Seminar by Prof. Ramose: Our daily bread through agriculture and 'development': the voice of ubu-ntu

Published on
February 17, 2023

On January 30, 2023, Prof. Mogobe Ramose (Professor of Philosophy at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa) provided the WASS SPICE seminar 'Our daily bread through agriculture and 'development': the voice of ubu-ntu'.

The seminar was well-visited with an estimated number of about 150 participants in-class (room C64, Leeuwenborch) and another group of people online. The recordings can be watched via this link.

12:00 – 13:00 Lecture by Prof Ramose
13:00 – 13:30 Interaction with the audience

Birds do not hover eternally in the air. They land on Mother Earth to feed, to sleep and to build nests to nurture their young ones. It seems that none of them ever poses the question why is it that they are birds at all. Also, it appears that no one of them ever wonders why they are wherever they may be on Mother Earth. Their existence is that as contingent as that of all human beings. They come into being without their choice and they retreat to wherever nobody knows, it might even be to nowhere. Aviary logic directs the life of birds. They feed from what they never planted, they drink from the wells that they never fill up, they breathe the air freely and enjoy the warmth of the sun without having made any contribution to it. For them, land - taken together with water, air and the sun - which they never added to Mother Earth, is life. When they feed, one or more of them attempts to chase away the others as if the food and the land on which it is scattered belongs to them. Human beings appear to be directed also by aviary logic as if the selfish gene is implanted in us. Agriculture is for all yet, 'development' continues to ensure that only some shall be fed when the rest goes hungry. The voice of ubu-ntu is questioning this obstruction on ethical grounds.

A gift for prof. Mogobe Ramose
During the interactive session, the audience created a gift for Prof Ramose, by writing messages on post-its. The messages have been transcribed and turned into a little booklet for Prof. Ramose.

photo_a gift for prof Ramose.jpg

Birgit Boogaard (KTI) and Leon Pijnenburg (PHI), Section Philosophy, Innovation, Communication, and Education (SPICE).
Photos by Juul van der Laan