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Yoruba epistemology

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-Z005-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved October 05, 2022, from

Article Summary

The Yoruba of west Africa have articulated systematic criteria that are used to assign varying degrees of epistemic certainty to experience. What one views with one’s own eyes and experiences at first-hand (ìmò) are judged as reliable ways of knowing the truth, providing there is conscious comprehension of what one is perceiving. Only propositions describing such experiences are regarded as true, or òótó. Less reliable is information received via books, other people, the media and the oral tradition. If such comparatively second-hand information, or ìgbàgbó, can be experimentally tested and accordingly verified, it has the potential to become ìmò.If verification cannot be attested, discussion, analysis and good judgment are essential tools for distinguishing the more reliable information from the less reliable.

Citing this article:
Hallen, Barry. Yoruba epistemology, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-Z005-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2022 Routledge.

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