Hierarchies of Foreignness: The Writing of Man in the New World

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Dana Miranda


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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How to Cite
Miranda, D. (2023). Hierarchies of Foreignness: The Writing of Man in the New World. Journal of World Philosophies, 6(2), 100–114. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/jwp/article/view/4919
Author Biography

Dana Miranda, University of Massachusetts Boston

Dana Francisco Miranda is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Fellow for the Applied Ethics Center at the University of Massachusetts Boston, as well as a Research Associate for the Philosophy Department at the University of Connecticut. His research is in political philosophy, Africana philosophy, phenomenology, and psychosocial studies. His current book manuscript, “The Coloniality of Happiness,” investigates the philosophical significance of suicide, depression, and wellbeing for members of the African Diaspora. He also currently serves as the Secretary of Digital Outreach & Chair of Architectonics for the Caribbean Philosophical Association.