THE PROBLEM OF ONE AND MANY: ITS RELATIONSHIP TO AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY.
The question bordering on whether things are the way they really are in actual reality has been an age long problem even from the very inception of philosophical engagements. The springboard to this philosophical riddle and enigma is the gradual recognition that things are not exactly the way they seem to be - noting therefore that appearances are not realities. The very fact of existence seen in birth; the coming into life and death- passing away from life informed questions not only about personal destiny but longer questions about how persons and things come into existence can be at different times and pass out of existence only to be followed by other things or persons. In an attempt to look at this problem of one and many as it bears it discussion in African context of philosophy, using the explanatory interpretational method, credence must be given to the Miletians, the birth place of philosophy. It is within this background that we consider the views of Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes who posited the elements of “water”, the “indefinite/boundless” and “air” as the material “unstuff” of nature- the one which accounts for the many appearances in reality. Finally for the Africans, their contribution to this philosophical question is based on the supreme force who accounts for seeming multiplicity of things in the universe- the metaphysical wholeness manipulating the entire reality, our lives inclusive.