Module 2 / Post 4: The Moral Epistemology of First Nations Stories

The Moral Epistemology of First Nations Stories is an article by Jim Cheney from the University of Wisconsin. Cheney takes a look at how Indigenous ways of knowing inform First Nations stories and storytelling. There is an ethical framework inherent in First Nations stories and therefore, argues Cheney, it is a part of their epistemology as well. Cheney explores this idea and comments on the lack of attention given by Western philosophers to the ethical dimensions in epistemology whereas First Nations people paid close attention. The implication of this is that  Westerners come to know the world first and then decide on their ethical responsibilities to it, while First Nations people discover the world with an ethical framework already in place.

It’s a fascinating article that has helped me to understand why moral frameworks like the Seven Teachings and the Circle of Courage are quite prominent in First Nations education. This article has got me thinking about whether or not technology is morally-neutral and how technology fits within an ethical way of knowing.

~Dan

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