Punctilious Culpability vs. Slapdash Placebo: Toward the Africa Unchained

By Cyril-Mary Pius Olatunji.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 22, 2015 $US5.00

George Ayittey, a renowned African scholar in the social sciences and humanities, writes in "Africa in Chaos" and then in "Africa Unchained." Respectively, the two literatures demonstrate the intractability of the myriad and precipitous social predicaments of Africa and, the panaceas to them. In the analysis of Africa in Chaos, Ayittey identifies two “opposing” schools of thought among scholars who have attempted to offer intellectually viable explanations on the problems confronting Africa. In both the explanations offered by Ayittey himself and those offered by the scholars that he has identified on the issue, the influence of scientism is unquestionably garish. Suffice it to say that the dominance of the scientific method on the contribution of the humanities and the scholars of social studies toward the enfranchisement of Africa is obtrusive. The question therefore arises: Is the scientific method the only or the most suitable schema for making scholarly contributions on social issues in the humanities? This paper argues that by subjecting the field of humanities to the footnote of the sciences, scholars have intellectually denied Africa of the robust, complementary, unregimented, and self-challenging rigours and novelties that the humanities could offer. The paper focuses on raising questions and attempting to offer suggestions toward the globally looming phenomenon of interdisciplinary relations especially as it affects Africa.

Keywords: Humanities, Scientism, Africa, Causation, Culpability, Placebo

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 14, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 22, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 395.659KB)).

Dr. Cyril-Mary Pius Olatunji

Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria