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Summary Ethics is one of the largest fields in contemporary African philosophy. It is a truism to say that it tends to be much more communitarian in focus when compared to Western ethics. The term 'ubuntu' literally means 'humanness'. However, it also sometimes refers to a specific school of ethical thought, of which there are two that dominate. The first is 'personhood' theories which say that morality is primarily a matter of developing one's personhood in a normative sense. This can only be done in the context of community by exercising other-regarding virtues. The second focus on harmony or relationality, claiming that right action is a matter of relating well with others. A large amount of literature has also been devoted to applying these ideas to various topics in applied ethics. 
Key works [BROKEN REFERENCE: WIRPAAw]#GYETAMw #METTAA
Introductions [BROKEN REFERENCE: AUTHw]#GYEAE
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  1. The Concept of 'ubuntu' in African Environmental Ethics Vis-a-Vis the Problem of Climate Change.Gabriel Ayayia - manuscript
    Climate change is a global environmental issue that threatens humanity and the concept of 'Ubuntu' which means 'humanness' would be useful in the conversation for climate change mitigation and adaptation. With the rising global temperature changes to climate, the paper reflects on some critical questions such as: how can African environmental ethics make an epistemic contribution to the conversation on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies? I argue that the issue of climate change is a problem rooted in anthropocentric activities, (...)
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  2. Why Personhood Is Not So Social: Reflections on Oyowe’s Menkiti.Thaddeus Metz - manuscript
    In Menkiti’s Moral Man, Oritsegbubemi Oyowe aims to provide a sympathetic interpretation of the works of Ifeanyi Menkiti as they address personhood, community, and other facets of morality. In my contribution I maintain that, while Oyowe’s Menkiti is more plausible than the way Menkiti has often been read, there are still respects in which the account of personhood advanced invites criticism. One criticism is that it is implausible to think that personhood, qua human excellence or moral virtue, is constituted by (...)
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  3. Reply to Critics (tentative title).Thaddeus Metz - manuscript
    Reply to contributors to a special issue of _Social Theory and Practice_ devoted to _A Relational Moral Theory: African Ethics in and beyond the Continent_.
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  4. Why Vitalism Cannot Make Sense of Evil.Thaddeus Metz - manuscript
    I consider whether a vitalist axiology, widely accepted in the African philosophical tradition, especially amongst religionists, can make adequate sense of evil, understood as what is bad in itself for a human’s life. I provide an important reason for thinking that it cannot, which African philosophers of religion and ethicists have yet to address. The reason is that a vitalist approach to evil must construe it as the reduction or other lack of vitality, while some evil conditions, such as pain (...)
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  5. Wellbeing in African Philosophy: Insights for a Global Ethics of Development.Bolaji Bateye, Mahmoud Masaeli, Louise Müller & Angela Roothaan (eds.) - forthcoming - Lanham, USA: Rowman and Littlefield.
    This book aims to enhance understanding of the meaning of wellbeing in an African context.
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  6. African Biocomnuinitarianism and Australian Dreamtime.J. Baird Callicott - forthcoming - Environmental Ethics: Divergence and Convergence.
  7. Circumscribing the space for disruptive emotions within an African communitarian framework.Mary Carman - forthcoming - Journal of Global Ethics:1-17.
    Bernard Matolino has recently argued that African communitarianism is an ethics grounded in emotion aligned with reason. If he is correct, questions arise about what emotions have value within African communitarianism, especially as emotions like anger or resentment could stand in tension with important communitarian values, such as social harmony. While little critical attention has so far been paid to such emotions within an African communitarian framework, a wider philosophical literature examining the moral value of disruptive emotions could be drawn (...)
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  8. Morality, Art, and African Philosophy: A Response to Wiredu.Parker English & Nancy Steele Hamme - forthcoming - African Philosophy: Selected Readings Englewood Cliffs. Nj: Prentice Hall.
  9. Managing ethical challenges around misattributed parentage within the clinical context: Insights from an African moral theory.Cornelius Ewuoso - forthcoming - Developing World Bioethics.
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  10. African Ethics.Björn Freter - forthcoming - In Björn Freter & Elvis Imafidon (eds.), Handbook of African Philosophy: Key Subject Areas. Dordrecht, New York: Springer.
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  11. Onto-normative Monism in the ሐተታ (ḥāteta) of Zär’aYaʿǝqob: Insights into Ethiopian Epistemology and Lessons for the Problem of Superiorism.Björn Freter - forthcoming - In Isaac E. Ukpokolo Peter Aloysius Ikhane (ed.), African Epistemology: Being and Knowledge. London, UK:
    In this contribution, we will analyse the inquiry (ሐተታ, ḥāteta), written by Ethiopian scholar, Zera Yaqob, ዘርአ፡ያዕቆብ, Seed of Jacob (Sumner, 1976: 4, I). His philosophy resists a division into the basic disciplines customary in Western philosophy, his arguments, as we wish to propose with caution, combine metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology in a way that is almost impossible to separate. We will thus not be able to identify purely epistemological principles in his philosophy. However, since Zera Yaqob is deeply concerned (...)
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  12. Prison reform and prisoner's rights in the light of the new South African Constitution, 1993.G. L. Gordon - forthcoming - Nexus.
  13. Racism: A challenge to south african universities.Mma Gray & Aj Bernstein - forthcoming - Theoria.
  14. African Research Ethics (tentative title).Ike Iyioke (ed.) - forthcoming - Brill.
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  15. Breyten Breytenbach and the South African prison book.J. U. Jacobs - forthcoming - Theoria.
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  16. Research on dead human bodies: African perspectives on moral status.Heidi Matisonn & Ndivhoniswani Elphus Muade - forthcoming - Developing World Bioethics.
    A useful concept that can be invoked to resolve complex bioethical issues is that of moral status (or, human dignity). In this article, we apply this concept to dead human bodies in order to support our view that research on such bodies is permissible. Instead of drawing from salient Western theories of human dignity that account for it by appeals to autonomy or rationality, we will base our investigation on emerging conceptions in African theories of moral status as articulated by (...)
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  17. Research on dead human bodies: African perspectives on moral status.Heidi Matisonn & Ndivhoniswani Elphus Muade - forthcoming - Developing World Bioethics.
    A useful concept that can be invoked to resolve complex bioethical issues is that of moral status (or, human dignity). In this article, we apply this concept to dead human bodies in order to support our view that research on such bodies is permissible. Instead of drawing from salient Western theories of human dignity that account for it by appeals to autonomy or rationality, we will base our investigation on emerging conceptions in African theories of moral status as articulated by (...)
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  18. Research on dead human bodies: African perspectives on moral status.Heidi Matisonn & Ndivhoniswani Elphus Muade - forthcoming - Developing World Bioethics.
    A useful concept that can be invoked to resolve complex bioethical issues is that of moral status (or, human dignity). In this article, we apply this concept to dead human bodies in order to support our view that research on such bodies is permissible. Instead of drawing from salient Western theories of human dignity that account for it by appeals to autonomy or rationality, we will base our investigation on emerging conceptions in African theories of moral status as articulated by (...)
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  19. Community in African Moral-Political Philosophy.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Niall Bond (ed.), Community from a Global Perspective. Brill.
    I critically discuss respects in which conceptions of community have featured in African moral-political philosophy over the past 40 years or so. Some of the discussion is in the vein of intellectual history, recounting key theoretical moves for those unfamiliar with the field. However, my discussion is also opinionated, noting prima facie weaknesses with certain positions and presenting others as more promising, particularly relative to prominent Western competitors. There are a variety of forms that African communitarianism has taken and could (...)
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  20. African Reasons Why AI Should Not Maximize Utility (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Aribiah Attoe, Samuel Segun, Victor Nweke & John-Bosco Umezurike (eds.), Conversations on African Philosophy of Mind, Consciousness and AI. Springer.
    Reprint of a chapter first appearing in African Values, Ethics, and Technology: Questions, Issues, and Approaches (2021).
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  21. Defending a Relational Account of Moral Status.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Mbih Jerome Tosam & Erasmus Masitera (eds.), African Agrarian Philosophy. Springer.
    For the more than a decade, I have advanced an account of what makes persons, animals, and other beings entitled to moral treatment for their own sake that is informed by characteristically African ideas about dignity, a great chain of being, and community. Roughly according to this account, a being has a greater moral status, the more it is capable of communing (as a subject) or of us communing with it (as an object). I have mainly argued that this characteristically (...)
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  22. What Africa Can Bring to the World.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Tayeb Chenntouf (ed.), General History of Africa, Volume 9: Global Africa. UNESCO. pp. ch. 22.
    This chapter expounds relational values characteristic of indigenous Africa and considers how they might usefully be adopted when contemporary societies interact with each other. Specifically, it notes respects in which genuinely human or communal relationship has been missing in the two contexts of globalization and international relations, and suggests what a greater appreciation of this good by the rest of the world would mean for them.
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  23. The Young Marx and an African Ethic: Two Relational Views of Self-realization.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Ken Cheng & Jun-Hyeok Kwak (eds.), Relationality East and West (tentative title). Routledge.
    Karl Marx's normative views have routinely been contrasted with moral-political theories such as utilitarianism and Rawlsian justice. They have not been systematically contrasted with characteristically African, and specifically communal, values, with post-independence African leaders such as Nyerere and Nkrumah instead having emphasized the similarities. In this article, a work of analytic philosophy, I sketch the essentials of Marx’s approach to the human good, especially his early writings on alienation from 1843-1845, and weigh them up against a theoretical interpretation of the (...)
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  24. Defending a Communal Account of Human Dignity.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Motsamai Molefe & Christopher Allsobrook (eds.), Human Dignity in African Thought. Palgrave Macmillan.
    For more than ten years, I have advanced a conception of human dignity informed by ideas about community salient in the African philosophical tradition. According to it, an individual has a dignity if she is by her nature able to commune with others and to be communed with by them. I have argued that this conception of dignity grounded on our communal nature not only helps to make good foundational sense of many characteristically African moral prescriptions, but also constitutes a (...)
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  25. Vitality, Community and Human Dignity in Africa (rev. edn).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Filomena Maggino (ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, 2nd edn. Springer.
    Mildly revised edition of an entry that first appeared in Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, 1st edn (2014).
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  26. Ce que l’Afrique peut apporter au monde.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Tayeb Chenntouf (ed.), Histoire générale de l’Afrique, Volume 9 : l’Afrique Globale. UNESCO.
    French translation of 'What Africa Can Contribute to the World', a commissioned chapter for UNESCO'S General History of Africa project.
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  27. The Proper Role of Economic Goods in Effecting National Reconciliation: Comparing Colombia and South Africa.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In David Bilchitz & Raisa Cachalia (eds.), Transitional and Distributive Justice in Transformative Constitutionalism: Comparing Colombia and South Africa. Oxford University Press.
    Scholars have compared the transitional justice processes of Colombia and South Africa in some respects, but there has yet to be a systematic moral-philosophical evaluation of them regarding how they have sought to allocate economic goods. Here I appraise the ways that South Africa and Colombia have responded to their respective historical conflicts in respect of the distribution of property and opportunities. I do so in the light of a conception of reconciliation informed by a relational ethic of harmony, a (...)
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  28. Neither Parochial nor Cosmopolitan: Cultural Instruction in the Light of a Communal Ethic (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Lawrence Ogbo Ugwuanyi (ed.), Educating All for All. Cambridge Scholars.
    Reprint of an article that first appeared in the journal _Education as Change_ (2019).
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  29. How to Do African Ethics: Reply to Six Critics.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - African Philosophical Inquiry.
    This essay is a lengthy response to six contributors to a special issue edited by Adeshina Afolayan and devoted to critical discussions of _A Relational Moral Theory: African Ethics in and Beyond the Continent_. Key topics include: the proper role of metaphysics when doing moral philosophy; the appropriate aims of moral philosophy in the light of relational values and properties; the ir/relevance of imperceptible agents for an African ethic; the un/attractiveness of the principle that one morally should promote the common (...)
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  30. How African Conceptions of the Afterlife Bear on Life’s Meaning.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Ada Agada, Aribiah Attoe & Jonathan Chimakonam (eds.), Emerging Trends and Questions in African Philosophy of Religion.
    Up to now, nearly all the work in the religious philosophy of life’s meaning and the axiology of theism has presumed a conception of an afterlife that is Abrahamic. In contrast, in this article I critically discuss some of the desirable and undesirable facets of Traditional African Religion’s salient conceptions of the afterlife as they bear on meaning in life. Given an interest in a maximally meaningful life, and supposing meaning would come from living beyond the death of this body, (...)
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  31. The Implications of African Philosophy for Psychology.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Paul Hackett (ed.), African Philosophy and Its Association with Psychological and Social Science Research and Practice in Africa. Routledge.
    I critically survey three different respects in which indigenous African philosophical ideas could influence psychology as a way of interpreting and treating the human mind. One involves the postulation of imperceptible agents, forces, and properties such as the living-dead, witchcraft, and destiny, which are salient features of indigenous sub-Saharan views of the nature of reality, including of the causes of mental illness. Along with this ontology is an epistemology of how to acquire knowledge of this imperceptible realm, with, say, divination (...)
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  32. Ancillary Care Obligations in the Light of an African Bioethic: From Entrustment to Communion (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Ike Iyioke (ed.), African Research Ethics (tentative title). Brill.
    Reprint of an article that first appeared in Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics (2017).
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  33. Economic Goods and the Communitarian Way of Life.Thaddeus Metz & Nathalia Bautista - forthcoming - In David Bilchitz & Raisa Cachalia (eds.), Transitional and Distributive Justice in Transformative Constitutionalism: Comparing Colombia and South Africa. Oxford University Press.
    In contributions elsewhere to this volume, we considered the histories of Colombia and South Africa and how some of the values indigenous to those locales might plausibly bear on transitional justice in them. We advanced broadly relational and constructive (non-retributive) approaches to the social conflicts that had taken place there, ones that make victim compensation central. In this chapter we consider how Metz’s ubuntu-based reconciliatory approach to reparations might be relevant to Colombia in ways he did not consider, after which (...)
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  34. La Philosophie au-delà de nos frontières: le cas de l'éthique africaine (Philosophy beyond the Boundaries: The Case of African Ethics).Thaddeus Metz & Pius Mosima (eds.) - forthcoming - Harmattan.
    A collection of several articles on African moral and political philosophy by Thaddeus Metz, translated into French by Emmanuel Fopa, and edited and introduced by Pius Mosima of the University of Bamenda, Cameroon.
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  35. Human Dignity in African Thought.Motsamai Molefe & Christopher Allsobrook (eds.) - forthcoming - Palgrave Macmillan.
  36. Towards equitable genomics governance in Africa: Guiding principles from theories of global health governance and the African moral theory of Ubuntu.Nchangwi Syntia Munung, Jantina de Vries & Bridget Pratt - forthcoming - Bioethics.
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  37. of article In defence of partisan justice: What can African business ethics.Piet J. Naudé - forthcoming - African Journal of Business Ethics.
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  38. African Ethics: A Guide to Key Ideas.Luís Rodrigues (ed.) - forthcoming - Bloomsbury.
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  39. Nkowa Echiche Ndi Afrika Nke okammuta Thaddeus Metz (African Morality in the Thought of Thaddeus Metz).Lawrence Ogbo Ugwuanyi (ed.) - forthcoming - Timeless Publishers.
    A collection of several previously published articles by Thaddeus Metz translated into Igbo, with an introduction by Prof L. O. Ugwuanyi of the University of Abuja.
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  40. Custom and morality: a comparative analysis of some African and Western conceptions of morals.Kwasi Wiredu - forthcoming - African Philosophy: Selected Readings, Ed. Mosley, Ag Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs.
  41. African Ethics: Human Being is Beautiful.Stanley Uche Anozie - 2023 - In Bolaji Bateye, Mahmoud Masaeli, Louise Müller & A. C. M. Roothaan (eds.), Beauty in African thought: critical perspectives on the Western idea of development. Lexington Books.
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  42. Advancing African dance as a practice of freedom.Shani Collins & Truth Hunter - 2023 - In Christa J. Porter, V. Thandi Sulé & Natasha N. Croom (eds.), Black feminist epistemology, research, and praxis: narratives in and through the academy. Routledge.
  43. lẹ́ẹ̀rí as Omọlúàbí: The Interface of Epistemic Justification and Virtue Ethics in an African Culture.Abosede Priscilla Ipadeola - 2023 - In Peter Aloysius Ikhane & Isaac E. Ukpokolo (eds.), African Epistemology: Essays on Being and Knowledge. Routledge.
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  44. Replacing Development: An Afro-Communal Approach to Distributive Justice.Thaddeus Metz - 2023 - In Bolaji Bateye, Mahmoud Masaeli, Louise Muller & Angela Roothaan (eds.), Beauty in African Thought: Critical Perspectives on the Western Idea of Development. Lexington Books. pp. ch. 7.
  45. Gratitude for Life-Force in African Philosophy.Thaddeus Metz - 2023 - In Joshua Harris, Kirk Lougheed & Neal DeRoo (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Existential Gratitude: Analytic, Continental, and Religious Approaches. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 89-107.
    In this chapter I critically discuss ideas from the under-explored indigenous African tradition of philosophy of religion. Salient in African thought are four major beliefs that on the face of it make good sense of the view that it is appropriate to be grateful and act gratefully to God for being alive. First, there is a theological belief in a personal God as the creator of all concrete objects in the universe, a globally under-recognized form of monotheism alongside the Abrahamic (...)
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  46. Omolúàbí: Understanding the Yorùbá's Moral Obligations in Human Well-being and its Implications for Political Participation in Nigeria - Insights from Ikorodu.Oladosu Mudasiru Surajudeen, Abdul-Gafar Tobi Oshodi & Abiodun Fatai - 2023 - In Bolaji Bateye, Mahmoud Masaeli, Louise Müller & A. C. M. Roothaan (eds.), Beauty in African thought: critical perspectives on the Western idea of development. Lexington Books.
  47. Social Ethics and Governance in Contemporary African Writing: Literature, Philosophy, and the Nigerian World.Nimi Wariboko - 2023
  48. A Comparative Theological Approach to Virtue Ethics: Making Space for an African Perspective.SimonMary Asese Aihiokhai - 2022 - Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 11 (2):1-12.
    The twenty-first century world has radically been defined by multiple crises, including wars and grandiose exploitation of the poor by those with political and economic power. To address these crises, one must turn to virtuous life notions. In doing this, society has to learn from different religious and cultural wisdom. Consequently, a case is being made in this work that African ethical thoughts can enrich Christian notions of the virtuous life. African philosophical and cultural notions of community are relevant to (...)
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  49. Reporting on African Responses to COVID-19: African Philosophical Perspectives for Addressing Quandaries in the Global Justice Debate.Martin Odei Ajei - 2022 - Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric 13 (2):1-20.
    The first case of COVID-19 infection in Africa was recorded in Egypt on 14 February 2020. Following this, several projections of the possible devastating effect that the virus can have on the population of African countries were made in the Western media. This paper presents evidence for Africa’s successful responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and under-reporting or misrepresentation of these successes in Western media. It proceeds to argue for accounting for these successes in terms of Africa’s communitarian way of life (...)
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  50. Being Gay and African: A Contradiction in Being?Martin Odei Ajei - 2022 - Philosophical Papers 51 (2):179-202.
    Discussion of sexuality in African cultures has a long history, but since the 1990s ethical reflections on homosexuality on the continent have often degenerated into furors and provoked a spate of anti-gay legislation in several countries. Refutations of homophobic dispositions encounter as barrier a pervasive belief in African cultures, that childbearing for community replenishment is a cherished moral duty. Several philosophers consider these to be exaggerated inhibitions that unjustifiably impede social acceptance of homosexuality, and have proposed as a solution what (...)
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