Original Articles

Nietzsche and Ubuntu

Published in: South African Journal of Philosophy
Volume 26, issue 1, 2007 , pages: 90–102
DOI: 10.4314/sajpem.v26i1.31464
Author(s): Rebecca BamfordDepartment of Philosophy, USA

Abstract

Here I argue that aspects of Nietzsche’s thought may be productively compared with the role played by the concept of ubuntu in talk of cultural renaissance in South Africa. I show that Nietzsche respects and writes for humanity conceived of in a vital sense, thereby imagining a sense of authenticity that may prove significant to talk of cultural renaissance in South Africa. I question the view that Nietzsche is an individualist, drawing on debate between Conway (1990) and Gooding-Williams (2001) concerning interpretation of ‘The Dance-Song’ in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, as well as on the notion of reciprocity intrinsic to the concept of ubuntu (Shutte, 1993).

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