, , ,

The following paper is added to the catalog in its original form, without comment or notes about its merits.

source: http://www.the-rathouse.com/Kahigapopper.html

Biography – “Joseph Kahiga has been a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Moi State University in Kenya since 1999.  He lectures in critical thinking, philosophy of language, philosophy of Religion and Contemporary Philosophy for undergraduates; and metaphysics and methodology for post graduate students.

In the year 2000, I presented a paper at Dar er Salaam University at a Philosophy Conference on Time and Development.  Before that, I was a lecturer of Philosophy at Mabanga Philosophical Institute (Bungoma) of Philosophy for a period of 3 years.  I published a book entitled Insights into African Philosophy in 1997.  I did my masters and doctoral studies at Vienna University, as regards my thesis, I specialized in the area of analytical philosophy and graduated in June 1993.   I undertook my undergraduate studies within Kenya before proceeding to Vienna. I participated at the Vienna Karl Popper’s Centenary Congress in July 2002 and presented a paper on The Relevance of Karl Popper’s Philosophy in African renaissance.

I was ordained a Catholic Priest in 1985 and I am a practising Priest as well as a philosopher interested in critical philosophical rational anaylsis with the view to offering possible solutions of the philosophical challenges in contemporary society.”

The Relevance of  Karl Popper’s Philosophy in African Renaissance

1.0 Introduction

The African Continent has lagged behind other continents in our planet in terms of the social and political stability and technological take off. The major pertinent issues that keep Africa in the cave of un-development are the uncritical mental attitude (unscientific or pseudo-scientific attitude) that require total revolutionary overhauling. In a similar scenario to the era of the Greek mythologies, superstitions, gods, magic and related attitude, Africa seems to be as of now in that era.  The first step towards its liberation is to acknowledge its current stagnant status of self tutelage and the urgency to shake off the fetters of mythologies, witchcraft, superstitions, gods, magical practices, dictatorship and carve out a new way of enlightenment or renaissance in every aspect of social and technological spheres.

Karl Popper comes in handy especially on the scientific criterion of any theory, claim or belief, that it ought to be testable or falsifiable, thus dismantling any dogmatic attitude and establishing a solid basis of open-mindedness, tolerance, caution and critical attitude. This is a crucial instrument that Karl Popper utilizes for positive development which will focus on specific digressive attitudes of the African person so that he can channel his energies in the relevant darkened spots. It will also be important to eliminate those beliefs, conjectures theories or practices that are repugnant to positive development and to make sure that the best is given a chance to survive and prosper until better alternatives are invented in a dialectical fashion towards the most appropriate instruments of change.

The new partnership for African development (Nepad) is seen as renaissance in context, it is an initiative that focuses on improved economic management, democracy, human rights and good governance that will encourage political stability for Africa and the world towards the enhancement of the quality of global relations.

1.2 The relevance of a critical attitude to development and Renaissance.

A  lack of a critical mental attitude is seen in those who take things for granted, as they are and possibly will be. Nature provides a deceptive regularity and hence enslaves the mind of a more than willing conformist the channel towards conservatism and dogmatism that hinders enlightenment and  a dialectical intellectual progress. The mind is averse to criticism and reserves the right to maintain the status quo. Regularity is taken as the basis of the assertion of the being of man and animals as Popper asserts;

which makes them sometimes experience regularities even where there are none; which makes them cling to their expectations dogmatically; and which makes them unhappy and may drive them to despair and to the verge of madness if certain assumed regularities break down.[1]

Popper agrees with Hume by pointing out that induction cannot be logically justified by pointing out that an attempt to justify the practice of induction by an appeal to experience must lead to an infinite regress, hence theories can never be inferred from observation statements, or rationally justified by them. For Popper, Hume’s refutations of inductive inference was clear and conclusive, but differed with his psychological explanation of induction in terms of custom and habit.

  Without waiting, passively for repetitions to impress or impose regularities upon us, we actively try to impose regularities upon the world. We try to discover similarities in it, and to interpret it in terms of laws invented by us. Without waiting for premises we jump to conclusions. This was a theory of trial and error-of conjectures and refutations. It made it possible to understand why our attempts to force interpretations upon the world were logically prior to the observation of similarities.[2]

Our insistence on regularities and to impose such theories on reality is an innate attitude; hence there is the general need for a world that conforms to our expectations. Unfortunately, there is no need why the real world should be such a world. This is what we learn from Hume’s attack on the principle of induction. Thus our expectations can fail us; it is irrational to rely on them. Popper advocates an attempt to construct a rational system which does without irrational beliefs in regularities.[3] Unlike irrational creatures, we can correct and criticize our theories, we do not need to die just because our expectations were not met.

We yearn to look out for regularities in life and nature and hence to impose laws upon nature leading to a dogmatic mental outlook. This dogmatic attitude that makes us insist on our first impressions is indicative of a strong belief, while a critical attitude which is ready to modify its tenets, which admits  doubt and demands tests, is indicative of a weaker belief. Dogmatic thinking, uncontrolled wish to impose regularities, a manifest pleasure in rites and in repetition as such, are characteristics of primitives and increasing experience and maturity sometimes create an attitude of caution and criticism rather than of dogmatism. As Popper says;

the dogmatic attitude is clearly related to the tendency to verify our laws by seeking to apply them and to confirm them, even to the point of neglecting refutations, whereas the critical attitude is one of readiness to change them-to test them; to refute them; to falsify them if possible.[4]

We may identify the critical attitude with the scientific attitude, and the dogmatic attitude with pseudo-scientific which is also more primitive and prior to the scientific attitude. Criticism must be exercised against existing and influential dogmatic  beliefs in need of critical revision. The raw material for a critical attitude hence are theories, beliefs and  practices that are held dogmatically over a long time.

It follows necessarily that, science must begin with discussion of  myths and magical techniques as raw materials for its development. The scientific tradition passes on its theories accompanied with its critical attitude towards them, they are passed on not as dogmas, but rather with the challenge to discuss them and improve upon them; this attitude is rational and reasonable. This tradition is Hellenistic and may be traced back to Thales. The Greeks discovery of the critical method gave rise to the mistaken notion that it would lead to the solution of all the great old problems; that it would establish certainty; prove our theories, justify them. This hope however was a residue of the dogmatic way of thinking, nothing can be justified or proved outside of mathematics and logic, thus the demand for rational proofs in science indicates a failure to keep distinct the broad realm of rationality and the narrow realm of rational certainty: it is untenable, an unreasonable demand.[5]

We can say with Popper confidently that;

the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.[6]

Popper mentions some theories that do not pass the test as above stipulated, among them are the Pseudo-science of Astrology and Marxist theory of History. The proponents of these theories make the claims and interpretations of their theories so vague as to be able to escape any possible refutations of their theories or prophecies. They may fall into the category of myths, or uncritical attitude that is deceptive to the mind.

...theories describe some facts, but in the manner of myths such myths may be developed, and become testable nearly all-scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth may contain important anticipations of scientific theories[7].

This means that, statements or systems of statements, in order to be ranked as scientific, must be capable of conflicting with possible, or conceivable observations, otherwise they loose their credibility on the scientific level. There is no culture without myths, myths (comparable to ‘science’ fiction) could be the very foundation of infinite possibilities.

The metaphysical basis of dogmatism is the claim to know the truth of whatever nature. The one who is convinced that he knows will jealously and religiously gourd his claim  whatever it takes. Such a person will not accept any criticism of his presupposed truth and will remain adamant and arrogant. Popper is clearly against the theory that, truth is manifest and calls it naïve and mistaken view that became the inspiration for the advancement of learning in modern times.[8] Popper supports the view that, truth is not manifest and that it is very difficult to come by;

we slowly begun to differentiate between sincerity and dogmatic stubbornness or laziness, and to recognize the great truth that truth is not manifest, not plainly visible to all who ardently want to see it, but hard to come by we must not draw authoritarian conclusions from this great truth, but on the contrary, suspect all those who claim that they are authorized to teach the truth.[9]

This truth ought to be a guiding light in African renaissance especially among all the protagonists that claim the truth; rather humility, caution tolerance is to be encouraged in solving Africa’s many maladies that are the cause of underdevelopment. Thus dogmatism which is a recipe for social disasters can be eliminated through the acceptance of the truth of the fact that, man is limited and he simply does not know.

The African renaissance will certainly get a boost if the African person is not a captive of his own mythical and superstitious past, that he does not claim to know and admits of his limitations, ready to listen and to learn from his mistakes. That way, he will make head way in launching his enlightenment.

1.3 From Myths to  the dawn of Reality: Enlightenment

The finite human intellect yearns to know, yet what there is to know is infinite. That which is yet unknown falls into the category of myth. Thus, myth may be described as a mental attempt to describe in its own terms  the phenomenon that is yet incomprehensible to the human intellect.

  In the earlier cosmologies of the Greek physicists the mythical and the rational elements interpenetrate in an yet undivided unitythe myths of the poets were succeeded by the half-scientific, half philosophic reflections[10]

It may be contented that myth, like symbol, is born out of the human confrontation with reality and that it expresses both a quest for and a transmission of meaning as a response to this confrontation. A symbol or myth may function, as a channel of meaning for people in the particular cultural and religious tradition to which it belongs. Symbolism and the processor of symbolization and myth making are an attempt to integrate symbols and myths into larger wholes and open the possibility of arriving at a reasoned knowledge with regard to reality.[11]

Within the Greek culture, Homer may be regarded as a forerunner of the   demythologization process;

modern writers have come to the conclusion that, Homer, so far from being primitive, was an expurgator, a kind of eighteenth-century rationalizer of ancient myths, holding up an upper-class ideal of urbane enlightenment.[12]

The civilized man is distinguished from the savage mainly by prudence, or, to use a slightly wider term, forethought.[13] Civilization checks impulse not only through forethought, which is a self-administered check, but also through law, custom, and religion. Prudence versus passion is a conflict that runs through history. In the sphere of thought, sober civilization is roughly synonymous with science. Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination. Among Greek philosophers, there were those who were primarily scientific (Democritus) and those that were primarily religious for instance Plato who spurred later developments in Christian thought.[14]

With the advent of science and laws of motion established, the myths and the notion of  gods was demolished.[15] There was no need to see gods where there are non or to attribute to gods our missing link (darkness) or our lack of understanding having reached the current limits of our imagination.

Man’s place in the universe was shaken. In the Medieval world, the earth was the center of the universe, but all this had changed with the dawn of light focused in the cave of self tutilage by Isaac Newton, thus the world was now a minor planet of a star that is minor and that astronomical distances were so vast that the earth in comparison, was a mere pin point in the cosmic vastness. Who is and what is man in the dot of the cosmic vastness!?

The victory of science (light) revived human pride. The potentialities in the search of the unknown were open and infinite.

Within the African context, superstitions and magical practices in view of the associations of the unknown phenomenon with gods, spirits and fate must in like manner after the Greek mode be demolished in order to usher in scientific culture a condition without which development cannot be effected. Thus a scientific culture ought to be allowed to take root within the darkened spots in African culture for the African renaissance to take off. No one is to make wild claims without concrete substantiation. This has been a gray area where fear and intimidation has been used as a weapon to suppress free expression whereby the unknown mythical  spirits have been used as tools of subjugation against others.

Magic and witchcraft is not to be seen as a typically African phenomenon, but rather a world-wide developmental phase towards intellectual maturity in comprehending nature and environment (mastery of nature); this was the situation in the pre-renaissance Europe and so seems to be the case in the pre-renaissance African situation.[16]

  Magic and witchcraft might be wicked, but were not thought impossible. Innocent VIII, in 1484, issued a bull against witchcraft, which led to an appalling persecution of witches in Germany and elsewhere.[17]

In all history, nothing is so surprising or so difficult to account for as the sudden rise of civilization in Greece. Much of what makes civilization had already existed in Egypt and in Mesopotamia but certain elements had been lacking until the Greeks supplied them. What they did in intellectual realm thus in literature, mathematics, science and philosophy whereby they speculated freely about the nature of the world, the ends of life, without being bound in the fetters of any inherited orthodoxy stand as evidence of the reasons behind such a burst in development. Thus it is possible to understand the development of Greece in scientific terms because, philosophy and science (which used deductive and inductive approaches) which were originally not separate, begun in Greece in the person of Thales who predicted an eclipse that occurred in 586 B.C.[18]

Thus the mythical beliefs in gods and fixated orthodoxy is a guarantee of the death of a free intellectual spirit already made a prisoner by the gods who take over the direction of human faculties to no where thus establishing an authoritarian arrogant and dogmatic approach to things that need not develop any further since the gods are authoritative.

The many taboos in the African context, breed fear of retribution from the spirits and the ancestors and cannot act as a good catalyst for dynamism and robust expression without fear or favor, which is a condition necessary for enlightenment and hence for development.

African governments need to develop and encourage a culture of free expression to the full in order to get rid of arrogant dogmatism[19] of whatever nature in any sphere and thereby encourage integral development, a spirit of tolerance and understanding among people of diverse culture, faiths and backgrounds.

1.4 The Supremacy of reason (logos) as an Instrument of development and renaissance

According to Plato in the Philebus, the world (read the whole cosmos) is seen as the work of mind rather than chance as the Dialogue proceeds:

Socrates: Whether all this which they call the universe is left to the guidance of unreason and chance…or, on the contrary, as our fathers have declared, ordered and governed by a marvellous intelligence and wisdom

Protarchus: Wider asander are the two assertions…for that which  you were just now saying to me appears to be blasphemy; but the other assertion, that mind orders all things, is worthy of the aspect of the world…and never will I say and think otherwise.[20]

This is also to be seen in the context of Hegel who in his extreme Idealism sees the World as a manifestation of the Absolute Idea.[21] The Absolute brought down from heaven to earth, the invisible idea made visible in physical and concrete terms of the cosmos and all that it entails.

In John’s Gospel, the metaphysical concept of that which is basic and original and thus the foundation of all that is and came to be is alluded.[22]

The author had a good grasp of Greek  philosophy. The word (logos) had varied connotations including wisdom, mind, ratio, order and dynamism. Thus that which is/was invisible (mind, word, wisdom, ratio…)  is the original metaphysical basis of the reality that is now visible. This notion is Plato`s to a wider extent when he talks of the world of shadows (phenomena) and the world of Forms which cannot be known in itself.[23]

Immanuel Kant takes this line of thought by labelling it as the phenomenon (transcedental aesthetic) and noumenal world (transcendental dialectics). We need hence to understand man as a product of logos and the image of logos is typified within him. Man is the proper manifestation and the embodiment of the word/logos which is analogically embodied in other realities which comprise the environment of man.

Hence the logos in man creates a dynamism for change and development in the same way  the original logos did.  Man can thus be seen as an agent of change and development, he becomes a microcosm in the cosmos[24].

This dictates that, in order for man to be an effective instrument of change, his mind (reason) ought to be enlightened enough so as to be able to shed light where there is ignorance, darkness, chaos and nothingness. Thus for renaissance to take root, ideas must be used as instruments of change, dynamism and civilization as Popper asserts;

  Indeed, the possibility of fighting with words instead of swords is the very basis of our civilization, and especially of all  its legal and paliamentary institutions…to see how powerful ideas have become since the days of the Greeks, we only need to remember that all religious wars were wars of ideas, and that all revolutions were revolutions of ideas. Although these ideas were more often false and pernicious than true…there is perhaps a certain tendency for some of the better one’s to survive, provided they find sufficiently powerful and intelligent support.[25]

African renaissance is to take such ideas seriously because, there are far too many civil strives in the Continent to allow actual and real development to take place. Peace and stability is a prerequisite for development; and it were far much better if the protagonists in the various conflicts in Africa transcended the sword war into  war of words with no blood letting. Popper adds a word of caution when dealing with ideas, they must be handled properly, otherwise they can turn against those who generate them.

…although ideas are dangerous we may learn from our mistakes how to handle them; how to approach them critically, how to tame them, and how to use them in our struggles, including our struggle to get a little nearer to the hidden truth.[26]

Man (The African person in this case) has the obligation to release himself from the self imposed tutilage of prison of war of swords and use words cautiously in search of the hidden truth through a process of trial and error. This is a sure way to humble the searcher of truth so as to avoid the myth of absolute certainity and hence dogmatism. This path will lead to enlightenment as Popper quotes Kant;

  Enlightenment is man’s emanicipation from his self-imposed tutilage. Tutilage (Unmündig­keit) is man’s inability to make use of his intelligence (Verstand) without direction from another. It is self incurred when its cause lies not in lack of intelligence but in lack of resolution and courage to use one’ s intelligence without direction from another. The motto of enlightenment was; have courage to exercise your own intelligence.[27]

The life of Kant was a life of emanicipation through knowledge, the idea of self liberation through knowledge. In later years he used to look back with horror to what he called the slavery of childhood, his period of tutilage. One might well say, that the dominant theme of his whole life was the struggle for spiritual freedom. Kant was a pluralist, who believed in the variety of human experience and in the diversity of human aims, he asserted;

  Dare to be free, and respect the freedom and the autonomy of others, for the dignity of man lies in his freedom, and in his respect of other people’s autonomous and responsible beliefs, especially if these differ widely from his own…he saw in intellectual self education…a task demanding of every man immediate action here and now and always. For only through the growth of knowledge can the mind be liberated from its spiritual enslavement…by prejudices, idols and avoidable errors[28]

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a portion of mankind, after nature has long since discharged them from external direction, nevertheless remain under lifelong tutilage, and why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so easy not to be of age. If I have a book which understands for me, a Pastor who has a conscience for me,  a Physician who decides my diet and so forth, I need not trouble myself.

Thus the initiative towards independence and majority is held to be very dangerous by the far greater portion of mankind, so is the notion held by the self imposed guardians. After the guardians have first made their domestic cattle dumb and have made sure that, these placid creatures will not dare take a single step without the harness of the cart to which they are tethered, the guardians then show them the danger which threatens if they try to go alone. However, this danger is not so great, for by falling a few times, they would finally learn to walk alone. But an example of this failure makes them timid and ordinarily frightens them away from all further trials. For any single individual to work himself out of the life under tutilage which has become almost his nature is very difficult. Laziness and idleness are enemies of progress which ought ot be gotten rid of if African renaisssance is to take shape

According to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, in his analysis of the transcendental dialectics[29], human mind seeks complete knowledge, a coherent  understanding of the entire universe. Man’ s experience however provides him with phenomena only, yet his mind informs him that there is an ultimate ontological reality, a real thing-in-itself (noumena). But the human mind is not equipped to sense ultimate reality, the thing-in-itself, because, man cannot transcend the bounds of his experience, hence he remains to be content with being agnostic in so far as the ultimate reality is concerned.

For Kant, the metaphysically real is beyond the reach of human knowledge, his system is one of metaphysical agnosticism. In effect Kant postulated three kinds of reality, thus the world of phenomena from which all our sense experience comes, the world we live in and perceive, the world of understanding in which we discern all our scientific knowledge and the laws of science and the ultimately real world which transcends all our ability to sense it, a supersen­sible world which must remain unknowable to the human mind.

The real world hence becomes the domain of the thinker such that  he reconstructs it the way he believes it be. Thus like Schopenhauer, the world is the representation, thus the image, or form of the thinker, the real world made by the pure reason of the thinker.

The mind realizes that, it has incomplete knowledge and cannot settle until it has the totality of the world at its grasp. Not satisfied with incomplete knowledge, the mind errs in its application of its categories as a means of achieving perfect knowledge of the entire universe.

In the African context, this is the spot where the mind having reached a sackgasse, dead end, has at hand loose ends (missing link) of a thought process that cries for connecting link in order to be seen as complete whole. Such missing links include, attributing them to imaginary gods, spirits, witchcraft and other unexplained forces within the universe which are explained through mythologies.

Eventually, man realizes the futility of this method, and he attempts to create ideas about the universe which transcend the bounds of experience and in this way to unify knowledge into an integrated coherent whole. This is the stage of transcendental dialectic. The ideas of reason spring from the very nature of reason itself, they are transcendent, in as much as they overleap the limits of all experience.

The aim of pure reason is absolute totality of synthesis. These ideals of pure reason pos­sess regulative function. The ideal of the supreme being is nothing but a regulative principle of reason, telling us to view all connections in the world as if it has proceeded from an all sufficient necessary cause. It is impossible to arrive at the ultimate reality of the universal because phenomena are endless and the accumulation of phenomena is interminable, the task cannot be fully accomplished by reason, which must deal with insoluble problems and transcendental illusions accepted by reason as if they were settled truths.

In the African context, there is need hence to civilize, educate and tame the mind so that it can stick within its boundaries and not to be a harlot meandering in the world of illusions that have no relevance to enlightenment.

1.5 From Ontological Darkness towards Renaissance and Development

The concept of development ought to be understood in the integral context of spiritual, cultural, social, political religious and economical spheres of a human person, whereby a dynamic progression towards a better qualitative life in view of freedom and pursuit of happiness in the realization of one’s goals in the temporal and sublime contexts.[30] Taking only a part of the whole as development is an abberation or slavery that cannot see the birth of the true liberating force of renaissance.

Renaissance hence is the coming to birth of  the ideas of (reason, wisdom) development in concrete human situations, whereby whatever comes to birth is viable and not fantoms of human imaginations that have no basis in reality. One is to avoid subjective analysis of the notion of development and renaissance because it is possible that, enslavement of the mind may distort the vision of the proper objective of the enlightened mind.

Our subject of concern is Africa. In view of the European thought, it is a continent that is greatly misunderstood, exploited, raped (neo-colonialism) and fit  only to be wished away from the world history and thereby ought to vanish into the oblivion of nothingness or darkness which it epitomizes in view of the structure of the so called informed European mind as represented by one of their modern and influential philosopher’s called Hegel.

Since Hegel exposed his ignorance of Africa, his ignorance represents a sterio-type of a biased and extremely subjective Eurocentric thought process in matters to do with Cultures that are not European. Strange enough, the darkness in the mind structure of Hegel in his judgment of Africa represents a reflection of the ontological darkness in the very continent. This ontological darkness is what the continent ought to liberate itself from.

Acccording to Hegel, Africa stands as the epitome of darkness, lack of consciousness or sense of direction, idol worship, slavery and tyranny, cannibalism, superstitions, magical practices.[31]

In many African countries, the cultural diversity is seen as a liability instead of as an asset, the age old habit of tribal cattle raids against other tribes as an assault against development and eco/socio/political take off. The other anachronistic tendencies include beliefs in witchcraft and superstitious attitudes, in the society, there are people already liberated from such attitudes, but the majority are still fettered. Africa is a reach continent in terms of its good cultural values, this richness is reflected in the richness of the vast mineral resources found within; both are valuable resources in making Africa a superpower in cultural and technological development

For centuries, the Continent provided the bulk of slaves for the economical or physical development of Europe and America. Having improved their economical status through slavery and African labor, the European Nations used their economic muscle to continue the enslavement of Africans in their home continents. When African Countries got independence through their liberation struggles, the Colonizers had tested the forbidden fruit and continued his slavery in form of neo-colonialism.

Having been brain washed by his so called master, the African has never come out of his hang-over of being a slave, whenever one attempts to liberate him from his fetters, he thinks that, the liberation is itself an enslavement. Africa, wake up from your slumber! Use your intelligence which is indeed your liberation!

1.6 Renaissance in Context: Towards the New Partnership for African Development (Nepad)

Nepad takes note of  the cycle of Africa’s underdevelopment. There is a renewed determination among political leaders and civil society in Africa and the world to build a humane world of shared prosperity, tolerance and understanding. The momentam of this initiative is founded on the basis of the fact that, it is possible to trigger the revival or renaissance of poor nations in Africa based on mutual benefit. There is a resolve in the Continent to get rid of Africa’s  Achilles heels (Dark Continent) and allow the dawn of renaissance to take place, Africa does not want to be seen as a perpetual begger but rather as a partner in development in cooperation with the rest of the world. A sign of dawn in African renaissance is already visible. In the past ten years most African States have held multiparty elections that were basically free and fair.

The imminent formation of African Union to replace Organization of African Unity is a step in the right direction, not to mention the various trading blocks in Africa which hopefully will merge as one trading economic block for Africa. This socio-economic potential has given a lot of hope for Africa, a sign that all is not darkness and that light is visible at the end of the tunnel. Africa appeals for partnership in development from the highly industrialised economies of the world so as to propel Africa into rapid growth rate. This partnership will encourage improved economic management , democracy, human rights and good governance that will encourage political stability for Africa and the world and the enhancement of the quality of global relations. Such might be the outcome if the developed nations work with Africans in redefining assistance, fashioning a fairer trade regime and treating Africa as an investment destination.[32]

1.7 Conclusion

If African renaissance is to become a reality, there is need to acknowledge the many deficiencies that ought to be corrected and rectified The mental attitude which is a key to any kind of development or progress ought to be less subjective and emotive and  more objective in the search of truth. The movers of African renaissance may borrow a leaf from Popper when he says;

standards of objective truth and criticism may teach him to try again and to think again, to challenge his own conclusions to apply the method of trial and error in every field and thus may teach him how to learn from his mistakes, and how to search for them may help him to discover how little he knows, and how much there is he does not know may help him to grow in knowledge, and also to realize that he is growing may help him to become aware of the fact that he owes his growth to other people’s criticisms, and that reasonableness is readiness to listen to criticism this way may even help him to transcend his animal past, and with it that subjectivism and voluntarism in which romantic and irrationalist philosophies may try to hold him captive. This is the way our mind grows and transcends itself.[33]

Any traces of dogmaticism in matters concerning the claim of truth ought to be dismantled in favor of a subdued attitude that accepts criticism and reasonableness. The mythological past in view of anachronistic mannerism is to be transcended as the light of reason takes control. The destiny of Africa is in the hands of its people who are to be instruments of change and dynamism towards shared prosperity in the dawn of renaissance.


Cassiere, E., Substance and Function and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Dover Publications, New York 1953

Coplestone, F., A History of Philosophy. Bk I&II Vol I-VII. Doubleday, New York 1985

Hegel, G.W.F. The Philosophy of History.  Dover Publications, New York 1956

Hegel, G.W.F. Phenomenology of Spirit. Oford University Press, Oxford 1977

Jowett, B.M.A., (Transl.) The Dialogues of Plato. Vol. II. Random House, New York 1937

Kant, I. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by A.D. Lindsay. J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London 1991

Kiruki, J.K. Insights Into African Philosophy. Gicama Publications, Kitale 1997

O’Hear, A. Karl Popper: The Arguments of the Philosophers. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London 1980

Olson, A.M. (edit), Myth Symbol and Reality. Vol. I. University of Notre Dame Press, Norte Dame 1980

Popper, K., Objective Knowledge. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1972

Popper, K. Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge. Routledge, London 1989

Popper, K. Unaided Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography. Routledge London 1993

Popper, K. The Open Society and its Enemies Vol. II. Princeton University Press, Princeton 1963

Popper, K., In Search of a Better World: Lectures and Essays from Thirty Years. Routledge, London 1992

Russel B., A History of Western Philosophy. Simon and Schuster, London 1972


Daily Nation. No. 13065,  Nairobi 26/06/2002


[1] Popper, K. Objective Knowledge. P.23-24

[2] Popper, K. Conjectures and Refutations. P. 46

[3] Cf Ibid., p. 5

[4] Ibid., P. 50

[5] Cf. Ibid., P. 51

[6] Ibid.,P. 37

[7] Popper, K. Conjectures and Refutations.  pp. 37-38

[8] Cf. Ibid., p. 374

[9] Cf. Ibid, p. 375

[10] Copleston., pp. 16-17

[11]Cf. Olson,A.M. (edit), Myth Symbol and Reality. Vol. I.  p.64

[12] Russel., p. 10

[13] Cf. Ibid., p. 16

[14] Cf. Ibid.pp. 16-17

[15] Cf. Ibid., pp. 535-540: Newton (1642-1727) defined force as the cause of change, thus of acceleration; he was thus able to explain his law of gravitation:

“Every body attracts every other with a force directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them”

From this formula everything in planetary theory could be deduced, thus the motion of the planets and their satellites, the orbits of comets, the tides and so on, there was no need of a mythical god could to cause about the motion. Force in Newton is the cause of change of motion, whether in magnitude or direction Force is conceived imaginatively as the sort of thing that we experience when we push or pull. Observation shows that planets have at all times an acceleration towards the sun, which varies inversely as the square of their distance from it. To say that this is due to the force of gravitation is merely verbal. The modern physicist, merely states formulae which determine accelerations and avoids the word force altogether. Force was the faint ghost of the vitalist view as to the causes of motions, and gradually the ghost has been exorcized.

[16]  Cf. Ibid., p. 11 All over the world, at a certain stage of religious evolution, sacred animals and human beings were ceremonially killed and eaten. Fate exercised a great influence on all Greek thought, and perhaps was one of the sources from which science derived the belief in natural law.

[17] Russel, p. 502`

[18] Cf. Russel., pp. 3ff

[19] The arrogant dogmatism is a product of pessimistic epistemology as a tool of subjugation of the masses in order to keep ruling a people against their wishes; a wrong assumption that, the ordinary person cannot think for himself in a constructive way.

[20] Plato, Philebus, 28

[21] Hegel, Phenomenology of the Spirit C (BB), VI 438ff

[22] John 1:1ff In the beginning was the Word, the Word was in God…no one thing came had its being but through him…a light that darkness could not overcome..the word was made flesh.

[23] Cf. Plato., Parmenides

[24]Cf. Genesis1: 28: man was commanded…Go and sub­due the earth, here, the power to develop  and make use of the world for the benefit of man is alluded

[25] Popper, K. Conjectures and Refutations. P. 373

[26] Ibid., p. 376

[27] Cf. Popper, K., In Search of a Better world: lectures and Essays from thirty years. P. 137

[28]Ibid., p. 138  See also Popper, K. Conjectures and Refutations. pp. 176 ff

[29] Kant, I. Critique of Pure Reason. Pp. 217ff

[30] Cf. Kiruki, J.K. Insight Into African Philosophy. Pp. 56ff

[31] Cf. Hegel. G.W.F. The Philosophy of History. Pp. 91ff

[32] Cf. Mbeki, T. Nepad a Turning Point for the Continent: New realism. Daily Nation. No. 13065 26/06/2000

[33] Popper, K. Conjectures and Refutations.  p. 384