Etemeyaske Vpokat (Living Together Peacefully): How the Muscogee Concept of Harmony Can Provide a Structure to Morality

In Colin Marshall (ed.), Comparative Metaethics: Neglected Perspectives on the Foundations of Morality. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 81-101 (2019)
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Drawing primarily from the cultural traditions and beliefs of the Muscogee peoples, I will provide an account of how harmony can play a foundational role in providing a structure to morality. In the process of providing this account, I will begin (§2) by defining two key Muscogee concepts: ‘energy’ (§2.1) and ‘harmony’ (§2.2). I will also explain how the relationship between these two concepts can provide a structure for morality. Then I will explain the conditions that make promoting harmony a normative principle (§3) by explaining why promoting harmony is relevant to humans (§3.1) as well as a providing a prudential reason to promote harmony (§3.2). Finally, I will explain how harmony can be achieved (§4) by explaining two examples that highlight the importance of non-moral knowledge in promoting harmony. I will then conclude with some remarks about how the Muscogee concept of harmony relates to some contemporary metaethical concerns (§5).

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Joseph Len Miller
West Chester University


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