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Series: Vernon Series in Philosophy

Ka Osi Sọ Onye: African Philosophy in the Postmodern Era

Edited by Jonathan Chimakonam, University of Calabar, Nigeria & University of Pretoria, South Africa and Edwin Etieyibo, University of the Witwatersrand

February 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-366-8
Availability: In stock
$67 £50 €57

This collection is about composing thought at the level of modernism and decomposing it at the postmodern level where many cocks might crow with African philosophy as a focal point. It has two parts: part one is titled ‘The Journey of Reason in African Philosophy’, and part two is titled ‘African Philosophy and Postmodern Thinking’. There are seven chapters in both parts. Five of the essays are reprinted here as important selections while nine are completely new essays commissioned for this book. As their titles suggest, in part one, African philosophy is unfolded in the manifestation of reason as embedded in modern thought while in part two, it draws the effect of reason as implicated in the postmodern orientation. While part one strikes at what V. Y. Mudimbe calls the “colonising structure” or the Greco-European logo-phallo-euro-centricism in thought, part two bashes the excesses of modernism and partly valorises postmodernism. In some chapters, modernism is presented as an intellectual version of communalism characterised by the cliché: ‘our people say’. Our thinking is that the voice of reason is not the voice of the people but the voice of an individual. The idea of this book is to open new vistas for the discipline of African philosophy. African philosophy is thus presented as a disagreement discourse. Without rivalry of thoughts, Africa will settle for far less. This gives postmodernism an important place, perhaps deservedly more important than history of philosophy allocates to it. It is that philosophical moment that says ‘philosophers must cease speaking like gods in their hegemonic cultural shrines and begin to converse across borders with one another’. In this conversation, the goal for African philosophers must not be to find final answers but to sustain the conversation which alone can extend human reason to its furthermost reaches.

Lucian Blaga: Selected Philosophical Extracts

Edited by R. T. Allen et al.

February 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-293-7
Availability: In stock
$58 £44 €49

After the Editor's General Introduction, the extracts include central elements of Blaga’s metaphysics, general epistemology, philosophies of science, history, religion, language and especially metaphor, the experience of space and time, art, and finally culture which includes all of them, especially the presence in all of ‘style’ and distinctive ways of practising them. All these extracts are linked by his general epistemology, especially his distinction between two types of knowledge: ‘paradisiac’ or Type 1, which is that of everyday awareness and the current methods, concepts and presuppositions of the sciences of nature and humanity, plus mathematics and philosophy, and accumulates in ‘plus knowledge’ and resolves problems in standard ways; and ‘Luciferican’ or Type 2, which opens up the ‘mysteries’ of new realms of reality which do not fit the current methods, concepts and presuppositions, and so results in ‘minus’ knowledge, the awareness that there are things which at the moment we cannot understand. For these ‘mysteries’ new methods, concepts and presuppositions are required, which ‘abyssal’ categories can supply, ones below those we normally employ and may be aware of. It is part of man’s role in the cosmos to reveal such mysteries. They are also linked by Blaga's awareness of historical changes, especially ‘dogmatic aeons’ in which a prevailing framework of categories, etc., guides knowledge and research, and ones in which Type 2 knowledge dominates and new frameworks are eventually created. Each extract has its own Introduction which places it in the context of the rest of his interlinked philosophy. They show how Blaga, with both general themes and concepts and also with particular examples, combines much of the concerns and methods of Analytic and Continental philosophy, and how his historical perspective applied especially to modern times long before anyone spoke of 'postmodernism', and thus as in his lifetime.

The Origins of Liberty: An Essay in Platonic Ontology

Alexander Zistakis

January 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-289-0
Availability: Forthcoming

Unlike the vast majority of existing literature on Plato, the main claim of this book is that Liberty constitutes the central notion and preoccupation of his thought, and that indeed his theory of ideas is a theory of liberty. Plato's thought is at once the thought of liberty and a theory of liberation. What is more, this thought of liberty tends to be all-encompassing in the sense that it makes repeated efforts to find both the ideal liberty and the conditions and possibility of its existence in the so-called real (material and phenomenal) world. Hence the emphasis on ontology as the very grounds of his political philosophy and anthropology, as well as on the structural unity of all three. Furthermore, understood from such a perspective, Platonic philosophy appears as primarily an investigation, articulation and establishment of the relationships between the individual and the collective, a relationship which is taken to be the natural, the original and originary framework for any conception and exercise of human liberty, and especially democratic theory and politics. By treating Plato’s philosophy as a continuous effort to find modes and dimensions of liberation in and through different forms of the relationship between the individual and the collective, our hope is not only to engage in the discussion about the meaning of Platonic ontological-political insights on different grounds, but also to provide a different perspective for the evaluation of its relevance for the central contemporary issues and problems regarding liberty, liberation, democracy and politics in general. This book will be an interesting reading for both undergraduate students and experienced scholars and researchers, as well as for the general public interested in philosophy, classics and political theory.

Nietzsche Trauma and Overcoming

The Psychology of the Psychologist

Uri Wernik

January 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-294-4
Availability: In stock
$57 £47 €54

"Nietzsche Trauma and Overcoming " shows that Nietzsche suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and most probably was a victim of childhood sex abuse. I bring convincing evidence from his texts to support these claims, along with a discussion of corroborating psychological findings on these issues. I show that he teaches coping with pain and suffering, based on his life experience, with lessons from the school of war, the wisdom of reinterpretation, and artistic activity. His three themes of the Superman, Eternal Recurrence, and the Will to Power, the heart of his philosophy and psychology, are understood in a new light, in relation to his personal suffering and overcoming. The book criticizes the attempts to diagnose Nietzsche as suffering from various psychiatric disorders, psychoanalyze him as a fatherless child grown old, and outing him as a closet homosexual. These approaches lead to a dead-end. Firstly, it is impossible to prove that someone is a paragon of mental health, not a covert homosexual, and unmoved by a parent’s death. Secondly, these speculations explain only a small part of Nietzsche’s personal statements, found in his writings. Thirdly, and most importantly, they do not change our understanding of his ideas and how they were arrived at; they do not increase our appreciation of him; and do not leave us with any lessons for life (the goal of any good writing according to Nietzsche).

Yoruba Philosophy and the Seeds of Enlightenment

Advancing Yoruba Philosophy

Yemi D. Prince

January 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-301-9
Availability: In stock
$61 £50 €58

For upwards of 25 years, Yemi D. Prince (also known as Yemi D. Ogunyemi) has systematically devoted himself to the education, research and reason of Creative Writing and from Creative Writing to Creative Thinking and from Creative Thinking to Yoruba narrative, cultural, folk philosophy. On realizing that Creative Thinking has become his area of focus and interest, he succeeds in cultivating big ideas, combining them with his life-long experiences in the Humanities, transforming them into new ways of writing, thinking or reasoning. (Some of his big ideas have led to the publication of booklets such as Yoruba Idealism, We Should All Be Philosophers, The Artist-Philosophers in Yoruba land, Codes of Morality and Pursuit of Wisdom.) Thus his big ideas have helped him separate Yoruba folk philosophy from Yoruba autochthonous religion. With his love for big ideas, born out of Creative Thinking and Critical Thinking, he has been able to put a new face on Yoruba Philosophy.