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New Philosophio-Social Theory on "Tongan Vavanga about Blood" by Professor Siosiua Lafitani PhD (Pouvalu)

image4New Lo’auan Philosophio-Social Theory on Tongan Vavanga about blood in Modern Lineages, Society and Nature – August 2017


Abstract


For centuries, Western scholars have examined the ontology, epistemology and practicality of knowledge, perceptions, moral behaviours and skills, and how they are socially, psychologically, biologically and naturally transmitted within and through individuals, lineages and social institutions (or social movements) since the beginning of human society. Consequently, theories such as hermeneutics, socio-biology, socio-psychology, social functionalism and social voluntarism were formed and institutionalized.  In recent anthropological and sociological studies, the discussion has evolved around the issue of insiderism-outsiderism distinction. Scholars ask whether knowledge can be carried, preserved and examined thoroughly and coherently by any individual and group in society, on one hand, or it is only through Western education proper in the light of scientific, logical and philosophical methodologies, on the other hand. However, the new Lo’auan philosophio-social theory on “Tongan vavanga (‘intellectual inquiry’) is based on the classical Moana consideration of viewing blood (toto or ta’ata’a) as the carrier of knowledge, perceptions, behaviors and skills within and through individuals, ancient lineages (or modern lineages) and social institutions.” It is a Moanan-Tongan consideration that directs the discussion towards the subsequent premises: “Firstly, knowledge, perceptions, behaviours and skills are transmittable via bloodline, or DNA for that matter; secondly, knowledge, perceptions, behaviours and skills are transformable into other forms within a bloodline; and thirdly, knowledge, perceptions, behaviours and skills are transferrable from one bloodline to another (two or more).”

Linguistically, I have attempted throughout the theory to take the existence and transmission of knowledge, perceptions, behaviours and skills in Tongan language via bloodline as a case in point for clarification and verification - a process that is observable too in other world languages. I have further elaborated the outlook of viewing the Lo’auan philosophy of ‘Education for Thinking’ as a different issue from the existence and transmission of knowledge, perceptions, behaviours and skills via blood, regardless of their inter-relation and interweaving in the ontological, epistemological and practical scheme of things. In conclusion, the theory states that knowledge, perceptions, moral behaviours and skills in blood is ontological and epistemological in character, which is indicated in its existence and transmission within and through individuals, lineages and social institutions since the beginning of human society.      

NB.

Lafitani started working on the Lo'auan Theory on Tongan Vavanga about Blood in 1999, and when he moved with the wife Luseane Tuita-Nakao Lahitani to the Kingdom of Tonga in 2012 to establish the Lo'au University he continued to nurture its form and content. Since 2014 when Lo'au University was offcially launched by the then Minister of Education Hon. Dr 'Ana Taufe'ulungaki, Lafitani has been teaching and applying the emerging theory to the students with persisitent and consistent discussion of it in Socratic Talanoa, seminars and informal conversations.

'Esiteli Hafoka who is a PhD student from Stanford University studying a Post-graduate Diploma on Tongan Language and Culture at Lo'au University between 2017-19 urges and encourages Lafitani on the importance for the new theory to not only use as a topic for teaching and discussion at Lo'au University, but for sharing with the wider academic circles and society. 

Lafitani and Joh Fifita (BA student in philosophy and filming) are now recording a few videos on such a theory in the Tongan language for Youtube under a project of the latter, known as "Vavalo Faka-Lo'au ki Ono'aho"/"A Lo'auan Intellectual Inquiry to the Past". The first academic publication on the whole theory will be published in October this year on this website.