International Journal of African Society, Cultures and Traditions (IJASCT)

EA Journals


Philosophical Issues in Yoruba Proverbs (Published)

This paper is a philosophical analysis of Yoruba proverbs. It argues that Yoruba proverbs have philosophical issues that cut across epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, aesthetics and so on. Western philosophy has basically been classified into metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. In the same vein, Yoruba proverbs though, oral in nature, when critically analyze points to basic philosophy- to metaphysics, to ethics to epistemology and to socio-political character of the Yoruba people.  An inquiry into Yoruba proverbs gives an insight to various philosophical issues. It also substantiates the fact that despite the absence of writing tradition, certain traditional thoughts justify the existence of African philosophy.  Thus, like various issues of concern in Western philosophy intends, Yoruba proverbs provide philosophical means by which, unity, peaceful co-existence and good virtue can be promoted in the individual and this will lead to the attainment of social order in the society.

Keywords: Orality and Yoruba tradition, Philosophy, Proverbs


As human beings, the first social group by which we are identified is culture. Being a way of life that brings out the uniqueness in a people, it is meant to be progressive. Philosophy is a tool that is necessarily needed to fine-tune culture in order to raise it to certain level of objectivity. Notwithstanding the influence of western civilization on Africa, critically analyzing certain concepts, we aver that the preservation of culture is hinged on progressive intellectual discourse, lest our cultures face threat of extinction and remains a dormant tradition.


Keywords: Culture, Dialectic, Philosophy, Reflective, Tradition

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