How Native American Philosophy Is Unique From Eurocentric Philosophy

1602 Words Dec 7th, 2016 7 Pages
Native Americans are still to this day facing the struggle of finding their way into relevance in western academia, a battle that descends from the systematic racism, imperialistic colonialism, assimilative and even outright genocidal history of Western invasion of the Americas. Native Americans are completely capable of making important contributions at the academic level but face resistance along this path. This is especially apparent in the branch of philosophy. In the western world, philosophy is largely dominated by Eurocentric philosophical outlooks and concepts, with little room for Indigenous philosophies. These philosophies can contribute various distinct ideas to western academia, which although stereotyped as primitive and outdated, have proved effective over thousands of years and in the modern world as well. Epistemology serves as one significant example of how Native American Philosophy is unique from Eurocentric philosophy. This paper covers the basic methods and views on epistemology among Indigenous Americans, with a focus on the Hopi and Navajo tribes of the American Southwest, as well as the Osage tribe.
Epistemology is a philosophical study that ultimately asks these questions: What is knowledge, how is it attained, and how is it justified? Many indigenous peoples create, maintain, and express knowledge in accordance with a moral framework that follows the interconnectedness of all things that create their identity as a people. Peoplehood is illustrated…

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