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Rights and Duties in Menkiti

A Response to Masaka's Objection of Menkiti

Vitumbiko Nyirenda

Dennis Masaka argues that individuals have rights outside those conferred by the community. The argument is a critique to Ifeanyi Menkiti’s view of personhood. He argues that Menkiti uses the word person and personhood as synonymous. Masaka makes a distinction between the two, where person is an ontological concept, and personhood is a normative concept. For Masaka, individuals have rights by virtue of being persons and not personhood. My approach to the paper is therapeutic. I argue that Masaka misinterprets Menkiti’s views. I argue that Menkiti does not allocate rights in his idea of personhood and as something conferred by the community as proposed by Masaka. This implies that Masaka’s view is not radically different from Menkiti’s.

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Dennis Masaka

In this article, I argue that individuals could be entitled to rights, outside those that are communally conferred, as part of the primary requirement of being ‘persons’ in the African communitarian set-up if the terms ‘person’ and ‘personhood’ are understood differently from the way they are currently deployed in the communitarian discourse. The distinction between these two terms is the basis of my thesis where clarity on their meanings could be helpful in establishing the possibility of ascribing rights outside those that are communally conferred. I argue that ontologically, a ‘person’ is prior to ‘personhood’ (understood in the normative sense) which is considered to find its fuller expression in a community and by virtue of this, I think that he or she is entitled to some rights outside those that are defined and conferred by the community. This is my point of departure in this article.

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A Global Ethic and Human Duties

Global Civilisation at the End of the Twentieth Century – A Universal Ethic and Human Duties, or Relative Values across World Cultures?

Karl-Josef Kuschel

Someone standing on the threshold of a new millennium has a better view than earlier generations of the long-term trends that characterise our century. In this connection, Germany currently offers a good illustration of the fact that many European countries are at present going through a third wave of pluralisation. After the first wave, which ruptured medieval church unity in the sixteenth century and which might be termed a denominational, internal Christian pluralism, a second wave began to build up during the eighteenth century; this involved the shattering of 'Christian' unity – which, despite it all, still existed- and the splitting of society into one part wedded to Christian values and another of secular-humanistic outlook.

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The Three Duties of Good Fortune

'Luck' as a Relational Process among Hunting Peoples of the Siberian Forest in Pre-Soviet Times

Roberte N. Hamayon

This article is based on data from pre-Soviet Siberia, mainly, the West Buryat and Tungus Evenk groups. As a product that cannot be produced, game is an ideal example of something that requires 'luck'. Far from being passively received, luck requires an active behavior and implies controlled interactions with various types of agencies of the natural environment and within society. Luck is the outcome of a multirelational process that starts with multiple precautionary measures, continues with fostering, and ends with sharing practices. This action results, paradoxically, in challenging both equality and differentiation, social redistribution and individual responsibility. Throughout this process, luck is associated with meat and vital force (as a substance) and with love, play, and wealth (as a value).

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Revisiting the Menkiti-Gyekye Debate

Who Is a Radical Communitarian?

Motsamai Molefe

characterises an African moral thought. Secondly, I demonstrate that Menkiti actually does not necessarily deny nor reject rights per se; instead, he is proposing an alternative political model that prioritises duties/obligations for the sake of the common good

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Nir Gazit

policing. 1 In addition, the military forces deployed in the Occupied Territories are also responsible for more civilian duties such as civil administration and the maintenance of public order. This combination of military and civilian duties produces a

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Jonathan Magonet

It is a sad duty to record in this issue the death of three people who in very different ways contributed to contemporary Jewish life in Europe.

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Cameron Bassiri

the young and late Sartre. 6 We will also see the manner in which the concepts of rights, duties, and power that Sartre develops in this chapter are independent of the Polis . As such, Sartre has redefined certain of the fundamental concepts found in

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To Bear Witness After the Era of the Witness

The Projects of Christophe Boltanski and Ivan Jablonka

Donald Reid

in France. He grew up and lives today in what he calls a society marked by a memory culture in which one is asked to reflect on and pay homage to the victims of the Holocaust. 3 But, he recognizes, this “duty to remember” can be stifling, a matter of

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Into and Out of Citizenship, through Personal Tax Payments

Romanian Migrants’ Leveraging of British Self-Employment

Dora-Olivia Vicol

. To illustrate this, the article draws attention to three concepts. First, I conceptualize the obligations that migrants derive from EU mobility and fiscal regimes as a duty to ‘account for oneself’. Drawing on the “dual credentials” of accountability