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Title:The house of the 'inu': keys to the structure of a Yoruba theory of the self
Authors:Hallen, BarryISNI
Sodipo, J. OlubiISNI
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy (ISSN 1011-226X)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Nigeria
West Africa
Philosophy, Psychology
Yoruba (African people)
Abstract:In the course of a research project concerned with Yoruba thought based at the University of Ife (Nigeria) in the years 1976 to 1988, one particular 'onsgn' (literally 'master of medicine', but usually translated as 'herbalist', 'traditional healer' or 'native doctor') formulated an analogy in which he compared the 'self' to a kind of house, and the various capacities of the self to occupants lodged in different locked rooms within it. In interpreting this analogy, the authors suggest that the Yoruba-language concept of 'in' or the 'in' as used in the analogy is probably most appropriately translated in English as the psychological 'self'. They analyse the relationships between the 'in' and its 'occupants' - 'opolo' (intellect), 'ogbn' (wisdom), 'iw' (character), 'sr' (patience), 'm' (spirit or vital element) and 'okn' (heart or mind). They also suggest that the 'oj in' ('inside' eye) and, more importantly, the 'iy in' (the 'inside' understanding), may be interpreted as equivalents of self-understanding. In conclusion, they explore the philosophical implications of possible correlations between certain bodily organs and specific psychological abilities. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French (p. 2).