Gail Presbey
University of Detroit Mercy
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 addressing the root problem, cases of witchcraft practice will diminish. The paper uses Kenyan philosopher Odera Oruka’s “sage philosophy” methodology, to interview rural sages who have reputations as being wise in their communities, so that professional philosophers can learn from their wisdom. For example, Saulo Namianya sees his role as helping to “level tongues” that had been high-pitched in their anger, so that people can discern the cause of a dispute and have it resolved. Adala Otuko emphasizes controlling one’s fear when one first sights a charm. Ngaimarish ole Mulo explains how to encourage parties who are sparring with each other to stop and consider the perspective of the other party. The sages are shown to be wise counselors who encourage critical thinking in their communities.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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DOI 10.5840/ijpp2004211
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