Abstract

This article takes its inspiration from Jacques Derrida to consider how deconstructionism can be done inadvertently. This possibility is underscored when one considers how a very significant phrase in Ifá texts— “A díá fún . . .” has been construed away from its transliteration as “Ifá divination was performed for . . .” by each of Oluwole and Karenga. Oluwole justifies her “deconstruction” on the grounds that such transliteration does not capture the philosophic cogs gravid within Ifá verses. Karenga, through his Kawaida methodology, “improvises” to suit the ethical inferences he seeks to deduce out of the corpus. On this showing, this research infers that each of these scholars have engaged in a reflective activity that passes, on Derrida’s reading, as deconstruction, unbeknownst to them. Would they admit that their intellectual drudgeries amount to postmodern philosophy? This is the primary research question that this disquisition interrogates.

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