South African Journal of Philosophy 26 (4):356-363 (2007)

On Metz's view, the best interpretation of ubuntu is that it enjoins agents always to promote harmony in the community. However, while I endorse the claim that intuitions play a foundational role in moral thinking, I am less sanguine about two aspects of Metz's particular employment of the intuitions he focuses on. First, I doubt the intuitions from which he begins are of the right sort to play the role he would like them to play. Second, I doubt that the explanation that Metz provides for these foundational intuitions is likely to succeed. One might helpfully characterise the nature of my difference with Metz in terms of the thought that Metz's explanation of the way in which intuitions are to be made to cohere is too Kantian for my taste. In this paper, I draw attention to some structural features of Metz's employments of pro tanto intuitions before sketching an alternative approach to the understanding of such intuitions and applying some aspects of this alternative approach to our thinking about African moral philosophy. The result presents a rival that I hope will appear more attractive than Metz's own. South African Journal of Philosophy Vol. 26 2007: pp. 356-363
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DOI 10.4314/sajpem.v26i4.31493
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