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Indigenous and Popular Thinking in América by Rodolfo Kusch

Originally published in Mexico in 1970s, Indigenous and Popular Thinking in América is the first book by the Argentine philosopher Rodolfo Kusch (1922–79) to be translated into English. At its core is a binary created by colonization and the devaluation of indigenous practices and cosmologies: an opposition between the technologies and rationalities of European modernity and the popular mode of thinking deeply tied to Indian ways of knowing and being. This study reflects Kusch's attempt to immerse himself in indigenous ways of thinking. At first glance, his methodology resembles ethnography. He speaks with and observes indigenous people and mestizos in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. He questions them about their agricultural practices and economic decisions; he watches rituals; he interviews shamans; he describes the spatial arrangement ant the contents of shrines, altars, and temples; and he reproduces diagrams of archaeological sites, which he then interprets at length. Yet Kusch does not present a "them" to a putative "us". Instead, he offers entry into a way of thinking and being that does not follow the logic or fit into the categories of Western social science and philosophy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822346418
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
Publication date: 04/07/2010
Series: Latin America Otherwise
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 279,837
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Rodolfo Kusch studied philosophy at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and taught for many years at the Universidad de Salta in northern Argentina. He is the author of numerous books, including Esbozo de una antropología filosófica Americana, Geocultura del Hombre Americano, América Profunda, and la Seducción de la Barbarie.

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