Latest Research News on Philosophy : Nov 2021

The Philosophy of the Present

George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) had a powerful influence on the development of American pragmatism in the twentieth century. He also had a strong impact on the social sciences. This classic book represents Mead’s philosophy of experience, so central to his outlook. The present as unique experience is the focus of this deep analysis of the basic structure of temporality and consciousness. Mead emphasizes the novel character of both the present and the past. Though science is predicated on the assumption that the present is predictable based on a thorough knowledge of the past, the experience of the present, says Mead, is an utterly unique moment comparable to no other, and when it is past the novel character of that unique experience is irrevocable. The emergence of novelty within the perceived rational order of reality is the crux of the problem that Mead explores. The present, in his words, is “the emergent event . . . something which is more than the processes that have led up to it and which by its change, continuance, or disappearance, adds to later passages a content they would not otherwise have possessed.” The present as “the seat of reality” heavily conditions our retrospective view of the past as much as it helps to shape the future. The novelty of every present experience causes us to reconstruct our preceding experiences to make sense of the past, which is naturally assumed to be the main cause of what we presently experience. Our perspective on reality is thus relative to the conditioning of each new event and it changes continuously as the effects of the present shift our view of the past and future. This emphasis on the integrative, holistic nature of reality, in which everything past, present, and future is a condition of everything else, makes Mead’s philosophy highly relevant to today’s scientific picture of a quantum universe, where chance and probability play a role in the emergence of reality. Also of great interest is the way in which he extends his basic analysis of temporal-spatial reality to the emergence of mind and consciousness as a natural development of the evolutionary process. This stimulating and provocative work attests to John Dewey’s praise of Mead as “the most original mind in philosophy in America” of his generation. [1]


The philosophy of hospitableness

Hospitableness is the name of the trait possessed by hospitable people. It is clearly something to do with hospitality, so I shall begin with that. We can dene hospitality, in its basic meaning, as follows: it is the giving of food, drink and sometimes accommodation to people who are not regular members of a household. Typically, givers, or hosts, provide these things in their own homes, and the point is that they are sharing their own sustenance with their guests. This notion may be stretched in various directions. For example, a rm is said to provide hospitality if it gives food and drink to visitors. But the central idea of the concept remains that of sharing one’s own home and provision with others.[2]


Essays in Science and Philosophy

The first three chapters are personal history, highly picturesque and amusing, illumined by flashes of his lively humor….From here the chapters go on into Philosophy, Education, and Science. covering a span of thrity years though these writings do, they are surprizingly unified. [3]


Father Antonio Rosmini-Serbati: A Discourse on His Philosophical and Theological System with an Imprint of Fundamental Rights

Rosmini’s works and philosophical ideals purport to propitiate Catholic theology with the susceptibilities of modern day political and social thought. With regard to his instruction from Pope Pius VII, Rosmini found himself wedged between the obligation to renew Catholic philosophy and finding his work on the Index. The former is of much concern according to the tenor of this study. In his task for renewal, Rosmini engaged the theological and philosophical principles of the “ideal being” in order to postulate man’s relationship with God, the Absolute Being. In order to determine and materialise such relationship, Rosmini was forced to evoke the principles of anthropology, cosmology and ontology. This path will steer Rosmini to actuate a Christian tradition in which fundamental rights will be maintained. Rosmini beliefs that in a Christian culture the role between man and God must be firmly established. He would make us belief that his model is inspired by the (divine) light of reason. Although man has some divine qualities (such as the soul or reason which was infused by God into man) he cannot be God. Man would though be able to use these divine qualities bestowed upon him by God to conduct good relations with each other in society and to uphold the fundamental rights of others. This will engendered also a respect of one’s fundamental rights even the government or State. Only a Christian society could accommodate this notion in full. [4]


The Ontological Foundation of the Cooperative Microfinance System in African Philosophy

The cooperative microfinance system in african philosophy is aimed at developing a savings account network involving peer groups, age-grades, peasants or farmers associations or workers unions at micro or rural settings. It is a disinterested non-profit and non-governmental organisation aimed at promoting individual economic well-being at the level of group interest mechanism. The methodology for this system is called in pigeon english ‘contribution’, which, however, does not crystallise the ontological foundation, meaning and objective of the saving co-operative banking. The igbo language and cultural group in nigeria call it isusu, while the yoruba ethnic group call it osusu. These names reflect their respective cultural backgrounds and economic communitarian ontology. At the economic market level, it involves contributing to one another’s economic welfare. If there are ten people in the team, a through j, they would raise, say, ngn 50,000 each to make a pool of ngn 500,000, which is disbursed to the first person a in the first month, say, january and by october, while in the tenth month, the last person j would collect his own n500, 000 and the rotation continues. However, this is not invariable, as any member of the group could from any position in the ring of money circulation indicate his or her need not to be able to wait for his designated turn and hence could take upfront his own share, while forfeiting his earlier position, so long as she/he continues her/his contribution every month. There are other equitable and just methods of sharing the contribution, osusu or isusu, which is entirely based on trust, the ontological foundation of interpersonal subjective relationship and authentic theistic humanistic communalism and belongingness. In conclusion it is a microfinance system embedded in the mystery of faith and god immanent in all centres of human activities and which jealously guards against man’s descent into in-authenticity, alienation and degradation from a person into a thing. It is a communalistic economy without conflicts of opposites, and degradation of the other.[5]

Reference

[1] Mead, G.H., 1932. The philosophy of the present.

[2] Telfer, E., 2016. The philosophy of hospitableness. In The Routledge handbook of hospitality studies (pp. 73-84). Routledge.

[3] Whitehead, A.N., 1947. Essays in science and philosophy.

[4] Swartz, N.P., 2016. Father Antonio Rosmini-Serbati: A Discourse on His Philosophical and Theological System with an Imprint of Fundamental Rights. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, pp.1-11.

[5] Dukor, M., 2015. The Ontological Foundation of the Cooperative Microfinance System in African Philosophy. Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, pp.290-298.


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