HIST 419L/ANTH 469L/AMST 498F/PHIL 428A/ENGL 4790



Take-home Exam #3


EXAMS ARE DUE electronically at 11:59pm, the night of Friday, 5/18. NO Late papers (I mean it. You know who you are.)


Compose a 6-8 page essay (double-spaced, 12 point font, at roughly 250 words/page) addressing TWO of the following questions.  Support your answers with quotations from the text and/or paraphrasings with textual citations.


(1) Evo Morales

(a) Evo Morales distinguishes between vivir bien (“to live well,” “living the right way” or “living appropriately”) on the one hand, and vivir mejor (“to live better”), on the other. What does he mean by each of these? How do they differ from one another? How does Morales envision constructing a “society of vivir bien”? Explain.


(b) How does vivir bien accord with Morales’ and Aymara’s peoples conceptions of Pachamama, reciprocity, and complementarity? Explain.


(c) How does vivir bien accord with Morales’ and the Aymara’s peoples conception of democracy? Explain.


(d) How do Aymara theorists and activists such as Evo Morales and Marcelo Fernández Osco see themselves as pursuing an indigenous and post-colonial mode of development, one that offers native Andean peoples an alternative to European models of development such as Marxism and capitalism (which they see as being cut from the same European philosophical cloth)?


(2) Linda Tuhiwai Smith 

How does does indigenous Maori research differ from positivism? How does Smith propose that indigenous peoples generally, and Maori people specifically, go about decolonizing social science research concerning themselves?  What kinds of aims, values, interests and methods govern European imperial and colonial positivist research programs, and what kinds of aims, values, interests, and methods govern indigenous peoples’ own decolonizing research concerning themselves? Discuss. Make sure to define your terms.


(3) Enrique Dussel

What are the defining features of philosophy conducted at the imperial center? And where is the imperial center located geographically speaking? What are the defining features of philosophy conducted in the periphery, by peripheral thinkers? Where is the periphery geographically speaking? Why does philosophy of liberation emerge from the periphery but not from the center?


What does liberation philosophy, a philosophy that emerges from the periphery offer that philosophy from the center cannot offer, and to whom? In short, why does any of this matter, according to Dussel?


What is ontology? Why does Dussel see ontology as something negative?

Why does ontology characterize philosophy of the center but not philosophy of the periphery? Who enjoys ontological Being and who lacks ontological Being? What difference does it make one way or the other, according to Dussel? So what?


What is the relationship between European modernity, on the one hand, and conquest, colonialism, slavery in Latin America?


(4) Oyèrónké Oyéwùmí

Oyéwùmí declares, “There were no women in Yorubaland prior to European contact.” What can this possibly mean? Explain. If there were no women – or men, for that matter — in Yorubaland, what then were there? In denying that women exist in pre-contact Yorubaland, Oyéwùmí sees herself as challenging what Western assumptions regarding gender, exactly? How was authority assigned in pre-contact Yoruba culture?  How do many African-authored, would-be post-colonial African studies unwittingly reproduce European colonial categories when studying Yorubaland? Explain. What does she see decolonizing Yoruba thought and culture as involving?


(5) Compose a question of your own and answer it (subject to instructor’s approval).

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