Botho/Ubuntu paradigm as cognitive justice in psychology

Maximus Monaheng Sefotho, Moeketsi Letseka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of Botho/Ubuntu emerges as a balancing paradigm poised to drive cognitive justice in psychological discourses. A paradigm is a universally recognized scientific model that represents a worldview of the nature of the world. There are enduring concerns about the privileging of Western European paradigms, ontologies, epistemologies, and axiologies over their African counterparts. In this article, we present the Botho/Ubuntu paradigm as a strong contender for the promotion, and humanization of epistemologies in psychology. The 59th annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) in Washington, DC in 2015, whose theme was “Ubuntu! Imagining a Humanist Education Globally,” as well as the World Council of Comparative Education Societies’ (WCCES) recent book, Comparative Education for Global Citizenship, Peace and Shared Living through Ubuntu, are examples through which Ubuntu began to emerge as a paradigm poised to deliver cognitive and epistemic justice in the area such as psychology. We use Critical African Psychology as a lens through which we interrogate cognitive injustice. We conclude by demonstrating that Botho/Ubuntu paradigm might serve as a driver of cognitive justice in psychology and makes inroads into major discourses driven by African scholars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-253
Number of pages21
JournalSchool Psychology International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Botho/Ubuntu
  • cognitive justice
  • paradigm
  • psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental Health


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