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Through transatlantic contact and subsequent debates, the “humanity” of Amerindians was first established for Europeans according to the dictates of philosophical anthropology and theology. This hierarchical and colonial anthropology is problematic precisely because it normalizes a singular, indigenous way of “being human” as the only correct and universal formulation of the “human being,” i.e., Man. Consequently, people that live outside this constructed definition are exposed to dispossession, dehumanization, and genocide because they are deemed outside the bounds of Mankind. Through a three-part analysis, this work will examine Bartolomé de Las Casas’ categorization of Amerindians though his formulation of “barbarianism,” compare this taxonomy with Orson Scott Card’s “Hierarchy of Foreignness,” and finally argue that Indigenous traditions of thought—as seen in “grounded normativity” and “place-thought”—allow not only for the dissolution of colonial anthropologies but also permit for a teleological suspension of Man.
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