What Does an African Ethic of Social Cohesion Entail for Social Distancing?

Developing World Bioethics 20 (2):1-10 (2020)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
The most prominent strand of moral thought in the African philosophical tradition is relational and cohesive, roughly demanding that we enter into community with each other. Familiar is the view that being a real person means sharing a way of life with others, perhaps even in their fate. What does such a communal ethic prescribe for the coronavirus pandemic? Might it forbid one from social distancing, at least away from intimates? Or would it entail that social distancing is wrong to some degree, although morally permissible on balance? Or could it mean that social distancing is not wrong to any degree and could, under certain circumstances, be the right way to commune? In this article, I defend the latter view. I argue that, given an independently attractive understanding of how to value communal relationship, distancing oneself from others when necessary to protect them from serious incapacitation or harm can come at no cost to right action. However, I also discuss cases in which social distancing would evince a lack of good character, despite being the right thing to do.
Reprint years
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2020-06-26
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
43 ( #44,366 of 51,210 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
43 ( #13,079 of 51,210 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.