Editors: Helen Yitah and Helen Lauer
Philosophical Foundations of the African Humanities through Postcolonial Perspectives critiques recent claims that the humanities, especially in public universities in poor countries, have lost their significance, defining missions, methods and standards due to the pressure to justify their existence. The predominant responses to these claims have been that the humanities are relevant for creating a “world culture” to address the world’s problems. This book argues that behind such arguments lies a false neutrality constructed to deny the values intrinsic to marginalized cultures and peoples and to justify their perceived inferiority. These essays by scholars in postcolonial studies critique these false claims about the humanities through critical analyses of alterity, difference, and how the Other is perceived, defined and subdued. Contributors: Gordon S.K. Adika, Kofi N. Awoonor, E. John Collins, Kari Dako, Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu, James Gibbs, Helen Lauer, Bernth Lindfors, J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Abena Oduro, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Olúfémi Táíwò, Alexis B. Tengan, Kwasi Wiredu, Francis Nii-Yartey
Clinical Trials and the African Person aims to position the African notion of the self/person within the clinical trials context. As opposed to autonomy-based principlism, this other-regarding/communalist perspective is the preferred alternative model. This tactic draws further attention to the inadequacy of the principlist approach particularly in multicultural settings. It also engenders a rethink, stimulates interest, and re-assesses the failed assumptions of universal ethical principles.
As a novel attempt that runs against much of the prevailing (Euro-American) intellectual mood, this approach strives to introduce the African viewpoint by making explicit the import of the self in a re-contextualized arena, meaning within the community and a given milieu. Thus, research ethics must go beyond autonomy-based considerations for the individual, to rightly embed him/her within his/her community and the environment.