Odera Oruka and the Right to a Human Minimum

An African Philosopher's Defense of Human Dignity and Environment
by Michael Kamau Mburu (Author)
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Odera Oruka and the Human Minimum: An African Philosopher's Defence of Human Dignity and Environment considers the work of Odera Oruka (1944–1995)—arguably one of the finest philosophers in Africa—by analyzing his major practical contribution to philosophy from the practical point of view. Odera Oruka is well known for his sage philosophy, but his "practical philosophy" has received less attention. This book situates Oruka within philosophical discourses around issues of justice, human rights, ethical duty, ecology, humanism, and politics. A thread that ties these questions together is Oruka's argument for the right to a human minimum, defined by three basic human needs: physical security, subsistence, and health care. Michael Kamau Mburu explores how these three taken together constitute the most basic and necessary (though not sufficient) right, and establishing this right is a means to ensuring human dignity, a condition for global justice. The book also expounds and applies some ethical values and philosophies from Africa—such as "ubuntu" or humanness—to clarify, defend, and promote human dignity without jeopardizing the environment.

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Publication date
June 21, 2022
Page count
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