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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 25, 2000

Kurt Torell, Alan G. Marshall
Pages 459-469

Socrates Meets Two Coyotes

In this paper, we compare one Nez Perce myth, namely lepuu ’Iceyeeye, or “Two Coyotes,” to some passages from Plato’s dialogues. Our point is to show how “Two Coyotes,” like Plato’s dialogues, serves as an instrument of philosophical reflection by engaging the listener/reader in aporia and paradox that motivate multiple reflections on the One, the Many, the nature and relation of kinds to instances, and thus the process and meaning of naming. If we are correct about the uses of “Two Coyotes,” this might warrant a reevaluation of other first Nations’ myths.

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