Dr Motsamai Molefe recognized as a Y2 NRF Rated Researcher

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Dr Motsamai Molefe’s groundbreaking research on African ethics, applied ethics, social and political philosophy has earned him a National Research Foundation (NRF) Y2 Rating.

Dr Molefe is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Leadership Ethics in Africa (CLEA). 

According to the NRF, the rating of individuals is based primarily on the quality and impact of their research outputs over the past eight years, taking into consideration the evaluation made by local and international peers. The entity identifies researchers who count among the leaders in their fields of expertise and gives recognition to those who constantly produce high-quality research outputs.

“I am humbled by this achievement. It is an achievement that motivates me to work harder and aim to achieve more in the future,” he said.

Dr Molefe’s research largely focuses on African analytic philosophy. His areas of specialisation are African and Western ethics, Applied ethics (bioethics and environmental ethics), and Social and political philosophy. His work is extensively centered on the following moral-political concepts:

Human dignity; Needs;

Personhood and Ubuntu.

“The primary aim of my research revolves around the nature of the good (morality) as it applies to our individual and collective lives. On the one hand, I am asking: what is a good life? And, on the other, I am asking what constitutes a good society? My research is entirely normative and theoretical – I do what might rightly be described as normative moral and political philosophy,” said Dr Molefe.

Prior to his rating, Dr Molefe has published three monographs:

• ‘An African Philosophy of Personhood, Morality and Politics’ (2019, Palgrave Macmillan);

• ‘African Personhood and Applied Ethics’, (2020, NISC (PTY.Ltd)) and;

• ‘An African Ethics of Personhood and Bioethics: A Reflection on Abortion and Euthanasia’ (2020, Palgrave Macmillan).

As an NRF rated researcher he was appointed as the leading editor of the anthology ‘Towards an African Philosophy of Needs’, (2021, Palgrave Macmillan) and has a forthcoming monograph titled: ‘Partiality and Impartiality in African Philosophy’ (2021, Lexington books). “I have a contract with Springer for a manuscript: ‘African Philosophy and Human Dignity: A Very Short Introduction’. I am also working on two important anthologies one focusing on the work of Thad Metz and another focusing on the concept of Human dignity in African Philosophy.

According to him, some of his biggest achievements as a researcher includes being selected as a fellow of the prestigious African Humanities Programme (2018, 2019) and his fellowship with the Ubuntu Dialogues hosted by Stellenbosch University and Michigan University (2021). He is currently serving as an advisory board member of the Global Philosophy of Religion programme (2020 – 2023).

By Aretha Linden