On 1 November 2020, the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship's director, Professor James Ogude, spoke to David Rutledge on his radio show "The Philosopher's Zone" on the concept of Ubuntu.
The Philospher's Zone is a radio show hosted by the Australian Broadcasting Association (ABC) which discusses logic, metaphysics and ethics with broadcaster David Rutledge.
Professor Ogude drew on the work from the Centre's most recent project on "The meaning and value of Ubuntu in human and social development in Africa", funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. The project looked to insert the concept of Ubuntu within the broad intellectual debate of self and community, to demonstrate its intellectual and philosophical value and theoretical grounding in known practices emanating from the African continent, and indeed how it works to unsettle some of our received notions of the self
Ubuntu is an African tradition of thought whose ethical orientation is captured in the well-known aphorism “I am, because we are”. It’s a communitarian ethic that’s been popularised by such figures as Desmond Tutu in his work on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. But what gets lost when Ubuntu is framed as a philosophical discourse in the Western intellectual tradition? And where do we see its successes and failures in the reconstruction of post-colonial Africa?
You can listen to the full show here.