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Summary Ethics is one of the largest fields in contemporary African philosophy. It is a truism to say that it tends to be much more communitarian in focus when compared to Western ethics. The term 'ubuntu' literally means 'humanness'. However, it also sometimes refers to a specific school of ethical thought, of which there are two that dominate. The first is 'personhood' theories which say that morality is primarily a matter of developing one's personhood in a normative sense. This can only be done in the context of community by exercising other-regarding virtues. The second focus on harmony or relationality, claiming that right action is a matter of relating well with others. A large amount of literature has also been devoted to applying these ideas to various topics in applied ethics. 
Key works [BROKEN REFERENCE: WIRPAAw]#GYETAMw #METTAA
Introductions [BROKEN REFERENCE: AUTHw]#GYEAE
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  1. The Concept of 'ubuntu' in African Environmental Ethics Vis-a-Vis the Problem of Climate Change.Gabriel Ayayia - manuscript
    Climate change is a global environmental issue that threatens humanity and the concept of 'Ubuntu' which means 'humanness' would be useful in the conversation for climate change mitigation and adaptation. With the rising global temperature changes to climate, the paper reflects on some critical questions such as: how can African environmental ethics make an epistemic contribution to the conversation on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies? I argue that the issue of climate change is a problem rooted in anthropocentric activities, (...)
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  2. Reply to Critics (tentative title).Thaddeus Metz - manuscript
    Reply to six contributions to a special issue of _Social Theory and Practice_ that are devoted to _A Relational Moral Theory: African Ethics in and Beyond the Continent_.
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  3. The Implications of a Communal Ethic for Enhancements.Thaddeus Metz - manuscript
    According to a normative-theoretic interpretation of the African moral-political tradition that I have advanced, an agent is at bottom obligated to respect individuals in virtue of their ability to be party to communal (or harmonious) relationships. In practice that means that a moral agent is typically obligated to relate communally with innocents, that is, to share a way of life with them and to care for their quality of life. I have argued that this relational principle of right action provides (...)
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  4. Individualistic Versus Relational Ethics – A Contestable Concept for (African) Philosophy.Pamela Andanda & Marcus Düwell - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.
    Thaddeus Metz, in his book “A Relational Moral Theory” compares the relational African view to Western theories of right action with a focus on Kant (respective contemporary Kantianism) and Utilitarianism. In focussing on the opposition between a relational and an individualistic view, Metz questions the interpretation of basic normative assumptions that are guiding central Western moral and political institutions. He particularly focusses on Kantian and Utilitarian approaches to which he ascribes substantive moral assumptions in terms of utility respective autonomy. In (...)
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  5. Relational moral philosophy needs relational moral psychology A relational moral theory: African ethics in and beyond the continent edited by Thaddeus Metz, Oxford University Press, 2021, $90 (hardback), ISBN: 9780198748960. [REVIEW]Rachel Calcott & Brian D. Earp - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    “Western” moral thought is often stereotyped as being (too) individualistic, Thatcher-like; communities are treated as mere assemblages of individuals, each of whom must look after their own welfar...
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  6. African Biocomnuinitarianism and Australian Dreamtime.J. Baird Callicott - forthcoming - Environmental Ethics: Divergence and Convergence.
  7. Harmony, Disruption, and Affective Injustice: Metz and the Capacity for Harmonious Relationship.Mary Carman - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-16.
    In _A Relational Moral Theory: African ethics in and beyond the continent_ ( 2022 ), Thaddeus Metz proposes an African moral theory according to which we ought to respect and honour the capacity of individuals to be party to harmonious relationship. He aims to present a moral theory that should ‘be weighed up against at least contemporary Western moral theories’ (p. 2). As Metz intends his theory to be a serious contender with other moral theories, I assess how his moral (...)
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  8. Sentience, communal relations and moral status.Ashley Coates - forthcoming - Environmental Ethics.
    Thaddeus Metz has developed and defended a “modal-relational” account of moral status based on his interpretation of salient Sub-Saharan African values. Roughly, on this account, a being has moral status to the degree that it can enter into friendly or communal relationships with characteristic human beings. In this paper, it is argued that this theory’s true significance for environmental ethics has thus far not been recognized. Metz’s own view is that the theory entails that only sentient beings have moral status. (...)
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  9. An African moral approach against the perverted faculty argument: Ukama, partiality and homophobia in Africa.Luis Cordeiro-Rodrigues - forthcoming - Developing World Bioethics.
    In Africa, homosexuality is routinely understood as a form of immoral behaviour. This has great implications for the physical and psychological well‐being of homosexuals in Africa. One of the reasons why homosexuals are sometimes understood to be behaving immorally is because it is believed that same‐sex relations are unnatural. I think that this conception of unnatural is grounded on the perverted faculty argument, although this is not often expressed in such terms. In this article, I will develop a concept of (...)
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  10. A Sino‐African perspective and the morality of procreation.Luís Cordeiro-Rodrigues, Qingjuan Sun, Aribiah David Attoe & Cornelius Ewuoso - forthcoming - Developing World Bioethics.
    Current studies of anti/‐natalism have been carried out mainly in the context of western philosophy. In this article, we offer a pro‐natalist view based on Confucian and Afro‐communitarian philosophy (Sino‐African ethics). Grounded in this Sino‐African perspective, we uphold that there is, at least, one reason to believe that not only is it morally permissible to procreate, but also that on some occasions, procreating is what morality prescribes. Specifically, we contend that, from a Sino‐African perspective, procreating sometimes is the best way (...)
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  11. Morality, Art, and African Philosophy: A Response to Wiredu.Parker English & Nancy Steele Hamme - forthcoming - African Philosophy: Selected Readings Englewood Cliffs. Nj: Prentice Hall.
  12. Prison reform and prisoner's rights in the light of the new South African Constitution, 1993.G. L. Gordon - forthcoming - Nexus.
  13. Racism: A challenge to south african universities.Mma Gray & Aj Bernstein - forthcoming - Theoria.
  14. Breyten Breytenbach and the South African prison book.J. U. Jacobs - forthcoming - Theoria.
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  15. The Young Marx and an African Ethic: Two Relational Views of Self-realization.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Ken Cheng & Jun-Hyeok Kwak (eds.), Relationality Across East and West. Routledge.
    Karl Marx's normative views have routinely been contrasted with moral-political theories such as utilitarianism and Rawlsian justice. They have not been systematically contrasted with characteristically African, and specifically communal, values, with post-independence African leaders such as Nyerere and Nkrumah instead having emphasized the similarities. In this article, a work of analytic philosophy, I sketch the essentials of Marx’s approach to the human good, especially his early writings on alienation from 1843-1845, and weigh them up against a theoretical interpretation of the (...)
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  16. Why Personhood Is Not So Social: Reflections on Oyowe’s Menkiti.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - Philosophia Africana.
    In Menkiti’s Moral Man, Oritsegbubemi Oyowe aims to provide a sympathetic interpretation of the works of Ifeanyi Menkiti as they address personhood, community, and other facets of morality. In my contribution I maintain that, while Oyowe’s Menkiti is more plausible than the way Menkiti has often been read, there are still respects in which the account of personhood advanced invites criticism. One criticism is that it is implausible to think that personhood is constituted by others recognizing one as a person. (...)
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  17. "一种关系化的道德理论——从本土走向世界的非洲伦理学".Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - Beijing: The Commercial Press/商务印书馆. Edited by Jun Wang & Luis Cordeiro-Rodrigues.
    Chinese (simplified character) translation of _A Relational Moral Theory_ by Nan Zhang.
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  18. 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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  19. Duties to Oneself in the Light of African Values: Two New Theoretical Approaches.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - The Monist.
    I draw on ideas salient in contemporary literate African philosophy to construct two new theoretical ways of capturing the essence of duties to oneself. According to one theory, a person has a foundational duty to “relate” to herself in ways similar to how the African field has often thought that a person should relate with others, viz., harmoniously. According to the second, one has a foundational duty to produce liveliness in oneself. In addition to articulating these novel attempts to capture (...)
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  20. African Moral Philosophy and Work.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Julian Jonker & Grant Rozeboom (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Work. Oxford University Press. pp. ch. 1.
    One aim of this chapter is to acquaint a reader unfamiliar with African philosophy with some of its more prominent ethical perspectives, especially those pertaining to ubuntu, as they bear on work. However, I undertake this discussion with some sympathy towards these implications, such that another aim is to point out that the prescriptions for the workplace that moral philosophers working in the African tradition have made (or would sensibly make given their more basic commitments) are worth taking seriously regardless (...)
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  21. 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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  22. An African Theory of Moral Status: A Relational Alternative to Individualism and Holism (repr.).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Kenneth Abudu, Kevin Behrens & Elvis Imafidon (eds.), African Philosophy and Deep Ecology. Routledge.
    An abridged and slightly modified version of an article first published in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (2012).
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  23. Title TBA: Reply to Critics.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice.
    Reply to six critical discussions of _A Relational Moral Theory_ as part of a special issue of _Ethical Theory and Moral Practice_. Theoretical issues include the individualism/relationalism distinction, including as it bears on Confucian theory in comparison to African thought. Applied topics include the implications of a communal principle of right action for issues pertaining to business, biotechnological enhancements, environmentalism, and corrective justice.
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  24. 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. of article In defence of partisan justice: What can African business ethics.Piet J. Naudé - forthcoming - African Journal of Business Ethics.
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  26. Nkowa Echiche Ndi Afrika Nke okammuta Thaddeus Metz (African Morality in the Thought of Thaddeus Metz).Lawrence Ogbo Ugwuanyi (ed.) - forthcoming - Timeless Publishers.
    A collection of several previously published articles by Thaddeus Metz translated into Igbo, with an introduction by Prof L. O. Ugwuanyi of the University of Abuja.
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  27. Custom and morality: a comparative analysis of some African and Western conceptions of morals.Kwasi Wiredu - forthcoming - African Philosophy: Selected Readings, Ed. Mosley, Ag Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs.
  28. Intercultural Philosophy and Environmental Justice between Generations: Indigenous, African, Asian, and Western Perspectives.Hiroshi Abe, Matthias J. Fritsch & Mario Wenning (eds.) - 2024 - New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
    The primary objective of this anthology is to make intergenerational justice an issue for intercultural philosophy, and, conversely, to allow the latter to enrich the former. In times of large-scale environmental destabilization, fair- ness between generations is an urgent issue of justice across time, but it is also a global issue of justice across geographical and nation-state borders. This means that the future generations envisioned by the currently living also cross these borders. Thus, different philosophical cultures and traditions of thought (...)
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  29. Making modern medical ethics: how African Americans, anti-Nazis, bureaucrats, feminists, veterans, and whistleblowing moralists created bioethics.Robert Baker - 2024 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
    A counter history of the birth of bioethics, which focuses on the dissenters and whistleblowers who challenged law and institutions rather than simply the development of new technologies.
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  30. Igwebuike: an African concept for an inclusive medical ethics.Luis Cordeiro-Rodrigues & Ada Agada - 2024 - Journal of Medical Ethics 50 (3):219-220.
    Igwebuike is a traditional knowledge system undergirded by the metaphysical assumption that the world is a totality of interconnected and interrelated entities.1–4 African scholars in West Africa often invoke igwebuike to make sense of African ethical, social and political perspectives that are grounded in the theory of Afro-communitarianism. Afro-communitarianism is primarily a socioethical theory that is concerned with the articulation of the moral relationship between the individual and the community. The term igwebuike is derived from the Igbo root words igwe (...)
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  31. Character-Based Moral Theories.Michael Hemmingsen - 2024 - In Ethical Theory in Global Perspective. Albany: SUNY Press. pp. 13-26.
    A survey of character-based ethical theory across traditions.
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  32. An African Research Ethics Reader.Ike Iyioke (ed.) - 2024 - Brill.
    Afro-cultural research ethics is in a nascent phase within the field of research ethics as a whole and requires more attention and in-depth articulation. With specific case studies, this vital volume provides unique perspectives on topics such as social autonomy vis-a-vis interests of individuals.
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  33. An African Research Ethics Reader: From the Ground Up.Ike Iyioke, John-Moses Maduabuchi Uwanduoma, Tonia Onyeka & Michael O'Rourke (eds.) - 2024 - BRILL.
    Afro-cultural research ethics is in a nascent phase within the field of research ethics as a whole and requires more attention and in-depth articulation. With specific case studies, this vital volume provides unique perspectives on topics such as social autonomy vis-a-vis interests of individuals.
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  34. Ubuntu virtue theory and moral character formation: critically reconstructing ubuntu for the African educational context.Grivas Muchineripi Kayange - 2024 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    This book investigates the ubuntu theory-based conception of virtue and moral character formation in the northern, western, and eastern regions of Africa, suggesting a critical reconstruction of ubuntu by conceptualising the four different forms of practices in moral character formation. Arguing for the critical reconstruction of ubuntu virtue theory as more nuanced than simply the standard ubuntu normative virtue theories (which give priority to the community as the sole locus for understanding virtues and character formation in Africa), the book builds (...)
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  35. Neither Parochial nor Cosmopolitan: Cultural Instruction in the Light of a Communal Ethic (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2024 - In Lawrence Ogbo Ugwuanyi (ed.), Educating All for All. Cambridge Scholars. pp. 43-62.
    Reprint of an article that first appeared in the journal _Education as Change_ (2019).
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  36. Community in African Moral-Political Philosophy.Thaddeus Metz - 2024 - In Niall Bond (ed.), The Concept of Community from a Global Perspective. Brill. pp. 313-332.
    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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  37. Ancillary Care Obligations in the Light of an African Bioethic: From Entrustment to Communion (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2024 - In Ike Iyioke (ed.), An African Research Ethics Reader. Brill. pp. 92-111.
    Reprint of an article that first appeared in Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics (2017).
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  38. A Dilemma Regarding Academic Freedom and Public Accountability in Higher Education (repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2024 - In Yamikani Ndasauka & Garton Kamchedzera (eds.), Academic Freedom in Africa. Routledge. pp. ch. 12.
    Reprint of an article published in the Journal of Philosophy of Education (2010) about the tension between a right to academic freedom and a responsibility to promote public goods, discussed largely in the African context.
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  39. Looking Back and Forward: Relational African Bioethics and Why Personhood is Not Dead.Motsamai Molefe & Luís Cordeiro-Rodrigues - 2024 - American Journal of Bioethics 24 (1):62-64.
    In her new article in the American Journal of Bioethics, Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby (2024) provides at least three reasons that support her argument that the concept of personhood must be abandoned...
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  40. Metz’s conception of African communal ethics, global economic practices and decolonisation.Peter Mwipikeni - 2024 - South African Journal of Philosophy 43 (1):94-105.
    Metz holds that we can use African communal ethics to constitute global economic practices such as appropriation, production, distribution and consumption in such a way that promotes harmonious relations. In this article, I will show that Metz’s reformist approach to constituting the global economic practices is problematic as it fails to deal with the fundamental problem that pertains to a racialised world order that is structurally configured by coloniality of being. I will show that reformist approaches such as Metz’s use (...)
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  41. African Moral Theory and Media Ethics: An Exploration of Rulings by the South African Press Council 2018 to 2022.Sisanda Nkoala, Rofhiwa Mukhudwana & Trust Matsilele - 2024 - Journal of Media Ethics 39 (2):99-113.
    In light of a history of an unethical news media system used by the state as an instrument of oppression, media ethics in South Africa is intended to uphold the foundational tenets of journalism and play a pivotal role in addressing issues of diversity, equity, and social justice. Most recently, the 2021 Inquiry into Media Ethics and Credibility report instructed media watchdogs, such as the South African Press Council, to track data concerning ethical breaches based on the potential that such (...)
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  42. African Communitarian Ethics: An Externalist Justification for Altruism.Idowu Odeyemi - 2024 - Philosophical Forum (1):109-127.
    The most popular defense of altruism has come from ethicists, mostly Western ethicists, who argue that for an action to hold any justification as it pertains to altruistic commitments, such an altruistic action must stem from the agent’s internal states such as beliefs, practical reasoning, desires, or deliberative attitudes. I refer to this as the internalist justification for altruism. On this internalist approach, the mere recognition of others—which I shall refer to as an externalist justification—albeit necessary for an agent who (...)
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  43. Beyond Borders: Exploring Ubuntu as a Lived Philosophy.Emmanuel Chiwetalu Ossai & Lloyd Strickland - 2024 - Institute of Art and Ideas.
    ** This piece was originally titled "Beyond Borders: Exploring Ubuntu as a Lived Philosophy" but was later retitled "African thought can rescue Western philosophy" by the publisher. ** -/- Western philosophy is often abstract and disconnected from the real ethical problems we face today. Emmanuel Chiwetalu Ossai and Lloyd Strickland argue that the African philosophy of ubuntu, with its emphasis on community, interconnectedness, and practical application of ethical principles, offers a compelling alternative.
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  44. The Role of AI in SDG: An African Perspective.Steve A. Adeshina & Oluwatomisin Aina - 2023 - In Francesca Mazzi & Luciano Floridi (eds.), The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence for the Sustainable Development Goals. Springer Verlag. pp. 133-143.
    Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized different sectors and will not be an exception in enabling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The focus of SDGs is to provide a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030”. The 17 SDGs are interconnected and achieving one of the goals creates a ripple effect in the other goals. These ripple effects can be created when stakeholders use past information (data) from the societal, environmental, and economic factors, observing patterns (...)
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  45. Molefe on Wiredu's Humanistic Interpretation of Akan (African) Ethics.Ada Agada - 2023 - Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 70 (175):1-23.
    In his 2015 Theoria article titled ‘A Rejection of Humanism in African Moral Tradition’, Motsamai Molefe argues that Kwasi Wiredu's humanistic interpretation of traditional Akan ethics cannot be the best account of African ethics because Wiredu overlooks the significant sentiment in traditional African thought that regards reality as a holistic totality of spiritual, social and environmental components. I point out that Molefe's rejection of Wiredu's humanism follows from the latter's de-emphasising of supernaturalism. I argue that Molefe overlooks the fact that (...)
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  46. African Moral Philosophy in the Era of Postmodernism: Reconciling Tradition and Modernity.Abbas Jonathan Aminu - 2023 - Cogito: Journal of Philosophy and Social Inquiry 1 (1):55-77.
    This research delves into the interplay between African moral philosophy and the philosophical movement of postmodernism, aiming to explore the implications of their encounter in the contemporary era. African moral philosophy, deeply rooted in the continent’s traditions, cultures, and cosmologies, has long provided a guiding framework for ethical conduct and communal harmony. On the other hand, postmodernism, with its emphasis on relativism, scepticism, and the rejection of grand narratives, challenges established truths and moral systems, including those prevalent in African societies. (...)
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  47. African Ethics: Human Being is Beautiful.Stanley Uche Anozie - 2023 - In Bolaji Bateye, Mahmoud Masaeli, Louise F. Müller & Angela Roothaan (eds.), Beauty in African Thought: Critical Perspectives on the Western Idea of Development. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.
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  48. Gilles Paquet's Hermeneutics of Belongingness: On Collaborative Ethics of Global Development.Stanley Uche Anozie - 2023 - In Bolaji Bateye, Mahmoud Masaeli, Louise F. Müller & Angela C. M. Roothaan (eds.), Wellbeing in African Philosophy: Insights for a Global Ethics of Development. Lanham, USA: Rowman and Littlefield.
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  49. Omoluabi: An African Conception of moral values.Godwin Azenabor - 2023 - Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya 8 (2):63-81.
    The moral experience is a reality in every social and cultural life, with variations being in the interpretations given to experience. A people’s value system defines their identity. Consequently, this paper interrogates an example of an African theory of moral value against a moral developmental model, using the philosophical, expositional, analytical and comparative methods. The reflections in this paper focus on the Yoruba cultural context in Nigeria. The paper posits a relationship between a moral value system and development. It argues (...)
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  50. A Non-Individualistic Notion of the Common Good.Abdoulaye Ba - 2023 - In Bolaji Bateye, Mahmoud Masaeli, Louise F. Müller & Angela C. M. Roothaan (eds.), Wellbeing in African Philosophy: Insights for a Global Ethics of Development. Lanham, USA: Rowman and Littlefield.
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