This article is a belated contribution to a Common Knowledge symposium on the “unanticipated conceptual practice” of “anthropological philosophy.” The basic argument is that the groundwork for this emerging approach, associated foremost with Eduardo Viveiros de Castro's book Métaphysiques cannibales of 2009, was laid in the 1970s by the controversial French anthropologists Pierre and Hélène Clastres. It is argued that the Clastres took the intellectual practices of Guarani shamans and prophets as analogous to the those of ancient Greek philosophers but also as sharply critical of the principles (in particular, the principle of non-contradiction) that underlay early Western metaphysics.
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Renato Sztutman; WHEN METAPHYSICAL WORDS BLOSSOM: Pierre and Hélène Clastres on Guarani Thought. Common Knowledge 1 April 2017; 23 (2): 325–344. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0961754X-3815846
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