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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Internalism and the rationality of African metaphysical beliefs
Author:Ikuenobe, PolycarpISNI
Year:2000
Periodical:African Philosophy
Volume:13
Issue:2
Pages:125-142
Language:English
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:philosophy
magic
Abstract:There is an internalist rational basis for African metaphysical belief in witchcraft, which has been considered irrational. Internalism about rationality says that rationality is a function of the properties of beliefs such as coherence to which one has internal access. The grounds for the rationality of the belief in witchcraft cannot be undercut by scientific standards. The scientific method may, in some sense, support the plausible internalist rational basis for such belief. Witchcraft is a metaphysical notion that the mind is spiritual, with the power to bring about causal efficacy in physical phenomena. Africans' belief in withcraft raises the philosophical questions of whether there is a rational basis for speculative metaphysics and whether there are metaphysical foundations for holding beliefs. The foundation for the belief in witchcraft, which is the possibility of a disembodied mind, and the ability of the mind to act in a non-physical capacity, is rational and logically coherent. We should not write off the belief in witchcraft, because the people who believe in it are neither logically incoherent nor irrational. Notes, ref.
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