Cultural Philosophy: The Ideological Praxis of Development

Ayo Fadahunsi. Journal of Cultural Studies. Volume 4, Issue 1. 2002.


Each time I encounter people who cannot use their thoughts and reflections to reconstruct their situation, I begin to wonder about the import of philosophy. I believe that a thorough philosophical wisdom is essential to the success of any venture from the family frontier to the national and international levels. There should always be a ground for exploring possibilities, reinvigorating questions about realities, and shaping the character and scope of development, while mirroring the problems and prospects of developmental ideologies. We need a weapon that can penetrate the principle of things and equally organize experience in all its ramifications. This fundamental and reflective task is beautifully entrenched in philosophy. Hence any development not predicated on a sound philosophy is doomed to a catastrophic end.

Philosophy as a discipline has been given diverse definitions and characterizations that make any attempt to define it in a straitjacket manner a fruitless venture. This controversial terrain of philosophy is further complicated when one notices the anti-philosophical syndrome and the concomitant misinterpretation of its concerns by the lay people who see it as ordinary, chimerical, devoid of subject matter, or at best taking solace in mere fancy. But seeing the significance of philosophy as a potential instrument to dismantle arrogant dogmatism and ignorance, Bernstein (1988:257) gives a classical definition of it when he says ‘philosophy is the working out of prefigured possibilities. It culminates in the triumph of technology. I do believe that its presence in the continuation of our culture is vital and indispensable’. Consequently, human societies need principles of social organization to regulate and facilitate social interaction, and give purpose and direction to human existence. These principles are provided by philosophy (Jinadu, 1988: v). It is obvious, as Ade Ali (1997) states, that the role of philosophy is not limited to the curiosity to know; it is also a useful instrument for changing natural and social realities, as well as for establishing critical capabilities and the reconstruction of beliefs and cultural orientations.

The dynamism of development is so crucial that when not predicated on the right frame, it will amass unprecedented problems for people and aggravate the conditions of living. Thus, in every situation in life, there should be a notion of philosophy on which peoples’ epistemology can be appropriately situated. Of course, to ignore the significance of philosophy in the development of a nation is to start on the course of a dead project, dead because certain vital notions or decisions, which ought to have been taken into cognizance, would have been thrown overboard.

Development is a multi-dimensional process, which involves the organization and re-organization of the economic and socio-political system of a nation, reflecting on the impact of internal and external ideologies and the concomitant effect of any developmental programme on the people. It is ‘the ability and the desire to use what is available to continuously improve the quality of life’ and to liberate people from hazards (Ogundowole, 1988: 134). Since philosophy helps in resuscitating the inquisitive energy of the mind towards seeing pressing existential issues, if it is not applied to development the progress of society will be stunted. Without philosophy, it would be difficult to understand the impact of technology on culture, and how borrowed technology implanted in an unstudied culture may sprout to become a time bomb. In reflecting on the place of science and technology in Nigeria’s development, for example, it would be apt to conscientize the masses to the knowledge that sheer accumulation of borrowed technology does not necessitate development. We need to boiTow what will not jeopardize our existence and the essential ingredient of self-reliance. We should search for philosophical ways of exploiting the resources of the modern world for the benefit of our society without jeopardizing the strong points of our culture (see Wiredu, 1998:20). Here philosophical thinking may be dedicated not only to securing a clear and coherent picture of the first principles of social action, but also capturing that humane rationality which sensitizes us to the reality beyond the legitimate horizon of science, the reality of our particular cultural milieu that is crucial to the survival of our nation.

Now, it can be extrapolated that philosophy serves as a basis for meaningful development. It provides the critical and reflective spirit for the actualization of a pattern of development. Every meaningful development is a product of a particular philosophy, just as philosophy itself is a product of the culture that gives birth to it. In this paper, therefore, I have argued that philosophy creates the framework that serves as a basis for sustainable development. Otherwise, striving towards development is an elusive venture. Philosophy thus institutes a conceptual enquiry into the conditions of human existence visà-vis indigenous cultures and modern experience with the goal of transporting the human person into a better world.

Philosophy and Development: Any Correlation?

According to Oluwole (1998), ‘Developmental theories are structured on philosophical principle’. It will be too simplistic, however, for us to simply parade this idea without adequate substantiation. Philosophy is concerned with the ultimate foundation of reality, the highest and most general judgment of human actions, the raison detre of political systems, the value and reliability of human knowledge, the most basic foundation of human culture, religion and social ethos, and the exposition of our most unconscious presumptions and prejudices (Ogujiefor, 1998). It is ‘critical thinking about the world’. The aim here is not to secure readers’ assent to our thesis by definitional fiat; we are strongly of the opinion that there should be a speculative metaphysics or philosophy behind practical developmental realities even in science and technology. As such development is more of the mental than the physical, serious philosophical orientation and moderation are required to tailor it to human good.

At this point, to argue for the relationship between philosophy and development is to say that there is no way we can divorce development from philosophy, either physically or mentally. In this sense, philosophy represents the human effort to provide rational and logical answers to the agitated mind in order to generate an explanatory anchor or organizing principle for development, explain the origin of life, give direction to life’s activities, and provide goals to motivate and challenge it. As a reflective activity, philosophical theorization is structured towards the achievement of practical realities. Philosophy is a theoretical investigative discipline into the core principles on which human existence is organized, structured and advanced. Kwasi Wiredu eloquently demonstrates this idea when he asserts that philosophical thinking ventures into ‘concrete suggestions in social action’ (1998:20); ‘the function of philosophy everywhere is to examine the intellectual foundations of our life, using the best available mode of knowledge’ (1980:43).

The rapport between philosophy and development can be dated to antiquity. Plato, in the Republic, preoccupied himself with the idea of the spirit of philosophy gaining control over society either by forcing men skilled in philosophy to take part in politics or by getting incumbent rulers to embrace philosophy:

We felt bound in all honesty, though with some trepidation, to say that there would never be a perfect state or society or individual until some chance compelled this minority of uncorrupted philosophers to take a hand in politics, willy nilly, and compelled society to listen to them; or else until providence inspired some of our present rulers and kings or their sons with a genuine love of true philosophy (in Eboh, 1993:97).

Since there will always be the need to critically examine and decisively solve life’s problems in the light of rational principles, philosophy will always be an existential imperative for development. Let us ponder if there can be development without self-actualization and understanding. Of course, not. This is the bulwark of Socrates’ admonishment for the human being to, ‘know thyself. The human being is thus the central figure in any development drive. He/she needs to realize himself/herself mentally, morally, socially, economically, etc., in a balanced form before we can start to talk about progress.

Having established that philosophy responds to social exigencies and bearing in mind the Marxian claim that ‘philosophers have only interpreted the world, what then can we say about philosophy in addressing contemporary realities that are highly germane to development? Here we are conscious of the question of ideology: should it be taken wholesale from a source or is there the need to bowdlerize, rationalize, or reject any ideology? Can philosophy extirpate corruption, greed, debt crisis, etc.?

The gradual movement from traditional modes of living to modern methods as can be seen in several western societies is a reflection of what philosophy can do to development. Western development has become pronounced because the west has addressed itself to the philosophical question of change in society. In the same vein, we can also talk about an African development, one that needs to be clarified, based on the fact that there is an actual gap or difference between what obtains in the west and what we find in the African world. In the sense of the latter, we are talking about another kind of development, ‘a retrogressive or negative development’.

Though one would prefer to describe African countries not as underdeveloped, but rather as developing, a country or society typified by this kind of development depicts itself as being philosophically backward. Hence, the backward shift in their developmental curve.

The act of philosophizing is for the purpose of affecting society, to make a shift from a less civilized orientation to a more civilized and developed one. This can be seen in the mode of cultural transition of nations that are now described as developed. In essence, there is a sense in which one can appeal to the ancient times in the development of philosophy as can be seen in the pre-Socratic to the Socratic era.

However, the shift from the dimension of Homer, Hesiod, etc., to the pre-Socratic era (i.e. the Milesians’ school of thought) marked a great shift in the act of reflection. The shift was from the appeal to gods to the appeal to physical and metaphysical things. The latter was far-removed from the typical features of the time of Homer and Hesiod, which was largely reflective of the ethos of a traditional society. The Milesians brought about a major shift in thinking and development. However, there have emerged further reflections apart from the Milesians. Thus, development is a process, which continues until the termination of life itself.

It now becomes obvious that philosophy plays a very notable role in conceptualizing and facilitating development. Its power to facilitate thought, control, interpretation, and change in society underscores its relevance to development issues. It brings about change in different forms, thus society is affected in various ways. Drawing upon such methodological tools as reflection, examination, and contemplation, philosophy enables us arrive at what is called ‘ the good end’. Betrand Russell (1912:89) thus argues that ‘the view of philosophy appears to result partly from a wrong conception of the end of life, partly from a wrong conception of the kind of goods which philosophy strives for and achieves’.

The goods referred to here include the development of not only the individual in his or her quest for knowledge, but also the entire development of the universe. This is a major value of philosophy, especially as knowledge itself is an intrinsic good that every society must possess and explore. It is thus improper to hold that science, because it is practical, enhances development more than philosophy. Rather, what enhances practicality in the sciences is the power of contemplation, which is a tool of philosophy. The study of development through philosophy, therefore, gives room for the exploration of theoretical as well as practical depths in society. Russell (1912:89-90) rightly observes:

If all men were well off, if poverty and disease had been reduced to their lowest possible point, there would still remain much to be done to produce a reliable society, even in the existing world of the goods of the body. It is exclusively among the goods of the mind that the value of philosophy is to be found.

Culture as an Ideology in Development

Though development is structured on basic philosophical principles, it is a further philosophical demand to critically consider the culture that nourishes and generates a specific form of problem before pronouncing or recommending any panacea. This simply sensitizes us to the fact that culture is an indispensable and dynamic element in the quest for development. As a result, the less developed nations must be extraordinarily careful in the acceptance and utilization of received theories; they should consider the ontological nature of human beings as highly imperative. This precise exposition might seem nebulous since we have not focused our analytical lens on the necessity of culture in the quest for development. But Segun Oladipo (1996:55) offers an erudite confirmation of this position:

True all human beings have especially the same biological structures. However, the constraint (both physical and social) which they encounter as they relate both to nature and to one another in their productive activities varies, not only from society to society but even in the same society from one period to another.

Going by this, it is clear that thinkers like Appiah and other technological chauvinists who championed a total imitation of western models of development fail to score a substantial point. In fact, the campaign for the imitation of a foreign culture is, on several grounds, inimical to the desired African renaissance. It inevitably approximates the flowering of culture of dependency, and the decimation of local ingenuity and creativity, thereby retarding indigenous technological innovation. However, before we embark on a thorough consideration of this topic, let us revisit the term ‘culture’.

The Concept of Culture

The concept ‘culture’ has been given diverse characterizations by scholars across various ages. But the definition of Professor Anya (1998:13) is essentially instructive:

Culture is a summation of human experience… a way of life and world-view, [it] is conservative in nature, tending to preserve and to forbid human actions that might otherwise be possible or feasible but [which] can be disruptive of established order.

One fundamental point to note in this description is that culture is not synonymous with tradition. It is an encompassing phenomenon with overlapping layers of human spatio-temporal existence. In fact, it designates a systematic experience that tackles the realities of existence. Thus, it transcends mannerisms, rituals, dances, and even circumscribes the intellectual outlook, as well as moral, economic, and political endeavours of a people. Kwasi Wiredu (in Oladipo, 1996:5051) states:

Culture goes beyond art, song and dance to include everything that is connected with a people ‘s way of life. It is seen in their work and recreation; in their worship and courtship; in their ways of investigating nature and utilizing its possibilities, and in their ways of viewing themselves and interpreting their places in nature.

Definitely, culture consists of all the material and spiritual characteristics and products of human intelligence. It comprises aspects like language, knowledge, human institutions, technology, beliefs, traditions and customs (Barclay, 1986). Thus, when we talk of the culture of a people our reference is to the totality of their way of life. Essentially, therefore, such a reference is vital to the formation of their philosophyof life and ideology for development.

The significance of culture to societal growth is examined by Segun OIadipo (1999:18) in his exposition of William Abraham’s The Mind of Africa. He delineates the following fundamental functions of culture:

  1. Culture is a means of creating order in society.
  2. It provides the basics for the development of common reactions, common actions, common interests, common attitudes, etc. It is an instrument of social integration.
  3. It makes events in human experience intelligible and significant. It is a regulator of change.

The last of these functions deserves critical exposition. Drawing upon the African socio-cultural experience, William Abraham (in OIadipo, 1999:19) has observed that:

There is no doubt that the processes of industrialization for examples, initiate cultural change. They lead to urbanization, to the mass movement of labour from the country to the cities, to the break-up of those salient connections that make the family and the fellowship of rural life… The strength of culture controls the extent to which disruptive forces have free and successful play.

From the above analysis, one can easily extrapolate that there is a sort of dialectical relationship between people and their environment and this is vital to the development of the human being as a cultural being. Culture is a conduit for the exposition of human needs and it is in it alone that solutions can be properly proffered to human problem. It tailors solutions to specific requirements. It phenomenologically induces an epistemological parameter for what is desirable. Thus, it must be accorded a substantial position in human development. Since the existential situation and philosophical outlook of life vary across places, it would be a serious damage to intellectual credibility to persuasively mandate a universal paradigm for development at the expense of specific cultures : ‘development principles cannot be the same in all societies and culture has a serious role to play in the moderation of developmental patterns’ (Oluwole, 1999).

The Place of Culture in Development

‘It is a crime against education to impose on human race a civilization without a philosophy, without a wisdom, without a life and without spiritual aspiration’. (Ogujiefor, 1998: xvii). To super-impose and interpret a people’s experience and fathom for them a philosophy of emancipation at the expense of their own ingenuity is a greater crime.

It is an established fact that the aggregate of human efforts at resolving fundamental problems within a given period in a society constitutes the culture of that society. However, the qualities of those efforts measured in terms of the people’s capacity to elevate the human condition constitute their civilization. Thus, cultural advancement in terms of the provisions of a culture, the efficiency of the material base, and the functional knowledge and ideas for civilized living is the basis of a people’s development (Bashir, 1998:37). It is a compass for addressing social realities, ordering and reordering existential necessity, and determining the how, what and degree that certain phenomenal elements feature in the movement of development (Nwala, 1981).

Though science as a product of the human mind is (in the contemporary world) the most powerful instrument that has been fashioned to combat the problems of human existence (Anya, 1998), but culture as a social mechanism tends to preserve socially-desirable values and to forbid such actions which can be disruptive of an established order. Hence, as science is perpetually structured towards change, culture maintains a conservative disposition that protects and preserves the human person as the central figure of existence. However, the overwhelming desire for science and technology in all parts of the world seems to justify the fear that a person, without the cultural checks, might soon overrun nature and put himself or herself in an apocalyptic danger. Thus, developing countries need to appreciate the place of their culture in appropriating, refusing or transferring foreign cultural and technological items. Received theories should be thoroughly scrutinized to see if they pave way for cultural diversity, or whether they are prejudicial, untenable to any African experience, or inimical to harmonious co-existence.

We should seek to know the nature of the relationship between modern technology and the moral basis of social existence and communalistic ethos. We should determine the extent to which the present culture is inimical to the growth of science and technology, and how current cultural realities warrant the acquisition and development of technology.

In Nigeria’s quest for development, for instance, we may, in the bid towards industrialization reformulate our problem as being concerned with how to exploit all the resources of the modern world for the benefit of our society without jeopardizing the strong points of our culture. On the other hand, however, when we view culture as an experiential solution to the problem of survival, we must be extremely careful because solution to problems emanate from the mind and to be intellectually competent in dazzling our existential perplexities, the mind must be adequately trained. Development is a mental phenomenon, as Akin Mabogunje has argued. Also, science and technology as development paraphernalia are products of the mind, hence, mere satisfaction with their transference does not translate to the transfer of intelligence. As a result, a culture emanating from indigenous technology, ingenuity and re-engineering of the educational system becomes an urgent ideological desideratum. The absence of such, as P. F. Wilmot (1980:15-16) put it, has dire consequences for any nation: ‘The destruction of a nation, adrift on an uncharted course is a slow dance of death to the music of poverty, disease, crime, apathy, neglect …’

Again, culture extensively delineates the path of development since the problems and agenda to be explored are enshrined in it. And since it is not static it can generate an ideology of positive change. Consequently, the emergence of new cultural realities might necessitate new development strategies and transmute the cultural experience of a people into rigorous philosophical and sociological discourses that would determine workable ideologies. This significance of culture is further strengthened when we consider the fact that a society cannot exist harmoniously unless its people have common feelings regarding the ‘best’ ways of conducting its affairs and these common feelings are expressed in an ideology. From such shared experience would emerge a clear and historically accurate analysis upon which a reliable technology and development can be built. Earlier, we noted that culture is dynamic. The statement has fundamental implications for development. Of course, since culture is a dynamic phenomenon which is constantly shaped and reshaped by the historical activities of a people, it would seem problematic to regiment developmental strategies. Yet the task is much within the realm of possibilities. In this context,

The re-appraisal of African culture thus becomes a philosophical imperative. The point here is not that these appraisals would have direct or immediate effect on the thought-habits, worldviews and conception of the people in such a way as to propel instant correction of their defects. Rather such appraisals have the potential of promoting the kind of self-understanding that would provide some basis for determining the kind of sociocultural reconstructions that would enable Africa to come to term with the challenges of contemporary life. (OIadipo, 1999:21).

Such re-appraisals would assist in providing access to the intellectual foundation of African culture and facilitating the modalities for change where necessary. Hence, the appraisal and re-appraisal of culture is significant to the adoption and formulation of a workable ideology for sustainable development. Such an ideology will in turn constitute the intellectual basis for a ‘system of beliefs about how society should be organized and how society’s members should relate to one another’ (Wiredu, 1998:22).

It is equally instructive to note that scientific and technological development is susceptible to cultural, sociological and psychological influences. Hence, Africa must strive to resolve whatever paradoxes there are between science and culture, and generate cultural principles and an environment that will facilitate technology. Material resources must be meticulously organized to pave the way for an earth-friendly exploration, and to inspire new and better ideas of living.

If we understand culture as a historically determined pattern of living and as a guide for the behaviour of human beings, then serious emphasis would be placed on how it impacts on society in terms of the good or bad, the desirable or undesirable, the progressive or destructive. Contemporary realities have significantly authenticated the dynamism of culture in ideology. In fact, a sort of symbiotic relationship exists between culture and technology, thus the quest for development should be seriously concerned with how technology can be developed or appropriated without jeopardizing human relations. We should not be oblivious of the tendency in technology to affect character, hence the unrestricted permissibility of mafia movies, blue films, ritualistic films, etc., has aggravated the existence of gangsters and cultists in schools and university campuses. The outright rejection or even mere neglect of culture in the quest for development will not only breed chaos; it can deal a nasty blow on indigenous languages and erode a moral and social heritage that has taken several centuries to build.

Of course language is a crucial element of culture, but the towering influence of colonialism and slavery have dealt serious blows on the cultures of oppressed Africans. In the bid for a renaissance, African languages must be revamped and used effectively in industry, commerce, the judiciary, and in the various institutions of learning. (Matambirofa, 1997). This will help to formulate explicit instructions and procedures in various fields of endeavour that otherwise would not have been easy to interpret and understand. Also, it will easily incorporate into development programmes a lot of people who, hitherto, have been situated outside the mainstream of national development because of the foreign language palaver. This vital element of formulating indigenous language policies, we believe, will animate the indigenous culture and further attract people to education.

Having experienced some destabilizing elements of western scientific paradigms, it will be intellectually expedient for African nations to look for alternative modes of thought and values embedded in a ‘non-accidental’ culture, and ‘opt for a technological development that is relevant to their peculiar needs’ (Eboh, 1993: 107).

The Justification for Cultural Philosophy

All along in this essay we have been re-echoing a very fundamental fact, either overtly or covertly, that developmental theories must be structured on cogent philosophical principles to generate a perpetual balance between the subject and object of development. The quest for development must not be uncritically executed, bearing in mind the internecine effects of contemporary technology on humanity. Indeed, it is a naked reality that the progress of technology has marvelously dissipated some ‘mysterious’ problems of existence, but it is quite pathetic that technology has blinded man to the necessity of fundamental social change. These changes are necessary because the present society is caught up in self-contradiction: increasing productivity and increasing destructiveness, human freedom and social repression; rising wealth and persistent misery, want and poverty; etc. The result of this is a society that is one-dimensional, a culture that is one-dimensional and a consciousness that is one-dimensional (Herbert Marcus in Otakphor, 1991:10).

It is, therefore, logical that the entrenchment of productive or humanistic scholarship by philosophically minded intellectuals will significantly aid the reinstatement of the human dignity in a scientific world. In a similar vein, Adebayo Adedeji (see Asante, 1991: 7) has enjoined Africans thus:

We need to set in motion a development process that will put the individual at the very centre of development effort: a development effort that is both human and humane, without necessarily softening the discipline that goes with development but which enhances man’s personality; a development process that does not alienate man from his society and culture, but rather develops his self confidence in himself and identifies his interest with those of his society and thereby develops his ability and willingness for self reliance.

The culture of a people represents the product of their effort at resolving fundamental problems and constitutes a unifying mechanism and regulatory framework for interpreting situations.

It is philosophically expedient to re-assess and re-evaluate developmental policies. African intellectuals need consider as a priority the critique of foreign ideologies. We need to stress to our policy makers that ‘development is a mental phenomenon’. We need to understand that ‘we cannot enter into the essence of technology through the technological’ (Heidegger, 1959:3); we can only ‘conquer technocracy and its attendant problems through a firm grasp of the essential, the simple and the stable’ (Unah, 1995:25).

Also, it is important that Africans should not allow themselves to be deceived by the indiscriminate importation of technology. Technology is a product of the human mind, ‘advancement is masterminded by human beings. On their own, robots are incapable of producing equipment’ (Unah, 1995:23). Thus, the development of human resources, and the re-engineering of our educational system must not be treated with levity. National development is not a datum from outside. As Eboh (cited in Adebayo, 1998:45) emphasizes,

National development consists both in the qualitative growth of human persons and in the increase of modern infrastructures and facilities in view of creating much better living condition for persons.

Therefore, we should invest in human beings in order to develop a complementary and creative mentality for revolutionalizing our indigenous technology and master the intricacies and technicalities behind foreign technology. Except this is properly done, the gross importation of western technologies, for instance, will have no tangible impact on African development; rather, it would continue to pose serious threats to our humanity. Our educational system should appreciate the fact that the person behind the technology and hisMier existential situation matter a lot in assessing the impact of that technology: no matter how well a nation might be endowed by nature, the attitude of the people is a major factor in their progress or retrogress’ (Obasanjo, 1990:18). Thus the anomalous kleptocracy, mercurial mentality, unprecedented penchant for materialism and primitive accumulation, etc., are crucial issues to be looked into, otherwise they will keep dealing mortal blows on the quest for development. In this regard, we go back to the essence of philosophy, the need to generate organizing principles for explaining and interpreting reality:

Philosophy is concerned with the ultimate foundation of reality, and the highest and most general judgment of human actions, the raison detre of political system, the value and reliability of human knowledge, the most basic foundation of human culture, religion and social ethos as well as with the exposition of our most unconscious prejudices. In one vein philosophy represents the effort of human reason to provide the last answer to the inquiring mind in its apparently elusive efforts to interpret reality. (Oguejiofor, 1998: xvii).

It is the foundation of all foundations, the discipline that goes beyond mere descriptions to decipher the sociological implications, the normative values of a system, and to unveil unsuspected possibilities. It tells us the ought of a principle. Therefore, philosophy transcends the particularistic essence of the sciences, even though it helps to secure their foundations and to check their excesses. Also, it has made immense contributions to political ordering, social and economic revolutions, and to ethical and theological reasoning.

In view of the foregoing, it is important that African intellectuals probe critically into our ideology for development because received theories might not accommodate or take cognizance of the experience of our people. Since culture is the response to the problems of survival, people must not be ideologically relegated as inconsequential. Furthermore, since culture is dynamic, it will be appropriate to embark upon a phenomenological bracketing of our culture, to scrutinize it, to assimilate the positive and desirable elements in foreign cultures, and to cast out practices within our culture that are inhibitive to development.

Finally, it should be clearly understood that philosophical thinking ‘may be dedicated not only to securing a clear and coherent picture of the first principles of social existence but also to venturing concrete suggestions on social actions’ (Wiredu, 1998:20). Indeed, if philosophical thinking is accorded its rightful position in the African system, we see the nauseating poignancy of corruption and its adverse implications on the economy being reduced. The degree of exploitation, dehumanization and the alienation of people will be reduced to the barest minimum and human beings will be the central figures in development. Philosophical wisdom is an imperative for development and this reality is tied to the exercise of the spirit of commitment by intellectuals and the ability to promote productive scholarship through which cultural knowledge, experience and the appropriate social action will become entrenched in society. Of course, there can be no development without prior speculative metaphysical thinking, which will gradually crystallize into practical ideas. But more important, in the contemporary circumstances of African nations is the translation of technology in particular into the praxis of development, and this demands a critical dynamic philosophical and cultural structuring and restructuring.