BOOK REVIEW: A page in African ethics: A review of Bernard Matolino’s Personhood in African philosophy
One of the most difficult intellectual problems which humans have over the ages sought to resolve is the question of personal identity. And in disparate philosophical systems, including the African, reflections on personhood have sometimes taken an ethical or religious turn, or both. For this reason, Bernard Matolino’s 191-page book, Personhood in African philosophy is useful to philosophers, ethicists and religious thinkers. The fact that the book was published by a company which seeks to promote contemporary theology solidifies my observation. This book is well-written and the quality of the ideas expressed in it is good. It discusses many of the most important concerns and disputes over personhood – especially, regarding the ethical foundations of personhood – in African philosophical thought. It is rather surprising that this book has not been sufficiently reviewed by scholars or received adequate attention on the continent, although Matolino is a well-known South African philosopher.