Tag Archives: Understanding

The Erklaeren -Verstehen Controversy and Its Relevance for African Philosophy (Published)

This work is a critical examination of the place of explanation and understanding in the overall consideration of the various means employed in the acquisition of reliable knowledge both in the physical and social sciences. This inquiry is made to ascertain if the methods of explanation and understanding employed in the physical and social sciences can constitute relevant tools in African philosophy.  Life is full of puzzles seeking explanation and understanding. Apart from its raising of questions, philosophy also concerns itself with providing answers or explanations to the fundamental questions of life. These explanations make what was previously unintelligible or unfamiliar to be understandable. It demystifies or, as it may be, unravels the apparent mystery beclouding it thus making it intelligible. In explanation questions raised include: how? When? Why? Where? Etc.  The erklaeren – verstehen controversy (i.e. explanation – understanding controversy) is an inter disciplinary controversy which arose in sorting out the primary methodological concerns proper to the philosophy of the natural and socio- historical sciences. It raises the question of whether we can use the same methods of explanation and understanding in the physical and social sciences. This work employing the philosophical methods of critical analysis and evaluation traced the background of this controversy, examined the various methods employed by the physical and social sciences in explanation and understanding and considered the different schools of thought that championed the various methods of explanation. These methods of explanation are further examined with regard to their relevance in African philosophy which also has its ways of explanation and understanding. The work concluded by affirming the significance of this discussion in resolving some questions addressed in African Philosophy.  


Keywords: African Philosophy, Erklaeren –Verstehen, Explanation, Reductive Activity, Understanding

An Appraisal of the Roman Catholic Church’s Understanding of the Preferential Option for the Poor (Published)

This paper traces the foundation of the doctrine of the preferential option for the poor from the Old Testament into the New Testament. The paper also draws its arguments from Liberation Theology and prophetic messages in the Old Testament of the Bible. It then proceeds to highlight the teachings on option for the poor from Catholic social teachings, especially magisterial documents. The paper is a product of literature review for a research project on the topic of preferential option for the poor which was conducted in the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret in Kenya. From the review, it is evident that the option was given an impetus in the New Testament through the person of Jesus Christ whose messianic activities fulfilled what the prophets of old had foretold. Although the Messiah suffered death on the cross, the teaching of the Catholic Catechism presents this as liberation per se. As such, the Biblical notion of God opting to stand on the side of the poor, right from the time of the people of Israel to latter Christianity, continues to influence the Catholic Social teaching as evidenced by major papal documents and patristic teachings. Underlying the option is the conviction that the Church cannot isolate itself from the community that it is required to transform. Therefore, the preferential option for the poor is a teaching that had been received and domesticated as shown not only by the establishment of schools in the diocese but more so the way poor students get support.

Keywords: Poor, Preferential Option, Roman Catholic Church, Understanding

Critical Facets for Understanding and Enjoyment of English Poetry (Published)

In this article various critical opinions of prominent critics and poets on poetry and poems are to be examined in detail. Firstly, some statements and opinions, in connection with poetry are to be presented critically.  An acquaintance with poetry opens the mind to the wonder and joy of living and it can be related to ‘form’ as well as ‘meaning’ and how poets of different centuries have seen new and fresh possibilities within the unchanging limitations of poetry. It is also examined many critical observations of some particular poets and critics are done. This paper also related various poetical issues of great literary persons from classical age to modern age i.e. Horace to W. B. Yeats. In addition, the other poets such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Donne, Byron, Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Eliot and Auden are presented with apt instances. Finally the conclusion is drawn on the basis of the review of literature indicated.

Keywords: Appreciation, Creativity, Imagination, Metre, Poetry, Understanding