The Possibility of an Indigenous Philosophy: A Latin American Perspective

American Philosophical Quarterly 29 (4):373 - 380 (1992)
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The controversy over the possibility of an indigenous Latin American Philosophy might be understood as dealing with an older question about the nature of philosophy itself: Is the nature of philosophy purely speculative, practical, or both? For the sake of argument, I am using the term “Latin American Philosophy” in a normative sense as referring to social and political philosophy written by Latin Americans to change oppressive conditions and policies affecting their societies. I am assuming that liberation philosophers fall under the above description. Unlike liberationists, I argue that universalist philosophers can present illuminating and hence persuasive arguments for their position. Of course, liberationists might argue that I am begging the question. But if they could successfully demonstrate that I am doing so, they would be compelled to appeal to at least some nonarbitrary principle of adjudication. If they were to do so, they would be supporting rather than undermining my argument in favor of a universalist conception of philosophy.

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Vicente Medina
Seton Hall University


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