Thursday, November 5, 2009


First of all, Happy Birthday, Val. I meant this post to be entirely about you, but was overtaken by events, namely a coursework I have to finish. The next post is for you. i promise.

Anyway, I happen to be a sociology minor at Makerere University, and recently, Dr. Atyekereza, our Soc 3100 [Classical Sociological theory] lecturer, gave us a coursework assignment.

Dr. Atyekereza

Actually, he gave the assignment a month ago. I just finally got round to starting because the deadline for submission is monday.

Anyway, we are expected to analyse Roy Bhaskar's critical realism ramblings, specifically his assertion that "society is not the unconditioned creation of the human agency, but neither does it exist independently of it."

Lost? welcome to my world, dawg!

Obviously, such a question cannot be answered by the kind of guesswork you would apply for example in tackling Dr.Okiror's "Examine the relevance of consistency in a MIS for a decisionmaker" in PAM 3103 [Management Information systems]

Dr. Okiror

or Dr. Simba's "Analyse the role of NEPAD and AGOA for the economic development of Africa" in IRS 3101 [Global Political Economy]

Dr. Simba

Such a question requires what every average student dreads: Research. As in SERIOUS research. And last time I checked, I was still an average student. So obviously, I was dreading this.

But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, especially since this is the kind of paper that makes the prospect of coming back for a re-take more definite than probable. Serious research entailed first of all finding out who the hell Roy Bhaskar is, and since navigating your way through the bureaucracy of Makerere University's main library is the stuff of gladiators, I resorted to the net.

Horror of horrors. [Cue a horror-themed soundtrack. If you can't think of one, any song by Jeniffer Lopez or Ja Rule will do.]

Roy Bhaskar is the kind of guy who writes sentences such as "philosophical approach that defends the critical and emancipatory potential of rational (scientific and philosophical) enquiry against both positivist, broadly epistemological and ontological questions."

Consider this, in his dialectical works, the man actually wrote this:

"Indeed dialectical critical realism may be seen under the aspect of Foucaultian strategic reversal - of the unholy trinity of Parmenidean/Platonic/Aristotelean provenance; of the Cartesian-Lockean-Humean-Kantian paradigm, of foundationalisms (in practice, fideistic foundationalisms) and irrationalisms (in practice, capricious exercises of the will-to-power or some other ideologically and/or psycho-somatically buried source) new and old alike; of the primordial failing of western philosophy, ontological monovalence, and its close ally, the epistemic fallacy with its ontic dual; of the analytic problematic laid down by Plato, which Hegel served only to replicate in his actualist monovalent analytic reinstatement in transfigurative reconciling dialectical connection, while in his hubristic claims for absolute idealism he inaugurated the Comtean, Kierkegaardian and Nietzschean eclipses of reason, replicating the fundament of positivism through its transmutation route to the super-idealism of a Baudrillard."

That's what I'm going through right now. Please pray for me. I beg you.