“Where is our philosophy

April 16, 2019 Philosophy

“Where is our philosophy?” a question repeatedly asked by Tim Hector, an Antiguan journalist. From the early historical beginnings in the late 15th century, there has been uncertainty in regards to both the geographical and cultural aspect of the Caribbean region. G.K. Lewis (1983) documents that even after the geographical puzzle was fixed, a cultural puzzle continued. It is clear that the question given pertains to the debate on whether Caribbean Political Thought exists as an independent body of thought and to a greater extent requires the identification of any scholastic work that explains the nature of Caribbean Thought.

One argument raised to denounce or disregard the existence of Caribbean Political thought is that Philosophy was largely a Western European invention. It is important to note the relevance of the Enlightenment period which was an intellectual movement dominating the world of ideas in Europe in the 18th century. It dealt with specific approaches to religious, social, political and economic issues.
Another argument raised is the epistemological challenge of universality. G.K.Lewis (1983) highlights the traditional idea of philosophy in the west as systematic, unequivocal, unified, coherent, universal enterprise where universality is deemed an attribute of genuine philosophy. Furthermore, there is said to be certain attributes of Pure Philosophy such as Ontology (questions of nature), Epistemology( theory of knowing), Ethics( morality) and Logic (science of reason) . Such traditional ideas aforesaid disregards anything that has not been declared universal and thus cannot be genuine philosophy.

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Furthermore, it is argued that a society lacking documented thought cannot claim philosophical thought. It is also argued that there is no pure Caribbean intellectual thought that can be traced. This claim was counterchallenged by G.K. Lewis and Paget Henry.


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