Spirit and Reason: The...
Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria, Jr., Reader
Viewed by many as one of the most influential Native Americans of the twentieth century, Vine Deloria, Jr., through his extensive writings on political and legal issues, has changed the way people view American Indians. Although best known for his contributions to American Indian issues, Deloria has also been one of the foremost critics of contemporary thought, placing him...more
Published by Turtleback Books
(first published August 1999)
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My favorite thing about Deloria's deconstruction of accepted beliefs, is his unwillingness to privilege scientific method over all other forms of accumulating knowledge. Many people consider traditional wisdom valid only when it is supported by scientific method, and that the validity of traditional wisdom must be verified by scientific discovery rather than visa-versa. This is dangerous. Science often lags dangerously far behind traditional wisdom, and ignoring knowledge gained through spirit...more
I almost quit reading this after the first two chapters but I am glad I did not. The book is a collection of Vine Deloria Jr.'s essays and it seems written for an academic audience. The first two chapters are about debates between different philosophers who were unfamiliar to me. I continued reading and found much of what Deloria had to say was profound and enlightening. He takes a hard look at education, anglo-american culture, religion and science from a Native American perspective and points...more