Death is a factual reality that every human being must encounter. However one fundamental question runs through the minds of men, “what happens after death?” when we die is that the end of our existence or is there a continuous existence in another form?
There have been various stories about events that seem to suggest that even after death though the body decays, the soul of the person leaves on. This immortality of the soul is either explained as in the case of most Africans, through ancestor-hood or through a transmigration of the soul of the deceased into another person often times a new born child (reincarnation).There are even some tales in extreme cases of people still having some form of contact with the ghosts of these deceased or even cases where the deceased is said to live another different life somewhere far from his previous life existence and then suddenly disappears when the secret of his death in a previous life is exposed. We however will not delve into this in this work as this does not form the crux of our concern in this work.
This work aims at focusing on the idea of reincarnation especially in yoruba metaphysical thought. We will examine the idea of reincarnation as conceived in western thought as well as other parts of the world in comparison to the African and narrowing down, the yoruba conception of reincarnation.
We will attempt to expose if the yoruba see reincarnation in the same light as their western counterpart or if reincarnation exists at all in yoruba metaphysics. It is also paramount to point out the various implications that arise from the belief in reincarnation and further pose questions as to the validity of reincarnation claims.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Title Page Certification ii Dedication iii Acknowledgements iv Table of Contents v Introduction vi
CHAPTER ONE: IS THERE A YORUBA PHILOSOPHY
1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 What is Philosophy? 2
1.2 Philosophy and culture 5
1.3 On the existence of Yoruba Philosophy 9
CHAPTER TWO: RE INCARNATION IN YORUBA METAPHYSICS
2.0 Introduction 11
2.1 The concept of reincarnation 12
2.2 Yoruba concept of reincarnation 16
2.3 The basis for the belief in reincarnation amongst the Yoruba 18
2.4 Western conception of reincarnation vis a vis Yoruba conception of Reincarnation 22
CHAPTER THREE: PHILOSOPHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE BELIEF IN REINCARNATION
3.1 Introduction 25
3.2 Moral implications of the belief in reincarnation 26
3.3 Religious implications of reincarnation 28
3.4 Psychological implications of reincarnation 30
3.5 Philosophical implications of the belief in reincarnation 32
3.6 Social implications of the belief in reincarnation 35
3.7 Conclusion 37
CHAPTER FOUR: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION 38
BIBLIOGRAPHY 46A Philosophical Exposition of the Concept of Reincarnation in Yoruba Metaphysics