Ethics as ideals in practice

TitleEthics as ideals in practice
Publication TypeOther
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsA. Bochow, Th. Kirsch, and R.A. van Dijk
Secondary TitleAfrica : journal of the International African Institute
Date Published2017///
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsethics, Sub-Saharan Africa

Taking account of historical and sociocultural specificities, this Special Issue features in-depth case studies of ethics as ideals in practice from several countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Botswana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania). In doing so, the contributions combine a presentation of ethnographic findings with a discussion of a new conceptual approach for a practice-oriented anthropological study of 'ordinary ethics' (Lambek 2010). In this Special Issue, we argue for a rather fluid notion of ethics that entails people's convictions, value judgements and sentiments on how to live a morally good and/or just life.We suggest that the making and unmaking of ethical fields takes place within the context of state politics, the influence of international organizations and the emergence of new publics and local NGOs that provide people with new ideas about what is 'right' and 'wrong'. We show that these ethical fields emerge in dialectical processes between what we call the 'implication' and 'explication' of ethics.


Special issue.


Citation Key9330