The Concept of Consciousness in Akan Philosophical Thought

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University of Ghana


I have made the attempt, in this thesis, to understand the concept of consciousness in Akan metaphysics. The analysis of the concept of consciousness has taken centre stage in most philosophical discussions in ancient and in modem times, but philosophers have failed to agree on the subject due to their own different views on the subject. This is particularly the case in Akan metaphysics where few literary materials exist on the subject. It is my aim in this thesis to explore the possibility of understanding consciousness as an amene (brain) process or as an activity of the okra (soul) in Akan metaphysics. With the understanding that a person in Akan conception is composed of not only the honam (body),of which the amene is part, and okra but also the sunsum. we shall attempt to also understand consciousness as an activity or a function of the sunsum, a component that is not part of what a person is in other conceptions of a person, for instance, in the West. In addition to the examination of consciousness and ascertaining whether consciousness is a physical or a non-physical or quasi-physical activity in Akan metaphysics, other pertinent notions related to the analysis of consciousness, the metaphysical significance of Akan terms for consciousness and a person (a subject of which consciousness is a feature) ,will also be discussed. The thesis will also discuss a possible relation between consciousness and personal identity in the context of the Akan belief in life after death. The relevance of this discussion is to inquire if consciousness has any definitive role to play in the determination of a person's identity in Akan metaphysics.


MPhil. Philosophy


Akan, Consciousness, Philosophical