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Philosophy, Human Development and National Question

John Ekei


What we know today as “philosophy” began as a cosmic inquiry into the nature of the universe as espoused by Thales of Miletus. Philosophy was then comparable to natural sciences; anchoring its major subject matter on the issue of change and permanence in the universe. The obvious discovery and wonder here, is that, behind this noticeable change in the universe, there is a certain unchangeable element, (urstoff). And the major problem becomes how this paradox of changeable and unchangeable phenomena can be resolved? While the solution to this dilemma is still being sought, Socrates shifted the attention of philosophy (with obvious reasons) from nature to ethical-political question, that is, to the issue of human development. It interests this essay, to find out, what exactly is human development, and why philosophy after Socrates considers human development as a more basic and more important issue than cosmic (or physical) development. In other words, why is human development the essence of every development and what is the contribution of philosophy to human development in Nigeria. And what is the relationship between philosophy, human development and national question in Nigeria fraught with corruption, insecurity, indiscipline, unemployment, etc.

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