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Motsamai Molefe
University of Witwatersrand
  1. A Defence of Moderate Communitarianism: A Place of Rights in African Moral-Political Thought.Motsamai Molefe - 2018 - Phronimon 18:181 - 203.
    This article attempts to defend Kwame Gyekye’s moderate communitarianism (MC) from the trenchant criticism that it is as defective as radical communitarianism (RC) since they both fail to take rights seriously. As part of my response, I raise two critical questions. Firstly, I question the supposition in the literature that there is such a thing as radical communitarianism. I point out that talk of radical communitarianism is tantamount to attacking a “straw-man.” Secondly, I question the efficacy of the criticism that (...)
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  2. An African Perspective on the Partiality and Impartiality Debate: Insights From Kwasi Wiredu's Moral Philosophy.Motsamai Molefe - 2017 - South African Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):470-482.
    In this article, I attempt to bridge the gap between partiality and impartiality in moral philosophy from an oft-neglected African perspective. I draw a solution for this moral-theoretical impasse between partialists and impartialists from Kwasi Wiredu's, one of the most influential African philosophers, distinction between an ethic and ethics. I show how an ethic accommodates partiality and ethics impartiality. Wiredu's insight is that partialism is not concerned with strict moral issues. -/- .
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  3.  15
    African Metaphysics and Religious Ethics.Motsamai Molefe - 2018 - Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 7 (3):19 - 37.
    Scholars of African moral thought reject the possibility of an African religious ethics by invoking at least three major reasons. The first objection to ‘ethical supernaturalism’ argues that it is part of those aspects of African culture that are ‘anachronistic’ insofar as they are superstitious rather than rational; as such, they should be jettisoned. The second objection points out that ethical supernaturalism is incompatible with the utilitarian approach to religion that typically characterises some African peoples’ orientation to it. The last (...)
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  4.  92
    Personhood and (Rectification) Justice in African Thought.Motsamai Molefe - 2018 - Politikon:1- 18.
    This article invokes the idea of personhood (which it takes to be at the heart of Afrocommunitarian morality) to give an account of corrective/rectification justice. The idea of rectification justice by Robert Nozick is used heuristically to reveal the moral-theoretical resources availed by the idea of personhood to think about historical injustices and what would constitute a meaningful remedy for them. This notion of personhood has three facets: (1) a theory of moral status/dignity, (2) an account of historical conditions and (...)
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  5.  68
    Individualism in African Moral Cultures.Motsamai Molefe - 2017 - Cultura 14 (2):49-68.
    This article repudiates the dichotomy that African ethics is communitarian (relational) and Western ethics is individualistic. ‘Communitarianism’ is the view that morality is ultimately grounded on some relational properties like love or friendship; and, ‘individualism’ is the view that morality is ultimately a function of some individual property like a soul or welfare. Generally, this article departs from the intuition that all morality including African ethics, philosophically interpreted, is best understood in terms of individualism. But, in this article, I limit (...)
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  6.  87
    Relational Ethics and Partiality: A Critique of Thad Metz’s ‘Towards an African Moral Theory’.Motsamai Molefe - 2017 - Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 64 (152):53-76.
    In this article, I question the plausibility of Metz’s African moral theory from an oft-neglected moral topic of partiality. Metz defends an Afro-communitarian moral theory that posits that the rightness of actions is entirely definable by relationships of identity and solidarity (or, friendship). I offer two objections to this relational moral theory. First, I argue that justifying partiality strictly by invoking relationships (of friendship) ultimately fails to properly value the individual for her own sake – this is called the ‘focus (...)
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  7.  75
    A Critique of Thad Metz’s African Theory of Moral Status.Motsamai Molefe - 2017 - South African Journal of Philosophy 36 (2):195-205.
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  8.  62
    An African Religious Ethics and the Euthyphro Problem.Motsamai Molefe - 2017 - Acta Academica 49 (1):22-38.
    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 (...)
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