2023 September

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18 Sep: Ephraim Amu Memorial Lecture 2023 –The Ethics of Nation-Building: Perspectives from The Legon Tradition of Philosophy

Nation-building is an effort by a State – a political and legal entity in international law – to attune its citizens to its pursuit of the ideals of nationhood. Nation-building, thus, signifies both a political and moral need. Political because of the aspiration to forge a political unit whose citizens think, act and live in unified pursuit of demarcated ideals – in the case of Ghana – of the ideals of freedom and justice. And moral because the ideals such as freedom and justice are moral, in as much as they seek to ensure the harmonious coexistence of Ghanaians; as well as their survival, interests and welfare. For these reasons, politics furthers the ends of ethics, and so the former ought to be guided by the latter. Thus, the nation-state of Ghana, as a political entity in pursuit of the ideal of nationhood, ought to assume a moral duty to work unceasingly toward achieving the common good of Ghanaians. This lecture enunciates and defends the thesis that philosophers who have been affiliated with the University of Ghana have produced a body of thought and a systematic approach to philosophy that merits the status of a tradition of philosophy; and that this tradition is exemplified by distinctive moral philosophical perspectives that are germane to the task of nation building in Ghana.