Kwame Gyekye offers a philosophical interpretation and critical analysis of the African cultural experience in modern times. Critically employing Western political and philosophical concepts to clear, comparative advantage, Gyekye addresses a wide range of concrete problems afflicting postcolonial African states, such as ethnicity and nation-building, the relationship of tradition to modernity, the nature of political authority and political legitimation, political corruption, and the threat to traditional moral and social values, practices, and institutions in the wake of rapid social change.
The more passages one examines in the translations from Arabic to Latin and from Arabic to English and other modern languages, the more mistakes one comes across in the translation of the Arabic expression ‘alā al-qaṣd al-awwal . The mistakes stem from the failure to distinguish between two senses of the expression, one an adverb, and the other a famous philosophic concept. Failing to distinguish between the two senses, the translators translated the phrase literally, often with unsatisfactory results. In this (...) paper, I shall indicate a Greek word which was rendered by the Arabic ‘alā al-qaṣd al-awwal. I shall refer to some English translations from the Arabic and show how wrong they are. I shall suggest that in Arabic philosophy itself al-Fārābī, rather than Avicenna, may have been the origin of the philosophic concepts of “first and second intentions.” I shall point out that although these concepts may have been introduced into Latin scholasticism by Raymond Lull, he could not have derived them from the Logic of al-Ghazālī, as has been alleged. (shrink)
In this paper i argue that the bundle-theory, the theory that substance is nothing but a collection of qualities, bristles with difficulties. i show that a conjunction of the so-called essential qualities would primarily yield a conception not of an individual substance socrates, for instance, but of a species, i.e., the concept 'man', and that only the addition of some uniquely determining accidental qualities to the essential ones would yield an individual substance. but, then, these accidental qualities and infinite in (...) number and are therefore only potential and unknowable. thus, the "bundle" can never be 'actualized'. nor can the notion of substance be eliminated in favor of descriptions, since these should include negative descriptions which are infinite in number because expressible in terms of the whole universe. since not all descriptions apply to a thing, where they do, they must have been antecedantly 'derived' from that thing. hence, i conclude that there are grounds for at least a limited defense of a substance ontology. (shrink)
Even though the subject of my paper is ‘Technology and Culture in a Developing Country’, it seems appropriate to preface it by examining science itself in the cultural traditions of a developing country, such as Ghana, in view of the fact that the lack of technological advancement, or the ossified state in which the techniques of production found themselves, in the traditional setting of Africa and, in many ways, even in modern Africa, is certainly attributable to the incomprehensible inattention to (...) the search for scientific principles by the traditional technologists. I begin therefore with observations on how science and knowledge fared in the traditional culture of a developing country. (shrink)