Why Give Up the Unknown? And How?

Main Article Content

Carl Mika
Carwyn Jones
W. Julian Korab-Karpowicz
Ocean Ripeka Mercier
Helen Verran


Carl Mika claims in the symposium’s lead essay that we need more myth today. In fact, an “unscientific” attitude can potentially reorient the alienation from the world. For Mika, a philosophical mātauranga Māori incorporates such a way of being in the world. Through it, an unmediated and co-existent relationship with the world can be built up. Some of Mika’s co-symposiasts invite Mika to substantiate aspects about this bold claim. Carwyn Jones nudges Mika to discuss the parallels between tikanga Māori—a system that seeks to incorporate Māori law—and the common-law tradition that is adopted in New Zealand today. W. Julian Korab-Karpowicz agrees with Mika that to understand the world through an indifferent “scientific” investigation is to understand the world only partially, while the Māori scientist Ocean Ripeka Mercier illustrates how she seeks to develop a third space in her work that reconciles the fear of the unknown with the propensity to control the world through knowing. Helen Verran invites Mika to think about whether, and how, his understanding of a philosophical mātauranga Māori can help to facilitate the cultivation of a naturalism that is able to generate a cosmopolitics in New Zealand.

Article Details

How to Cite
Mika, C., Jones, C. ., Korab-Karpowicz, W. J., Mercier, O. R., & Verran, H. (2022). Why Give Up the Unknown? And How?. Journal of World Philosophies, 7(1), 101–144. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/jwp/article/view/5485
Author Biographies

Carl Mika, University of Canterbury

Carl Mika is Māori of the Tuhourangi iwi, and is a professor in Aotahi: School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, University of Canterbury. He has written several articles and chapters as well as books relating to Māori and Indigenous holistic philosophies, with a particular focus on their revitalization within a colonized reality.

Carl has experience teaching and researching in education and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), the law, and global studies. He has held an adjunct professorship at RMIT and is involved in international projects that engage with Indigenous philosophy, including Sámi mánná jurddavázzin–Sámi Children as Thought Herders (Swedish Research Council); and Understanding Indigenous ethics and wholism within academic and Aboriginal community research settings (SSHRC, Canada).

Carwyn Jones, Te Wānanga o Raukawa

Dr. Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu) is Pūkenga Matua (Lead Academic) in the Ahunga Tikanga (Māori Laws and Philosophy) programme at Te Wānanga o Raukawa and an Honorary Adjunct Professor in Te Kawa a Māui (School of Māori Studies) at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author of New Treaty, New Tradition: Reconciling New Zealand and Māori Law (UBC Press, 2016) and co-editor of the Māori Law Review and AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples.

W. Julian Korab-Karpowicz, University of Opole

Julian Korab-Karpowicz received his doctorate from the University of Oxford and has taught at many universities across the world. He is the author of several books including Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus: New Directions for the Future Development of Humankind (2017). Korab-Karpowicz’s articles have been published by The Review of Metaphysics, The Monist, Philosophy Today, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Modern Age, and other journals. Currently he is a professor at the University of Opole and Lady Davis visiting professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the recipient of the Personality of the Year Poland 2020 Award in Science.

Ocean Ripeka Mercier, Victoria University of Wellington

Ocean Ripeka Mercier (Ngāti Porou) is an Associate Professor in Te Kawa a Māui, the School of Māori Studies, at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. She teaches into the school’s Resource Management Program and her research applies mātauranga alongside sciences in the context of mapping groundwater, protecting iwi/tribal interests in marine and coastal environments, and pest control to protect native species.

Helen Verran, Charles Darwin University

Helen Verran is University Professorial Fellow at the Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Australia. Previously she taught History and Philosophy of Science at University of Melbourne. She began puzzling about how to connect in good faith with those who, metaphysically speaking, are committed to knowing otherwise when she began teaching at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ilè Ifé Nigeria. Later this work was pursued with Yolngu Aboriginal Australians who own lands in Australia’s northeast Arnhem Land.