Relational Care contra Nihilism

An Exploration alongside Amazonian Kichwa Thinking


  • Jarrad Reddekop


nihilism, Nietzsche, relationality, Amazonian perspectivism, human-nonhuman relations, ecological crisis


This article engages the Nietzschean problem of nihilism from a “cross-cultural”, comparative vantage-point. In Nietzsche’s diagnosis of the “sickness” of nihilism, the measure of that illness is taken with reference to a particular conception of health – rooted in Nietzsche’s relational ontology of the will to power. Here, instead, I wish to take the possible nature and entailments of relationality as an open question to be pursued in conversation with Indigenous American and especially Amazonian Kichwa thinking. Doing so, I argue, allows for a distinctive kind of gloss on how we might think about what is impoverishing in nihilism, and also opens distinctive horizons for exploring what it might mean to live otherwise, to pursue health. To explore how this may be so, I focus on the question of power and how power is experienced as relating to the self – both within nihilism and within Kichwa relational thought and practice. Drawing on classical and recent explorations of nihilism’s symptoms, I try to show how orienting ourselves in conversation with Kichwa relationality yields a kind of medicine – a possibility and an invitation for worlding-otherwise – that is adeptly suited to the illness we must grapple with today in the shadow of interrelated social and ecological breakdowns.


Não há dados estatísticos.


Carregando Métricas ...


BORROWS, John. Law’s Indigenous Ethics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019.

BROWN, Wendy. Walled States, Waning Sovereignty. New York: Zone Books, 2010.

BROWN, Wendy. In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019.

CAJETE, Gregory. Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence. Santa Fe (CA): Clear Light Publishers, 2000.

COULTHARD, Glen. Red Skin White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

DESCOLA, Philippe. Beyond Nature and Culture. Translated by Janet Lloyd. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.

FOUCAULT, Michel. The Hermeneutics of the Subject: Lectures at the Collège de France 1981-1982. Trans.lated by Frédéric Gros. New York: Picador, 2005.

GEVORKYAN, Sofya, and Carlos A. SEGOVIA. “Post-Heideggarian Drifts: From Object-Oriented-Ontology Worldlessness to Post-Nihilist Worldings.” In: Hilan Bensusan (ed.), Heidegger, Levinas, Derrida e o Nihilismo = Das Questões, v. 9, n. 1 (2020), p. 3-18. Online: Accessed 10/30/2021.

GEVORKYAN, Sofya, and Carlos A. SEGOVIA. “Earth and World(s): From Heidegger’s Fourfold to Contemporary Anthropology.” Open Philosophy, vol. 4 (2021), p. 58-82. Online: Accessed 10/30/2021.

GOW, Peter. “Helpless – The Affective Preconditions of Piro Social Life.” In: Joanna Overing and

Alan Passes (eds.), The Anthropology of Love and Anger: The Aesthetics of Conviviality in Amazonia, p. 46-63. London and New York: Routledge, 2001.

HARRISON, Regina. Signs, Songs, and Memory in the Andes: Translating Quechua Language and Culture. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989.

HEIDEGGER, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. Translated by William Lovitt. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1977.

HEIDEGGER, Martin. Poetry, Language, Thought. Translated by Albert Hofstadter. New York: HarperCollins, 2001.

INGOLD, Tim. The Perception of the Environment: Essays in livelihood, dwelling and skill. London and New York: Routledge, 2000.

IGNATOV, ANATOLI. “The Earth as Gift-Giving Ancestor: Nietzsche’s Perspectivism and African Animism.” Political Theory, vol. 45, n. 1 (July 5, 2016). Online: Accessed 10/30/2021.

KING, Hayden. “The erasure of Indigenous thought in foreign policy.” Open Canada. July 31, 2017. Online: < Accessed 10/30/2021.

KOHN, Eduardo. “How Dogs Dream: Amazonian Natures and the Politics of Transspecies

Engagement.” American Ethnologist, v. 34, n. 1 (2007), p. 3-24. Online: Accessed 10/30/2021.

KOHN, Eduardo. How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology beyond the Human. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 2013.

LADNER, Kiera L. “Governing Within an Ecological Context: Creating an AlterNative Understanding of Blackfoot Governance” [2003]. Studies in Political Economy, v. 70, n. 1 (2017), p. 125-152. Online: Accessed 10/30/2021.

LAGROU, Elsje Maria. “Homesickness and the Cashinahua Self: A Reflection on the Embodied Condition of Relatedness.” In: Joanna Overing and Alan Passes (eds.), The Anthropology of Love and Anger: The Aesthetics of Conviviality in Amazonia, p. 154-169. London and New York: Routledge, 2001.

LIGHTFOOT, Sheryl, and David MACDONALD. “Treaty Relations Between Indigenous Peoples: Advancing Global Understandings of Self-Determination.” New Diversities, v. 19, n. 2 (2017), p. 25-39. Online: Accessed 10/30/2021.

LOCKE, John. Two Treatises of Government. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

MCGREGOR, Deborah. “Traditional Ecological Knowledge.” Ideas: The Arts & Science Review, v. 3, n. 1 (2006).

MATHEWS, Freya. Reinhabiting Reality: Towards a Recovery of Culture. New York: SUNY, 2005.

MELLAMPHY, Nandita Biswas. The Three Stigmata of Friedrich Nietzsche: Political Physiology in the Age of Nihilism. London and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011.

MEZZENZANA, Francesca. “Moving Alike: Movement and Human-nonhuman Relations among the Runa (Ecuadorian Amazon).” Social Anthropology, v. 26, n. 2 (2018), p. 238-252.

Online: Accessed 10/30/2021.

MORALES, Sarah. “a’ ‘lhatham: The Re-Transformation of s. 35 through a Coast Salish Legal Methodology.” National Journal of Constitutional Law, v. 37, n. 2 (2017), p. 145-176.

NIETZSCHE, Friedrich. The Birth of Tragedy and The Genealogy of Morals. Translated by Francis Golffing. New York: Anchor Doubleday, 1956.

NIETZSCHE, Friedrich. The Will to Power. Translated by Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale. New York: Vintage, 1968.

NIETZSCHE, Friedrich. The Gay Science. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage, 1974.

NIETZSCHE, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil. Translated by by R. J. Hollingdale with an Introduction by Michael Tanner. London and New York: Penguin, 1990.

NIETZSCHE, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Translated by R. J. Hollingdale. London and New York: Penguin, 2003.

NIETZSCHE, Friedrich. The Pre-Platonic Philosophers. Translated by Greg Whitlock. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006.

POVINELLI, Elizabeth A. Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism. Durham (NC): Duke University Press, 2016.

REDDEKOP. “Thinking Across Worlds: Indigenous Thought, Relational Ontology, and the Politics of Nature; Or, If Only Nietzsche Could Meet A Yachaj,” PhD Dissertation (University of Western Ontario), 2014. Online: Accessed: 11/15/2021.

REDDEKOP, Jarrad. “Against Ontological Capture: Drawing Lessons From Amazonian Kichwa Relationality,” Review of International Studies (2021).

SIMPSON, Leanne Betasamosake. Dancing On Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg ReCreation, Resurgence and a New Emergence. Winnepeg: ARP, 2011.

SWANSON, Tod D. “Weathered Character: “Envy and Response to the Seasons in Native

American Traditions,” The Journal of Religious Ethics, v. 20, n. 2 (1992), p. 279-308.

SWANSON, Tod D. “Singing to Estranged Lovers: Runa Relations to Plants in the Ecuadorian Amazon.” Journal for the Study of Nature, Religion, and Culture, v. 3, n. 1 (2009), p. 36-65. Online: Accessed: 10/30/2021.

SWANSON, Tod and Jarrad REDDEKOP. “Looking Like the Land: Beauty and Aesthetics in Amazonian Quichua Philosophy and Practice,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, v. 85, n. 3 (2017), p. 682-708. Online: Accessed: 19/11/2021.

SWANSON, Tod and Jarrad REDDEKOP. “Feeling with the Land: Llakichina and the Emotional Life of Relatedness in Amazonian Kichwa Thinking,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, [forthcoming].

TAUSSIG, Michael. Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

UZENDOSKI, Michael. The Napo Runa of Amazonian Ecuador. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005.

UZENDOSKI, Michael, and Edith CALAPUCHA-TAPUY. The Ecology of the Spoken Word: Amazonian Storytelling and Shamanism among the Napo Runa. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012.

VASQUEZ, Grimaldo Rengifo. “The Ayllu.” In: Frédérique Apffel-Marglin with PRATEC (eds.) The Spirit of Regeneration: Andean culture confronting Western notions of development. London and New York: Zed Books, 1998.

VIVEIROS DE CASTRO, Eduardo. “Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian Perspectivism,” The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, v. 4, n. 3 (Sep. 1998), p. 469-488. Online: Accessed: 19/11/2021.

WHITTEN, Norman Jr. and Dorothea Scott WHITTEN. Puyo Runa: Imagery and Power in Modern Amazonia. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008.




Como Citar

REDDEKOP, J. Relational Care contra Nihilism: An Exploration alongside Amazonian Kichwa Thinking. Das Questões, [S. l.], v. 13, n. 1, 2021. Disponível em: Acesso em: 30 maio. 2023.