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PROJECT TOPIC- CULTURE AS THE BASIS OF AFRICAN SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT: A PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS

PROJECT TOPIC- CULTURE AS THE BASIS OF AFRICAN SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT: A PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS

CHAPTER ONE:

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background of the Study

The question of Africa development has always been an issue of controversy between the Afrocentrist thinkers and those imperialistic minded Africans and Europeans. Many have argued that Africans have no development given the fact that, the continent does not have the kind of scientific and technological achievements that the Europeans have, especially in terms of material and physical changes and

progress. Suffice it to say that, the views of these thinkers are premised on a truncated understanding of development. The concept of development often lure people into thinking that what is at stake is physical changes, but in the main, development is something immaterial, something that is value-laden and morally oriented. It has the human mind as its objects; this is because, it is out of man’s curiosity and

anxiety to transform, change and re-vitalize the order of things in his society that he goes into reflections and consequently come up with developmental strategies. To this point, one will understand that, development is based on such indices as culture philosophy and value systems. Hence, African development is premised on these factors and such should not be sought from the elements of physical

changes and infrastructures that, dominates the Western understanding of development. From here also, one will understand that, the reason why such Europeans like Levi Lucien Bruhl and Hugh Trevor Roper argued that Africans have no culture, except the culture of the Europeans among them, is to as it were, dominate, indoctrinate and device African into believing that their culture is barbaric, obsolete and

anachronistic and such can not stand the quest for development. In fact, they were being imperialistic. Hence, the denial of African development cum the viability of African culture is born out of the imperialistic and vilifying attitude of the Europeans towards Africans. It will be a sort of rationality without reason for one to argue that there exists a tribe; nation, continent or locality with culture yet all

subscribes to the claim that culture is the totality of a people’s way of life. To a very large extent, culture encompassed a people’s philosophy, their worldview, their value system and their scientific pedigree. Hence African scientific development is premised on these. Little wonder, Paul .K. Feyerabend maintains that, science is universal and that in so far as a method, procedure, approach or culture can solve a persistent anomaly then, such suffices to be called science. This work is therefore an attempt to establish the prospect of African culture in African Scientific development.

PROJECT TOPIC- CULTURE AS THE BASIS OF AFRICAN SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT: A PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS

1.2   Statement of the Problem

          In the present time, science and technology has been looked upon as the only standard metre-rule of nations, continents and tribal development; that without them a state, nation or continent cannot be considered to be developed. The materialistic conception of development has portrayed some countries, nations, and continents as being backward, undeveloped and third world. This is what influences-those

European imperialists into branding Africa less developed and Third world. They  forget that science and technology are parts of a nations philosophies. Thus, if science is a systematic and orderly ways of doing things, and if culture on the other hand is considered as the totality of a peoples way of life, and  African environment provides the material for physical change within it, then, African scientific development is

hinged on her cultural dispositions and    development. It is in the bid to x-ray the cultural dimensions of development of science that the researcher raises such questions as, what is science? Can there be any trace of scientific development in Africa? Does culture have any impact on scientific development? If yes or no, in what way can one prove that African scientific development is premised on culture? The researcher beliefs that, with these questions being answered that the main thesis of this work would have been established.

1.3 Objective/Purpose of the Study

This research study aims at the following objectives:

To show that the scientific development of any nation, country or continent is to a very large extent premised on her cultural pattern or state.

To show that Africa is not as it were unscientific and backwards as the westerners and those western oriented Africans may think.

To show that, development is basically the quest of every human society and Africa is not an exception. To also prove that, through a detailed study of the basic tenets of African culture that one can appreciate very well, the basis of African scientific development. And above all to correct the monopolistic and imperialistic nation scholars used to relish about scientific development.

1.4   Significance of the Study

          This study will be significant or beneficial in the following ways:

It will serve as a source of reference for further studies and research, especially for undergraduate students in philosophy department.

It will help to prove to the general public that culture has an impact in the scientific development of a nation, country or continent. And that, that is the foundation of African scientific development.

It will help those Afrocentrists philosophers and scholars who have been developing all sort of constructive criticisms to prove the fact of African, philosophy and culture, and their authenticity.

          The work will above all help to educate people on the ideal and philosophical meaning of science, culture and development, unlike the materialistic conception of development that has erstwhile dominated our intellect.

PROJECT TOPIC- CULTURE AS THE BASIS OF AFRICAN SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT: A PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS

1.5  Scope of the Study

The study of science, culture and African development is such a vast area of study that investigating thoroughly into them may blur the focus of this work; to that effect therefore, this study will be concerned basically with the philosophical understanding of science, culture and development. Effort will also be made to examine African culture in relation to African scientific development and above all prove that African scientific development is hinged on African Culture.

1.6  Method of the Study

This work will employ the critical, evaluative, argumentative, expository and the reflective methods of philosophy. It will also make use of the new MLA style of documentation in its citation. And in terms of data collection, the work will depend on materials from textbooks gotten from library, Internet materials and journals.

1.7  Definition of Term

It is relevant at this juncture to define or as it were clarify some of the terms that are going to be used or applied in the course of writing this work. They includes the following:

(a) Culture: In this work, culture would be used to mean the totality of a peoples’ way of life; it will also be used to refer to the material and non-material aspects of a peoples’ life, like their world views, philosophies, value system, ideologies, craft and all that. It is in view of this that, Ogunbameru O.A. in his article “Culture-The Fabric of Human Society” opines that,

“ Culture is a complex of ideas, or learned habits, that inhibit impulses and distinguishes people from animals”. This definition shows that, culture is ideational and it has to do with systematic ways of doing things like science. It is based on the assumptions of habits like science. Also in agreement with this, Clyde Cluckholn in his book Mirror for Man favours the view that “Culture is the way humans solve problems, adapts the environment and live together”. This definition also relates culture to the ideals and functions of science and technology.

(b) Science: In this work, science is basically used to mean a systematic way of doing things that follows rigors and laid down principles, procedures and methods. It is in view of this that, Agudosi F.I in his article titled “The Relevance of Philosophy And Science in the Development of Africa” Cited Schlick who claims that, science is “a means of finding one’s way among the facts: of arriving at the joy of confirmation, the feeling of finality”. The implication of this definition is that science proffers solution to problems by guiding man on the right course of action. Hence, any way, method or approach that guides man on the right line of action to take in a problematic situation can be termed scientific.

PROJECT TOPIC- CULTURE AS THE BASIS OF AFRICAN SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT: A PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS

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