It has frequently been argued that the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was committed to restorative justice (RJ), and that RJ has deep historical roots in African indigenous cultures by virtue of its congruence both with ubuntu and with African indigenous justice systems (AIJS). In this article, I look into the question of what RJ is. I also present the finding that the term ‘restorative justice’ appears only in transcripts of three public TRC hearings, and the hypothesis that the (...) TRC first really began to take notice of the term ‘restorative justice’ after April 1997, when the South African Law Commission published an Issue Paper dealing with RJ. Furthermore, I show that neither the connection between RJ and ubuntu nor the connection between RJ and AIJS is as straightforward and unproblematic as often assumed. (shrink)
In this article, I demonstrate that the term ‘ ubuntu ’ has frequently appeared in writing since at least 1846. I also analyse changes in how ubuntu has been defined in written sources in the period 1846 to 2011. The analysis shows that in written sources published prior to 1950, it appears that ubuntu is always defined as a human quality. At different stages during the second half of the 1900s, some authors began to define ubuntu more broadly: definitions included (...) ubuntu as African humanism, a philosophy, an ethic, and as a worldview. Furthermore, my findings indicate that it was during the period from 1993 to 1995 that the Nguni proverb ‘ umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu ’ (often translated as ‘a person is a person through other persons’) was used for the first time to describe what ubuntu is. Most authors today refer to the proverb when describing ubuntu , irrespective of whether they consider ubuntu to be a human quality, African humanism, a philosophy, an ethic, or a worldview. (shrink)
In this article, I describe and systematize the different answers to the question ‘What is ubuntu?’ that I have been able to identify among South Africans of African descent (SAADs). I show that it is possible to distinguish between two clusters of answers. The answers of the first cluster all define ubuntu as a moral quality of a person, while the answers of the second cluster all define ubuntu as a phenomenon (for instance a philosophy, an ethic, African humanism, or, (...) a worldview) according to which persons are interconnected. The concept of a person is of central importance to all the answers of both clusters, which means that to understand these answers, it is decisive to raise the question of who counts as a person according to SAADs. I show that some SAADs define all Homo sapiens as persons, whereas others hold the view that only some Homo sapiens count as persons: only those who are black, only those who have been incorporated into personhood, or only those who behave in a morally acceptable manner. (shrink)
In this Critical Notice of Emily Jackson and John Keown’s Debating Euthanasia , the respective lines of argument put forward by each contributor are set out and the key debating points identified. Particular consideration is given to the points each contributor makes concerning the sanctity of human life and whether slippery slopes leading from voluntary medically assisted dying to non-voluntary euthanasia would be established if voluntary medically assisted dying were to be legalised. Finally, consideration is given to the positions (...) adopted by the contributors in relation to the legalisation of voluntary medically assisted dying. (shrink)
For the complex or boundary objects in which I am interested . . . dimensions implode . . . they collapse into each other . . . story telling . . . is a fraught practice . . . In no way is story telling opposed to materiality, [sic] But materiality itself is tropic; it makes us swerve, it trips us; it is a knot of the textual, technical, mythic/oneric [sic], organic, political and economic.
Being, Seeking and Telling: Expressive Approaches to Qualitative Adult Education Research . Flaxton, Queensland: Post Pressed. ISBN 1 876682 07 8 Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 1, Edition 1 April 2001.