1st Edition

Ubuntu Ethics Human Dignity, Moral Perfectionism, and Needs

By Motsamai Molefe Copyright 2025
    134 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides a philosophical exposition of Ubuntu ethics, which is grounded in the understanding that ‘a person is a person through other persons’. Written by one of the world’s leading scholars of African philosophy, the book first argues that this focus on umuntu (or, a person) in Ubuntu ethics as intrinsically valuable, makes ethical humanism and human dignity vitally important. The book then goes on to consider the role of virtue ethics in driving an ideal of moral perfectionism. This, in turn, provides the basis for what a good society should be: a needs-based political theory. Providing an important guide through Ubuntu ethics as a moral system constructed in terms of moral perfectionism, it will be an important read for researchers of African philosophy, and of the philosophy of virtue ethics and moral perfectionism more generally.

    Introduction to Ubuntu ethics

    1. Ubuntu Ethics, Umuntu and Human Dignity

    2. Ubuntu Ethics, ubuntu and Human Dignity

    3. Ubuntu Ethics and Politics


    Motsamai Molefe is an Associate Professor, University of South Africa, School of Business Leadership, South Africa. He specializes in African philosophy, Ethics and Governance. He serves as the Chair of Department: Inter-Africa Trade and Investment. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the South African Journal of Philosophy. His recent monograph is African Ethics and Death: Moral Status and Human Dignity in Ubuntu Thinking (Routledge, 2023).