HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 22 no. 1 (2021)

YORUBA PHILOSOPHY OF EXISTENCE, IWA (CHARACTER) AND CONTEMPORARY SOCIO-POLITICAL ORDER

Olatunji A. Oyeshile

 

Abstract:

What roles does Iwa [character in Yoruba belief] play in Yoruba philosophy of existence, and how can these roles help provide a solution to challenges of contemporary socio-political order, not only in Africa but also across the globe? Both are the daunting questions this paper sets out to examine. The foundation of Yoruba philosophy of existence is predicated mainly on the moral pivot called iwa. It is on iwa, which has both ontological and ethical etymologies that the meaning of life is based. Iwa regulates the social relations among people, and adherence to it within the Yoruba cultural matrix provides answers to complex questions of existence. It is submitted that the moral foundation of Yoruba philosophy of existence, as dictated by iwa, is a veritable basis for engendering normative principles for addressing problems in contemporary society as it harmonizes disparate interests for the common good, thereby reconciling the self with the other.