Two presentation on the same day:
Prolegomena to Ubuntu and Any Other Future South African Philosophy
By: Aidan Prinlsoo (Rhodes MA candidate)
A student surveying the literature on Ubuntu would run into two problems. Firstly, Ubuntu literature lacks the depth of investigation that usually accompanies a philosophical tradition; and secondly, what does exist on Ubuntu comes from a multitude of philosophical (and other) traditions, with little consistency in attitude, method or content. Our student would not be entirely wrong to assert that Ubuntu is not a philosophical tradition, only a conglomeration of semi-intellectual hype. Contrary to this, I argue that the nature of philosophy is such that Ubuntu must be viewed as a nascent philosophical tradition. This is because I hold philosophy to be necessarily context-driven, and that this aspect of philosophy allows for distinct philosophical traditions to arise. Following the work of Bruce Janz, I flesh out how his concept of place shapes philosophy. I then move on to explain the South African place to show what criteria Ubuntu has to meet in order for it to flourish as a rich and relevant philosophical tradition. Crucially, I add to Janz's picture of place, by describing the Mystery, which I take to motivate all philosophical endeavour. There are three mysteries in the South African place which need to be addressed: pervasive Othering, persistent Alienation and Dis-Placement.
Internal and External Justifications of Moral Partiality
By: Jesse Moore (Rhodes Ph.D. Candidate)
One aspect of the Partiality-Impartiality debate centres on the following claim: morality ought to respect the specialness of certain relationships that I have with others. Partialists have argued that impartial morality is unable to satisfy this claim, not because it cannot justify the favouring inherent to such relationships, but rather because it cannot provide the right type of justification. In this paper, I examine what it would be to respect the specialness of these relationships and look at two types of justifications that partialists have thought sufficient for this. Internal justifications involve the relationship itself, or some constitutive aspect of it, justifying favouring. External justifications involve the appeal to things that are involved in, but in a certain sense ‘outside of’, the relationship in order to justify favouring. Many philosophers have taken internal justifications to be paradigmatic of moral partiality, but it is not clear that this is so.