botho or ubu-ntu ( Ramose 1999: 49 –66). Ubu-ntu is ontologically a –ness and not an –ism. As such it is epistemologically oriented towards the construction of knowledge which is undogmatic by character. The epistemology of ubu-ntu presupposes the
A Critique of Thad Metz’s ‘Towards an African Moral Theory’
slipping into moral egoism; but represents part of what it means to lead a robust moral life. 4 I criticise Metz’s moral theory because it is arguably one of the most influential attempts to theorise African ethics qua ubuntu in African philosophy
Deevia Bhana and Emmanuel Mayeza
In this article we focus on sixty South African primary schoolgirls’ experiences of male violence and bullying. Rejecting outmoded constructions of schoolgirls as passive, we examine how girls draw on different forms of femininity to manage and address violence at school. These femininities are non-normative in their advancing of violence to stop violence but are also imbued with culturally relevant meanings about care, forgiveness, and humanity based on the African principle of ubuntu. Moving away from the discursive production of girls’ victimhood, we show how girls construct their own agency as they actively participate in multiple forms of femininity advocating both violence and forgiveness. Given the absence of teacher and parental support for girls’ safety, we conclude with a call to address interventions contextually, from schoolgirls’ own perspectives.
others. His exposition of the concept of ubuntu in his writing has been the subject of much debate, and provides an entry point into the worldview and assumptions that underpin his account of reconciliation. In explaining the concept of ubuntu , he
Valery B. Ferim
. Such a communal focus has been echoed by advocates of African socialism through African philosophies such as ubuntu . Martha Nussbaum (2003: 2 ) moots that ubuntu is a philosophy which expresses ‘our interconnectedness, our common humanity, and the
Freedom, without Power
This article attributes the conception of 'freedom-without-power' which dominates contemporary Western political philosophy to a reification of social agency that mystifies contexts of human capacities and achievements. It suggests that Plato's analogy between the structure of the soul and the polis shows how freedom is a consequence, rather than a condition, of political relations, mediated by inter-subjective contestation. From this basis, the article draws on the work of Raymond Geuss to argue against pre-political ethical frameworks in political philosophy, in favour of a more contextually sensitive, self-critical approach to ethics. Such reciprocal ethical-political integration addresses problems of ideological complicity that may arise if freedom is discretely abstracted from history and power in political philosophy. Finally, the article roughly reconstructs a critical account of African identity from writings of Steven Biko to illuminate symptoms of 'meritocratic apartheid' in South Africa today which Thad Metz's influential pre-political conception of ubuntu obscures, by abstracting the figure of African personhood from politically significant historical conditions.
Olusegun Steven Samuel and Ademola Kazeem Fayemi
this section, we shall discuss Metz's MR account of moral status. 4 However, it is important to discuss his ubuntu- inspired African ethical construct before examining the viability of his framing of it in the environmental ethical space. Metz traces
Some Senses of Pan-Africanism from the South
-humanist ethical and epistemic practices of Ubuntu which prioritise vitality of community. Ramose begins his voyage of discovery on an apt oceanic metaphor, whereby the idea of a unified Pan-African identity is formed, in diasporic origins of sea
from the Global South. These philosophers are Enrique Dussel – ‘on politics as the will-to-live’ – and Mogobe Ramose – ‘on politics through ubuntu’. My choice of these two philosophers is premised on the historical realisation that to liberate society
Who Is a Radical Communitarian?
, therefore, as no surprise that a person is described as one who manifests certain (relational) virtues: ‘When we want to give high praise to someone we say, “ Yu, u nobuntu ”; “Hey, soand-so has ubuntu .” Then you are generous , you are hospitable , you