•  7
    Defining poverty as distinctively human
    Hts Theological Studies 63 (3). 2007.
    Most of us can easily identify human beings suffering from poverty, but find it slightly more difficult to understand poverty properly. In this essay I want to deepen our understanding of poverty by interpreting the conventional definitions of poverty in a new light. I start with a defence of a claim that poverty is a concept uniquely applicable to humans. I then present a critical discussion of the distinction between absolute and relative poverty. I argue that a revision of this distinction ca…Read more
  •  11
    Personal identity in multicultural constitutional democracies
    South African Journal of Philosophy 17 (3): 179-197. 1998.
  •  19
    Humans as professional interactants with elephants in a global commons
    Journal of Global Ethics 12 (1): 87-105. 2016.
    All current versions of ethics for human interaction with animals are based on theories originally developed for relationships between humans or for human understanding of the environment. The perceived analogies between relationships among humans those theories were designed for and the relationships between human and animals have led to specifically revised and adapted theories for ethical interaction between humans and animals. In this essay I propose two further analogies that I develop into…Read more
  •  1
    Poverty, Ethics and Justice
    University of Wales Press. 2013.
    Poverty violates fundamental human values through its impact on individuals and on human environments, and it goes against the core values of democratic societies. Drawing on numerous scientific studies as well as his own experience witnessing the systematic poverty in his home country of South Africa, H. P. P. [Hennie] Lötter presents a holistic profile of poverty and its effects on human lives all the while accounting for the complexity of each individual case. He argues that shared ethical va…Read more
  •  17
    This book argues that the secret to the political miracle achieved in South Africa is a comprehensive change in the conception of justice as guiding political institutions. Pursuing justice is a moral imperative that has practical value as a cost-efficient way of dealing with conflict. This case study in applied ethics and social theory patiently explains how justice in the new South Africa restores humanity and establishes lasting peace, whereas injustice in apartheid South Africa led to confli…Read more
  • A postmodern philosophy of science?
    South African Journal of Philosophy 13 (3): 153-160. 1994.
  •  1389
    In this essay I will attempt to explain the significance of Stephen Bantu Biko's life. This I will do in terms of his intellectual contribution to the liberation of black people from the radically unjust apartheid society in South Africa. Firstly, I will discuss his contribution to liberate blacks psychologically from the political system of apartheid, pointing out how he broke through the normative and pragmatic acceptance of the situation in the radically unjust apartheid society. He experienc…Read more
  •  175
    Postmodernism and our understanding of science
    In Deon Rossouw (ed.), Life in a postmodern culture, Human Sciences Research Council Press. 1995.
    Despite the flood of philosophical texts on postmodernism, relatively few attempts have been made to gauge the importance of postmodern ideas for the philosophy of science. However, Lyotard's enormously influential text The postmodern condition (1979) focussed on science and knowledge. He put the term metanarrative (grand narrative) into circulation. Lyotard defines the term modern to refer to the way in which science tries to legitimate its own status by means of philosophical discourse which a…Read more
  •  47
    Are ICTs Prerequisites for the Eradication of Poverty?
    International Review of Information Ethics 7 09. 2007.
    I provide a philosophical analysis of the claim that ICTs are necessary preconditions for the eradication of poverty. What are the links between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and poverty? I first define technology and then give a brief depiction of ICTs. Thereafter I define poverty and give a brief explanation of its context and causes. Next I discuss the relationship between poverty and ICTs in three paradigm cases: [i] the role of ICTs in poor societies, [ii] the effect of …Read more
  •  10
    Poverty, Ethics and Justice Revisited
    Res Publica 22 (3): 343-361. 2016.
    In this article I respond to the thoughtful criticisms of my book articulated by Gillian Brock, Thaddeus Metz, and Darrel Moellendorf. Their critical questioning offers me an opportunity to reformulate aspects of the book so that I more accurately say exactly what I had in mind when writing the book. The first section contains a reworking of my definition of poverty to eliminate any ambiguity and demonstrate what kind of comparative judgements the definition allows us to make. The second section…Read more
  •  6
    How can a society make its citizens just?
    South African Journal of Philosophy 20 (1): 90-101. 2001.
    How can citizens be made just? I focus on how modern constitutional democracies can entice, convince, and guide their citizens to become just. I rely chiefly on Rawls's theory of justice, as well as the work of sociologist Derek L. Phil lips. I argue that internal control by citizens themselves is the best option. This view is attractive because every citizen can play a part in establishing and maintaining the public conception of justice by being role models, engaging in dialogue with fellow ci…Read more
  •  476
    Should humans interfere in the lives of elephants?
    Koers 70 (4): 775-813. 2005.
    Culling seems to be a cruel method of human interference in the lives of elephants. The method of culling is generally used to control population numbers of highly developed mammals to protect vegetation and habitat for other less important species. Many people are against human interference in the lives of elephants. In this article aspects of this highly controversial issue are explored. Three fascinating characteristics of this ethical dilemma are discussed in the introductory part, and then …Read more
  •  2724
    Modernity, postmodernism and politics (in places like South Africa)
    In Deon Rossouw (ed.), Life in a postmodern culture, Human Sciences Research Council Press. 1995.
    In this chapter I show that it is possible to interpret an important group of postmodern texts as presenting intellectual and practical challenges with a specific focus that is worth the serious attention of everyone interested in politics. My interpretation shows that a certain strand of postmodern thought is not only consonant with a liberal democratic political morality, but also modifies and extends it in an eminently desirable direction. Such an interpretation has become possible because a …Read more
  • Deficiencies in Contemporary Theories of Justice
    South African Journal of Philosophy 9 (4): 172-185. 1990.
    The contemporary debate on justice is understandably dominated by theories and arguments addressing the problems of justice pertinent to nearly just societies, as virtually all the theorists participating in this debate live in such societies. They are obviously, and rightly so, first and foremost concerned with the philosophical problems of their own societies. Although almost all the contemporary theories of justice were formulated in the context of nearly just societies, why can we not apply …Read more
  •  214
    Can a man be a feminist? If so, what would it mean? I want to participate in a dialogue between women and men on how to accommodate women’s moral concerns. I propose that the fundamental values of justice embodied in the South African constitutional democracy require men to be feminist. These values provide the best safeguard of the important interests and values of both women and men. Men who accept these values can support the main concerns of feminism. The implications of the argument in this…Read more
  •  29
    Poverty, Ethics and Justice
    University of Wales Press. 2011.
    Poverty is one of the most serious moral issues of our time that does not yet get the appropriate response it deserves. This book first gives an in depth moral analysis and evaluation of the complex manifestations of poverty. It then offers a series of ethical reasons to motivate everyone to engage in the struggle to eradicate poverty. -/- Social science research results are synthesized into a definition and explanation of poverty that provide proper background for moral evaluation. Poverty is …Read more
  •  615
    Calls for compensation are heard in many countries all over the world. Spokespersons on behalf of formerly oppressed and dominated groups call for compensation for the deeply traumatic injustices their members have suffered in the past. Sometimes these injustices were suffered decades ago by members already deceased. How valid are such claims to compensation and should they be honoured as a matter of justice? The focus of this essay is on these issues of compensatory justice. I want to look at t…Read more
  •  189
    Rawls, Young, and the Scope of Justice
    Theoria 46 (94): 90-107. 1999.
    What is justice all about? What is the scope of the concept of justice? What issues can legitimately be evaluated in terms of justice? In her book Justice and the Politics of Difference, Iris Marion Young challenges the concept of justice as defined by John Rawls and used by many others in the philosophical debates that responded to Rawls’s, A Theory of Justice (1971). Is Young’s critique on the prevailing use of the concept of justice and contemporary theories of justice correct? Is her alterna…Read more
  •  30
    How can a society make its citizens just?
    South African Journal of Philosophy 20 (2): 91-101. 2001.
    How can citizens be made just? I focus on how modern constitutional democracies can entice, convince, and guide their citizens to become just. I rely chiefly on Rawls’s theory of justice, as well as the work of sociologist Derek L. Phillips. I argue that internal control by citizens them selves is the best option. This view is attractive because every citizen can play apart in establishing and maintaining the public conception of justice by being role models, engaging in dialogue with fellow cit…Read more
  •  189
    The complexity of science
    Koers 64 (4): 499-520. 1999.
    In this article I present an alternative philosophy of science based on ideas drawn from the study of complex adaptive systems. As a result of the spectacular expansion in scientific disciplines, the number of scientists and scientific institutions in the twentieth century, I believe science can be characterised as a complex system. I want to interpret the processes of science through which scientists themselves determine what counts as good science. This characterisation of science as a complex…Read more
  •  9
    Poverty
    In Darrel Moellendorf Heather Widdows (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Global Ethics, Routledge. 2015.
    A brief overview of the chapter: Its section headings 1. The main champions of the cause of the poor a) Pioneering Peter Singer b) Ground-breaking John Rawls c) Low impact and high frustration for Thomas Pogge… d) …and pointed satisfaction for Sen (and Nussbaum)? 2. Have we made progress in dealing with poverty and global inequality? a) Aid transformed into development cooperation b) How many people are still poor? c) Do we know what poverty is and how it works? …Read more
  •  28
    Is Poverty Eradication Impossible? No, Says Dignitarianism
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (1): 43-64. 2016.
    In this article, I reply to three discussions of Poverty, Ethics and Justice that are published in this symposium of the Journal. In my book I argued for a moral obligation on the part of the state and an array of other agents to eradicate poverty, but critics maintain that doing so would be impossible, either because it would logically contradict the liberal ends of the state, or because it would undermine a robust commitment to democratic choice, or because it would be inconsistent with the at…Read more
  •  76
    The significance of poverty and wealth in Plato’s Republic
    South African Journal of Philosophy 22 (3): 189-206. 2003.
    Plato’s views on the significance of poverty and wealth in The Republic challenge us to rethink the role and position assigned to wealth in contemporary society. These ideas on poverty and wealth play an important role in shaping the central arguments of the Republic. The themes and views expressed in the opening dialogue of Plato’s Republic (328b - 331d) serve to introduce some of the core ideas of the Republic. I start with an analysis of the opening dialogue and then I proceed to discuss the …Read more
  •  288
    Personal identity in multicultural constitutional democracies
    South African Journal of Philosophy 17 (3): 179-198. 1998.
    Awareness of, and respect for differences of gender, race, religion, language, and culture have liberated many oppressed groups from the hegemony of white, Western males. However, respect for previously denigrated collective identities should not be allowed to confine individuals to identities constructed around one main component used for political mobilisation, or to identities that depend on a priority of properties that are not optional, like race, gender, and language. In this article I wan…Read more
  •  74
    Ethical Considerations in Elephant Management
    In R. J. Scholes & K. G. Mennell (eds.), Elephant Management: A scientific assessment for South Africa, Wits University Press. 2008.
    The fate of the half a million or so free-ranging elephants in Africa depends on the choices people will make. What ‘moral standing’ do elephants deserve, and thus what constraints should we impose on our behaviour towards them? To assess the state of our knowledge about ethics and elephants is no easy affair. Different views on the moral standing of elephants and thus the obligations humans owe elephants, are not really a matter of scientific knowledge, although such knowledge might deeply infl…Read more
  •  8
    Rawls, Young, and the Scope of Justice
    Theoria 46 90-107. 1999.
    Abstract What is justice all about? What is the scope of the concept of justice? What issues can legitimately be evaluated in terms of justice? In her book Justice and the Politics of Difference, Iris Marion Young challenges the concept of justice as defined by John Rawls and used by many others in the philosophical debates that responded to Rawls’s, A Theory of Justice (1971). Is Young’s critique on the prevailing use of the concept of justice and contemporary theories of justice correct? Is h…Read more
  •  19
    In the introductory chapter of this book I firstly argue that the contemporary debate on justice focuses exclusively on matters of justice pertinent to nearly just societies; in the second place, I suggest that radically unjust societies generate problems of justice that cannot be solved by the naive application of current theories of justice. It follows that these problems of justice for unjust societies demand to be discussed in their own right. -/- In what follows, just such an attempt will …Read more
  •  682
    The ethics of managing elephants
    Acta Academica 38 (1): 55-90. 2006.
    If humans may indeed legitimately intervene in conservation areas to let nature be and to protect the lives of all the diverse individual animals under their care, then the management of elephants must be legitimate as part of the conservation of natural world diversities. If this is so, to what extent are current management options ethically acceptable? In this article I address the ethics of the management options available once the judgement has been made that there are too many elephants in …Read more
  •  24
    Poverty as a Threat to Democratic Values
    Public Affairs Quarterly 22 (2): 175-193. 2008.
    The reluctance to eradicate poverty shown by citizens and governments of many modern constitutional democracies is puzzling. If poverty threatens societies in various ways, why would many countries with a strongly agreed upon system of democratic governance fail so painfully to find the commitment and appropriate action to eradicate poverty? In this essay I want to investigate the discordance between poverty and democracy. I will first briefly articulate the broad underlying values of modern con…Read more
  •  5
    John Rawls [1921–2002]
    South African Journal of Philosophy 23 (2): 111-111. 2004.
    This article is a very brief introduction to the work of John Rawls, the topic of this special edition of this journal.