Indigenous Education and the Metaphysics of Presence: A Worlded Philosophy, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Indigenous Education and the Metaphysics of Presence

A Worlded Philosophy, 1st Edition

By Carl Mika


162 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138353756
pub: 2018-12-19
Hardback: 9781138846302
pub: 2017-02-24
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315727547
pub: 2017-03-16
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


Indigenous Education and the Metaphysics of Presence: A worlded philosophy explores a notion of education called ‘worldedness’ that sits at the core of indigenous philosophy. This is the idea that any one thing is constituted by all others and is, therefore, educational to the extent that it is formational. A suggested opposite of this indigenous philosophy is the metaphysics of presence, which describes the tendency in dominant Western philosophy to privilege presence over absence. This book compares these competing philosophies and argues that, even though the metaphysics of presence and the formational notion of education are at odds with each other, they also constitute each other from an indigenous worlded philosophical viewpoint.

Drawing on both Maori and Western philosophies, this book demonstrates how the metaphysics of presence is both related and opposed to the indigenous notion of worldedness. Mika explains that presence seeks to fragment things in the world, underpins how indigenous peoples can represent things, and prevents indigenous students, critics, and scholars from reflecting on philosophical colonisation. However, the metaphysics of presence, from an indigenous perspective, is constituted by all other things in the world, and Mika argues that the indigenous student and critic can re-emphasise worldedness and destabilise presence through creative responses, humour, and speculative thinking. This book concludes by positioning well-being within education, because education comprises acts of worldedness and presence.

This book will be of key interest to indigenous as well as non-indigenous academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of philosophy of education, indigenous and Western philosophy, political strategy and post-colonial studies. It will also be relevant for those who are interested in philosophies of language, ontology, metaphysics and knowledge.


'Indigenous Education and the Metaphysics of Presence articulates a fundamental challenge to western thought, namely, the deep implicancy (entanglement), which is the core of Indigenous Metaphysics. By collapsing the distinctions between the self, the idea, and the things of the world, Carl Mika beautifully and powerfully exposes the poverty of the mode of thinking that cannot but hold everything hostage to its deadly yearn for (self-)determination. This book is a mandatory reading for anyone interested in what becomes of thought and existence when contemplated beyond the limits of modern western philosophy.' - Denise Ferreira da Silva, Director, The Social Justice Institute (GRSJ), University of British Columbia, Canada

'In centring Maori thought encompassing holism and the metaphysical, Mika clearly demonstrates that Indigenous ways of knowing and being are interconnected and relational, which fundamentally counters the colonial project of homogenization, assimilation, and genocide. In having a dual conversation between philosophy and education, he clearly articulates why the dominant Western perception of an object fundamentally continues to fail Indigenous students due to the inherent contradictions between Indigenous and Western thought, philosophy, and language. And, finally, in centring his Maori voice within Indigenous philosophy, Mika provides a counter-narrative to colonization. This book demonstrates the unique philosophical relationships as a Maori and the relationality and interconnectedness to other Indigenous voices and nations. It is a text that will engage, enlighten, and empower Indigenous thought and transform educational systems.' - Michelle Pidgeon, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. An Indigenous Philosophy of Worldedness

3. Ako: A Maori Example of Worldedness

4. An Indigenous Dialogue with Heidegger: The Consequences of Presence

5. Presence, the Maori Student and Writer/Critic, and Ako: Novalis and Derrida

6. Cause for Optimism?

About the Author

Carl Mika (Maori – Tuhourangi and Ngati Whanaunga) is a senior lecturer at the Te Whiringa School of Educational Leadership and Policy in the Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand. He has a background in law practice, indigenous and Maori studies, and aspects of Western philosophy, including Heidegger’s work and German Romanticism. He publishes on indigenous colonial and counter-colonial methods, and philosophical research methods.

About the Series

New Directions in the Philosophy of Education

This book series is devoted to the exploration of new directions in the philosophy of education. After the linguistic turn, the cultural turn, and the historical turn, where might we go? Does the future promise a digital turn with a greater return to connectionism, biology and biopolitics based on new understandings of system theory and knowledge ecologies? Does it foreshadow a genuinely alternative radical global turn based on a new openness and interconnectedness? Does it leave humanism behind or will it reengage with the question of the human in new and unprecedented ways? How should philosophy of education reflect new forces of globalization? How can it become less Anglo-centric and develop a greater sensitivity to other traditions, languages, and forms of thinking and writing, including those that are not routed in the canon of Western philosophy but in other traditions that share the ‘love of wisdom’ that characterizes the wide diversity within Western philosophy itself. Can this be done through a turn to intercultural philosophy? To indigenous forms of philosophy and philosophizing? Does it need a post-Wittgensteinian philosophy of education? A postpostmodern philosophy? Or should it perhaps leave the whole construction of 'post'-positions behind?

In addition to the question of the intellectual resources for the future of philosophy of education, what are the issues and concerns that philosophers of education should engage with? How should they position themselves? What is their specific contribution? What kind of intellectual and strategic alliances should they pursue? Should philosophy of education become more global, and if so, what would the shape of that be? Should it become more cosmopolitan or perhaps more decentred? Perhaps most importantly in the digital age, the time of the global knowledge economy that reprofiles education as privatized human capital and simultaneously in terms of an historic openness, is there a philosophy of education that grows out of education itself, out of the concerns for new forms of teaching, studying, learning and speaking that can provide comment on ethical and epistemological configurations of economics and politics of knowledge? Can and should this imply a reconnection with questions of democracy and justice?

This series comprises texts that explore, identify and articulate new directions in the philosophy of education. It aims to build bridges, both geographically and temporally: bridges across different traditions and practices and bridges towards a different future for philosophy of education.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
EDUCATION / Comparative