A useful way to approach the discourse of rights in African philosophy
is in terms of Kwasi Wiredu’s (1996) distinction between
cultural particulars and universals. According to Wiredu, cultural
particulars are contingent and context-dependent. They fail to hold
in all circumstances and for everyone (Wiredu 2005). Cultural universals
are transcultural or objective (Wiredu 2005). Examples of
cultural particulars include dress styles, religious rituals, social etiquette
and so on. One example of a cultural universal is the norm of
truth. One may imagine a society with different methods of greeting,
dress, and raising children, but one cannot imagine a robust
society which rejects the norm of truth as the basis of social practices.
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