•  670
    Globalization and the Crisis in Detroit
    Perspectives on Global Development and Technology 15 (1-2): 261-77. 2015.
    This article reviews the recent crisis in Detroit focusing on the placement of an Emergency Manager in charge of financial decisions, and a bankruptcy process. This political disenfranchisement harmed the pensions of city employees and offered valuable real estate to investors at low prices. While the crisis was long in the making, with deindustrialization and residential segregation beginning in the 1950s, the crisis was exacerbated in 2008 with the mortgage crisis and with water shut-offs to r…Read more
  •  39
    Gandhi: The Grandfather of Confllict Transformation
    In Rhea A. DuMont, Tom H. Hastings & Emiko Noma (eds.), Conflict Transformation: Essays on Methods of Nonviolence, Mcfarland & Company. pp. 213-24. 2013.
  •  137
    A constant question that arises when study in H. Odera Oruka's sage philosophy project is, who is a sage? What attributes are necessary? While Oruka tried to provide criteria for categorization of folk and philosophical sages, some critics note that the criteria is not clear, or not clearly applied. This paper focuses on Elijah Masinde, a Kenyan prophet who agitated against British colonialism in Kenya. The question of whether or not Masinde was a sage was debated by H. Odera Oruka and Chaungo B…Read more
  •  60
    The paper traces the parallel paths and mutual influences of these three activists in South Africa. The paper points out that Gandhi often took steps in building his movement that echoed some of the same steps that Dube had done just before him. Also, Abdurahman, who had become Gandhi's friend in 1909, advocated for involving women in nonviolent action, and advocated the use of general strike, shortly before Gandhi incorporated both methods in his movement.
  •  20
    African Sage Philosophy
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2014.
    African Sage Philosophy. The Sage Philosophy Project began in the mid-1970s at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Nairobi Kenya. At the University, Henry Odera Oruka (1944-1995) popularized the term “Sage Philosophy Project,” and closely related terms such as “philosophic sagacity,” both by initiating a project of interviewing African sages. This article presents the history of the project and its major accomplishments.
  •  26
    This article highlights the long accomplishments of Claude Sumner, S.J. in the field of African philosophy. During his lifetime he published over 33 books and 184 articles. He lived and worked in Ethiopia for 44 years. He translated into English and analysed several key historical works in Ethiopian philosophy, written originally in Ge’ez. He argued that modern rationalist philosophy began in Africa with Zera Yacob at the same time that it began in France with Descartes. He then set to work reco…Read more
  •  71
    “Bâtir une «culture nationale» interethnique et intergénérationnelle au Kenya”
    Diogène/Diogenes: Revue Internationale des Sciences Humaines 59 (235-236): 62-80. 2012.
    The challenges of building community based on a common identity that also respects differences has two different kinds of chasms to cross. There is the division of ethnic groups, and there is also the generational gap. Given recent problems of ethnic violence that broke out during the December 2007 elections, can contemporary Kenyans build community, coming to common understanding with others on issues such as value and identity? This is not a new problem. It has often been expressed as the need…Read more
  •  7
    In this article, Presbey engages in the discussion about consensus oriented political systems in Africa, how they can be understood as democratic, and how a currently recommendable system of democracy could be inspired by them. With reference to some interviews that she herself conducted with Akan queenmothers in Ghana, utilizing the sage philosophy approach, Presbey discusses Wiredu's and Gyekye'e recent evaluations of the consensus principle in the political system of the Akan. The discussion …Read more
  •  6
    Sage Philosophy and Critical Thinking: Creatively Coping with Negative Emotions
    International Journal of Philosophical Practic 2 (1): 1-20. 2004.
    In critical thinking we learn the importance of being fair, and opening up closed and biased minds. In practical philosophy we must learn how to find our happiness in a world where others act with evil intentions. In contemporary Kenya one major challenge is how to react to those who might use witchcraft to try to harm oneself or one’s family. Regardless of whether witchcraft is “real” or not, it is possible to discern the root cause of witchcraft practices as due to jealousy and selfishness. B…Read more
  •  2
    Mahmood Mamdani’s Analysis of Colonialism Applied to the U.S.-led War on Iraq
    Polylog: Forum for Intercultural Philosophy 5. 2004.
    The paper explores the insights of Mahmood Mamdani regarding recent U.S. military actions in Iraq and the U.S. role in setting up a new government there. The majority of the paper does not, however, rely on sources of Mamdani addressing this topic directly. Rather the author consults Mamdani's work on colonialism and imperialism to find clues as to what is at heart wrong with the colonial approach to ruling. Four key attributes of colonialism that also play a role in recent U.S. actions in Iraq …Read more
  •  1
    The Philosophical Quest: A Cross-Cultural Reader
    with Karsten J. Struhl and Richard Olsen
    McGraw-Hill. 1995.
    This is a true cross-cultural anthology which presents philosophers from different cultures in dialogue with one another. The text includes selections from both traditional and contemporary Western and non-Western philosophy: African American, Latin American, and feminist philosophers as well as Asian, African, Native American, and Islamic philosophers. The reader is organized by topic, and highlights the similarities and differences between Western and Non-Western philosophers -- it arranges se…Read more
  •  51
    The paper evaluates the claims of Kwame Gyekye and Kwasi Wiredu that the Akan traditional governance structures are just as democratic or even more democratic that Western style representative democracies.
  •  1
    H. Odera Oruka responded to Lansana Keita's challenge and used philosophical skills to tackle economic issues. He uses a rights approach (based on the "right to life") to demand a "moral minimum," siding with the 'basic needs approach' in development theory. But, this acceptance of a "minimum" is in conflict with his earlier writings that demand economic equality. Oruka emphasizes rights rather than charity because he thinks the latter is dependent on inducing self-pity, which erodes respect. Ho…Read more
  •  7
    Should Women Love ‘Wisdom’? Evaluating the Ethiopian Wisdom Tradition
    African Philosophy in Ethiopia: Ethiopian Philosophical Studies, II. 2013.
    After introducing the reader to the larger project of Claude Sumner, S.J., who gathered medieval and early modern Ethiopian philosophical texts written in Ge'ez and provided them in English translation, and then gave his own analysis of the texts, the article goes on to raise the need to engage in a feminist critique of at least one of the texts called "The Teachings and Maxims of Skendes." This particular text imparts wisdom to men, cautioning them to beware of women. Thus, the paper raises the…Read more
  •  112
    The article examines the role of ethnic favoritism in maldistribution of national resources in Kenya and discusses two broad proposals for attacking such corruption. Evidence drawn from research in Kenya disproves the view of Chabal and Daloz, who argue that Africans prefer to distribute goods according to ethnic ties, and shows that frustration with the lack of alternatives to such a system, rather than enthusiasm for it, drives cooperation with corrupt maldistribution. One solution to the prob…Read more
  •  12
    Twenty-five papers presented at University of Nairobi in 2000 cover themes of: African Philosophy, Approaches and Methodologies; Problems of Missionary and Colonialist Thinking; Gender and Culture in Africa; Sage Philosophy; and Philosophy, Ethics, and Politics.
  •  38
    Secularism and Rationality in Odera Oruka’s Sage Philosophy Project
    Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 28 121-128. 2008.
    Prof. H. Odera Oruka started the sage philosophy project, in which he interviewed wise elders in Kenyan rural areas to show that Africans could philosophize. He intended to create a “national culture” by drawing upon sages from different ethnic groups and he downplayed religious differences, as did Kwame Nkrumah, who had a similar goal of building “national culture” in Ghana. Both projects were secular insofar as they preferred to emphasize rationality and downplay religious belief or “superstit…Read more
  •  274
    The paper applies insights from Axel Honneth's recent book, The Struggle for Recognition, to the South African situation. Honneth argues that most movements for justice are motivated by individuals' and groups' felt need for recognition. In the larger debate over the relative importance of recognition compared with distribution, a debate framed by Taylor and Fraser, Honneth is presented as the best of both worlds. His tripartite schema of recognition on the levels of love, rights and solidarity,…Read more
  •  24
    An article by F. Ochieng'-Odhiambo asserted that Prof. H. Odera Oruka's work on "philosophic sagacity" in Kenya could be divided into three periods, beginning with an early period denouncing ethnophilosophy and ending with a later period which embraced and engaged in ethnophilosophy. This article says that such a characterization is inaccurate, because Odera Oruka continued to distinguish sage philosophy from ethnophilosophy in several key ways, even in his later work. While pointing out Odera O…Read more
  •  5
    This book responds to the Bush Administration position on the “war on terror.” It examines preemption within the context of “just war”; justification for the United States-led invasion of Iraq, with some authors charging that its tactics serve to increase terror; global terrorism; and concepts such as reconciliation, Islamic identity, nationalism, and intervention
  •  33
    Sartre on Violence: Curiously Ambivalent (review)
    International Studies in Philosophy 39 (4): 164-167. 2007.
    This is a review of Ronald Santoni's book, Sartre on Violence: Curiously Ambivalent. Santoni argues that Sartre is often misunderstood. He was not an advocate of violence, and always cautioned that the revolutionary's decision to use violent means must always be re-evaluated to ensure that the revolution reaches its goal. In this way, Santoni argues, the views of Sartre and Camus are actually very close on the topic of revolutionary violence, even though they are often portrayed as opposites.
  •  139
    Women's empowerment: the insights of Wangari Maathai
    Journal of Global Ethics 9 (3): 277-292. 2013.
    This paper will highlight Maathai’s insights regarding empowerment, tracing several important themes in her approach, namely, empowerment’s relationship to self esteem, teamwork, and political action, its ambivalent relationship to formal education, and the role of cultural traditions in providing alternatives to colonial-era cultural impositions and current exploitative effects of neo-liberal capitalism. After reviewing Maathai’s thoughts on each of these topics, I will briefly draw upon other …Read more
  •  79
    Compared to other ethnic groups in Kenya, the Maasai resisted working wage labor jobs, preferring to continue pastoral practices, even though “development” experts and Kenyans from other ethnic groups derided them as being “backward” and holding back the progress of the country. The phenomenon of Maasai reluctance to adapt to wage labor has been called a "conservative" trend by some, and a radical resistance by others. The British during colonialism seemed irritated and impatient with Maasai …Read more
  •  1
    Samuel Oluoch Imbo, Oral Traditions as Philosophy: Okot p’Bitek’s Legacy for African Philosophy. (review)
    South African Journal of Philosophy 23 (3): 327-329. 2004.
  •  243
    Hannah Arendt on Power, Consent, and Coercion
    The Acorn 7 (2): 24-32. 1992.
    Although Hannah Arendt is not known as an advocate of nonviolence per se, her analysis of power dynamics within and between groups closely parallels Gandhi’s. The paper shows the extent to which her insights are compatible with Gandhi’s and also defends her against charges that her description of the world is overly normative and unrealistic. Both Arendt and Gandhi insist that nonviolence is the paradigm of power in situations where people freely consent to and engage in concerted action, and bo…Read more