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Experiential CaribbeanCreating Knowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic$
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Pablo F. Gómez

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630878

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630878.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Truth and the Experiential

Truth and the Experiential

(p.166) 7 Truth and the Experiential
Experiential Caribbean

Pablo F. Gómez

University of North Carolina Press

The chapter examines the fundamental transformations to ways of knowing the natural world effected by black ritual practitioners in the seventeenth-century Caribbean. During this pivotal period, black Mohanes led an epistemological revolution in which the experiential replaced first principles as the basis for Caribbean ways of knowing truths about the natural world. Experientially based forms of producing and consuming medical knowledge proved essential to the creation of Atlantic nodes of knowledge production in spaces like Cartagena. Black Caribbean epistemological spaces in which the experiential overcame old dogma, even if experientially-based, were conspicuously located outside the boundaries that natural philosophers defined.In the early modern Caribbean a heterogeneous group of ritual practitioners of African descent arriving from Europe, Africa, and the New World experimented with new materials they found in the Americas and formulated material, conceptual, and social practices based on Caribbean experiential findings that they designed to interpret and establish authority over a natural world that encompassed the moral and the spiritual. As the chapter shows here, black ritual practitioners’ ways of knowing the natural world and bodies were intrinsically related to the development of novel Caribbean experientially based ways of articulating the nature of truth.

Keywords:   Experiential Knowledge, Experimentation, Botanicals, New Epistemology, Transformation, Knowledge production, Truth, Authority

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