183 found
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  1. A Relational Moral Theory: African Ethics in and Beyond the Continent.Thaddeus Metz - 2022 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    _A Relational Moral Theory_ draws on neglected resources from the Global South and especially the African philosophical tradition to provide a new answer to a perennial philosophical question: what do all morally right actions have in common as distinct from wrong ones? Metz points out that the principles of utility and of respect for autonomy, the two rivals that have dominated Western moral theory for the last two centuries, share an individualist premise. Once that common assumption is replaced by a (...)
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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 (as of 2007) 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 (...)
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  3. Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - New York, NY: 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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  4. 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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  5. Traditional African Religion as a Neglected Form of Monotheism.Thaddeus Metz & Motsamai Molefe - 2021 - The Monist 104 (3):393–409.
    Our aims are to articulate some core philosophical positions characteristic of Traditional African Religion and to argue that they merit consideration as monotheist rivals to standard interpretations of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. In particular, we address the topics of how God’s nature is conceived, how God’s will is meant to bear on human decision making, where one continues to exist upon the death of one’s body, and how long one is able to exist without a body. For each of these topics, (...)
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  6. Recent Work on the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):781-814..
    A critical overview of mainly Anglo-American philosophical literature addressing the meaning of life up to 2002.
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  7. 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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  8. The Meaning of Life (Second Revised Edition).Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A 10,000+ word critical overview of analytic philosophy devoted to life's meaning, with some focus on books and more recent works.
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  9. Ubuntu: The Good Life (rev. edn).Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - In Filomena Maggino (ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, 2nd edn. Springer.
    Moderately updated version of this encyclopaedia entry.
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  10. Why Reconciliation Requires Punishment but Not Forgiveness.Thaddeus Metz - 2022 - In Krisanna M. Scheiter & Paula Satne (eds.), Conflict and Resolution: The Ethics of Forgiveness, Revenge, and Punishment. Switzerland: Springer Nature. pp. 265-281.
    Adherents to reconciliation, restorative justice, and related approaches to dealing with social conflict are well known for seeking to minimize punishment, in favor of offenders hearing out victims, making an apology, and effecting compensation for wrongful harm as well as victims forgiving offenders and accepting their reintegration into society. In contrast, I maintain that social reconciliation and similar concepts in fact characteristically require punishment but do not require forgiveness. I argue that a reconciliatory response to crime that includes punitive disavowal (...)
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  11. African and western moral theories in a bioethical context.Thaddeus Metz - 2009 - 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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  12. An African Theory of Moral Status: A Relational Alternative to Individualism and Holism.Thaddeus Metz - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (3):387-402.
    The dominant conceptions of moral status in the English-speaking literature are either holist or individualist, neither of which accounts well for widespread judgments that: animals and humans both have moral status that is of the same kind but different in degree; even a severely mentally incapacitated human being has a greater moral status than an animal with identical internal properties; and a newborn infant has a greater moral status than a mid-to-late stage foetus. Holists accord no moral status to any (...)
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  13. 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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  14. Confucianism and ubuntu: Reflections on a dialogue between chinese and african traditions.Daniel A. Bell & Thaddeus Metz - 2011 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38 (s1):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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  15. Values in China as Compared to Africa: Two Conceptions of Harmony.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (2):441-465.
    Given a 21st century context of sophisticated market economies and other Western influences such as Christianity, what similarities and differences are there between characteristic indigenous values of sub-Saharan Africa and China, and how do they continue to influence everyday life in these societies? Establishing that central to both non-Western, indigenous value systems are ideals of harmonious relationships, I compare and contrast traditional African and Chinese conceptions of harmony and analyze a number of respects in which an appeal to this value (...)
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  16. 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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  17. African Communitarianism and Difference.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Elvis Imafidon (ed.), Handbook on African Philosophy of Difference. Springer. pp. 31-51.
    There has been the recurrent suspicion that community, harmony, cohesion, and similar relational goods as understood in the African ethical tradition threaten to occlude difference. Often, it has been Western defenders of liberty who have raised the concern that these characteristically sub-Saharan values fail to account adequately for individuality, although some contemporary African thinkers have expressed the same concern. In this chapter, I provide a certain understanding of the sub-Saharan value of communal relationship and demonstrate that it entails a substantial (...)
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  18. 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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  19. Ancillary Care Obligations in Light of an African Bioethic: From Entrustment to Communion.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (2):111–126.
    Henry Richardson has recently published the first book ever devoted to ancillary care obligations, which roughly concern what medical researchers are morally required to provide to participants beyond what safety requires. In it Richardson notes that he has presented the ‘only fully elaborated view out there’ on this topic, which he calls the ‘partial-entrustment model’. In this article, I provide a new theory of ancillary care obligations, one that is grounded on ideals of communion salient in the African philosophical tradition (...)
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  20. African Moral Theory and Public Governance: Nepotism, Preferential Hiring and Other Partiality.Thaddeus Metz - 2009 - In Munyaradzi Felix Murove (ed.), African Ethics: An Anthology for Comparative and Applied Ethics. Scottsville, South Africa: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. pp. 335-356.
    Suppose a person lives in a sub-Saharan country that has won its independence from colonial powers in the last 50 years or so. Suppose also that that person has become a high-ranking government official who makes decisions on how to allocate goods, such as civil service jobs and contracts with private firms. Should such a person refrain from considering any particulars about potential recipients or might it be appropriate to consider, for example, family membership, party affiliation, race or revolutionary stature (...)
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  21. An African Theory of Social Justice.Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - In Camilla Boisen & Matt Murray (eds.), A Fair Share. Routledge. pp. 171-190.
    A comprehensive account of justice grounded on salient Afro-communitarian values, the article attempts to unify views about the distribution of economic resources, the protection of human rights and the provision of social recognition as ultimately being about proper ways to value loving relationships.
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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. African Theories of Meaning in Life: A Critical Assessment.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - South African Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):113-126.
    In this article, I expound and assess two theories of meaning in life informed by the indigenous sub-Saharan African philosophical tradition. According to one principle, a life is more meaningful, the more it promotes community with other human persons. According to the other principle, a life is more meaningful, the more it promotes vitality in oneself and others. I argue that, at least upon some refinement, both of these African conceptions of meaning merit global consideration from philosophers, but that the (...)
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  28. An African Egalitarianism: Bringing Community to Bear on Equality.Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - In George Hull (ed.), The Equal Society: Essays on Equality in Theory and Practice. Lexington Books. pp. 185-208.
    I consider what prima facie attractive communitarian ethical perspectives salient among indigenous African peoples entail for distributive justice within a state, and I argue that they support a form of economic egalitarianism that differs in several important ways from varieties common in contemporary Anglo-American political philosophy. In particular, the sort of economic egalitarianism I advance rivals not only luck-oriented variants from the likes of Ronald Dworkin, G. A. Cohen and theorists inspired by them such as Richard Arneson, Carl Knight and (...)
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  29. Relational Ethics.Thaddeus Metz & Sarah Clark Miller - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell. pp. 1-10.
    An overview of relational approaches to ethics, which contrast with individualist and holist ones, particularly as they feature in the Confucian, African, and feminist/care traditions.
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  30. 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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  31. God, Soul and the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2019 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Part of the Elements Philosophy of Religion series, this short book focuses on the spiritual dimensions of life’s meaning as they have been discussed in the recent English and mainly analytic philosophical literature. The overarching philosophical question that this literature has addressed is about the extent to which, and respects in which, spiritual realities such as God or a soul would confer meaning on our lives. There have been four broad answers to the question, namely: God or a soul is (...)
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  32. Recent Work on the Meaning of 'Life’s Meaning': Should We Change the Philosophical Discourse?Thaddeus Metz - 2019 - Human Affairs 29 (4):404-414.
    In this article I critically discuss English-speaking philosophical literature addressing the question of what it essentially means to speak of 'life’s meaning'. Instead of considering what might in fact confer meaning on life, I make two claims about the more abstract, meta-ethical question of how to understand what by definition is involved in making that sort enquiry. One of my claims is that over the past five years there has been a noticeable trend among philosophers to try to change our (...)
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  33. Replacing Development: An Afro-communal Approach to Global Justice.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - Philosophical Papers 46 (1):111-137.
    In this article, I consider whether there are values intrinsic to development theory and practice that are dubious in light of a characteristically African ethic. In particular, I focus on what a certain philosophical interpretation of the sub-Saharan value of communion entails for appraising development, drawing two major conclusions. One is that a majority of the criticisms that have been made of development by those sympathetic to African values are weak; I argue that, given the value of communion, development should (...)
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  34. 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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  35. Reconciliation as the Aim of a Criminal Trial: Ubuntu’s Implications for Sentencing.Thaddeus Metz - 2019 - Constitutional Court Review 9:113-134.
    In this article, I seek to answer the following cluster of questions: What would a characteristically African, and specifically relational, conception of a criminal trial’s final end look like? What would the Afro-relational approach prescribe for sentencing? Would its implications for this matter forcefully rival the kinds of penalties that judges in South Africa and similar jurisdictions typically mete out? After pointing out how the southern African ethic of ubuntu is well understood as a relational ethic, I draw out of (...)
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  36. Happiness and Meaningfulness: Some Key Differences.Thaddeus Metz - 2009 - In Lisa Bortolotti (ed.), Philosophy and Happiness. New York: 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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  37. Medicine without Cure?: A Cluster Analysis of the Nature of Medicine.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (3):306-312.
    Part of a symposium devoted to ‘Prediction, Understanding, and Medicine’, in which Alex Broadbent argues that the nature of medicine is determined by its competences, i.e., which things it can do well. He argues that, although medicine cannot cure well, it can do a good job of enabling people not only to understand states of the human organism and of what has caused them, but also to predict future states of it. From this Broadbent concludes that medicine is (at least (...)
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  38. What Is the Essence of an Essence? Comparing Afro-Relational and Western-Individualist Ontologies.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - Synthesis Philosophica 65 (1):209-224.
    The dominant view amongst contemporary Western philosophers about the essence of a natu­ ral object is that it is constituted by its intrinsic properties. The ontological approach salient in the African philosophical tradition, in contrast, accounts for a thing’s essence by appeal to its relational properties. The Afro­relational ontology is under­developed, with the primary aim of this article being to help rectify that weakness. Specifically, this article’s aims are: to articulate an African approach to understanding the essence of a concrete, (...)
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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. An African Theory of Good Leadership.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - African Journal of Business Ethics 12 (2):36-53.
    This article draws on the indigenous African intellectual tradition to ground a moral-philosophical theory of leadership that is intended to rival accounts prominent in the East Asian and Western traditions. After providing an interpretation of the characteristically sub-Saharan value of communion, the article advances a philosophical account of a good leader as one who creates, sustains and enriches communal relationships and enables others to do so. The article then applies this account to a variety of topics, including what the final (...)
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  42. How to Ground Animal Rights on African Values: A Reply to Horsthemke.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - Journal of Animal Ethics 7 (2):163-174.
    I seek to advance plausible replies to the several criticisms Kai Horsthemke makes of ‘African Modal Relationalism’, his label for my theory of animal rights with a sub-Saharan pedigree. Central to this view is the claim that, roughly, a being has a greater moral status, the more it is in principle capable of relating communally with characteristic human beings. Horsthemke maintains that this view is anthropocentric and speciesist, is poorly motivated relative to his egalitarian-individualist approach, and does not have the (...)
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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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  46. A Bioethic of Communion: Beyond Care and the Four Principles with Regard to Reproduction.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - In Marta Soniewicka (ed.), The Ethics of Reproductive Genetics - Between Utility, Principles, and Virtues. Cham: Springer Verlag. pp. 49-66.
    English-speaking research on morally right decisions in a healthcare context over the past three decades has been dominated by two major perspectives, namely, the Four Principles, of which the principle of respect for autonomy has been most salient, and the ethic of care, often presented as a rival to not only a focus on autonomy but also a reliance on principles more generally. In my contribution, I present a novel ethic applicable to bioethics, particularly as it concerns human procreation, that (...)
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  47. Afro-Communitarianism and the Role of Traditional African Healers in the COVID-19 Pandemic.Luís Cordeiro-Rodrigues & Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - Public Health Ethics 14 (1):59-71.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges to healthcare systems worldwide, and in Africa, given the lack of resources, they are likely to be even more acute. The usefulness of Traditional African Healers in helping to mitigate the effects of pandemic has been neglected. We argue from an ethical perspective that these healers can and should have an important role in informing and guiding local communities in Africa on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Particularly, we argue not only (...)
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  48. The Proper Aim of Therapy: Subjective Well-Being, Objective Goodness, or a Meaningful Life?Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - In Alexander Batthyany, Pninit Russo-Netzer & Stefan Schulenberg (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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  49. What Can the Capabilities Approach Learn from an Ubuntu Ethic? A Relational Approach to Development Theory.Nimi Hoffmann & Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - World Development 97 (September):153–164.
    Over the last two decades, the capabilities approach has become an increasingly influential theory of development. It conceptualises human wellbeing in terms of an individual's ability to achieve functionings we have reason to value. In contrast, the African ethic of ubuntu views human flourishing as the propensity to pursue relations of fellowship with others, such that relationships have fundamental value. These two theoretical perspectives seem to be in tension with each other; while the capabilities approach focuses on individuals as the (...)
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  50. 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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