Philosophical Papers and Review

  • Abbreviation: Philos. Papers Rev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-663X
  • DOI: 10.5897/PPR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 44

Article in Press

Between theory and logic: Can linguistic competency be linked to Reincarnation?


  •  Received: 19 June 2018
  •  Accepted: 19 June 2018
The word "reincarnation" derives from Latin, literally meaning, "entering the flesh again". The Greek equivalent metempsychosis (μετεμψύχωσις) roughly corresponds to the common English phrase "transmigration of the soul" and also usually connotes reincarnation after death, as either human, animal, though emphasising the continuity of the soul, not the flesh. Alulo uwa according to the Igbo view is a widely acclaimed socio-cultural belief, that the human spirit inhabits successive physical bodies to accomplish a desire in an individual’s former life. It is widely believed that after death, the dead person’s soul is reborn into a new physical human being, thereby making it possible for the person to accomplish his/her past dreams and strong wishes as a new person. At different times and places, this doctrine or belief is manifested both in Greek philosophy, Hinduism, Buddhism and in African traditional religion (the Dogons of Mali, the Hausas and the Ibos of Nigeria). In this paper, which is a true-life story, Maama (of Igbo origin) is believed to be the reincarnation of her paternal grandmother whose greatest wish in her past life was to master ‘foreign language’. Little wonder Maama’s mastery of French language raised a lot of questions on the validity of reincarnation as a theory, and redefines competence in language from a psycholingu

Keywords: reincarnation, linguistic competence, plurilingualism