Ethics in light of Ubuntu and Transimmanence
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Ubuntu, as part of the African philosophical tradition, and Transimmanence, as part of the Western deconstructionist philosophical tradition, represent some of the most disparate philosophical traditions. As divergent as these traditions may be, ethics seems to be a key feature in both and a crucial point of overlap. In our multicultural, globalized and increasingly postmodern world, where people live within competing and contradicting philosophies, the question of ethics become more pertinent. Our contention is to shed light on ethics by comparing the traditions of Ubuntu and Transimmanence on specific ethical issues. Notions of identity, personhood, individuality, humanity, freedom, the community and sense (meaning), play for example a pivotal role in Ubuntu and transimmanence. I argue in this dissertation that the reading and comparison of these two contrasting philosophical traditions (Ubuntu and transimmanence) through the lens of each other, can help one to develop a better understanding of each of them in regard to their respective understandings of ethics and eventually help to develop a better understanding of ethics per se. These two traditions seem to be so far removed from each other that this seems like an impossible task. However, with a closer examination of both some strong overlapping between Ubuntu and transimmanence in terms of their ethical focus can be identified. Eight ethical themes are identified as central in this comparison, namely the origin of ethics, individualism and personhood, the role of the community, respect, authority, humanity, being and ontology, and freedom. The overlap and differences of the ethics of Ubuntu and transimmanence on these themes bridge the gap between these two traditions, elucidate both, and offer new insights into the complexity of ethics. Where these traditions differ on these themes some of the most critical ethical issues for further research are identified.
- Humanities