A Critique of Maduabuchi Dukor’s “Divination: A Science or an Art?”


In this paper, we examine Maduabuchi Dukor’s article titled “Divination: A Science or An Art?”, where he endeavours to demonstrate the character and nature of African science as well as explores the issue whether some practices in Africa can be accorded a scientific status. These tasks to explore and demonstrate the scientific nature of African practices led Maduabuchi Dukor to focus on divination as his working example; and specifically identified Ifa divination. In sum, Maduabuchi Dukor argues that African (Ifa) divination is or can be made a science through formalization and quantification. The main thrust of his argument is that with the aid of formalization and quantification, divination as practiced in Africa can qualify as a science. Our contention as regards this exercise by Maduabuchi Dukor runs from the beginning of the article through to the end of it. That is, our critique of the article concerns some suppositions employed to build up the argument that supports the claim that (Ifa) divination is a scientific enterprise. In other words, the premises and the conclusion so provided, we argue, are full of contestations; and it is these contestations that we showcased in this paper. It is important to make it clear that our contention has nothing to do with the thinking of Maduabuchi Dukor that Ifa divination is a science or can be made to be so; rather, our contention is the suppositions that he deployed to articulate his thought.

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Shitta-Bey, O. (2013) A Critique of Maduabuchi Dukor’s “Divination: A Science or an Art?”. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 77-80. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.31A012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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