Beautiful experience, demonstrating academic scholarship at its best as convivial, fraternal and critical.
The question and answer session was particularly scintillating, as the speaker's presentation was analysed from various angles, its strengths as well as its zones needing further empowering, as understood by the responders, carefully examined.
Below are screenshots from the experience-
Presenter and screen
This speaker is questioning the ultimate value of using Western theorists (perhaps addressing non-Western contexts ) as the primary interlocutors in studying African thought and social systems, as he says the presenter has done, while a significant scope of scholars exists focusing on African thought and societies exists.
He also suggested the need for more precise contextualisation of the project, in relation to particular societies and the varying relationship between the communitarian and the individualistic, at various times, in those contexts.
Adeshina Afolayan making a similar point about contextualisation and balance by referencing Nimi Wariboko on the validity of his valuing his mother above everyone else even in the context of an African community in relation to which communitarian values are readily ascribed by scholars.
''These communitaristic African communities, to what degree do they still exist?'', as this respondents rejoinder may be stated.
''Are such communal cultures uniquely African, or globally universal across agrarian, pre-industrial societies requiring such bonding in the name of mutual survival in a culture in which aids to individualistic well being were very limited?'' as his argument may be summed up
''What are the implications, for contemporary philosophical study, of the reconfiguration of such societies and their values by change emerging from greater technological sophistication and other agents of change?'' his response suggests.
Another respondent, but one whose interesting response I did not grasp clearly enough to try to reproduce
Moderator, foreground, closes the seminar as presenter tidies his materials
A memorable demonstration of the essence of academic culture as a mutually supporting quest for knowledge amongst lovers of knowledge, in which careful listening and courteous interlocution, within critical sensitivity, are central.
These qualities are not necessarily native to humanity, since the urge to impress one's views on others, to emphasize one's higher social position, as with a professor in relation to a graduate student, for example, could motivate one.
This seminar exemplifies environments where such urges have been transcended, in the name of the challenging task of thinking things through, as Anthony Appiah describes the task of philosophy in his book of that title.
What is the significance of such genteel activities, and of such painstaking analyses of styles of human behaviour which are not as potent as they once were in the societies being studied?
Courteous, mutually sensitive dialogue, exemplified here, brings out the best in human society.
Can any society survive without a significant degree of communitarianism, in which the common good is understood as the good of the individual?