The Need for Philosophy and Sociology in Brazil

Brazil is not exactly my forte. But I did spend an inordinate amount of time studying indigenous political issues (roughly 15 years of my life) and even self-published a book on the matter.

It doesn’t especially surprise me to hear today that the President of Brazil is cutting funding to sociology and philosophy at government-funded schools. But it’s important to know why both of these areas of study are needed, particularly in Brazil. I’ll make the case for studying, analyzing and finding solutions to indigenous issues in Brazil because that’s what I know.

Currently, Brazil is host to loggers, miners and other such companies that harvest natural resources. Much of the area sought after is on or within indigenous lands. These are serious issues that we must get right–and that both philosophy and sociology can tackle.

On top of this, there are so-called “uncontacted” indigenous peoples within the borders of Brazil. How to interact–and whether to interact–with them are serious questions for philosophy and sociology. Americans know all too well what can happen when we go about these things wrongly or haphazardly. The gross injustices we hope to repatriate for certainly do not need to be repeated elsewhere.

In short, these two areas of study are crucial to getting certain things right in Brazil and within indigenous borders. These are real-life problems that call for real life solutions and both philosophy and sociology are essential to creating such solutions.

These are not “Leftist” issues. These are human issues.


Author: Jennifer Lawson

Philosopher. That is all.

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