Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Phronimon]]> vol. 20 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Decolonisation, Identity, Neo-Colonialism and Power</b>]]> This paper explores the implications of "decolonisation," first by focusing on the work of African thinker, Frantz Fanon's work in this regard, particularly his insistence that decolonisation entails the creation of "new" people, before moving on to the related question of "identity." Here the emphasis is on the work of Manuel Castells, specifically his examination of three kinds of identity-construction, the third of which he regards as being the most important category for understanding this process in the 21st century, namely "resistance identity." It is argued that this casts the decolonisation debate in South Africa in an intelligible light. An interpretation of E.M. Forster's paradigmatically "decolonising" novel, A Passage to India, is offered to unpack the meaning of the concept further, before switching the terrain to the question of the urgent need for a different kind of decolonisation, today, pertaining to the economic neo-colonisation of the world by neoliberal capitalism. The work of Hardt and Negri on the emerging world order under what they call "Empire" is indispensable in this regard, and their characterisation of the subject under neoliberal Empire in terms of the figures of the indebted, securitised, mediatised and represented, stresses the need for global decolonisation in the name of democracy. This part of the paper is concluded with a consideration of what decolonisation is really "all about," namely power. <![CDATA[<b>Truth and the Quest for Definition</b>]]> The controversies in contemporary truth discourses can be traced directly or indirectly to the Fregean choice of "thought" as the truth bearer, Ramsey's redundancy thesis, Tarskian semantic conception, and Davidson's defence of the indefinability of truth. The common feature of these four positions is an inadequate treatment of the "what is" question. Because of the neglect of this kind of question, the consequence is that truth has been reduced to a thin concept (that is a reduction of truth to logical, semantic or linguistic analysis of the truth predicate, or analysis of intentional signs at the expense of intentional acts) and subsequent quest for the deflation of truth. I argue that such an approach to the philosophical investigation of truth is at best inadequate and at worst bound to fail. Hence, I propose that an adequate exploration of truth must first address the "what is" question, rather than just assuming it. Further, I argue that to realise this, it is vital to take into consideration the wider context in which the truth question arises, that is, the human quest for knowledge and self-transcendence; and it is the conception of truth as critical correspondence that is capable of sufficiently answering the question. <![CDATA[<b>The Sense in which Ethno-philosophy can Remain Relevant in 21st Century African Philosophy</b>]]> Ethno-philosophy, as a philosophical project, has had its fair share of criticism from some professional African philosophers, with Paulin Hountondji as an outstanding critic. Ethno-philosophy is believed to be deficient in criticality and analyticity, which are considered hallmarks of good philosophy anywhere. In this paper I engage Fainos Mangena, a tireless defender of ethno-philosophy, in a critical conversation. In making a case for the continuing relevance of ethno-philosophy, while acknowledging its shortcomings, I argue that the universalist critique of ethno-philosophy has exposed the philosophical poverty of this specific form of thought. I assert that the equation of ethno-philosophy with substantive African philosophy will lead to the emergence of an impoverished African philosophical tradition, notwithstanding the desirability of a unique African philosophy distinguishable from non-African philosophical traditions-in particular the Western philosophical tradition. I point out that Innocent Asouzu and J.O. Chimakonam's Ibuanyidanda ontology and Ezumezu logical system demonstrate the viability of a philosophical programme that seeks to transcend ethno-philosophy by enriching it with concepts that promote the criticality and analyticity demanded by critics of ethno-philosophy, in a manner conducive to system-building. <![CDATA[<b>Is the Philosophy of the Information Systems Discipline Informed by the Arts and Humanities?</b>]]> The Information Systems discipline (IS) is usually regarded as a social science because it includes research on human-related aspects of these systems. However, a limited number of IS research outputs use approaches that are typical of the traditional arts and humanities. Little recognition has been given to the arts and humanities-informed stream of the IS discipline. This article aims to clarify the subtle distinctions between these scientific constellations and IS's place in it. It highlights the cluster of arts, humanities and IS in the inter-linked world of scientific disciplines and makes some recommendations to build further on these accomplishments. <![CDATA[<b>Nuridsany and PĂ©rennou's <i>Microcosmos: The People of the Grass </i>(1996) as an Invitation to Become-insect</b>]]> This article problematises assertions concerning the existence of a minor tradition of French wildlife documentary begun in the 1920s by Jean Painleve and more recently contributed to through Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou's Microcosmos: The People of the Grass (1996). What is advanced, instead, is the importance of regarding these directors' respective films as constituting two different minor traditions. In this regard, the impasses to which the often-surrealist features of Painleve's films were a response, are discussed in relation to Deleuze and Guattari's concept of minor literature and Deleuze's idea of modern political cinema, or minor cinema. Thereafter, focus shifts on to discussion of the different context out of which Microcosmos emerged, along with the relevance of its unique cinematography for current environmental concerns-particularly because of its capacity to precipitate what Deleuze refers to as a spiritual automaton that stands to catalyse a more ecologically-orientated people to come. <![CDATA[<b>Why the Racial Politic of Colour-branding should be Discontinued</b>]]> I examine colour-branding of humans, a phenomenon I denounce as leading to a dangerous "politic." My lead questions shall be: Is it correct to profile or brand different peoples with colours? Do the symbolic meanings of different colours correctly describe the attributes and attitudes of peoples they are used to categorise? I argue that the mainstay colour descriptions of peoples amount to contradictions. The contradiction arises if we take into consideration the symbolic meanings of such colours on the one hand, and the human attributes on the other hand. A positive way of reading the colour-branding of peoples would be to suggest that colours are used to denote racial variety and not racial hierarchy. This suggestion is arguably a strong point, but when we take the semantics of colour and the events of history seriously, we might understand that racial subjugation is the inspiration behind colour-branding. I label the preceding "colour politic" and discuss it as the last frontier of racism. <![CDATA[<b><i>Hic Sunt Leones: </i>Mythologies and Partisan Constructions of the Good Philosopher in Plato</b>]]> Plato constructs the philosopher in contrast to the sophist. Both sophistical and rhetorical logos, in their epistemic closeness to philosophical logos, require a constant act of demarcation throughout Plato's works. The challenge posed by the sophists creates a structural, instable tension in several Platonic dialogues. Why is the Athenian philosopher obsessed by a different yet comparable approach to virtue, knowledge and social order? Why does the Athenian philosopher need and, at the same time, reject the sophist when it comes to shaping his own self-image? To try to answer these questions, I will go back to a foundational moment where the Platonic philosopher is theoretically constructed and conceptually produced against the sophist, namely, Plato's Sophist, Statesman, Protagoras, Gorgias and Phaedrus. The aim of the article is to show how the Platonic philosopher is conveniently defined through a series of partisan demarcations grounded on ontological privilege, epistemic exclusion, ethical circularity and, ultimately, political delegitimation. <![CDATA[<b>Reflections on Plato and Global Capitalism</b>]]> Global capitalism poses an ethical challenge similar in nature to the challenge of political materialism that Plato addressed in his assessment of the impact of the Sophist tradition of thought on the youth of Athens, in their search for the Good life. For Plato, a Good life is incompatible with a materialist conception of human happiness (in ethics) and justice (in politics); it presupposes an understanding of the significance of physical as well as spiritual dimensions of human life, in a social-political context. This article argues that Plato's theory of economics offers an important point of departure for a critical engagement with the anti-humanist politics of global capitalism. <![CDATA[<b>The "Gay" and Psychopathology: Interrogating the Sexual Theories of Homophobes</b>]]> This article seeks to explain and interrogate the sexual theories of homophobes observable on the African continent. I begin by exploring a possible explanation for the emergence and maintenance of certain homophobic sexual theories; Donald Moss's arguments regarding the identification or disidentification economy will serve as a possible theoretical starting point. I then investigate three possible sexual theories of homophobes when mentally preoccupied with "the gay man." Finally, I return to economies of identification as both a colonial perpetuation (in the form of adopting homophobic sexual theories) and as decolonial opportunity (in the form of conflictual identifications). I argue that homophobia and the constituent sexual theories could ideally be dissolved (among other settings) in educational spaces. In these educational spaces, I argue, the homophobe could be identifying with the "non-homophobic" pedagogue, which could bring about the dissolution of homophobia if the identification with the educator is strong enough.