The Value of Conversational Thinking in Building a Decent World

Dialogue and Universalism 26 (4):105-117 (2016)
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Abstract

In this paper we focus on conversational thinking to demonstrate the value of public reasoning in building a decent world and true democracies. We shall take into account the views of selected scholars, especially John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas, on law and democratic practice, to explain why post-colonial Africa is weighed down by sociopolitical hegemonies that have aversion to their opposition and eliminate room for strong institutions, rule of law and human rights. In light of conversational thinking, this eliminates any chance for “creative struggle,” i.e. a philosophers struggle against the post-colonial imaginary/social agents to dethrone strong individuals and create strong institutions. In the absence of these indices which a conversational orientation may engender, it is difficult to transform bogus democracy into true democracy and thus to create a decent society. Post-colonial Africa mired in social regression, political crisis and economic stagnation urgently needs conversational tonics to overcome the ineffectiveness of bogus democracy. We postulate a thesis about three structural transformations forming what we call Democratic Transformational Programme.

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Jonathan O Chimakonam
University of Pretoria

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