On November 18, 1994, academic, activist, and philosopher Cornel West addressed the National Alliance of Black School Educators at a conference in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Dr. West’s speech, captured in this video recording, focuses on the experience of African Americans in America, a culture that, according to West, is steeped in the “pernicious and vicious” influence of white supremacy. West argues that 1994 is one of the “more frightening and terrifying moments” (...) in the history of the United States, and he laments the election of Newt Gingrich as well as the leadership positions of such figures as Strom Thurmond and Orrin Hatch. He urges the audience to adopt an approach to democratizing American politics by not only resisting white supremacy but also male supremacy, heterosexual supremacy, and any other attitude that dehumanizes other people. West also deplores the decline of “non-market values” such as kindness, community, and love, contending that “market culture” leads to “market morality,” in which every part of human life is commodified. (shrink)
Let us take, as a starting assumption, the Benthamic understanding of the point of law: We should make laws that will increase the overall happiness of the people whose lives are affected by them. But how should we go about doing that? And more particularly, what role, if any, should our held desires play in the task of ascertaining the content of our happiness? And when, if ever, should we defer to the desires of the affected masses, and when should (...) we not, in determining what will or will not promote happiness? The classical, or “hedonic,” utilitarians of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries suggested a number of answers to these related questions, of which I will mention two. (shrink)
The evolving Ebola epidemic in West Africa is unprecedented in its size and scope, requiring the rapid mobilization of resources. It is too early to determine all of the ethical challenges associated with the outbreak, but these should be monitored closely. Two issues that can be discussed are the decision to implement and evaluate unregistered agents to determine therapeutic or prophylactic safety and efficacy and the justification behind this decision. In this paper, I argue that it is not compassionate (...) use that justifies this decision and suggest three lines of reasoning to support the decision. (shrink)
Business Ethics as a field of teaching, training and research has appeared on the scene, as a panacea after several negative incidents of unethical global business practices, to offer sound principles and elucidate on the fact that the increase in corporate and individual corruption leads to a general decay of society. It is indeed in the interest of all to have a balanced society founded on business practices which are alongside other factors, ethical and therefore sustainable. This article is a (...) modest attempt to provide the results of a survey conducted in the sub-Saharan region of West Africa, elucidating on attempts to gain a better understanding of the prevalence and scope of teaching, training, and research in the field of Business Ethics. The conclusion shows gaps in the study of Business Ethics within the region, but also portrays the available existence, practice and prevalence of Business Ethics within traditional African culture in West Africa. (shrink)
This paper examines how people in West Africa are reacting to the Ebola virus disease, an epidemic presently prevalent in the region. Certain lifestyle changes are suggested. Additionally, the heart of the paper focuses on the request by governments to be allowed access to experimental drugs, such as Zmapp and TKM-Ebola, for their infected populations. The author argues that granting such a request would circumvent research ethics procedures, which could potentially constitute significant risk to users of the drugs. The (...) Pfizer Kano meningitis trial of 1996 is cited as an example to buttress how unapproved drugs could prove fatal. (shrink)
Donors, scientists and farmers all benefit when research and development projects have high impact. However, potential benefits are sometimes not realized. Our objective in this study is to determine why resource-poor farmers in Togo (declined to) adopt recommended practices that were promoted through a multi-organizational project on soil fertility management. We examine the processes and outcomes related to the adoption process. The project was undertaken in three villages in the Central Region of Togo in West Africa. The development and (...) research processes that took place during the implementation of the project were critically analyzed using a conceptual framework that may be useful for improving the impact of future participatory projects. At the macro level, opportunities for innovation were not deliberately explored with participating farmers and other village members; consequently “pre-analytical choices” made during the planning phase resulted in practices that resource-poor farmers were, for a variety of reasons, unable or unwilling to adopt. From the outset, donors and scientists focused on soil fertility management, but failed to take into account the wider economic context within which soil fertility management took place. This was a major obstacle to the subsequent adoption of recommended management strategies. Scientists and donor partners measured the success of the Project in terms of crop productivity, but farmers’ choices were influenced by a complex mix of socio-economic, political and technical factors. We also illustrate the importance of selecting appropriate categories of farmers for a particular experiment. We conclude that for participatory research and development projects to be successful, it is not enough to develop technologies that “work” in a technical sense. In order to be scaled up and widely implemented, such technologies must also meet a variety of needs of resource-poor farmers and be acceptable from a socio-cultural point of view. (shrink)
The paper presents the idea of cross‐cultural philosophy, which have inspired the organizers of the cyclic global conferences held at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, USA, since 193 First, the author discusses some definitions of the comparative method applied in contemporary philosophy and promoted, among others, through the project of the “East‐West Philosophers’ Conference”. Then, she reports the major themes and panel topics raised during the eleventh conference organized in Honolulu, May 25–31, 2016.
Driven by population pressures on natural resources, peri-urban pastoralists in the Far North Province of Cameroon have recently intensified livestock production in their traditional pastoral system by feeding their cattle cottonseed cakes and other agricultural byproducts to cope with the disappearance of rangelands typically available through the dry season. Although the crop–livestock interactions in this altered intensive pastoral system seem similar to alterations recently named in mixed-farming systems in West Africa, they are distinctly different and would require a different (...) type of agricultural development support. I use Bourdieu’s theoretical constructs of “habitus” and “capital” to explain those differences. (shrink)
In The American Evasion of Philosophy Cornell West makes a comparison between the developments of European and classical American philosophies. Within West's analogy, however, two important American figures are missing: Josiah Royce and George H. Mead. In the context of this framework, this article ..
Philosophical Questions: East and West is an anthology of source material for use in comparative courses in philosophy, religion, and the humanities. The readings—derived from the great works of the Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Islamic, and Western intellectual traditions—are presented as answers to some of the most enduring questions in philosophy.
Traditional scholars of philosophy and religion, both East and West, often place a major emphasis on analyzing the nature of “the self.” In recent decades, there has been a renewed interest in analyzing self, but most scholars have not claimed knowledge of an ahistorical, objective, essential self free from all cultural determinants. The contributors to this volume recognize the need to contextualize specific views of self and to analyze such views in terms of the dynamic, dialectical relations between self (...) and culture.An unusual feature of this book is that all of the chapters not only focus on traditions and individuals, East and West, but include as primary emphases comparative philosophy, religion, and culture, reinforcing individual and cultural creativity. Each chapter brings specific Eastern and Western perspectives into a dynamic, comparative relation. This comparative orientation emphasizes our growing sense of interrelatedness and interdependency. Culture and Self includes many Asian and Western philosophical, religious, and cultural perspectives. Chapters focus on Vedanta, Samkhya-Yoga, and other Hindu approaches, as well as Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist and other Indian, Chinese, and Japanese perspectives. Studies present Cartesian and other dominant Western perspectives, as well as Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, feminism, and other Western challenges to the dominant Western interpretations of culture and self.This volume will appeal to students and readers of philosophy, religious studies, Asian studies, and cultural studies. (shrink)
A participatory rural appraisal inthree West African countries examined thepossibility for replacing chemical pesticidesto control locusts and grasshoppers with abiological control method based on anindigenous fungal pathogen. The fungus iscurrently being tested at different sites inthe Sahel and in the humid tropics of WestAfrica. Structured group interviews, individualdiscussions, and field visits, were used toobtain farmers' perceptions of locust andgrasshoppers as crop pests, their quantitativeestimation of crop losses, and theirwillingness to pay for locust control. Farmersas well as plant protection officers (...) generallyperceived locusts and grasshoppers as importantpests that cause significant damage. Farmerswere aware of some of the risks of the use ofchemical pesticides, but not of the potentialalternatives. The use of the fungus in anoil-formulation and standard Ultra Low Volume(ULV) equipment was demonstrated, and theresults discussed with farmers. Theirimpressions of biological control werefavorable, and they expressed an interest inusing the technology. Farmers' expressedwillingness to pay for locust control is small,but not negligible. Locusts and grasshoppersare very visible pests and thus amenable topressure from farmers to local administrators,as well as by farmers' relatives in the city onthe national government. Therefore, politicalpressure for locust control is strong, althoughnational governments spend little on it,depending mostly on foreign donors. Donors areincreasingly worried about the environmentaleffect of the large amounts of chemicalpesticides used on locust control, and arepushing for more benign alternatives. Theresults of the present survey indicate thatthere may be a potential market for abiopesticide against grasshoppers and locustson cash crops in the humid areas. The potentialmarket in the Sahel depends on a reduction ofcosts or a subsidy of its price. This subsidycould be justified by the expected reduction inenvironmental and health costs when replacingchemical pesticides. Since donors are thecurrent purchasers of chemical pesticides forthe Sahel, they would also be expected to beinvolved in the purchase of the biologicalproduct. (shrink)
The Congress shows two tendencies: (1) A growing open-mindedness and concern for the surrounding pacific cultures and the West. (2) A Renaissance of classical studies in order to fuse genuine chinese with western ideas in a new transcultural dialogue. Occidental provincialists are invited to enter the debate.
I examine issues tied to the allegeddifficulties of mutual understanding betweenRussia and the West. I show that some of thebackground to these issues lies in thedifference of culturally grounded differencesin perceptual and conceptual schemata. In theWest, a broadly understood Aristotelianism andin Russia Neoplatonism designate dominantattitudes to the world. The Russian `lunar''consciousness, in comparison with the `solar''consciousness of the West, tends by and largeprecipitously to totalize the world, and theexperienced multiplicity of the real isreferred to its imagined center. The (...) differencebetween Russia and the West, limited to somedegree by mutual similarities, can become thebasis of an axiological and intellectualdialogue important for one side and theother. (shrink)
Theoretically placeable within the framework of the secularization versus post-secularism debate, this research employs an aggregated religiosity index as an instrument to compare Western and former Communist Eastern Europe during the globalization era in terms of area trends in religiosity. Structured in eighteen differently weighted components corresponding to three core dimensions of religiosity, i.e. beliefs, practice, and affiliation, the index confirms that over the past decade, while in the West (and Central Europe as well) secularization trends have continued, albeit (...) at different rates and content variations, globalization seems to have finally “stepped in” in the East, where the spectacular religious revival of the 1990s has been considerably slowed down, apparently entering a plateau phase, although the remarkable both denominational and religiosity diversity in the area urges to caution in any generalizing statements. (shrink)
Congress on "Modern Cultural Relations between East and West". Dezember 15-19 in Beijing, People's Republic of China. The Congress shows two tendencies: (1) A growing open-mindedness and concern for the surrounding pacific cultures and the West. (2) A Renaissance of classical studies in order to fuse genuine chinese with western ideas in a new transcultural dialogue. Occidental provincialists are invited to enter the debate.
The idea that Eastern and Western societies should do everything together because they're exactly the same and their interests are identical is not, as some would have it, a sign of evolutionary maturity or scientific insight, but a desperate form of political manipulation, new Western imperialism, and, yes, wishful thinking. Surely our cultural differences and identities make the world more colorful." Thorsten Pattberg's East-West Dichotomy discusses the philosophical concept that two diametrically opposed hemispheres exist - East and West. (...) As the Peking University scholar demonstrates with numerous examples, their cultures and way of thinking differ radically; one could say they are 180 degrees apart. Pattberg's underlying argument is that because of the dichotomy Westerners, who are mostly rugged individualists, are more analytic and deductive in their thinking, while Easterners, who are more focused on the collective, favor a more intuitive, inductive, "holistic" approach to life. Moreover, he explores the origin and the future of the dichotomy, and shows how it has shaped the West's and the East's different attitudes towards nature, philosophy (both epistemology and ethics), as well as gender and society. Pattberg also shows his willingness to take on any potential critic of his theory in his chapter "Problems with the Dichotomy." This book is a valuable resource for those eager to gain a better understanding of the "Western" and "Eastern" psyches and of how they both harmonize and clash. (shrink)
The primary purpose here is to ascertain what Heidegger's comportment toward East-West dialogue is most plausibly like in the light of his philosophical concerns and orientations. Considering that one should not uncritically take at face value occasional remarks by Heidegger that seem to suggest that he is preparing an East-West dialogue, we will proceed from Heidegger's own path of thinking and bring to light fundamental presuppositions in his thought and the response he may accordingly give to the issue (...) of East-West dialogue. (shrink)
This article considers key differences and similarities between Freirean and Taoist ideals. I limit my focus to the Tao Te Ching, paying brief attention to the origins of this classic work of Chinese philosophy before concentrating on several themes of relevance to Freire's work. An essay by James Fraser, who makes three references to the Tao Te Ching in his discussion of love and history in Freire's pedagogy, provides a helpful starting point for investigation. A summary of Fraser's account is (...) followed by a more detailed discussion of the meaning of ‘action’ and ‘non‐action’, the nature and role of knowing and knowledge, and the relations between ignorance, happiness and education for Freire and Lao Tzu. I conclude that while the differences between these two systems of thought are significant and must be acknowledged, reflection upon these differences has the potential to be educationally productive. (shrink)
Philosophy claims that its goal is to search for truth. The history of philosophy, however, demonstrates that this search for truth has not been free from the power dynamics of respective eras. In this article, I claim that the formation of modern East Asian philosophy is one occasion in which the power structure of the time was visibly reflected. The East–West power imbalance at the beginning of the modern period was both implicitly and explicitly imbedded in the formation of (...) modern Buddhist philosophy in East Asia. To demonstrate this point, I will examine the life and thought of two East Asian Buddhist thinkers, Paek Sŏnguk 白性郁 and Inoue Enryō 井上円了, as paradigmatic examples of... (shrink)
The East-West Philosophers' Conference is a series that began in 1939. It has brought philosophers from around the globe to the University of Hawai'i to reflect on issues in comparative philosophy. The seventh such conference was held in January 1995.
In Nietzsche, Buddha, Zarathustra: Eine West-Ost Konfiguration, Michael Skowron sets out to develop a comparative philosophy of "self-overcoming," "transformation," and "process" (p. 7). Skowron's main interest is to retrace Friedrich Nietzsche's "genealogical thinking back to where the Eastern and the Western way began their separate direction in order to unearth the only place where they can be unified in its original form." The goal of this project is "to uncover the religious and postreligious dimensions of his [Nietzsche's] thinking" (p. (...) 5). This work thus promises to contribute to the contemporary understanding of Nietzsche; to compare the philosophies of Nietzsche, Buddha, and Zarathustra; and to facilitate .. (shrink)
: The primary purpose here is to ascertain what Heidegger's comportment toward East-West dialogue is most plausibly like in the light of his philosophical concerns and orientations. Considering that one should not uncritically take at face value occasional remarks by Heidegger that seem to suggest that he is preparing an East-West dialogue, we will proceed from Heidegger's own path of thinking and bring to light fundamental presuppositions in his thought and the response he may accordingly give to the (...) issue of East-West dialogue. (shrink)
Oren Ergas and Sharon Todd, the editors of Philosophy East/West: Exploring Intersections between Educational and Contemplative Practices, articulate the two main concerns of their project in the introduction. The first intent is to embrace a cross-philosophical approach that may integrate a wide spectrum of wisdom traditions the world over in order to maximize fruitful dialogue and cross-fertilization. The second is to take stock of the recent “contemplative turn” in education, as illustrated primarily by the growing contemporary trend to emphasize (...) meditational and mindfulness practices. The main objective of the editors of this thoughtful and creative volume is to reflect upon the ways such a “contemplative... (shrink)
This text combines discussions of major classical Western philosophical ethical systems (primarily Greek and Judeo-Christian) and, in equal depth, discussions of three non-Western ethical traditions (Indian Buddhist, Chinese Confucian, and Chinese Taoist) in a multi-cultural historical framework.
Peace, compared to war, receives scant attention. Comprised of nine essays drawn from a 2009 conference, the essays collected in Visions of Peace: Asia and the West, edited by Takashi Shogimen and Vicki A. Spencer, reach wide and far to push against that neglect. The essays focus on different conceptions of and plans for political peace. Even more impressively, they generally avoid well-trodden paths like Kant’s Toward Perpetual Peace and instead draw upon Asian traditions and more obscure Western traditions. (...) The first essay, for instance, discusses the Greek goddess of peace and, contra various modern scholars, how peace was in fact an ideal for the Greeks and thought to be achievable. The final essay is on Jeremy... (shrink)
Cross-cultural encounters often happen through cross-border journeys. Neela Bhattacharya Saxena, an English professor, takes the reader through such travel in Absent Mother God of the West. This is a work that stands at the intersection of many disciplines, such as women's and gender studies, anthropology, religious studies, cultural history, and environmental studies. Best of all, it is an engaging read. In the author's words, in "this book a personal journey takes the shape of a public discourse". This volume is (...) a reflection of the understanding of the echoes of personal devotion to the Divine Feminine in some of the world's major religions.Saxena brings to mind the multi-layered deeply philosophical... (shrink)