Post your alternate quiz questions, discussion questions, comments, & links...
1. What cultural dichotomy exists in philosophy?
2. Rather than see God as transcendent ("outside the world") or immanent ("inside the world"), how do indigenous philosophies understand God?
3. What's one of Miguel van der Velden's reasons for why we should study indigenous philosophies?
4. Although they are very diverse, indigenous communities are commonly driven by what?
5. Scott Pratt thinks we should also recognize what about the origin of American philosophy?
6. According to Hegel, in what two places did human history/progress begin and end?
10. What "evidence" was the primary basis for judgments in the Salem witch trials?
11. Did most people in New England believe in witches, during the infamous Salem witch trials?
12. What's Protestantism's enduring influence?
- Do you think it's possible to construct a personal philosophy that combines elements of very different traditions, such as western Socratic rationalism with eastern Confucianism or Buddhism? Or should a person philosophize in a way that conforms more strictly to the particular tradition in which he/she was born? Can there be a cosmopolitan philosophy that transcends particular traditions without ignorning them?
- Does it make more sense to you to think of God as separate from the world, or coextensive with it? Or does it make more sense to you to not invoke any divine concept to explain or interpret the world?
- Do some otherwise-enlightened and progressive westerners who oppose the economic exploitation of the less-industrially-developed world still participate, perhaps unwittingly, in forms of "cultural colonialism" that exploit indigenous peoples intellectually?
- John Dewey philosophized about "natural piety," recognizing our shared inter-dependence on one another and on nature at large. How does a "naturally pious" person express that piety, in terms of lifestyle choices and policy preferences etc.?
- What traits of personal character, if any, do you think mirror the American character? Or is there even such a thing as a national character? Is it safe to generalize about what makes anyone "so American"?
- Should someone apologize on the nation's behalf to native Americans for the shameful way in which European settlers robbed them of their land, infected them with fatal disease, villified them as Satanic, etc. etc.? Should we be talking about reparations for indigenous peoples everywhere?
- Have there been other sorts of "witch trials" in American history than just those in Salem?
- Is it possible, as a Protestant, to renounce all supernaturalism?
- Have you ever been on a "walking tour" of the sort Leslie Stephen praises?
- What do you think Stephen means when he calls walking "the natural recreation for the [person] who wants to turn [his intellect] out to play"? 20
- If walking saved JS Mill from becoming "a mere smoke-dried pedant," does that imply that all or most sedentary scholars are pedantic? 24
- COMMENT: "I respect the cyclist, but he is enslaved by his machine." 31
- COMMENT: "None of us can always be thinking over the riddle of the universe..." 37
- Add your DQs
Miguel van der Velden invites us to consider the philosophical ideas of the world’s many Indigenous communities.
One of the main goals of philosophy is to ask why we have this life and how we’re meant to live it. As such, it has been the backbone of many cultures throughout the world and history, has influenced entire nations, and has shaped the present. One could argue that in everything we do there is a philosophy underlying the action. This raises a great concern: if this is true, and philosophy plays such a fundamental role in society, then what great flaw in the philosophy of the modern world is causing us to destroy the environment, turn a blind eye to oppression, and subject ourselves to a political-economic system that for many of us simply doesn’t fit?
Recent times have seen the rising popularity in the West of Eastern philosophies and texts such as the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Dao De Ching, and other greats. A dichotomy has bubbled up between Western and Eastern philosophy, and many continue to argue about how these two relate to each other. But neither tradition has been able to stop wars or the rampant destruction of our ecosystem. So either philosophy doesn’t play as large a role in our society as it might or we are missing something fundamental, a philosophy that brings it all together, including the contradictions between the East and the West... (continues at Philosophy Now)