The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Conquest-era Aztecs conceived philosophy in essentially pragmatic terms. The raison d’etre of philosophical inquiry was to provide humans with practicable answers to what Aztecs identified as the defining question of human existence: How can we maintain our balance while walking upon the slippery earth? Aztec philosophers addressed this question against an assumed metaphysics which held that the cosmos and its human inhabitants are constituted by and ultimately identical with a single, vivifying, eternally self-generating and self-regenerating sacred energy. Knowledge, truth, value, rightness, and beauty were defined in terms of the aim of humans maintaining their balance as well as the balance of the cosmos. Every moment and aspect of human life was meant to further the realization of this aim.
Table of Contents
1. Who were the Aztecs?
2. Sources for Studying Nahua Thought
3. The Approach of This Study
2. Nahua Metaphysics
4. Teotl as Ultimate Reality and Root Metaphor
5. Dialectical Polar Monism
7. Teotl as Self-Transforming Shaman and Artist
8. Teotl as Root Metaphor
9. Popular Aztec Religion
10. Living in the “House of Paintings”
3. The Defining Problematic of Nahua Philosophy
12. How Can Humans Maintain their Balance on the Slippery Earth?
13. The Character of Wisdom
14. The Raison d’etre of Epistemology
15. Truth as Well-Rootedness and Alethia
16. Cognitive Burgeoning and Flowering
17. “Flower and Song”
5. Intrinsic Value: Balance and Purity
6. Morality: Living in Balance and Purity
9. References and Further Reading
a. Who were the Aztecs?
The indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica enjoy...