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Thaddeus Metz
University of Pretoria
  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 (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. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6.  41
    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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  7.  37
    與非洲相比在中國的價值.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - In Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (ed.), 汉学与当代中国座谈会文集(2017). China Social Sciences Press. pp. 612-619.
    Chinese (character) translation of part of an article that appeared in Philosophy East and West (2017).
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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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 tradition of philosophy to ground a moral-philosophical theory of leadership that is intended to rival accounts 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 proper (...)
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  14.  58
    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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  15. African Communitarianism and Difference.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - In Elvis Imafidon (ed.), Handbook of the 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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  16. 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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  17. 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. 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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  18. 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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  19.  68
    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. Springer. 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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  20. 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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  21.  75
    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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  22. 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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  23.  58
    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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  24. 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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  25.  41
    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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  26.  32
    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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  27.  90
    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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. Engaging with the Philosophy of D A Masolo.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - Quest 25:7-15.
    This is an introduction to the special issue of Quest devoted to D. A. Masolo’s latest book, Self and Community in a Changing World. It situates this book in relation to not only Masolo’s earlier research on African philosophy but also the field more generally, sketches the central positions of the contributions to the journal issue, and in light of them makes some critical recommendations for future reflection.
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  31. An African Theory of Dignity and a Relational Conception of Poverty.Thaddeus Metz - 2011 - In John de Gruchy (ed.), The Humanist Imperative in South Africa. African Sun Media. pp. 233-242.
    I have two major aims in this chapter, which is philosophical in nature. One is to draw upon values that are salient in the southern African region in order to construct a novel and attractive conception of human dignity. Specifically, I articulate the idea that human beings have a dignity in virtue of their communal nature, or their capacity for what I call ‘identity’ and ‘solidarity’, which contrasts the most influential conception in the West, according to which our dignity inheres (...)
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  32. Symposium: Are Certain Knowledge Frameworks More Congenial to the Aims of Cross-Cultural Philosophy?Leigh Jenco, Steve Fuller, David H. Kim, Thaddeus Metz & Miljana Milojevic - 2017 - Journal of World Philosophies 2 (2):99-107.
    In “Global Knowledge Frameworks and the Tasks of Cross-Cultural Philosophy,” Leigh Jenco searches for the conception of knowledge that best justifies the judgment that one can learn from non-local traditions of philosophy. Jenco considers four conceptions of knowledge, namely, in catchwords, the esoteric, Enlightenment, hermeneutic, and self- transformative conceptions of knowledge, and she defends the latter as more plausible than the former three. In this critical discussion of Jenco’s article, I provide reason to doubt the self-transformative conception, and also advance (...)
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  33.  46
    Why Reconciliation Requires Punishment but Not Forgiveness.Thaddeus Metz - 2022 - In Krisanna Scheiter & Paula Satne (eds.), Conflict and Resolution: The Ethics of Forgiveness, Revenge, and Punishment. Springer. 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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  34. 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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  35. Neutrality, Partiality, and Meaning in Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - De Ethica 4 (3):7-25.
    Discussion of whether values and norms are neutral or not has mainly appeared in works on the nature of prudential rationality and morality. Little systematic has yet appeared in the up and coming field of the meaning of life. What are the respects in which the value of meaningfulness is neutral or, in contrast, partial, relational, or ‘biased’? In this article, I focus strictly on answering this question. First, I aim to identify the salient, and perhaps exhaustive, respects in which (...)
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  36. Pursuing Knowledge for Its Own Sake Amidst a World of Poverty: Reconsidering Balogun on Philosophy’s Relevance.Thaddeus Metz - 2019 - Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions 8 (2):1-18.
    In this article I critically discuss Professor Oladele Abiodun Balogun’s reflections on the proper final ends of doing philosophy and related sorts of abstract, speculative, or theoretical inquiry. Professor Balogun appears to argue that one should undertake philosophical studies only insofar as they are likely to make a practical difference to people’s lives, particularly by contributing to politico-economic development, or, in other words, that one should eschew seeking knowledge for its own sake. However, there is one line of thought from (...)
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  37. African Values and Human Rights as Two Sides of the Same Coin: Reply to Oyowe.Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - African Human Rights Law Journal 14 (2):306-21.
    In an article previously published in this Journal, Anthony Oyowe critically engages with my attempt to demonstrate how the human rights characteristic of South Africa’s Constitution can be grounded on a certain interpretation of Afro-communitarian values that are often associated with talk of ‘ubuntu’. Drawing on recurrent themes of human dignity and communal relationships in the sub-Saharan tradition, I have advanced a moral-philosophical principle that I argue entails and plausibly explains a wide array of individual rights to civil liberties, political (...)
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  38. 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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  39. Neither Parochial nor Cosmopolitan: Cultural Instruction in the Light of an African Communal Ethic.Thaddeus Metz - 2019 - Education as Change 23:1-16.
    What should be the aim when teaching matters of culture to students in public high schools and universities, at least given an African? One, parochial approach would focus exclusively on imparting local culture, leaving students unfamiliar with, or perhaps contemptuous of, other cultures around the world. A second, cosmopolitan approach would educate students about a wide variety of cultures in Africa and beyond it, leaving it up to them which interpretations, values, and aesthetics they will adopt. A third way, in (...)
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  40. Definitions of Terms.Thaddeus Metz, Alejandro Adler, Ilona Boniwell, Evelyn Gibson, Martin Seligman, Yukiko Uchida & Zhanjun Xing - 2017 - In Centre for Bhutan Studies (ed.), Happiness: Transforming the Development Landscape. Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH. pp. 21-38.
    Definitions of terms that are central to a theoretical understanding of the Royal Government of Bhutan's policy of Gross National Happiness.
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  41.  50
    Advancing the Philosophy of Medicine: Towards New Topics and Sources.Thaddeus Metz & Chadwin Harris - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (3):281-288.
    The first part of a symposium devoted to Alex Broadbent's essay titled ‘Prediction, Understanding and Medicine’, this article notes the under-development of a variety of issues in the philosophy of medicine that transcend bioethics and the long-standing debates about the nature of health/illness and of evidence-based medicine. It also indicates the importance of drawing on non-Western, and particularly African, traditions in addressing these largely metaphysical and epistemological matters.
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  42.  93
    A Relational Moral Theory: African Ethics in and Beyond the Continent.Thaddeus Metz - 2022 - 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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  43. For the Sake of the Friendship: Relationality and Relationship as Grounds of Beneficence.Thaddeus Metz - 2010 - Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 57 (125):54-76.
    I contend that there are important moral reasons for individuals, organisations and states to aid others that have gone largely unrecognised in the literature. Most of the acknowledged reasons for acting beneficently in the absence of a promise to do so are either impartial and intrinsic, on the one hand, being grounded in properties internal to and universal among individuals, such as their pleasure or autonomy, or partial and extrinsic, on the other, being grounded in non-universal properties regarding an actual (...)
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  44. 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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  45. God’s Role in a Meaningful Life: New Reflections From Tim Mawson.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (3):171-191.
    Characteristic of the contemporary field of life's meaning has been the combination of monism in method and naturalism in substance. That is, much of the field has sought to reduce enquiry into life's meaning to one question and to offer a single principle as an answer to it, with this principle typically focusing on ways of living in the physical world as best known by the scientific method. T. J. Mawson's new book, God and the Meanings of Life, provides fresh (...)
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  46.  87
    Problems of Living Meaningfully in Psychiatry and Philosophy.Thaddeus Metz - 2022 - Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry 44 (3):229-230.
    A brief critical notice of Dan J Stein's new book _Problems of Living: Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Cognitive-Affective Science_.
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  47.  40
    Cultural Pluralism and Its Implications for Media Ethics.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - In Patrick Plaisance (ed.), Communication and Media Ethics. De Gruyter. pp. 53-73.
    In the face of differences between the ethical religio-philosophies believed across the globe, how should a media ethicist theorize or make recommendations in the light of theory? One approach is relativist, taking each distinct moral worldview to be true only for its own people. A second approach is universalist, seeking to discover a handful of basic ethical principles that are already shared by all the world's peoples. After providing reasons to doubt both of these approaches to doing media ethics, consideration (...)
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  48. African Reasons Why Artificial Intelligence Should Not Maximize Utility.Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - In Beatrice Dedaa Okyere-Manu (ed.), African Values, Ethics, and Technology: Questions, Issues, and Approaches. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 55-72.
    Insofar as artificial intelligence is to be used to guide automated systems in their interactions with humans, the dominant view is probably that it would be appropriate to programme them to maximize (expected) utility. According to utilitarianism, which is a characteristically western conception of moral reason, machines should be programmed to do whatever they could in a given circumstance to produce in the long run the highest net balance of what is good for human beings minus what is bad for (...)
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  49. Assessing Lives, Giving Supernaturalism Its Due, and Capturing Naturalism: Reply to 13 Critics of Meaning in Life (Repr.).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 and reprinted from the _Journal of Philosophy of Life_. 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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  50.  33
    How Much Punishment Is Deserved? Two Alternatives to Proportionality.Thaddeus Metz & Mika’il Metz - 2022 - Philosophies 7 (2):1-13.
    When it comes to the question of how much the state ought to punish a given offender, the standard understanding of the desert theory for centuries has been that it should give him a penalty proportionate to his offense, that is, an amount of punishment that fits the severity of his crime. In this article, part of a special issue on the geometry of desert, we maintain that a desert theorist is not conceptually or otherwise required to hold a proportionality (...)
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