HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 21 no. 1 (2020)

AFRO-COMMUNITARIANISM AND THE QUESTION OF INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM

Jonathan O. Chimakonam | Chukwuemeka I. Awugosi

 

Abstract:

In this essay, we explore the possibility and the extent of individual freedom within the Afro-communitarian set up. We contend that every community is made up of individuals whose association constitutes the community and as such, that the idea of individual freedom is not only possible but could be necessary. Granted that the idea of communitarianism presupposes the domination of communal values over individual endowments, we contend, nonetheless that when the idea of primordiality of private liberty is taken into account, individual freedom could be defended. We engage extant literature in Afro-communitarianism to make a strong case using Michael Eze’s ‘realist perspectivism’ as a veritable index that defines the relationship between the individual and the community as contemporaneous which balances private liberty with public authority. Thus, we claim that since the freedom of the individual to function is necessary for the community to function, individual freedom is defensible insofar as it does not conflict with public authority.