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What do you need a whitefella’s education for? A yarn about Aboriginal philosophy

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Gower, L (2012) What do you need a whitefella’s education for? A yarn about Aboriginal philosophy. Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis explores two central questions: one, why does the field of Aboriginal philosophy remain largely unestablished?; and two, what shape might Aboriginal philosophy take? The first two chapters of the paper will address the first question. Value structures that are biased towards western philosophies will be identified as a key reason for the relative absence of Aboriginal philosophies compared to European and American philosophies taught and researched in Australia at present. A Nietzschean analysis of these value structures will demonstrate that the lack of value attributed to Aboriginal philosophy in Australia at present is unwarranted; it will also provide a platform from which a revaluation of competing narratives can take place. The exploration of a number of Aboriginal Dreaming stories will emphasise that such stories contain complex understandings of the world that are of equal value to any other philosophy the world has produced; neither ‘folk’ philosophy nor ‘myth’ nor any additional descriptions that suggest an inferior, simplistic worldview. The last chapter will address the second question by providing an exploratory step towards Aboriginal philosophy. The aim of this thesis is to provide a basis for further research into what Aboriginal philosophy or philosophies may look like, and the development of a dialogue between Aboriginal philosophy and mainstream philosophy as valued, respected, equal fields of intellectual knowledge.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Keywords: aboriginal philosophy, yarn, stories, myths
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2012 23:44
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:42
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/15077
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