The thing’s revelation: Some thoughts on Māori philosophical research

Carl Te Hira Mika


In indigenous research projects, there is a strong emphasis on interviews and the analysis of the data that results. There is, however, another form of research that still calls to be fully acknowledged. Philosophical research shares some ground with empirical because it responds to a Māori history and experience of oppression. One clear area in which it may differ, though, is in how it attempts to acknowledge the presence of ‘things’, which we might call our ‘whanaunga’ (relations), even where these have been deemed by Western science to be inanimate. More importantly, philosophical research is risky because the thing continues to influence the researching self, despite the self’s eventual disengagement from the research. Philosophical research—the kind that seeks an
unobtainable ground of thought—is at once aware of and tentative towards the thing. It also acts
within the influence of the thing: this phenomenon for the author can be best felt when the bizarre is
encountered in everyday observations.


Whakaaro; research; Māori; philosophy; thinking

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DOI: 10.15663/wje.v20i2.206


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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015