Reason and Embodiment

Philosophy up to today most often is understood to mean an intellectual enterprise independent of fleshliness. However, a philosophy built upon this dichotomy does not recognise the multiple dimensions of the human person and her reality and therefore will stay blind to the richness of different cultural life-worlds and philosophies expressing the experiences underlying these life-worlds. Cultural experiences are driven by their fleshliness, thus they cannot only be grasped by mere cognitive-intellectual endeavour.
However, so far no research on the embodiment of reason has been done from an intercultural perspective. This is particularly striking with respect to the African context since in the early times when the reflection on an African identity just started many attempts have been made to characterise African reason as being emotional – the most prominent example for this is the Négritude movement but we find other examples in many ethnophilosophical pieces. While these attempts obviously went wrong in differentiating a rather rational form of reason which was attributed to the West from a more emotional form of reason thought to characterise African cultures, it is still quite astonishing that there has not been any intensive research done on the embodiment of reason with respect to the African context.
Studying the embodiment of reason per se draws attention to the concrete bodily mediated life. It cannot refer to texts and intellectual insights only (be they from Africa or elsewhere) but has to take different kinds of bodily enabled experiences into account, i.e. as many different dimensions of the human life-world as possible. To mention just few examples which we will discuss at the conference: Orality, sage philosophy, music, dance, communality, and others.
The conference will discuss the impact which any of these dimensions has on the embodiment of reason. It will do so not only but with particular regard to the African context. However, all these dimensions can be found in any other cultural context as well even though they may be of less importance and even have another meaning within that context. The conference will also allow philosophy-unaffiliated researchers on music, dance, and orality to broaden their disciplinary perspectives and to correlate their own research to philosophical insights. Not least does the conference introduce an intercultural perspective to different disciplines.

Conference Program

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

13.00 Coffee and Welcome by the Organizers


Welcome by the Faculty’s Dean

Welcome by the President of the International Society for Intercultural Philosophy, Prof. Dr. Stenger (University of Vienna, Austria)


Introduction to the Conference Topic, Dr. Niels Weidtmann (University of Tübingen, Germany)


Christiana Idika (University St. Georgen, Germany)
“Reason and Embodiment – the Bifurcation Fallacy”

Coffee Break

Jacob Mabe (Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany)
“Reason and Embodiment – African traditional Philosophical Presentation”

Anke Graness (University of Vienna, Austria)
“The meaning of orality in African sage philosophy”



Keynote James Ogude (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
“Reason and Embodiment in Modern African Literature”

Afterward dinner with invited speakers


Friday, September 28th, 2018

Chibueze Udeani (University of Würzburg, Germany)
“Interculturality within the Discourse on Reason and Embodiment”

Fallou Ngom (Boston University, USA)
“Embodiment of Language – a Forensic Approach to Intercultural Communication”

Coffee Break

Emmanuel Ome (University of Nsukka, Nigeria)

Lunch Break

Marie Pauline Eboh (Rivers State University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
“Public Reason and Embodied Community in African Perspective”

Bridget Teboh (University of Massachusetts, USA)
“Reasonable Bodies. An analysis of African Understanding of Gender”

Coffee Break

Leo Igwe (James Randi Educational Foundation, Nigeria)
“Igba Ntule: Inquiry and Embodiment of Reason in Igbo-African Philosophy”

Arno Böhler (University of Vienna, Austria)
“Philosophy meets art”


Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Miriam Haidle (Senckenberg Research Institute Frankfurt/M. / University of Tuebingen, Germany)
“Reason and embodiment in ancestral cultures and species – an archaeological approach”

Renate Schepen and Eva Kijlstra (University of Vienna / Amsterdam)
“Reason and Embodiment: An Afrofuturist perspective on Cyberfeminism”

Coffee Break

Philip Idichaba (Kogi State University, Nigeria)
“Cosmopolitanism and African Cummunitarianism: An Afro-Constructivist Perspective”

Lunch Break

Chrysanthus Ogbozo (University of Nsukka, Nigeria)
“The Referential-Collective Thinking in Igbo-African Epistemology: Problems and Prospects”

Rob Baum (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
“Behold the glorious movement of the sun: Phenomenology of Ancient Africa”

Coffee Break


End at about 16.45