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Metaphysics can be defined as that branch of philosophy that studies reality in its most comprehensive scope and fundamental principles. It is the science that tries to determine the real nature of things.
The thesis is an attempt to examine critically the metaphysical foundation of knowledge in Igbo philosophy. It shows that metaphysical knowledge is accessible by the Igbo mind as against Kantian postulation that metaphysical knowledge is impossible. The Thesis goes further to prove that in Igbo metaphysical worldview, the mind or reason can penetrate the unknowable world to discern the things in themselves as against Kantian postulation that reason is incapable of piercing into the domain of things in themselves.
It also shows that the synthetic apriori knowledge is some thing that is common to both Igbo metaphysical thought and Kantian critical Philosophy.
1.0 GENERAL INTRODUCTION
The debate about the existence of metaphysics could be formulated in
a concise statement by Kant, thus: “Is metaphysics at all possible?”1 Kant’s critique of the transcendent (traditional) metaphysics is a contribution to the classical debate between the rationalists and the empiricists about the true source of knowledge.
It is also a reaction to the unpopularity of metaphysics among the scientifically minded thinkers of the modern period; and to the devastating criticism the British empiricists made against metaphysics. For David Hume, every book on metaphysics should be committed to the flames because it contains nothing but sophistry and illusion. It was the brilliant criticism by Hume against some traditional beliefs that immediately woke Kant from his dogmatic slumber and spurred his own philosophical ideas.
For Kant, what has hitherto been called metaphysics cannot satisfy any critical mind, but to forego it entirely is impossible. He, therefore, had to take up the arduous task in his critique of Pure Reason. He came out with the conclusion that metaphysics is very much possible only as a natural tendency or natural disposition but impossible as a science.
This research work is geared towards the review of the implication of Kant’s critique of metaphysics for metaphysics in African thought. The concerns of traditional African metaphysics are, perhaps, best characterized in the phase of Kant as God, freedom and immortality.
We have attempted understanding the basis of African traditional metaphysics which has to do with ‘Being’ and its ontological appurtenances like personality, substance, ancestor etc to proved that the African mind unlike Kant’s is capable of penetrating into these areas. While Kant limits his enquiry to experience and reason, the African go beyond that to explore extra-empirical and extra-ratiocinative means often called extra-sensory perception (ESP).
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Metaphysics as the science of the ultimate cause of reality as it is classically conceived has never been seriously question until the modern trend of philosophy. Skepticism about metaphysics was brought to the climax by David Hume who had a strong influence on Kant. Ever since then, metaphysics has been under serious intermittent attacks and fire.
Consequently, metaphysics as a discipline has not only been criticized by post-medieval philosophy but regrettably attacked as
being vacuous and meaningless as a result of the mistaken conception of it as not being very much concerned with the concrete and individual things of sensory experience.
With the upsurge and wave of disenchantment and disinterestedness in any form of metaphysical inquiry, even right from William of Ockham, Kant calculatively posed the question whether metaphysics is possible at all and if it is possible, whether as a science. He concluded by affirming that metaphysics is possible as natural predisposition but impossible as a science. This audacious problematic assertion stands to spell doom to this sublime science especially to some Igbo man or woman who’s live can never be devoid of metaphysical assumptions and beliefs.
Our major task, at any rate, is to have a flash-back at the status of metaphysics during the medieval period and to re-examine the positions of the post-medieval anti-metaphysicians that culminated in Immanuel Kant. A critical review will be made of the implications of Kant’s view on metaphysics in the Igbo context.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.
Basically, this thesis is concerned with the question: Is metaphysics at all possible? Kant has demonstrated its impossibility as a science.
So the problems we want to address in this study are:
i. Is metaphysics possible from Igbo point of view?
ii. What is the implication of accepting Kant’s criticism of metaphysics for the Igbo?
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research is to explore Kant’s epistemology and his critique of metaphysics especially its implications for Igbo concepts of God, freedom and immortality of the soul.
There will be an exposition of other philosophers’ conception of metaphysics in general.
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The problem raised by Kant concerning human knowledge; it’s in ability to go beyond the world of phenomenon has posited serious problem for Igbo metaphysics hence, the purpose of this research include:
1. To show that metaphysical knowledge is accessible to human mind.
2. That reason can penetrate the world of noumenon to discern the things-in-themselves as against Kantian postulation that reason is incapable of piercing into the domain of things in themselves.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The thesis exposes to some critical minded Igbo persons, the negative implications of consenting to the Kantian Postulations, that the mind cannot know anything about God, the world and human freedom.
Therefore the significance of the study are:
1. To help us grasp a clear picture of what metaphysics is all about.
2. To x-ray the implication of its denial as a science
To prove that Igbo minds are capable of penetrating into the
domain of the numenon.
To create the awareness of the importance of emphasizing valid and objective knowledge this helps in fostering understanding and clearing of doubts in metaphysical issues and conceptions.
To have a sound critical evaluation of Kant’s critique of metaphysics and its implication for the African metaphysics, the ratiocinative method is applied in this research. This is the process of logical and methodical reasoning on the concept, of metaphysics.
In these methods, the concept of metaphysics are evaluated based in the inductive findings of Kant, the deductive method is applied
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