•  6
    This book philosophically explores and works to resolve the tension between equality and favoritism in light of intellectual resources in the African tradition of philosophy.
  •  3
    The “Normative” Concept of Personhood in Wiredu’s Moral Philosophy
    Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 10 (1): 119-144. 2021.
    The article explores the place and status of the normative concept of personhood in Kwasi Wiredu’s moral philosophy. It begins by distinguishing an ethic from an ethics, where one involves cultural values and the other strict moral values. It proceeds to argue, by a careful exposition of Wiredu’s moral philosophy, that he locates personhood as an essential aspect of communalism [an ethic], and it specifies culture-specific standards of excellence among traditional African societies. I conclude t…Read more
  •  30
    Our aims are to articulate some core philosophical positions characteristic of Traditional African Religion and to argue that they merit consideration as monotheist rivals to standard interpretations of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. In particular, we address the topics of how God’s nature is conceived, how God’s will is meant to bear on human decision making, where one continues to exist upon the death of one’s body, and how long one is able to exist without a body. For each of these to…Read more
  •  2
    This article draws our attention to the centrality of the normative idea of personhood in elucidating a robust Afro-communitarianism. To do so, it visits the debate between the so-called moderate and radical communitarians to argue that the assertion that a community takes priority over an individual is not an implausible position. It argues that this assertion, given a nuanced moral interpretation, can offer a promising African perspective on how to secure a life of dignity withoutnecessarily a…Read more
  •  3
    This article is a response to Bernard Matolino’s criticisms against Ifeanyi Menkiti’s elucidations on the normative notion of personhood in African philosophy. This article argues that Menkiti’s article is best understood to be ultimately focused on articulating the normative notion of personhood; so understood, Menkiti’s analysis eschews many of the objections made against it by Matolino. We show that the confusion lies in a general failure in African philosophy to distinguish three distinct se…Read more
  •  4
    Relational Ethics and Partiality
    Theoria 64 (152): 53-76. 2017.
    In this article, I question the plausibility of Metz’s African moral theory from an oft neglected moral topic of partiality. Metz defends an Afro-communitarian moral theory that posits that the rightness of actions is entirely definable by relationships of identity and solidarity. I offer two objections to this relational moral theory. First, I argue that justifying partiality strictly by invoking relationships ultimately fails to properly value the individual for her own sake – this is called t…Read more
  • Towards an African Political Philosophy of Needs (edited book)
    Palgrave Macmillan. 2021.
    This book focuses on the domains of moral philosophy, political philosophy, and political theory within African philosophy. At the heart of the volume is a call to imagine African political philosophy as embodying a needs-based political vision. While discourses in African political philosophy have fixated on the normative framework of human rights law to articulate demands for social and global justice, this book charts a new frontier in African political thought by turning from ‘rights’ to ‘ne…Read more
  •  224
    Personhood and a Meaningful Life in African Philosophy
    South African Journal of Philosophy 39 (2). 2020.
    This article proffers a personhood-based conception of a meaningful life. I look into the ethical structure of the salient idea of personhood in African philosophy to develop an account of a meaningful life. In my view, the ethics of personhood is constituted by three components, namely (1) the fact of being human, which informs (2) a view of moral status qua the capacity for moral virtue, and (3) which specifies the final good of achieving or developing a morally virtuous character. In lig…Read more
  •  18
    This book articulates an African conception of dignity in light of the salient axiological category of personhood in African cultures. The idea of personhood embodies a moral system for evaluating human lives exuding with virtue or ones that are morally excellent. This book argues that this idea of personhood embodies an under-explored conception of dignity, which accounts for it in terms of our capacity for the virtue of sympathy. It then proceeds to apply this personhood-based conception of di…Read more
  •  24
    Recently, the salient idea of personhood in the tradition of African philosophy has been objected to on various grounds. Two such objections stand out – the book deals with a lot more. The first criticism is that the idea of personhood is patriarchal insofar as it elevates the status of men and marginalises women in society. The second criticism observes that the idea of personhood is characterised by speciesism. The essence of these concerns is that personhood fails to embody a robust moral-pol…Read more
  •  468
    This article articulates an African conception of development. I call such an account African insofar as it is based on the moral worldview of ubuntu, which is salient largely among the Bantu peoples. To articulate a conception of development, I rely on the paradigm of development ethics, which construes development as an ethical or philosophical enterprise constituted by three questions: what is a good life? what is a just society? and what duties do we owe to the environment? Answers to these …Read more
  •  2
    In this article, I motivate for the view that the best account of the foundations of morality in the African tradition should be grounded on some relevant spiritual property—a view that I call ‘ethical supernaturalism’. In contrast to this position, the literature has been dominated by humanism as the best interpretation of African ethics, which typically is accompanied by a direct rejection of ‘ethical supernaturalism’ and a veiled rejection of non-naturalism. Here primarily, by appeal to metho…Read more
  •  1
    This book explores the salient ethical idea of personhood in African philosophy. It is a philosophical exposition that pursues the ethical and political consequences of the normative idea of personhood as a robust or even foundational ethical category. Personhood refers to the moral achievements of the moral agent usually captured in terms of a virtuous character, which have consequences for both morality and politics. The aim is not to argue for the plausibility of the ethical and political con…Read more
  •  528
    African Metaphysics and Religious Ethics
    Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 7 (3). 2018.
    Scholars of African moral thought reject the possibility of an African religious ethics by invoking at least three major reasons. The first objection to ‘ethical supernaturalism’ argues that it is part of those aspects of African culture that are ‘anachronistic’ insofar as they are superstitious rather than rational; as such, they should be jettisoned. The second objection points out that ethical supernaturalism is incompatible with the utilitarian approach to religion that typically characteris…Read more
  • Editorial: African philosophy and Rights
    Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 65. 2018.
  •  17
    Editorial
    Theoria 65 (157). 2018.
  •  27
    Revisiting the Menkiti-Gyekye Debate: Who Is a Radical Communitarian?
    Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 63 (149). 2016.
  •  17
    The function of “it” in Ifeanyi Menkiti’s normative account of personhood: a response to Bernard Matolino
    with Mutshidzi Maraganedzha
    Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 6 (1): 90-109. 2017.
    This article is a response to Bernard Matolino’s criticisms against Ifeanyi Menkiti’s elucidations on the normative notion of personhood in African philosophy. This article argues that Menkiti’s article is best understood to be ultimately focused on articulating the normative notion of personhood; so understood, Menkiti’s analysis eschews many of the objections made against it by Matolino. We show that the confusion lies in a general failure in African philosophy to distinguish three distinct se…Read more
  •  965
    This article attempts to defend Kwame Gyekye’s moderate communitarianism (MC) from the trenchant criticism that it is as defective as radical communitarianism (RC) since they both fail to take rights seriously. As part of my response, I raise two critical questions. Firstly, I question the supposition in the literature that there is such a thing as radical communitarianism. I point out that talk of radical communitarianism is tantamount to attacking a “straw-man.” Secondly, I question the effica…Read more
  •  433
    This article invokes the idea of personhood (which it takes to be at the heart of Afrocommunitarian morality) to give an account of corrective/rectification justice. The idea of rectification justice by Robert Nozick is used heuristically to reveal the moral-theoretical resources availed by the idea of personhood to think about historical injustices and what would constitute a meaningful remedy for them. This notion of personhood has three facets: (1) a theory of moral status/dignity, (2) an acc…Read more
  •  343
    Individualism in African Moral Cultures
    Cultura 14 (2): 49-68. 2017.
    This article repudiates the dichotomy that African ethics is communitarian (relational) and Western ethics is individualistic. ‘Communitarianism’ is the view that morality is ultimately grounded on some relational properties like love or friendship; and, ‘individualism’ is the view that morality is ultimately a function of some individual property like a soul or welfare. Generally, this article departs from the intuition that all morality including African ethics, philosophically interpreted, is…Read more
  •  646
    In this article, I attempt to bridge the gap between partiality and impartiality in moral philosophy from an oft-neglected African perspective. I draw a solution for this moral-theoretical impasse between partialists and impartialists from Kwasi Wiredu's, one of the most influential African philosophers, distinction between an ethic and ethics. I show how an ethic accommodates partiality and ethics impartiality. Wiredu's insight is that partialism is not concerned with strict moral issues.
  •  739
    Relational Ethics and Partiality: A Critique of Thad Metz’s ‘Towards an African Moral Theory’
    Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 64 (152): 53-76. 2017.
    In this article, I question the plausibility of Metz’s African moral theory from an oft-neglected moral topic of partiality. Metz defends an Afro-communitarian moral theory that posits that the rightness of actions is entirely definable by relationships of identity and solidarity (or, friendship). I offer two objections to this relational moral theory. First, I argue that justifying partiality strictly by invoking relationships (of friendship) ultimately fails to properly value the individual fo…Read more
  •  7
    This article explores the debate between partiality and impartiality from an African perspective. I take one influential instance of a defence of impartiality in the African tradition, ‘sympathetic impartiality’, by Kwasi Wiredu, as a foil to represent African ethics. I argue that impartiality fails to cohere with three centrally defining features of African moral thought: the high regard attributed to the family, the veneration of ancestors and the notion of personhood. I merely highlight the f…Read more
  •  13
    Critical comments on Afro-communitarianism: the community versus individual
    Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 6 (1): 1-22. 2017.
    This article draws our attention to the centrality of the normative idea of personhood in elucidating a robust Afro-communitarianism. To do so, it visits the debate between the so-called moderate and radical communitarians to argue that the assertion that a community takes priority over an individual is not an implausible position. It argues that this assertion, given a nuanced moral interpretation, can offer a promising African perspective on how to secure a life of dignity without necessarily …Read more
  •  320
    An African Religious Ethics and the Euthyphro Problem
    Acta Academica 49 (1): 22-38. 2017.
    Supposing that an African metaphysics grounded on the notion and/or value of vitality is true, can it do a better job in terms of informing an African religious ethics than its Western counterparts, specifically, the Divine Command theory (DCT)? By ‘religious ethics’, in this article, I have in a mind a meta-ethical theory i.e., an account of moral properties whether they are best understood in spiritual rather than physical terms. In this article, I articulate an under-explored African meta-eth…Read more
  •  17
    A Rejection of Humanism in the African Moral Tradition
    Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 62 (143). 2015.
    In this article, I motivate for the view that the best account of the foundations of morality in the African tradition should be grounded on some relevant spiritual property - a view that I call ‘ethical supernaturalism’. In contrast to this position, the literature has been dominated by humanism as the best interpretation of African ethics, which typically is accompanied by a direct rejection of ‘ethical supernaturalism’ and a veiled rejection of non-naturalism . Here, primarily, I set out to c…Read more
  •  484
    This article ascertains what philosophical implications can be drawn from the moral idea of personhood dominant in African philosophy. This article aims to go beyond the oft-made submission that this moral idea of personhood is definitive of African moral thought. It does so by advancing discourse with regards to personhood by exploring its relationship with another under-explored idea in African ethics, the idea of partialism. This article ultimately argues that the idea of personhood can be as…Read more
  •  339
    A critique of Thad Metz’s African theory of moral status
    South African Journal of Philosophy 36 (2): 195-205. 2017.