Acta Academica 49 (1):22-38 (2017)

Motsamai Molefe
University of Witwatersrand
Supposing that an African metaphysics grounded on the notion and/or value of vitality is true, can it do a better job in terms of informing an African religious ethics than its Western counterparts, specifically, the Divine Command theory (DCT)? By ‘religious ethics’, in this article, I have in a mind a meta-ethical theory i.e., an account of moral properties whether they are best understood in spiritual rather than physical terms. In this article, I articulate an under-explored African meta-ethical theory grounded on vitality, and I argue that the Euthyphro problem is not a successful objection against it like it is usually thought to be for DCT. This relative advantage of the vitalist meta-ethics does not necessarily render it plausible, but it gives us some ground to seriously consider the future of African religious ethics grounded on it.
Keywords Divine Command theory  Meta-ethics  Religious ethics  Vitality
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