Tsenay Serequeberhan’s hermeneutics has been crucial to the development of African philosophy. Initially employed as a pathway through the ethno- and professional philosophical debates, scholars have engaged how Serequeberhan’s hermeneutics grapples with one’s own place within a socio-historical world in service of liberation/self-determination. However, this scholarship mainly has focused on his adaptation of Gadamer’s ‘effective-historical consciousness’ for his own concept of heritage. This consequently leaves his concept of a ‘lived existence’ – which is equally crucial – under-examined. This paper probes (...) what a ‘lived existence’ entails and its essentiality when explicating how one even begins to authentically think, which is the groundwork to Serequeberhan’s hermeneutics. This deepens why his concept of heritage matters as a starting point for self-determination. Addressing this lacuna, this article asks, where does philosophy begin and where should it go, particularly when rationality has been historically denied? Serequeberhan’s point of departure to answer this question proposes Heidegger’s concept of thinking itself to arrive at a notion of existence; contrariwise to most African scholars who employ a Sartrean existentialism via Frantz Fanon. As such, this paper gives an in-depth exploration of Serequeberhan’s initial reading of Heidegger, and then unfolds how he appropriates Heidegger to craft his notion of ‘lived existence’. The upshot this is twofold: First, a broader understanding of Serequeberhan’s project, its non-existentialist view of existence; Second, it describes how he specifically tailors his ‘lived existence’ to undergird his hermeneutical approach to heritage as a prescriptive, activist project which dynamically addresses the postcolonial situation. (shrink)
Of hermeneutics and style: how to read Westphal -- Recontextualization: a Westphalian aufhebung? -- Westphal and Hegel: judging religion through politics -- Hegelians in heaven, but on earth ...: an "unfounding," Kierkegaardian faith -- Religiousness: the expression of faith -- Faith seeking understanding: Westphal's postmodernism -- Intermediary conclusions: the believing soul's self-transcendence -- Radical eschatology: Westphal, Caputo, and onto-theology -- Comparative eschatology: Westphal's theology, Kearney's philosophy, and Ricoeurian detours -- Westphal as a theologian and why it matters.
This article critically examines the competitive, adversarial nature of the Western neoliberal style of democracy. Specifically, this article focuses on Amartya Sen’s notion of a “universal democracy” as a means of addressing socio-economic inequalities through Sen’s capability approach. Sen’s capability theory has become an acclaimed and widely used theory to evaluate and understand development and inequalities. However, we employ a distinctive critique by engaging Amartya Sen through Herbert Marcuse’s analysis of one dimensionality and the adversarial nature of Western democracy. We (...) further highlight how contemporary neoliberal society employ a particular, adversarial form of public participation. Through this, we underline the various neoliberal problemata, such as Western idealism, political passivity, and a “flattening of choice,” within contemporary democracies and locate how their competitive, winner-take-all nature has become essential to contemporary, Western democratic models. Consequently, we argue that democracy, as a functional concept and form of public engagement, should be fundamentally re-examined in order to address inequalities. (shrink)
Merold Westphal’s new publication, Kierkegaard’s Concept of Faith, gives us an opportunity to explore the many ways in which Kierkegaard has influenced Westphal’s thinking as a whole. This present contribution seeks to show how Kierkegaard helps Westphal discover a concept of faith which holds no ‘reasonable’ foundation as it is entirely dependent upon two different aspects of revelation in tension with each other. Moreover, faith is seen as a willing assent by the believer, and thus it becomes a task and (...) not merely a proposition to behold or to which one’s life conforms. In addition to explicating this notion of faith within his work, this present contribution seeks to situate this faith within Westphal’s philosophy of religion, showing how it is integral to Westphal’s entire project. (shrink)
Merold Westphal’s method often consists in recontextualizing, or appropriating, various sources in order to either make his own argument or to make other’s arguments seem self-evident. This method is especially noteworthy in his use of Aufhebung, a term which he initially discovers in his early work on Hegel. Westphal will eventually appropriate this term and, as this article will show, utilize it throughout his other academic works, particularly in his reading of Kierkegaard, for many an ‘anti-dialectical’ thinker. This article further (...) explores Westphal’s use of the term in order to reveal that his utilization of the term extends beyond Hegel’s own original intention and that, in doing so, Westphal creates something quite unique and separate from the term itself: a ‘Westphalian Aufhebung.’. (shrink)