Syllabus: Native American Philosophy

The American Philosophical Association Newsletter on American Indians in Philosophy (2001)

Abstract
This course will study philosophy indigenous to North America through an examination of native and nonnative historical and contemporary oratory, argument, letters, addresses, and texts. From the influence of Aristotle on Native Americans during the 16th century Spanish debates at Valladolid, to the contemporary writings of Vine Deloria, Jr., we will study the interplay of native and nonnative philosophical concepts upon one another. The currently popular thesis that contemporary American philosophy has been influenced by its indigenist American roots will be examined. We will also consider whether indigenist and European thought merely collided against one another without complementary influence, or had an impact, one upon the other. Finally, we will undergo an investigation as to whether there might be influences of African, Native, and European American philosophical thought on one another. It covers topics of personhood, naturalism, cultural difference, free will, sovereign nations, indigenism, origins, cosmogony, power, ethics, preservation, maintenance of native values, phenomenology of Indian otherness, spirituality, and difference, and religious and political world views. Texts are by Wub-E-Ke-Niew, Deloria,Hanke, and Warrior.
Keywords indigenism  phenomenology  difference  free will  sovereignty  nations  origins  personhood  cosmogony  values
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