisfies the sceptical scrutiny of the available theories as at that time, then, knowledge has been integratively justified. As such, knowledge is an integratively justified true belief. By this process, “knowledge” and “truth” are seen as progressive and momentary, they are temporal and eternal. It means therefore that through our definition “we are making efforts to scoop all many manifestations of truth and knowledge in their “fecundities and potentialities” (Philosophy and Method… 44). One of the richness of our present conception of knowledge is the fact that, it provides room for the relevance of all opinions in the articulation of what can be referred to as knowledge. Thus, knowledge becomes a collective product as each theory has in one way or the other something to contribute to the fruitification of knowledge. It is not a one-sided justification, rather, it is a comprehensive, complementary and all-encompassing justificatory criterion of knowledge. Furthermore, our conception of knowledge gives room for the inclusion of further insights that may be generated in the future, within the scheme of epistemic justification. To this effect, Ozumba writes that; Our method permits a hundred flowers to bloom but it is concerned with the application of integrativism in seeking out the best philosophical meaning for a position, or reconciliation for a seeming position… it is philosophy without dogmas, no sacred cows and no underdogs… it is also about versatility which provides the intellectual base for possible criss crossing of ideas to get the desired result. (Philosophy and Method… 50). It is the position of this paper therefore, that knowledge is an ever flowing river which requires constant and continuous cognitive attempt. Knowledge is useful only when applicable in solving puzzles of life, and since these puzzles are unending, our attempt to solve them must necessarily be continuous if we are not to lose touch with life itself. Therefore, the continuous search for knowledge is for us (integrativists) a virtue which must be sustained and maintained by continuous articulation of theories for the sake of humanity. Ozumba corroborates this submission when he writes that We are to continue the proliferation of theories which constitutes multi-dimensional approach to issues of knowledge; the integrativist method is to be applied in effective, richer, truer, more comprehensive and more coherent epistemic horizon without necessarily laying claim to absolute but humanistic truth as part of the repertoire of absolute truth (Philosophy and Method…50). From the above, it is deducible that Ozumba, here, delineates the proper applicability of integrativism. By so doing, he envisages the utilization of this method of reflection in other spheres of human endeavour. In line with this thinking, a follow-up to this paper will appear on the next edition of this journal entitled “Intellectual Arrogance and Integrative Epistemology: A case for symbiotic- Specialism as a Philosophy of Relation in Industrial and Academic Circles”. 8. Conclusion It is obvious from the foregoing that the search for the proper characterization of the nature of knowledge is not an easy nut to crack. It is a quest that has generated various opinions and counter-opinions within the epistemological parlance to the extent that no suggestion is free from misgivings. From its inception in the Platonic attempt, to Gettier's turning point and to the contemporary times, the epistemological world has been thrown into speculation as to what properly constitutes our claim to knowledge. As we have seen in this paper, the problem is reasonably resolved as our conception of knowledge provides an all-encompassing approach in our continuous search for knowledge. As such, knowledge as an “integratively justified true belief” is a superior conception in that it recognizes the relevance of all epistemic stakeholders in our claim to knowledge. Finally, in response to the criticism that integrative epistemology runs into a contradiction. This paper holds that the claim of integrative epistemology does not generate any self-reference denial because it only creates room for a liberal approach in treating various theories on a specific subject matter. By implication therefore, the integratively justified true belief account of knowledge as presented in this paper is not a single theory of justification as the JTB, defeasibility, causal criterion or reliability criterion. Rather, it is a collection – a set whose members make up the problem solving theories in their togetherness. Therefore, the IJTB is more like a binding wire to group of theories than a lone theory. Works Cited Ayer, A. J. The Problem of Knowledge. Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1956. Chisholm, Roderick M. Theory of Knowledge. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1989. = Dancy, Jonathan. Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology. Macmillan, 1981. Gettier, E. L. “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” Analysis 23, 1963. Goldman, Alvin I. “Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge,” Journal of Philosophy 73, 1976. . . . “A Causal Theory of Knowing,” Journal of Philosophy 64, 1976. Jones, P. C. Nature of Knowledge, New York: The Free Press, 1964. Lakatos, Imre and Alan Musgrave. Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1970. Lehrer, Keith. Theory of Knowledge, Boulder: Westview Press, 1990. Newton-Smith, W. H. The Rationality of Science. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981. Ojong, K. A. A Philosophy of Science for Africa. Calabar: African Pentecost Communications, 2008. . . . and Adekunle Ibrahim. “The Gettier Problem and the Correspondence Theory of Truth: A Critical Analysis' in African Pentecost vol. 1 No. 1. Dec., 2007. Okeke Jonathan. “Current Trends in Epistemology”. In K. A. Ojong (ed) Living Issues in Epistemology. Uyo: El-Johns Publishers, 2011. Ozumba, G. O. A Concise Introduction to Epistemology. Calabar: Jochrisam Publishers, 2001. . . . Philosophy and Method of Integrative Humanism. Calabar: Jochrisam Publishers, 2010. Pears, David. What is Knowledge? London: George Allen and Unwin, 1971 Russell, Bertrand. Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1948. Schick, T. and Vaughn L. Doing Philosophy: An Introduction through Thought Experiments. New York: McGraw-Hill Company, 1999. 150 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 INTEGRATIVE HUMANISM AND COMPLEMENTARY REFLECTION: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS By Godfrey O. Ozumba Professor of Philosophy Department of Philosophy University of Calabar Nigeria Email: 1. Introduction This essay has become necessary since after the presentation of Professor Asouzu's inaugural lecture titled Ibuanyidanda: and The Philosophy of Essence. A number of students graduate and undergraduate have accosted me to differentiate between my philosophy of integrative humanism and Asouzu's. Initially I felt there was no point embarking on such a venture because it looked trivial, inconsequential and rather accusational and instigative. I asked myself do they want to know whether I plagiarized Asouzu or is it a genuine interest to understand the dynamics of our individual thoughts. Again, I said to myself if there is a comparison to make, it should not be me who should make it to avoid the burden of prejudice and inobjectivity. An independent scholar I thought should dispassionately examine the two positions to know the extent of similarities and dissimilarities. But on a more reflective thought, I considered that there is need for a ground clearing comparative analysis from one of the protagonists of the theories at least to provide the authorial perspective on my perception of Asouzu's theory vis a vis my philosophical position. I thought this could throw more light to prevent a blind or misconceived rendering of my objectives in the work. This essay therefore, is to provide a second mirror aside my book The Philosophy and Method of Integrative Humanism in piercing the soul of the author to grasp his own understanding of himself. I must say that there are many possible interpretations or picture FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 that could emerge as far as this comparative analysis is concerned. The shortness of time and my inability to peruse the entire gamut of Asouzu's works may affect what I have attempted in this work. This work should therefore be seen as a ground breaker which opens the door for other comparative scholars to exercise their wits in scrutinizing these two philosophies and providing us with their opinions. What I have written is my opinion and critical judgment of my perception. We have therefore tried to offer clarification, elucidation and analysis of the two philosophical positions. Because of the urgent and sincere desire of our students and interested public, it has become important to delineate the landscape and contours of these schools of thought in order to afford the students and inquirers the opportunity of clear thought on these positions to avoid confusion, muddling, mystification and outright misunderstanding of the aims, intentions, structure and objectives of these two theories. To do justice to this work it is only germane that we introduce us to the reason for my theory of integrative humanism. 2. Background to the Philosophy of Integrative Humanism It must be noted that philosophy is not just a casual search after knowledge or facts but a deep, consuming and passionate search after wisdom. This is what the Greeks meant by philosophia, that is, deep love and search after wisdom. My wandering all these years in the wilderness and outskirts of the horizon of knowledge has left my mind in deep dissatisfaction about learning by rote which characterize the learning and doing of philosophy especially in Africa. Our concerns have been how to know reality, deep things about life, about earthly existence, eternal existence and our relationship to other existent things and our environment and the planets. The question arises, what should be the relationship between man and all his inventions, discoveries and creations of science? How do things come to be? Is it mere fortuitous happenstance of the work or an intelligence nay a purposeful designer. These are some of the questions, the attempt at unraveling provided the insight of integrative humanism. Integrative humanism is therefore, the outcome of a deep, reflective brooding on the above questions and issues. Integrative humanism happens to be my own way of making meaning out of the morass of intricate and criss-crossing mass of amorphous reality with which we have to deal as philosophers. Integrative Humanism does not deny the possibility of other equally consistent and coherent views about reality but indeed belies this truth and seeks for ways of integrating and harmonizing them with the aim of achieving higher, deeper, more profound and more comprehensive picture of reality. For instance, it is possible to have a consistent, coherent atheistic world view about reality but the truth is that this consistency is only limited to the physical world. It does not take the cautious and wise preemptive and proactive posture of giving eternal existence the benefit of the doubt. This makes the atheistic view to err on the side of 'caution'. If eternity happens to be a reality, it leads its adherents to a grievous loss through unpreparedness. But on the other hand if at the end of the day there is no eternity, the adherents of eternal life have nothing to lose. Using Socrates dialectical method of thesis, antithesis and synthesis, we have been able to carry out a sustained reflection on the ultimate questions of life which has led us to a deeper understanding of life and the effect of personal transformation (Stump f and Abel 4). Taking a cue from the wise sayings of the Holy writ we discover that any man who goes through life without a tincture of the life bearing messages of the scriptures will pass through this life imprisoned by his prejudices and at the end becomes a fool. Integrativism is a cautious philosophical position that holds that it is better to err on the side of caution. We may be committing philosophical blunders if we keep relegating spiritual dimension of reality to the back of the drawers. Integrative Humanism as a philosophy was instigated by the need to debunk the view that philosophy should be concerned about the mundane and not the metaphysical, the spiritual or religious dimensions of reality. This fight was vigorously fought by the logical positivists of the 20th Century. The embers of that fight are still being stoked by some earth-bound philosophers. Be that as it may, it must be put in proper perspective that philosophy started as the search for the urstoff of all things which falls properly within the ambit of metaphysics. The basic roots are mythological and speculative. We have transcended the mythological but the scientific-rational speculative inquiry into reality still remains apposite. Philosophy is therefore a systematic inquiry into the horizons of reality with the view to fathoming its many sided dimensions. It smacks of demonism for some philosophers to decry what they call the theologization and religionizing of philosophy. This is nothing but an exclusivist tendency at a prejudiced and premature barricade or partitioning of reality. The philosopher by his calling should not be selective on what aspect of reality to investigate and those not to investigate. Our mandate is the entire landscape of reality. Any attempt at limiting the philosopher's areas of concern should be straight forwardly confronted as Philistinic, narrow-minded, parochial and ideologically propagandist. It is betrayal not to give philosophy and philosophers the full leverage to fulfill the mandate which it/they has/have. Integrative Humanism recognizes that reality is not only multifaceted but deep and high. Every ladder and equipment that will aid us to climb out of ignorance or what Asouzu calls “the phenomenon of Concealment” and which the Holy writ aptly captures when it says “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” should be fully utilized. 3. The Logical Foundation of Integrative Humanism Over the years, Western thought system has remained the dominant framework for the interpretation of theories in philosophy. By this I mean the Aristotelian paradigm of two-valued logic in which there are two shades of understanding in any rigorously constructed theory. These value assignments of truth and falsehood have come to dictate the interpretation given to any signature in Western academic circle. In reading Karl Popper, there is one fundamental condition that any hypothesis or system of hypotheses must satisfy if it is to be granted the status of a scientific law or theory that is, it must be falsifiable. An hypothesis is falsifiable if there exists a logically possible observation statement or set of observation statements that are inconsistent with it, that is, which if established as true, would falsify the hypothesis. Hence, if an hypothesis is falsifiable then it is a true scientific theory otherwise, it is not. The same Aristotelian framework goes for confirmationism. If an hypothesis fails an observational or experimental test then it is falsified but if it passes, it is said to be confirmed (a true scientific theory). The same standard applies to Lakatos' research programs and Kuhn's research paradigms. In philosophy, it is the framework of interpretation for theories in all branches but this is not the case in African Philosophy which is rooted in African thought system. According to Okeke (Forthcoming) in the treatment of his theory of ontological quadrant, African thought system is definitive of African Logic; the later being three-valued. It is upon the foundation of African thought system rather than the western system, that my theory of integrative humanism is rested. And as such, the African three-valued logic becomes the logic of integrative humanism. It has become imperative for me to make this clarification in order to guide the reader and especially the non-African reader in interpreting the theory of integrative humanism. In this way, Integrative Humanism maintains the following: i. ii. iii. iv. v. Every theory has something to offer No theory is rejected All theories must not be applied simultaneously Each theory is applied where it fits. A theory which fails in one context has another context where it passes. The above conditions show that there is no discrimination among theories and also the primacy of African three-valued logic. Condition (v) in particular shows how context dependent truth is in African interpretation framework (see Okeke's forth coming Outline of African Logic). It is in this regard that integrative humanism differs from many theories in philosophy, for it does not reject or discriminate among theories. Every theory has something to offer and every theory has a context where it works. What integrative humanism does with other theories therefore, is to, at each point, fix a round peg in a round hole and a square peg in a square hole. In African science which rests on African thought system and operates through the instrumentality of African logic (see Okeke's forthcoming Systems of African Science and Outline of African Logic for detailed discussions on the nature of African science and logic) for an hypothesis to be adjudged a law or a theory of science, it must comply with the following conditions: i. ii. iii. It must be deniable which means there exists a logically possible observation statement or set of observation statements that are inconsistent with it, that is, which, if established as true, would deny the hypothesis within a given observation context. It must be confirmed which means an hypothesis has to pass the observational or experimental test. It must be custom-made. A given hypothesis must be true at least in one observational or experimental context and false in another. This is the attribute of context dependence which justifies the place of the third value in African logic. Therefore, integrative humanism in line with African three-valued logic states that in philosophy, some position statements are true (which qualify as theories) others which do not qualify as theories are false. It has to be noted that what qualify as theories of philosophy according to the standards of integrative humanism are only position statements which work at least in one organized humanist society. Position statements like “kill to get what you want” does not work in any organized humanist society so it cannot qualify for example as a theory of philosophy. But beyond this, and among the theories, each is true in some contexts where it works and false in some others where it does not work. Thus every position statement in philosophy which qualifies as a theory has something to offer and cannot be out-rightly rejected. The logical foundation of Integrative humanism does not follow the Aristotelian typology of two valued logic of either true or false but a three valued logic where the third value is undecided. It is undecided because it is the context that decides the value of the variables involved. It is important to note that Jeremy Bentham in his “A Fragment of Ontology” talks about contextual definitions but did not assign true values to them. Contextual true value is therefore unique as it admits of truth in an integrative ontology that is ever increasing in its ambience of knowledge through new revelations and discoveries. It is also important to remark that the concept of three-value which characterize African thought system is slightly different from that which has been developed in the writings of Lukasiewicz down to the present day in the history of western thought (see Okeke as above for a fuller articulation of African logical system). One common feature of the two systems is the partial falsification of the principle of non-contradiction. In western thought this has led to the development of systems as para-consistent and relevance logics while in African system, three-valued logic is the basic framework for interpreting reality and the relation existing among realities. The attitude of contradicting or rejecting one another's theories among philosophers which developed out of Aristotelian two-valued system backed by the principle of non-contradiction was what landed philosophy in a post-modern impasse where theoretic anarchism thrives. I am of the opinion that philosophy cannot end this way, integrative humanism therefore becomes leverage out of the dead lock. 4. Comparative Analysis of Integrative Humanism and Complementary Ontology It is germane to state here that the picture we get is dependent on the angle from where we are looking. A given position may present us with a wholly incompatible picture but from some other positions we may see more similarities than dissimilarities. Let us first look at some very obvious similarities: Similarities It is easy to spot the following similarities even at a cursory examination of the two theories. It is obvious that both views are concerned with some moral question. That is, how do we tackle the problem of self interest, self centeredness, ambivalence of human interest and the achievement of the common good. Again, both theories seek to achieve a more comprehensive view of reality through complementation and integration. Both integrative Humanism and complementary ontology are against the view of Stegmuller (Asouzu inaugural, 20) that metaphysics is the grand mother of all obscurities causing trouble in the house of science. Both acquiesce to the importance of metaphysics in inducing scientific progress. Both complementary reflection and integrative humanism are theories seeking transcendence of knowledge, that is, to say that future knowledge must aspire to transcend present knowledge in scope and quality. There is also the likelihood that their Igbo background is partly responsible for this close formal affinity. The African ontology tries to see things as part of the integrated organic whole. It is argued that the similarity we see in the 'formal' component of both theories is symptomatic of African ontological perspective. The primordial perception of reality by the African is derived from the ontological constitution of all things in an integrated mesh of Mundanity and spirituality. The African chief priest for instance was both a religious leader and a medical practitioner. Sickness is seen as the consequence of a breach of either the laws of the gods (spiritual) or the laws of Hygiene (physical) or both. The African saw man as a tripartite being that carries the physical, psychological and spiritual components of reality. We may say that somehow Asouzu's complementary ontology, Ozumba's integrative humanism, Tempel's Vital force as expressed in Bantu-Rwandaise philosophy and Mbiti's perception of the African as being through and through religious and the apothegm that “I am” because “we are” (the individual finds significance within the community) are all variants of resources drawn from Africa's rich culture which is anchored on communalism. If we pursue the background, we have this picture. In the traditional Igbo society the people kept the laws, ordinances, sacred rules, customs and traditions of the people designated as “Nso Ana”. Nso Ana constitutes the totality of dos and don'ts that regulate human behaviour and actions as they relate to the land. Land is the symbol of life, power, link with the gods and the Almighty God. Land is the harbinger of fertility for fruitfulness in terms of production of offsprings and productive fruitfulness of crops and fruit bearing trees. When the crops fail to yield then something must have gone wrong between man and the god(s) responsible for fertility. This means that there will be need to appease the gods. Though in the African reality scheme, they did not understand the full complexity of the human person. However, they knew that man was tripartite and this necessitated healing through appeasing the gods (spiritual). Healing through folk tales, jokes, festivals, music, dances, ceremonies, hilarities and conversations that excite laughter – jesters are valued (because they understood that laughter is the medicine of the soul). These provide psychological healing, then we have the physical healing which may still be a consequence of an evil done or transgression of the law of the land. The bone menders, the herbalists, the witch doctors all play their role in physical healing of patients. Many wonder why things have changed so substantially today. The truth remains that, in God's dispensationalism, He has restructured reality to suit the redemptive role of Jesus Christ. We now have options of serving God through Christ or serving the elemental spirits that populate the earth. When one gives his life through repentance, God takes care of his spiritual ailments as he/she prays and lives in accordance with the word of God. This is a more ennobling path because it charts a course of greater certainty through the word of God. But the continuing disobedience of man and his reveling in pervasion of all natural order has given rise to a second order of God's dealing with man. This has necessitated the need for the medical and Para-medical professions to take care of man's health needs. God only intervenes today within the limits of His prerogative of mercy and discretion. Those who want to function within the province of God's perfect will need to live their lives in accordance to His divine laws. Those who want to dwell and operate within the purview of his permissive will also have a corresponding treatment from God. God considers us depending on how we esteem Him. Those who esteem Him highly, He also holds in high esteem. Those who despise Him, He also despises. An integrative posture is the most suitable in understanding reality from the angles of God, man and nature. Dissimilarities Permit me to say that the similarities highlighted in the foregoing are more formal than substantial. Integrative humanism differs from complementary ontology in being biblio-centric, ratio-spirito-centric; in seeing man as a being unto eternity, seeks mans earthly and eternal good and is concerned with aggregating the best in being in order to ensure man's earthly and eternal bliss. Also, it looks at man as a tripartite being and insists that he should be studied as such and all things should be studied in relation to how they conduce or detract from man's eternal good, it is opposed to a one-dimensional approach to reality. It accepts the existence of absolute truth and the view that integrated circuitry of all knowledge holds the secret to achieving the mundane and eternal good of man. It holds that all methods in philosophy are potential integrals in the achievement of progressive philosophical holism. The good should be threshed out in a given context and made to harmonize with the momentary holism of discourse. The bad in one integrated holism may be useful in another. Nothing is discarded with finality. Integrative humanism is a philosophy consciously articulated to transcend (but not obliterate the gains of) postmodernism. It cannot be said that complementary reflection is concerned about the issues raised above. Philosophy is all about articulating reality from different conceptual schemes according to Donald Davidson. Integrative Humanism is a secular cum spiritual conceptual scheme which harps on the richness of compulsory integration of the secular and the spiritual in all our philosophical endeavours. 5. Conceptual Differences Between Complementary Ontology and Integrative Humanism Basic concepts and phrases in complimentary ontology include: Human interest, self interest, Human ambivalent situations, ontological legitimacy, Ibuanyidanda, Transcendent complementary unity of consciousness, Joy of being, the idea of missing link, the common good, mutual complementarity, complementarism, complementation, relationship of parts to the whole, multidimensionality, harmonious complementarity, ibuaru, (philosophical, burden), 'Ima-onwe-onye' (being in control), the phenomenon of unintended ethnocentric commitment, the phenomenon of concealment (Ihe mkpuchi anya), ethnocentric mind set, Ikwa ogwe (bridge building), complementary rationality, false consciousness, heuristic principle of African ethics, confidence building, world imanentism, Ethnocentric reduction and impositions, triadic forgetfulness, noetic propaedeutic, the unity of the subject matter of philosophy, being as complementary mediated immediacy, super maxim, etc. Whereas in Ozumba's integrative humanism, the following concepts and phrases are important in understanding what his philosophy is all about namely: To humanize, secular humanism, new humanism, integration, Micro circuit, integrated circuit, integers, integrands, integrator, philosophical holism, ontological relativity, background theory, cultural integration, Evolutionism, creationism, transcendentalism, immanentism, eschatology, revelation, pragmatism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, postmodernism, existentialism, ratio-spiritocentricism, agglutinism, eclecticsm, anatomization of reality, analysis for synthesis, networking of ideas, 'comprehensing', bibliocentricism, regeneration, coherentism, etc. A survey of the concepts that feature in both philosophies will conceptually delineate the navigational ambience of the two inquirers. It is therefore important that the students of integrativism and complementary reflection understand these concepts and their nuances in terms of conception and application. Nothing hinders a cross pollination and fertilization of these ideas like improper understanding of concepts and their contextual meanings. A further project in complementation is not ruled out but it is important that we keep the objectives of these theories in focus as we employ them in our search for greener philosophical pastures. Further comparative studies are enjoined to compare the use and meaning of the concepts in the different philosophical frameworks. These methods and approaches should be used to enrich our study of African philosophy. In the spirit of integrative humanism, I advocated in my article entitled “The Spirit of Contemporary African Philosophy: An Integrative Humanist Approach” that African philosophy should be based on the following World Communalism, objective globalization, extended family and brotherhood. It is hoped that when this is done, the world will become a better place for all and sundry and pave way for our eventual transition from a glorious earthly existence to a more glorious heavenly existence. 6. On the Concepts of Being and Missing Links As Asouzu has rightly pointed out in his book Ibuanyidanda New Complementary Ontology. Beyond World Immanentism, Ethnocentric Reduction and Imposition, that the conceptualization of being is an important starting point of every philosophy that is worth the name. As he says “all matters of ontology begin with providing the enabling horizon within which the idea of being can be creditably articulated (10). For the new complementary ontology, to be, is the capacity to be in mutual complementary relationship with all things that exist. The idea of being is captured as the moment of mutual intrinsic complementary relationship in service of all existent realities. It is an attempt to transcend the idea of trying to bifurcate being into being and non being or seeing being as indefinable. Being becomes a continuous conceptualization of what momentarily is and all other things that may not be immediately seen but which serve as a missing link for all things that exist. For Asouzu, non-being will mean to be alone and to be, is to be in complementary relationship with others (kaso mu adina) – Hence, leads to the position that anything that exists serves a missing link of reality (10-11). This analysis does not take care of the things that do not exist now but can come into existence in future or those things whose existence are only a potentiality. Do they also serve as missing links? Ozumba on the other hand in his conception of being articulates being from three levels; absolute, relative pragmatic, potential-revelational. Absolute being is conceived in two ways – The absolute Being God which encapsulates all things in one sense, Immanent and transcendent in another sense and wholly independent in another sense depending on the motif behind the conceptualization. The second level is being understood from the point of view of human based knowledge, that is, relativism and pragmatism. These will include linguistic being, ideational being, abstract conceptualized being, scientific being and experimental (conjectural being) ideas in the mind of the conjecturer which are necessary for the articulation of a relative but progressive truth. The final conception of being is called revelational or potential being. The Bible says that secret things belong to God but revealed things belong to man. There are truths that are hidden in the scriptures which can be revealed to us as we study the word of God. Introducing Asouzu's phenomenon of concealment (Ihe mkpu chi anya) is germane here. At times sin covers our eyes from seeing and knowing the truth but through salvation, the scales fall from our eyes and we begin to see. There are, also dispensational revelation which God gives us at appropriate times. The truth of the rapture of the saints was not revealed until the advent of Paul the Apostle on the evangelical scene. The mystery of the catching away and sudden change of the saints at the rapture was revealed to him (see 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-17; 1 Cor. 15: 51-53). This new revelation provides us with a new ambience of ontology (being and existence). In Integrative Humanism therefore we explore the above three dimensions of being in articulating reality and in prospecting for insights that will enrich our knowledge so as to increase our horizons of possibilities and further distance us from myopism and conventionalism. Metaphysics via ontology sets the frame work and the scope of inquiry. It cannot therefore be true that Asouzu and Ozumba are saying exactly the same thing, their undeniable similarities notwithstanding. For Asouzu, the concept of missing link of reality entails his concept of being. He uses the expression anything that has head and tail-end that is, (Ihe di, nwere isi na odu). This means for him that everything that exists is not only a missing link but serves a missing link in the sense of complementarity. For me, this is understood as meaning that every discrete existent being, is incomplete in itself and for-itself but stands in need of complementation by others or stands as what others need to complete themselves or the whole. Asouzu is a bit ambiguous in his use of 'whole' as it applies to being and 'individual' as it applies to being. In one stretch, it seems that the individual thing – (ka som di) to be alone, does not constitute being but only individual in complementary relationship with other individuals can constitute being (ka som adina). If this is Asouzu's meaning, then, it is at variance with my position as it relates to being and missing link. In integrative humanism we hold that individual things constitute being, of and by themselves. But we stress that there is a larger comprehensive view of reality in view of which the individuals become missing links. Apart from the above we also talk of reality from the point of view of holisms, that is, complete disparate micro systems. Since we may never arrive at the complete and full picture of reality or may not know when we reach the full picture, a pragmatic landscaping of reality in micro-holism may end up in utilizing our electronic insight of micro processors and arranging our transistors, resistors and capacitors on the ontological substrate with a view to achieving an integrated ontological circuitry that provides a more comprehensive view of reality. Missing links are, therefore, in hierarchies – individuals, holistic systems and other possible conjectures that may be known in future. The appeal of integrative Humanism is that man being at the centre of God's creation should always be the focal point in every research. For example, the Environmental Sciences, the Engineering Sciences, Astronomical Sciences, all must be done to enhance and improve on man's chances of enjoying a blissful earthly existence that will enhance (through knowledge) his chances of continuing his blissful existence in the hereafter. There is no doubt that when both integrative humanism and complementary reflection are understood, then, they will be seen as throwing light on each other to afford better understanding. As we integrate both theories, we appreciate the better, the beauty of complementary reflection and the need for integrative humanism (That is, the need to go beyond complementary reflection to integrative humanism. Both theories are therefore mutually illuminating, complementary, bridge-building and cross fertilizing. They appear to stem from the same recesses of worry and fears about the future of man and philosophy as twin subject matters that are at the verge of being endangered; man has become wolf to man, and to himself. Integrative Humanism and complementary reflection are set on a rescue mission to salvage these twin concerns of our age. Integrative Humanism attempts the integration of Udo Etuk's New Humanism with secular Humanism on one hand while on the other hand prospecting for a rigorous and more systematic transcendence from post modernism to the era of integrative humanism. Asouzu and Ozumba's perception of reality are different bridges into the wide expanse of reality which the philosopher is called to explore. In the words of Asouzu, “Ikwa Ogwe” means building a bridge and when a thinker or a scientist embarks on such a strenuous exercise as to craft a unique bridge through which he seeks to embrace reality; we say of such a person “ona akwa ogwe”. That means that such a person is embarking on the art of providing a system and a method as bridge needed to connect thinking subjects to reality. This insight is important because it highlights the necessity of noting that no two persons can see reality exactly the same way for the following reasons (1) Reality is massive (2) All of reality is not open to public inspection (3) Human beings are different spiritually, ideologically, morally, culturally, by education, in preferences, research interest and scholarship. Biographical and authorial differences and all these impinge and determine author's or a scholar's perception. There may be similarities and meeting points but at the long run and in terms of emphasis, style, scope, depth and priority, the authors may not share sameness in all things. It is not a crime though to have two scholars exercise their thoughts on the same subject matter. We had the case of Bertrand Russell and Gottfried Leibniz who each worked on the infinitesimal calculus without any intercommunication at different periods and locations. Though Asouzu's complementary reflection was unveiled in 2004 in his book The Method and Principles of Complementary Reflection: In and beyond African Philosophy, I had not had time to read the contents of his works until a few days to the delivery of his inaugural lecture in 2011. My theory of integrative humanism was hatched and matured in the University of Cape Coast where I spent my 2008/2009 Sabbatical leave. Those who have read my book have come to me pointing out that my integrative humanism and Asouzu's complementary reflection constitute one and the same theory, it is this revelation that set me into this research of establishing through comparative analysis the extent to which the assertion is true. Were the assertion true that will be another case to prove the mutual telepathic congruence of human thinking as was seen in the case of Russell and Leibniz. There is no doubt that the research has unraveled many areas of similarities and differences but the differences are somewhat strategic, that, it will be wrong to see them as one and the same theory. However, we can achieve a wider intellectual horizon by harmonizing the two theories which share in the main the objective of prescribing ways of overcoming the existential predicaments that confront man in his existence. Though the routes taken by both theories may be different, the import of transculturalism, complementation, integrativism, transcendence can be harnessed to achieve a richer philosophical ambience. Apart from the above, Asouzu in his inaugural lecture states that “complementary reflection is a philosophical theory geared towards mutual and harmonious coexistence of entities and systems, captured in the concept of 'Ibuanyidanda'. This he says answers the ontic-ontological question of how man can attain “the joy of being”. Integrative Humanism contrary to Asouzu's position contends that there can be no 'joy of being' without: (1) (2) (3) (4) Understanding the nature of man The real purpose for his creation The ultimate destiny and destination of man and The modus operandi of achieving a blissful ultimate purpose. Integrative Humanism sees man as a being in existential motion transiting from earth to eternity. Asouzu's complementary reflection creates the burden (Ibuaru) of dropping off man (Dasein) at a juncture still far away from his real destination while thinking that that will conduce to man's 'joy of being'. Integrative Humanism is therefore a reflective reflection on the heavy burden with which the deceived man is left at the inconvenient corner of the roadside. Integrative Humanism is like a public spirited cab driver who lifts the abandoned wayfarer from his entangled thicket to the real destination of the “Joy of Life” which is eternal bliss. We can say that integrative Humanism may be seen as providing a bridge for the perfection of Asouzu's complementary reflection. Asouzu's Ibuanyidanda is a wholly communitarian, mundane and metaphysical, construct which promises joyful existence through collective effort in harnessing human interests for the common human good. It however lacks the divine impetus to drive the engine of joyful existence. Man without the touch of the grace of God is incapable of collective upliftment and even when it does, is incapable of sustaining it. The spiritocentric dimension of integrativism is what is needed to consummate Asouzu's ingenious thought experiment. The high point of the distinction between Integrative Humanism and Complementary ontology can be found in the definitional meaning of the key component words namely: 'Integrative' and 'complementary'. The word integrative implies intimate unification of two or more elements in harmonious symmetricism on the other hand 'complementary' connotes support and cooperation with or without symmetricism but in the harmony of component units. The difference is that in integration the integrating units shelve and melt their boundaries in order to be assimilated into each other. While in complementarity, the boundaries need not be robbed off, all that is needed is identification with complementing units for the purpose of performing a task or fulfilling a function. 'Integration' is like marriage, there is sifting and blending. In complementarity there is coming together with each retaining its uniqueness, while contributing to the efficiency of the whole. To integrate is to fit parts together to form a whole – in the social sphere it means to end racial segregation. While integration is opposed to differentiation, complementarity is not. We are talking about definite indefinite integration, this means integrated micro holism in an ongoing indefinite integrated holism stretching out into a macro-holism. (Chambers Encyclopedic English Dictionary, 647). To complement means to complete or perfect. It means to provide needed balance or contrast. It implies a participation in an effort to overcome obstacles. 7. Methodological Differences Methodological differences abound in the procedural approach adopted by both theories. The methodological procedure for integrative humanism entails the assimilation of other relevant methods of philosophy in its bid to achieve the desired goal of enhancement of knowledge and better solution to a problem at hand. Integrative humanism is against cleavaging or partitioning of theories. It strives to do away with the divisiveness that have characterized the growth of philosophy. This is why it adopts the method of analysis for synthesis. It analysis problems/issues and then discerns the methodological arsenals which need to be synthesized (integrated) for the achievement of the desired result. It is not very clear to me how the method of complementary ontology is to be applied. I guess it has to do with adhoc enlisting of other theories to gain strength in tackling a given problem without our attempt to assimilate those other theories for an ongoing deeper and wider understanding of the depths and heights of reality. This methodological differences are expressed in the linguistic differences as indicated earlier. The linguistic appurtenance/repertoire determines the range and scope of what the theories do. Integrative Humanism Is a philosophy of essence. It seeks to reach the core of any existential issue from the humanistic, scientific and revelational stand points. What is considered real and true are seen only from the point of view of an integrative outcome of the analysis of ideas from the humanistic, scientific and revelational insights. The real essence is the overbearing purpose in relation to earthly and eternal goodness. Anything that does not serve earthly and/or eternal purpose has no essence. Professor Asouzu in his own uses the expression philosophy of essence in a broader sense to designate any attempt to understand and relate to reality after the mindset of Aristotle's Metaphysics. It is the attempt to relate to the world in a disjointed, disharmonious, exclusivist, polarizing mode as to negate the mutual complementary interrelatedness between all existent realities. This makes Asouzu to see “philosophy of essence” as given in extreme forms of existentialism, idealism, realism, positivism, relativism, absolutism, Afrocentricism, Eurocentricism, ratonalism, empiricism, etc. He believes that each of these taken alone will be guilty of what he calls “unintended ethno centric commitment”. His philosophy of essence therefore is in contradistinction with Aristotle's idea of essence which carries with it the import of the superior against inferior, substance against attribute/accident. Both substance and accident serve as missing links in complementary ontology (16-17). For integrative humanism the essence is the product of an integrative analysis threshed out on the altar of bibliocentricism to ensure man's ultimate bliss. Like Paul the Apostle, we aver that if it is only in this life we have hope in Jesus Christ, we are of all men most miserable (1 Cor 15:19). There is nothing wrong with each researcher viewing the world from their vantage position. All will be wrong if such a researcher resists integrating his views, findings with other views that may lend more insight into the truth which he professes to seek. A hundred flowers can bloom but after that there must be synthesis to harness the kernel of these views into an integrative truth that available insight can yield. This “truest integrative truth” becomes the consensual-absolute truth which should guide our perception of reality. This means that integrative humanism does not disregard (debunk) Aristotle's philosophy of essence, but redefines it to fit into the integrative framework. Both integrative humanism and complementary reflection will view as irrationalism any philosophy of essence that pays undue attention to only one aspect of reality. We have laboured assiduously in this work to avoid any rancorous comparative analysis. Analysis should be done with the view to exposing the strengths and weaknesses of theories, provide support to the weaknesses in order to strengthen them. This is why I see integrative humanism as a “complementarity of complementarities”. And must be properly aligned to explore and harness the strength of complementary ontology to fortify itself. As Asouzu says in his The Method and Principles of Complementary Reflection, as a meta-theoretical approach to reality, complementary reflection serves as a critique of science, ideology, any world view of philosophy that seeks to make valid statements about the conditions for the attainment of human happiness, about reality in general and human action in society in particular (270). African philosophy in a complementary perspective is the systematic ambient methodological reflection about reality with the aim of explaining and understanding reality authentically in a way that portray the totality of the factors and actors that influence the thinking of the philosopher involved (276). The question is, how do we get all the actors and factors constitutive of being towards the emergence of the true and authentic nature of reality, that is if being is seen as the unifying foundation of all existent realities outside of which nothing can be thought (272). It aims at the resolution of conflicts of interests to achieve joy to human action. To seek to reach being as independent of the disparate individual beings will be difficult to achieve. Except he refers as I do to the final unification of all beings in the eternal essence of all beings, in the Being of beings. Asouzu's Ibuanyidanda is immersed in sociology, metaphysics, African philosophy and morality while Ozumba's integrative Humanism is coming from principles in electronics, mathematics, sociology, metaphysics, epistemology, morality, religion and science. 8. Conclusion From the survey and comparative analysis we have carried out, it is clear that Asouzu's complementary reflection and Ozumba's integrative humanism are different bridges crafted for the purpose of articulating reality from their different perspectival background language. Discerned similarities are contiguous to the socio-political and economic situations in which they both operate and the African indigenous perspective from which they draw. But clear differences from the ideological, spiritual, methodological, linguistic, intellectual and systemic trajectory are discernible and obvious. It should be commended that both scholars have offered their sincere contribution to the growth of philosophy in general and African philosophy in particular. Works Cited Allen, Robert. Chambers Encyclopedic English Dictionary. Edinburgh: Chamber Publishers, 1994 Asouzu, Innocent I. Ibuaru. The Heavy Burden of philosophy, Beyond African Philosophy. New Brunswick: Transaction publishers, 2007. . . . The method and Principles of Complementary Refelection In and beyond African Philosophy. Calabar: University of Calabar Press, 2009. . . . Effective Leadership and the Ambivalence of Human Interest. The Nigerian Paradox in a complementary perspective. Calabar: Calabar University Press, 2004. . . . Ibuanyidanda: New complementary Ontology; Beyond world-Immanentism, Ethnocentric Reduction and impositions. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers 2007. . . . IKWA OGWE: Essential Readings in Complementary Reflection: A Systematic Methodol;ogical Approach. Calabar: Saesprint Publishers, 2007 Bentham, J. “A Fraagment of Ontology” in The Works of Jeremy Bentham, New York: Russell Pub Inc. 1962. Burr, John R. and Goldinger Milton. Philosophy and Contemporary issues. New Delh: Prentice Hall of India, 2008. Mistchell, Helen Buss. Roots of Wisdom: A Tapestry of philosophical Traditions. Boston: Wadsworth Publishers, 2011 (edition) Okeke, Jonathan. Outline of African Logic and Numeric System Forthcoming . . . Systems of African Science Forthcoming Ozumba, Godfrey O. “The Spirit of contemporary African Philosophy” in Colloquium on African Philosophy Vol. I Calabar: Pyramid publishers, 2003. . . . Philosophy and Method of Integrative Humanism. Calabar: Jochrisam Publishers, 2010. 169 170 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 KANT'S IDEA OF SPACE AND TIME IN RELATION TO AFRICAN NOTION OF REALITY: MAKING SENSE OUT OF A SENSELESS WORLD By Mamadu T. Titus Doctoral Candidate University of Calabar, Nigeria. E-mail: 1. Introduction It is a truism that the idea of space and time are not only interesting epistemological modes of knowing about reality, but that they also provide basic tools for analysis, prediction and explanation of phenomena in the empirical and non-empirical sciences. Space and time, thus, form a natural bridge over an examination of common sense and rational basis of how knowledge is acquired about realities. Nevertheless, the fundamental basis and process from which the functionality of space and time could be ascertained or determined, and to what extent realities could be conceived to exist within and beyond space and time is highly probable and uncertain. It thus becomes very pertinent to delve into the epistemological foundation of Kant's idea of space and time in order to know how reality unfolds itself in different modes, categories, cultures, religious beliefs and so on. And since African culture has a peculiar way of perceiving reality that exists within space and time, our epistemological discourse would be to examine and analyze Kant's idea of space and time, (which serve as intuitive, internal and necessary conditions of knowing about reality) in relation to the modes of knowing in African thought. Again, it is aimed at projecting the ontological, metaphysical and epistemological conception of reality and how knowledge is acquired from the material and transcendental worlds. It also exposes Kant's idea of how knowledge is acquired within space and time and not beyond space and time. In juxtaposition, however, the work has proved that in African ontology, there is no limit to knowledge. Thus, both the noumenal and phenomenal worlds create room for acquiring human knowledge; that in African thought, knowledge about reality is acquired both “within” and “beyond” the limits of space and time. 2. Kant's Idea of Space and Time Kant made a strenuous effort to demonstrate how the human faculties of reason and the senses work hand-in-hand to produce human knowledge. Hence, Kant states that “all knowledge begin from experience, but do not necessarily end in experience”. Here, Kant tries to mediate between empiricism and rationalism as schools of epistemological inquiry. On the issue of how experience is convertible to material element and formal element of knowledge, Kant notes the human mind playing a vital role. Kant holds that perceptible mind and the knowing mind complement themselves in an active mode. In all experiences, the mind (active) makes objects conform to its demands for intelligibility or comprehension. Kant refers to those things that appear to us directly, that is the phenomenal world as opposed to the noumenal world, “the world of things-in themselves” that does not have a direct but indirect contact with the mind through its categories. The mind for Kant is not passive but active, and through its categories conform itself to the manifestation of things as they appear to us, within space and time. Elaborating on the two concepts, Kant wished to prove that space and time are imposed upon experience by the perceiving and knowing minds respectively. Again, space and time, being the outer and inner states of mind respectively have a complementary force towards producing knowledge about things. In his effort to complement space and time, Kant explained that both space and time are a priori necessary conditions that are responsible for synthetic a priori knowledge. All that we ever experience are within space and time. Kant expressed this point further when he says that “space and time are empirically real and transcendentally ideal” (80-83). They are empirically real because they are really found to occur everywhere in experience; though space and time are not empirical concepts in themselves. Again, space and time are transcendentally ideal because from the point of view of their origin, they are mind- derivatives. Their ideality is the fact of their being contributive to experience by the active mind. And this ideality is transcendental because the contribution of mind to experience is not an out-come, which each particular mind deliberately chooses in the course of its experience, but a condition which all minds, by virtue of being minds, necessarily impose upon every phase of their perceptual lives. Space, Kant added, is a form for all external experiences, and time is the form of all internal experiences. Here, the perceptible mind (outer mind) conforms itself to the objects of experience. The knowing mind, on the other hand, does not only conform to the material elements of the perceptible mind, but also coordinates such elements, thereby giving rise to the formal elements. The conformity of the perceiving mind to the objects of experience is the function of space. While the receptivity of the objects of experience as well as their logical relation is the work of the knowing mind which happens within time. Furthermore, Kant observes that since time is the form of inner intuition while space is the form of outer intuition, it means that space and time are to be seen as two sources of knowledge, from which bodies of synthetic a priori knowledge can be derived. They are the pure forms of all our sensible intuitions. Kant, however, rejected and debunked the existence of absolute space and time because this will mean the existence of other co-eternal, infinite and self subsistent things. Space and time, for Kant, are said to be absolutely real only as a condition for the existence of other more objectively real entities (81-82). This implies that the objects of space and time are derived from the phenomenal world. For him, it is only in the phenomenal world that we can perceive things as they appear to us directly which are also knowable in themselves. The noumenal world, on the other hand, remains unknowable and the reality found in it is beyond our knowing. Space and time, though not physical or empirical objects, are sensible intuitions which operate only within the empirical reality. They are not transcendental or absolute reality in themselves. However, transcendental logic, which serves as the science or relation between and among separate ideas in our minds, correlates or co-exists space and time as inter-dependent entities. Through transcendental logic, the human mind is able to relate something to something else within space and time. Logic thus relates one idea with another idea so as to produce knowledge. Thus, according to Kant, no knowledge about a thing exists in a vacuum, rather all knowledge exists within space and time. Therefore, space and time do not depend only on what is given through experience directly, but also what is given indirectly through experience. However, anything beyond experience, which exists outside of space and time, Kant holds that it is unknowable. This is where we have a point of demarcation between Kant's idea of space and time and that of African thought. 3. What is space? What is time? In Part 1 of his book called Critique of Pure Reason, Kant wrote the “transcendental aesthetics”, which contains information about the two forms of sensibility. These forms of sensibility, namely: Space and time, Kant described as correlations or co-existent entities. For him, time is the real form of inner intuition, while space is the real form of outer intuition (79). Time has subjective reality in respect to inner experience, just like space has subjective reality in respect to outer experience. While Kant believes that space and time relate to each other, he also states their respective conditions as described below: i. ii. iii. iv. Space is not an empirical concept which is derivative from any experience. Rather, it is the outer mind in conformity with the objects of experience, which now gives rise to representations. The outer mind is the perceptible mind that grasps the material elements, which then directs such elements to the inner mind (time) to coordinate or arrange them as formal elements. Space is a necessary a priori representation, which underlies all outer intuitions. This implies that there is no conception of an idea outside of space, because space is a necessary condition that precedes all external phenomena (that is, the physical manifestation of things that empirically exist outside of the mind). Also, the idea of “necessity” demands that there can be “no content without a space, but there can be space without content”. The content is a posteriori judgment that the mind interprets about the material elements. Space is an infinite given magnitude, which is immutable. It is an a priori representation that helps in the understanding of self-evident truths or axioms. These self-truths or axioms are, for instance, found in the method of mathematics, especially in geometry. Space is a pure form of sensible intuition. This refers to the power of the subjective mind as being capable of coordinating, conforming as well as arranging the material objects as it grasps them from the phenomenal world. This also applies to the faculty of the mind in respect to individual views, the capacity or disposition of individual minds to perceive realities through their categories. Similarly, Kant enumerates the following conditions of time. These include: i. ii. iii. iv. Time is not an empirical concept which has been derived from any experience. Rather, it is the activity of the inner mind, otherwise known as the knowing mind, which coordinates the elements given to it as element so as to produce knowledge about a thing. Hence, time is not a co-existence or succession that comes to us through perception, which limits us to think of time as a simultaneous or successive event. Time is a necessary a priori representation, which underlies all inner intuitions. We cannot in respect to appearances in general, remove time itself, though we can quite well think of time as void of appearances. In it alone is actuality of appearances made possible. Appearances may one and all vanish; but time (as the universal condition of their possibility) cannot itself be removed. Also, the possibility of 'apodeitic' principle concerning the relations of time, or of axioms in general is also grounded upon this a priori necessity. Time has only one dimension; different times are not simultaneous, but successive just as different spaces are not successive but simultaneous. The infinitude of time signifies nothing more than that every determinate magnitude of time is possible only through limitations of one single time that underlies it. That is, the original representation of time must not be given as unlimited. Time is not a discursive, or what is called a general concept, but a pure form of sensible intuition. Different times are but parts of one and the same time; and the representation which can be given only through a single object is intuition. Moreover, the proposition that different times cannot be simultaneous is not to derive from a general concept. The proposition is synthetic, and cannot have its origin in concepts alone. It is immediately contained in the intuition and representation of time. 4. African Conception of Reality The branch of philosophy that deals with the concept of reality is metaphysics. This is why it is defined as the philosophical outlook which tries to reach a more comprehensive, all embracing, totalistic view of reality and the examination of being in a generic sense. It also involves a synthesis of all experiences in order to achieve a coherent whole which gives a complete picture of reality. Thus, it is in line with this definition of metaphysics that the African conception of reality, which forms the basis of African metaphysics, is considered. This is done in order to see how African conception of reality fits into a coherent metaphysical framework. Thus, African metaphysics is the African way of conceiving, perceiving, interpreting and making meaning out of interactions among beings and reality in general. It includes the holistic conception of reality in its transcendental, noumenal or non-material form. However, a group of philosophers known as empirical researchers (factualists) have argued that African conception of reality should be a matter of unanimous agreement among every individual African. They believe that the vastness of Africa is in such a way that what is applicable to one African region may not be applicable to another region since there are so many regions. But, from our ultimate analysis, one will understand that all cultures may observe the same facts, and that their basic assumptions, theories and standards with which they interpret such facts may be different. But differences of cultural philosophy depend on the difference of the basic assumptions, and theories about reality. Also, there may be resemblances or similarities between the philosophical doctrines of different cultures, but these similarities do not mean identity or sameness. In addition, it is an obvious fact that there are differences between and among individuals because of the uniqueness of every individual. Yet, since it is difficult to study each and everyone's conception of reality, the much we can do is to assume that a group of people sharing the same cultural affinity could perceive reality in the same way. That is why Anyanwu and Ruch assert that: If the criterion of philosophy is that every member of that culture should know it, then the western philosophy does not exist. How many individuals in England know about the ideas of Hume, Berkeley, and Locke, now called the British philosophy? How many Germans know about the ideas of Kant? Why then do the factualists think that African philosophy should be a matter of unanimous agreement among every individual African?... it can only be that they are ignorant of what the cultural philosophy of the African people means or else they are intellectually dishonest (80). Therefore, we can deduce from the foregoing that although different African communities have their different ways of conceiving reality; Africans as a group of people can also have a common conception of reality. In this regard, C.B. Okolo in his definition of African philosophy articulates the subject matter of its study as being centered on the understanding of African conception of reality. He says “African philosophy is a path to a systematic and coherent discovery and disclosure of the African in his world of reality; it concerns itself with the history, tradition, custom etc., and the significance these have for him” (10-11). The definition opens up among other things in the epistemological and metaphysical foundation of the traditional African conception of reality. The issue of reality and how the Africans come to know this reality constitute the main focus in our philosophical discourse. This is why Anyanwu and Ruch say that the African epistemological question is: How do Africans know what they claim to know? What method does the mind follow in order to arrive at a trustworthy knowledge of reality? How do Africans grasp reality in the universe of human discourse and so on? In attempt to answer these questions, it is worthy of note that the universe of discourse in the African conceptual scheme is a totality of beings, comprising of the creator and the creatures in a harmonious communal relationship. Thus, the African concept of the universe of discourse (i.e. wholeness of reality) is characterized by a unitary view. This unitary view is based on the fact that in the African conception of the universe there is no significant distinction to be drawn between visible things such as animals, trees, rivers etcetera, on the one hand, and the invisible existents like God, gods, spirits, minds, witches, on the other hand. They all form parts of one seamless whole. Commenting on this unitary ontology of the Africans, J.S. Mbiti reiterates that: The spiritual world of African people is very densely populated with spiritual beings, spirits and the living-dead (those who have died and still live in our memory)…The spiritual universe is in unity with the physical, and that these two intermingle and dovetail into each other so much that it is not easy, or even necessary, at times, to draw the distinction or separate them (75). In this way, Mbiti buttresses the interconnectedness of realities in one holistic view. At the centre of beings (realities) is man; man is at the centre, reaching out to the highest being and to the lowest being. It is based on this view that Onunwa says that “humans are not seeing as rulers of creation but rather as central element of the system on which human impose a centripetal orientation” (52). Centripetal describes an object which is found in the centre, and is attracting every object to bend to it. It means then that man is at the centre, of which everything must turn towards him. It also means then that everything is meant for man and that is why for the Africans everything done must be in line with African personhood. Thus, the reality of humans which are physical and those of the gods, spirits and things beyond, which are transcendental, must complement each other. Such a unified whole of reality in African mind-set is inter-dependent. Okere's position on this stand captures our mind, when he wrote: The visible and the invisible are perceived as one, interrelated, interacting systems where agency and causality form a gigantic net-work or reciprocities, which translate into several acts of what we call religion, worship, respect, sacrifice, divination, communion which mark the relations between spirits and ancestors on the one hand, and men, on the other hand(3). Hence, the conception of the universe in the African set-up depicts the existence of reality as a whole, that is, the “community” of all existing things. The whole of reality includes all the particular things that are said to be and the origin or source of these particular things that are said to be. Therefore, under the concept of reality as a whole in the African context is the view that that which does not exist and cannot exist is not and cannot be said to be real. Thus, Abanuka posits that there are the fundamental characteristics of reality as a whole. Reality as a whole for him must be conceived as comprising all particular things which exist and the ultimate support or source of these particular things. Also, the unity of reality as a whole stems primarily from the fact that reality as a whole is opposed to nothingness (20-21). Abanuka further maintains that particular things are real and in as much as they are real, they are not repugnant to other particular things nor are they self-contradictory since they can exist. He also maintained that the reality of particular things must issue from a common source or an ultimate meaning of reality. That is why Abanuka pointed out that individual things have qualitative identity with the ultimate reality and with one another. This conception of reality as a whole points to the fact that reality is unitary in the African context and not monistic. In understanding the African conception of reality, there are three intimately related cosmological areas which form the continuum of reality. These include: first, the sky where God, major divinities, and angels dwell, second, the earth where human beings, animals, natural resources, some devils and some physically observable realities abide and third, the underworld where the ancestors and some bad spirits live. Mbuy captures these realities of the world as “human,” “ancestors” and “God”. He reveals that it is only through these three fold dimensions of realities that African existence can be captured intellectually and meaningfully through philosophy(9). This is because all African metaphysical speculations and articulations are expressed within the context of these realities, which constitute in a very special way, the African view of the universe and reality as a whole. From this an inference can be deduced that the ideal of the African culture and its world-views are co-existence with the strengthening of vital forces or vital relationships in the world, since the African cultural stand point deals with complementary qualities and aspects of reality. According to Mbiti; Africans have their own ontology; but it is a religious ontology and to understand their religions, we must penetrate that ontology… I propose to divide it up into five categories. (1) God… (2) spirits being made up of super human beings and the spirits of men who died long ago (3) man including human beings who are alive and those about to be born (4) animals and plants or the remainder of biological life. (5) phenomena and objects without biological life… This anthropocentric ontology is a complete unity or solidarity which nothing can break up or destroy. One mode of existence presupposes all the others (15-16). These five categories all form part of the same reality. Their interconnectedness manifests in one whole. Abanuka confirms this position by saying that reality from a traditional point of view includes things that are material or nonmaterial, their connections, effects and ultimate support or source as they are given in the consciousness of the indigenous African when he or she experiences the universe (16-17). This presents African epistemological conception of realities. For Abanuka, these realities are viewed in three perspectives. First, one can consider reality as thinkable. Here, the emphasis is placed on reality as object of the mind. The human mind can grasp the real as qualitative identity of reality. Secondly, reality can be understood as describable or qualifiable. In other words, reality can be viewed as capable of being expressed; reality can be talked about. Here, reality is considered as the object of language. Thirdly, reality can be viewed as being space-bound, temporal and timeless, that is, within and outside the touch of time. In this regard, attention is focused on the object as existing in space and time or as timeless (24-25). Abanuka's position and those of other Africans like Gyekye, Edeh, Maurier…settled at least with a general opinion that no matter the dimension in which realities appear in African world-view, they interrelate or complement each other in a unified manner. This belief made Maurier to add that no matter the world in which realities exist, the fundamental thing about them is that they relate to each other (65). Hence, the complementary force or interaction between the material and spiritual realities is made possible due to the fact that every existent reality has spirit, what Tempels calls “vital force”, inhabiting in each and every reality, and thus yearning for each other. The idea of complementarity, according to Asouzu, “serves a missing link of reality in mutual love and understanding” (92). Asouzu is of the opinion that African conception of reality is based on relational understanding. In this context, the mind (being-in-control) relates events in different forms to form human knowledge. For Ijiomah, reality in African world-view is cyclical (African Philosophy's Contribution…, 85). This is because the spiritual appears as a physical reality and goes back to the spiritual world and the cycle continues. This means that the physical has an inbuilt spirituality and spiritual has an in-built physicality. This implies that for the Africans each reality, whether spiritual or physical, appears and disappears into and takes the nature of the opposite reality. With this phenomenal interpretation of realities, Ijiomah quotes Gyekye's position that “the Akan people believe that realities relate to themselves in a manner that gives rise to an interwoven or harmonious relation” (Some Epistemological Tools…, 77). Iroegbu captures this harmonious relation as being that of “internal relational law and dynamics” (287). Thus, the complementary force between and among realities in African thought involves a dovetailing of realities into one another. Ijiomah's view on the two harmonious worlds is understood in “the prayer life of the Igbo people”. For him, in prayer (Ibochi) Igbos attempt, for example, to normalize the relationships among the three worlds. In one type of Ibochi, libations are made both to the living and to God through the ancestors. The act of libation attests to the people's firm belief in the presence of the invisible beings that are ready to have communion with the visible ones through the agency of the ancestors (77). This explains why the Africans conceive that there exists mutual love and understanding between and among realities. It is for this reason that Africans give sacrifices, pour libations, resort to charms and make music during worships and communal celebrations. All this is done for the sake of harmonizing between the physical and transcendental realities. Edeh further explores this harmonious relationship in what he calls “Occultic phenomena". According to this belief, people of special invitation meet with spiritual agents for matters affecting their common interests. This brings out the idea of duality, not dualism, in African thought. As quoted by Ijiomah, Edeh's position follows that: For the Africans, the world is dual in nature beyond and above the visible, tactile physical world, there is non-visible which envelops the former. It is simultaneously within and outside of the earth and sea (Some Epistemological Tools…, 77-78). This is because all realities in African world-view exist in a dual and interrelated manner. The sensible are not wholly sensible, neither are the spiritual wholly spiritual. But there is a union between the physical and the spiritual. In other words, duality is used to express the … interconnectedness of the whole of reality and based on this Njoku asserts: In African thought, things, the cosmos, the realities of the world, supernatural beings are so much mingled with human realities to be looked upon from an objective and substantiality view point (78). The dual nature of reality is intertwined, similar and interdependent, visible and invisible. It is also stretched out in space to compromise the sky and the earth signifying the spirit and the human world respectively. Again, duality or “twoness” view of things accounts for unity and tension manifested in the traditional African structure of “harmony” and “balance” in the universe. Furthermore, the Africans view that there are ontological relationship between God, divinities, spirits, ancestors, man, the unborn, animals, plants and material things, in such a way that all life-forces are in constant interaction in a hierarchical order. According to Anyanwu and Ruch, “the Africans believe that since everything is one, everything is in everything else”(93). No reality is so sacrosanct to exist in isolation and that it is only within the framework of complementary reflection that reality is meaningfully expressed, ascertained and grasped. 5. Kant's Idea of Space and Time in Relation to African Conception of Reality. Leopold Senghor in comparing Africans and European's conceptions about realities argues that there is a unique African world view, focused on what he described as “being” and “life forces” ( This is due to the fact that the two world-views of African and European, (the background of which Kant developed his philosophy), are not in any way the same. But for scholarly approach, an attempt could be made to examine and state clearly the meeting point between the two world-views, as well as their point of demarcation. According to Kant, space and time are forms of sensibility or sensible intuitions. Africans, on the other hand, conceive space and time not only as the necessary qualities of every existing reality, but also consider them as the fields of possible action. For Kant, like the Africans, everything is in space and time. We too are in space and time. But unlike Kant, the Africans conceive space and time to be in cyclical form than linear. Time is not measured in chronometers but with events and achievements. Also, space is the generality and totality of the universe and all that it contains. It extends beyond the spatiotemporal, physical world to embrace the transcendental world. It is the same way that Kant perceives space and time as not being dependent upon the empirical or physical world; though they are empirically real and transcendentally ideal in nature. However, while Kant's conception of space and time appears to be forms of sensibility or sensible intuitions, the African conception of space and time are fields of action, as time is marked by events; space is an accumulation of life forces or forces of actions. Kant's view of a priori form of sensible intuitions-space and time, and the African conception of reality as manifolds of the physical and spiritual, material and non-material present some elucidating facts; firstly, that things manifest themselves in different modes as reality unfolds itself; secondly, that what is real presents the very nature of a being which expresses itself within space and time. Hence, Kant's view that what is known must be in space and time, also presents the fact that the objects of knowing or what is being known must be reality manifesting itself either as physical or spiritual, material or nonmaterial entities. This is a characterization of African epistemology or ontology. Thus, for the Africans all that we know within space and time is not limited, but comprises of the totality of things or wholeness of reality. Therefore, just as it is generally upheld in the epistemological concept of reality, the Africans are of the view that knowledge is holistic. In line with this view, Ozumba points out that “knowledge is a co-existence with mutual and spiritual, seen and unseen, empirical and rationalistic, psychological and religious, to wit, it is all encompassing” (71). This refers to the point that knowledge is an integral union between beliefs whose truth we can justify and for those whose truth we can not justify, but for which, we can offer reasons that we believe in some sense to be true, justifiable and certain. Thus, when one claims to know something such as “P”, he is not limited to P alone, but knows “not p. The idea of P and –P are not contradictory, but complementary in form. In the words of Kant, space and time as a priori forms of sensibility or sensuous intuitions are components of the mind's operational activity; the mind itself is very active in its activity. It is never passive and through its operation, it grasps that which is being presented to it through experience. Arguing along the same line, African conception of reality (as though being composite of physical and transcendental realities), is known only when the active mind acquires and apprehends ideas that are gathered from our experiences. In their explicit explanation of this fact, Anyanwu and Ruch maintain that: African maintains that there can be no knowledge of reality if an individual detaches himself from it. Bear in mind that the African, a life-force, is not a passive spectator of the universe but an active participator of the life events. So, he operates with the logic of aesthetics, which holds that the whole is the real. Knowledge therefore comes from the co-operation of all human faculties and experiences. He sees, feels, imagines, reasons or thinks and intuits all at the same time. Only through this method does he claim to have the knowledge of the other. So, the method through which the African arrives at the trustworthy knowledge of reality (God, man, spirit, society, social facts…) is intuitive and personal experience (94). The idea of the “real” is an expression of the “self” which is grasped through logical thinking. This idea introduces African logic of relation between and among realities. For the Africans, an individual is a true being that manifests the “real” self in both the transcendental and physical worlds. Space and time are sensible intuitions, which according to Kant, are components of the mind's operational activity. The mind through its operation grasps that which is being presented to it through experience. In African conception, reality is a composite of physical and transcendental worlds. Yet, it is the individual that is capable of knowing such worlds, not in a shallow or passive mind, but a mind that is active. The mind interprets what is given to it through experience or as being revealed to the mind through religion, myth and oral tradition. The idea here is that the human mind is so strong and active such that it is above the sensory manifestations. Kant, on his part, sees the mind in its active mode conforming to the objects that are being presented to it through experience. The mind transcends the bodily impressions or sensations, but within space and time whose modes of functioning are based on sensible realities that are intuitively given to the mind's categories. In contradistinction to this notion, the Africans in their conception of realities transcend and incorporate in their conceptual scheme of existing realities, not only sensible and empirical or experimental realities, but also extrasensory and supernatural realities. Hence, in the African conception of reality, the mind transcends the bodily impressions and sensations and involves the extrasensory and supra-empirical objects, that is, the immediate and mediate data of human experience. African conception of reality, therefore, is that there is a dynamic process such that reality revolves around in a cyclic form. Realities for Africans are immutable; though constantly moving, but then introducing nothing new to itself. Kant also conceives of space and time as having a link with the objects of experience, yet not empirically real in themselves. In other words, things existing within space and time are not outside of what we experience, but not totally dependent on experience. Hence, whatever that is got through experience also has a link with the transcendental ideal. Space and time do not only have a link with the transcendental ideal, but also depend on empirical reality. Again, space and time correlate or co-exist as inter-dependent realities. Likewise, the transcendental and physical realities in African thought complement themselves such that one cannot be grasped without the other. Hence, in both Kant's sensibility forms and duality of reality in African thought there exists a complementary force. In this context, Asouzu arguing from African ontological perspective says, that in African worldview, nothing exists in isolation; no reality exists independently. Hence, there is a missing link between and among realities in mutual love and understanding (7-8). This is because there is an intermediary force between different realties within a complementary framework. Furthermore, Kant's idea is that space is the form of all appearances of the external senses, that is, the subjective condition of sensibility. For him, all objects that are external to us are represented as being in space. Applying this in the African context, it can be ascertained that Africans conceive that the things we perceive directly can be interpreted, systematized and conceptualized from the vital forces that govern them. Therefore, for the Africans, realities are grasped, conceived and interpreted through the workings of our minds, and this goes in line with Kant's a priori forms of sensibility, understanding and reasoning which are constructs of the mind's activity. With regard to this, Anyanwu and Ruch explained that: When an African looks at a tree within the assumptions of his culture, he sees and imagines a life force interacting with another life-force. He sees the colour of the object (tree), feels its beauty, imagines the life-force in it, and intuitively grasps the interrelationship between hierarchies of life forces (11 12) Whereas space is, according to Kant, a priori formal condition of external appearances, time, on the other hand, is the form of the internal condition of the mind. Our psychical conditions, for example, are perceived in time as following one another (successively) or as happening at the same time (simultaneously). Time is the a priori formal condition of all appearances whatsoever. All representations, whether they have or have not external things as their objects, are determinations of the mind and thus belong to our internal state or condition. Hence, they must subject to the formal condition of inner sense or intuition, namely time. In the same way, Africans in their conception see realities as existing in time and progresses in change and motion. Even the idea of reincarnation, for example, being upheld by the Africans is a reality that occurs successively in a certain period in time and can be perceived by the mind. For the Africans, time is an event. Time designates different events that follow one another in a successive manner or simultaneously as the case may be, through which our psychical states can be perceived. For the Africans, everything that happens and everything that “is” exists in space and functions in accordance with time according to the operative functions and constructs of the mind. Thus, in African conception of reality, that is the reality of the immortality of the soul, reincarnation, the universe, principles of the real, personality and personhood, being, substance, causality, extra-sensory and so on, it is settled at least that they are products of the mind which are generated from our ordinary experiences of things around us. Again, Kant reasoned that we can imagine one space only, and if we speak of many spaces, we mean parts only of one and the same space. The same is applicable to time; for different times are nothing but only one and the same time. In the same way, Africans conceive realities as particular individual entity existing in different spaces and times, which may be in the subjective mind of different people perceiving reality. But collectively, reality can be considered to exist in the same but one space and one time that can form African conceptualization, systematization and harmonization of reality as a whole, and not as indivisible parts. Furthermore, there is in African world-view a sense of order, harmony and continuity of experience, which in fact constitute African logic of relation between different realities. On the other hand, space and time for Kant is not a matter of temporality but a matter of order, harmony and continuity in experience. Space and time are limitless, eternal, fixed and unified, according to Kant. Thus, in both world-views, reality is unified and constantly fixed in line with Parmenides' philosophy that “nothing comes into existence and nothing goes out of existence”. Whatever that is, simply is, and thus giving rise to objective truth about things. Our conclusion thus is reached that Kant's idea of space and time in relation to African conception of reality has an epistemological and ontological foundation which is built on the phenomenal world, but not in reference to the noumenal world. However, the point where Kant's position differs greatly from African ontology or Epistemology is where he did not believe that things in the noumenal world are in themselves knowable. Kant only believed that things in the phenomenal world are known in themselves, but the noumenal realities are not known in themselves. Africans on the other hand, believe that realities in both phenomenal and noumenal worlds are knowable, and could be known by direct or indirect experience of both worlds. In African context, we can grasp reality that is transcendental, beyond the phenomenal; the reality of absolute entities that is found in the noumenal world. Hence, African conception of reality differs here from Kant's idea of noumenal and phenomenal worlds existing within space and time. In African thought, the human mind grasps reality that exists within and beyond space and time. The human mind grasps reality that is found in the noumenal world, which is beyond space and time. This is where the peak of our work lies. Again, our point of demarcation that reality in noumenal world, which is an entity beyond space and time, is fully grasped, interpreted and systematized in African thought system, will remain senseless for the Kantians. But, for the Africans, there is a sense in our stand. The question now is: How do Africans perceive of reality in the noumenal world, which exists beyond space and time? How is reality that exists within and beyond space and time being grasped in African thought? How do Africans relate to this world of reality within and beyond space and time? In other words, how do Africans make sense out of this senseless world? The answers to the above questions would be fully grasped if we take our discussion back to African logic, which presupposes the foundation of African metaphysics or ontology. Our main task here will be to discuss the basis through which Africans relate, interpret and understand reality that exists beyond space and time, that is, the reality that is found in the noumenal, non-material or transcendental world. Within the framework of African logic, which is systematized on the unification principle and the three valued system, there is a possibility of different realities existing together as complement and not as contradictions. Through the unification principle and three-valued system in African logic, no reality exists independent of the other. In other words, no reality exists in isolation; hence, the realities of both the noumenal and phenomenal worlds are mutually inclusive such that none of them is so relevant, grasped or understood without the other. The reality of the noumenal world is knowable through our knowledge of the phenomenal world, and that the phenomenal world is meaningfully expressed due to its relation with the noumenal world, which serves as missing links. As such, the objects of knowledge, (which Kant classified as the phenomenal and noumenal worlds), in African thought system it is captured as the material and non-material, the physical and transcendental, the natural and supernatural (subnatural) worlds as being described by different African scholars. But, the objects of knowledge in African thought are grasped through the instrumentality of reason, the senses and revelation (faith). And in understanding the objects of knowledge, the knower uses the senses to access the material world directly and the instrument of reason to access the non-material, transcendental world of reality. Hence, for Kant, the two instruments of knowledge that the knower uses can only enable him to access the phenomenal world. But, in African thought system the knower (subject) can use the instruments of reason and experience to access both the noumenal (non-material) and phenomenal (material) worlds. In other words, the noumenal world for Kant is not accessible, but in African context, the noumenal world, which is interpreted as the non-material, transcendental and subnatural world is accessible through the activity of the human mind, which uses reason as FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 its main instrument of penetrating any such reality. Thus, in order to grasp, understand or penetrate such realities in both worlds, an African believes that reason plays a vital role. Reason is considered the instrument in the conceptualization, systematization and harmonization of different forms of reality within and beyond space and time. Other instruments of acquiring knowledge, namely: the senses and revelation (faith) are also considered as being important in African epistemic justification of how knowledge is acquired. But in all, it is reason alone that is capable of penetrating the inner-most nature of reality, within and beyond the objects of experience; and those that are being revealed as transcendental reality. Reason, thus, gathers that which is given through experience directly and also seeks to explain that which is beyond experience, (that is, indirectly given or not given through experience), but which constitute the objects of knowing. Therefore, in African thought system, the transcendental (noumenal) world is not perceive as an abstract, independent and unapproachable world of the divine forces, spirits or gods. It is the world that is being articulated by reason or thought; the place of reason in the acquisition of knowledge is important in the understanding of African science and logic. Thus, in African science and logic, the noumenal (transcendental) world is identified with reason or thought. But, this thought or reason in African ontology or religion becomes an attribute of revelation or faith, of which the human mind gives valid judgment of any data it presents. This shows that there is a direct link between the non-material world and the human mind, and it is actually the human mind through the instrumentality of reason that accesses and determines the nature or form of reality in the non-material world. For the Africans, the entities in the non material, transcendental world are only accessible through the human mind and not through the senses, since they are limited. That is why African thought system has it that to think of reality that is beyond or above the human mind is impossible. As such, we can assign the material world to the senses and the non material, transcendental or subnatural world to the human mind; that it is the human mind that uses its instrument call “reason” to determine, access or interpret what the senses perceive. In other worlds, reason as the instrument of the human mind plays dual role. First, to interpret what is given directly by the senses and second, the human mind uses reason to describe reality in non material, transcendental world. The non-material world is the world of thought, which held sway in African science and logic. That is to say, within the framework of African science and logic, the non-material (noumenal) world is grasped whenever reason has a direct contact with experience, and thus giving rise to “reasoned experience”. But in African ontology and religion, the noumenal world is grasped through the complement of faith and reason, thereby giving rise to “reasoned faith”. Through “reasoned faith”, the reality of the non-material (noumenal) world is intuitively grasped to give rational, meaningful judgment and interpretation of the phenomenal world. But through “reasoned experience”, reality in the material (phenomenal) world is inferentially linked with the noumenal (non-material) world for the purpose of acquiring “reasoned” knowledge. While the former is a direct product of African religion or ontology, which is expressed in African modes of worship, prayer-life and sacrifices, the latter is an immediate product of African science and logic, which is built on a three-valued system and unification principle; a principle that is centered on African “harmonious” system or thought (see Ijiomah. C.”An Excavation of African Logic”; Okeke. J. Outline of African Logic, forth-coming; Mamadu. T. “The Role of Logic in Scientific Methodology: An Integrativist Approach”). The latter position, which is based on “reasoned experience”, is our main concern in this project than the former. African science and logic, thus, which are derived from African thought system maintain their stand that where a reality unfolds itself, either direct or indirect through experience; where a reality is discovered and captured as being true or false, positive or negative, it cannot be reached conclusively that there is no other possible value or a neutral position that can be validly deduced. In other words, African thought has its three-valued and unification principle shown on the plat-form that the human through the instrumentality of reason grasps reality that are both transcendental (non-material) and materially given data of experience. Reason, in grasping that which is given directly or indirectly through experience, seeks to relate and interpret the existing link between and among different worlds' realities. The link or relationship is between the seen and unseen, material and non-material, physical and transcendental, natural and subnatural or supernatural realities, of which there is an intermediary force between them. The intermediary force, on its part contains in itself both elements that are positive, negative and neutral or possible results in a harmonization. These three-valued elements do not exist as contradictories, but only as integrative elements where each of the elements contributes to the well-being of the other. It is in this sense that African conception of reality is wholistic, complete and unitary, where reason and experience must have an integral union in the course of interpreting the different worlds of reality, either as noumenal or phenomenal, transcendental or scientific, non-material or material, as earlier stated above. In this context, experience which is also known as sensation or perception (through the sense organs of sight, smell, touch, feeling and taste) grasps certain objects that are now sent to the human mind, whose main instrument of operation is reason, which now grasps them and gives judgment that constitutes human knowledge. Reason, in some instances, moves beyond that which is given through experience directly to have or grasp reality that is beyond the ordinary experience. Reason, upon its ratiocinative process, grasps and interprets that which is given as products of experience. It also delves into another possible world of reality, which cannot be given to it or experience directly, but without which there is no objective truth or knowledge about reality. At this juncture, it is important to note that the “other possible” world is a world of thought or reason, and thus, no reality is beyond or above the world of thought. On this level, reason or thought is capable of reaching to any form or nature of reality, but it all depends on the circumstance, time and situation in which reason or thought itself moves in search for such realities. Thus, “reasoned experience”, if you may like to call it that way, draws the full meaning of reality that is beyond and above the physical manifestation. It holds a valid judgment or conclusion that behind the meaning of any form of reality, there is yet another meaning that goes beyond or above it. And to trace the originality of ideas or meaning of such a reality, it will eventually lead us in a continuous series of reality, but in a cyclic form. This is in line with our earlier position that in African thought reality exists in a cyclic form such that the transcendental is found revolving round the physical world and vice versa. To this end, the African thought holds its view that reality of both the noumenal and phenomenal worlds, as Kant would prefer to call, is not the abstract world of the spirits or gods that is out there, but it is the world of thought or reason (See Okeke, Systems of African Science, forth-coming). Hence, if the noumenal world or realities are not given in experience, they are given in thought or reason. It is for this reason that the noumenal world of Kant (which is considered as being abstract, meaningless, without any content or form), is not seen as such in African thought. But, the “senseless” noumenal world of Kant is considered as meaningful, sensible and rational world in African thought; that any form of reality including God, the gods, spirits, forces and other higher or transcendental beings can be reached to, be related with and understood through the human thought or reason. 6. Evaluation and Conclusion Kant's notion of space and time is built on the mind's ability to intuit sensible realities. For him, there can never be any object, whether of outer or inner sense, which is not in time. Hence, for him, empirical reality must necessarily be characterized by spatio-temporal relations. Kant in all his contributions on the notion of space and time has made a great impact in the theory of knowledge and in knowledge acquisition. However, Kant did not agree that the possibility of knowledge includes both the empirical and transcendental, material and nonmaterial, seen and unseen realities which is typical of African thought. Kant's view that if there are realities which cannot affect our senses and which cannot belong to empirical reality, they cannot be in space and time is contrary to the African conception of realities. This is because Africans perceive through the workings of the mind, empirical and supra-empirical realities and consider them to exist in space and time as a priori necessary conditions of sensuous intuition which complement each other. That is to say that in African conception, reality comprises of both the physical and transcendental, material and immaterial, visible and invisible beings in a harmonious system or complementary framework. Equally, Kant's view that there is no reason to suppose that space and time apply to things-in-themselves, since for him they are phenomenal so to say, and cannot encroach into the noumenal world. This can be criticized based on the fact that knowing things as they are in themselves also involves phenomena and sensation which paves way to the noumena. This is exactly why Africans are of the view that although the physically perceptible level and the spiritually perceptible level are different levels of conceptualization, they are however regarded as real, since for the Africans, the physical and the spiritual are interrelated and constitute the totality of reality as a whole. In conclusion, there is no doubt that Kant's notion of space and time has remained helpful with regard to our conception and understanding of realities, since they serve as the fundamental frames of reference through which objects of knowledge acquisition are grasped and apprehended. All objects of perception according to Kant are necessarily located within space and time. In African conception of reality, however, a conclusion is reached that every reality whether physical or spiritual is believed to exist and can be known through the mind's activity in its perceptible nature. This is precisely where the African conception of reality truly differs from Kant's notion of space and time, which anchor only on sensuous intuitions, sensible and physical realities. Thus, while Kant limits the inquiry into the notion of space and time, in connection with realities, to sensibility, understanding and reasoning, Africans go beyond that to employ extra-sensory, supra-empirical and extra-ratiocinative means in the conception of realities Works Cited Abanuka, B. A New Essay on African Philosophy. Nsukka: Spiritan Publications, 1994. Anyanwu, K.C. and Ruch, E.A. African Philosophy. Rome: Catholic Book Agency, 1984. Asouzu, I. The Method and Principles of Complementary Reflection in and Beyond African Philosophy. Calabar: University of Calabar press, 2004. Edeh, E. Towards Igbo Metaphysics. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1983. Ijiomah, C.O. “Some Epistemological Tools with which Africans Relate to their Realities”.Time, Reality and Meaning, 4:75-87. . . . Modern Logic: A Systematic Approach to the Study of Logic. Owerri: A.P. Publications, 1995. FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 . . . Humanizing Epistemology .Owerri: A.P. Publications, 1996. Kant, I. Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. (Trans.) Norman K.S. Canada: The Macmillan Publishers, 1964. Mamadu, T. “The Role of Logic to Scientific Methodology: An Integravist Approach”. Paper presented to Graduate Research Forum, Department of Philosophy, University of Calabar, Nov. 2011. Mbiti, J.S. African Religions and Philosophy. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1969. Mbuy, T.H. Understanding Witchcraft Problem in the Life of an African: A Case Study of Cameroon. Owerri: High Speed Printers, 1992. Njoku, F. Essays on African Philosophy, Thought and Theology. Enugu: Snaap Press, 2002. Okere, T. Philosophy, Culture and Society in Africa. Nsukka: Afro-orbis Publications, 2005. Okeke, J. Systems of African Science. Forth-coming. . . . Outline of African Logic and Numeric System. Forth-coming Okolo, C.B. What is African Philosophy: A Short Introduction. Enugu: Freeman Press, 1987. Onunwa, U.R. “The Individual and Community” in African Traditional Religion and Society, Makind Quarterly. XXXIV: 249-260. Ozumba, G.O. A Concise Introduction to Epistemology. Calabar: Ebenezer Printing Press, 2001. Tempels, P. Bantu Philosophy. Paris: Presence Africains, 1959. Uduigwomen, A.F. (ed). Foot Marks to Landmarks on African Philosophy. Calabar: Joechrisam Publications, 2010. 191 192 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 MENTAL SURGERY: ANOTHER LOOK AT THE IDENTITY PROBLEM Dedicated to late Prof. C.S. Momoh , a thunderous philosopher, on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of his transition to the world of forms By Jonathan C. Okeke Doctoral Candidate University of Calabar Nigeria Email: 1. Introduction Why does the same person continue to exist overtime, despite bodily changes? How do we know that we are today, the persons we were yesterday? What constitutes the person, is it the body, brain, soul or the memory? Are we going to survive our bodily death or is death the end thereof? And most importantly, Why am I me instead of not me? This very question may appear superficial at surface value but deep down, it is the basis of genetic diversity. Even farther than that, it is the explanation of one and many, of here and there, and of you and me. Were we all the same, then we would not talk of we, but I. In a world of “I”, who am I? To this I respond, void! But there is a long standing argument as to what constitutes me. In other words, what makes me a person? Is it the mind or the body? This problem was created early in the history of philosophy (Omoregbe, 183: Moreland,118-119) and down the line, so many years later, it is shadowing the application of personal identity. Most writers on this issue say the metaphysical soul is the person. They generally run into Ryle's category mistake,(Ryle,123) as well as the mistake of treating personhood as(in Leibnitz' term) a windowless monad(Russell,533). According to this view, bodily death is not the end of one's personal existence. This dualist view endorsed by Plato, Descartes and many others (Mautner, 417), is that we are a union of material body and nonmaterial soul. The body and the soul are different substances, one physical, the other mental, and each can exist without the other. It is the soul which gives us our distinctive identity (Descartes, 280-286), and it FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 does not perish when the body dies. We continue to exist in some nonmaterial realm. Others say it is the psychological mind or the memory. According to this criterion, it is the continuity of the mind's content rather than the body which ensures personal identity. We are the same persons we were yesterday because we have overlapping thoughts and memories from the past to the present. This is roughly the view expressed by John Locke, the first philosopher to systematically investigate the problem of personal identity (Furman and Avila, 146). Others include, Thomas Reid and David Hume to mention a few. There is yet another criterion which I shall here classify as quasi metaphysical. This is a view held by philosophers like Anthony Quinton which ultimately combines both the metaphysical and the psychological. It states that the disembodied thoughts and memories are the bastion of personal identity. This does not suggest the soul itself- a spiritual substance is the criterion of personal identity. Rather, the soul's contents i.e. the nonmaterial thoughts and memories are the criterion (157-162). This view beats imagination. For all we know, philosophers might here be raising the dust only to complain they cannot see. The fourth criterion is the one I shall here classify as the survivalist criterion. Philosophers like Derek Parfit, and partly, Daniel Dennett espouse this view. This view reframes the question of personal identity to personal survival. With the pile of thought experiments which includes fission (dividing one person into two or more)and fusion(fusing two or more individuals into one person). These experiments are so complex that a definite answer becomes difficult such that we are tempted to abandon the question of personal identity. Promoters of this, hold that the important thing is the survival of the person, notwithstanding how many times over (Furman and Avila, 146). This means by implication that one man can have multiple identities. This is perhaps another case of philosophers making a mountain out of a dunghill. The fifth criterion is the one called the physicalist. Bernard Williams is one of the very few who entertain this view in his famous maxim that “wherever my body goes, there I go”(154-156). The physical criterion holds that either the whole body or just the brain is the criterion of personal identity. We are the same persons we were because it is the same body or at least, the body is a continuation of the same body of yesterday. Interestingly, this is the view I advocate in this paper, only 195 196 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 that my theory covers the parts of the body which are directly perceivable. In other words, physical substances like the brain are not inclusive in this criterion of personal identity. In this paper, I shall attempt to refute contrary arguments and then open above all, a new chapter to the discussion i.e. that identity is not a psychological or metaphysical property, it is a social property. It is not an individual-based judgment; it is not the Cartesian internal resolution or conviction (Ozumba,86-87). It is a sociological concept and it is a network. As a result, if we insist on the duality of a human being, then personal identity is to the body, and wherever it is, there lies identity. In doing this I shall help my position with arguments and clear analogies, so that understanding of these issues will not be smuggled from the hind door in an attempt to evade the examination of logic. 2. Mental Surgery and Identity Problem Episode 1: It was sometime in February 2005, I was seated in front of the jam packed hall in Ebonyi State University, listening and watching that god of a man, Prof. C. S. Momoh. He was a guest lecturer from the University of Lagos and I think he titled the paper “The Demiurge of Democracy and the Nnemmiri of Moralism”. I sat dazed and totally mesmerized by the depth of his knowledge. I went home with the question, “supposing I had this man's mind”? A few months later, Prof. C.S. Momoh was diagnosed with a terminal heart disease. He was going to live for another three months and he will die. What if I inherit this man's mind? I picked a pen and wrote him. “I sincerely share your pains Prof; but I think it would be a sin to humanity should you take your mind to the grave to perish alongside your body. You could give it out. You could donate it to me”. He wrote back; he would not part with his mind, it was his identity- his very self, his essence. “Would you rather wish your essence to perish?” I wrote back. The next I saw was an invitation from the famous Professor. We were going to talk extensively on that matter. Three days or so we dwelt on it inside his University of Lagos Office, he was the Faculty Dean. I never heard from him again, until one week before his death. He called to know if I had professionals that would conduct the surgery. Yes I think so. Who are you that is thinking? He asked. A creative and imaginary Jonathan. I responded. FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 Who do others think you are? A plain, nameless Jonathan. Which is your true identity? He asked. I had no immediate answer. In any case, I called Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and some surgeons said they could perform the mind transplant. In two days, I was lying side by side with the adorable Prof. C.S. Momoh inside the same theatre, about to receive the priceless gift of many years of intellectual acquisition. I think the very last words he spoke to me were as follows: You are sure about this son? Yeah! After this transplant are we going to remain whom we are? Of course, I will remain the plain, sweet Mr. Jonathan and you will remain the old, wise Prof. C.S Momoh. They sedated him out of consciousness and I think the last thing I saw was the syringe. They must have cut open our heads or wherever our minds were located, harvested them and made a switch, His mind for my body and mine for his body. Episode II: From here onwards the entity with the body of Mr. Jonathan and the mind of Prof. C.S Momoh will be called Venus while the body of Prof. C.S Momoh and the mind of Mr. Jonathan will be called Sergitarius. It happened that the shock which trailed the surgery affected their short term memories. When Sergitarius left the hospital in company of those that described themselves as his wife and children, he was in deep confusion but remained calm. He was visited by a strange, new set of friends- elderly generation, who addressed him as Professor. His body felt heavy and weak. But I am only 20 years old, what is all this? What is all this talk about my heart by this old woman. That dude they say is my last child is even older than me! Sergitarius checked the mirror and was terrified. What! I know this man. He must get to University of Lagos at once. He needed to clarify something. When the driver pulled up in front of Faculty of Arts building, a few students gathered: Prof we have been waiting for your class. “Prof. won't be teaching today “The driver said”. Hold on a second “Sergitarius said”, take me to your class, I will teach. So what course is this? Where did we stop? They say it was Sergitarius' worst lecture. When he finally left the class and was about to enter the Deans Office, he felt a sharp pain in his heart and fell down. The world was turning around. Poor Jonathan “Sergitarius muttered” is this the way it ends? He was convinced that it was Jonathan who was dying but the encircling crowd kept shouting, “Prof; are you okay?” Prof. was not okay. He died. Episode III: When Venus woke up days later, he was not in Lagos, he was not even in his luxurious home. He was in a house that lacked virtually all basic amenities. It was also in an unfamiliar country-side. The woman that acted as his mother was not even as old as his wife. Folks who came around as friends were kids, damn! And what is this Jonathan – Jonathan thing, it's annoying. Did they not know I'm a reputable Professor at Unilag? But my body feels light and strong- I like it. With this kind of new vitality I could live for another 80 years or so. I want to introduce myself to these people, in case they do not know me and find out what this scenario is all about. My name is Prof. C.S. Momoh, Dean Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos. Can someone explain what this situation is all about? “Venus demanded”. Eyes began to roll around in silence. “So this is a case of kidnapping – eeh? “Venus spoke again”. (Venus narrates) In days to come my freedom was further restricted. They kept calling me Jonathan, only this time they added Professor. Villagers gathered everyday,to listen to me teach. They marvel at my knowledge but they just won't let me go. One day, I was reading a newspaper and I saw a caption: “Prof. C.S. Momoh Dies of Cardiac Arrest”. The media and their rumors “I said with a smile” I'm still alive. On a second thought I said silently “so this is about kidnap for life”. Angrily, I challenged a woman that acted as an aunt: “just let me go!” Go where Joe? This is your home and we care for you, notwithstanding your condition. Condition? I thought quietly. There was sincerity in her eyes. Is it possible that something is wrong with me? “I asked silently”. In days to come, this thought occupied me: one day, I saw myself in the mirror and to my chagrin, I remembered one named Jonathan. If this is Jonathan indeed, where am I? (this thought experiment is undertaken in supposition that there is such an entity called mind, however, the existence of mind is denied in this paper) 3. The Argument Many supporters of identity as a psychological thing rally on one point, i.e. that a person is a thing which thinks (Locke, 150: Reid, 319: Hume, 326:). This means that personhood or selfhood is tied to the brain or mind, whatever. In this way, it would be a psychological thing. A person would simply be a mind. My response to this point is that such a conception of person is ill-founded and wrong. Person is not an internal but an external thing. It is a social concept not a psychological one. That I am what I think I am is socially meaningless for one cannot talk of person without the society. Without the society, there is no person. It may make a little sense to me when I say that I'm what I think I am, but how far does this go? How do I know that I am a person? I do not know of my person simply because I think I am a person. Supposing I am the only thinking thing in the world and I think I'm a person; would I, at all times, be sure of this thought? What evidence will I have? Obviously, my much celebrated thinking ability is apt to become deluding to me. For the definition of self to be meaningful it must make sense to others, because person is meaningful only in relation to the society. It is in the community of persons that a person is identified. The identity of my person is in the eyes of others and their identities in my eyes. Just the same way I cannot see my eyes or ears, but others see them, although, it may be obvious to me I have them. Identity is a differentiating factor. It is a means by which we differentiate one from the rest. One therefore, cannot differentiate himself from himself. It must be from others. Thus, identity does not involve the internal mind but the external body. We must understand that “I am what I think I am” or “where I think I am” is a delusion. The identity of a person is not what he thinks but what others see. That is why in politics, those who think they are the best candidates never get elected because others (voters) may not see them as such. I may be convinced that I am a criminal but if others do not see me as such, I'm not. Similarly, no matter how good I think I am, if others see me as a criminal; that becomes my identity. In our analogy, Venus thinks he is Prof. C.S. Momoh and Sergitarius thinks he is Mr. Jonathan but others see them differently. Although, Sergitarius could not perform as a Professor and Venus could not perform as Mr. Jonathan, what it means is not that others are wrong about their true identities. However, what it means is that both of them are not normal again. But Venus retains his identity as Mr. Jonathan and Sergitarius retains his identity as Prof. C.S. Momoh. It does not matter what they think of themselves. It is the other that sorts the identity of a person. That is why in court sessions, the judges look for testimonies from others to convict or acquit an individual, because we cannot know the self except through others. Therefore, I am not what I think I am but what others say I am. But whatever the other says I am stems from his perception of my physical self because he cannot access the intangible, non-existent mind. The conviction which every man has of his identity, as far back as his memory reaches needs no aid of philosophy to strengthen it; and no philosophy can weaken it.(Reid, 318). This idea of memory as a proof for one's awareness of his identity is shared by Hume (326) and Locke (317). Great words from Thomas Reid no doubt, but most times linguistic beauty does not enforce facts. Was this memory not a possession of the brain? Is the brain not a part of the physical body? Were these memories not about the interaction between a person and other persons? Supposing mind exists, and one's mind was harvested at birth and thrown into void for 100 years, on retrieval, would it have memories? I believe this grounds the argument about memory both as a criterion of identity and as a property of the intangible mind. A person is something indivisible and is what Leibnitz calls a monad (Reid, 319). Reid obviously borrowed the wrong concept. The concept of person is indivisible so long as it rejects dualism. Otherwise, A person is an interactive social being. He cannot be a windowless monad because his identity is not self-contained, it is a network. Without the other, a person cannot be identified. Without identity, there can be no person. The concept of person is meaningful only in the social network and that is where persons draw their identities. A ship of war, which has successively changed her anchors, her tackle, her sails, her masts, her planks and her timbers while she keeps the same name, is the same (Reid, 321). Reid borrowed this dismembering argument from Hume (325). This argument loses pedigree on two scores: Gilbert Ryle calls it a category mistake to assume that the parts put together is different from the real object (Dupre 329). Secondly and more seriously, let us try and apply this Reid's analogy to a human. It will give us a clearer picture since the personhood and identity that occupy us here are those of humans. A man who has successively changed his legs, his arms, his tummy, his skin colour, his shoulders and his head, while he keeps the same name, is he still the same person? Obviously not! This shows that the correct definition of person is the body we perceive. In our thought experiment, we notice that Sagittarius was convinced he was Mr. Jonathan until he saw the mirror. And Venus was also convinced he was Prof. C.S. Momoh until he saw the mirror. Now the question is, when Sagittarius slumped and died, was it Mr. Jonathan or Prof. C.S. Momoh that died? To this I answer; it was the famous Prof. C.S Momoh who died not Mr. Jonathan. Suppose I wholly lose the memory of some parts of my life, beyond a possibility of retrieving them, so that perhaps I shall never be conscious of them again; yet am I not the same person that did those actions, had those thoughts that I once was conscious of, though I have now forgot them? (Locke, 318). To this I ask: if memory is the rock bottom proof of one's identity (Locke, 316: Reid, 320: Hume, 326) then, how can one retain his identity when it is lost? This shows that the deranged fellows who lost the memories in their lives have also lost their identities. But this is, in reality wrong because the mad men in our midst still retain their identities except that they are not normal fellows, in other words, their brains are malfunctioning just like an arm or an eye could malfunction. In this way, Venus was thought to be abnormal but his identity remained in tact. An oak that grows from a small plant to a large tree, is still the same oak; though there be not one particle of matter or figure of its parts the same. An infant becomes a man, and is sometimes fat, sometimes lean, without any change in his identity (Hume, 325). What Hume was trying to show was that since the physical properties of the oak tree change and the oak still retains its identity, what constitutes its identity must be beyond the physical. But it is either Hume promotes animism (the idea that objects have souls) or he supports the physical criterion that the so-called changes which the human body undergoes is actually a natural continuation of the same body. In either case, he ends in a dilemma. But supposing we accept the Humean position that the physical change, then according to Quine, “it would be agreeable to be driven, by these considerations, to belief in a changeless and therefore nonmaterial soul as the vehicle of my persisting self-identity”(65). But we should also be eager to embrace Heraclitus' parallel problem regarding the river: “You cannot bathe in the same river twice, for new waters are ever flowing upon you”( Copleston, 39). If it is argued that the human body keeps changing, then this constant change is much more peculiar to the soul; for we notice that a man's reaction to a given circumstance yesterday varies from his reaction to the same circumstance today. This we very often explain away as maturity. But what we call daily maturity of the soul is a serious form of change. In fact it is argued by some and validly too, that the human soul does not just undergo change but what can be called soul reshuffling: … there is a constant flow of souls through this body, each psychologically similar to the preceding, as there is a constant flow of water molecules down the blue (Perry, 340). If the advocates of the soul identity claim that the soul is the person, then, this is why we are not the same persons we were a few moments ago. A juvenile soul is different from an adult soul; an adult soul in mid-forties is different from an elderly soul in mid-nineties. If a juvenile soul occupies an adult body; it will not affect the identity of the adult but it can be said that the adult is not normal. Supposing souls exist, then they must be of many categories; weak, strong, wise, foolish, senile, vivacious, and so on. Like a river, they flow through the body, each taking a turn. Otherwise, how do we explain the nature of a juvenile who later became an adult. Can we say, his soul has attained maturation? How can an intangible, nonmaterial soul grow biologically? Therefore, we see that the soul is not changeless as proponents assume. On this score, the permanence argument of the soul or the metaphysical criterion collapses. In the “A dialogue on Personal Identity and immortality” (341), John Perry shares the views that the notion of the identity of a nonmaterial, unobservable, unextended soul seemed to make no sense at all. This he said, is one reason such souls cannot be what we are judging about, when we judge as to personal identity. Bodily identity, he goes further, at least makes sense. Also, he continues, (338) if identity of person consisted in identity of a nonmaterial, unobservable soul as they claim, then judgment of personal identity of the sort we make everyday whenever we greet a friend or avoid a pest are really judgments about such souls… but if such judgments were really about souls, they would all be groundless and without foundation. For we have no direct method of observing sameness of soul, and so on. However, he concludes, our judgment about persons are not all simply groundless and silly, so we must not be judging of nonmaterial souls after all. The quasi-metaphysical criterion which suggests that personal identity is neither dependent on the body or on the brain, insists that the person can exist or survive without the body and even without the soul. In the words of Quinton, a strong advocate of this view, “ All I have tried to show is that there is no necessary connection between the soul as a series of mental states linked by character and memory and any particular continuing human body”(161). What constitute the personal identity are the contents of the soul- the nonmaterial thoughts and memories. But this is bizarre, because taken as supposed, any substance whatsoever, even my own excreta would qualify as a person. All I need to do, is to assign some special Quintonian abilities to it which will enable it exist independent of a body and a brain. Again, the possibility of thoughts and memories existing independent of both body and brain is not only unthinkable but just a speculative pastime. It is however, the survivalist criterion which attempts a shift from the original approach to a solitary one. Derek Parfit and Daniel Dennett champion this course. Both Derek and Dennett's cases are science fiction bizarre which try to solve the problems resulting from thought experiments. They established a point that the only way to escape is to by-pass the question of personal identity and focus on personal survival. Identity in the long run will depend on what they call psychological continuity(Partif,163-168: Dennett, 326-333). The basic weakness of this view is that one person having multiple identities is possible, as in when the thoughts and memories of one man is transferred to two or more bodies. We reject this on the ground that identity as a social concept will lose its meaning. It will now be possible for every body to become or qualify as every body in the long run. In moving from personal identity to personal survival, our ultimate goal was lost. Thus, to consider this criterion at all is to miss the point. 4. Conclusion Identity is what makes a person different from another. In all the studies about the mind, there has been found not a single mark of peculiarity. But in human bodies we can talk of the finger prints, the eyes, the vocal vibration and so on. Taken in this light, Sergitarius can never be Mr. Jonathan and Venus can never be Prof. C.S. Momoh. They remain who they were. One basic criticism against the physical criterion is the one repeated by Quine in the following words; Undergoing change as I do, how can I be said to continue to be myself? Considering that a complete replacement of my mate- rial substance takes place every few years, how can I be said to continue to be I for more than such a period at best?(65). To this we offer a simple answer; my new body is a natural continuation of my old body. Even Aristotle explains this with the analogy of the acorn which grows into the oak tree( Barnes,95 ). For him, there is the oak in the acorn. In any case, the argument has always been, which one comes first? Which one matters most? Which one is me first before the other? My spirit or my body? Supposing I say it is my spirit, then I shall plainly follow Descartes into solipsism (Ozumba, 86). For in proving my identity through the corgito, I irrevocably close the door to the identities of others. And if I'm only sure of my identity, it means therefore, that I can never be sure of the identities of others. But suppose again that my body comes first, then primarily, my identity becomes something assessable to others and theirs to me, and this is what identity truly consists of. Clyde Warrior writing about the status of the contemporary Amerindians states; “…we are poor in spirit because we are not free”(189). Who are we? And why am I part of we instead of just me? This is because the individual is sorted in the group, she cannot be sorted from herself, his identity is in the eyes of others. But here, I do not subscribe to the dichotomy between mind and body. And so the question as to which comes first or which is the basic does not even arise. The theory of the duality of man, as old as it is, and as uncontested as it has been does not make it correct. Just like the geocentric conception that the earth is the center of the universe , uncontested for 1,800 years could not make it correct. The very idea that my favorite teacher, Prof. G. O. Ozumba can be broken into two distinct parts is in itself, absurd. This great error arose in philosophy I think, due to the complacent move to give a level playing ground to both physics and metaphysics, physical and spiritual, corporeal and incorporeal and of course, known and unknown. Thus having reached the erroneous conclusion that a person is made up of both mind and body, we chose the mind as the superior part and as such, the bastion of personal identity. This terrible choice is not essentially based on the flimsy reasons we give, but follows the normal human weakness of granting enormous power and of course, superiority to things beyond our comprehension. We fear God and say He is the Almighty not because we know this to be true but because we have no knowledge of Him. We very often conclude that what belongs to our friends is better than what we have- I desire my neighbor's wife or husband and wish she or he were mine because I assume she or he is a better spouse. We desire what we do not have and scorn what we have. The obvious is false, the uncanny is true. What we know is often dismissed as false and what we do not know accepted as true. The tapestry of our knowledge is often regarded as inferior while the forest of our ignorance is declared superior. Following this bizarre pattern, we conclude that the body which is obvious, which we know for certain is inferior and the mind which does not even exist is superior. It is our bodies which feels joy, hate, anger and indeed, all the emotions that attest to existence. It is our bodies which walk upon the earth, toil, communicate, bear names, come together to form people. It is our bodies that are called father, mother, brother, daughter and so on. It is our bodies that are celebrated when they triumph, rewarded when they excel, punished when they offend the law. When people come together, we differentiate their identities from their bodies, and nobody is asked to show his mind or its content. It is the body that is unique. I do not dispute the reality of memories, but memories do not stand on their own, they must be possessed, in other words by the brain and never the mind which is a mere figment of thought. Brains however, are internal parts of the body and so, cannot stand on their own. The contents of the brain are therefore, attributes of the body. The body therefore, is here defined as the person. P.F. Strawson defines “person” as “a type of entity such that both predicates ascribing states of consciousness and predicates ascribing corporeal characteristic, a physical situation, etc. are equally applicable to single individual of a single type”(102). It is after this demarcation, that philosophers finding they could not define mind let alone locate it, inexorably award it a place of reverence in their theory. In line with this, Herbert Feigl like many others declares without justification that the mental is the basic and underlying reality while the physical merely refers to this mental reality (474-475). But we have conclusively in this paper, raised a point of objection to the duality of person and to the misplacement of this. Works Cited Copleston, Fredrick. 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Individuals. London: Methuen & Co., 1959 Warrior, Clyde. “We Are Not Free”. Furman and Avila ed. California: Mayfield,2000, pp.188-191 Willard, V. O. Quine. From a Logical Point of View. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Harvard, 1961 Williams, Bernard. “The Self and the Future”. Furman and Avila ed. California: Mayfield,2000, pp. 154-156 207 208 FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 Book Review. Title: PHILOSOPHY AND METHOD OF INTEGRATIVE HUMANISM Author: Godfrey Ozumba Discipline: Philosophy Category: Epistemology Publisher: Jochrisam Publishers, 2010 ISBN: 978-051-231-5 Pages: 233 Reviewer: Agu N. Sunday Lecturer and Doctoral Candidate, Cross River State University of Science and Technology Calabar, Nigeria. Email: It is the occupation of philosophers to discover ways by which our knowledge is acquired, the depth of our knowledge, and the standards or criteria by which we can reliably judge the truth or falsity of our knowledge. Often, we are apt to accept without questioning, what we think we know about our environment and indeed the whole universe. Sometimes, we are shuddered to learn that what we thought was certain are proved to be erroneous or false. When this scenario repeats itself, we tend to become doubtful or suspicious to all our claims to certainty. When for instance, a teacher we have enormous faith in, comes along to confess that all he's been teaching us are spurious theories because he did not want us to know the truth, we might begin to doubt not only this man and his theories but other men, their theories and even ourselves. In this discomfort, we would ultimately begin to wonder what kind of evidence and condition we would need to help us discover the states of truth and falsity. Indeed, we would begin to ask the sort of questions which, to this day, have landed philosophers in a postmodern impasse, in attempts to develop a theory of knowledge. The stunning revelation however, is that different theories of knowledge are actually mere individual opinions elevated to the level of theories. Surprisingly, none of such theories however spurious or absurd has gone without diehard apostles. Popkin and Stroll state: No theory or belief has been so absurd that there has not been someone who believed it, and argued for it. The history of science is replete with theories that have been thoroughly believed by the wisest men and were then thoroughly discredited. What this means is that knowledge is a multi-layered phenomenon, each step signifying growth and progress rather than an outright end. This is, apparently, the beauty of our enterprise. Professor Ozumba has in this book made a stunning contribution concerning the future of philosophy and epistemology in particular. He dramatizes a way out of the postmodern crisis by just like Kant, calling for the recognition of the elements of the corporeal and the incorporeal but quite unlike Kant, giving epistemic ontological status to the incorporeal. In doing this, he restored and retained the Foundationalist flare lost in the postmodern crisis as well as plotted a new and veritable course to future philosophical research. In today's world where everything is defined in relation to man and where man is at a loss as per what should drive his relationship to mankind and other beings; in addition to the crisis facing humanity from this disordered relationship, I personally think that Integrativism as a theory will be pivotal in determining philosophy's uncertain future. Integrativism: Conceptualization, Philosophy and Method Perhaps I shall begin by looking at the conceptualization of Integrativism. Ozumba says that the inspiration for this concept is drawn from three principal dimensions: the mathematical, the scientific and the sociological (113). This means of course, that the functionality of his main concept “integration” in these three contexts was borrowed and localized in the structure of philosophy. In his words: We are hoping that the adoption and application of integrative humanism in philosophy will aid us in achieving configurational, thematic, linguistic, ontological and epistemological integration (13). He goes ahead to add that this concept when properly constructed to fit the framework of philosophy can be intrinsic, extrinsic, vertical, horizontal, connective, classificatory and regulative. Although, he did not border to explain these, one can rightly see that what he means is that as a philosophy, Integrativism will yield a broad theoretic base and as a method, it will engender comprehensive approach to doing future philosophy. In the mathematical dimension, Ozumba indicates that he derived the concept integration from its mathematical root, in this case called integer (11). By definition, integer is any number that is a natural number (the counting numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, …), a negative of a natural number (-1, - 2, -3, -4, …), or zero. What this means is that integer is a whole number that is not a fraction. What is perhaps derivative here is that a large proportion of mathematics has been devoted to integers because of their immediate application to real situations. It follows therefore, that as a method, Integrativism will translate the success in mathematics i.e. immediate application to real situations for speedy solution in philosophy. From the scientific dimension, one can see the power and efficiency of integrated circuits. This is a tiny electronic circuit used to perform a specific electronic function, such as amplification; it is usually combined with other components to form a more complex system. In large scale integration (LSI), as many as 5000 circuit elements such as resistors and transistors are combined in a square of silicon measuring about 1.3cm (.5in) on a side. Hundreds of these integrated circuits can be arrayed on silicon water 8 to 15cm (3 to 6in) in diameter. Large-scale integration can produce a silicon chip with millions of circuit elements. Chips are assembled into packages containing external electrical leads to facilitate insertion into printed circuit boards for interconnection with other circuits or component. During recent years, the functional capability of identical integrated circuits (ICS) has steadily increased, and the cost of the functions they perform has steadily decreased. This has produced revolutionary changes in electronic equipment – vastly increased functional capability and reliability combined with great reductions in size, physical complexity and power consumption (Ozumba, 12). What is derivable here is that computer technology and other electronic devices have benefited greatly in the form of simplicity, reliability, speed and capacity. Ozumba therefore reckons that the attempt in Integrativism is to adapt these electronic operations and make them work in the realm of philosophical methodology (12). Here, the interconnection of circuits would become the interconnection of philosophers or their philosophies or different methods with the goal of finding not just a common ground but that which will solve all philosophical riddles and help philosophers to discover truth. From this, he enthusiastically declares, “We are sure to experience some form of breakthrough. As many good heads remain better than one …” (12). This shows how much passion Ozumba has and the faith that Integrativism will do for philosophy what integrated circuits does for science. The third element is cultural integration found in sociology or the social sciences dimension. Ozumba maintains that “cultural integration is an aid to explanation, an aid to description, an aid to innovation, and a force in social cohesion” (13). What this implies is that where this could not be obtained a breakdown of peace and stagnation of progress will follow. What is derivative here is that cultural integration engenders functional interdependence and is based on logical and meaningful coherence. Thus, cultural integration entails incorporation of disparate ethnic or religious elements of the population into a unified society, providing equality of opportunity for all members of that society. In such a society, an individual's attainment of an education, access to any public or private facility, opportunity for employment and ownership of property are neither denied nor limited by reason of race, religion, or national origin. A good example is the American society where the minority races especially blacks are integrated into the white dominated society. Ozumba reckons that when this is translated as a philosophy or its method, it will bring about a breakthrough in the difficult areas of philosophy. On the whole the author surmises that “from this mathematical, scientific and sociological background insight and impetus can be drawn for the development of the theory and method of integrative humanism. As a Philosophy Ozumba defines Integrativism “As a ratio-spiritocentric approach in understanding human existence, interpreting human affairs, and a rigorous philosophical attitude which takes into consideration, the spiritual and the mundane dimensions of human existence and reality” (22). This implies that Integrativism is a method which fuses the elements of empiricism and rationalism (spiritual) in studying reality. It is, in a way, likeable to Kant's synthetic apriori where the elements of the physical and transcendental were considered. The difference however, is that while Kant brings together the synthetic method from the phenomenal sphere of reality and the apriori method from the neumenal sphere, Ozumba's attempt is to amalgamate all known methods and approaches in rational, transcendental and empirical realms. Integrative humanism therefore, becomes all encompassing. In Ozumba's words, “my humanism is all embracing” (17). Thus one might describe Integrativism as Ozumba's Kantian reconciliation. However, this description can only be metaphorical for Ozumba does not precisely advocate a reconciliation as Kant did but something more analogous to a combination with synthesis as the ultimate goal. For Ozumba; Philosophy has continued in an unending spree of agreements and disagreements, revolution and Counter-revolutions, thesis and anti-thesis but integrative humanism emphasizes more the method of synthesis (24) From the foregoing therefore, it is partly the need to salvage philosophy from a position of conflict that inspires Integrativism. He avers that philosophy and its methods have reached the end of the road in post modernism (24) where all philosophies and methods are pulled together into an enormous conflict out of which the only rule that survives is “anything goes”. But this rule is anarchistic (Ozumba, 36). Anarchism for him cannot be the ending point of philosophy. It is neither a veritable method nor a convenient philosophy. Thus according to Ozumba: Integrative humanism as a philosophy adopts a guided but open attitude in approaching issues of knowledge as they affect humans directly or indirectly. This attitude takes a serious view that all parts of reality constituting matter and sprit, the plant and animal world as an integrated ecosystem of which no part can be isolated without dire consequences (23). In other words, Integrativism as a philosophy attempts to study reality from the perspectives of both the physical and the transcendental. And as a method, it tries to reach a synthesis from the conglomeration of all known approaches in the study of reality. Philosophy should as the author says be an integrative work using the provisions of raw materials supplied by all fields of human endeavour (23). And this is the reason why philosophy plays the role of “gad flying” other disciplines. Integrativism as a philosophy is saying that reality is physical and transcendental, corporeal and incorporeal. Man as an entity for instance, is composed of both physical and spiritual aspects. Ozumba describes him as a being unto eternity (24, 44). This means that his existence continues from physical to spiritual. He is not spatiotemporal or bound within space and time. He might as well be a demigod or the demiurge, inferior to the supreme God but godlike- the producer of imperfection and evil. Ozumba did not suggest this of course. What he states is that ultimate reality can be found in both the physical and the transcendental realms. This means a direct contradiction of most of the classical views. Plato sees the things in the physical realm as mere shadows of their real versions in the transcendental realm. Aristotle on the other hand sees ultimate reality as residing in the physical realm. The disagreement as to where reality resides has been a perennial problem for philosophy. A view amply expressed by Bradley and Russell who felt that the discrepancy between what appears and what is real had become a problem in philosophy leading him to ask “is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?” Ozumba sees appearance and reality as a problem resulting from the division of truth into the halves (23), one half in the transcendental realm and the other half in the physical realm. To solve this problem each half has to be harvested and merged together in the form of synthesis. Thus, reality resides in both realms but in a fragmented form. This, I shall like to dub “fragmentalism” the view that ultimate reality is not one complete whole in its natural state, it exists in two fragments residing in the two separate realms of knowledge. Ozumba's philosophy of Integrativism therefore, suggests that to reach ultimate reality in its fullness, the physical and the transcendental realms must be considered. The method of course, would have to be Integrativism. As a Method Integrativism as a philosophical method is an instrument for conducting research from a broad based spectrum. Because all known methods are limited, Integrativism fusions the good elements in all. Ozumba says it will be synthetic, analytic, eclectic, syncretic, complementary and agglutinistic (38). These, on the whole mean borrowing, networking, sifting, unmasking and gluing of ideas or facts together. This has to involve a great deal of coherence and tolerance in order to bring new understanding to bear on old facts. This method demands that a researcher understands the kernel of different methods, the weaknesses and strengths of these methods, so that he can weld together their strengths in studying a given reality. This implies that he must first of all seek to understand the subject of his study by finding out its physical and transcendental aspects, so that the approach will be broad based and not one sided or rift with bias and narrow-mindedness. Ozumba explains that researches in the past have been truncated by idealism/realism, spiritualism/materialism demarcation which makes it difficult for philosophers to be open-minded. He therefore suggests a spiritocentric and materialistic approach (39) which considers both the material and the non material as valid realms of knowledge. In his words: The idea here is not to restrict research potentialities and the explorative ranges, but to equip us with the mindset that will liberate, deepen, balance and enhance our capacity for a broadened enquiry (39). In this case, Integrativism as a method strikes off all brackets enclosing one method and one realm against the other and emphasizes the importance of exercising sensitive openness in the process of inquiry. Ozumba maintains that the essence of his philosophy includes marrying theory with practice in a way that will yield both earthly and eternal happiness. His major assumption therefore, is that the “ought” of theory should imply the “can” of praxis (45), praxis been the practical application of theory. Every theory has something to offer and every theory has a context where it works. What integrative humanism does with other theories therefore, is to, at each point, fix a round peg in a round hole and a square peg in a square hole. To establish what is true or false and what is right or wrong, Integrativism engenders us to consider the earthly ends and the eternal ends. In the case of knowledge one must find which is superior. And in the case of values, one must choose which is better under the FILOSOFIA THEORETICA VoI. 1 No. 1 Dec. 2011 circumstance. Truth like values springs from the physical realm unto the transcendental realm – both are not fixed, nor are they limited in time and space, they are both part of the continuum of man's existence. The earthly truth and values sustain us so that we might qualify to attain their transcendental counterparts. Integrativism despite combining the elements of other methods remains a single method and does not proclaim the demise of others. It allows for a hundred flowers to bloom in order that the effective would be separated from the ineffective and the best of all harnessed to make better the process of philosophical inquiry. This world is a stage of a process which ends in eternity. Thus Integrativism as both a philosophy and a method is a process which has its terminal point only in eternity. The truth of this world is not enough; it must be complemented with the truth of the spiritual realm. Knowledge like values is both as deep as this world and as high as heaven. What decides what stands as epistemically true or morally right is solution to a given problem. In this way, Integrativism exhibits the properties of Pragmatism. This method, Ozumba echoes, is not speculative but solution giving (46). Thus Integrativism does not just ask how do I know the truth or the right moral law, but what produces the solution? It is therefore reductionist in character for it brings down the philosophical enterprise from the ivory tower to the marketplace and from speculation to praxis, where we not only ask how and why but also, of what implication and of what value. Professor Ozumba's book entitled Philosophy and Method of Integrative Humanism is no doubt a bold forward match in the family of contemporary philosophy. It is a must read to anyone who believes that the post-modern heuristics is not essentially the right or ultimate destination of the philosophical enterprise and also to those who rightly think that philosophy should be refocused to the foundationalist questions. His pictorial writing is enviable as it creates lively images in the mind of the reader. There may yet be seeds of future philosophy and its method in this theory.