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THE RELEVANCE OF AFRICAN WORLD VIEW TO AFRICAN CONCEPTION OF ETHICS

Uploaded by Fola on Aug 14, 2007

THE RELEVANCE OF AFRICAN WORLD VIEW TO AFRICAN CONCEPTION OF ETHICS
INTRODUCTION
Ethics (Greek, ethika, from ethos, “character” or “custom”), principles or standards of human conduct, sometimes called morals (Latin, mores, “customs”), and, by extension, the study of such principles, sometimes called moral philosophy. Ethics studies human conduct; it is concerned with questions such as “When is an act right?”, “When is an act wrong?”, and “What is the nature, or determining standard, of good and bad?” In asking these questions, ethical theorists have proposed differing accounts of the nature of ethical knowledge, the measure of it, the source of it, the means of knowing it, and how it ought to be applied. Ethics, as a branch of philosophy and religion, is considered a normative science, because it is concerned with norms of human conduct, as distinguished from the formal sciences, such as mathematics and logic, and the empirical sciences, such as chemistry and physics. The empirical social sciences, however, including psychology, impinge to some extent on the concerns of ethics in that they study social behaviour. For example, the social sciences frequently attempt to determine the relation of particular ethical principles to social behaviour and to investigate the cultural conditions that contribute to the formation of such principles.1
Furthermore, the Encyclopedia of Psychology defines ethics as “the study of distinction between good and evil, a branch of philosophy concerned with morals; it systematically examines the characteristics of value judgment such as “good”, “bad”, “right”, “wrong”, etc … Ethics as a system of relations and values is the basis of non-religious (and values is) structures”.2 However, with the above definition of ethics we see that it is related to the study of moral problems in relation to some critical moral questions like; “what things are good?” or “what things are desirable?” or better still what things are worthwhile? To determine things that are desirable there as to be some rules and principle that governs this concept both universally or otherwise especially since in this paper we are concerned with the African world view to African conception of ethics, we will also look at the conception of ethics in Africa.
Moreover, we often use the words ethical and moral interchangeably i.e. we speak of the ethical or moral person or act but ‘ethics is not the same as morals but that it is a study of morals’, morals are a people’s beliefs of right and...

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Uploaded by:   Fola

Date:   08/14/2007

Category:   Religion

Length:   13 pages (2,952 words)

Views:   2153

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