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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 15, Issue 3/4, 2005

Sources and New Dreams of Western Wisdom

Brian Seitz
Pages 147-159
DOI: 10.5840/du2005153/453

The Who Has Lost Something but Knows Where to Find It
Iroquois “Law” and the Withdrawal of the Origin

Inspired by Nietzsche’s insistence that we exploit actual history and Foucault’s extrapolation of Nietzsche’s project, my explication of the logic of originary withdrawal is centered around an analysis of an historical account of origin; here, we turn to the image of the original lawgiver, as depicted in the Iroquois foundation narrative, the narrative that serves to constitute their political community. This analysis helps to cultivate an alternative understanding of political necessity by starting with the traces of a material discourse from the past and, more important, about the past rather than starting with theory.

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