Afro Ethics – Understanding Corruption in Africa (Download pdf)
Is it possible for Westerners to find their reflection in the African mind and vice versa and can Ubuntu (African Ethics) and Western ethical teachings interconnect to serve the greater good?
Humanity is what binds us but it is the expression of this humanity in our daily lives that can manifest entirely differently. David Hume used the analogy of two rivers to explain: the Rhone and the Rhine manifest as rivers, however there are great differences between the two. The Rhine flows north, the Rhone south; yet both spring from the same mountain, and are also actuated, in their opposite directions, by the same principle of gravity. The different inclinations of the ground, on which they run, cause all the difference of their courses.
So whilst humankind share the common bond of humanity it is the influence of culture, social causes and politics that generate the different expressions of custom and ethical norms.
Hume and Collingwood both hold that it is only when we can find enough in others that mirror things in ourselves that we can treat the others as conversable ie thinking beings susceptible to the considerations we advance, partners in co operative and political enterprises.