Philosophy as a Tool for Sustainable Develoment in Nigeria

Topics: Philosophy, Meaning of life, Sustainable development Pages: 7 (2572 words) Published: June 22, 2013

The place of philosophy in our global community cannot be overemphasized. Many African nations have continued to adopt various models in order to develop in all aspects of human endeavour. Having tried several models and all seem not to be leading Africa towards the right direction, this paper is an attempt at suggesting Philosophy as a tool that may likely be the answer to all the puzzles that African nations have for many years found onerous to solve.

Philosophy remains an important discipline in our global community today. It is a truism that the contemporary Nigeria is a product of what the colonialists handed over to the Nigerian political elites on Independence day, 1st of October 1960. It was a government that was born in a state of uncertainty. It was soon to manifest clearly in a bloody civil war which nobody prays to witness ever again. Today, people talk about various models, theories, and other strategies toward s achieving development. Nigeria is certainly not an exception. This paper is aimed at assessing Philosophy as a tool for sustainable development in Nigeria. UNDERSTANDING PHILOSOPHY

One cannot understand philosophy simply from a single author’s point of view. This is because scholars understand philosophy using their own individual lens. What this entails is that different philosophers have different views on what philosophy is, its subject – matter and method. However, the word philosophy comes from two Greek words namely; philos and Sophia .Philos means love of, while Sophia means wisdom. From these two Greek words, we derive the etymological or literary meaning of philosophy as Love of Wisdom. This is why when you call someone a philosopher; you are invariably referring to the person as a lover of wisdom. Today many perceive philosophy as a discipline that came from the Greeks. This assertion is not true. A more ancient derivation of philosophy is the Egyptian word sbo , also meaning love of wisdom. The Greeks actually studied in Egypt under the tutelage of the Egyptian mystery system’ priests. The first known philosopher in the world was Imhotep. He was an Egyptian who lived 2000 years prior to the rise of Greek philosophy in the 6th Century B. C (Nwala 1997)

A thorough understanding of the concept development would enable us properly situate the crisis of development bedeviling Nigeria and the challenge(s) it poses to Nigerians. The fundamental contrasting term for development is envelopment. Envelopment is the putting of something, for instance, a letter, into an envelope. It is to cover, fold or veil in. For the Etymologists, development comes from the French word: developer. This means to bring out from the envelop something that was enveloped. It is to de, un; and velopper, wrap. From these, to develop literary means to un – wrap. Thus development entails the un – wrapping, unfolding, un –velopping, unveiling, out – growth, or growing out of what was enveloped, hidden or latent. Development is the unwrapping of potentials (Iroegbu 2005). WHY AUTHENTIC DEVELOPMENT IS ABSENT IN NIGERIA

Many people are of the view that Nigeria, just like many countries in Africa, is underdeveloped in several areas. Many reasons have been floated as being responsible for this. They are colonialism, ethnicity, corrupt leadership, capital flight, poor planning and inefficient management, falling commodity prices and unfavourable terms of trade, inadequate saving and investment, insufficient inflow of foreign capital and technical assistance, the stifling of market mechanisms, lack of entrepreneurial skills, inappropriate politics, geographical environment and many others (Mene 2002). There are both the internal and external factors militating against development in Nigeria, quite similar to those of other parts of...
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