Ms Catherine Botha

BA(UP), Hons(UP, MA(UP), PhD in progress (Nijmegen)
Lecturer in Philosophy
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus: B-Ring 604
Tel: +27 (0)11 559 3403
Fax: +27 (0)11 559 3326

Catherine joined UJ Philosophy in 2009, after lecturing at Philosophy at the University of Pretoria for many years. She has taught modules on both undergraduate and postgraduate level, including modules in logic and critical thinking, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, hermeneutics, African philosophy, contemporary European philosophy and the Philosophy of Art amongst others. She has also acted as external examiner at undergraduate and master’s levels at various South African tertriary institutions, including the University of Pretoria, UNISA and the University of the Free State.

She acts on the editorial board of the South African-based journal Phronimon, and is the secretary of the South African Centre for Phenomenology. She has acted as external referee for journals such asActa AcademicaImage and Text, and the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology. She has read over 14 papers at various national and international conferences, and completed invited presentations at various workshops and fora in South Africa and abroad.

Her areas of specialisation are hermeneutics and the history of philosophy, especially the work of Heidegger and Nietzsche. The title of her PhD thesis for which she is registered at the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) is ‘Heidegger, Nietzsche and the Question of Value’.  
Catherine is most interested in aesthetics, and her current work focuses especially on questions in the philosophy of dance. She is a registered ballet teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance in London, and is passionate about theatre, dance and the arts.

Prof Alex Broadbent

BA(Hons)(Cantab), MPhil(UCL), PhD(Cantab), GDL(BPP)
Head of Philosophy, Associate Professor
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus: B-Ring 603a
Tel: +27 (0)11 559 2727
Fax: +27 (0)11 559 3326

Alex’s research interests lie in metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of science broadly construed. Much of Alex’s work concerns philosophical problems posed by causation. Alex thinks that, at least sometimes, the way we answer questions in metaphysics can have practical consequences; and conversely, that practical problems can give rise to philosophical problems which might otherwise go unnoticed. Seeking to dentify points of contact between conceptual and practical spheres is a guiding principle of Alex’s research.

As well as his work in metaphysics, Alex has philosophical interests in the science of epidemiology (which is concerned with public health), and in the philosophy of law. He is currently working on a project to establish Philosophy of Epidemiology as a subdiscipline within the philosophy of science. You can access Alex's blog on the philosophy of epidemiology at is also a member of the International Philosophy of Medicine Roundtable, and edits a Philosophy of Epidemiology section in the journal Preventive Medicine.

Before joining UJ in March 2011, Alex spent much of his previous academic life at Cambridge, where he studied and later lectured, and where he remains a Research Associate. He also studied at University College London, has been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard, and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna.

Links Profile - includes preprints and draft papers

Prof H.P.P. (Hennie) Lötter

BTh, Lis Teol, MA (US), DLitt et Phil (RAU),PhD (UP)
Professor of Philosophy
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus: B-Ring 604a
Tel: +27 (0)11 559 2734
Fax: +27 (0)11 559 3326

Prof Lötter's research interests are in political philosophy and philosophy of science. He has just completed a long-term project on justice and poverty.

Prof Thaddeus Metz

BA(Iowa), MA(Cornell), PhD (Cornell)
Professor (Research Focus)
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus: B-Ring 605
Tel: +27 (0) 11 559 3997
Fax: +27 (0)11 559 3326

​Prof Metz hails from the United States, where he received his PhD from Cornell University in 1997. He relocated to South Africa in 2004, when he joined the Philosophy Department at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2009, he became Professor (Research Focus) at the University of Johannesburg.

Prof Metz has published about 95 scholarly papers in value theory and in moral, political and legal philosophy (abstracts for which can be found here). Most of these are articles and book chapters that address one of three major topics: the meaning of life, the African ethic of ubuntu, and Kantian approaches to justice.

With regard to life's meaning, Prof Metz has been mainly interested in determining a plausible theory of what all the meaningful aspects of a life have in common as distinct from the meaningless ones.

In the context of ubuntu, Prof Metz has been developing a principle of morally right action informed by sub-Saharan values, a principle that grounds all particular duties, that provides concrete guidance about how to resolve moral problems, and that differs in attractive ways from dominant Western principles. He has also applied this African moral theory to several contemporary debates, e.g., the morality of the death penalty, the purpose of higher education, the justification of affirmative action, and the duties of medical professionals.

With respect to Kantian justice, Prof Metz has articulated and defended dignity-based analyses of a variety of contemporary social issues, such as: which actions the state should punish, why it ought to punish offenders, how a state should distribute wealth, how it should test its citizens for HIV, how it ought to ration scarce medical resources, and when a state may interfere in the affairs of others states.

Recent awards for Metz’s research include: an “A” rating from the South African National Research Foundation (NRF), the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award: Outstanding Researcher of the Year from the University of Johannesburg (UJ), research fellowships from the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), and the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Award from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).

Prof Rafael Winkler

BA (UNL), MA (Warwick), PhD (Warwick)
Associate Professor in Philosophy
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus: B-Ring 603
Tel: +27 (0)11 559 4244
Fax: +27 (0)11 559 3326

Rafael received his PhD from the University of Warwick in 2007. He obtained thereafter a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Dundee. After holding temporary teaching posts at various universities in the UK (Nottingham University, Nottingham Trent University, The Open University), Rafael took up a permanent post at UJ in July 2012.

Rafael’s research interests include 19th and 20th century European thought with a particular focus on the phenomenological tradition and German idealism. Rafael also has a research and teaching interest in contemporary epistemology and in early modern philosophy.
Rafael's current project, titled Heidegger and the Question of Philosophy, focuses on Heidegger’s encounter with key thinkers in the history of modern philosophy, including Dilthey, Husserl, Kant, Hegel, Hölderlin, and Nietzsche. The underlying theme of his project is Heidegger’s meta-philosophical interrogation of the possibility of philosophy and its connection with human life. Rafael's aim is to articulate and defend Heidegger’s basic insight that philosophy, the work of thought as the thought of being, has its origin in the reflexive dimension of human life.

In the news

11 September 2013

Prof Alex Broadbent's work on Philosophy of Epidemiology was discussed in the Times and Star, and he was interviewed live on Talk 702's The Midday Report.

Alex has also written about the experience in his Philosophy of Epidemiology blog:

16 August 2013

Prof Thaddeus Metz asks in The Age whether the government's response to Marikana displays much Ubuntu, and answers "No":

19 April 2013

Prof Thaddeus Metz puts pressure on Wouter Basson's lawyers:

9 November 2012

Prof Thaddeus Metz features in a piece on wisdom in the Mail and Guardian:

17 August 2010

The Department as a whole and in particular Prof Thaddeus Metz feature in a piece on the training of black postgraduates, the meaning of life, and more:​

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