Philosophy in an African Place shifts the central question of African philosophy from "Is there an African philosophy?" to "What is it to do philosophy in this place?" This book both opens up new questions within the field and also establishes "philosophy-in-place", a mode of philosophy which begins from the places in which concepts have currency and shows how a truly creative philosophy can emerge from focusing on questioning, listening, and attention to difference.
Introduction: Philosophy-in-place -- Tradition in the periphery -- Questioning reason -- Wisdom is actually thought -- Culture and the problem of universality -- Listening to language -- Practicality : African philosophy's debts and duties -- Locating African philosophy.
This book analyzes the hermeneutics of place, raising questions about central issues such as textuality, dialogue, and play. It discusses the central figures in the development of hermeneutics and place, and surveys disciplines and areas in which a hermeneutic approach to place has been fruitful. It covers the range of philosophical hermeneutic theory, both within philosophy itself as well as from other disciplines. In doing so, the volume reflects the state of theorization on these issues, and also looks forward to (...) the implications and opportunities that exist. Philosophical hermeneutics has fundamentally altered philosophy’s approach to place. Issues such as how we dwell in place, how place is imagined, created, preserved, and lost, and how philosophy itself exists in place have become central. While there is much research applying hermeneutics to place, there is little which both reflects on that heritage and critically analyzes a hermeneutic approach to place. This book fills that void by offering a sustained analysis of the central elements, major figures, and disciplinary applications of hermeneutics and place. (shrink)
The title of Emmanuel Eze’s final, posthumously published book uses the words “reason” and “rationality” in a manner that might suggest they are interchangeable. I would like to suggest that we not treat them as the same, but rather tease out a difference in emphasis and reference between the two. In African philosophy, the problem of reason is really two separate problems, the first of which I will call the “problem of reason” (that is, the question of whether there are (...) diverse forms of reason or only one universal form) and the second the “problem of rationality” (that is, the question of whether everyone has the capacity to deploy reason past what mimicry or programming makes possible). Both of these problems are addressed by Eze’s schema for forms of reason. He identifies several forms, but focuses on “ordinary reason”, which allows all the other forms to operate. Ordinary reason also makes rationality possible, that is, the culturally specific yet emergent way of navigating forms of reason. Reason is necessarily diverse, because its multiple forms are deployed differently by different rationalities. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:The Porch: Meditations on the Edge of Nature by Charlie HaileyBruce B. JanzThe Porch: Meditations on the Edge of Natureby charlie hailey Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2021Charlie Hailey’s The Porch is a difficult book to review. This is not because I have to be measured in my praise—it is an excellent book, well written, with a mix of close observations and rigorous research. It is also (...) not difficult to review because it is challenging to read—it is an absolute joy to read. Hailey is a writer with a sense of rhythm and scene; this work could easily be taught in a course on creative nonfiction as it has that sense of writing craft along with its phenomenological acuity.No, The Porch is difficult to review because I get the sense that Hailey is asking us to do something other than evaluate it for the adequacy of its arguments or the originality of its points, or even the beauty of its writing. He is asking us to enter a world with him, to see things we haven’t seen and see those we have seen in a new way. The chapters are titled “Porch,” “Tilt,” “Air,” “Screen,” “Blue,” and “Acclimate,” and these give an idea of the space he is opening up. It is a space somewhere between a material world and the sense we make of it. The author is entirely committed to both, but not fooled by the illusions or uplifting promises of either.The primary porch of the book is on his cabin on the Homosassa River in Florida. It is a porch that is under threat of rising waters due [End Page 142] to climate change and catastrophe due to hurricanes. It is a porch on an estuary fed by a spring, which means that the water quality and clarity varies greatly over the nine miles of the river’s flow. Animal life abounds. It is, in other words, a porch where one is not going to be easily lulled to sleep, at least if paying the slightest bit of attention.It is perhaps unavoidable that talking about this book means talking about the environment. Indeed, on a first reading, this reminded me more of nature writing than architecture writing. The book is, to be sure, a reflection on architecture at its best, which is to say, the lived aspect of built space, the almost imperceptible but nonetheless real ways in which the liminal space of the porch affords the experience of the membrane between nature and culture, the outside and the inside, the public and the private. But it is also nature writing, inasmuch as a common thread in nature writing is to place us in the middle of nature, as part of it. We are not the designers, nor are we the inhabitants; we are those in the milieu, the middle of cause and effect, actor and acted upon, subject and object. It is a rare book on architecture, even vernacular architecture, that achieves this. The tendency is to always look for the optimization of the built environment, the tweak that will succeed in drawing us out into our best selves or the cute or trendy new feature. That is not Hailey’s goal here.If the porch is one of the best places in the built environment to understand the milieu, it must present itself in those terms beyond the author’s own circumstance. Otherwise, this would just be a paeon to a much-loved place. But the book is full of examples of porches, both literary and real, not just as objects or as liminal spaces between nature and culture, but as sites that show us their inhabitants and guests in unguarded and exploratory moments. If the trope of human vs. nature in American letters is of the human coming to terms with his or her own individuality, striving to tame, dominate, or at least fit into nature, and the trope of human in the built environment often ends up as the externalization of our internal, as-yet unrealized natures, this porch does something entirely different. We neither have the self/other... (shrink)
In this paper, I wish to consider Watsuji Tetsuro's (1889?1960) concept of climate (fudo), and consider whether it contributes anything to the relationship between climate change and ethics. I will argue that superficially it seems that fudo tells us little about the ethics of climate change, but if considered more carefully, and through the lens of thinkers such as Deleuze and Heidegger, there is ethical insight in Watsuji's approach. Watsuji's major work in ethics, Rinrigaku, provides concepts such as between-ness and (...) trust that enable his philosophy of climate to move from a theory of national characters (as Fudo is often seen to be) to an approach to living well within one's milieu. (shrink)
Boehme's concern was to outline a theory of knowledge that overcame the lifeless structure of traditional religion, and also made possible the real significance of individuals. He accomplished this by describing a dialectical system that began with a unique version of non-being, Ungrund, which was chaotic, and which was never negated throughout the entire dialectic. This system was one which provided a significant role for knowledge, in that the driving force of the dialectic was self-knowledge on the part of God. (...) The words he uses for the emergence of the dialectic are knowledge words--Verstand , Vernunft , Weisheit , Erkenntniss, Wissenschaft. This self-knowledge is a free movement that happens through the infusion of one force in the chaos, which Boehme calls Lust, into all the other forces, Begierde. The forces of Begierde have their craving for manifestation satiated, while Lust has its desire for self-knowledge met. The cooperation between these two is the entire story of dialectical creation, which Boehme calls Weisheit. One can either recognize this dialectical creation in the search for knowledge , or one can conceive knowledge as apart from that grounding . The second of these is a legitimate form of knowledge, but it becomes illegitimate if it does not recognize its dependency on Verstand. God has Verstand, in that God has knowledge of the dialectic, but this knowledge is conceptual, but particularized. Humans both gain Verstand and assume it, in their knowledge of the world through signatures. The result of this structure of creative knowledge is that: God is related to creation directly, without resorting to pantheism; Evil, which is simply a competing "Weisheit" or manifestation can be conquered; There is a place for positively conceived, named individuals; and, a third option is created, between static ontotheology in which there is an unquestioned foundation that legitimates all else, and pure perspectivism, in which the divine is simply one story that could be drawn from the world around. (shrink)
Bruce Janz, Jessica Locke, and Cynthia Willett interact in this exchange with different aspects of Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad’s book Human Being, Bodily Being. Through “constructive inter-cultural thinking”, they seek to engage with Ram-Prasad’s “lower-case p” phenomenology, which exemplifies “how to think otherwise about the nature and role of bodiliness in human experience”. This exchange, which includes Ram-Prasad’s reply to their interventions, pushes the reader to reflect more about different aspects of bodiliness.
Open peer commentary on the article “Constructivism and Mystical Experience” by Hugh Gash.: Gash leverages earlier discussions about the relationship between mysticism and its world, to argue that it is useful in thinking about the unexpected. I argue for a more nuanced understanding of surprise, which leads to asking about the place of questions and of events in cognition.
specific cultural forms from the charge of ethnophilosophy. It is possible for philosophy to address the particulars of cultural experience without losing its »universal« character. The papers in this volume address three major themes in an effort to illustrate the encounter between philosophy and culture – the nature of persons, the nature of k nowledge, and the nature of change. The essays in the volume vary in their success at reaching the stated goal, inasmuch as some are more successful than (...) others at integrating the particular (cultural) and the universal (philosophical). Overall, though, Karp and Masolo's work is an important and welcome addition to the ongoing task of think ing through the nature of African philosophy. (shrink)
Here is the Florida website for Bill 0837 Full text of the bill, Web, pdf Tallahassee Democrat stories on Bill 0837: Council approves 'academic freedom' (April 20, 2005) 'Academic freedom' bill dead - but not forgotten (April 21, 2005) Rep. Dennis K. Baxley, Ocala (sponsor of Bill 0837).
01 This essay had its genesis in a deliberate misreading of a conference call for papers. I had been working on what I called "place making imagination," when I was told about a conference asking for papers on "Imaging Place." Only two letters separated what I was doing from what was required – Imaging Place easily becomes "Imagining Place" and hypostatizes into "Place Making Imagination." Imagination produces images, I thought, and is comprised of them, and so the misreading is slight (...) at best. I should be able to make things fit easily enough. (shrink)