A retired Professor of Philosophy, Sophie Oluwole, has urged philosophers to research, document and promote the teaching of Nigerian cultural system and philosophy to the younger generations.
Prof. Oluwole of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) made the appeal, on Tuesday, while reflecting on the just-concluded two-day Researchers’ workshop, in Lagos.
The workshop, held on May 25 and May 26 at UNILAG, was organised by the Philosophers Association of Nigeria.
She said that documenting such works was key to preserving our culture and heritage amid influx of western philosophy which was overriding Nigerian indigenous languages.
She expressed disappointment with the fact that the Nigerian child was not taught Nigerian philosophy and was therefore, not knowledgeable in his or her cultural identity.
“The problem is that the Nigerian child is not taught, they are even told that there is nothing like Nigerian philosophy.
“How do we teach philosophy in pre-tertiary education level when there is a claim that we have no philosophy?
“That is why Nigerian philosophers must research into its system of philosophy, document, arrange and then teach its philosophy,’’ she said.
Oluwole said that discoveries by Nigerian in their philosophy would encourage them to identify with and promote their language, culture and heritage.
“Research is very important because, for instance, if Yoruba people have philosophy, they will speak Yoruba, they will not speak English.
“You must go to your language, you must study what the people have, systematise it and show people that this my philosophy is as good, if not better than yours,’’ she said.
According to the professor, the call to include teaching philosophy in pre-tertiary education curriculum could only be possible when researches conducted in the discipline have been documented.
“Because for now, there is nothing to teach, no textbooks, materials and even teachers to teach at the pre-tertiary level,’’ she said.
Oluwole said the Nigeria indigenous philosophy like the Greek and Chinese must first be written in their indigenous languages because that was how they existed before they can be translated into English language for the benefit of others.
She, however, urged Nigerians to speak their indigenous languages in other to discover their philosophy.
The professor lauded the Lagos State Government for its directives to make Yoruba speaking compulsory in schools within the state, as this was a direction toward discovering indigenous identity.
“If you don’t know your language, you cannot know your philosophy or anything because it is not possible to discover your culture and indigenous philosophy in English.
“The solution is to come home, research, re-discover and document, because unless you know yourself, you cannot develop yourself,’’ she said.