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  • feedwordpress 08:01:11 on 2018/10/09 Permalink
    Tags: , Boer War, , Consolation Philosophy, , , gold, , monetary history, ,   

    “The darkest thing about Africa has always been our ignorance of it”*… 


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    african philosophy

     

    Aristotle held that philosophising begins with wonder. The African philosopher Jonathan Chimakonam suggested that, while wonder might have instigated Western philosophy, it was frustration that spurred African philosophy, with the emergence of radically Afrocentric nationalist philosophers such as Léopold Sédar Senghor, Aimé Césaire and Kwame Nkrumah who saw in philosophy an ideological weapon for attacking those who sought to denigrate and subjugate Africans culturally and politically. What is needed now is a 21st-century African synthesis that can help to resolve this struggle. ‘Consolation philosophy’ – spurred by both wonder and frustration – attempts to do just that.

    The idea of ‘consolation’ philosophy does not imply an attempt to comfort philosophers. Rather, it suggests a philosophy of life, a project similar to the human-centred philosophical projects of Western existentialists such as Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gabriel Marcel, Søren Kierkegaard, Miguel de Unamuno, Emmanuel Levinas and German idealists such as Arthur Schopenhauer. Here I offer a brief presentation of this African philosophical synthesis, which I hope will help to resolve the dilemma eloquently put forward in 1997 by professor of philosophy at Penn State University Robert Bernasconi: ‘Either African philosophy is so similar to Western philosophy that it makes no distinctive contribution and effectively disappears; or it is so different that its credentials to be genuine philosophy will always be in doubt.’…

    “Consolation philosophy” understands the human being as a unity of feeling and reason, in a cosmos rich with primal emotion.  The provocative– and timely–  essay in full at “A truly African philosophy.”

    See also “Philosophy is the new battleground in South Africa’s fight against colonialism.”

    [Image above: source]

    * Geographer George Kimble

    ###

    As we take our wisdom where we find it, we might recall that it was on this date in 1899 that the Boer regime in (what we now call) South Africa issued an ultimatum to the British government, declaring that a state of war would exist between Britain and the two Boer republics if the British did not remove their troops from along the border.

    The British had challenged the Dutch settlers for a variety of reasons, probably main among them for control of the gold deposits in the region. It was the largest gold-mining complex in the world at a time when the world’s monetary systems, preeminently the British, were increasingly dependent upon gold.

    The British ignored the ultimatum, and what we now call the Boer War (actually the second Boer War, as there has been an earlier skirmish) broke out.  The two colonialists slugged it out until 1902, when the British took control.

    boer war

    Boer and British troops at the battle of Belmont, Nov. 23, 1899

    source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:00 on 2015/10/11 Permalink
    Tags: Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud, , Bureau of Surrealist Research, gold, , Klemens Schillinger, , ,   

    “If gold rusts, what then can iron do?”*… 


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    Austrian designer Klemens Schillinger has created a series of rings that are sized to show the fluctuating price of gold over the past five decades.

    Assay the results here and here.

    * Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

    ###

    As we think twice about all that glitters, we might recall that it was on this date in 1924– four days before the publication of André Breton’s first Surrealist Manifesto— that The Bureau of Surrealist Research, AKA the Centrale Surréaliste or “Bureau of Surrealist Enquiries,” opened in Paris under the direction of Antonin Artaud.  Located at 15 Rue de Grenelle, it was home to a loosely affiliated group of Surrealist writers and artists met, held discussions, and conducted interviews in order to “gather all the information possible related to forms that might express the unconscious activity of the mind.”

    Bureau member Man Ray’s photograph of attendees at a 1924 Bureau meeting

    source

     

     
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