Phronimon 2022-04-06T10:50:26+00:00 Michael Cloete Open Journal Systems <p><strong>Phronimon</strong>&nbsp;publishes original scientifically justifiable contributions (articles, discussions of articles previously published and book reviews) within the field of Philosophy and the Humanities.</p> Groundwork for a New Kind of African Metaphysics: The Idea of Predeterministic Historicity, by Aribiah David Attoe 2022-03-21T10:36:16+00:00 Ada Agada <p>Palgrave Macmillan, 2022, 117 + xxii</p> <p>ISBN: 978-3-030-91109-6</p> 2022-06-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Ada Agada Laughing Along Racial Lines: Humour in Post-Apartheid South Africa 2021-10-07T10:51:11+00:00 Jennalee Donian <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">South Africa’s transition to a democratic state in 1994, with its liberalised free-speech policies and race-based reforms, had an immediate and transformative effect on comedy. There was a massive increase in the establishment of comedy clubs and festivals, the production of comic media-like sitcoms and films, and more recently, the expansion of new forms of online and digital humour (via YouTube channels and podcasts), as well as the racial diversification of comic talent. Amid this comic revolution, this article identifies the specific, distinctive character of post-apartheid comedy in South Africa, exploring the ways in which the content, style and delivery of humour produced by Black comics differ from those constructed by White comics. It contends that, while the former increasingly engage with issues of race, culture and politics with unprecedented candour, such taboo-breaking moratorium is antithetical to (most) contemporary White comics, whose performances—across various platforms—are marked by jocund humour and political (albeit not always socio-cultural) disavowal. Furthermore, it explores the extent to which these race-based comic trends are influenced by, respond to and negotiate both the vestiges of the past and current racial-social-political discourses. Albeit in a vastly distinct way, this article concludes that the humour produced by these comics—irreverent and subversive versus conservative and facetious—nevertheless allows them (and by extension society) to negotiate the vestiges of the past and the disquiets of the present in order to serve the overarching drive of promoting social cohesion and healing. </span></p> 2022-04-06T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Jennalee Donian Massive Deception Masquerading as Information and Communication: A (largely) Derridean Perspective 2022-03-23T09:00:56+00:00 Bert Olivier <p>We live in a time of major events in civilisational history, currently centred on the so-called Covid-19 “pandemic.” In this global context, contemporary people are at the mercy, largely, of powerful media companies that disseminate officially sanctioned news and opinion pieces about all aspects pertaining to the “pandemic.” The very same thing that makes this mainstream media hegemony possible, however, namely the Internet, also allows alternative news sources to circulate censored news and critical opinion so that one witnesses an information and communication-divide on a scale never seen before in history. This paper sets out to reconstruct this information and communication chasm with reference to representative instances of each of the adversarial sides in what may be called a “war of information” and attempts to make this intelligible by interpreting these mainly through the theoretical lens of Jacques Derrida, supplemented by a coda enlisting Jürgen Habermas’s work on communication. While the latter does foresee the possibility of authentic communication (“communicative action”) despite the constant spectre of miscommunication (“strategic action”), Derrida is less optimistic about this. Instead, taking his cue from Joyce’s <em>Ulysses</em>, he insists that the very means of “reaching” the other in the act of communicating are also, ineluctably, the means for failing to reach them, and that “receiving” a message from someone can thus either result in a mechanical repetition of the message, or a paradoxical “repeating differently.” Moreover, elsewhere he indicates the paradoxical implications of a change of “context” as far as an utterance is concerned. This difference between these two thinkers allows one to get an intellectual grip on the situation unfolding in the world in 2021–2022; a world of ubiquitous information exchanges, implicitly claiming to be communicational exchanges. More specifically, Derrida and Habermas equip one with the communication-theoretical means to ascertain what this plethora of information exchanges amounts to.</p> 2022-05-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Bert Olivier Does Economic Restructuring during Covid-19 in South Africa amount to Disaster Capitalism? 2022-02-03T11:25:06+00:00 Casper Lötter <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">I explore the ANC government’s cadre-based (<a name="_Hlk97198686"></a>BBBEE/Broad-based Black economic empowerment) narrative in <a name="_Hlk64889024"></a>restructuring the economy amidst the <a name="_Hlk64889008"></a>pandemic, as an <a name="_Hlk64889044"></a>ideological vehicle to achieve an unstated <a name="_Hlk64889061"></a>nefarious purpose. The narrative that I aim to capture through the lenses of Naomi Klein’s disaster capitalism read with Reiman’s “pyrrhic defeat theory,” is built around the fictitious idea of <a name="_Hlk64888985"></a>Black economic empowerment. Ultimately it serves as a vehicle for fraudulent personal enrichment by politicians and well-connected tenderpreneurs. This double theoretical vision is meant to augment and explain the opportunity that the Covid-pandemic provided for its exploitation as an example of disaster capitalism. I traverse the events which led to the current global pandemic as well as the way or ways in which a faction within government and its institutions has generally colluded with Big Business to profit from it. I consider the South African government’s initial response to the pandemic as well as the ways in which such a response morphed into a self-enrichment scheme under the guise of BBBEE. This remains plausible even if one concedes that this purpose was not by original design or is solely driven by a faction within the ruling party. This discussion is preceded by an overview of the VBS Mutual Bank fraud scandal, foreshadowing my demonstration of how the pandemic proffers an opportunity for the RET-group within government to transform into a criminal shadow state as a going concern. In conclusion, I draw on the Covid-19 experience to suggest lessons for the future economic management of pandemics.</span></p> 2022-04-06T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Casper Lötter