A Duty to Explore African Ethics?

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It has become increasingly common to point out that African morality is under-represented in ethical theorizing. However, it is less common to find arguments that this under-representation is unjustified. This latter claim tends to be simply assumed. In this paper I draw together arguments for this claim. In doing so, I make the case that the relative lack of attention paid to African moral ideas conflicts with epistemic and ethical values. In order to correct these shortcomings, moral theorists, broadly construed as including descriptive and normative disciplines, have a duty to engage with and actively explore African moral ideas. I claim that Moral Foundations Theory is well suited to a descriptive exploratory project, and could provide a significant contribution to normative, African-derived moral theories that could be epistemically and ethically superior to their Western counterparts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-872
JournalEthical Theory and Moral Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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