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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 27, 1998

Philosophy of Culture

Helmut Wautischer
Pages 102-107

The Path to Knowledge

Recent ethnographies suggest that tribal cosmologies address topics of philosophical relevance and offer valuable insights into the nature of perennial philosophical problems. For example, while postmodern and feminist thought has argued that the verification of knowledge is directly related to political interests, I argue that there are other vantage points not related to such interests that serve as valuable measures for the acceptance of knowledge. Direct empirical verification of the ontological presuppositions that govern the assessment of anthropos in the context sub species aeternitatis empowers an individual to understand his or her role within culture as well. The methodological bounty described in ethnography signals for philosophers to question the categorization of transcendence merely as 'religious experience.' This paper argues that humans may have the capacity both to recognize the divine and to give objective descriptions through symbols and language which allow for the development of methodologies in order to access that knowledge at will.

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