Personhood And Epistemic Interactivism In Indigenous Esan Thought

ABSTRACT

Epistemic interactivism, an aspect of the epistemology of representation, is a cognitive

intercourse between the subject and person-object of knowledge that underlies the conception of

a person in Esan thought. Earlier studies separated the subject from the object of knowledge, and

classified persons and non-persons as object of knowledge. This separation ignored the cognitive

and moral values of persons, thereby creating a dehumanised relationship between the subject

and person-object of knowledge. This study, therefore, employed epistemic interactivism in reconstructing

the relationship between the subject and person-object of knowledge. This is with a

view to re-establishing the cognitive and moral values that distinguish persons from non-persons

upon which personhood is grounded in Esan thought.

This study adopted Hegel‟s dialectics which unified the subject and object of knowledge at the

“Absolute”. Major works on epistemology, specifically Hegel‟s The Phenomenology of Mind

(TPM), Descartes‟ A Discourse on Method (ADM), Locke‟s An Essay Concerning Human

Understanding (ECHU), and works on Esan culture, particularly Okojie‟s Words of Wisdom

from Ishan Elders (WWIE), and Esan Native Laws and Customs (ENLC), were purposively

selected. These works articulated the traditional theories of representation, personhood and

epistemic interactivism. The conceptual method was used to clarify concepts such as

representation, personhood and epistemic interactivism. Critical analysis was employed to

explain the dehumanising problems in the traditional theories of representation, and the reconstructive

method was used to re-establish the cognitive and moral values of a person in

epistemic interactivism.

Traditional theories of representation separated subject and person-object of knowledge,

grouping person-object and non-person-object (ADM, ECHU). This separation ignored the

cognitive and moral values of persons, creating propositional knowledge that dehumanised the

relationship between the subject and person-object of knowledge (ADM), and the possible unity

of the subject and object of knowledge at the “Absolute” (TPM). However, Esan culture

distinguishes persons from non-persons, bonding the subject and person-object of knowledge to

arrive at an epistemic intercourse as captured by the Esan dictum: ai yole abha len oria (we

never say we do not know someone) (ENLC, WWIE). Critical interrogation revealed that

conventional theories of representation were influenced by the materialism of Western science

that described persons and non-persons impersonally, ignoring the human values of cognition

and morality. These cognitive and moral values formed the basis of personhood in Esan thought,

such that the subject engages in an epistemic intercourse with the person-object of knowledge in

a way that sustains the dignity of persons, creating the grounds for a humane relationship

between the subject and person-object of knowledge.

Conventional theories of representation separated the subject and person-object of knowledge,

ignoring the cognitive and moral values of persons and creating a dehumanised relationship

between the subject and person-object of knowledge. Epistemic interactivism of Esan thought,

which unified the subject and person-object of knowledge on cognitive and moral grounds,

provides adequate basis for personhood and resolving the dehumanised relationship between the

subject and person-object of knowledge.

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APA

IDEMUDIA, O (2021). Personhood And Epistemic Interactivism In Indigenous Esan Thought. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/personhood-and-epistemic-interactivism-in-indigenous-esan-thought-1

MLA 8th

IDEMUDIA, ODIA "Personhood And Epistemic Interactivism In Indigenous Esan Thought" Afribary. Afribary, 12 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/personhood-and-epistemic-interactivism-in-indigenous-esan-thought-1. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

MLA7

IDEMUDIA, ODIA . "Personhood And Epistemic Interactivism In Indigenous Esan Thought". Afribary, Afribary, 12 Apr. 2021. Web. 30 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/personhood-and-epistemic-interactivism-in-indigenous-esan-thought-1 >.

Chicago

IDEMUDIA, ODIA . "Personhood And Epistemic Interactivism In Indigenous Esan Thought" Afribary (2021). Accessed May 30, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/personhood-and-epistemic-interactivism-in-indigenous-esan-thought-1