•  16
    Crisis, Dispossession, and Activism to Reclaim Detroit
    In and Konstantinos D. Koskeridis Helen Karabatzaki Vasiliki Solomou-Papanikolaou Golfo Maggini (ed.), Philosophy and Crisis: Responding to the Challenges to Ways of Life in the Contemporary World, Volume One. pp. 121-129. 2017.
    The paper discusses the concept of "crisis" in the context of the city of Detroit's bankruptcy under the rule of the Governor-appointed Emergency Manager. In their recent book, Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou discuss the concept of dispossession in all its complexity, in the context of enforced austerity measures in Europe and a global Occupy movement. The concept of “dispossession” clarifies how we actually depend on others in a sustained social world, that in fact the self is social. I wi…Read more
  •  27
    Odera Oruka on Culture Philosophy and its role in the S.M. Otieno Burial Trial
    In Reginald M. J. Oduor, Oriare Nyarwath & Francis E. A. Owakah (eds.), Odera Oruka in the Twenty-first Century, The Council For Research in Values and Philosophy. pp. 99-118. 2018.
    This paper focuses on evaluating Odera Oruka’s role as an expert witness in customary law for the Luo community during the Nairobi, Kenya-based trial in 1987 to decide on the place of the burial of S.M. Otieno. During that trial, an understanding of Luo burial and widow guardianship (ter) practices was essential. Odera Oruka described the practices carefully and defended them against misunderstanding and stereotype. He revisited related topics in several delivered papers, published articles, and…Read more
  • “Fanon on the Role of Violence in Liberation: A Comparison to Gandhi and Mandela.”
    In Lewis Gordon, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting & Renee White (eds.), Frantz Fanon: A Critical Reader. pp. 282-296. 1996.
    Both Gandhi and Fanon used divergent medical models to come up with their analogies for political action. For Gandhi, non-invasive medicine (such as fasting), prayer, and vigil took a key role in his response to individual illness of the body. He counseled similar tactics to challenge ‘illness” or error in the body politic. Fanon, a psychiatrist trained also in medicine referred to colonialism as a gangrene germ that threatened the life of the body politic, and therefore needed to be amputated o…Read more
  • The paper explores the role of sage philosophy, founded by Prof. H. Odera Oruka of Kenya, within African philosophy and philosophy in general. The focus on wise sages raises the larger issue of the relationship of wisdom to philosophy. An early literature of wisdom philosophy, dealing with the art of living, has been marginalized by modern philosophy, where concerns for wisdom are peripheral. Kekes and Blanshard argue, however, that the reflectiveness and judgment involved in wisdom are key phil…Read more
  •  8
    “Odera Oruka and Mohandas Gandhi on Reconciliation"
    Polylog: Forum Für Interkulturelles Philosophieren 35 (2): 187-208. 2015.
    Trudy Govier worked closely with Wilhelm Verwoerd and Desmond Tutu in South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This paper shares her insights regarding the meaning and importance of concepts such as acknowledgment, apology, forgiveness and reconciliation. The paper goes on to focus on the topic of reconciliation in the works of two philosophers. Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka had a great concern for reconciliation and restorative justice. He critiqued criminal justice systems th…Read more
  • Sage Philosophy and Critical Thinking
    International Journal of Philosophical Practice 2 (1): 1-13. 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. By…Read more
  •  121
    Azaransky's work highlights the theological contributions of Howard Thurman, Benjamin Mays, William Stuart Nelson, Pauli Murray and Bayard Rustin. She makes a compelling case that each of these thinker-activists needs to be better appreciated for their cutting-edge theological insights based on their thought and life experience with Mohandas Gandhi and his spiritual activism. Each reinterprets their own Christian views based on this larger worldwide experience that they have gained through study…Read more
  • Evaluating the Legacy of Nonviolence in South Africa
    Peace and Change 31 (2): 141-174. 2006.
    This paper engages an important debate going on in the literature regarding the efficacy of nonviolence in confronting unjust regimes. I will focus on the commentators who have claimed that nonviolence, if adhered to more resolutely, would have ended South African apartheid sooner. I will contrast them to Mandela’s account that both violence and nonviolence working in tandem were needed to bring a speedy and just resolution to South Africa’s crisis of racist governance. To consider South Africa …Read more
  •  144
    The IMF, World Bank, and former colonial powers have put pressure on African countries to adopt multiparty democracy. Because of this pressure, many formerly one‐party states as well as some military dictatorships have embraced Western and Parliamentarian democratic forms. But does this mean that democracy has succeeded in Africa? Ernest Wamba‐dia‐Wamba of the University of Dar‐es‐Saalam and CODESRIA argues that embracing Western paradigms in an unthinking fashion will not bring real democracy, …Read more
  •  92
    Soon after taking power, three leaders of nonviolent African independence movements, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia immediately turned to violent means to suppress internal opposition. The paper examines the reasons for the success of their Gandhian nonviolent tactics in ousting British colonial governments and argues that these new heads of state lost confidence in nonviolence due to a mixture of self-serving expediency, a lack of understanding …Read more
  •  213
    This article provides an overview of the contributions to philosophy of Nigerian philosopher Sophie Bọ´sẹ`dé Olúwọlé. The first woman to earn a philosophy PhD in Nigeria, Olúwọlé headed the Department of Philosophy at the University of Lagos before retiring to found and run the Centre for African Culture and Development. She devoted her career to studying Yoruba philosophy, translating the ancient Yoruba Ifá canon, which embodies the teachings of Orunmila, a philosopher revered as an Óríṣá in th…Read more
  •  47
    Ways in Which Oral Philosophy is Superior to Written Philosophy: A Look at Odera Oruka’s Rural Sages
    APA Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience 1996 (Fall): 6-10. 1996.
    The paper is about H. Odera Oruka's Sage Philosophy project. Oruka interviewed rural sages of Kenya, saying that like Socrates, these wise elders had been philosophizing without writing anything down. Paulin Hountondji (at the time) criticized efforts of oral philosophizing, saying that Africa needed a written tradition of philosophizing. Some philosophers were representatives of an "individualist" position which says that philosophical ideas must be attributed to specific named individuals. Kwa…Read more
  •  2
    Antón Donoso, in memorium (1932-2018)
    Inter-American Journal of Philosophy 9 (1). 2018.
    Antón Donoso was a teacher and scholar devoted to studying North American, Latin American and Iberian philosophy, along with Marxism from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He explored the works of Jose Ortega y Gasset, Julian Marais, John Dewey, Miguel de Unamuno and others. He was active in philosophical societies that promoted the study of Latin American philosophy, and often wrote review articles that introduced English-speakers to the key new ideas from Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. In a …Read more
  • Review of Economic and Political Reform in Africa: Anthropological Perspectives (review)
    Ethique and Economique Ethics and Economics 13 94-95. 2016.
  •  13
    In Memory: The Significance of Claude Sumner. SJ’s Contribution to African Philosophy
    with George McLean
    In African Philosophy in Ethiopia: Ethiopian Philosophical Studies, II.. 2013.
    The paper surveys the lifetime achievements of Claude Sumner, S.J., a Canadian Jesuit who lived for 45 years in Ethiopia and devoted his life's work to collecting, documenting and evaluating Ethiopian philosophical texts and oral literature.
  • Should Women love 'Wisdom'?
    In African Philosophy in Ethiopia: Ethiopian Philosophical Studies, II.. pp. 139-158. 2013.
  •  8
    Teaching about Racism and Sexism in Introduction to Philosophy Classes
    Apa Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy 7 (2): 5-13. 2008.
    The paper contains pedagogical suggestions for addressing issues of racism and sexism in the classroom, in the context of an introductory philosophy survey. It draws on the ideas of Charles Mills, Laurence Thomas, Peggy McIntosh and others.
  •  17
    Teaching ‘Philosophy of Feminism’ from a Global Perspective
    Apa Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy 12 (1): 4-9. 2012.
    The paper points out ways in which philosophy can be taught from a global feminist perspective without falling into typical Eurocentric pitfalls. For example, African women's practices of cliterodectomy can be studied thoughtfully and in context, with attention to both sides of the issue, instead of covering the topic for its shock value as a strategy to convince students that relativism is wrong. The paper covers a reading list and topics that both cover feminist critiques of the prevalent male…Read more
  •  5
    National unity is important in Kenya, since ethnic divisions have sometimes become deadly. The imposed Coalition government and the recent new Constitution in 2010 were attempts to overcome division. But cultural divisions among the generations are just as much of a challenge as ethnic divisions, as the youth sometimes sideline the practices and worldviews of their elders, leaving people to wonder what binds people to each other as Kenyans? The idea of “national culture” has its pitfalls, bit se…Read more
  •  7
    The U.S.-led military incursion in Iraq and the subsequent occupation has been filled with myriad examples of the Bush Administration using misleading statements in an effort to win the support of American citizens, and in a secondary sense, the international community and the Iraqis. This situation provides many opportunities to analyze the use of sophistry and linguistic sleight of hand. In this paper, I draw upon the insights offered by Hannah Arendt in the earlier context of her critiques o…Read more
  •  12
    Who Counts as a Sage? Problems in the Further Implementation of Sage Philosophy
    Quest: Philosophical Discussions 11 (1-2): 53-65. 1997.
    With the recent death of Prof. H. Odera Oruka, founder of the ‘sage philosophy’ school of research based at the University of Nairobi, there is a need to look at some now-problematic issues. I suggest that the original impetus for starting the sage philosophy project-the defense against Euro-American skeptics who thought Africans incapable of philosophizing-has been outgrown. The present need for studies of African sages is to benefit from their wisdom, both in Africa and around the world. I als…Read more
  •  43
    Kenyan Sages on Equality of the Sexes
    Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya 4 (2): 111-145. 2012.
    This article traces the larger theme of egalitarianism within the context of equality of the sexes throughout H. Odera Oruka’s interviews with Kenyan sages, whom he asked to share their views on the topic. Often, the sages asserted men’s superiority to women. This paper analyses the sages’ responses, as well as Odera Oruka’s rejoinders to their comments. I have broadened my study to include five sages interviewed by Frederick Ochieng’-Odhiambo, included in his dissertation completed under Odera …Read more
  •  1
    Who Counts as a Sage?
    The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 23 51-56. 1998.
    With the recent death of Prof. H. Odera Oruka, founder of the ‘sage philosophy’ school of research based at the University of Nairobi, there is a need to look at some now-problematic issues. I suggest that the original impetus for starting the sage philosophy project-the defense against Euro-American skeptics who thought Africans incapable of philosophizing-has been outgrown. The present need for studies of African sages is to benefit from their wisdom, both in Africa and around the world. I als…Read more
  •  353
    Gandhi’s Many Influences and Collaborators
    Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 35 (2): 360-69. 2015.
    In Gandhi's Printing Press, Isabel Hofmeyr introduces readers to the nuances of the newspaper in a far-flung colony in the age when mail and news traveled by ship and when readers were encouraged by Gandhi to read slowly and deeply. This article explores the ways in which Thoreau's concept of slow reading influenced Gandhi and Hofmeyr herself. She discusses the community that surrounded Gandhi and the role it played in supporting the newspaper. Yet, I argue, the role of women of all races as wel…Read more
  •  152
    A co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, its newspaper, and hospitality houses, the writer Dorothy Day promoted public peace nationally and internationally as a journalist, an organizer of public protests, and a builder of associational communities. Drawing upon Hannah Arendt’s conceptions of the role of speech and action in creating the public realm, this paper focuses on several of Day’s most controversial public positions: her leadership of non-cooperation against Civil Defense drills in…Read more