n South African Journal of Philosophy = Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Wysbegeerte - The historical development of the written discourses on

Volume 30, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-0136
  • E-ISSN: 2073-4867
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In this article, I demonstrate that the term '' has frequently appeared in writing since at least 1846. I also analyse changes in how has been defined in written sources in the period 1846 to 2011. The analysis shows that in written sources published prior to 1950, it appears that is always defined as a human quality. At different stages during the second half of the 1900s, some authors began to define more broadly: definitions included as African humanism, a philosophy, an ethic, and as a worldview. Furthermore, my findings indicate that it was during the period from 1993 to 1995 that the Nguni proverb '' (often translated as 'a person is a person through other persons') was used for the first time to describe what is. Most authors today refer to the proverb when describing , irrespective of whether they consider to be a human quality, African humanism, a philosophy, an ethic, or a worldview.

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