Colonialism in Africa, culturally induced moral ignorance, and the scope of responsibility

This paper analyzes colonialism in Africa to show a plausible connection between culture and human agency and to highlight the conceptual problem of ascribing responsibility in the context of the notion of culturally induced moral ignorance. It argues for the plausibility of the inability thesis, which states that people can be rendered morally ignorant by their culture, using as a backdrop, Moody-Adams’ account of the connection between culture and agency. It shows that Moody-Adams’ account, and her criteria for ascribing responsibility, cannot handle the problem identified with the colonial situation or culture in Africa, with respect to responsibility of corrupt African leaders. Her arguments do not fully appreciate the real force of the inability thesis and the substantial problem of delimiting the scope of responsibility, which is involved in ascribing responsibility in the context of cultural impediments. This paper does not draw any specific practical conclusion with respect to the responsibility of African leaders. It leaves such a practical conclusion open. However, given the analysis of the colonial situation, the nature and complexity of the problem, it suggests that it is conceptually problematic to blame entirely, without qualification, the specter of corruption in Africa on African leaders
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1468-5914.00066
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,813
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Power Of Ignorance.Lorraine Code - 2004 - Philosophical Papers 33 (3):291-308.
Culpability and Ignorance.Gideon Rosen - 2002 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):61–84.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
22 ( #235,635 of 2,202,772 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #301,722 of 2,202,772 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature