An African Theory of Moral Conflict Resolution: A Kwesi Wiredu’s Paradigmatic Model


This paper interrogates Kwesi Wiredu's theory of "Ethical Consensus" as a method of moral conflict resolution in indigenous African societies. It is an exercise in critical and comparative philosophy. Conflict is inevitable,based on differences in values, attitudes and belief systems. The African societies are today,bedeviled with moral crises and conflicts,characterized by group criminality,widespread violation of human rights, social and political mistrust,value conflict and corruption. Wiredu posits his theory of Ethical Consensus as a way out. He attempts a formulation of an indigenous ethical theory that will be adequate to resolve the moral conflicts of African societies,which originated because Africans took over Western value system hook-line and sticker without critical reflection and without situating these values within an African socio-cultural paradigm. Wiredu reflected and explored the ethical concepts of his own people -the Akan of Ghana. We apply Wiredu's theory to modernity and conclude that human interest and welfare,not just human reason (as Immanuel Kant wants us to believe) is the basis of an African moral conflict resolution. Hence we posit a humanistic theory of conflict resolution which complements Wiredu's.

Author Information
Godwin Azenabor, University of Lagos, Nigeria

Paper Information
Conference: NACAH2014
Stream: Humanities - Philosophy

This paper is part of the NACAH2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon