150 Pages

African Personhood and Applied Ethics


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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-political view. African Personhood and Applied Ethics offers a philosophical explication of the ethics of personhood to give reasons why we should take it seriously as an African moral perspective that can contribute to global moral-political issues. The book points to the two facets that constitute the ethics of personhood � an account of (1) moral perfection and (2) dignity. It then draws on the under-explored view of dignity qua the capacity for sympathy inherent in the moral idea of personhood to offer a unified account of selected themes in applied ethics, specifically women, animal and development.



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Published 03 February 2020
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EAN13 9781920033705
Language English
Document size 10 MB

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Dedication I dedicate this book to these future stars — Motsamai, Tumelo, Molefe, Thato, Makgotso.
About te Series he Arîcan Humanîtîes Serîes îs a partnersîp between te Arîcan Humanîtîes Program (AHP) o te Amerîcan Councî o Learned Socîetîes and academîc pubîsers NïSC (Pty) Ltd. he Serîes covers topîcs în Arîcan îstorîes, anguages, îteratures, pîosopîes, poîtîcs and cutures. Submîssîons are soîcîted rom Feows o te AHP, wîc îs admînîstered by te Amerîcan Councî o Learned Socîetîes and Inancîay supported by te Carnegîe Corporatîon o New York. he purpose o te AHP îs to encourage and enabe te productîon o new knowedge by Arîcans în te Ive countrîes desîgnated by te Carnegîe Corporatîon: Gana, Nîgerîa, Sout Arîca, Tanzanîa, and Uganda. AHP eowsîps support one year’s work ree rom teacîng and oter responsîbîîtîes to aow te Feow to compete te project proposed. Eîgîbîîty or te eowsîp în te Ive countrîes îs by domîcîe, not natîonaîty. Book proposas are submîtted to te AHP edîtorîa board wîc manages te peer revîew process and seects manuscrîpts or pubîcatîon by NïSC. ïn some cases, te AHP board wî commîssîon a manuscrîpt mentor to undertake substantîve edîtîng and to work wît te autor on reInîng te Ina manuscrîpt. he Arîcan Humanîtîes Serîes aîms to pubîs works o te îgest quaîty tat wî oreground te best researc beîng done by emergîng scoars în te Ive Carnegîe desîgnated countrîes. he rîgorous seectîon process beore te eowsîp award, as we as AHP edîtorîa vettîng o manuscrîpts, assures attentîon to quaîty. Books în te serîes are întended to speak to scoars în Arîca as we as în oter areas o te word. he AHP îs aso commîtted to provîdîng a copy o eac pubîcatîon în te serîes to unîversîty îbrarîes în Arîca.
AHP Editorial Board Members as at January 2020
AHP Series Editors: Proessor Adîgun Agbaje, Unîversîty o ïbadan, Nîgerîa Proessor Emerîtus Fred Hendrîcks, Rodes Unîversîty, Sout Arîca
Consultant: Proessor Emerîtus Sandra Barnes, Unîversîty o Pennsyvanîa, USA (Antropoogy)
Board Members: 1 Proessor Akosua Adomako Ampoo, ïnstîtute o Arîcan Studîes, Gana (Gender Studîes & Advocacy) (Vîce Presîdent, Arîcan Studîes Assocîatîon o Arîca) 2 Proessor KoI Anyîdoo, Unîversîty o Gana, Gana (Arîcan Studîes & Lîterature) (Dîrector, Codesrîa Arîcan Humanîtîes ïnstîtute Program) 3 Proessor ïbraîm Beo-Kano, Bayero Unîversîty, Nîgerîa (Dept o Engîs and Frenc Studîes) 4 Proessor Satî Fwatsak, Unîversîty o Jos, Nîgerîa (Dept o Hîstory & ïnternatîona Studîes) 5 Proessor Patrîcîa Hayes, Unîversîty o te Western Cape, Sout Arîca (Arîcan Hîstory, Gender Studîes and Vîsuaîty) (SARCï Caîr în Vîsua Hîstory and heory) 6 Assocîate Proessor Wîred Laju, Coege o Humanîtîes & Socîa Scîences, Makerere Unîversîty, Uganda (Dept o Pîosopy) 7 Proessor Yusuu Lawî, Unîversîty o Dar-es-Saaam, Tanzanîa (Dept o Hîstory) 8 Proessor Bertram Mapunda, Unîversîty o Dar es Saaam, Tanzanîa (Dept o Arcaeoogy & Herîtage Studîes) 9 Proessor ïnnocent Pîkîrayî, Unîversîty o Pretorîa, Sout Arîca (Caîr & Head, Dept o Antropoogy & Arcaeoogy) 10 Proessor Josepat Rugemaîra, Unîversîty o Dar-es-Saaam, Tanzanîa (Dept o Foreîgn Languages & Lînguîstîcs) 11 Proessor ïdayat Boa Udegbe, Unîversîty o ïbadan, Nîgerîa (Dept o Psycoogy)
Published in this series
Domînîca Dîpîo,Gender terrains in Arican cinema, 2014 Ayo Adeduntan,Wat te orest tod me: Yoruba unter, cuture and narrative perormance,2014 Sue E. Egya,Nation, power and dissidence in tird-generation Nigerian poetry in Engis, 2014 ïrîkîdzayî Manase,Wite narratives: He depiction o post-2000 and invasions in Zimbabwe, 2016 Pasca Mungwînî,Indigenous Sona piosopy: Reconstructive insigts, 2017 Syvîa Bruînders,Parading respectabiity: He cutura and mora aestetics o te Cristmas Bands Movement in te Western Cape, Sout Arica, 2017 Mîcae Andîndîîe,He Angopone iterary-inguistic continuum: Engis and indigenous anguages in Arican iterary discourse, 2018 Jeremîa Arowosegbe,Caude E Ake: te making o an organic inteectua, 2018 Romanus Abo,Language and te construction o mutipe identities in te Nigerian nove, 2018 Bernard Matoîno,Consensus as democracy in Arica, 2018 Babajîde Ooajuo,Unsared Identity: Postumous paternity in a contemporary Yoruba community, 2018 De-Vaera NYM Botcway,Boxing is no cakewak! Azuma ‘Ring Proessor’ Neson in te socia istory o Ganaian boxing,2019 Dîna Lîgaga,Women, visibiity and moraity in Kenyan popuar media,2020. Okaka Opîo Dokotum,and Arica: Recycing te ‘Dark Continent’ oywood myt,1908–2020,2020
Pubîsed în Sout Arîca on bea o te Arîcan Humanîtîes Program by NïSC (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 377, Makanda, 6140, Sout Arîca www.nîsc.co.za
Fîrst edîtîon, Irst împressîon 2020 Pubîcatîon © Arîcan Humanîtîes Program 2020 Text © Motsamaî Moee 2020
A rîgts reserved. No part o tîs pubîcatîon may be reproduced or transmîtted în any orm or by any means, eectronîc or mecanîca, încudîng potocopyîng, recordîng, or any înormatîon storage or retrîeva system, wîtout prîor permîssîon în wrîtîng rom te pubîser.
ïSBN: 978-1-920033-69-9 (prînt) ïSBN: 978-1-920033-70-5 (PDF) ïSBN: 978-1-920033-71-2 (ePub)
Project manager: Peter Lague ïndexer: Sanet e Roux Cover desîgn: Advanced Desîgn Group Cover potograps: © Andrey Tsvetkov / Dreamstîme.com (ront), © îmageBROKER / Aamy Stock Poto (back)
he autor and te pubîser ave made every efort to obtaîn permîssîon or and acknowedge te use o copyrîgt materîa. Soud an înadvertent înrîngement o copyrîgt ave occurred, pease contact te pubîser and we wî rectîy omîssîons or errors în any subsequent reprînt or edîtîon.
Acknowledgements Preface
CHAPTER1 Personood as a moral teory
CHAPTER2 Personood and dignity in African moral-political tougt
CHAPTER3 Personood and te equality of women in African pilosopy
CHAPTER4 he place of animals in African moral pilosopy
CHAPTER5 Personood and development in African pilosopy
viii ix
he success o tîs work was made possîbe because o te assîstance and support o a arge number o peope and organîsatîons to wom ï am eternay grateu. Space does not permît me to express my gratîtude to a o tem, but ï am cognîsant o and acknowedge eac one. he manuscrîpt or tîs pubîcatîon was prepared wît te support o te Arîcan Humanîtîes Feowsîp Program estabîsed by te Amerîcan Councî o Learned Socîetîes (ACLS) wît a generous grant rom te Carnegîe Corporatîon o New York. My sîncere tanks go to te Arîcan Humanîtîes Program (AHP) Serîes Edîtors, Pro. Emerîtus Fred Hendrîcks, Rodes Unîversîty, Sout Arîca and Pro. Adîgun Agbaje, Unîversîty o ïbadan, Nîgerîa or teîr support and to Barbara van der Merwe o te AHP Secretarîat or er proessîonaîsm, patîence, and encouragîng motîvatîon. hanks are aso due to te two anonymous revîewers o te manuscrîpt. heîr comments, crîtîcîsms and însîgts were înstructîve and epu. My gratîtude aso goes to te Govan Mbekî Centre and Deveopment Centre at te Unîversîty o Fort Hare wîc provîded generous Inancîa support tat contrîbuted to makîng pubîcatîon o tîs book possîbe. Pro. Puma Gqoa deserves a specîa mentîon or er eadersîp and or supportîng my researc în Arîcan pîosopy. My sîncere tanks to haddeus Metz, Bernard Matoîno, and Seperd Mpou, or a te support, mentorîng and conversatîons about my career and our work as academîcs. ï wî aways apprecîate teîr înluence and support. My gratîtude woud be încompete wîtout my eartet tanks to my partner and rîend Asîtandîe Zîbaya or a te support and ove în my journey as a scoar and wrîter. hank you or beîevîng în me and beîng my number one supporter. ï acknowedge and apprecîate Jon ïrvîne or edîtîng te manuscrîpt. ï am aso grateu or a te admînîstratîve, Inancîa and coegîa support ï receîved rom my coeagues — Crîs Asobrook and Sakatîna Mnonopî, at te Centre o Leadersîp Etîcs în Arîca (CLEA) at Fort Hare. ït îs truy a bessîng to work wît you coeagues. ï am grateu to te Department o Pîosopy at Fort Hare or organîsîng a wrîtîng retreat were ï worked on te revîsîons o te book.
ï tank you a!
ï was motîvated to wrîte tîs book by te sweîng crîtîcîsms agaînst te îdea o personood în te îterature. Scoars o Arîcan mora tougt, îke Antony Oyowe, Mpo Tsîvase, and Kaî Horstemke, among oters, ave raîsed wat tey regard as devastatîng objectîons agaînst te mora îdea o personood. he trust o tese objectîons îs tat te îdea o personood îs împausîbe, and we soud expore oter îndîgenous axîoogîca resources to artîcuate a sound mora-poîtîca system. hree o tese crîtîcîsms o personood stood out or me. he Irst crîtîcîsm îs tat ît aîs to embody a just socîa order, were bot men and women are equa and are owed equa mora dutîes. he suggestîon înerent în tîs crîtîcîsm îs tat te îdea o personood îs întrînsîcay patrîarca and îmagînes and reproduces gender-based socîa înequaîtîes tat advantage and prîorîtîse men at te expense o women. he second crîtîcîsm ocuses on te questîon o anîmas, antropocentrîsm and specîesîsm. he poînt o tîs crîtîcîsm îs tat te îdea o personood cannot embody a sound anîma etîcs sînce ît îs essentîay speceîstîc. he tîrd crîtîcîsm suggests tat te îdea o personood aîs to embody te eature o socîa egaîtarîanîsm sînce ît îs a perormance-based etîca system. Wat a tese crîtîcîsms ave în common îs tat tey suggest tat te îdea o personood aîs to ofer a pausîbe account o a just socîa order. ï beîeve tat tese crîtîcîsms underestîmate te teoretîca rîcness o te îdea o personood. he purpose o tîs book îs to expose te robustness o te mora vîew înerent în te dîscourse o personood. To do tîs, te book begîns by pîosopîcay expîcatîng te under-expored dua eatures o personood, namey mora perectîonîsm and dîgnîty, wîc unods te major însîgt o te book. he îterature as been Ixated on te mora perectîonîst acet o personood, tendîng to overook îts dîgnîty acet. ï address tîs îmbaance by artîcuatîng a pausîbe teory o dîgnîty înerent în te îdea o personood. ïn so doîng, ï sow tat te crîtîcîsms agaînst te îdea o personood are mîsguîded and mîsIre because tey overook te dîgnîty acet o personood, wîc ï beîeve îs suicîent cause to caenge te objectîons raîsed by scoars o Arîcan mora tougt.To revea te robustness o te îdea o personood and to ofer reasons tat expaîn wy we soud take ît serîousy, ï expore tree dîsparate appîed etîcs temes — women, anîmas and deveopment. ïn my vîew, two outcomes woud vîndîcate te exîstence o tîs book. he Irst îs î ît manages to artîcuate a robust etîcs o personood tat îs caracterîsed by te dua eatures o mora perectîonîsm and dîgnîty, and satîsactorîy motîvates