Addiction in the Light of African Values: Undermining Vitality and Community

  • Thaddeus MetzEmail author


This chapter addresses the question of what makes addiction morally problematic, and seeks to answer it by drawing on values salient in the sub-Saharan African philosophical tradition. Specifically, it appeals to life-force and communal relationship, each of which African philosophers have at times advanced as a foundational value, and spells out how addiction, or at least salient instances of it, could be viewed as unethical for flouting them. The chapter seeks to argue that each of these characteristically African values grounds an independent and plausible account of that. It concludes that both vitalism and communalism merit consideration as rivals to accounts that Western ethicists would typically make, according to which addiction is immoral insofar as it degrades rationality or autonomy, or causes pain or dissatisfaction.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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