AA 2017 Volume 49 Issue 2

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Conversationalism as an emerging method of thinking in and beyond African philosophy
    (University of the Free State, 2017) Chimakonam, Jonathan O.
    In this paper, I employ an under-explored sub-Saharan African notion of ‘relationship’ to formulate a method that could ground discourses in African and intercultural philosophies. I claim that conversationalism, as the method is called, which is a new idea in African philosophy, might be an attractive model for thought if we take seriously the demand for equal and horizontal engagement especially in the field of intercultural philosophy. To do this, I will show what the method of conversationalism might look like in application. I will articulate a principle called Context-dependence of Value (CdV) that attempts to shift the paradigm of the truth of our propositions from the ‘facts’ which such ‘propositions’ assert to the ‘context’ in which those propositions are asserted, to show not only what makes conversationalism new but to also provide strong arguments on what makes it ultimately desirable for intercultural discourse and particularly now that some thinkers are calling for the decolonisation and Africanisation of philosophy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Russian animalier art of the New Age. On the problem of genre specifics
    (University of the Free State, 2017) Portnova, Irina Vasilievna
    The article examines the peculiarities of Russian animalier art. The work’s relevance is that it brings to light the new ontological and morphological status of animalistic art that has to do with the composition of the modernera world picture from the 18th to the first half of the 20th centuries, which differs in many respects from its mediaeval counterpart. The article is aimed at revealing the peculiarities of animalier art in the context of the era and existing genres, understanding its specific nature as determined by the animal model and the perception of it that implies the evaluation of objective and subjective factors in an image. In addition, the article looks at the peculiarities of an animalier artist’s working method as he or she deals with a mobile model not prone to posing, his or her priorities of plot and theme in depicting animals, and the significance of animalier art in general. The article shows that the major initial principle for artists involved in animal depiction was the imitation of nature. This eventually led to the formation of a separate genre, namely animalier art, with a set of distinctive features of its own. The article takes the historical-problematic method as its major approach, implying the articulation of issues specific to the animalistic genre as well as historical-artistic issues, which makes it possible to give a valuation to the artistic aspects of Russian animalier art as a distinctive, original phenomenon in history. The au thor notes the significance of the animalistic genre, a genre from the academic environment and one which has had a major role as a school of professional excellence. Despite the length of time that animalier art has been around, it has managed to preserve its “genre memory” and the unity of its morphological characteristics in various types of art. It made it past the 20th Century and is still around today. The material covered in the paper is of value for art history, as it enriches national art with new research findings and little-known facts, for pedagogics, and also in the broader, philosophical sense, as it raises issues of a moral nature (the interrelationship between man and animals).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Musicking Poulenc’s ruins in Stellenbosch
    (University of the Free State, 2017) Pauw, Marietjie
    This article investigates several performances of a flute solo (written by Francis Poulenc) as presented by the author in Stellenbosch, South Africa.1 Un joueur de flûte berce les ruines was written in the 1940s, ‘discovered’ in the late 1990s by Ransom Wilson and published in 2000 by Chester. The title of the solo carries an unidentified reference to the ‘serenading’ of ‘ruins’. This title, the shrouded originating circumstances of Poulenc’s composition, as well as its only-recent appearance, are central to the subsequent argument for music curations ‘after sound’ (Barrett). Douglas Barrett’s notion of ‘critical music’ directs this reflexive article enquiry. Curations ‘after sound’ take place when music compositions operate on platforms of socio-critical arts practice. ‘Musicking’, proposed by Christopher Small, probes the question: ‘What’s really going on here?’ The article asks this question by reflecting on the intentional juxtapositions of time, place and context that occurred when the author presented the solo on performances respectively titled ‘Die Vlakte’, ‘Roesdorp’, and ‘Portrait’. The article analyses aspects of films by Aryan Kaganof (2016) that responded to the ‘Roesdorp’ performance and suggests that the films manifest as Rancière-ian ‘aesthetics as politics’: they expose and intertwine layers of complicity, critique, confusion and care. A fleeting juxtaposition of silence and echo as metaphorical extensions to the notion of ‘after sound’ concludes this article enquiry.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Patronage, state capture and oligopolistic monopoly in South Africa: the slide from a weak to a dysfunctional state?
    (University of the Free State, 2017) Labuschagne, Pieter
    The aim of the article is to investigate the phenomenon of state capture from a political perspective. In the literature, discussions around state capture are principally done from an economic context, not from a political perspective. The viewpoint in the article is that a more multi-faceted political approach is necessary, because the eroding of the role of the state is essentially a political problem. The phenomenon of state capture should therefore receive more scholarly attention within the political sciences, so the focus of this article is on addressing the problem of state capture within a political context. Here, the link between corruption and state capture is outlined and the difference between the two concepts is shown to be only a matter of degree. In the case of corruption the outcome is uncertain, while in the event of state capture the outcome is more definite as a result of the control an external agent exerts over a political functionary. The article also addresses the important tipping point, when a weak state – with high levels of corruption – lapses into a dysfunctional state. The finding is that the degradation from a weak to a dysfunctional state occurs during state capture when resource allocation – a core function of government – is controlled by outside agents. In the concluding section reference is made to the Public Protector’s report and its alignment with the theoretical features of state capture.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Political thought, international relations and a Tale of Two Modernities
    (University of the Free State, 2017) Freire, Lucas G.
    In their book Empire, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri develop a narrative about the transition from the mediaeval to the modern, secular, world, showing that there were two projects of modernity at first, but that one prevailed over the other. The prevailing modern worldview did not do away with a transcendental form of control. Instead, it offered a post-mediaeval view of transcendence, which was then imported into politics, leading to the state as a transcendental apparatus of control. This article applies their thesis to the analysis of the development of political thought on international relations. It is argued that modern international thought was constrained and enabled by the project of modernity which prevailed. It is far from clear whether contemporary international thought can rid itself of the notion of the Westphalian state as the transcendental apparatus of control, yet it is reluctant to accept the notion of a world state as the ultimate, natural, implication of the transcendental grounds for the modern state.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Power and ethics in humanities research: another response to Stolp
    (University of the Free State, 2017) Ludemann, Winfried
    Abstract not available