Skip to main content

Dr Clarton Fambisai Mangadza

LUCAS / LARI Virtual Research Fellow 2022
South Africa
Arts, Humanities and Cultures
School of PRHS

Clarton will be a LAHRI/LUCAS Virtual Visiting Fellow between March 2022 and June 2022.

In the course of his Fellowship he will be developing his project Rethinking existing underlying United Nations (UN) modes of discourse in gender equality: An African philosophical perspective. Whilst associated with the University of Leeds, he will be collaborating with Leeds academic, Heather Logue (School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science)

Project outline:

United Nations (UN) discourse of so-called “global challenges”: e.g. human rights, gender equality, democracy, and so on; have failed to champion a case for African notions of personhood. I approach this project from a non-reductive physicalist (NRP) perspective and engage African philosophical thinking to interrogate how UN discourse in gender equality is approached, addressed, and articulated.

Firstly, I advocate for an in-depth interrogation of such apathetic behaviour towards African notions. Secondly, my aim is to find out to what extent does current UN discourse related to gender equality and human rights presuppose Western notions of personhood? My concern is on underlying assumptions/nuances that are, individualistic: Cartesian influence; as well as psychological accounts of personhood/personal identity, arising from Lockean influence that link personhood very closely to certain kinds of mental states. Thirdly, I explore an African-centred alternative. Kwasi Wiredu’s (1987) interpreted Akan concept of mind: a non-substance view that gives a unified account of personhood away from the individualistic and psychological theories of Descartes and Locke, respectively. In my view, African notions of personhood as alternatives to underlying discourses in gender equality debates within the UN ought to be championed with a transformative agenda in mind