Medicine and Health in Africa

PIs: Alex Broadbent, Zinhle Mncube, Likhwa Ncube and Ben Smart

Gifford (2011:1) describes the philosophy of medicine as a branch of philosophy that “encompasses the topics connected to the philosophy of science that arise in reflection upon medical science and practice.” That is, theorists in the philosophy of medicine are concerned with questions such as, what is health? How should we understand the concept of disease? How should we assess medical evidence? In the Medicine and Health in Africa project, we look at these and other, often overlooked, types of questions in the philosophy of medicine with perspectives, concepts and insights informed by our African context.


Indigenous Knowledge Systems

PIs: Mongane Serote and Likhwa Ncube

This project concerns developing an IKS Portal. To initiate it, Mongane and Likhwa need to embark on verifying and validating what they have called the IKS categories. These are: IKs social issues, institutions, technologies, biodiversity and bioprospecting and lastly, the liberation processes. When Mongane was CEO of Freedom Park, he initiated and commissioned the emergence of an IKS Incubation and Innovation Unit concept which he thinks should be further developed. It is Mongane's intention to also use that as a reference point.


Rationality and Power

PIs: Chad Harris, Veli Mitova and Likhwa Ncube

This project focuses on two bundles of normative issues in epistemology – rationality and epistemic power. The rationality strand of the project compares Scientific rationality with Indigneous Knowledge Systems. In particular, it interrogates the notion that there is an inherent tension between traditional and contemporary African knowledge and the scientific worldview. The epistemic injustice strand of the project aims at connecting the dots of central issues in three current debates in epistemology – responsibility, ignorance, and epistemic injustice.