This 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 historically-constituted community; and, the non-essentialised mode, wherein our identities are open to Oters. 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.
In this paper, I discuss a possible moral difference between terrorism and war. The standard approach to this question relies on the doctrine of double effect (DDE). The DDE advocates believe that it matters morally whether certain harm is intentionally caused or whether it merely occurs as a foreseen but unintended side effect. I suggest that the DDE does not answer the question and that the moral difference between terrorism and war cannot be adequately captured as long as one focuses on moral justification or permissibility. The critical difference, it is claimed, is not that war is sometimes morally right or permissible, but that terrorism and war do not display the same attitude toward innocent people. The distinction between permissibility and blameworthiness also enables us to see why some wars, such as those covered by the name “war on terror”, should be morally distinguished from terrorism.
Scholars have often underlined the influence of medieval theological voluntarism in Thomas Hobbes’ thought. The article aims to identify the similarities with some theses of medieval ethical voluntarism in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan. The evolution of the concept of good is considered starting with the ethical thought of John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham. The concept of good understood as individual advantage and self-preservation comes to Hobbes probably through Scotus’ influence in Francisco Suárez. In addition, the approaches to moral obligation and to good and evil seem to be the Ockham’s legacy to the Hobbesian moral and political thought.
The Principle of Utility can be regarded as the keystone of the Benthamite ethical and political thought. In fact, it is at the core of Bentham’s two major works Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation and Deontology. At the same time, the question has been raised about its foundation. This paper is aimed at showing that this foundation can be found in the elenctic defense he proposes at the beginning of his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.