Native American Chaos Theory and The Politics of Difference

Authored by: Shay Welch

The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138795921
eBook ISBN: 9781315758152
Adobe ISBN:


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Native American philosophy raises feminist philosophical questions and offers a new perspective for rethinking longstanding feminist disputes. I focus in this chapter on ways Native American metaphysics can contribute to a question in feminist political philosophy. I choose this approach over a focus on Native American feminisms for three reasons. First, what Western women call “feminist” is just the core set of Native American philosophical values. I see feminism as a construct invented to redress atrocities committed by and through the Western worldview. Second, Native American women would prefer that Western feminists live up to their own values; the failure of Western feminists to put their money where their mouth is, is the reason why many Native women, like many other women of color, do not identify as feminist (Anderson 2010; Mayer 2007). Third, the more Western feminism interacts with Native American philosophy, the better chance Native American philosophers have to revive, substantiate, and legitimate their worldview in the discipline and in the world.

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