McLeod, Alexus. Philosophy of the Ancient Maya: Lords of Time
2018, Lexington Books
Added by: M. Jimena Clavel Vázquez and Andrés Hernández Villarreal
This book investigates some of the central topics of metaphysics in the philosophical thought of the Maya people of Mesoamerica, particularly from the Preclassic through Postclassic periods. This book covers the topics of time, change, identity, and truth, through comparative investigation integrating Maya texts and practices — such as Classic Period stelae, Postclassic Codices, and Colonial-era texts such as the î and the books of Chilam Balam — and early Chinese philosophy.
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Comment (from this Blueprint): In the preface and conclusion, McLeod introduces some relevant methodological aspects that must be considered in order to understand Mayan philosophy. The first one, is that of the nature of the sources from which we can reconstruct Mayan philosophical thought that are available to use. Unlike the source of Ancient Mexica intellectual culture which are relatively abundant, the availability of Mayan sources is more limited. The second one, is about the nature of Mayan language: written Maya consists of pictograms which represent both ideograms or glyphs and syllabic sounds. The author also discusses the fact that some forms of Mayan languages and Mayan peoples are alive. Finally, this section of McLeod’s book also discusses the philosophical concepts of truth and personhood.