Journal of Integrative Humanism Vol. 7 No. 1 (2016) Integrative Perspective ISSN: 2026 – 6286 Submit Article
A Philosophical Appraisal of Paul Feyerabend’s Anarchism as the Philosophy of Science
Maculay A. Kanu Ph.D (Philosophy & Religion, Social Sciences & Humanities, Ebonyi, Nigeria)
Feyerabend’s philosophy of science in the name of anarchism of science is against the belief in only one system or a rational standard of justification in scientific and technological operation and development as portrayed by positivists, modern empiricists and Karl Popper. Paul Feyerabend defends methodological anarchism, which holds that there are alternative systems within which coherence can be established. It is accepted that problem solving and explanation must be interpreted with reference to ‘goal’ and there are alternatives to the goal accepted. Feyerabend, in objection and rejection of universal standard or method, holds that there are many systems (and even within science itself), each with its own standards of justification and as such, it is not possible to choose between them rationally, for they are incommensurable. In place of “rationality” of scientific method as defended by scientific community, Feyerabend speaks of methodological plurality. This tendency he calls ‘epistemological anarchism’. On this pedestal, rationality is not restricted to science, or is science superior in its method. Feyerabend’s philosophy provokes and realigns our sensibility to other alternatives especially in cultivating home-grown problem-solving and practically-oriented scientific and technological model of development. The implication of this to the developing African countries is that the issue of scientific and technological development should be dependent on priorities embodying the economic and political programmes of such countries that are in line with their circumstances and conditions which should not be the dictate of the acclaimed scientific community.
African Shrine: Intercultural Influence and Prospects in the Traditional Society
G. I. Emeng (Dept. of Religious and Cultural Studies, University of Calabar, Nigeria)
The shrine represents a holy place where worshippers gain mostly vertical communication with the ancestors. It provides protection for the people both spiritual and physical. Not only protection but also as a place of adjudication. This means judgments are dispensed most times and on especially inconclusive land dispute matters. Still, curses are removed through prescribed rite and ceremonies. Furthermore, security belts are provided. There too, the unity of the people is decided and sealed; thus provides strong communal harmony. Also, ancestral mores are learnt. The priest becomes the chief custodian of their cultural norms and tradition. Agreements are also sealed through oath taking. The oath takings are backed up and sanctioned by the ancestors. Good harvests, good catch and hunt are guaranteed. Children for the barren women are provided. However, acculturation has brought so much inter-cultural enormous changes especially as no culture or society is static but dynamic. Such changes are found in the areas of candles, incense, red pieces of clothes, beads like rosary, nails, cups, and many others. In the shrine, there is usually unimaginable tranquillity and serenity. Quality preservation of the people’s custom is continually observed and adhered to. Traditionally, herbs are maintained. On pilgrimages, one is assured of the eradication of fear and intimidations. The time has come for us to learn about our traditional culture, and to know about it. This will enable us not to forget the way of the fathers as well as remember what we ought to know. It opens our eyes to gain knowledge of what our fathers handed down to us. They are eternal like the Gospel for instance.
Environmental Challenges and Axiology: Towards Complementary Studies in Eco-Philosophy
Patrick Johnson Mendie, Emmanuel B. Eyo (Ph.D) (University of Calabar, Nigeria)
The concern for environmental protection has been of central focus since mid-19th century during the industrial revolution; a revolution that gave birth to environmental laws which helped to enforce the protection of animals, natural resources and the entire ecosystem from environmental hazard due to heavy industrial pollution. This task was propelled by environmentalists to ensure the sustainability and management of natural resources through changes in public policy or individual behaviour that could destroy the ecosystem. This paper is an attempt to establish a new philosophical and environmental paradigm on the thesis that, value (axiology) is an essential factor in achieving a more sustainable relationship with the environment for the purpose of protecting and sustaining the ecosystem for a sustainable 21st century Agricultural goal. We posit that axiology, a philosophical field that depends crucially on the notion of value, has a role to reinforce and reintegrate our values system for a more protective and friendly environment that is free from environmental hazard. This we articulate using philosophical methods of criticism, analysis, and evaluation, because philosophy is a vital tool in driving the motivation of a friendly environment. We identify numerous value systems as a paradigm for environmental conservation which are founded from the principle of complementarity between humans, animals and ecosystem. Thus, this paper summits that for us to acquire a sustainable achievement in line with the 21st Agricultural goal, there is need for an axiological approach to the study of the environment.
Examination of Information Technology as an Emerging Tool for Building Inclusive Society and its Implication on the Philosophy of Mundanocentric Humanism
Ele, Sylvester I. (Department of Computer Science, University of Calabar, Nigeria)
Akinola, Olatunji Alani (Department of Computer Science & ICT, Institute of Technology & Management, Ugep, Nigeria)
Akpan-Idiok, Nsikanabasi Ackley (University Central Library, Federal University, Lafia, Nigeria)
Information Technologies have become solution enablers of modern life. They are used in every sphere of life – at work, in culture, entertainment, leisure, for community and political participation. Information Technology is becoming the key driving force for effective social and political participation. Information Technology equalises and promotes participation in society at all levels. The conception of Mundanocentric humanism is all about meeting the mundane and physical needs of man. Man as a social animal cannot meet all his basic needs of life in isolation, rather, he is required to symbiotically integrate and associate with others and exchange goods and services. This man’s appetite can only be realistic in a society or humanity that overcomes differences of race, gender, class, generation, and geography, and ensures inclusion, equality of opportunity as well as capability of all members of the society to determine an agreed set of social institutions that govern social interaction. The question is, how can we create a society out of this vast, diversified, heterogamous, complex and multicultural world where all individuals and groups can have a sense of belongings, a sense of co-existence, participation and involvement, inclusion, recognition and respect? This paper’s aim is therefore to x-ray the relevance of Information Technology (IT) as an emerging tool in building an integrative, cohesive and inclusive society, which is capable of building a safer, more prosperous and equitable world. To achieve this aim, the study carried out an in-depth survey of relevant and related literatures on inclusive society, social inclusion, social cohesion, Information Technology, and its relevance in building a society for all. The study found that, for a society to be accessible in terms of culture and technology, and to meet the demand of mundanocentric humanism, Information Technology is key.
Humanizing Modern Medicine in the Model of Philosophical Integrativism
Mamadu Terver Titus Ph.D (Department of Philosophy, College of General and Communication Studies, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria).
The paper discussed the impact of philosophy in the humanization of modern medicine. It showed the extent to which the general application of philosophical models, namely: ethical model, ontological model, epistemological model and logical model would expand modern medical knowledge and practice. The paper argued that medical knowledge and practice is so limited by the models of biomedical and natural sciences, thereby making it less effective in handling certain diseases affecting patients. Here, the paper argued that the human person who is often the subject matter of medical practice cannot be treated solely as a biological, physical or material being alone, but an integrally holistic being that is composed of the body, mind and spirit. Here, health is considered as the total wellbeing of an individual-person, and not merely the absence of physical ailment or disease infliction; that medical knowledge and practice would become most effective when the physician-patient relationship is developed based on integratively humanized medicine (IHM), than solely depending on the evidence-based medicine (EBM) and patient-centred Medicine (PCM) of the biomedical and natural scientific type.
Karl Jaspers’ Existentialism and the Understanding of Man
Chris Osegenwune, Ph.D (Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos, Nigeria)
Karl Jaspers’ existentialism brings philosophy from the real of abstraction to realism. Unlike traditional philosophical system, issues of life as it is lived constitute the hallmark of his philosophical system. As a reflection of human experience and an extension of the factical reality of human existence, he took existentialism to the door step of the exigencies of human relationship through effective communication. This effort in the opinion of the paper stresses the inevitable contradictions in navigating the difficult terrain of human existence.
Pension Administration in Nigerian Public Service: Challenges and Prospects
Felix Onen Eteng, Ph.D; Bassey Anam, Ph.D (Department of Public Administration) (Institute of Public Policy and Administration) University of Calabar, Cross River, Nigeria
Pension administration in Nigeria existed for long with series of challenges and with no solution at sight. The National Pension Commission (NPC) was established by the government to handle pension matters, and to ensure proper monitoring and implementation of pension benefits and entitlements to beneficiaries. Unfortunately, these expectations and goals have been destroyed by the centrifugal forces of corruption, mismanagement, and fraud. Consequently, public service workers have been exposed to various vicissitudes of life. This paper recommends that proper monitoring and evaluation as panacea to the problems of pension administration in Nigeria is imperative for efficient service delivery to the retired public service workers.
Religion and Tourism in Africa
Francis Felix Edet, Ph.D (Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, University of Calabar, Nigeria)
Tourism is a collection of activities, services and industries that deliver a travel experience, including transportation, accommodations, eating and drinking establishment, retail shops, entertainment business and other hospitality services provided for individual or groups travelling away from home. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) claims that tourism is currently the world’s largest industry with annual revenues of over 3 trillion dollars. Tourism provides over six million jobs in the United States, making it the country’s largest employer. Some of the reasons for such travelling could include: attractions, to visit family and friends, entertainment and for religious purposes. This work shall give an exceptional insight into tourism and all that it entails. It shall also examine religion and tourism in Africa.
Servant Leadership and Its Ethical Challenges
Emmanuel B. Eyo (Ph.D) (Department of Philosophy University of Calabar, Calabar)
The creation account of the bible bestows an incisive insight unto us thus “God created human beings in his image… then blessed them and said… fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, birds in the sky and all animals that scurry along the ground” (Gen. 1:27-28). This mandate ‘to govern’ given to man in the bible captures the pictorial phenomenon of leadership upon which God has endowed unto man, betraying that leadership is chummed with creation extraction. Inadvertently, this phenomenon through the ages of recorded human histories has been conjectural. Also, leadership epitomizes pre-eminence, power, authority, mastery, influence, dominion and other related acts of strength. On the other arm, servant hood depicts submission, subservience, subjection, subordinate and other symbols of servitude. In this article, it is pertinent that the notional conjugation “servant leadership” reveals the semantical contradiction that characterized the marriage, but its profundity excites the interest in this discourse. The insight here bespeaks that servant leadership is at the centre of the ethical discourse of leadership, cognizance that its contemporary practice has been sacrificed on the altar of leadership affluence, arrogance, non-service and self-seeking aggrandizement. Servant leadership therefore notifies us of Jesus exhortation that “whoever wants to become great among you must be servant and whoever wants to be first must be your slave” (Matthew 20:26-27, Mark 10:43). This article therefore examines the ethical challenges in servant leadership.
String Theory: A Realism or Idealism
Patrick Johnson Mendie, Joseph Paul Essien (Department of Philosophy, University of Calabar, Nigeria)
String theory currently is the only theory vying for the total explanation of all known entities, the world of matter, theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. This theory predicts that all forces of the universe could be unified into a single manipulation of tiny loops of vibrating energy called strings. The long quest for this theory has been a demanding development to search for the theory of everything by modern physicists which started with the works of Albert Einstein to unify his theory of relativity with quantum mechanics called quantum gravity that made it possible to view reality as one-dimensional string. This paper presents the various predictions in the development of string theory, the discoveries that could merge every reality together. We shall further articulate the various philosophical implications of string theory from the realist and the idealist perspectives as it concerns the arguments of whether it describes an existing reality or whether it is an idealistic construct with no concrete and/or tangible expression in nature. But in this paper, we articulate that, the assumptions supported by idealism suit how science grows, because the mind is central to human understanding of the unfolding nature of the universe.
The Concept of Balance of Power and the Resultant Stability in International Relations
Solomon Ikunga, S. A., PhD (Dept. of History and Diplomatic Studies, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt)
Balance of power is made to regulate individual state behaviour or to ensure collective responsibility in international affairs so that civilization can flow to other peripheral states and to make the international community a safer haven for all to dwell in. Therefore, this study is intended to highlight the principles of balance of power and to see the benefits of its application in the maintenance of stability in international relations within the global community. The term, balance of power has diverse interpretations which make it devoid of scientific character but nations invoke it either to justify their real intention to maintain the state of equilibrium in preserving international peace or they use it to condemn the action of others which tend to threaten cordial inter-state relations. Thus, the concept provides policy makers with the variable alternatives of either risking war or reaching all-out acceptable settlements to disputes through negotiations. In the balance of power, national power is important to the security of any state. But that is not to say that all states are aggressive and predatory. They may not be if they had the strength rather a states’ own power is its last line of defence. National power therefore, can be said to be the most important of all controls in inter-state relations. Power, however, must be at the level where every state can be safe and secure and with a sense of equality among all nations of the world, so that no one feels threatened by the superiority or otherwise of the others.
The Exclusiveness of Religions and the Socio-Religious Significance
G. I. Emeng (Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria)
No nation has ever changed his gods, even though they were not real (Jeremiah 2:11). No Nation will ever dare to change its religion or its tenets not even in the face of threat to avoid extinction. This has brought about the exclusiveness of the religions in the world. African religion believes that the world is inhabited and divided into two worlds, the first one being the world of mortal beings and the second is inhabited by the spirit beings; by God, the gods, the ancestors and other spirits according to their order of importance. This position, African Religion cannot compromise. Buddhism believes in four baskets of truth and eight beliefs are sacrosanct of its four existences as a religion. This is all about its unique stand. Christianity, the religion of Jesus Christ states that; Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life without which no person will be saved. Islam believes in the pillars of faith and pillars of belief which make up the embodiment of the Islamic religion. Judaism believes in the existence of a personal monotheistic God-Yahweh and the creator of the universe. Shintoism believes in gods of nature and ancestral gods of which the emperor is regarded as god revealed to men. Hinduism believes in Samsara and cycle of reincarnation without which none will attain perfection. Other religions like Zoroastrianism, and Confucianism also have peculiar and exclusive tenets they cannot relinquish to any other faith. This various position of religions has caused untold Socio-religious frustrations to humanity. Due to this, there have been series of wars which have taken the lives of several human beings. Also, material things are destroyed and the peace and man’s security are in danger. It has brought about fanaticism and continuous paradoxes. The incubus has brought about homelessness and its attendant evils.