Caribbean Journal of Philosophy, Vol 12, No 1 (2020)

Knowledge, Beliefs and Values

Segun Ogungbemi


The remarkable elements that reveal a distinctive nature of humans from all other beings are basically knowledge, beliefs and values. The three constituent elements, knowledge, beliefs and values, are epistemologically and ethically integrated into human creative activities, which form the basis of human culture. While this is so, the ability to preserve culture although it is not static, yet it has instrumental, intrinsic, and enduring appreciation that is embedded in values. It is my interest in this paper to engage in the epistemic discourse of knowledge, beliefs and values as power inherent in human creative activities. The ability of humans to exhibit this is also manifested and demonstrated in the work of art that understands knowledge in terms of acquaintance and competence which has contributed to human understanding of African beliefs and values as treasures of African genius. In this regard, this paper further examines the notion of African work of art as power of invocation and power of virtuousity which by its very nature constitutes positive values. Let me say from the onset that knowledge and beliefs as explicated in this paper are creative values that nurture and guide human actions. My primary or original objective in this paper was to limit my concentration on knowledge as acquaintance and competence as related to African work of art but some remarkable events that will be explained later made me to expand the scope of the paper to include other cognitive and scientific aspects of human beliefs and values. This must not be taken as a paper that dwells on scientific knowledge. That is beyond the scope of my focus in this paper. Now let me begin with the analysis of my focus on the three concepts of this paper namely, knowledge, beliefs and values.

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