Philosophical and practical challenges of Ubuntu: Application to decolonial activism and conceptions of personhood and disability
In this chapter, an explanation is given of the concept of Ubuntu or Unhu which is a Southern-African humanist and ethical worldview. From the Zulu language, it is often translated as “a person is a person through other persons” and as such is both a description of diversity and also a normative ethical claim about how we should live. In the popular consciousness, people associate Ubuntu with South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) but it has been gaining ground in decolonial activism and also has a rich history in the African continent. Despite this history, there have been present issues with the philosophical and practical application of Ubuntu and its acceptance. This chapter examines why and tries to find an answer for how Ubuntu could become part of efforts of activism linked to understanding wider and more diverse conceptions of ‘rights’ and ecology.
ubuntu, Southern Theory, decolonial, activism, ethics
Berghs, M. (2023) Philosophical and practical challenges of Ubuntu: Application to decolonial activism and conceptions of personhood and disability. In: Southern Theories Contemporary and Future Challenges. Edited by Mutanga, O. and Marovah,T. London & New York: Routledge.
Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research