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Ubuntu Ethics

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Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics

Abstract

This is an entry on ubuntu ethics. The idea is to develop an endogenous African conception of ubuntu as an ethical construct. We attempt to use ubuntu to countermand the current dominant social paradigm (DSP) of hatred, intolerance, abuse of human rights, dehumanization, exploitation, authoritarianism, poverty, and oppression that plague the human race at the national and international levels. This work proposes a conception of ubuntu as a value system built upon the application of some key moral and democratic values for liberation and transformation. Specifically, ubuntu ethics is defined as a set of values central among which are reciprocity, common good, peaceful relations, emphasis on human dignity, and the value of human life as well as consensus, tolerance, and mutual respect. These features are to operate at the national level. We also argue for a possibility utilizing ubuntu ethical correlates as materials for establishing stable and viable human relations within the international system or global order. Our aim is to conceptualize ubuntu as an ethical idea and praxis, as well as to situate it as an ethical ideal all with a view to making humans better and thus tackling in a systematic manner, our natural and man-made existential predicaments.

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Further Readings

  • Andoh, C. T. (2011). Bioethics and the challenges to its growth in Africa. Open Journal of Philosophy, 1(2), 67–75. doi:10.4236/ojpp.2011.12012.

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  • Prinsloo, E. D. (2008). Ubuntu culture and participatory management. In P. Coetzee & A. P. J. Roux (Eds.), The African philosophy reader (pp. 41–51). London: Routledge.

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Correspondence to Philip Ogochukwu Ujomudike .

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Ujomudike, P.O. (2016). Ubuntu Ethics. In: ten Have, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-09483-0_428

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