ISSN 1993-0844



Papers and book reviews are invited for an upcoming special issue of Shibboleths devoted to Caribbean philosophy and edited by Friedrich Ochieng'-Odhiambo.  For more information, please click HERE.

Other forthcoming issues include special issues devoted to George Lamming (in honour of his 90th birthday), Derek Walcott (to commemorate his passing), Frantz Fanon, and African Philosophy.


Please send book reviews to the General Editor, Richard Clarke, at this EMAIL ADDRESS.  Reviews, once accepted, are normally published in the two issues of Shibboleths that appear in June and December annually, but may also be published at other times of the year as the occasion arises.  All reviewers should follow the submission guidelines found below.


Volume 5:

bullet (December 2017)

Volume 4:

bullet (December 2016)

Volume 3:

bullet 3.2 (June 2009)
bullet 3.1 (December 2008)

Volume 2:

bullet 2.2 (June 2008)
bullet 2.1 (December 2007)

Volume 1: (Re)Thinking Caribbean Culture

bullet 1.2 (June 2007)
bullet 1.1 (December 2006)


bullet Please click HERE.


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Shibboleths: a Journal of Comparative Theory and Criticism is a publication of Shibboleths Publishing, Bridgetown, Barbados. 
© 2006-Present




3.1 (DECEMBER 2008)


Brandon, E. P.

Programme Coordinator,
Office of the Board for Non-Campus Countries and Distance Education,
University of the West Indies; Lecturer, Philosophy Programme, University of the West Indies,
Cave Hill.

Faculty Page (UWI)


"The Philosophy of Need: Round 3."  1-7. 

Why has the concept of need not found much favour among philosophers?  This paper examines some views expressed in a recent collection (edited by Soran Reader) in an attempt to evaluate the significance, if any, of the disagreement between those, like Wiggins, who think there are two distinct senses of the word 'need' and others who aim to offer a unified account.  It is suggested that rhetorical utility rather than semantic theory may be the main issue in this debate, and that it is not obvious that Wiggins' approach has even that advantage.

Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Society and the Social Sciences


Blocker, H. Gene.

Retired Professor of Philosophy, Ohio University.

"The Realisation of Native American Philosophy: Non-Western Philosophy as Colonial Invention."  8-13.

The goal of this essay is to facilitate the advancement of Native American Philosophy from potential to actualization (realization) on the model of other non-Western philosophies.

Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Native American Thought

Stevenson, Shandi.


"Faith and Reason: a New Perspective."  14-20.

This paper contends that two distinctive definitions of 'reason' compete throughout the history of philosophy, finding their modern expressions in the divergence of Continental and Anglo-American philosophy.  The essay demonstrates that these conceptions of reason are mutually exclusive in their pure forms, and that both of them inevitably involve elements of what the opposing vision of reason would definite as 'faith.'  The essay uses this thesis to suggest a new analysis of the definitions, functions, and relationship of faith and reason.

Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Analytic Philosophy / Continental Philosophy / Religion

Clarke, Richard L. W.

Lecturer in Literary Theory,
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill.


"Further Thoughts on a Caribbean Sublime: Walcott's Musings on History."  21-33.

My argument here is an extension of claims which I make in Shibboleths 2.2 that there is a fundamental cleavage in (the study of) Caribbean literature and culture, a dichotomy (or perhaps, in these Post-Structuralist times, a 'différance') between those who adopt a philosophical approach (what Walcott calls here the ‘Classicist’ approach) and those who adopt a rhetorical approach (his term for those who adopt this approach is the ‘Radicals’).  Demonstrating great affinity with the views of Modernists and New Critics like T. S. Eliot, I. A. Richards, John Crowe Ransom and Cleanth Brooks as well as, through them, with Neoclassical theorists such as Alexander Pope and Samuel Johnson, I contend that Walcott exemplifies in the Caribbean context the former approach, the basic tenets of which accordingly shapes his views on a number of issues addressed in “The Muse of History,” not least how we should conceptualise the process of history, the nature of Caribbean cultural identity, Caribbean society and polity and, last but not least, language and, by extension, literature in the region.

Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Anglo-American Modernism, New Criticism and Myth Criticism / Neo-Classical Literature and Literary Theory / Derek Walcott


Marshall, Don D.

Senior Fellow,
Political Science and International Political Economy, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill.

Faculty Page

"Gender and Otherising Discourses in the Construction of Financial Globalisation."  34-44.

This essay attempts a broad conversation across the social and human sciences.  It seeks to discuss the social constitution of finance in largely gender terms, focusing on the genealogy of financial trading and the cultural construction of risk.  We learn of the battles for legitimacy and respectability among creditors and speculators in early modern finance.  The financial sphere, like the economic system, had to be presented as one of smooth and neutral functioning.  Through the assumptions of science as objective, rational and secure, accounting, auditing, financial trading and credit-rating came to be accorded as articulations of financial truth – co-equal in terms to notions of ‘economic truth.’  Financial authority has since posed as masculine, its identity forged out of constructions of the stabilised, self-disciplined, disinterested gentleman capable of mitigating risk.

Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Economics and Management Studies / Rhetoric / Feminist Theory

McCumber, John.

Department of Germanic Languages,
University of California, Los Angeles.

Faculty Page

"Philosophy vs. Theory: Reshaping the Debate."  45-62.

Calling the by-play which occasionally surfaces between philosophy and theory a ‘debate’ is perhaps doing it too much honor.  What I have in mind here is the squabbling between those, from Habermas across to Quine, who uphold the values of “reason, truth, and scholarship,” and those, from Nietzsche to Derrida, who question or even mock those values.  This may seem an unduly narrow conception of ‘theory,’ for in a sense all the ‘theoreticians’ I will discuss here can be called philosophers, and ‘postmodernist’ ones at that; I will mention this again. At the moment, it is clear that no ‘debate’ is possible between two positions such as I have characterized. For theoreticians, to argue ‘rationally’ with philosophers would be to give up in advance. For philosophers, to use reason against theoreticians would be to expose themselves, not to arguments but to questions, and even to mockery – as John Searle found out most spectacularly. So, instead of a debate, we get clashes in which the theoreticians indulge in mordant badinage, while the philosophers take refuge in stony silence. The Searle/Derrida encounter is only one of these.

Relevant PhilWeb Pages: Metaphilosophy / Metatheory



Johnson, Clarence. or

"Frederick Ochieng’-Odhiambo, Roxanne Burton and Ed Brandon, eds. Conversations in Philosophy: Crossing the Boundaries."  63-68.


Willatt, Edward.

"Ian Buchanan, Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus."  69-73.




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