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The notion of justice in Akan culture: How consequential is it?

HM Majeed


There appears to be no word in the Akan language that exclusively translates as “justice”. Nevertheless, this does not suggest the lack of a sense of justice in the Akan culture. Indeed, there are some Akan terms that adequately capture aspects of the key concerns of the concept of justice. This article undertakes a philosophical analysis of Akan expressions in connection with justice and emphasizes the practical, consequential character of the Akan understanding of justice. It also points out some challenges that the formalist conception of justice espoused by such a great philosopher as Kant is likely to face, and argues that justice is comprehensively understood if consequences – potential or real ones – are incorporated. In this regard, the Akan notion of justice will be tackled from both theoretical and practical angles, even though the focus will be on the latter.

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print ISSN: 2343-6530