Drawing on his anthropological field work in Bolivia in the midst of profound social and political change, the author examines the attitudes of various interlocutors toward knowledge, and in particular the important differences between “hegemonic theories of knowledge and indigenous epistemologies, between propositional and non-propositional knowledge, between knowledge of the world and knowledge from within the world, or between representationalist and relational ways of knowing.” He stresses that there is “no absolute dividing line,” no “clear-cut dichotomies after almost 500 years of asymmetric and colonial intermingling of epistemologies and knowledge systems from different traditions.” Relational ways of knowing and indigenous traditions of thought continue to be systematically treated as inferior but they are still present and are currently making themselves felt at the university.


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