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PHIL 2102 Week 11 Class 1.docx

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PHIL 2103
Jay Drydyk

Week 11 Class 1: Human Rights and African Culture Challenge • Donnelly: No, HR is a Western concept Response – let’s investigate: • Akan culture (Western Africa) • Muslim values • Asian values Donnelly’s Argument • Compare and contrast: o The concept of human rights o Traditional African entitlements • Show they are inconsistent • Conclude: the concept of human rights is absent from traditional African cultures o Human rights share some properties with other rights  Entitlements belonging to individual  Trumps  Bases for further claims  Controlled by right holders o Human Rights have some other properties that are distinctive:  Inherent in individuals  Not based on achievement, membership, or other social status  Grounded in human nature o Traditional African entitlements  In African socialites, rights were assigned on the basis of communal membership, family, status or achievement o Two are inconsistent  Traditional African entitlements lack some distinctive properties of human rights → Inherent in individuals → Not based on achievement, membership ect. Akan Culture • Are Akan entitlements • Inherent individuals • Independent of achievement, membership or social status • Grounded in human nature • Parts of a Person: o Life Principle – Okra  Speak of god  Source of equal intristic value  Entitles each to equal measure of respect o Blood Principle – Mogya  Maternal  Basis of lineage o Personality Principle – Sunsum  Indirectly from father  Way of being, individuality o Three elements together  Constitute a person  In a community  With a system of mutual obligations ad rights Akan Obligations • Regarding magya – nurturing, meeting needs • Regarding sunsum – moral develop, education, career preparation • Regarding okra – everyone deserves the protection of these community obligations o When a human being descends upon the earth he lands in a town o A human being is not a palm tree (independent) o A human being needs help Akan
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