281 found
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  1. The Proper Role of Economic Goods in Effecting National Reconciliation: Comparing Colombia and South Africa.Thaddeus Metz - manuscript
    Scholars have compared the transitional justice processes of Colombia and South Africa in some respects, but there has yet to be a systematic moral-philosophical evaluation of them and specifically regarding the way they have sought to allocate economic goods. In this essay, I appraise the ways that South Africa and of Colombia have responded to their respective historical conflicts in respect of the distribution of property, especially land and money, and opportunities such as access to education and job training. I (...)
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  2. A Relational Theory of Mental Illness: Lacking Identity and Solidarity.Thaddeus Metz - manuscript
    In this article I aim to make progress towards the philosophical goal of ascertaining what, if anything, all mental illnesses have in common, attempting to unify a large sub-set of them that have a relational or interpersonal dimension. One major claim is that, if we want a promising theory of mental illness, we must go beyond the dominant western accounts of mental illness/health, which focus on traits intrinsic to a person such as pain/pleasure, lethargy/liveliness, fragmentation/integration, and falsehood/authenticity. A second major (...)
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  3. Economic Goods and the Communitarian Way of Life.Thaddeus Metz & Nathalia Bautista - manuscript
    The contributions elsewhere in this volume from us, Nathalia Bautista and Thaddeus Metz, address the proper way to respond to gross human rights violations, given a Global South context. Specifically, considering the histories of Colombia and South Africa and some of the values indigenous to those locales, respectively, we advance non-individualist and non-retributive approaches to the social conflicts that had taken place there. Broadly speaking, we both advocate relational and constructive forms of transitional justice that make victim compensation central. According (...)
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  4. خدا ، روح و معنای زندگی (God, Soul and the Meaning of Life).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming
    Persian translation by Ashkan M. Roshan of the book _God, Soul and the Meaning of Life_ (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
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  5. How to Report on War in the Light of an African Ethic.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Jonathan O. Chimakonam, Edwin Etieyibo & Ike Odimegwu (eds.), Essays on Contemporary Issues in African Philosophy. Springer. pp. ch. 10.
    While there is a budding literature on media ethics in the light of characteristic sub-Saharan moral values, there is virtually nothing on wartime reporting more specifically. Furthermore, the literature insofar as it has a bearing on wartime reporting suggests that embedded journalism and patriotic journalism are ethically justified during war. In this essay, I sketch a prima facie attractive African moral theory, grounded on a certain interpretation of the value of communal relationship, and bring out what it entails for the (...)
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  6. African and East Asian Perspectives on Ageing.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Christopher Wareham (ed.), Cambridge Handbook of the Ethics of Ageing. Cambridge University Press.
    After expounding the conceptions of harmony that are central to Confucianism and the sub-Saharan ethic of ubuntu, I apply them to three major topics pertaining to age, namely, virtue, the value of life, and care. Roughly speaking, indigenous East Asian and African values of harmony both entail that only the elderly can be truly virtuous, that the elderly have a strong claim to life-saving resources, and that they are entitled to care from their children, views that I show are not (...)
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  7. African Ethicists.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Tom Angier (ed.), Ethics: The Key Thinkers, 2nd Edition. Bloomsbury.
    Unlike the Chinese, Indian, and Western ethical traditions, the African one had not been text-based until as recently as the 1960s. Since a very large majority of indigenous sub-Saharan societies had oral cultures, there are no classic texts in the field of African ethics and hence also no Big Names; there's nothing comparable to, say, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics or Confucius’ Analects. However, some names and texts have been more influential than others in shaping ethical reflection, particularly over the past 30 (...)
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  8. African Reasons Why Artificial Intelligence Should Not Maximize Utility.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Beatrice Okyere-Manu (ed.), African Values, Ethics, and Technology: Questions, Issues, and Approaches. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Insofar as artificial intelligence is to be used to guide automated systems in their interactions with humans, the dominant view is probably that it would be appropriate to programme them to maximize (expected) utility. According to utilitarianism, which is a characteristically western conception of moral reason, machines should be programmed to do whatever they could in a given circumstance to produce in the long run the highest net balance of what is good for human beings minus what is bad for (...)
     
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  9. Community in African Moral-Political Philosophy.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Niall Bond (ed.), Community in Global Thought (tentative title).
    I critically discuss respects in which conceptions of community have featured in African moral-political philosophy over the past 40 years or so. Some of the discussion is in the vein of intellectual history, recounting key theoretical moves for those unfamiliar with the field. However, my discussion is also opinionated, noting prima facie weaknesses with certain positions and presenting others as more promising, particularly relative to prominent Western competitors. There are a variety of forms that African communitarianism has taken and could (...)
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  10.  3
    Ce Que L’Afrique Peut Apporter au Monde.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Tayeb Chenntouf (ed.), Histoire générale de l’Afrique, Volume 9 : l’Afrique Globale. UNESCO.
    French translation of 'What Africa Can Contribute to the World', a commissioned chapter for UNESCO'S General History of Africa project.
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  11. Judaism’s Distinct Perspectives on the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - Journal of Jewish Ethics.
    In contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, there has been substantial debate between religious and secular theorists about what would make life meaningful, with a large majority of the religious philosophers having drawn on Christianity. In this article, in contrast, I draw on Judaism, with the aims of articulating characteristically Jewish approaches to life's meaning, which is a kind of intellectual history, and of providing some support for them relative to familiar Christian and Islamic approaches (salient in the Tanakh, the New Testament, and (...)
     
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  12. Life Worth Living (Rev. Edn).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Filomena Maggino (ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, 2nd edn. Springer.
    Moderately updated version of this encyclopaedia entry.
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  13.  15
    Replacing Development: An Afro-Communal Approach to Global Justice (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Bolaji Bateye, Mahmoud Masaeli, Louise Muller & Angela Roothaan (eds.), Beauty in African Thought: Critique of the Western Idea of Development. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. ch. 6.
    Shortened version of an article that first appeared in Philosophical Papers (2017).
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  14. A Relational Moral Theory: African Ethics in and Beyond the Continent (Tentative Title).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
    A Relational Moral Theory provides a new answer to the long-standing question of what all morally right actions might have in common as distinct from wrong ones, by drawing on neglected resources from the Global South and especially the African philosophical tradition. The book points out that the principles of utility and of respect for autonomy, the two rivals that have long dominated western moral theory, share an individualist premise. Once that common assumption is replaced with a relational perspective that (...)
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  15. The Concept of Life's Meaning.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Iddo Landau (ed.), Oxford Handbook on Meaning in Life. Oxford University Press.
    I critically discuss views about what at least analytic philosophers have in mind when reflecting on what makes life meaningful. I first demonstrate that there has been a standard view of that, according to which meaningfulness centrally involves the actions of human persons, ones that exhibit a high desirability characteristically present in ‘the good, the true, and the beautiful’ and absent from the cases of Sisyphus or the Experience Machine. Then, I address five challenges to the standard view that have (...)
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  16. The Need for Others in Public Policy: An African Approach.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Motsamai Molefe & Chris Allsobrook (eds.), Towards an African Political Philosophy of Needs. Palgrave Macmillan.
    When reflecting on human need as a moral-political category, it is natural to include some intersubjective conditions. Surely, children need to be socialized, adults need to be recognized, and the poor need to be given certain resources. I point out that there are two different respects in which such intersubjective factors could be considered needs. On the one hand, they might be needed roughly for their own sake, that is, for exemplifying relational values such as caring for others and sharing (...)
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  17. The Virtues of African Ethics (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Luís Rodrigues (ed.), Key Concepts in African Ethics. Bloomsbury.
    Mildly modified reprint of a chapter originally appearing in The Handbook of Virtue Ethics (2012).
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  18. Ubuntu: The Good Life (Rev. Edn).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Filomena Maggino (ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, 2nd edn. Springer.
    Moderately updated version of this encyclopaedia entry.
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  19. What Is the Essence of an Essence? Comparing Afro-Relational and Western-Individualist Ontologies (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Jonathan O. Chimakonam & Monique Whitaker (eds.), Contemporary Language, Logic, and Metaphysics: African and Western Approaches (tentative title).
    Reprint of an article that first appeared in Synthesis Philosophica (2018).
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  20. Virtue in African Ethics as Living Harmoniously.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Chenyang Li & Dascha Düring (eds.), Harmony as Virtue (tentative title). Oxford University Press.
    A large swathe of the indigenous African ethical tradition is frequently encapsulated in the maxim, “A person is a person through other persons.” This phrasing is an overly literal translation of some sayings that are prominent in the southern and central regions of Africa, but that resonate with most indigenous sub-Saharan cultures. This chapter articulates and motivates a philosophical interpretation of the maxim for an international readership interested in virtue. According to the initial formulation, one should strive to become a (...)
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  21. What Africa Can Bring to the World.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Tayeb Chenntouf (ed.), General History of Africa, Volume 9: Global Africa. UNESCO. pp. ch. 22.
    This chapter expounds relational values characteristic of indigenous Africa and considers how they might usefully be adopted when contemporary societies interact with each other. Specifically, it notes respects in which genuinely human or communal relationship has been missing in the two contexts of globalization and international relations, and suggests what a greater appreciation of this good by the rest of the world would mean for them.
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  22. Why Reconciliation Requires Punishment but Not Forgiveness.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Krisanna Scheiter & Paula Satne (eds.), Conflict and Resolution: The Ethics of Forgiveness, Revenge, and Punishment. Springer.
    Adherents to reconciliation, restorative justice, and related approaches to dealing with social conflict are well known for seeking to minimize punishment, in favor of offenders hearing out victims, making an apology, and effecting compensation for wrongful harm as well as victims forgiving offenders and accepting their reintegration into society. In contrast, I maintain that social reconciliation and similar concepts in fact characteristically require punishment but do not require forgiveness. I argue that a reconciliatory response to crime that includes punitive disavowal (...)
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  23. Traditional African Religion as a Neglected Form of Monotheism.Thaddeus Metz & Motsamai Molefe - forthcoming - The Monist.
    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 topics, (...)
     
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  24.  16
    La Philosophie au-delà de nos frontières: le cas de l'éthique africaine (Philosophy beyond the Boundaries: The Case of African Ethics).Thaddeus Metz & Pius Mosima (eds.) - forthcoming - Harmattan.
    A collection of several articles on African moral and political philosophy by Thaddeus Metz, translated into French by Emmanuel Fopa, and edited and introduced by Pius Mosima of the University of Bamenda, Cameroon.
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  25. What Makes Life Meaningful? A Debate.Thaddeus Metz & Joshua Seachris - forthcoming - Routledge.
    A debate between Thaddeus Metz and Joshua Seachris on what makes life meaningful, with emphasis on the potential relevance of God, immortality, narrative and achievements.
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  26.  18
    An African Theory of Just Causes for War.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Luis Rodrigues-Cordeiro & Danny Singh (eds.), Comparative Just War Theory. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 131-155.
    In this chapter, I add to the new body of philosophical literature that addresses African approaches to just war by reflecting on some topics that have yet to be considered and by advancing different perspectives. My approach is two-fold. First, I spell out a foundational African ethic, according to which one must treat people’s capacity to relate communally with respect. Second, I derive principles from it to govern the use of force and violence, and compare and contrast their implications for (...)
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  27.  3
    An African Theory of the Point of Higher Education: Communion as an Alternative to Autonomy, Truth, and Citizenship (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Ephraim Gwaravanda & Amasa Ndofirepi (eds.), African Higher Education in the 21st Century: Epistemological, Ontological and Ethical Perspectives. Brill/Sense. pp. 122-145.
    Reprint of a chapter that first appeared in Contemporary Philosophical Proposals for the University: Toward a Philosophy of Higher Education (Palgrave 2018).
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  28.  11
    An African Theory of Good Leadership (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - International Journal of Ethical Leadership 7:41-56.
    Shortened version of an article first appearing in the African Journal of Business Ethics (2018).
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  29.  19
    African Theories of Meaning in Life: A Critical Assessment.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - South African Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):113-126.
    In this article, I expound and assess two theories of meaning in life informed by the indigenous sub-Saharan African philosophical tradition. According to one principle, a life is more meaningful, the more it promotes community with other human persons. According to the other principle, a life is more meaningful, the more it promotes vitality in oneself and others. I argue that, at least upon some refinement, both of these African conceptions of meaning merit global consideration from philosophers, but that the (...)
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  30.  6
    Beyond Legislative Post-Secularism in the West: Custom and Constitution in an African Context.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Uchenna Benedict Okeja (ed.), Religion in the Era of Postsecularism. Routledge. pp. 41-63.
    Much of the debate about post-secularism has presumed a background of Western countries and the sort of statutory law that legislatures should make, and how they should make it, in the light of residents’ religious attitudes and practices. In this chapter I address a fresh context, namely, that of South Africa and the way that courts have interpreted, and should interpret, law in the face of African traditional religions. Specifically, I explicate the fact that, by South Africa's famously progressive Constitution, (...)
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  31.  6
    Community, Individuality, and Reciprocity in Menkiti.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Edwin Etieyibo & Polycarp A. Ikuenobe (eds.), Menkiti on Community and Becoming a Person. Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 131-145.
    For four decades Ifeanyi Menkiti has addressed the question of which sort of community constitutes personhood from a characteristically African perspective. In this chapter, I critically discuss the conceptions of how one acquires personhood through community that Menkiti has advanced, in search of the one that would most enable him to avoid prominent moral objections made to his views over the years. In particular, his account of personhood has been criticized for insufficiently accommodating individual difference, most recently in respect of (...)
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  32.  2
    Communication Strategies in the Light of Indigenous African and Chinese Values: How to Harmonize (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Paul Tembe & Vusi Gumede (eds.), Culture, Identities and Ideologies in Africa-China Cooperation. Africa World Press.
    Reprint of an article first appearing in Philosophia Africana (2020).
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  33. African Communitarianism and Difference.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Elvis Imafidon (ed.), Handbook of the African Philosophy of Difference. Springer. pp. 31-51.
    There has been the recurrent suspicion that community, harmony, cohesion, and similar relational goods as understood in the African ethical tradition threaten to occlude difference. Often, it has been Western defenders of liberty who have raised the concern that these characteristically sub-Saharan values fail to account adequately for individuality, although some contemporary African thinkers have expressed the same concern. In this chapter, I provide a certain understanding of the sub-Saharan value of communal relationship and demonstrate that it entails a substantial (...)
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  34.  6
    Ends and Means of Transitional Justice (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Eric Palmer & Krushil Watene (eds.), Reconciliation, Transitional and Indigenous Justice. Routledge. pp. 27-36.
    Reprint of an article first appearing in the Journal of Global Ethics (2018).
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  35.  14
    Humility and the African Ethic of Ubuntu.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Mark Alfano, Michael Lynch & Alessandra Tanesini (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Humility. Routledge. pp. 257-267.
    This chapter explores prominent respects in which humility figures into ubuntu, the southern African (and specifically Nguni) term for humanness often used to capture moral philosophies and cultures indigenous to the sub-Saharan region. The chapter considers respects in which humility is prescribed by ubuntu, understood not just as a relational normative ethic, but also as a moral epistemology. Focusing specifically on philosophical ideas published in academic fora over the past 50 years or so, the chapter contends that, although the concept (...)
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  36. How Philosophy Bears on Covid-19.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - South African Journal of Science 116 (7/8):1.
    A short reflection on respects in which philosophers are particularly, if not uniquely, well positioned to address certain ethical and epistemological controversies pertaining to the coronavirus.
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  37.  83
    Life, Meaning Of.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Elinor Mason & Tim Crane (eds.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge.
    A 4000 word critical overview of recent Anglo-American philosophical books devoted to life's meaning. Online only.
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  38.  8
    Meaning in Life in Spite of Death.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Michael Cholbi & Travis Timmerman (eds.), Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 253-261.
    In this chapter the author critically explores answers to the question of how immortality would affect the meaningfulness of a person’s life, understood roughly as a life that merits esteem, achieves purposes much more valuable than pleasure, or makes for a good life-story. The author expounds three arguments for thinking that life would be meaningless if it were mortal, and provides objections to them. He then offers a reason for thinking that a mortal life could be meaningful, and responds to (...)
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  39.  24
    Must Land Reform Benefit the Victims of Colonialism?Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - Philosophia Africana 19 (2):122-137.
    Appealing to African values associated with ubuntu such as communion and reconciliation, elsewhere I have argued that they require compensating those who have been wronged in ways that are likely to improve their lives. In the context of land reform, I further contended that this principle probably entails not transferring unjustly acquired land en masse and immediately to dispossessed populations since doing so would foreseeably lead to such things as capital flight and food shortages, which would harm them and the (...)
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  40.  11
    Must Land Reform Benefit the Victims of Colonialism? (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Erasmus Masitera (ed.), Philosophical Perspectives on Land Reform in Southern Africa. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 145-160.
    Reprint of an article that first appeared in the journal Philosophia Africana (2020).
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  41.  66
    Popper’s Politics and Law in the Light of African Values.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - Jus Cogens 2:185-204.
    Karl Popper is famous for favoring an open society, one in which the individual is treated as an end in himself and social arrangements are subjected to critical evaluation, which he defends largely by appeal to a Kantian ethic of respecting the dignity of rational beings. In this essay, I consider for the first time what the implications of a characteristically African ethic, instead prescribing respect for our capacity to relate communally, are for how the state should operate in an (...)
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  42. Replacing Development: An Afro-Communal Approach to Global Justice (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Mahmoud Masaeli & Rico Sneller (eds.), The Return of Ethics and Spirituality in Global Development. Gompel & Svacina. pp. 187-210.
    Reprint of an article that initially appeared in Philosophical Papers (2017).
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  43. Relational Normative Economics: An African Approach to Justice.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - Ethical Perspectives 27 (1).
    Recent work by comparative philosophers, global ethicists, and cross-cultural value theorists indicates that, unlike most Western thinkers, those in many other parts of the globe, such as indigenous Africa, East Asia, and Latin America, tend to prize relationality. These relational values include enjoying a sense of togetherness, participating cooperatively, creating something new together, engaging in mutual aid, and being compassionate. Global economic practices and internationally influential theories pertaining to justice, development, and normative economics over the past 50 years have been (...)
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  44.  37
    Recent Work in African Philosophy: Its Relevance Beyond the Continent.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - Mind 130.
    In this article I critically discuss some recent English language books in African philosophy. Specifically, I expound and evaluate key claims from books published by sub-Saharan thinkers since 2017 that address epistemology, metaphysics, and value theory and that do so in ways of interest to an audience of at least Anglo-American-Australasian analytic philosophers. My aim is not to establish a definitive conclusion about these claims, but rather to facilitate cross-cultural engagement by highlighting their relevance particularly to many western philosophers and (...)
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  45. Communication Strategies in the Light of Indigenous African and Chinese Values: How to Harmonize.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - Philosophia Africana 19 (2):176-194.
    Many values originating in Africa and in China, and ones that continue to influence much of everyday communication in those societies, are aptly placed under the common heading of 'harmony'. After first spelling out what harmony involves in substantially Confucian China, and then in Africa, this article notes respects in which the Confucian and African conceptions of harmony are similar, an awareness of which could facilitate smooth communication. The article then indicates respects in which the Confucian and African conceptions of (...)
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  46.  3
    The Final Ends of Higher Education in the Light of an African Moral Theory (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - Inqaba Magazine 2:41-46.
    Partial reprint of an article first appearing in the Journal of Philosophy of Education (2009).
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  47.  72
    What Does an African Ethic of Social Cohesion Entail for Social Distancing?Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - Developing World Bioethics 20 (2):1-10.
    The most prominent strand of moral thought in the African philosophical tradition is relational and cohesive, roughly demanding that we enter into community with each other. Familiar is the view that being a real person means sharing a way of life with others, perhaps even in their fate. What does such a communal ethic prescribe for the coronavirus pandemic? Might it forbid one from social distancing, at least away from intimates? Or would it entail that social distancing is wrong to (...)
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  48.  5
    What Science Means for Postmodernist Epistemology and the Philosophy of Education (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Michael Peters, Marek Tesar, Liz Jackson & Tina Besley (eds.), What Comes after Postmodernism in Educational Theory? Routledge. pp. 1398-1399.
    Reprint of an article first appearing in Educational Philosophy and Theory (2018).
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  49.  40
    The African Ethic of Ubuntu.Thaddeus Metz - 2019 - 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology.
    Online reprint of part of an encyclopedia entry (from the Encyclopaedia of Quality of Life and Well-being Research 2014).
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  50.  22
    An African Theory of Moral Status: A Relational Alternative to Individualism and Holism (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2019 - In Munamato Chemhuru (ed.), African Environmental Ethics: A Critical Reader. Springer. pp. 9-27.
    Reprint of an article that initially appeared in _Ethical Theory and Moral Practice_ (2012).
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