The focus of this book is the normativity of global ethic. Over the years, different cultures and civilizations have been brought closer than never before by globalization. This trend has both its negative and positive dimensions. Overall, the main problem of this present trend of societal organization and human interaction called globalization is a moral issue, namely, the question: how should we treat one another? Okeja's global ethic seeks to answer this question. It underscores that we should treat one another in our current age of globalization in accordance with the Golden Rule principle. The suggestion of this ethic is therefore that we should not treat others the way we would not want to be treated. This sounds simple enough. The problem, however, is that it is not exactly clear what this principle of moral conduct would suggest in both simple and complex moral situations. Most importantly, it is not clear why it is reasonable to treat people the way we would not want to be treated. Why, in other words, should we act in accordance with the Golden Rule principle? What is the justification of the demand the Golden Rule makes on us? This book answers these and other questions about the normative plausibility of the Golden Rule, and thus global ethic, from the comparative perspective of ethics in African philosophy. It analyzes three stages of the possible normative justification of the moral imperative of global ethic and proposes a deliberative form of justification.
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About the Author
Uchenna Okeja (*1983) was educated in Nigeria and Germany. He has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in both philosophy and theology. He also received a master degree in management. He was awarded his PhD in philosophy by Goethe University in Frankfurt in 2011. Currently, he teaches courses in philosophy, business ethics and corporate governance at the Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Applied Sciences in Fulda, Germany. For his PhD dissertation, he was awarded a gifted students’ fellowship by the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation. Though primarily interdisciplinary in his research, he mainly works in the areas of political and social philosophy, epistemology of religious beliefs, postcolonial philosophy and applied (especially business) ethics.
Table of Contents
Foreword (by Professor Bruce B. Janz)
Chapter 1: On the Concept of a Global Ethic
Chapter 2: The Contexts of the Normative Justification
Chapter 3: The Concept and Development of African Ethics
Chapter 4: Reconstruction of the Global Ethic Project
Chapter 5: African Philosophy and the Normativity of a Global Ethic
Chapter 6: Normativity Beyond Sympathetic Impartiality
What People are Saying About This
In this bold, innovative, provocative and adventurous study on the contribution of African philosophy to global ethics, Uchenna Okeja has succeeded not only in reconciling the different approaches taken to African philosophy but has offered us an intellectual refreshment on what actually constitutes African philosophy. Adopting both philosophical and historical methods we are offered a clear, succinct and brilliant body of knowledge.
Uchenna Okeja uses Hans Küng 1993, 'Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration,' as an extremely fruitful point of departure in his Normative Justification of a Global Ethic. Küng intended this statement to be as ecumenical as possible, providing a basis of understanding for people from a wide-variety of faith traditions while avoiding the tendency to impose Western values on non-Western cultures. However, Okeja deconstructs this document as a product of a globalization that assumes universality for Western ideals that cannot be supported. Taking a deeply interdisciplinary approach, Okeja blends the critical insights of theorists ranging from Jürgen Habermas to Kwasi Wiredu in order to analyze the concept of a normative global ethic. The result is a study that is as startlingly original as it is timely and important. Okeja not only answers the question—Is there an African philosophy?—but he also demonstrates that the framing of the question is itself the result of a long-unacknowledged element of cultural imperialism that equates 'philosophy' with the procedures and thought patterns of Western intellectuals. In this globalized day and age we can no longer afford to indulge in such cultural biases. Therefore, anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of philosophy, globalization, or African studies cannot afford to ignore Okeja’s study. I have no doubt that this book will have a long-lasting and deep impact, representing an important landmark in the field of African philosophy.
Uchenna Okeja’s work represents an exciting and important turn in African philosophy. Rather than philosophically describing, explaining or defending Africa, as has often happened in the past, Okeja engages the question of global ethics with African philosophy as an equal dialogue partner. If the project of global ethics is the beginning of a dialogue, Okeja amply and persuasively demonstrates that African philosophy brings important tools and concepts that can both shape and intervene in that dialogue. Uchenna Okeja shows us African philosophy’s great untapped potential – a set of concepts and ideas forged in a unique place, which both serve as a lens on lived African experience and also contribute to contemporary debates.
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