Leadership and Ethics (Co-Convenor with Eve Annecke)
Johan Hattingh is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Stellenbosch. Based at this university since 1980 he has extensive experience in the teaching of Practical Logic and Critical Thinking Skills, Philosophy of Culture, Hermeneutics, Continental Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Poststructuralist Thought, in particular that of Michel Foucault. His Master’s degree was about Martin Heidegger’s critical conception of technology, while he focussed in his Doctoral dissertation on the philosophical problem of the relationship between art and morality.
In the last ten years he specialized in Applied Ethics, Ideology Critique, Development Ethics, and particularly in Environmental Ethics. Since 1992 he has been Head of the Unit for Environmental Ethics at the University of Stellenbosch, and from 1998 he was Visiting Professor in Development Ethics in a Master’s Programme in Development Studies of the Graduate School of Leadership in the Faculty of Management Sciences at the University of the North. With more than forty academic publications to his credit, and about 70 papers at academic conferences, he finds it fascinating to work at the interface of theory and practice in the analysis of value disputes in the context of policy formulation, environmental decision-making and environmental management. In this regard, he follows and further develops the case study method in Applied Ethics.
Examples of some of these case studies can be found in his publications on Shell’s oil extraction operations in Ogoniland in Nigeria, the location of an incinerator for the disposal of the toxic waste of an ammunitions factory in the vicinity of poor neighbourhoods in the Western Cape, or the value issues involved in decision-making about the question whether South Africa should extend its nuclear-based electricity generation capacity or not. (These publications can be downloaded from his web site)
On post-graduate level Johan Hattingh teaches Environmental Ethics in two Master’s Programmes at the University of Stellenbosch. Within the framework of a taught M.Phil. Programme in Applied Ethics in the Dapertment of Philosophy, Environmental Ethics is one of the areas of specialization in the second year of study. Environmental Ethics is also a core module in a multi-disciplinary Master’s Programme in which six departments from four faculties participate. He has acted as supervisor or co-supervisor of 7 completed Doctoral dissertations and 27 completed Master’s theses. He is currently supervising the research projects of 4 Doctoral and 18 Master’s students, some of whom hail from as far as Zimbabwe, Kenya and Chile. The holder of numerous research grants from the National Research Foundation of South Africa, Johan and his colleague from Cardiff University, Robin Attfield, received generous funding from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, in collaboration with the British Adacemy, for a research project in 2001 and 2002 on the concept of sustainable development within the context of developing countries. While 2001 was devoted to a conceptual analysis of the concepts of ecological sustainability and sustainable development, the work in 2002 was devoted to exploring the relationship between sustainable development, sustainable livelihoods and land reform in South Africa.
In his current research, Johan focuses on the problem of integrating ethical considerations in environmental decision-making, and he further envisages to explore indigenous knowledge systems with a view to stimulate the development of an explicit home-grown environmental ethics appropriate to conditions and concerns in Southern Africa. Holder of the 1996 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from the University of Stellenbosch, he also is:
- Africa representative of the International Society for Environmental Ethics
- Member of the Editorial Board of Environmental Ethics
- Full member of AccountAbility: The UK-based Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability
- Editor of the section on Environmental Ethics of the newly established Southern African Journal of Environmental Education, Ethics and Action
- Co-editor and co-author of Environmental Education, Ethics and Action, a monograph of the Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa (EEASA) that was written for the WSSD in Johannesburg in August 2002