Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reflections : Attending the UNESCO Conference on Power and Rights

I had recently attended a conference sponsored by by the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines Social and Human Sciences Commitee in cooperation with Ateneo Human Rights Center and Ateneo De Manila Philosophy Department. The Theme for the Conference was "Power and Rights." and Since it was World Philosophy Day I tried to seriously relish the conference , nibbling its details and contents as if it was a course of delectable dishes.

And It was held only recently (today actually), I wasnt able to make commentaries on the articles presented there for this blog. But I would eventually do later after ding my other work here at the school.

In a way I found it intellectually awakening, hearing people qoute the same authors Ive read in College like Habermas, Foccault, or Maciavelli. It also was enlightening to hear what our intellectual philosophical giants had to say about the current issues of the day and how it would relate to your regular Fish monger,street sweeper or College student.

I was struck in a way that there indeed is a need to philosophize about things and that Philosophy is indeed an intellectual need for a nation to continue in its development.

I remember in Islamic History that when in the times when Islamic Philosophy flourished, Islamic Civilization was also at its peak and finest. Thus, as a progenitor of creative intellectual development, I believe that indeed for the Muslim Ummah to develop again, it mus rekindle Islamic Philosophy.

I only wished that in the next conference hosted by UNESCO, Prof Ibana would include speakers on Islamic Philosophy.

It would also be wonderful to think that had we decided to rekindle Philosophy in this country (the Philippines) perhaps we could see a reflourishing of intellectual advances in the country and perhaps a moral revolution in the country. Remember that the Prophet Muhammad (Salu Allahu Alayhi wa alihi wa salam) has said , "The Learned (scholars) are the heirs of the Prophets."

I also had a realization that has been rationalizing in my mind since attending the Interfaith Conference in DLSU, We have been always using western models and conceptual frameworks in our works, although the East has a living intellectual tradition worthy of emulation, we still take note and use western models for our discourses. Perhaps its about time to adapt a moratorium on using these models and instead adapt eastern models and conceptual frameworks and eventually creating our own indigenous and even unique conceptual models and frameworks when discussing concepts in Social Sciences.

More to follow after I do my commentaries on the articles in the conference.

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