Cover

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CONTENTS

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

Since the origins of this book date back to 1973, the list of individuals and institutions that have made it possible is a long one. But they all deserve mention here, because without their contributions and support itwould never, and could never, have been written. I begin by expressing my enduring gratitude to the Central Research Committees of the Uni-...

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A Note on Translation

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p. xiii

A text such as this, which purports to discuss the abstract ideas of one culture (Yoruba) with the language of another (English), is well advised to say something explicit about the issues involved in translations between potentially radically different language cultures. Many of these theoretical and methodological questions, and the more practical problems that fol-...

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1 Ordinary Language and African Philosophy

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pp. 1-12

...analysis of ordinary, everyday language usage in non-Western, particularly African, cultures can prove to be of fundamental philosophicalvalue. The methodological inspiration for this kind of analysis derives, most obviously, from ordinary language philosophy as enunciated by anglophone philosophers during the mid–twentieth century. In my own...

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2 Moral Epistemology

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pp. 13-36

... one synonym for “epistemology” is the “theory of knowledge,” then the process by which people claim to “know ”someone’s moral character becomes an essential prerequisite to whatever moral values they thereafter attribute to that person (selfish, honorable, unreliable). KBW undertook the systematic study of Yoruba epistemological discourse. Ap-...

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3 Me, My Self, and My Destiny

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pp. 37-64

Narratives of African world views often claim that the distinction between as in the West. The African consciousness is said to be steeped in, suffused with, a supra-sensory sensitivity. This sensitivity is more crudely portrayed by some scholars as a diverse population of deities, spirits, and personified natural forces that sustain the irvitality because of their partici-...

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4 The Good and the Bad

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pp. 65-112

I have suggested that it is helpful to use epistemological concerns, asarticulated in discourse, as a wedge or key or vantage point with which toAs such the epistemological could amount to nothing more than an expository tool, a narrative device. It may provide a point of view from which to tell the story, but that needn’t mean it represents the bread than d...

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5 The Beautiful

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pp. 113-138

Use of the word “values” to describe normative beliefs in a culture is less fashionable these days. Perhaps it is because this term suggests the subjective and the relative, a ‘loose’ collection of qualities that are preferred that places a pronounced emphasis upon reasoning and evidence: “principles,” “criteria,” “standards,” “prescriptive judgments,” and so forth. I...

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6 Rationality, Individuality, Secularity, and the Proverbial

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pp. 139-148

Both in Africa and overseas, more conferences, either specifically on or including African philosophy, are taking place than ever before. This is as it should be if the substance of academic philosophy is to be both profitably applied to and enriched by the relatively neglected intellectual heritage of this remarkable subcontinent...

Appendix of Yoruba-Language Quotations

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pp. 149-174

Glossary of Yoruba Terms

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pp. 175-178

Bibliography

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pp. 179-198

Index

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pp. 199-201