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Revisiting the Menkiti-Gyekye Debate

Who Is a Radical Communitarian?

Motsamai Molefe

An opinion has gained ground in African philosophy that Ifeanyi Menkiti is a radical communitarian (Gyekye 1992 , 1997 ; Matolino 2009; Metz 2012) . Kwame Gyekye, an influential African philosopher, was first to identify what he referred to

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Jonathan O. Chimakonam and Victor C. A. Nweke

We argue that Menkiti and Gyekye – the forerunners in Afro-communitarianism, to different extents both trivialise the notion of human rights. While Menkiti prioritises community and denies human rights, Gyekye who upholds human rights subsumes these to the community. We contend that both are however mistaken in their trivial conceptions of human rights. To clarify the confusion, we propose that the notion of rights in Afro-communitarianism can have two possible senses namely, rights as participatory and rights as entitlements and that the failure to recognise these senses was what led Menkiti to a fringed position and Gyekye to a difficult position. We then conclude that Afro-communitarianism, in both Menkiti and Gyekye harbours a certain notion of rights contrary to Menkiti’s assumption but it is not one that accommodates the idea of inalienability contrary to Gyekye’s suggestion.

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Bernard Matolino

Kwame Gyekye seeks to address the complex question of political legitimacy particularly on the African continent. He argues that the justification for political legitimacy need not necessarily depend on the economic performance of any given regime. For him, justification for legitimacy merely lies in whether all correct processes and procedures were properly followed in the assumption of power. He is of the view that military coups should not be tolerated as they lack legitimacy although they might have justification usurping power. He also argues that popular uprisings may have the justification to assume power but should subject themselves to a plebiscite to have legitimacy. In this paper I seek to argue that Gyekye's distinction between legitimacy and justification of exercise of political power is unsustainable. In contrast to Gyekye I seek to argue for a more plausible account of legitimacy that takes the substantive requirement much more seriously. I do this by showing the importance of the function of institutional checks on power in traditional African societies and seek to argue for the urgent need of such institutionalised checks on power in post-colonial Africa.

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Pan-African Linguistic and Cultural Unity

A Basis For pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance

Simphiwe Sesanti

’s image, but despite such, resilience and resistance to such rectifications of history is relentless. One assiduous insistence that refuses to go away, as Ghanaian philosopher, Kwame Gyekye (1995: xiii) points out, is that despite Africans’ insistence on

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Decolonising Borders

Re-imagining Strangeness and Spaces

John Sodiq Sanni

Kwame Nkrumah, Kwame Gyekye, Mahmood Mamdani and Valentin-Yves Mudimbe, among others, who highlight the significance of African humanism. I use these humanist ideas as a cultural and political convergence needed to re-imagine a path to harmony and

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Valery B. Ferim

going to Africa rather than indicating the specific African country that they are travelling to? Even though Africa is heterogeneous, there are common values and characteristics shared by African societies. As Kwame Gyekye (1987) confirms, in spite of

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Rianna Oelofsen

Justice ’, TJSL Public Law Research Paper No. 04-16 : 354 - 373 . Wiredu , K. 1992 . ‘ Problems of Africa’s Self-Definition in the Contemporary World .’ Person and Community: Ghanaian Philosophical Studies I . Eds. Kwasi Wiredu and Kwame

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Relational Ethics and Partiality

A Critique of Thad Metz’s ‘Towards an African Moral Theory’

Motsamai Molefe

in terms of Kwame Gyekye’s critique to the so-called ‘radical communitarianism’. One way to make sense of Gyekye’s (1992) critique is that radical communitarianism is too focused on relationships to the exclusion of the crucial moral features