Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

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African indigenous knowledge: scientific or unscientific?

AA Ogungbure


Human knowledge within Western culture is generally adjudged to have reached its apogee in terms of the study of the natural world and the development of technological equipment directed towards making life worth living. Meanwhile, the attainment of such a sophisticated status in Western scientific research has been facilitated by its experimental methodology which has made possible the transfer of knowledge from one generation to another. However, other non- Western forms of knowledge that lack these characteristics are regarded as “unscientific”. African indigenous knowledge, a victim of such censure, is seen as an unscientific accumulation of native wisdom, lacking in sophistication, logicality, coherence, and technicality which disqualifies it from being called “scientific” knowledge as we have it in Western culture. This paper seeks to argue that the rejection of African indigenous knowledge as “unscientific” knowledge stems from a false dichotomy.

Keywords: Africa, Indigenous Knowledge, Scientific, Epistemology and Culture.

AJOL African Journals Online