Dr Richmond Kwesi, a philosophy lecturer with the University has explained that Philosophy isn’t just concerned about questioning people, but about questioning and clarifying problems in order to find solutions to them.
“It also involves questioning our beliefs, discarding what is detrimental and embracing what is beneficial to our wellbeing,” he explained. He argued that philosophy imparted an attitude of reflection so that things were not just accepted at face value. “That way,” Dr Kwesi maintained, “humans could make the best decisions for themselves and for their nations”.
He added that the many problems facing the nation and the bad decisions of some of the country’s leaders and executives were a result of a lack of critical thinking and maintained that if Ghana was not developing as it should, it was partly because critical thinking was lacking, despite the numerous qualifications people possessed. Taking note of Africans’ sense of religion, he challenged students not to see philosophy as ‘atheistic’ but rather see the discipline as helping them develop an attitude of critical reflection for solving the world’s problems and for clarifying their beliefs about the supernatural.
Dr. Kwesi made these comments at the maiden panel discussion on the topic; “The relevance of philosophy and classics to Ghana’s development” organised by the Association of Philosophy and Classics Students in collaboration with the Department of Philosophy and Classics at the University of Ghana on 10th October 2017. The event brought together over 400 students and lecturers from the Philosophy and Classics departments of the University of Ghana. Mr. Curtis Nettey of Genesis Oil and Gas, Mr. Timothy Karikari of Global Media Alliance and Mr. Shadrack Akrofi-Quarcoo, a former UN worker and Founder/Coach of the Gold Empire Foundation were present and shared their insights from the perspective of business and industry.
The event was also attended by graduate and teaching assistants, and lecturers in the department, including the former head of Philosophy and Classics Professor Kofi Ackah, and the patron of the association Mr Michael Okyere Asante. Other lecturers in attendance were Dr Caesar Atuire, Ms Bernice Adamson and Ms Gifty Etornam Kemevor.