A brief reflection on the role of education in effecting cultural change in society
The logo representing Consolata Institute of Philosophy reads “Conservando Rinnovare” which means,
conservation through renovation! A moto which seems to be in flagrant contradiction; how do you
conserve when you renew or renovate?
But this moto reflects how complicated life is. Last year we were treated to rich lyrics to the effect that
“vindu viya chenjanga” or rather, “things are changing”. But again, with all estimates, things are as they
have ever been in the last 20 years. That is what the wise people tell you: “the more things change, the
more they remain the same”!
And yet everybody is crying for change. You will hear those who are tired of the status quo saying, “all
we want is change, it does not matter whatever that change entails”. For them every change is as good
as a rest.
Reflection By Fr. Dr. Stephen Okello IMC
The main aim of Consolata Institute of Philosophy (CIP) is that of giving to students a reflective and critical knowldge of the mystery of man, the world and God in preparation for the theological studies and other relavant disciplines.
Consolata Institute of Philosophy centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Affiliated to Pontifical Institution and situated in the African context, seeks to:
Philosophical institute that teaches and awards Diplomas and Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. Consolata Institute of Philosophy also offer an initial academic preparation aiming at catholic priesthood.
Consolata Institute of Philosophy (CIP) and its contribution to Research and Innovation for Quality Higher Education:
Building the Africa we want. First of all we know that philosophical Research is required not just for students and academics, but for all professionals. At CIP, we affirm that "Knowledge" basically pertains to facts based on objective insights and/or study findings processed by the human brain. It can be acquired through various ways, such as reading books, lectures, conducting scientific experiments, and intellectual/social interaction, among others. These facts, can be checked to ensure truthfulness and precision. In epistemology, there are three kinds of knowledge: procedural (competence or know-how), acquaintance (familiarity), and propositional (description of "a fact or a state of affairs"). A factual proposition is commonly used to define "knowledge". At CIP we emphasize on a virtuous metaphysics which points to correct epistemology and Logic of which at the end directs the learner to good Ethics. In fact we realize that logic teaches the people how to derive a previously unknown truth from the facts already at hand. It teaches us how to be sure whether what we think is true, is really true. If the knowledge acquired is put into practice, we shall then be talking of information that leads to formation in order to bring transformation in the person and the society. Information becomes the foundation for which formation begins in a person’s life. And then transformation is something that God’s Spirit comes in, takes over and does.
i) Through regular participation in the days and evenings of human spiritual formation as scheduled in the comprehensive calendar;
ii) Through open and self-disclosing conversations with one’s spiritual director and faculty adviser;
iii) Through the required courses in philosophy and religious studies, which provide the occasion for seminarians and sistersto develop self-understanding and pastoral and relational skills; d. through participation in the various dimensions of theological Pastoral Formation. e. through presence and involvement in the Seminary community and, more specifically, in the life and activities of one’s class and corridor.
The Goals of Consolata Institute of Philosophy are basically the following
• To help our Students understand major philosophical ideas accurately.
• To assist our Students to apply their understanding of ideas in novel contexts.
• To encourage our Students to write effectively and be able to communicate and speak effectively.
• To help the Students to argue with precision, balance, and insight.
• To help the Students understand the formal structure of arguments and understand the rules of inference.
• To help the students critically assess their own commitments and ideas.
• To help students to read analytically, critically, and empathetically.
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Consolata Institute of Philosophy is a Catholic college ran by Consolata Missionaries and it trains young religious men and women and also some lay in the field of Philosophy to become the lovers of wisdom. Read more
Philosophy day therefore allows students and lecturers to engage in scholarly discussion in which they discuss issues pertaining to the application and the role of philosophy in Africa and the so called the third world countries at large. This is in line with the theme given by the institute for the philosophy day that normally occur during the first semester of the academic year and it involves both first, second and third year students who would like to present on that day, this is followed by asking questions from the audience.
Like this year philosophy day basically evolved around the role of philosophy in Africa in relation to the use of technology and its impact in Africa as such. We all know that African’s politics talks of democracy in relation to philosophy, philosophy looks into details some of the issues pertinent to communal life and more so issues that often arise in fledgling democracies, unlike history which presents what has already happened. Philosophy day is therefore relevant to Africa and the third world countries at large in the 21st, century as it was in the ancient days when great philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and many other philosophers who questioned on the ethics, art, science, social, political, economy etc. Philosophy day enables both students and lecturers to discuss what transpire in African countries and the emerging democracies in the world. One of the biggest question is how philosophy enhances the development of Africa and the entire world especially for the entire world to stand for the truth.
During philosophy day, different sub-topics in relation to the theme given, for example one might question the role of the press which is at the Centre of national development not only in Africa but the world over. Philosophy starts by questioning the liberality of the press since our presses are controlled by the politicians and they seem to be the enemy of truth. Thus press sometimes is hesitant to inform the public of the rot in a malfunctioning political system. Press are supposed to espouse the value of freedom, but is not ready to take responsibility when its profits are threatened therefor philosophy see press as held captives by the pressure groups, public opinion and its own profit motives. This is also in line with ethics in philosophy in which the students of philosophy are also able to question the ethics behind any other field of development be it political field, science, media, medical, social and economy. We have seen science being in the frontline to create and renovate different innovation e.g. cyborgs, cybernetics, and robots etc which in the real sense are unethically humane. If we don’t question the ethics behind all these then we will lose the focus on what the real philosophy of science meant.
Experience of over a decade of teaching in various universities as an adjunct lecturer Consolata Institute of Philosophy (CIP) stands out as a unique academic centre of excellence. It combines tradition of Catholic scholarship with advancement in modern best practices of higher education. Read more
CIP offers unrivalled academic professional spaces by variety of academic, research and scholarship opportunities. Philosophy Day is one such opportunity where members of the faculty compete with students to present scholarly philosophical abstracts to have the opportunity to write a paper for the Day. The conference papers are subjected to critical reaction from the floor as participants raise probing questions on the arguments presented. This creates animated critical discourse where it becomes impossible to distinguish a student from a lecturer due to the quality of intellectual exchanges. The presenters must relook and address the issues raised in reviewing the arguments of the paper before submitting it for peer review for possibility of meriting publication in the CIP scholarly journal the Horizon. I must confess that participating in the philosophy Day as paper presenter significantly aided in the defense of my doctoral dissertation. The paper I read and eventually published in the Horizon was accepted by my defense committee as satisfying the requirement for award of doctorate degree in philosophy of education from Moi University.
Punctuality is the signature custom at CIP. The semester commences on the calendar date, this is unlike other institutions where lectures commence three to four weeks into the semester. Staff meetings and lecture-hours are subject to strict observance of time. Tardiness for lectures is an academic cardinal sin for a few minutes’ lateness leads to cancellation of the class in case of lecturer’s failure to manage time properly. Students get locked out from class for lateness fortunately such occurrences are rare and far in between.
The rapport between the faculty and the corpus studiorum is that of mentorship and modeling. The faculty encourages the students to bring out and actualize their intellectual and moral prowess in the unending process of self-actualization. The classroom discussions spill over into corridors as students follow a lecturer to clarify a point or challenge something that classroom period could not allow due to time. There are times where students elect to forfeit a break in order to continue with class discussion. The faculty and the students have access to both physical and online library which allow access to the most recent as well as classical works. In deed course lecturers are required to publish a textbook for the course they instruct. The publication cost is shouldered by the CIP.
CIP offers enviable academic opportunities and challenges which can only be prayed for elsewhere. May the family geist that inspires CIP endure in perpetuity and increase within boundless limits!
Dr. Kariuki Michael
Lecturer Philosophy of Education
Department of Educational Foundations
School of Education
Coordinator, School of Education
The chief Guest, Very Rev. Prof Stephen Mbugua (CUEA), Superior Consolata Missionaries Rev. Fr. Joseph Waithaka IMC, Rector C.I.P Rev. Fr. Dr. James Kabata, the entire administration body of the Institute, the C.I.P teaching staff, our Guest of Honours this day, class of 2019, Religious men and women present, all the invited guests, all the students and all men and women of good will, Good morning? Click to Read more /Less ...
Well, time come and time goes, moments come and moments go and before we all know it we are already bringing a number of things to an end while others find their beginnings. While it is true at a certain time and space some things have to start, it is also true that at certain time and space some things have to be brought to an end. An end that can well be described as “An END of a BEGINNING” This, by and large explain the change and transitions that we all make in life at different developmental stages. It is a reality that we all face in our lives. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for us to thank God for taking us through the academic journey we have passed through, it is time for us to thank God; for the gift of our lives, for the gift of each other, for the gift of our different congregations, it is time to be proud of the additions and the subtractions that we have made as a class and as individuals in our different ways, and also it is time to bid goodbye to the Institute. While it is time to say all these, it is time for us to start new lives, at different spaces, at different times, with different goals, objectives and greatly different searches.
Today is the culmination of the academic endeavors that we have undertaken in this phase of our life. The journey that had its set off on a Monday 15th of August, 2016 (during the Feast of Assumption of our Lady) in the academic year 2016-2017, is today on a Friday 3rd of May of 2019 academic year 2018-2019 coming to an end. We have gone through much and covered so much in our course work as expected. We have acquired so much information through various intellectual and academic arenas which the institute has provided to us. We have interacted, discussed and studied different problems/issues; philosophical, religious, ethical, scientific, natural and contemporary trending issues. All these integrated and intertwined. We have shared our lives, gifts and talents in our classroom set ups, presentations and in various discussion groups. Conceding these, I boldly say we all have made a step in our intellectual development and by extension other dimensions. Thus the journey has not only been informative but also formative and transformative. And this can be seen in how we relate with issues in our real world. And that is something worth to be proud of.
All these was made possible by the efforts, sacrifice and good will of many persons who in their own ways, greater and smaller alike, known and unknown alike, contributed to making these a reality. At this juncture, I would like to appreciate these persons/ institutions. Our big thank you goes to the various congregations or communities with their leaders who found C.I.P a place worth for our philosophical and religious studies. This is probably out of a realization that it is not only an educational centre but also a social, international and cultural institution. To them Asante sana. Our appreciation goes to the entire institute, its leadership structure, our esteemed lectures and the entire staff for ensuring a good and successful stay for the time we have been around. We have gone through a lot together (the institute on the giving end and us on the receiving end), with affiliation being one of our major worries but in all these, we see hope and light at the end of the tunnel. To the entire institute Asante sana. Our appreciation also finds its way to our parents and folks present here and back home, to our relatives and friends for being there for us in ways that really matters and counts by motivating us and inspiring our passion. It also extends to the many men and women of good will who have worked in the scenes and behind the scenes to make this a reality. To you all, Asante sana.
Finally, to you my dear brothers and sisters. I would like to appreciate you for the determination, for the fight, the courage, the will power and the efforts you have all made in your own ways to name this day. We had both amazing and distressing times in the course of our journey but today we are in another mood in this occasion by crowning it all with a smile and a certificate. And that is something. It is true we started a bigger number. Some completed their studies at different levels and others for some reason they didn’t make this far. It is how life is sometimes. But as we go through this we thank all our brothers and sisters who ended this earlier and are in other phases of life already. We pray that the Lord bless them and keep them safe. In their own ways they had impact on us. And we are proud of them wherever they are.
Today we are in a celebration and saying ‘thank you’ moods to many persons who crossed our paths especially during this journey. But look, it is one thing to say a thank you and another thing to live a thank you. The questions that should really strike all of us are; Are we faithful enough to live that thank you we are professing? Are we appreciative enough to live that thank you by it having a positive manifestation in our real lives from what we have learnt? And greatly, are we proud enough to live that thank you? In our own ways, I believe we can live that thank you. We can name the world around us and be the persons we all desire to be.
Brothers and sisters, we are moments away from graduating, we are moments away from beginning your journey through other phases of life, and by and large we are moments away from starting the journey of changing our lives and the world around us for the better. I take this opportunity to wish you well as you walk different paths of life in your different passages. I also pray that you attain wisdom in your actions, prudence in your words and stability in your lives. May God bless you and your future. May God bless all men and women of good will who support us. And abundantly, May God bless Consolata Institute of Philosophy and its endeavors. Thank you very much!
The event began with a prayer from the president of the Institute followed by short speeches from the guests of honour, the Vice Rector and the Rector. In their speeches they all showed their joy for having come to such an achievement. They too attributed the advantages of the Digital Library to students and the lecturers of philosophy, language and religious studies in their, assignments, research work, and search for wisdom which is the chief purpose for the study of philosophy. These advantages included: access to library at any time and at any place provided there is internet connections. In addition, same resources can be accessed by many users at the same time. Also it advantageous to the Institute since the cost of maintaining a digital library is much lower than that of maintaining a traditional one.
The Launching ended with a cutting of ribbons and a simple celebrations with cheers for the long term invested achievement.
Consolata Institute of Philosophy
The Role Of Philosophy In The Social Political Transformation Of The Society. By Dr. James W. Kabata OFMConv
The truth that stares everybody in the face is that philosophy plays a vital role in the social political transformation of the society. The value of philosophy is so significant that one can say that without philosophy and philosopher’s the social political transformation will be in a serious trouble. In fact we can say that the human person cannot do without philosophy. The guiding questions to this talk could be the following; how does philosophy intersect with the social world? How does philosophical thinking contribute to better understanding of society? First of all we realize that it is possible that philosophy is not a well-understood discipline by most people. All the same philosophers regard themselves as having a method, and a subject matter. The subject matter of philosophy is closely connected with the sorts of questions that have dominated philosophical investigation. Metaphysics is a systematic attempt to answer the question: What is reality? Some philosophers (materialists) have thought that reality is essentially material in nature.
The method, for analytically trained philosophers, anyway, is based on careful, critical analysis of ideas, concepts, and statements, and an effort to arrive at developed philosophical theories of important subjects. Some of these subjects include justice, rationality, equality, relativism and social construction. In the society and day to day life; Philosophers think systematically and critically about fundamental topics like propaganda, democracy, social hierarchies, global justice and religious conflict among others. They ask what these things are, how they hang together, and how we should react to them. Philosophy thus makes an important contribution to our understanding of society.
The relevance of philosophy is therefore unquestionable in the face of the multifarious problems it enables the human person to solve in his/her life. Even when it does not actually solve the problems, it guides man on the best approach to adopt to avoid being weighed down when faced with such problems. One thing that is clear is that philosophy does not claim to provide answers to all human problems but most importantly it makes effort to rationally address human problems. The glaring fact is that the human person and the human society cannot but need philosophy.
Philosophy, in the view of is a human need.
Philosophy is a human need as real as the need of food. It is a need of the mind, without which man cannot obtain his food or anything else his life requires. Philosophy is a rational activity. Therefore, as a rational activity, the human person cannot but need philosophy. Without mincing words, we wish to state categorically that philosophy plays important role in our society. Philosophy enables the human person to change some fundamental beliefs. It is an existential fact that most of the things we do or even the way we interpret our experiences are based on our fundamental beliefs. It is therefore the task of philosophy to question those beliefs that are not in agreement with the rationality of the human person. And any belief that is found guilty before the ‘Court of Reason’ is bound to be discarded. Philosophy therefore helps to shape and sharpen our mental faculty. As philosophers as far as the society and politics are concerned we think for ourselves as individuals.
There is no area of thought that we are afraid to explore, to challenge, to question, or to doubt.
There is no area of thought that we are afraid to explore, to challenge, to question, or to doubt. We feel free to inquire and then to agree or disagree with any given claim. We are unwilling to follow a doctrine or adopt a set of beliefs or values that doesn’t convince us personally. We seek to take responsibility for our decisions and conclusions, and this necessitates having control over them. Through this unshackled spirit of free inquiry, new knowledge and new ways of looking at ourselves and the world can be acquired. Without it we are left in ignorance and, subsequently, are unable to improve on our condition. One clear area of intersection is the philosophy of "knowledge of society" -- the philosophy of social science. Here the questions are epistemological -- how secure is the knowledge offered by the social sciences; methodological -- what methods of inquiry are well suited to the study of society; explanatory -- what is required for a good social explanation; and ontological -- what assumptions do we need to make about the nature of the social world in order to pursue social science research? It is fairly clear how philosophers can contribute to the development of theories and perspectives about these questions.
Another area where philosophy is relevant to society is normative social philosophy -- the theory of justice, human well-being, or communitarianism/liberalism, for example. Here the philosopher brings some organized thinking about values, ethical theory, and the messy facts of human social arrangements into the discussion. Here again, it is fairly clear how rigorous philosophical thinking can illuminate these questions; philosophy can help our understanding of these issues to progress. Philosophy does not only help us understand things. Philosophers are also active in politics. The Montreal-based philosopher Charles Taylor, for example, has shaped the Canadian debates about democracy and multiculturalism, and he served on Quebec’s Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences. Similar things are true of moral philosophers like Martha Nussbaum, who has testified as an expert in trials, or political philosophers like Kwame Appiah, who was voted one of the world’s most influential thinkers, along with philosophers like Jürgen Habermas. In conclusion Philosophy is “one of the most powerful tools” to empower people “into acting as free and responsible subjects in an ever more complex, interconnected, and uncertain world,” as Irish president Michael Higgins recently pointed out. Philosophy teaches you how to distinguish contributions to debates that ought to be taken seriously from illusory rhetoric or nonsense. In a world of fake news, in which the guiding role of truth in public discourse is under threat, philosophical skills allow you to make good political choices and good life choices. Philosophy serves theology as a preamble, a tool, a bridge, and a shield. These are the more traditional ways of describing how theology uses philosophy. Philosophy is a preamble in that it prepares people for understanding the Faith. It is a tool in that it is used as an instrument to better understand the Faith. It is a bridge in that it provides common principles where believer and nonbeliever can meet. It is a shield in that it can be used to defend the Faith against arguments of nonbelievers.