“The end of ubuntu”: An extension of Matolino’s scepticism

South African Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):325-336 (2022)
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In a joint article1 with Wenceslaus Kwindingwi, Bernard Matolino declared an end to ubuntu. The declaration, they argue, is a result of the failure of ubuntu in practice and theory in modern African societies. This declaration triggered strong reactions, and an analysis of these responses suggests the need for continuous interrogations of African ideals and beliefs and their relevance to modern African thought. In this article, I argue that Kwindingwi and Matolino’s argument is in line with Matolino’s broader scepticism about Afro-communitarianism in general. In other works, he insists that attempts to theoretically and practically ground postcolonial African philosophy in ideas of Afro-communitarianism exaggerate its functionality. I aim to show that Matolino’s Socratic process and the outcomes, as demonstrated in the “The end of ubuntu”, aim to produce quality understanding and reasoned defence of the traditional ideas aimed to guide modern African thought. The rejectionist approach should be seen as a nudge to make the advocacy for African ideals and beliefs, such as ubuntu, match up with the knowledge of them and how they operate in reality.



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References found in this work

Personhood and a Meaningful Life in African Philosophy.Motsamai Molefe - 2020 - South African Journal of Philosophy 39 (2): 194-207.
Just the Beginning for Ubuntu: Reply to Matolino and Kwindingwi.Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):65-72.
The end of ubuntu.Bernard Matolino & Wenceslaus Kwindingwi - 2013 - South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):197-205.
A response to Metz's reply on the end of ubuntu.Bernard Matolino - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (2):214-225.

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