Vol. 6 No.2 (2021)

Epistemic Deference and African Indigenous Knowledge Production

Francis Kayode Fabidun
Department of Philosophy
St Albert the Great Major Seminary, Idowu-Offonran village, Abeokuta
francisfabidun@gmail.com

Cyril-Mary Pius Olatunji
Department of Philosophy
Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko
cyrilbukkyp@yahoo.com

Abstract

Rationale of Study -It is frequent to find in African indigenous knowledge production, instances of giving credence to the belief of another other than oneself, and accepting such belief as justification of one’s own epistemic claim. The argument pursued in this paper is that each epoch of the African has a reservoir of indigenous knowledge that is capable of meeting the demand of the continent at every point in time. The significance of doing this is to complement existing literature on African epistemology generally, making it logically coherent to conclude that epistemic deference is more relevant than has been acknowledged.

Methodology -The paper has employed critical analysis and hermeneutic interpretation of theoretical data and data from history and culture of Yoruba (African) people.

Findings -The paper argued in strong terms against the adoption of all pieces of acclaimed knowledge on the ground that since such were not conceived with Africa in mind, they will not yield what is desirably African. The position maintained in the paper is similar to the coherence theory of knowledge. It is a position that knowing does not take place until an idea had been conquered, internalised and coheres with one’s system and previously acquired knowledge on the level of the individual.

Implications -This paper helps towards making the complementarity between truth, knowledge and epistemic difference a holistic organic system deeply and uniquely situated in African ontology.

Originality -The paper has employed critical analysis and hermeneutic interpretation of theoretical data and data from history and culture.

Keywords

Indigenous knowledge, epistemic deference, knowledge production, Yoruba