New Conversations on the Problems of Identity, Consciousness and Mind

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This book introduces concepts in philosophy of mind and neurophilosophy. Inside, three scholars offer approaches to the problems of identity, consciousness, and the mind. In the process, they open new vistas for thought and raise fresh controversies to some of the oldest problems in philosophy.

The first chapter focuses on the identity problem. The author employs an explanatory model he christened sense-phenomenalism to defend the thesis that personal identity is something or a phenomenon that pertains to the observable/perceptible aspect of the human person.

The next chapter explores the problem of consciousness. It deploys the new concept equiphenomenalism as a model to show that mental properties are not by-products but necessary products of consciousness. Herein, the notion of qualia is a fundamental and necessary product that must be experienced simultaneously with neural activities for consciousness to be possible.

The last chapter addresses the mind/body problem. It adopts the new concept proto-phenomenalism as an alternative explanatory model. This model eliminates the idea of a mind. As such, it approaches the mind-body problem from a materialistic point of view with many implications such as, the meaning(lessness) of our existence, the possibility of thought engineering as well as religious implications.

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About the author

Jonathan O. Chimakonam Ph.D, is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Calabar and University of Pretoria and a Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg. His teaching and research interests include: African Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Logic, Feminism, Environmental Ethics, African feminist thoughts, and Postmodern thought. He aims to break new grounds in African philosophy and Systems of Thought. He has supervised several master’s and doctoral thesis including in the area of philosophy of mind. His articles have appeared in journals such as Ultimate Reality and Meaning, Journal of Global Ethics, Confluence, South African Journal of Philosophy, Thought and Practice, Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, African Studies Quarterly, Ufahamu, Online Journal of Health Ethics, Journal of Pan African Studies, Phronimon, Polylog, Filosofia Theoretica, Dialogue and Universalism, Journal of World Philosophies, Acta Academica, etc. He is author and editor of some books including the award winning Existence and Consolation: Reinventing Ontology, Gnosis and Values in African Philosophy (by Ada Agada), Minnesota: Paragon House, 2015 (CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award, 2015); Atuolu Omalu: Some Unanswered Questions in Contemporary African Philosophy (New York Lanham: University Press of America, 2015); African Philosophy and Environmental Conservation (London: Routledge, 2018); African Philosophy and the Epistemic Marginalisation of Women (London: Routledge, 2018, with Louise du Toit); African Philosophy in the Post Modern Era (Delaware: Vernon Press, 2018, with Edwin Etieyibo); The Death Penalty from an African Perspective...(Delaware: Vernon Press, 2017, with Fainos Mangena). He has many book chapters. He is the convener of the professional African philosophy body, The Conversational School of Philosophy (CSP) and the founding editor of Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions. He is winner of Jens Jacobsen Research Award for Outstanding Research in Philosophy by the International Society for Universal Dialogue. He is African philosophy Area Editor in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. He propounded the theories of Conversational thinking and Ezumezu Logic. He is Postgraduate and Undergraduate External Examiner to University of the Witwatersrand, University of Pretoria and University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. He is external Researcher Assessor for South Africa’s National Research Foundation. He is currently collaborating on a manuscript on Conversations between Chinese and African Philosophies with Prof. Keqian Xu of Nanjing Normal University, China. He has in-the-press collaboration with Prof. Uduma O. Uduma on African Philosophy and Feminism; as well as other collaborations with colleagues. Chimakonam is a member of nearly a dozen professional bodies and has given several international conference lectures.

Egbai Uti Ojah, Ph.D, is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Philosophy, University of Calabar, His teaching and research interests include: Philosophy of Science, African Philosophy and Feminism. Currently, he is the Director of the Centre for General Studies, University of Calabar. He aims to break new grounds in African philosophy, specifically in the areas of conversational philosophy and African feminist thought. Egbai has published in learned journals and has given lectures at different international conferences.

Samuel T. Segun is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Philosophy, University of Johannesburg. His research interests include the philosophy of artificial intelligence, philosophy of mind especially neurophilosophy and consciousness, business ethics and African intellectual development. Samuel’s doctoral research focuses on developing a robust ethical theory for autonomous intelligent systems that is informed by African values and rivals Western approaches.

He is an affiliate member of the Philosophy Node of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) at the University of Pretoria, a member and research fellow of the Conversational School of Philosophy (CSP), and a member of the IEEE’s (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Standards Association Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems.

Aribiah David Attoe is a Doctoral Candidate, specialising in African Philosophy, at the Department of Philosophy, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He also holds a master’s degree in philosophy of mind and a bachelor’s degree (Hons.) from the University of Calabar, Nigeria. He is also a member of the prestigious Conversational School of Philosophy and a copy editor for the African philosophy journal; Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions. His major research areas of interest spans across; African Philosophy, Neurophilosophy, Ethics, Socio-political philosophy and has given various talks on areas related to his research areas at different international forums and conferences.
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Published on
Feb 23, 2019
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Philosophy / General
Philosophy / Metaphysics
Philosophy / Mind & Body
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You are about to read a much-needed book that will open your eyes to the Africa that has been hidden from us. Thinking out of the box of Western thought pattern, Dr. Jonathan has been able to give to the world this revolutionary masterpiece in the intellectual history of Africa. By systematizing African science he has emphasized that more than one cock crows. We may therefore call him the Demiurge of new African renaissance. Mary Nelson Sankofa Directions Houston Texas, USA Se wo were fi na wosan kofa a, yenkyi. Learning from the past in building the future ----------------------------------------------------------------- With this masterpiece, Dr. Jonathan has answered all the critics of Africas intellectual and inventive ability. He has opened a door to Africas authentic renaissance. The work is a beacon in Africas history and the author has emerged as one of the continents brightest minds. Chris Iwarah The Sun Newspaper ---------------------------------------------------------------- With this towering intellectual accomplishment, Dr. Jonathan Chimakonam has not only proven that Africans are capable of revolutionary thoughts but has emerged as one of the leading original thinkers on the continent. In fact, in this piece of adorable literature, Jonathan could be said to have done for Africa what thinkers like Francis Bacon did for the West Prof. G. O. Ozumba Head, Department of Philosophy University of Calabar, Nigeria ----------------------------------------------------------------- What Jonathan has done is not different from what the builders of Western science did. In fact, he has taken his seat as the Francis Bacon of African science project and it would not be out of place if one describes him in the future as the father of African science. Okechukwukelu Okonkwo Deputy Director Programmes Anambra Broadcasting Service ----------------------------------------------------------------- This book is a great exploration into a rich repository of wisdom and knowledge which needs to be recaptured. It is African renaissance that will reposition Africa in the world of technology and development. This is both challenging and refreshing. With emerging scholars like Jonathan, there is hope for Africa! Hakuna Matata! Venerable Professor Udobata Onunwa Director, International Center for the Study of African Languages and Culture, Birmingham, UK
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • This inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • People • NPR • The Washington Post • Slate • Harper’s Bazaar • Time Out New York • Publishers Weekly • BookPage

Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Books for a Better Life Award in Inspirational Memoir

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Thought leader, visionary, philanthropist, mystic, and yogi Sadhguru presents Western readers with a time-tested path to achieving absolute well-being: the classical science of yoga.


The practice of hatha yoga, as we commonly know it, is but one of eight branches of the body of knowledge that is yoga. In fact, yoga is a sophisticated system of self-empowerment that is capable of harnessing and activating inner energies in such a way that your body and mind function at their optimal capacity. It is a means to create inner situations exactly the way you want them, turning you into the architect of your own joy.

A yogi lives life in this expansive state, and in this transformative book Sadhguru tells the story of his own awakening, from a boy with an unusual affinity for the natural world to a young daredevil who crossed the Indian continent on his motorcycle. He relates the moment of his enlightenment on a mountaintop in southern India, where time stood still and he emerged radically changed. Today, as the founder of Isha, an organization devoted to humanitarian causes, he lights the path for millions. The term guru, he notes, means “dispeller of darkness, someone who opens the door for you. . . . As a guru, I have no doctrine to teach, no philosophy to impart, no belief to propagate. And that is because the only solution for all the ills that plague humanity is self-transformation. Self-transformation means that nothing of the old remains. It is a dimensional shift in the way you perceive and experience life.” The wisdom distilled in this accessible, profound, and engaging book offers readers time-tested tools that are fresh, alive, and radiantly new. Inner Engineering presents a revolutionary way of thinking about our agency and our humanity and the opportunity to achieve nothing less than a life of joy.

Praise for Sadhguru and Inner Engineering

“Contrarian and consistent, ancient and contemporary, Inner Engineering is a loving invitation to live our best lives and a profound reassurance of why and how we can.”—Sir Ken Robinson, author of The Element, Finding Your Element, and Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative

“I am inspired by Sadhguru’s capacity for joy, his exuberance for life, and the depth and breadth of his curiosity and knowledge. His book is filled with moments of wonder, awe, and intellectual challenge. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in self-transformation.”—Mark Hyman, M.D., director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, and New York Times bestselling author

“Inner Engineering is a fascinating read of Sadhguru’s insights and his teachings. If you are ready, it is a tool to help awaken your own inner intelligence, the ultimate and supreme genius that mirrors the wisdom of the cosmos.”—Deepak Chopra
African Philosophy and Environmental Conservation is about the unconcern for, and marginalisation of, the environment in African philosophy. The issue of the environment is still very much neglected by governments, corporate bodies, academics and specifically, philosophers in the sub-Saharan Africa. The entrenched traditional world-views which give a place of privilege to one thing over the other, as for example men over women, is the same attitude that privileges humans over the environment. This culturally embedded orientation makes it difficult for stake holders in Africa to identify and confront the modern day challenges posed by the neglect of the environment. In a continent where deep-rooted cultural and religious practices, as well as widespread ignorance, determine human conduct towards the environment, it becomes difficult to curtail much less overcome the threats to our environment. It shows that to a large extent, the African cultural privileging of men over women and of humans over the environment somewhat exacerbates and makes the environmental crisis on the continent intractable. For example, it raises the challenging puzzle as to why women in Africa are the ones to plant the trees and men are the ones to fell them.

Contributors address these salient issues from both theoretical and practical perspectives, demonstrating what African philosophy could do to ameliorate the marginalisation which the theme of environment suffers on the continent. Philosophy is supposed to teach us how to lead the good life in all its forms; why is it failing in this duty in Africa specifically where the issue of environment is concerned?

This book which trail-blazes the field of African Philosophy and Environmental Ethics will be of great interest to students and scholars of Philosophy, African philosophy, Environmental Ethics and Gender Studies.

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