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Thaddeus Metz [214]Thaddeus Hines Metz [1]
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Profile: Thaddeus Metz (University of Johannesburg)
  1. Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    What makes a person's life meaningful? Thaddeus Metz offers a new answer to an ancient question which has recently returned to the philosophical agenda. He proceeds by examining what, if anything, all the conditions that make a life meaningful have in common. The outcome of this process is a philosophical theory of meaning in life. He starts by evaluating existing theories in terms of the classic triad of the good, the true, and the beautiful. He considers whether meaning in life (...)
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  2. Toward an African Moral Theory.Thaddeus Metz - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (3):321–341.
    In this article I articulate and defend an African moral theory, i.e., a basic and general principle grounding all particular duties that is informed by sub-Saharan values commonly associated with talk of "ubuntu" and cognate terms that signify personhood or humanness. The favoured interpretation of ubuntu is the principle that an action is right insofar as it respects harmonious relationships, ones in which people identify with, and exhibit solidarity toward, one another. I maintain that this is the most defensible moral (...)
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  3. Contemporary Anti-Natalism, Featuring Benatar's Better Never to Have Been.Thaddeus Metz - 2012 - South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):1-9.
    A critical overview of the latest discussion of anti-natalism, with particular reference to David Benatar's work and three additional rationales for anti-natalism that differ from Benatar's.
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  4. The African Ethic of Ubuntu/Botho: Implications for Research on Morality.Thaddeus Metz & Joseph Gaie - 2010 - Journal of Moral Education 39 (3):273-290.
    In this article we provide a theoretical reconstruction of sub-Saharan ethics that we argue is a strong competitor to typical Western approaches to morality. According to our African moral theory, actions are right roughly insofar as they are a matter of living harmoniously with others or honouring communal relationships. After spelling out this ethic, we apply it to several issues in both normative and empirical research into morality. With regard to normative research, we compare and contrast this African moral theory (...)
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  5. Ethics in Aristotle and in Africa: Some Points of Contrast.Thaddeus Metz - 2012 - Phronimon 13 (2):99-117.
    In this article I compare and, especially, contrast Aristotle’s conception of virtue with one typical of sub-Saharan philosophers. I point out that the latter is strictly other-regarding, and specifically communitarian, and contend that the former, while including such elements, also includes some self-regarding or individualist virtues, such as temperance and knowledge. I also argue that Aristotle’s conception of human excellence is more attractive than the sub-Saharan view as a complete account of how to live, but that the African conception is (...)
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  6.  67
    UBUNTU COMO UMA TEORIA MORAL E OS DIREITOS HUMANOS NA ÁFRICA DO SUL.Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - Revista Culturas Jurídicas 3 (5):1-33.
    Portuguese translation by Jean-Bosco Kakozi of 'Ubuntu as a Moral Theory and Human Rights in South Africa' (African Human Rights Law Journal 2011).
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  7. The South African Student/Worker Uprisings in Light of Just War Theory.Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - In Susan Booysen (ed.), FeesMustFall: Student Revolt, Decolonisation and Governance in South Africa. Wits University Press. pp. 292-308.
    I critically examine the South African university student and worker protests of 2015/2016 in light of moral principles governing the use of force that are largely uncontested in both the contemporary Western and African philosophies of just war, violence and threats. Amongst these principles are: “discrimination”, according to which force should be directed not towards innocent bystanders but instead should target those particularly responsible for injustice; “likely success”, meaning that, instead of being counter-productive, the use of force must be reasonably (...)
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  8. Ubuntu as a Moral Theory: Reply to Four Critics.Thaddeus Metz - 2007 - South African Journal of Philosophy 26 (4):369-87.
    In this article, I respond to questions about, and criticisms of, my article “Towardan African Moral Theory” that have been put forth by Allen Wood, Mogobe Ramose, Douglas Farland and Jason van Niekerk. The major topicsI address include: what bearing the objectivity of moral value should have on cross-cultural moral differences between Africans and Westerners; whether a harmonious relationship is a good candidate for having final moral value; whether consequentialism exhausts the proper way to respond to the value of a (...)
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  9. Just the Beginning for Ubuntu: Reply to Matolino and Kwindingwi.Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):65-72.
    In an article titled ‘The end of ubuntu’ recently published in this journal, Bernard Matolino and Wenceslaus Kwindingwi argue that contemporary conditions in (South) Africa are such that there is no justification for appealing to an ethic associated with talk of ‘ubuntu’. They argue that political elites who invoke ubuntu do so in ways that serve nefarious functions, such as unreasonably narrowing discourse about how best to live, while the moral ideals of ubuntu are appropriate only for a bygone, pre-modern (...)
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  10. Recent Work on the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):781-814..
  11. Ubuntu as a Moral Theory and Human Rights in South Africa.Thaddeus Metz - 2011 - African Human Rights Law Journal 11 (2):532-559.
    There are three major reasons that ideas associated with ubuntu are often deemed to be an inappropriate basis for a public morality. One is that they are too vague, a second is that they fail to acknowledge the value of individual freedom, and a third is that they a fit traditional, small-scale culture more than a modern, industrial society. In this article, I provide a philosophical interpretation of ubuntu that is not vulnerable to these three objections. Specifically, I construct a (...)
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  12. Assessing Lives, Giving Supernaturalism Its Due, and Capturing Naturalism: Reply to 13 Critics of Meaning in Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - In Masahiro Morioka (ed.), Reconsidering Meaning in Life: A Philosophical Dialogue with Thaddeus Metz. Waseda University. pp. 228-278.
    A lengthy reply to 13 critical discussions of _Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study_ collected in an e-book. The contributors are from a variety of philosophical traditions, including the Anglo-American, Continental and East Asian (especially Buddhist and Japanese) ones.
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  13. African Conceptions of Human Dignity: Vitality and Community as the Ground of Human Rights.Thaddeus Metz - 2012 - Human Rights Review 13 (1):19-37.
    I seek to advance enquiry into the philosophical question of in virtue of what human beings have a dignity of the sort that grounds human rights. I first draw on values salient in sub-Saharan African moral thought to construct two theoretically promising conceptions of human dignity, one grounded on vitality, or liveliness, and the other on our communal nature. I then argue that the vitality conception cannot account for several human rights that we intuitively have, while the community conception can (...)
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  14.  8
    Meaning (Atheism).Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Graham Oppy, Gregory W. Dawes & Evan Fales (eds.), Theism and Atheism: Opposing Viewpoints in Philosophy. Macmillan Reference.
    A chapter composed largely for undergraduate and postgraduate students that aims: (a) to understand what it means to live a meaningful life, and (b) to evaluate, and especially to cast doubt on, the idea that belief in God is required for such a life.
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  15. New Developments in the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (2):196–217.
    In this article I survey philosophical literature on the topic of what, if anything, makes a person’s life meaningful, focusing on systematic texts that are written in English and that have appeared in the last five years (2002-2007). My aims are to present overviews of the most important, fresh, Anglo-American positions on meaning in life and to raise critical questions about them worth answering in future work.
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  16.  70
    African and Western Moral Theories in a Bioethical Context.Thaddeus Metz - 2010 - Developing World Bioethics 10 (1):49-58.
    The field of bioethics is replete with applications of moral theories such as utilitarianism and Kantianism. For a given dilemma, even if it is not clear how one of these western philosophical principles of right (and wrong) action would resolve it, one can identify many of the considerations that each would conclude is relevant. The field is, in contrast, largely unaware of an African account of what all right (and wrong) actions have in common and of the sorts of factors (...)
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  17. The Concept of a Meaningful Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2001 - American Philosophical Quarterly 38 (2):137-153.
    This paper aims to clarify what we are asking when posing the question of what (if anything) makes a life meaningful. People associate many different ideas with talk of "meaning in life," so that one must search for an account of the question that is primary in some way. Therefore, after briefly sketching the major conceptions of life's meaning in 20th century philosophical literature, the remainder of the paper systematically seeks a satisfactory analysis the concept of a meaningful life that (...)
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  18.  7
    Ends and Means of Transitional Justice.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - Journal of Global Ethics.
    With her new book, The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice, Colleen Murphy has advanced novel, comprehensive and sophisticated philosophical accounts of both what severely conflict-ridden societies should be aiming for and how they should pursue it. Ultimately grounded on a prizing of rational agency, Murphy maintains that these societies, roughly, ought to strive for a stable and legitimate democratic polity committed to not repeating gross historical injustice and do so in ways that do right by victims. In this article, I (...)
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  19. The Motivation for “Toward an African Moral Theory”.Thaddeus Metz - 2007 - South African Journal of Philosophy 26 (26):331-335.
    Here I introduce the symposium issue of the South African Journal of Philosophy that is devoted to critically analysing my article “Toward an AfricanMoral Theory.” In that article, I use the techniques of analytic moral philosophy to articulate and defend a moral theory that both is grounded on the values of peoples living in sub-Saharan Africa and differs from what is influential in contemporary Western ethics. Here, I not only present a précis of the article, but also provide a sketch (...)
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  20.  93
    The Good, the True and the Beautiful: Toward a Unified Account of Great Meaning in Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (4):389-409.
    Three of the great sources of meaning in life are the good, the true, and the beautiful, and I aim to make headway on the grand Enlightenment project of ascertaining what, if anything, they have in common. Concretely, if we take a (stereotypical) Mother Teresa, Mandela, Darwin, Einstein, Dostoyevsky, and Picasso, what might they share that makes it apt to deem their lives to have truly mattered? I provide reason to doubt two influential answers, noting a common flaw that supernaturalism (...)
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  21. In Search of Ubuntu: A Political Philosopher’s View of Democratic South Africa.Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - In Busani Ngcaweni (ed.), Liberation Diaries: Reflections on 20 Years of Democracy. Jacana. pp. 205-214.
    In this essay I recount how I have been hoping to see more ubuntu in South Africa’s institutions than had been present in the two dominant socio-politico-economic models across the world in the 20th century. I haven’t been expecting utopia from the past 20 years of democracy; I’ve just wanted something new to come out of Africa. I here relate my experience of learning that it is not always forthcoming, at least not as quickly as I would have liked. However, (...)
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  22.  80
    The Politics of Doing Philosophy in Africa: A Conversation.Ward Jones & Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (4):538-550.
    The background to the present discussion is the prevalence of political and personal criticisms in philosophical discussions about Africa. As philosophers in South Africa—both white and black—continue to philosophise seriously about Africa, responses to their work sometimes take the form of political and personal criticisms of, if not attacks on, the philosopher exploring and defending considerations about the African continent. One of us (TM) has been the target of such critiques in light of his work. Our aim in this conversation (...)
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  23. Meaning as a Distinct and Fundamental Value: Reply to Kershnar.Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - Science, Religion and Culture 1 (2):101-106.
    In this article, I reply to a critical notice of my book, Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study, that Stephen Kershnar has published elsewhere in this issue of Science, Religion & Culture. Beyond expounding the central conclusions of the book, Kershnar advances two major criticisms of it, namely, first, that I did not provide enough evidence that meaning in life is a genuine value-theoretic category as something distinct from and competing with, say, objective well-being, and, second, that, even if there (...)
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  24.  22
    Life, Meaning Of.Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - In Henk ten Have (ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics. Springer. pp. 1-6.
    This entry begins by indicating respects in which the concept of life’s meaning has only recently become salient in English-speaking bioethical discussions and by clarifying what talk of ‘life’s meaning’ and cognate phrases mean, at least to most of the philosophers and bioethicists who have used them. This essay then addresses six major respects in which thought about what makes a life meaningful has influenced bioethics. The first four issues concern life and death matters for human beings, and specifically involve: (...)
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  25.  47
    What Africa Can Bring to the World.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Tayeb Chenntouf (ed.), General History of Africa, Volume 9: Global Africa. UNESCO. pp. ch. 22.
    This chapter expounds relational values characteristic of indigenous Africa and considers how they might usefully be adopted when contemporary societies interact with each other. Specifically, it notes respects in which genuinely human or communal relationship has been missing in the two contexts of globalization and international relations, and suggests what a greater appreciation of this good by the rest of the world would mean for them.
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  26.  35
    Harmonizing Global Ethics in the Future: A Proposal to Add South and East to West.Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - Journal of Global Ethics 10 (2):146-155.
    This article considers how global ethical matters might be approached differently in the English-speaking literature if values salient in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia were taken seriously. Specifically, after pointing out how indigenous values in both of these major parts of the world tend to prescribe honouring harmonious relationships, the article brings out what such an approach to morality entails for political power, foreign relations and criminal justice. For each major issue, it suggests that harmony likely has implications that differ (...)
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  27. Happiness and Meaningfulness: Some Key Differences.Thaddeus Metz - 2009 - In Lisa Bortolotti (ed.), Philosophy and Happiness. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 3-20.
    In this chapter, I highlight the differences between the two goods of happiness and meaningfulness. Specifically, I contrast happiness and meaning with respect to six value-theoretic factors, among them: what the bearers of these values are, how luck can play a role in their realization, which attitudes are appropriate in response to them, and when they are to be preferred in a life. I aim not only to show that there are several respects in which happiness and meaning differ as (...)
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  28.  69
    Human Dignity, Capital Punishment, and an African Moral Theory: Toward a New Philosophy of Human Rights.Thaddeus Metz - 2010 - Journal of Human Rights 9 (1):81-99.
    In this article I spell out a conception of dignity grounded in African moral thinking that provides a plausible philosophical foundation for human rights, focusing on the particular human right not to be executed by the state. I first demonstrate that the South African Constitutional Court’s sub-Saharan explanations of why the death penalty is degrading all counterintuitively entail that using deadly force against aggressors is degrading as well. Then, I draw on one major strand of Afro-communitarian thought to develop a (...)
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  29. Utilitarianism and the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2003 - Utilitas 15 (1):50-70.
    This article addresses the utilitarian theory of life's meaning according to which a person's existence is significant just in so far as she makes those in the world better off. One aim is to explore the extent to which the utilitarian theory has counter-intuitive implications about which lives count as meaningful. A second aim is to develop a new, broadly Kantian theory of what makes a life meaningful, a theory that retains much of what makes the utilitarian view attractive, while (...)
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  30.  16
    An Overview of African Ethics.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - In Isaac Ukpokolo (ed.), Themes, Issues and Problems in African Philosophy. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 61-75.
    A reprint of 'African Ethics' from the _International Encyclopedia of Ethics_ (2015), but expanded to include discussion of more topics, texts and authors.
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  31.  45
    Confucianism and African Conceptions of Value, Reality and Knowledge (儒家思想与非洲的价值观、现实 观与知识观).Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition 国际社会科学杂志) 33 (4):159-170.
    This article, composed in Chinese, summarizes and critically reflects on the current state of the literature that has recently begun to put Chinese Confucianism into dialogue with characteristically African conceptions of what is good, what fundamentally exists, and how to obtain knowledge. As most of this literature has addressed value theory, this article focuses largely on it, too. It first illustrates how similar the foundational values are between the two cultural traditions; central to both traditional China and Africa is an (...)
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  32.  5
    Why Objective Truth Is the Ally of Social and Epistemic Justice: Reply to Jenco.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - Journal of World Philosophies 1 (3).
    In “Are Certain Knowledge Frameworks More Congenial to the Aims of Cross-Cultural Philosophy? A Qualified Yes,” Leigh Jenco responds to an article in which I had argued for a similar conclusion. I had contended roughly that the positing of objective truth combined with a fallibilist epistemology best explains why a philosopher from one culture could learn something substantial from another culture. In her response, Jenco contends that this knowledge framework does not account adequately for the intuition that various philosophical traditions (...)
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  33. Recent Philosophies of Social Protection: From Capability to Ubuntu.Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - Global Social Policy 16 (2):132-150.
    In the past decade or two, philosophies of social protection have shifted away from a nearly exclusive focus on the subjective and the individual (e.g., autonomous choices, utility) and towards values that are more objective and relational. The latter approaches, typified by the well established Capabilities Approach and the up and coming ethic of ubuntu, have been substantially inspired by engagements with the Global South, particularly India and Africa. In this article, part of a special issue titled ‘The Principles and (...)
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  34.  52
    The Western Ethic of Care or an Afro-Communitarian Ethic?: Finding the Right Relational Morality.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - Journal of Global Ethics 9 (1):77-92.
    In her essay ‘The Curious Coincidence of Feminine and African Moralities’ (1987), Sandra Harding was perhaps the first to note parallels between a typical Western feminist ethic and a characteristically African, i.e., indigenous sub-Saharan, approach to morality. Beyond Harding’s analysis, one now frequently encounters the suggestion, in a variety of discourses in both the Anglo-American and sub-Saharan traditions, that an ethic of care and an African ethic are more or less the same or share many commonalities. While the two ethical (...)
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  35. A Life of Struggle as Ubuntu.Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - In Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni & Busani Ngcaweni (eds.), Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: Decolonial Ethics of Liberation and Servant Leadership. Africa World Press. pp. 97-111.
    In this chapter I aim to provide a moral-philosophical grounding for much of Nelson Rolihlaha Mandela’s life. I spell out a principled interpretation of ubuntu that focuses on its moral import, and then apply it to salient facets of Mandela’s 50+ struggle years, contending that they exemplify it in many ways. Specifically, I first address Mandela’s decisions to fight apartheid in the 1940s, to use violence in response to it in the 1950s and ‘60s, and to refuse to renounce the (...)
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  36.  19
    How the West Was One: The Western as Individualist, the African as Communitarian.Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 47 (11):1175-1184.
    There is a kernel of truth in the claim that Western, and especially Anglo-American-Australasian, normative philosophy, including that relating to the philosophy of education, is individualistic; it tends to prize properties that are internal to a human being such as her autonomy, rationality, pleasure, desires, self-esteem, self-realization and virtues relating to, say, her intellect. One notable exception is the idea that students ought to be educated in order to be citizens, participants in a democratic and cosmopolitan order, but, compared to (...)
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  37.  51
    The Final Ends of Higher Education in Light of an African Moral Theory.Thaddeus Metz - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (2):179-201.
    From the perspective of an African ethic, analytically interpreted as a philosophical principle of right action, what are the proper final ends of a publicly funded university and how should they be ranked? To answer this question, I first provide a brief but inclusive review of the literature on Africanising higher education from the past 50 years, and contend that the prominent final ends suggested in it can be reduced to five major categories. Then, I spell out an intuitively attractive (...)
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  38. Confucianism and Ubuntu: Reflections on a Dialogue Between Chinese and African Traditions.Daniel A. Bell & Thaddeus Metz - 2011 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38 (supp):78-95.
    In this article we focus on three key precepts shared by Confucianism and the African ethic of Ubuntu: the central value of community, the desirability of ethical partiality, and the idea that we tend to become morally better as we grow older. For each of these broad similarities, there are key differences underlying them, and we discuss those as well as speculate about the reasons for them. Our aim is not to take sides, but we do suggest ways that Ubuntu (...)
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  39. The Proper Aim of Therapy: Subjective Well-Being, Objective Goodness, or a Meaningful Life?Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - In Pninit Russo-Netzer, Stefan Schulenberg & Alexander Batthyany (eds.), Clinical Perspectives on Meaning: Positive and Existential Psychotherapy. Springer. pp. 17-35.
    Therapists and related theorists and practitioners of mental health tend to hold one of two broad views about how to help patients. On the one hand, some maintain that, or at least act as though, the basic point of therapy is to help patients become clear about what they want deep down and to enable them to achieve it by overcoming mental blockages. On the other hand, there are those who contend that the aim of therapy should instead be to (...)
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  40.  68
    آثار جدید درباره معناى زندگى.Thaddeus Metz - 2003 - Naqd Va Nazar: Quarterly Journal of Philosophy and Theology 8 (29-30):266-313.
    Persian translation by Mohsen Javadi of 'Recent Work on the Meaning of Life' (Ethics 2002).
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  41.  69
    Animal Rights and the Interpretation of the South African Constitution.Thaddeus Metz - 2012 - In David Bilchitz & Stu Woolman (eds.), Is This Seat Taken? Conversations at the Bar, the Bench and the Academy. Pretoria University Law Press. pp. 209-219.
    In this chapter, a reprinted article from Southern African Public Law (2010), I argue that, even supposing substantive principles of distributive justice entail that animals warrant constitutional protection, there are other, potentially weightier forms of injustice that would probably be done by interpreting a Bill of Rights as implicitly applying to animals, namely, formal injustice and compensatory injustice. Formal injustice would result from such a reading of the Constitution in that the state would fail to speak with one voice upon (...)
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  42.  52
    De Zachte Plek (The Sweet Spot).Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - In Leo Bormans (ed.), Geluk 2.0; The World Book of Happiness. Lannoo Publishing. pp. 335-338.
    An 850 word statement, translated into Dutch and composed for a lay audience, of respects in which happiness and meaningfulness can come apart, but highlighting the aim of engaging in projects in which they are co-present.
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  43.  87
    Précis of Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study.Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 5 (3):ii-vi.
    Brief summary of _Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study_ and of how contributors to a special issue of the _Journal of Philosophy of Life_ question it.
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  44. The Immortality Requirement for Life's Meaning.Thaddeus Metz - 2003 - Ratio 16 (2):161–177.
    Many religious thinkers hold the immortality requirement, the view that immortality of some kind is necessary for life to have meaning. After clarifying the nature of the immortality requirement, this essay examines three central arguments for it. The article establishes that existing versions of these arguments fail to entail the immortality requirement. The essay then reconstructs the arguments, and it shows that once they do plausibly support the immortality requirement, they equally support the God-centred requirement, the view that God's existence (...)
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  45.  44
    The Meaningful and the Worthwhile: Clarifying the Relationships.Thaddeus Metz - 2012 - Philosophical Forum 43 (4):435-448.
    The question I seek to answer is what the relationship is between judgments of people’s lives as meaningful, on the one hand, and as worth living, on the other. Several in the analytic and Continental literature, including the likes of Albert Camus and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and more recently, Robert Solomon and Julian Baggini, have maintained that the two words mean the same thing, in that they have the same referents or even the same sense. My primary aim is to refute (...)
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  46.  35
    Developing African Political Philosophy: Moral-Theoretic Strategies.Thaddeus Metz - 2012 - Philosophia Africana 14 (1):61-83.
    If contemporary African political philosophy is going to develop substantially in fresh directions, it probably will not be enough, say, to rehash the old personhood debate between Kwame Gyekye and Ifeanyi Menkiti, or to nit-pick at Gyekye’s system, as much of the literature in the field has done. Instead, major advances are likely to emerge on the basis of new, principled interpretations of sub-Saharan moral thought. In recent work, I have fleshed out two types of moral theories that have a (...)
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  47.  32
    Review of Leonhard Praeg, A Report on Ubuntu, and of Leonhard Praeg and Siphokazi Magadla (Eds), Ubuntu: Curating the Archive. [REVIEW]Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (3):447-453.
  48.  86
    Two Conceptions of African Ethics.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - Quest 25:141-61.
    I focus on D A Masolo’s discussion of morality as characteristically understood by African philosophers. My goals are both historical and substantive, meaning that I use reflection on Masolo’s book as an occasion to shed light not only on the nature of recent debates about African ethics, but also on African ethics itself. With regard to history, I argue that Masolo’s discussion of sub-Saharan morality suggests at least two major ways that the field has construed it, depending on which value (...)
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  49. African Values and Capital Punishment.Thaddeus Metz - 2011 - In Gerard Walmsley (ed.), African Philosophy and the Future of Africa. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. pp. 83-90.
    What is the strongest argument grounded in African values, i.e., those salient among indigenous peoples below the Sahara desert, for abolishing capital punishment? I defend a particular answer to this question, one that invokes an under-theorized conception of human dignity. Roughly, I maintain that the death penalty is nearly always morally unjustified, and should therefore be abolished, because it degrades people’s special capacity for communal relationships. To defend this claim, I proceed by clarifying what I aim to achieve in this (...)
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    Higher Education, Knowledge For Its Own Sake, and an African Moral Theory.Thaddeus Metz - 2009 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 28 (6):517-536.
    I seek to answer the question of whether publicly funded higher education ought to aim intrinsically to promote certain kinds of ‘‘blue-sky’’ knowledge, knowledge that is unlikely to result in ‘‘tangible’’ or ‘‘concrete’’ social benefits such as health, wealth and liberty. I approach this question in light of an African moral theory, which contrasts with dominant Western philosophies and has not yet been applied to pedagogical issues. According to this communitarian theory, grounded on salient sub-Saharan beliefs and practices, actions are (...)
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