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Self and Community in a Changing World

Indiana University Press (2010)

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  1. Artificial Intelligence and African Conceptions of Personhood.C. S. Wareham - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (2):127-136.
    Under what circumstances if ever ought we to grant that Artificial Intelligences are persons? The question of whether AI could have the high degree of moral status that is attributed to human persons has received little attention. What little work there is employs western conceptions of personhood, while non-western approaches are neglected. In this article, I discuss African conceptions of personhood and their implications for the possibility of AI persons. I focus on an African account of personhood that is prima (...)
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  • How to Deal with Neglected Tropical Diseases in the Light of an African Ethic.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - Developing World Bioethics 18 (3):233-240.
    Many countries in Africa, and more generally those in the Global South with tropical areas, are plagued by illnesses that the wealthier parts of the world (mainly ‘the West’) neither suffer from nor put systematic effort into preventing, treating or curing. What does an ethic with a recognizably African pedigree entail for the ways various agents ought to respond to such diseases? As many readers will know, a characteristically African ethic prescribes weighty duties to aid on the part of those (...)
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  • African Perspectives of Moral Status: A Framework for Evaluating Global Bioethical Issues.Caesar Alimsinya Atuire - 2022 - Medical Humanities 48 (2):238-245.
    This paper offers an African perspective on moral status grounded on an understanding of personhood. These concepts are key to understanding the differences in emphasis and the values at play when global ethical issues are analysed within the African context. Drawing from African philosophical reflections on the descriptive and normative concepts of personhood, I propose a dual notion of subject and object moral status. I explain how object moral status, duties owed to persons, is differently grounded with respect to subject (...)
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  • What Can the Capabilities Approach Learn From an Ubuntu Ethic? A Relational Approach to Development Theory.Nimi Hoffmann & Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - World Development 97 (September):153–164.
    Over the last two decades, the capabilities approach has become an increasingly influential theory of development. It conceptualises human wellbeing in terms of an individual's ability to achieve functionings we have reason to value. In contrast, the African ethic of ubuntu views human flourishing as the propensity to pursue relations of fellowship with others, such that relationships have fundamental value. These two theoretical perspectives seem to be in tension with each other; while the capabilities approach focuses on individuals as the (...)
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  • The Need for Others in Public Policy: An African Approach.Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - In Motsamai Molefe & Chris Allsobrook (eds.), Towards an African Political Philosophy of Needs. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 21-37.
    When reflecting on human need as a moral-political category, it is natural to include some intersubjective conditions. Surely, children need to be socialized, adults need to be recognized, and the poor need to be given certain resources. I point out that there are two different respects in which such intersubjective factors could be considered needs. On the one hand, they might be needed roughly for their own sake, that is, for exemplifying relational values such as caring for others and sharing (...)
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  • Ancillary Care Obligations in Light of an African Bioethic: From Entrustment to Communion.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (2):111–126.
    Henry Richardson has recently published the first book ever devoted to ancillary care obligations, which roughly concern what medical researchers are morally required to provide to participants beyond what safety requires. In it Richardson notes that he has presented the ‘only fully elaborated view out there’ on this topic, which he calls the ‘partial-entrustment model’. In this article, I provide a new theory of ancillary care obligations, one that is grounded on ideals of communion salient in the African philosophical tradition (...)
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  • African Communitarianism and Difference.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Elvis Imafidon (ed.), Handbook of the African Philosophy of Difference. Springer. pp. 31-51.
    There has been the recurrent suspicion that community, harmony, cohesion, and similar relational goods as understood in the African ethical tradition threaten to occlude difference. Often, it has been Western defenders of liberty who have raised the concern that these characteristically sub-Saharan values fail to account adequately for individuality, although some contemporary African thinkers have expressed the same concern. In this chapter, I provide a certain understanding of the sub-Saharan value of communal relationship and demonstrate that it entails a substantial (...)
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  • A Model of Virtuous Leadership in Africa: Case Study of a Nigerian Firm.Adeyinka Adewale - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 161 (4):749-762.
    The nature and extent of Africa’s leadership challenge has been explored from multi-theoretical perspectives finding that amongst other issues, it is ethical in nature. This study therefore aimed to investigate and present a model of virtuous leadership within an indigenous African firm’s context drawing from the African virtue ethics of Afro-communitarianism. Using a qualitative case study design, it explored a model of virtuous leadership within a leading Nigerian pharmaceutical brand. Data was collected from multiple primary sources including semi-structured interviews and (...)
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  • An African Theory of Good Leadership (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - International Journal of Ethical Leadership 7:41-56.
    Shortened version of an article first appearing in the African Journal of Business Ethics (2018).
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  • Animal Rights and the Need for a Universal Ethics.Georges Chapouthier - 2015 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 25 (1):13-14.
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  • 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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  • Personhood and Rights in an African Tradition.Molefe Motsamai - 2017 - Politikon:1-15.
    It is generally accepted that the normative idea of personhood is central to African moral thought, but what has not been done in the literature is to explicate its relationship to the Western idea of rights. In this article, I investigate this relationship between rights and an African normative conception of personhood. My aim, ultimately, is to give us a cursory sense why duties engendered by rights and those by the idea of personhood will tend to clash. To facilitate a (...)
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  • An African Theory of Good Leadership.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - African Journal of Business Ethics 12 (2):36-53.
    This article draws on the indigenous African tradition of philosophy to ground a moral-philosophical theory of leadership that is intended to rival accounts in the East Asian and Western traditions. After providing an interpretation of the characteristically sub-Saharan value of communion, the article advances a philosophical account of a good leader as one who creates, sustains, and enriches communal relationships and enables others to do so. The article then applies this account to a variety of topics, including what the proper (...)
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  • Ethics in Aristotle and in Africa: Some Points of Contrast.Thaddeus Metz - 2012 - Phronimon 13 (2):99-117.
    In this article I compare and, especially, contrast Aristotle’s conception of virtue with one typical of sub-Saharan philosophers. I point out that the latter is strictly other-regarding, and specifically communitarian, and contend that the former, while including such elements, also includes some self-regarding or individualist virtues, such as temperance and knowledge. I also argue that Aristotle’s conception of human excellence is more attractive than the sub-Saharan view as a complete account of how to live, but that the African conception is (...)
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  • Personhood and Partialism in African Philosophy.Molefe Motsamai - 2018 - African Studies 3.
    This article ascertains what philosophical implications can be drawn from the moral idea of personhood dominant in African philosophy. This article aims to go beyond the oft-made submission that this moral idea of personhood is definitive of African moral thought. It does so by advancing discourse with regards to personhood by exploring its relationship with another under-explored idea in African ethics, the idea of partialism. This article ultimately argues that the idea of personhood can be associated with two (related) sorts (...)
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  • Two Conceptions of African Ethics.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - Quest 25:141-61.
    I focus on D A Masolo’s discussion of morality as characteristically understood by African philosophers. My goals are both historical and substantive, meaning that I use reflection on Masolo’s book as an occasion to shed light not only on the nature of recent debates about African ethics, but also on African ethics itself. With regard to history, I argue that Masolo’s discussion of sub-Saharan morality suggests at least two major ways that the field has construed it, depending on which value (...)
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  • Confucian Harmony From an African Perspective.Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - African and Asian Studies 15 (1):1-22.
    Chenyang Li’s new book, The Philosophy of Confucian Harmony, has been heralded as the first book-length exposition of the concept of harmony in the approximately 3,000 year old Confucian tradition. It provides a systematic analysis of Confucian harmony and defence of its relevance for contemporary moral and political thought. In this philosophical discussion of Li’s book, I expound its central claims, contextualize them relative to other salient work in English-speaking Confucian thought, and critically reflect on them in light of a (...)
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  • Educating for Ubuntu/Botho : Lessons From Basotho Indigenous Education.Moeketsi Letseka - 2013 - Open Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):337-344.
  • African Ethics and Journalism Ethics: News and Opinion in Light of Ubuntu.Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - Journal of Media Ethics 30 (2):74-90.
    In this article, I address some central issues in journalism ethics from a fresh perspective, namely, one that is theoretical and informed by values salient in sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing on a foundational moral theory with an African pedigree, which is intended to rival Western theories such as Kantianism and utilitarianism, I provide a unified account of an array of duties of various agents with respect to the news/opinion media. I maintain that the ability of the African moral theory to plausibly (...)
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  • The Western Ethic of Care or an Afro-Communitarian Ethic?: Finding the Right Relational Morality.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - Journal of Global Ethics 9 (1):77-92.
    In her essay ‘The Curious Coincidence of Feminine and African Moralities’ (1987), Sandra Harding was perhaps the first to note parallels between a typical Western feminist ethic and a characteristically African, i.e., indigenous sub-Saharan, approach to morality. Beyond Harding’s analysis, one now frequently encounters the suggestion, in a variety of discourses in both the Anglo-American and sub-Saharan traditions, that an ethic of care and an African ethic are more or less the same or share many commonalities. While the two ethical (...)
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  • Is skin bleaching a moral wrong? An African bioethical perspective.Ademola Kazeem Fayemi - 2020 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 41 (1):1-22.
    Focusing on black communities in Africa, in this paper, I attempt an African bioethico-aesthetic deconstruction of the falsehood in colorist definitions of beauty purveyed by the migration of non-surgical cosmetics to Africa. I provide a novel ethical evaluation of the act of skin bleaching using principles of the African ethic of communion. I argue that skin bleaching is morally wrong to the extent that it promotes disharmonious relations and false identity in the beauty industry in Africa. Drawing on scientific studies (...)
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  • Re-Charting Global Ethics.D. A. Masolo - 2014 - Journal of Global Ethics 10 (1):38-44.
    Migrations driven by ethnic, religious, and other forms of social conflict have been common in the past quarter-century, and have in Africa led many to seek refuge and to expect hospitality abroad. This leads to a concern for pluralist ethics, for many receiving refuge abroad expect that they will be able to live by their thoughts and beliefs, creating enclaves of cultural difference. But difference exists in all communities: cultural homogeneity does not exist except in the conservative imagination. Nevertheless, a (...)
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  • Harmonizing Global Ethics in the Future: A Proposal to Add South and East to West.Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - Journal of Global Ethics 10 (2):146-155.
    This article considers how global ethical matters might be approached differently in the English-speaking literature if values salient in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia were taken seriously. Specifically, after pointing out how indigenous values in both of these major parts of the world tend to prescribe honouring harmonious relationships, the article brings out what such an approach to morality entails for political power, foreign relations and criminal justice. For each major issue, it suggests that harmony likely has implications that differ (...)
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  • Popper’s Politics and Law in the Light of African Values.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - Jus Cogens 2:185-204.
    Karl Popper is famous for favoring an open society, one in which the individual is treated as an end in himself and social arrangements are subjected to critical evaluation, which he defends largely by appeal to a Kantian ethic of respecting the dignity of rational beings. In this essay, I consider for the first time what the implications of a characteristically African ethic, instead prescribing respect for our capacity to relate communally, are for how the state should operate in an (...)
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  • Eine Theorie Nationaler Versöhnung: Einsichten Aus Afrika.Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - Polylog: Forum for Intercultural Philosophy 34 (Supp):219-244.
    German translation by Andreas Rauhut of 'A Theory of National Reconciliation: Some Insights from Africa' (from _Theorizing Transitional Justice_ 2015).
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  • Books Received. [REVIEW][author unknown] - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (1):139-154.
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  • An African Conception of Human Rights? Comments on the Challenges of Relativism.Oritsegbubemi Anthony Oyowe - 2014 - Human Rights Review 15 (3):329-347.
    The belief that human rights are culturally relative has been reinforced by recent attempts to develop more plausible conceptions of human rights whose philosophical foundations are closely aligned with culture-specific ideas about human nature and/or dignity. This paper contests specifically the position that a conception of human rights is culturally relative by way of contesting the claim that there is an African case in point. That is, it contests the claim that there is a unique theory of rights. It analyses (...)
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  • Editorial.Motsamai Molefe & Chris Allsobrook - 2018 - Theoria 65 (157):v-vii.
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