Authors
Gail Presbey
University of Detroit Mercy
Abstract
Trudy Govier worked closely with Wilhelm Verwoerd and Desmond Tutu in South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This paper shares her insights regarding the meaning and importance of concepts such as acknowledgment, apology, forgiveness and reconciliation. The paper goes on to focus on the topic of reconciliation in the works of two philosophers. Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka had a great concern for reconciliation and restorative justice. He critiqued criminal justice systems that focused on punishment as retribution or deterrent. He wrote in the 1960s and 70s that punishment as a concept and as a practice should be abolished. Instead, society should address the causes of social disharmony that lead to crime. His interview with sage Paul Mbuya Akoko shows that such an approach was one advocated by elders in Oruka’s Luo ethnic community, and by implication, in other parts of Africa as well. Oruka also wrote about Gandhi’s philosophy, suggesting that the nonviolent methods may be more fruitful than those counseled by Fanon. Also, Gandhi’s emphasis on the interdependence of all life is a fruitful basis for an ecological ethics. The philosophy of Mohandas Gandhi is then covered, with emphasis on his methods of conflict resolution. Gandhi’s methods steer a middle course between harmony and confrontation, and with a measured use of “compromise.” Gandhi advocated careful listening, and put it into practice while trying to quell riots in Calcutta. The paper ends by comparing and contrasting Oruka and Gandhi’s philosophical insights.
Keywords Odera Oruka  Mohandas Gandhi  Reconciliation  punishment  restorative justice  Trudy Govier  compromise
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References found in this work BETA

Gandhi's Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence.Erik H. Erikson - 1971 - Philosophy East and West 21 (2):225-227.
Metaphysical Foundation of Mahatma Gandhi's Thought.Surendra Verma - 1970 - [New Delhi]Orient Longmans on Behalf of Gandhi Peace Foundation.

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