Caribbean Journal of Philosophy, Vol 6, No 1 (2014)

DISTRUSTING THE “ARCHIMEDEAN VIEW” OF PHILOSOPHY: A PLEA FOR TOLERANCE IN THE “VOICES AND CONVERSATIONS OF MANKIND”

Amaechi UDEFI

Abstract


Abstract

It is not uncommon to hear philosophers or even students of philosophy when asked to define their discipline to say that philosophy is the ‘queen of the sciences’, ‘first philosophy’, and so on. These phrases and appellations are often deliberately ascribed to philosophy to denote its centrality to human existence and pursuits as well as its rootedness or connection to other disciplines.

They can attempt to justify this by jokingly saying that after all, the academic degree of Doctor of Philosophy’ (Ph.D), which is usually awarded after some years of research and course work is given in due respect and obeisance to its ancestry and gerontologically prior to all classes of knowledge viz, humanities, social sciences and natural science. At a deeper level, it offers useful insights into knowing the business and preoccupation of philosophers from the ancient through modern to contemporary periods. Here, the main concern of the philosopher is to conceive philosophy and its task as a cognitive enterprise and attempt, to establish through conceptual analysis any claims to knowledge. In this conception, philosophy examines the substructure of issues and raises foundational or second-order questions.

The intent of this paper is to show that philosophy still retains its original image, but its omnibus interpretation and application by some scholars in the present time throws up some problems, one of which is the dictatorial and hegemonic tone implicit in the conception which may inadvertently marginalize and sideline the emergence of other forms of discourses. The paper concludes by making a case for tolerance of other alternative forms of knowledge other than the Western.

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