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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front. Philos. China    2015, Vol. 10 Issue (4) : 615-628
Special Theme |
Liberal and Communitarian Discourse: An African Perspective
Olasunkanmi Aborisade()
Department of General Studies, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso, P.M.B 4000 Ogbomoso, Nigeria
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The issue addressed in this essay is what constitutes the most appropriate type of relationship between the individual and society. Because African countries have generally not been successful reconstructing their societies in a manner that can significantly help their peoples to realize their human potential, they are in need of social reconstruction. In their attempts to find a solution to this problem, African scholars—both post-colonial African nationalist leaders and contemporary African philosophers and scholars of African culture—have fixed on the idea that a liberal or communitarian ideology can reverse the collapse of shared values. Many of these scholars claim that the roots of communitarianism go back to indigenous African societies. Others, meanwhile, have discovered something in the African way of life that makes African society effectively liberal. This essay holds that none of these attempts to solve the problem of the dislocation of African values succeed, due to the inadequacies inherent in both liberalism and communitarianism. I suggest instead that the only solution to Africa’s social problem is the provision by the government of an essential foundation for the pursuit of such public benefits as peace, welfare, and the opportunity for the individual to pursue his or her own happiness.

Keywords Africa      colonial communitarian      ideology      government      liberal      African scholars     
Issue Date: 26 January 2016
 Cite this article:   
Olasunkanmi Aborisade. Liberal and Communitarian Discourse: An African Perspective[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(4): 615-628.
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