Tag Archives: knowledge

Are you an agnostic?

What is agnosticism? Broadly speaking, it is the position that claims that human beings cannot ‘know’ whether God (or gods) exists or not. We simply do not have the means to have such knowledge. I put ‘know’ in scare quotes because that is where an agnostic puts the emphasis. The ancient Greek word, ‘gnosis’, means…

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Far more than a thriller writer

It is easy to misjudge a writer, particularly if the blurbs on the cover of his or her books proclaim something like: “Impossible to put down. Another mind-blowing story!” Or: “Wow…Blockbuster perfection. An exhilaratingly brainy thriller…” Not that these blurbs are inaccurate regarding the novels I have in mind; up to a certain point they…

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Philosophy of provisionality

Everything we do as humans is provisional. Because of time’s eroding power, everything is revisable. There is a reason for the word “decision” being a part of our language. Not accidentally, the term derives from the Latin for “cut”; in other words, when we decide something, we make a volitional “cut” of sorts in the…

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Why we need a politics of ‘spirit’ not consumption

Most people reading this are probably wondering what a “politics of spirit” could possibly mean. After all, it seems like an oxymoron to juxtapose “politics” and “spirit”. I would agree with that, at first sight anyway. Until you read Bernard Stiegler’s transfixing book, The Re-Enchancement of the World, subtitled: The Value of Spirit against Industrial…

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Making local knowledge matter in the classroom

Recently my grade 10 pupils had to present orals using quotes from African writers. While listening to their orals I was struck by the lacklustre nature of their speeches. When I introduced the assessment to the girls there was an understanding that the speeches should be interesting and that the opportunity to research African writers…

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Talking ourselves to knowing a new tomorrow

What is knowledge to you? I mean, really, what is it? Is it something that is encapsulated in a document or is it a fractured, partial view of the world? Is knowledge finite and infallible or structured and unchanging? We don’t often reflect on how we know the world but if you were to sit…

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Africa, the dark continent?

By Matthew de la Hey “The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well you do not stand in one place” — Chinua Achebe Do they know it’s Christmas? Well of course they do. They’ll probably go to church, and then spend the day with their families. I find the…

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Reimagining dialogue

I used to love going to church. Growing up in a traditional black Methodist Church meant that for each service I knew what to expect. People would arrive 15 minutes before church began, wait in the pews silently or sing a few hymns while we waited for the choir to usher in the preacher for…

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Worlds in collision

Individuals are “worlds” set on what is often a collision course. In a previous post I wrote about the “diversity of individuals”, where the thought of such potential “collisions” was already latently present. In the last few days I have come across a number of things that have impressed upon me the realisation that the…

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Why people are such inherently conflicted beings

While preparing for a seminar on the roots of contemporary theory among the ancient Greeks, the Hellenistic Romans and early Christian thinkers, I was struck by the way that the different, and divergent, strands of the cultural legacy of the West (as well as of other cultures globally which share some of these roots) explain…

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