- ItemImpliseer die wettiging van beeindiging van swangerskap op aanvraag dat voorgeboortelike menslike lewe geen waarde het nie?(LitNet, 2022) De Roubaix, MalcolmDie Roe teen Wade-uitspraak van 1973 het vroeë beëindiging van swangerskap (BVS) in die VSA grondwetlik geregverdig. Ewe omstrede was die onlangse omkeer daarvan, met ingrypende sosiaalpolitieke gevolge vir Amerikaanse vroue. Teen hierdie agtergrond, in ’n styl van Sokratiese herondersoek, dink ek na oor die morele implikasies van min of meer vrye toegang tot (vroeë) BVS, soos deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Wet 92 van 1996, Wet op Keuse oor die Beëindiging van Swangerskap, gewettig. Wet 92 impliseer dat die morele status van die fetus wat vernietig word negeerbaar is, lynreg in botsing met diep intuïsies wat die meerderheid Suid-Afrikaners hieroor hou. Hoe moet ’n verantwoordelike persoon dié inherente teenstrydighede vereenselwig? Daar is twee onverenigbare kampe in hierdie ewig-omstrede morele dilemma: pro-keuse teen pro-lewe. Ek neem, gegewe die komplekse eise van die tydvak waarin ons lewe, hul argumente teen en vir BVS opnuut in oënskou. Die belang van menslikheid en intrinsieke potensialiteit tot verdere ontwikkeling versus kontekstuele potensialiteit en geregtigheid in voortplanting word teen die agtergrond van die Suid-Afrikaanse situasie ondersoek: onder andere, die wenslikheid en bekostigbaarheid van swangerskap, die haglike omstandighede waarin baie Suid-Afrikaanse kinders grootword, die probleem van tienerswangerskap en die uitwerking van BVS op verpleegpersoneel wat dit behartig. Ek argumenteer dat voorgeboortelike morele status ten beste as toenemend parallel aan fetale ontwikkeling beskou kan word. Hierdie waarde is egter nie absoluut nie, en impliseer nie noodwendig ’n reg op voortgesette lewe nie. Ek stel voor dat die intrinsieke menslikheid en potensialiteit van elke fetus beoordeel word in wat ek ’n persoonlike “morele balansstaat” noem. Die enigste redelike afsnypunt waarna BVS gewoonlik onaanvaarbaar sou wees, is die bereiking van oorleefbaarheid (indien dan gebore), iewers verby die halfpadmerk van swangerskap. Selfs dan is BVS in uitsonderlike gevalle moreel aanvaarbaar. Hierdie gevolgtrekking laat ’n mate van ongemak, kenmerkend van die afsluiting van ’n morele dilemma.
- ItemPostcolonial thinking and modes of being-with others(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2022) Woermann, MinkaThis paper seeks to interrogate the mode of relationality – or Being-with Others – that supports a responsible postcolonial thinking. The paper draws from both the Western and African philosophical traditions. Three modes of Being-with Others are identified at the hand of Martin Heidegger’s and Jean-Luc Nancy’s work, namely the exterior mode, in which we simply exist alongside one another; the interior mode, wherein our identities are assimilated by a historicallyconstituted community; and, the non-essentialised mode, wherein our identities are open to Others. The paper critically explores African Humanism and African Communitarian in order to demonstrate how – in practice – these views often lend support to the exterior mode and the interior mode respectively. As an alternative to these views, a reading of African philosophy that foregrounds the Political as first philosophy is given. It is demonstrated how this reading not only demands a non-essentialised mode of Being-with Others (which will be motivated as the preferred relational mode), but also leads to a view of postcoloniality that is premised on the inherent openness of being and community.
- ItemKnowledge, science and rationality : in discussion with Wentzel van Huyssteen’s earlier work(AOSIS, 2021-08) Van Niekerk, Anton A.The background of this research study is the ongoing debate since the late 1980s about the question of the rationality and scientific status of theology. Wentzel van Huyssteen’s seminal book Teologie as Kritiese Geloofsverantwoording has, in South Africa and abroad (after he moved to Princeton Theological Seminary), became a standard text of reference in this debate. As the book appeared, the author of this chapter has been in numerous debates with Van Huyssteen about this book. Whilst certain aspects of the book cannot but be applauded, Van Niekerk has serious questions about aspects of Van Huyssteen’s work that he raises in this chapter. The method used for writing this text is conceptual analysis; no empirical study needs to be performed for this kind of contribution. The main conclusions are as follows: 1. there are notable similarities between scientific knowledge and systematic theology. 2. It is not self-evident that in case of tension between notions of rationality operative in science and theology, it is theology that necessarily has to make serious adjustments. 3. Science does not have a monopoly over the understanding and utilisation of the idea of rationality. 4. Science is not the only correlate of truly trustworthy and reliable knowledge of reality. 5. All knowledge (including science) correlates with a variety of human interests. 6. The notion of rationality can and often does attain a meaning specifically related to the interest-directed forms of knowledge. 7. The meaning of the notion of rationality must be broadened in a way that makes it more universally applicable in all reliable terrains of knowledge. 8. The significance of philosophical hermeneutics for our understanding of a broadened notion of rationality ought to be better explored. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The contextual perspective of this article is the demonstration that the debate about the rationality of theology is well advanced, although far from conclusively resolved. A quite influential perspective in this debate – that of Wentzel van Huyssteen – is analysed and submitted to stringent critique. An alternative perspective is developed that deserves to be taken seriously in this debate.
- ItemZimitri Erasmus (2017) race otherwise : forging a new humanism for South Africa(Wits University Press, 2020) Msimang, Phila MfundoRace Otherwise is a contemporary exploration of race and identity in South Africa that attempts to provide us with a new form of humanism that may help us overcome or at least challenge and disrupt racialisation. This book is located in a local non-racialist tradition in which race is to be overcome or transcended through creative ways of reimagining ourselves and how we relate to one another. It locates the problem of race in the way we think about each other and ourselves. Given this attitudinal focus, the ultimate proposal of the book of how South Africa is to move forward is by engaging in what Erasmus views as a radical form of love. I explain how this book does not provide us with a viable framework of understanding race and neither does it give us any way of overcoming racial injustice.
- ItemThe ethics of responsibility: fallibilism, futurity and phronesis(Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, 2020) Van Niekerk, Anton A.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this article, I deal with the issue of a possible ethics of responsibility (ER) from a philosophical perspective in general, and bioethics in particular. My aim is to explore whether an ER is able to incorporate or integrate some, if not most, of the valid (and valuable) aspects of utilitarianism and deontology, without succumbing to most of the glaring shortcomings of these two famous frameworks. If such an enterprise could be successful, I would venture to infer that the ER could indeed be highly relevant for the time in which we live. I develop three central ideas of the framework of the ethics of responsibility. These three ideas are, firstly, that an appropriate framework for moral decision-making requires us to make room for the possibility of failure; secondly, we must see the implications of Jonas' emphasis on the need for an ethics of futurity for taking cognisance of the consequences of acts, and, thirdly, that although consequences of actions may be important, as utilitarianism has always insisted, consequences are not enough. Moral actions are also of necessity guided by rules and principles when making moral decisions. It is particularly in this respect that I shall, at the end, draw on the insights of Aristotle in respect of his notion of phronesis. The crux of my argument is to be found in what Aristotle identifies as the essence of moral knowledge. Moral knowledge respects and often builds upon the norms and action guides that pervade social life. However, merely drawing on deep-seated norms and conventions is not enough. These norms and conventions require application in a host of practical situations. Exactly how they are to be applied, is far from self-evident. That is something that we learn in the practice of daily life by the deliberation that essentially characterises phronesis or prudence (practical wisdom).