Introducing Benda Hofmeyr

Benda Hofmeyr is a philosopher currently affiliated to the Department of Philosophy, University of Pretoria, South Africa, where she was awarded her 10-year long service award in 2019. She lived and worked in the Netherlands while completing her doctoral studies and postdoctoral research. She still maintains strong collaborative ties with the Radboud University Nijmegen where she obtained her doctoral degree in Philosophy on the work of Foucault and Levinas. Her research interests fall within the broad ambit of contemorary Continental philosophy (especially thinkers following in the wake of Heidegger with emphasis  on post-structuralism and phenomenology) with an enduring facination for the inextricable entanglement of the ethical and the political.

In her present research, she is reflecting on the entanglement of European and non-Western, especially post-colonial African philosophy and the possibility of a dialogue across these divergent yet fundamentally intertwined traditions of thought.

Benda is a passionate lecturer and thrives on engaging with her students. Interested to know what Benda's  postgraduate students think about her? Read her 2019 Honours student's feedback & comments .

 Complete CV in UP Format

Google Scholar Profile




* Please Contact me via my website rather than through one of the above profiles, since I don't get around to visiting or updating them as often as I would like. With so many platforms out there, I hope that you have found your way here via one of them or via Google and everything that you were looking for. Please feel free to Contact me should you have any questions or are in need of any text not available under Publications or Download. The Search function at the top of the page might also help you to find what you are looking for. 



Postgraduate Graduation Showcase


On 6 September 2017, John Doyle (MD) was awarded his PhD in Philosophy prepared under Benda's supervision, with Prof Alex Antonites serving as co-supervisor.

In his thesis, What does it mean to be human? Humanness, personhood and the Transhumanist Movement, John addresses various aspects of the question, “What does it mean to be human?”. He approaches the issue from biological, philosophical and ethical perspectives. The emphasis falls on the philosophical and ethical implications of the transhumanist movement. Transhumanism is an intellectual movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making use of widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. The contribution of the thesis lies in its critical consideration of the far-reaching philosophical implications of transhumanism on how we conceive of personhood. The fact that the meaning of being human has always inextricably been linked to mortality has implications for life-enhancing and life-prolonging technologies, such as pharmacological interventions and human cryonic suspension, which have the potential of fundamentally altering our philosophical understanding of the human condition. Following a review of bioethics, the notion of personhood was examined in philosophical, historical and biological contexts. The ethical ramifications of expected future developments in neuropharmacology, the concept of brain death and the eventual possibility of human cryonic suspension were critically investigated. In the final instance, the study considered the “bioconservative” criticisms levelled against transhumanism, concluding that these lack credibility, since they often  rely on emotion and intuition rather than evidence, logic and reason.


MORE: At the end of 2016, Darryl Wardle & Josias Tembo completed their Master's degress in Philosophy under Benda's supervision. Both students were awarded their degrees cum laude during the Autumn graduation ceremony in 2017.

FOCUS AREAS: Darryl's study focused on existential meaning in Sartre and Nancy, whereas Josias critically reflected on the theoretical purchase of the concept of African identity.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT: After have spent 6 months in the Netherlands at the Radboud University Nijmegen to conduct research for his D Phil thesis's research proposal, Darryl endeavours to graduate with a joint degree from both the University of Pretoria & the Radboud University Nijmegen. Benda is supervising him locally whereas Prof Gert-Jan van der Heijden is supervising him at the RU. 

Josias has been faring equally well! After have started his doctoral studies at UP under Benda's supervision, he was awarded a highly competitive four-year doctoral position in the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at RU, where he now works as an AIO [Assistent in Opleiding/Assistant in Training] under the supervision of Dr Anya Topolski. 

Needless to say Benda is enormously proud of their achievements!



Something Rank About Rankings - Mail & Gaurdian


Mail & Gaurdian 1 to 7 September 2017


Ulrike Kistner, Leonhard Praeg & Benda Hofmeyr

The only useful thing about university rankings is that they illuminate something essential about the contradictions that accompany the process of globalising neoliberal governance.

Universities have been enmeshed in this process ever since they started thinking of themselves as institutions struggling to retain fidelity to time and place. Read more...


Recent & Ongoing


Honours Module in Philosophy FIL 712 PART II 2017

 Genealogy, History, Origin: Uses & Disadvantages for Life


Nietzsche and later Foucault introduced genealogy as a certain critical methodology opposed to an understanding of history in terms of progress, development or teleology. It also contests history conceived as that which is capable of uncovering the origin of something as if its truth is to be found at its birth (a genetic fallacy is committed when one appeals to the origins of an idea in order to make a claim about the truth of the idea). What happens to history and its idols – ‘origin’ and ‘telos’ when subjected to the genealogist’s hammer?


Click to read more ...