The African Meta-Medical Science of Ukpuho Ukpong (Soul Transplantation): A Philosophical Critique

International Journal of History and Philosophical Research 4 (1):49-60 (2016)
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The human soul has been believed to be immaterial and immortal element which exclusively inheres in the human body. Ukpugho ukpong (soul transplant) is an ancient meta-medical science of the Annang and Ibibio people, which is hinged on the belief that the human soul is transcendent and it exclusively inheres in proxy animal; that the soul is mortal, and can be surgically transplanted in the likeness of somatic tissue transplant. This study aimed at carrying out a philosophical critique of this belief in order to determine its significance as a metaphysical concept. It also aimed at critically examining the philosophical as well as sociological discussions on the subject of ukpuho ukpong. The study was discussed on the framework of African concept of mind which holds that the soul has dual nature, namely – the Active Principle and the Quiescent Counterpart. The paper debunks the doctrines of metempsychosis and transmigration as alien to African metaphysics. The method of ordinary language analysis was employed to analyze the concepts ukpong and mbukpong. In conclusion, the paper made the following observations that: the soul is transcendent but perishable substance, the mind has dual nature, the soul does not transmigrate and the science of ukpuho ukpong is not a pseudo-metaphysical concept but was founded on African logic of dualistic mind. The paper notes that the science of ukpuho ukpong is bugged with a number of unresolved philosophical problems. Despite that the paper discovered that the science of ukpuho ukpong can contribute significantly to meta-medicine and sustainable environmental values.

Author Profiles

Diana-Abasi Ibanga
University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria


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