Elements of African Bioethics in a Western Frame
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Elements of African Bioethics in a Western Frame

Godfrey B. Tangwa

For millennia, Africans have lived on the African continent, in close contact with the diversities of nature: floral, faunal and human; and in so doing they have developed cultures, values, attitudes and perspectives to the problems, ethical and otherwise, that have arisen from the existential pressures of their situation. The problem, however, is that such values and perspectives do not necessarily form coherent ethical theories. Theory-making is a second order activity requiring a certain amount of leisure and comfort which the existential conditions of life on the African continent have not easily permitted in the retrospect-able past. The elements of African bioethics are to be found in its cultural values, traditions, customs and practices. These are research-able, highlight-able and usable by those who would. The bioethical problems of our current global existential situation are such that all possible solutions, no matter their provenance, ought to be tried. Western culture has far too loud a voice combined with deaf ears in contemporary ethical discourse. But it should never be forgotten that other cultures have their own word to say and that alternative values, ways of thinking and practices exist, and attempt should always be made to bring these out and to highlight them, if they could possibly contribute to the satisfactory solution of a global problem.

This book brings together various papers on bioethical issues and problems, written at different times, some previously published, each of which attempts to bring out some African elements, perspective or concern. The African narrative style predominates through these essays but their framing conforms, more or less, to the Western paradigm for presenting academic issues.

ISBN 9789956578153 | 210 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2010 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback

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About the Author

Godfrey B. Tangwa

Godfrey B. Tangwa was born in Nso, North West Region of Cameroon. He attended secondary school at St. Joseph’s College Sasse, Buea, and successively educated at the Nigerian universities of Nsukka, Ife and Ibadan. He lectured at the University of Ife, from 1978-1986, and joined the University of Yaounde in 1987 as a Senior Lecturer. He is currently Professor at the Department of Philosophy which he headed from 2004 to 2008. He is a member of the International Association of Bioethics, has served on its Board of Directors from 1997 to 2003, and was Vice-President of the Association from 1999-2001. He is a member of several academic associations and of many scientific and ethics review committees around the world. He is also a prolific writer and his publications in academic journals, magazines and newspapers span a wide range of issues.

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