A Re-Interpretation of African Philosophical Idea of Man and the Universe: The Yoruba Example


The concern of this paper is to argue against Maduabuchi Dukor’s conception of African philosophical ideas of man, universe and God as“theistic humanism”. Dukor’s submission is an anti-thesis of the claims by many pioneer scholars in African philosophy who claimed that if Africans do not live in a religious universe perhaps one can affirm that their universe is theistic. But indeed the Africans’ perceptions and attitude to life in their various manifestations reveal an idealistic metaphysical orientation without an attenuation of humanistic elements. It is argued in this paper that Dukor’s philosophical idea of reality in the African context though contributes to knowledge, it is in sharp contrast to African metaphysical theories such as Placide Temple’s theory of vital forces, Olubi Sodipo’s theory of mystical causality, Dagogo Idoniboye’s theory of spiritism among others. Even Sophie Oluwole, who argues that the Yoruba idea of morality is humanistic, still concludes that in moral issues the gods act as agent of sanction. In situating the African idea of reality in context, the Yoruba example is used in this paper with a view to establishing, contrary to Dukor’s“theistic humanism”; that reality among the Yoruba is better construed as“humanistic theism”.

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Akande, M. (2013). A Re-Interpretation of African Philosophical Idea of Man and the Universe: The Yoruba Example. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 140-145. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.31A023.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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