Rage, reason and the honourable cause: a reply to Cowlishaw


Peter Sutton

Jul, 2005
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Australian Aboriginal Studies Journal
Journal article
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In 2003 Gillian Cowlishaw published a confrontational attack on a paper that Peter Sutton had published earlier on the subject of ‘The politics of suffering’ in Aboriginal Australia. While this reply takes up and answers her main points, it also examines her writings more generally and comes to a critical view of the use of the anthropological literary framework in the pursuit of political ends. The politicisation of anthropological and historical writing on Indigenous themes in recent decades has focused unwarranted attention on the moral position of the author, and has been running in reverse gear against the long-term trend of secularisation and objectification encouraged in Western thought since the Enlightenment. Sutton suggests it’s time for a little classicism.

Journal title: 
Australian Aboriginal Studies

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