Situating Vine Deloria, Jr.'s Philosophy of Science
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This thesis provides a view of Deloria's thoughts on science and metaphysics, presenting his criticism of Western science and of his proposed alternative to what he presents as a historically evidenced epistemic attitude of exclusion. Deloria refers to Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend, suggesting that the institution of Western science operates according to a paradigm that is both very different from that of traditional Indigenous knowledge practice and fundamentally exclusionary. A potential of communication between Western science and Indigenous knowledge is possible through paradigm shifts as well as through reference to epistemic anarchy. My presentation of Deloria's description of Indigenous metaphysics includes an account of an agential ontology and place-grounded epistemology with reference to Daniel R. Wildcat, Baruch Spinoza, Scott L. Pratt, and others. Ultimately, Deloria breaks with Feyerabend's epistemological anarchy in light of our contemporary environmental predicament and advocates a more restrained, relational epistemology.