Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Phronimon]]> vol. 15 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Towards an ethical recontextualisation of Freud's theory of personality</b>]]> This paper explores the possibilities of complementing Freud's theory of human nature with the doctrine of St Thomas Aquinas on the virtue of prudence (phronesis). The paper builds on the foundation laid down by Freud's theory of the id, the ego, and the superego in relation to moral behaviour. However, it takes a rather different approach to moral decision-making and behaviour, culminating in the author's creation of the concept of the moral-ego. What is being raised in this paper is a concern that Freud's theory reduces morality to the dictates of the superego. <![CDATA[<b>Postethnophilosophy: discourses of modernity and the future of African philosophy</b>]]> This work examines how the so-called postethnophilosophical phase in African philosophy - propounded by Osha (2011) - fits into the perceived trajectory of the discipline and its overriding emancipatory mandate. The work appropriates ideas from arguably the two most popular "posts": postmodernism and postcolonialism. This is done to analyse how the postethnophilosophic turn (in its attempt to transcend the discourses of ethnophilosophy and to be postethnophilosophy) opens up new possibilities for African agency and the creation of knowledge. The work argues that postethnophilosophy should concern itself with the analytic task of unmasking the darker side of modernity in order to open up those horizons and experiences once held hostage by modernity and coloniality. It is within this context that a truly global and polycentric knowledge landscape can emerge. In its quest to expose and dismantle hegemonic discourses of colonial modernity, postethnophilosophy finds itself located within the same theoretical horizon occupied by postmodernism and postcolonialism, ready to benefit from their auto-critical habit. <![CDATA[<b>Hylozoism and hylomorphism: a lasting legacy of Greek philosophy</b>]]> Apparently philosophical reflection commenced when the awareness of diversity prompted the contemplation of an underlying unity. Thales found this principle of origination in water. Alongside elements such as water, air and fire as well as the apeiron (the infinite-unbounded) Greek philosophy successively explores different modes of explanation. Number, space and movement were succeeded by hule and morphè, where these two terms at once captured a connection between the (material) world of becoming and the world of organic life. The combination of matter and form (life) gave rise to the two terms of our investigation: hylozoism and hylomorphism. These terms are also related to the act-potency scheme and they also presuppose the relation between primary matter and substantial form. In the thought of Aristotle one can also identify energeia with entelecheia. As soon as one of the two elements present in the two terms hylozoism and hylomorphism is elevated, a monistic perspective ensues, such as found in the opposition of mechanism and vitalism. These extremes sometimes surface in the shape of physicalism and the idea of an immaterial vital force. During and after the Renaissance, the idea of the mechanisation of the universe emerged, while vitalism continued its after-effect within biology, articularly seen in the legacy of idealist morphology (Ray and Linnaeus). The Aristotelian-Thomistic substance-concept appeared to have inherent problems. On the basis of experimental data Driesch revived vitalism (and Aristotle's view of an entelechie), but did not succeed in coming to terms with the physical law of non-decreasing entropy - he had to assign the ability to his entelechie to suspend physical laws in order to account for the increasing order found in growing living entities. However, his neo-vitalist followers further explored Von Bertalanffy's generalisation of the second main law of thermodynamics to open systems. Most recently the idea of a Workmaster (Demiurge) resurfaced in theories of Intelligent Design. These developments are explained by briefly referring to Michael Behe and Stephen Meyer. The historical lines discussed demonstrate how one-sided ismic orientations may make a positive contribution to the identification of unique and irreducible modes of explanation from which scholarly research could still benefit. <![CDATA[<b>The subject: Deleuze-Guattari and/or Lacan (in the time of capitalism)?</b>]]> This paper addresses the question, whether Deleuze and Guattari's conception of the human subject, as articulated in (mainly) Anti-Oedipus, is as irreconcilable with Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytical theory of the subject as one might expect, given Anti-Oedipus' attack on the "Oedipal" basis of psychoanalysis. The notion of the multiplicitous "subject", as fleshed out in Anti-Oedipus, is reconstructed with the requisite attention to Deleuze and Guattari's ontology of flows, desiring-machines, desiring-production, schizophrenia, the "body without organs" and the emergence of a "spectral" kind of subject. It is argued that the so-called "body without organs" may be read, in one sense, as their term for the concept of (ego-) identity, which is anathema to the dynamism of the process of desiring-production. For purposes of comparison, Lacan's theory of the subject is briefly reconstructed as well in terms of the registers of the imaginary, the symbolic and the "real", with a view to uncovering those aspects of it that are compatible with Deleuze and Guattari's ontological emphasis on process and becoming, instead of substance. Finally, the problem of the relation between capitalism, on the one hand, and Deleuze/Guattari's process-ontology, as well as Lacan's understanding of the discourse of capitalism, is addressed in light of the question of the subject of capitalism, and of the possibility of a critical understanding of capitalism. <![CDATA[<b>Dying a hundred deaths: Socrates on truth and justice</b>]]> The well-known history of the life and death of Socrates continues to attract attention. This essay examines Socrates' commitment to truth and justice. For Socrates, justice is inseparable from ethical commitment to truth. He gave up his life in the name of truth and justice. We will explore the meaning of the "internal", "external" dichotomy of truth. The proffered meaning of this dichotomy of truth will be considered from the point of view of African philosophy. The relevance of Socrates to African philosophy will be discussed as a prelude to our argument that Socrates' commitment to truth and justice is crucial for political leadership and vital for the realisation of justice in Africa and the world.