Personal Identity in African Metaphysics

Leke Adeofe

in African Philosophy

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195114409
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785827 | DOI:
 Personal Identity in African Metaphysics

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This essay explores the issues involved in determining what it means to be a person within the Yoruba metaphysical context. Yoruba thought is characterized as having tripartite conceptions of persons, and does not fall prey to criticisms that have plagued Western conceptions of persons. Variants of the continuity and persistence theories associated with Kant, Descartes, and Hume are discussed in light of Yoruba conceptions of persons. It is argued that Yoruba conceptual language provides an accurate conception of human existence that is sufficient for clarifying personal identity concerns within Western culture.

Keywords: personal identity; African metaphysics; Yoruba; person; continuity; persistence; Western tradition

Chapter.  6150 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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