American Indian Thought: Philosophical Essays ed. by Anne Waters [Book Review]

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Abstract
American Indian Thought is a contemporary collection of twenty-two essays written by Indigenous persons with Western philosophical training, all attempting to formulate, and/or contribute to a sub-discipline of, a Native American Philosophy. The contributors come from diverse tribal, educational, philosophical, methodological, etc., backgrounds, and there is some tension among aspects of the collection, but what is more striking is the harmony and the singularity of the collection’s intent. Part of this singularity may derive from the solidarity among its authors. In addition to the fact that all belong to Indigenous tribes, there is also a striking sensitivity to the interconnection between distinct Western disciplines—particularly between philosophy and poetry. I take the latter to be a thread which can be strategically woven into the center of the anthology’s weave. In this book discussion, I aim to draw out the poetic aspects of five of the anthology’s essays, which deal with philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics, respectively. In this way, I hope to illuminate a poetic quality at the heart of the collection, and thus also of the burgeoning field of Native American or Indigenous philosophy in general. In the process, I will also consider ways in which Indigenous philosophy resonates with the Western philosophical traditions of phenomenology and American pragmatism. With the latter tradition in particular this connection has become more fully appreciated, especially through the work of Bruce Wilshire and Scott Pratt.
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Archival date: 2019-09-20
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2018-10-02

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