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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Truth and ethics in African thought
Author:Eze, EmmanuelISNI
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy (ISSN 1011-226X)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
African religions
Philosophy, Psychology
Value systems
Yoruba (African people)
Abstract:When the nature of reason and of truth is questioned, the nature of moral knowledge becomes a major philosophical issue. With this in mind, the author looks at moral thought from the perspective of 'Ifa', a system - or rather a 'way' - of interpretation and understanding inscribed in the religious-hermeneutic tradition of the Yoruba of Nigeria, as well as of many other peoples in Africa. As a process of inquiry, 'Ifa' has a definite epistemological structure, which may be summarized as follows: the way of truth is the way of interpretation, truth is a dialogical event, knowledge is not 'dis-interested', truth is not a set of general principia, applicable to all and everyone in every situation, and truth is never gained totally or once and for all. The author argues that the form of rationality embodied in 'Ifa' is particularly appropriate for moral inquiry. By revealing truth as a form of coming to awareness, 'Ifa' provides a hermeneutic framework within which understanding is at once ontological, cognitive/conceptual and ethical. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French. Replies to this article by Tunde Bewaji and by Frank U. Uyanne are published in: Quest, vol. 8, no. 1 (1994), p. 76-89, 90-96.