Semester of Graduation

Spring 2020


Master of Arts (MA)


Philosophy and Religious Studies

Document Type



In Twenty Theses on Politics, Argentine-Mexican philosopher Enrique Dussel compares the concept of people with two Indigenous terms: The Aztec altepetl and the Mayan Amaq’. Both concepts mean ‘community’ or ‘people,’ and ‘us/we.’ However, beyond his reference to Carlos Lenkersdorf’s book Filosofar en clave tojolabal (Philosophizing in Tojolabal Code), Dussel delves not further into these Indigenous words and their implications to understand what he means by people. Focusing on the work of Carlos Lenkersdorf (2005), Gladys Tzul Tzul (2018), Alejandra Aquino Moreschi (2013), Raúl Madrid (2014) and Josef Estermann (2006), I shall examine how the political proceeding of distinct Latin American Indigenous communities, literally changes the manner in which Dussel’s concept of people is understood in non-Indigenous realities. Indeed, among Indigenous peoples, a search for an alternative political system is commonplace. I will examine that search especially in the Tojol ab’al, K’iche’, and Andean instance; and, taking guidance from Dussel’s notion of people, I will examine how there may be a solution to be found in the political participation of the citizenry made by consensus. This political resolution may, in turn, be instrumental in the creation of a new notion of the ‘we’ in non-Indigenous realities.

Committee Chair

Raffoul, François.