Plato`s concept of the ideal state

Plato`s concept of the ideal state:the Nigerian experience.

                                                Chapter Two

Plato’s Social Ethics

2.1 Man And State

            In the Republic, Plato sets out to build an ideal state in which justice reigns supreme with philosophers as rulers. For him, the state exists for man’s happiness, to develop man in the good life based on the principle of justice. Plato saw the good life as the life of inner harmony of wellbeing and of happiness. According to Plato, there is no other place man can obtain happiness and good life except in state; because man is a social being. In the same way, Aristotle also said: Continue reading “Plato`s concept of the ideal state”

Negritude:Amelioration of African Predicament

Amelioration of African Predicament: “Negritude”, a Case Study

                                             Chapter Two

Literature Review

Nkrumah’s Consciencism In The Amelioration Of African Predicament

Negritude:Colonialism dealt a grave blow on the African. Capitalism which is a modus operandi of its political and economic structure enlivens the wound all the more as it is both foreign to Africa as well as synonymous with slavery and exploitation which constitutes the existential predicament of the African. The African has been granted independence but this is merely on paper as the colonial rule is still evident in the continent through neo colonialism and imperialism. Continue reading “Negritude:Amelioration of African Predicament”

Ethical consequences of Machiavelli’s Ends justifies the means

Ethical consequences of Machiavelli’s Ends  justifies the means

CHAPTER TWO

                                                                LITERATURE REVIEW

The importance of ethics obviously can never be looked down despite the fact that Machiavelli’s negative stand threatens this obvious fact.  As a result, it is very pertinent to know the locus standi of some philosophers in this perspective from ancient to modern period.

However, before exposing these various views of philosophers on morality, it is of great importance to know what ethics is all about. Continue reading “Ethical consequences of Machiavelli’s Ends justifies the means”

Amelioration of African predicament:“Negritude”, a case study

 Amelioration of African predicament:“Negritude”, a case study

CHAPTER TWO

          LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 NKRUMAH’S CONSCIENCISM

IN THE AMELIORATION OF AFRICAN PREDICAMENT

Colonialism dealt a grave blow on the African. Capitalism which is a modus operandi of its political and economic structure enlivens the wound all the more as it is both foreign to Africa as well as synonymous with slavery and exploitation which constitutes the existential predicament of the African. The African has been granted independence but this is merely on paper as the colonial rule is still evident in the continent through neo colonialism and imperialism. These resulted from the external influences on the African during colonial era which left him confused on the way forward in life. To free the African from this frustrating predicament, many African intellectuals rose to proffer theories which they think will be very positive in this regard. Continue reading “Amelioration of African predicament:“Negritude”, a case study”

A Philosophical study of the niger delta crisis in the light of karlmarx’s political theories

A PHILOSOPHICAL STUDY OF THE NIGER DELTA CRISIS IN THE LIGHT OF KARLMARX’S POLITICAL THEORIES

CHAPTER TWO

THE NIGER DELTA CRISES

2.1. THE NIGER DELTA REGION

The Niger Delta region comprises of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, DeltaEdo, ImoOndo, and River State. They are people under whose feet is buried an inexhaustible amount of oil. Preceding the discovery and exploration of oil, their land was rich and their rivers filled with aquatic lives. Prior to the exploration also, the people gladly tilled the land and the agricultural products got were sufficient. They also sustained their life by fishing in the rivers. However, with the advent of the multinationals and their subsequent oil exploration, these means of livelihood became truncated by the activities of the multinationals. Their once fertile land has become devastated and their rivers poisoned by oil spillage and waste products. Still on the impoverished nature of the area, B. Ransome Kuti writes:

The area is perhaps the most under-developed portion of the country despite forty-three years of exploiting its non-renewable oil wealth. It is a region that is at once rich and poor; rich in natural resources and impoverished by the oil companies and the Federal Government which expropriates its entire resources[1].

  1. THE CRISES IN THE NIGER DELTA
  2. 1. THE NOTION OF CRISES

“Crisis” according to the Longman Dictionary of contemporary English, is “a period of great danger, difficulty or uncertainty especially in politics or economics”. Secondly it also defined it as “a time when personal emotional problem or situations has reached its worst point”. I used crises, the plural form of crisis to include the series of crisis which the Niger Delta has experienced.

For J. Wangbu,

the rebellion in the Niger Delta especially those of the youth, Atake, Asari Dukubo  with Isaac Aadaka Boro and Dr. Kenule Benson Saro Wiwa  and the Ogini Nine as forerunners manifest in their essence a restiveness of a people who want to reclaim their right to human dignity, justice, equity and fair play[2].

Describing further the crises in the Niger Delta he writes:

The protest in the Niger Delta, a protest began by Dr. Ken Saro Wiwa is a struggle of those whose humanity has been stolen by some corrupt Army Generals, politicians and their cohorts. It is a struggle against those who oppress, exploit and rape them by virtue of their power. The lingering controversy in this region will continue until the Federal Government helps to transform the reality, which begets their dehumanizing state of affair.[3]

 2.3. THE EVOLUTION OF THE NIGER DELTA CRISES

After the Nigerian Independence in 1960, the country’s revenue was provided by the three major ethnic groups namely: the Hausa/Fulanis, the Igbos, and the Yorubas. The Hausas/Fulanis who dominated the Northern part of the country produced ground nut, hide and skins. The Igbos who occupied the East were known for the production of cola, palm oil and palm cannel. The Yorubas who are found in the West were famous for the production of cocoa. All these Agricultural products were sold and the proceeds sustained the economy of the country. As at this time, derivation was 50%. However, with the discovery and exploration of oil in 1956 and 1958 respectively, oil started to gain an uppermost hand in the Nigerian economy. The derivation at this time started to depreciate gradually until it was eventually reduced to 0%. This became the point of departure for the crises.  This actually led to an uprising by the Ijaws in the early 1960 led by a former student leader, Issac Adaka Boro. That revolt was put down in twelve days.

The Nigeria Civil War that raged from 1967 to 1970 was indirectly a fight for who controls the Niger Delta oil wealth as part of his causes. Agitation after the war led to a 1% derivation, then 3% derivation formula and later wards a 13% derivation system which was introduced but controlled by  the military. The money was put in an Oil Minerals Producing Development Commission (OMPADEC) controlled entirely by the military from the centre[4].

Unable to fold their hands and watch the oil companies, who are seen to be in the league with the dictators, the Niger Delta in 1990 began to revolt against the human and environmental injustice perpetrated against them. This resulted in the formation of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP); a movement which was formed to draw attention to the plight of the Niger Deltas. The group under the leadership of a prolific writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, felt exploited by the Military government and the oil companies. Consequently they campaigned against their activities.

Saro-Wiwa believed that Royal Dutch Shell and Nigeria’s Military government collaborated in exploiting the Niger Delta. From the Press reports, Internal Shell Memoranda reveals that the Company has been working closely with the Nigerian Military Government. One memo advised that Saro-wiwa should be “closely” monitored because he is “at best a nuisance and at worst a great danger.” The resistance was met with repression. In 1994, the Nigerian Internal Security Task Force attacked and virtually destroyed 30 Ogoni villages killing more than 100 people and arresting hundreds more.[5]

With fear of extinction caused by exploitation and negligence, the Ogoni people, a small community in the Niger Delta fired off another protest.  The Ogonis, led by the famous playwright, and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa, linked up with other indigenous people’s organizations in the world and used mass peaceful protests and civil disobedience to tackle Shell, the oil giant, its subsidiaries like the American Wilbros and the Federal Government.

As the resistance was unremitting, the government’s response was that they occupied Ogoni land using the Northern-dominated army. On May 21st, 1994, the government sent soldiers and mobile policemen to Ogoni land. On that day, the famous Ogoni writer and environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa who was refused entry into the community together with 15 other Ogonis, was arrested and detained by the military government in connection with the death of four pro-government  Ogoni chiefs who died in the scuffle  which took place that same day. He was   detained for eight months before he was charged for murder. According to Wangbu, these accusations “were so baseless and devoid of concrete evidence that the Armnesty International declared Ken Saro-Wiwa a Prisoner of Conscience.”[6]  In his detention, he was denied access to his family, doctors and legal advocate. As an alternative, the government of Sani Abacha formed a military dominated Special Tribunal who presided over the case. On October 31, 1995, the tribunal unjustly condemned Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others to death. Governments and organizations worldwide condemned the trial as unfair and enjoined Gen. Sani Abacha and his government to spare the life of Saro-Wiwa and the eight others.  Despite these intercontinental appeals for mercy, the dictator went on and executed these human right activists on Friday 10th November, 1995 by hanging. This led to the suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth and some international isolation. Rather than the hanging serving as a deterrent to the Niger Delta people, they saw it as a challenge. First, the Ijaws who are perhaps the largest ethnic nationality in the Niger Delta not only continued the struggle, but resorted to guerrilla armed struggle. In December 1998, Ijaw Youths met and issued what has become known as the kaiama declaration in which they declared “We agreed to remain within Nigeria but demand and work for self-government and resource control for the Ijaw people”. They also demanded an end to the unitary form of government in favour of a federal system.

In December 1998 also, the government massacred youths in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State, for demanding control of the oil resources explored on their ancestral lands. A few months later, it sent in troops to flatten Kaiama, a town in Bayelsa State where youths had weeks before made a declaration demanding the people’s control of their oil resources.

Early in November, 1999, there was another scuffle  in Odi area of Bayelsa State between the  Odi youths  and the multinational companies in which seven policemen were killed. It was part of the face-off between the government and foreign oil companies on one hand, and restive Ijaw youths on the other.[7]  What the  Nigerian Government did was to send in troops to occupy the land killing the inhabitants with brutality. When the troops got to the outskirts of Odi town, rather than enter it to “investigate” and “arrest the bandits”, they brought mortars and shelled it for two days. By the end of this bombardment, only a few buildings remained standing in the town. Then the army moved in killing all male youths they laid their hands on in Odi town and its environs. In the process they blew up and set more buildings on fire.[8]

  1. CAUSES OF NIGER – DELTA CRISIS

The Niger Delta crises have many factors which can be regarded as the remote causes of the crises. These factors include Nigerian government’s negligence, egoism, injustice, human right abuse, environmental degradation, terrorism, exploitation and dependency. Apart from these remote causes, there is what I consider as the immediate cause. The immediate cause is  the unwarranted  massacre of their illustrious sons including Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other minority rights activists from Ogoni for challenging the oil giant shell’s exploration  on Ogoni soil in 1995 under the regime of Gen. Sani Abacha. These factors are considered to be the primordial factors that necessitated the Niger Delta crises.  In a brief way let us examine some of the causes.

  1. 1. EGOISM

A mind-set where the self is upheld as more important than others is egoism. Egoism is therefore seen as the exhibition of selfishness. It is a fact undeniable that most crises that occur across the whole world are as a result of egoism. In support to this view, W. A. Wallace comments “egoism creates in man a wall of exclusiveness to others. By this exclusiveness, he becomes full of himself such that at times he looks at others as an enemy who should even be eliminated. This phenomenon underscores the social conflicts and intolerance among people, hence violence is the result.”[9] The Governments’ negligence of the Niger Delta people is as a result of ignorance of the fact that these peoples’ basic needs are supposed to be given a maximum attention. Egoism is one of the contributing factors since each successive government is more interested in developing the part of the country from which he comes from.

  1. 4. 2. NEGLIGENCE

The people are hungry, they are neglected and forgotten as far as the distribution of the oil wealth is concerned. The basic things that make life worth living are not found there. Despite the fact that this place is the source of Nigeria’s oil wealth, this part of the country remains one of the least developed, with health care provision, electrification, communication and supply of drinking water still below the nation’s average.[10]

  1. 3. INJUSTICE

In every society, it is expected that there should be equanimity, order, love and justice. When such is found wanting, it can be said to be injustice. Most of the clashes that are found in the Niger Delta are as a result of the peoples’ complaint of injustice being meted upon them. In order to understand the concept of injustice as found in the Niger Delta, we shall first of all discuss the concept of justice.

When one takes a close look at what is happening in the Niger Delta, there is the tendency for one to recline to the Thrasymacus’ understanding of justice and injustice where by injustice is preferred to justice. Thrasymacus did not see injustice as a defect of character hence he considers the unjust person  as the superior in character and intelligence. Injustice according to him pays especially those who carry injustice to perfection and make themselves masters of the cities.

According to him, Justice on the contrary, is being advocated by the simpleton and leads to weakness. He thus encouraged aggressive pursuit of self interest in virtually unlimited form of self assertion. For him therefore, “might is right”. [11]
Justice according to St. Thomas Aquinas is “the firm and constant will to give to each other his due”. Its notion is established based on the fact that all men are fundamentally equal. For the fact that all men are fundamentally equal, all men should therefore be treated equally.

  1. 3. 0. CLASSIFICATION OF JUSTICE

Justice can be classified into four by the scholastics. These classifications are as follows. commutative justice, legal justice, distributive justice and vindicative justice.

  1. 3. 1. COMMUTATIVE JUSTICE

Commutative justice is the aspect of justice which demands respect for the right of others and the exchange of things of equal values. This aspect of justice condemns cheating, fraud, theft and vandalisation of other peoples property as a violation of justice.[12]

  1. 3. 2. LEGAL JUSTICE

Legal justice demands an observance of   all laws aimed at the common good. Legal justice demands that common good should not be sacrificed for private interest of an individual. Sequel to this, the violation of any law directed towards the common good is a violation of legal justice.

  1. 3. 3. DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE

Distributive justice demands the fair and equitable allotment of the goods, privileges, works and obligations of a society to all the members of the society. On account of this, unfair distribution of goods of the society to her members is a violation of distributive justice.

  1. 3. 4. VINDICATIVE JUSTICE

Vindicative justice demands appropriate punishment for an offence, not out of the spirit of vengeance but in the interest of the community or for the correction of the offender, and it should not be more than is deserved by the offence.

As we have indicated above, justice has its foundation on the elemental equality of men which insist on equal treatment, distribution of goods, rewards, punishment, etc under normal circumstances. When these are found wanting,  it is injustice. By this I do not  in any way intend to    undermine the fact that there are special circumstances in which there could be justifiable reason why some sections of a country should have a greater share of the goods of the country than other sections. Frantically speaking, in such a situation where there is the need for some sections to have a greater share of the goods of the country, it becomes injustice for the goods to be distributed equally among its citizens. In isolation of this kind of exceptional situations, justice demands equitable distribution of the benefits of the country to the citizens otherwise, it is injustice.

The goods of Nigeria as a country belong to all the citizens of the country and so it goes without saying that justice demands a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth among the different ethnic nationalities according to their economic processes; according to their contribution to the general welfare and in accordance to their rights to a happy life. This simply means that any disproportion of in the distribution of goods or burden and partiality in the award of favours is contrary to the demands of justice.

We see at present a flagrant injustice in the sharing of the goods of the country among the  inhabitants including the Niger Deltas. Few people who are at the fore front of decision making have unjustly appropriated to themselves most of the resources of Nigeria leaving the vast majority in extreme poverty. The most painful part of the injustice is that even the Niger Delta people from where the major part of the Nigeria Revenue is gotten live from hand to mouth.

What’s more, since the demand for justice are basically prerequisite  for peaceful co-existence  and human development, their violation can not be endured but calls for reparation for injury inflicted on the person injured and active punishment of the offender. This is why the crises in the Niger Delta have continued to rise from day to day.

Now to what extent has the Nigerian Government met the above demand of justice both from social and political ambient with particular reference to the Niger Delta conflicts? Nigerian Government and its people have got this question to answer.

It is possible to rule people by force but impossible to have peace while you keep others in chains. It is possible to unjustly force an unwilling people to submission but you can do that only at a greater lost to your person, your integrity and honour.[13]

We really need justice in this country in general and in the Niger Delta in particular since we cannot live without it. It is a sine-qua-non in a heterogeneous country like ours. A kingdom according to Usman Dan Fodio, can endure with unbelief but cannot endure with injustice. Injustice as we have seen is one of the major factors that escalate the crises in the Niger Delta.

  1. 4. HUMAN RIGHT ABUSE

Among the most frequently used term in the society, right  is one of them. And yet, the usage of the term has a lot of problems surrounding it due to its varied meaning and different connotations. The word “right” according to C. Ekwutosi, “is almost in the danger of loosing its meaning and power because of over use and misuse.”[14]  The human right of an individual can be defined as a justifiable claim to obtain anything to which one is entitled to. It can also be defined as that justifiable claim to behave or to act in a certain way if one is entitled to act or behave as such.

We have some rights that are natural and basic to human existence. These are referred to as the fundamental human rights. They reflect human nature and are universalistic. For all intents and purposes, they are human and the denial of them offends the very nature and the dignity of man. Some of these  fundamental human rights include : the right to live and exist; the right to  freedom; the right to self expression; the right to own private properties; the right to education; the right to just wages for one’s labour; the right to marry and have children; the right to be treated with good name, and many others.

The fundamental human right can be classified into legal and moral right. A moral right is a right that is justifiable on moral ground and hence it cannot be enforced by any legal procedure. On the other hand, legal right of an individual is a right conferred on the individual by law and it can be enforced by legal a procedure.

Right is a legitimate and moral capacity or power (as against physical power) to do, posses or demand something. It is a founded and justified claim to act or not to act in a particular manner so that the act or its omission is not wrong or evil.[15]  The rights of a person carries in itself a true security which shields the individual from an undue interference by another.

From the above understanding of the fundamental human right, it becomes crystally clear that any action carried out upon an individual or a group of people that goes against their legitimate and moral capacity or power to do, posses or demand something is an abuse of the fundamental human right.

Rights are the primitive properties of individual and must be preserved from society encroachment.[16] In the opinion of Theodore Roosevelt, the aim of government is “the welfare of the people. The material progress and prosperity of a nation are desirable chiefly so far as they lead to the moral and material welfare of all good citizens.”[17]  In the case of the oil producing areas, they have been abused and exploited by the multinational oil companies that are operating in the areas and their collaborators. The multinationals in their activities   have destroyed wild life and have poisoned the environment, the water, and human life is put in great peril. The oil companies instead of setting standards to promote a positive relationship with local people, as well as sound environmental and social policies, have seemingly done little or nothing to make up for this ecological devastation done to the people. The government itself has paid lip service to the people’s welfare.[18]

  1. 5. ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION

The environs of the multinational companies have experienced lots of devastation. Beside the physical destruction of  plants  in the gas flaring areas, thick sooth are also deposited in the roofs of their buildings and when it rains , the water that runs down the roofs are ink–like  and contains chemicals which affects the fertility of the soil and also aquatic life when the water runs into the river. “Oil spill and gas flare” according to Eddy Obi “have ruined the land and the vegetation, decimating aquatic life, nearly wiping out the hitherto dense mangrove forest. Loud drilling and excavation of oil wells and seismic flow path have cut into pristine ecosystems and disfigured the landscape dispersing wild life and endangering habitats”[19]. The oil pipelines are constructed above the ground through the villages and hence render the agricultural land useless.[20]

[1]  B. R. Kuti, The Niger Delta crises and Nigeria’s future http:// www.nigerdeltastrugle.com,htlm (access 08.08.06).

[2] J. Wangbu (ed.), Niger Delta Rich Region:  Poor People (Enugu: Snaap Press Ltd), p. xii.

[3] Ibid., p.25.

[4] B. R. Kuti, loc. cit.

[5] S. Braithwait, “Earth Arc, Eyewitness Account After Site Visit, January 4, 1993,” Daily Sunray, in J.

Wangbu, op. cit., p.37.

[6] Ibid., p. 39.

[7] B. R. Kuti, loc. cit.

[8] Ibid.

[9] W. A.  Wallace in C. Ekwutosi, “ Violence: The Greatest Enemy of Peace”  in Justice Magazine, Vol. I,

(June, 2002), p. 5.

[10] E. Obi “Environmental Justice And The Quest For Equitable Economic World Order: Reassessing  The

Engagement Of Multinational Corporations In The South-South Of Nigeria”  in J. Wangbu, op. cit. p.49.

[11] S. E. Stumpf and J. Feisser, Philosophy: History and Problems, 6th ed. (New York: Mc Graw-Hill

Companies Inc., 2003), p. 34.

[12] J. Omoregbe, Ethics:  A Systematic and Historical Study (Lagos: Joja Educational Research and

Publishers Ltd, 1993; repr., 2003), p.113.

[13] J. O. Odey, This Madness Called Election 2003 (Enugu: Snaap Press Ltd., 2003), p. 19.

[14] C. M. Ekwutosi, Basic Issues in Ethics (Anambra: Rex Charles & Patrick Ltd., 2006), p. 80.

[15] Ibid.

[16] M. J. Himes and K. R. Himes,  Fullness Of Faith: The Public Significance Of Theology

 

A critical appraisal of the idea of freedom in Bernard Lonergan humanism

A critical appraisal of the idea of freedom in Bernard Lonergan humanism

CHAPTER THREE

JOHN PAUL II AND HUMANISM

3.1 Definition of Humanism.

Humanism, in a loose sense, is a philosophical movement that originated in Italy and from there, freedom it diffused into all other parts of the world. To ask the meaning of humanism is to provoke humanists, because it has no univocal and generally accepted definition.  That notwithstanding, I shall outline some of the definitions by different humanists and that of John Paul II.

The term humanism has a number of more or less distinct meanings, all referring to a worldview centered on man as the object of its investigations or study. In a strictest sense, the word refers to “a literary and intellectual movement, the “new learning”, running from 14th century Italy through Western culture  into the 17th century or, more vaguely, even beyond, and marked by devotion to Greek and Latin classics as the central and highest expression of human values”[1]

Ethics or morality that grant all human values in this earthly experiences and relationships, one that holds as its highest goal this worldly happiness, freedom and progress of all humankind, irrespective of nation, race or religion. It is a philosophical concept centered on human being as means for comprehending reality. Continue reading “A critical appraisal of the idea of freedom in Bernard Lonergan humanism”

Faith crisis in adolescence in the light of Erick Ericksons psychological theory

Faith crisis in adolescence in the light of Erick Ericksons psychological theory

CHAPTER THREE

          ADOLESCENCE:CRISIS, IMPLICATIONS AND FAITH CRISIS IN ERICKSON’S THOUGHT

  • Introduction

Adolescence starts with puberty. Puberty in the human life is characterized by changes, growths and developments in the human body structure. The developments formed in the adolescent affect the entire being of the adolescent. As a result, the adolescent develops in himself or herself a new self-concept. He or she feels to have become an adult and so begins to identify with the freedom of the adult life. The adolescent manifests this in many ways and in many areas, showing certain radical tendencies towards what was formally religiously obeyed, in the past days of childhood. In this chapter, the general view of the nature of adolescence shall be exposed, after which the stage identify versus identify confusion according to Erick Erickson will be treated. Next, would be exposing the implications as would be drawn from the stage aforementioned. Finally, the faith crisis of the adolescence would be inferred from the implications Continue reading “Faith crisis in adolescence in the light of Erick Ericksons psychological theory”

The common good in jacques maritain:A philosophical appraisal

The common good in jacques maritain:A philosophical appraisal

ABSTRACT

The idea of the common good as the end of political and social life is one of the key human values which have been so much neglected today, engendered by the spirit of individualism and capitalism. In the tradition of moral thought, such problem had been significantly addressed during the time of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. It was based on this Aristotelian – Thomistic natural law tradition that Jacque Maritain, a 19th century French Christian Philosopher, aimed to resuscitate the spirit of the common good, as something ordained towards full realization of human person who is an image of God. The pivotal nature of his idea of common good revolves round the understanding that it should address the human person as the end of which every society must respect. The human person is not just part of the community or subordinated to it, but much more than a member of the community, because he has a transcendent dimension, so that society must have the person as its end. This presentation of the common good is designed to defeat both bourgeois individualism and totalitarianism that treated human person as an object. However, in view of his arguments, questions arise such as; Does common good really exists? What are the yardsticks for measuring ‘good’ that is common? Can it function in the pluralistic society today were people have different perceptions of what common good means?  Or is it something that exists at the abstract level? For Jacques Maritain, the ultimate answer rest in the fact that any concept of common good which does not address the good of human person, who is an image s of God, is bereft of what common is.  The end of common good is the perfection of human person in the community, and as such this is what every society should reflect and respect as its end. The purpose of this work is to make a philosophical appraisal of Maritain’s concept of common good, as that which is attainable and objective even in our contemporary society. It goes to support that irrespective of the recent challenges of the common good, it is still a fundamental values which cannot be neglected by any society who cares to promote the dignity of human person. Hence, this research shall employ hermeneutic method, which involves interpreting his idea of common good in the situation of things in our society. The explication of these ideas shall constitute the bulk of this thesis in order to regain a commitment to common good. Continue reading “The common good in jacques maritain:A philosophical appraisal”

African communalism: A philosophical analysis

African communalism: A philosophical analysis 

Abstract

It is a common factor among many an African writer to associate Africanness with communalism implying that what makes one a bonafide African is one’s communalistic life pattern. This view often purports that communalism is peculiar to the African people in exclusion of others. But the view of Aristotle that man is a social being with that of John Donne that “No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,” points to the indubitable fact that man is naturally a communitarian being who seeks relationship and interaction with others both of his species and beyond. Man cannot but be in relationship because this constitutes his nature. If it is the case that all men are naturally endowed with the longing to be with, and relate with the other, the common ensuing question would be: why should only a particular collection of human beings be associated with what is the attribute of all? Why should communalism be so used in relation to Africans that it becomes definitive of them to the exclusion of all others? Would this position not be tantamount to concluding that only Africans are the real human beings since we had already seen that communalism is a notion that is of the essence of all human persons? The more acceptable fact that is crystal clear is that communalism is an experience that has versions hence the idea of Chinese communalism, Indian communalism, European communalism, our chief concerned African communalism and so on. What this fact indicates is that communalism cannot be of the essence of a special people with the exception of the others. A much better construal of communalism in relation to the Africans should be that which presents the experience as lived in a much fuller way by them. This cannot be taken to mean that communalism is essentially African in the same manner as to imply the extrication of other races from this albeit general human reality. African communalism is of degree (high degree) and not of essence. The high degree is because of the way communalism is deep-rooted in African culture following the African circumstances and environment that gave it a fertile ground. This research uses the method of philosophical analysis to investigate the true nature of the concept of African communalism. It maintains that though communalism is deep-rooted in the traditional African way of life, it is not an African “thing”. It is merely the African further step in improving on what is natural in all human persons. Because of this, it is not sufficient to define an African person whose personhood should be determined fundamentally by those natural factors like geographical location and hereditary. African communalism only complements them the same way nurture complements nature in the definition of a person. The work therefore advocates an integration of only the relevant aspects of this African traditional way of life to the modern African pattern of living. Continue reading “African communalism: A philosophical analysis”

Freedom in jean paul sartre: the challenge of responsibility in nigeria’s democratic governance

Freedom in jean paul sartre: the challenge of responsibility in nigeria’s democratic governance 

ABSTRACT

The concept of freedom and responsibility is central to Sartre’s system as a whole.  They are dominant themes in his political works. Although Sartre’s view of freedom changed substantially throughout his lifetime. Scholars disagree whether there is a fundamental continuity or a radical break between Sartre’s early view of freedom and his late view of freedom. There is a strong consensus, though, after World War II Sartre shifted to a material view of freedom, in contrast to the ontological view of his early period.  According to the arguments of Being and Nothingness, human freedom consists in the ability of consciousness to transcend its material situation. Freedom and responsibility are worth considering in political thought because it is a doctrine of action which pushes man to rediscover himself. On responsibility Sartre says that we are completely responsible for the circle of meanings (the world) which surrounds us and that we must acknowledge this responsibility by choosing to live anguish it entails or by fleeing this dreadful condition through bad faith.  These are the standard themes which established Sartre’s reputation among existentialists in the immediate postwar years.  In this dissertation, our major thrust is to expose amongst other things Sartre’s freedom and responsibility, anguish, despair, the absurdity of human existence, oppression, existence precedes essence, Continue reading “Freedom in jean paul sartre: the challenge of responsibility in nigeria’s democratic governance”