Groundwork for the Practice of the Good Life: Politics and Ethics at the Intersection of North Atlantic and African Philosophy (Hardback) book cover

Groundwork for the Practice of the Good Life

Politics and Ethics at the Intersection of North Atlantic and African Philosophy

By Omedi Ochieng

© 2017 – Routledge

276 pages

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pub: 2016-10-20
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Description

What makes for good societies and good lives in a global world? In this landmark work of political and ethical philosophy, Omedi Ochieng offers a radical reassessment of a millennia-old question. He does so by offering a stringent critique of both North Atlantic and African philosophical traditions, which he argues unfold visions of the good life that are characterized by idealism, moralism, and parochialism. But rather than simply opposing these flawed visions of the good life with his own set of alternative prescriptions, Ochieng argues that it is critically important to step back and understand the stakes of the question. Those stakes, he suggests, are to be found only through a social ontology – a comprehensive and in-depth account of the political, economic, and cultural structures that mark the boundaries and limits of life in the twenty-first century. It is only in light of this social ontology that Ochieng then proffers an alternative normative account of the good society and the good life – which he spells out as emergent from ecological embeddedness; social entanglement; embodied encounter; and aesthetic engenderment. At once sweeping and rigorous, incisive and subtle, original and revisionary, this book does more than just appeal to intellectuals and scholars across the humanities and social sciences – rather, it opens up the academic disciplines to a whole new landscape of exploration into the biggest and most pressing questions animating the human experience.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Groundwork for the Infraphysics of Practice:The Good Society and the Good Life in North Atlantic and African Philosophy

Part I: "Think Relationally, Act Structurally": A Social Ontology of the Good Society

1. Introduction

2. Mapping Social Ontology

2.1. Social Structure

2.1.1. Politics

2.1.2. Economics

2.1.3. Culture

2.2 Subjectivity and Relationality

2.3 Power, Legitimation and Ideology

2.3.1. Power

2.3.2. Representation

2.3.3. Relationships

2.3.4. Consciousness

2.4. Agency

2.5. Normativity

3. Dimensions and Vectors of The Good Society

3.1. Interanimated Historiography

3.2. Chronotopian Political Imagination

3.3. Secular/Naturalistic Structures

3.4. Restructurative Justice

4. Conclusion

Part II: Chronotopes: Archaeologies and Landscapes of the Good Society

1. Introduction

2. Contextualizing African Identity

3. African Political Structures

3.1. Auto-politics

3.2. Inter-politics

3.3. Pneuma/Theo-politics

3.4. Meta-politics

3.5. Anti-politics

3.6. Dia-politics

3.7. Ethno-politics

3.8. A-politics/Post-politics

3.9. Endo-politics

3.10. Poly-politics

4. Conclusion

Part III: Creaturely Value: A Meta-Ethics of the Good Life

1. Introduction

2. The Epistemology of Ethics

3. Mapping an Ontology of Ethics

3.1. Contextual Creatureliness

3.2. Toward a Critique of Dominant Ethical Theories

4. Conclusion

Part IV: Emergent Normativity: The Good Life as the Articulation of Ground Projects

1. Introduction

2.1 Ground Projects as World-Articulations

2.2. Ground Projects as Self-Articulations

2.3. Ground Projects as Knowledge-Articulations

2.3.1. Ground Projects as a Praxis of World Knowledge

2.3.2. Ground Projects as a Praxis of Self Knowledge

2.3.3. Ground Projects as a Praxis of Imagination

2.4. Ground Projects as Meaning Articulations

3. Embodiments of the Ethical

3.1 The Hero

3.2 The Saint

3.3 The Citizen

4. Conclusion

Conclusion: The Owl of Minerva at Noon: Imagining Good Societies and Good Lives

About the Author

Dr. Omedi Ochieng is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Denison University. His areas of specialization include the rhetoric of philosophy; comparative philosophy; and social theory. He has published articles in the International Philosophical Quarterly, Radical Philosophy, and the Western Journal of Communication.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought

This series explores core issues in political philosophy and social theory. Addressing theoretical subjects of both historical and contemporary relevance, the series has broad appeal across the social sciences. Contributions include new studies of major thinkers, key debates and critical concepts.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHI005000
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
SOC002010
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General