| Dossier | Pluriversality of the critique of modern Western thought. Themes, currents, authorships, works.
Deadline: March 30, 2022
Publication date: Continuous Publication (January-June 2022)
Dr. José Gandarilla. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México | firstname.lastname@example.org
Submissions should be in English, Spanish, or Portuguese: guidelines
General Section, Book Review Section: Permanent Call
Pluriversality of the critique of modern Western thought. Themes, currents, authorships, works.
The crisis bequeathed to us by the modern world, in its most recent temporal fold in the form of pandemic and post-pandemic, is but one piece of a whole that is increasingly complex in its functioning mechanisms. These are problems that no longer is merely modern but are experienced as true global threats, including climatic and ecological catastrophes but also the destruction of populations: wars and territorial invasions, the diasporas of refugees, displaced people, and immigrants. The modern capitalist system was built on the racialization of populations, but today it is also expressed in a logic of ecological racism; the poorest and most disadvantaged suffer more acutely even these kinds of fatalities: environmental cataclysms, which only on their surface seem to correspond to natural phenomena, are part of the fully mature social and cultural logic of the system that erected with modernity a form of subjectivity specific and constitutive to that project; that of the capitalist, individualistic and selfish Western mode of human existence.
From the inaugural process of early modernity, colonialism established an intrinsic correspondence, of very long duration, between the ontological negation of the other (which manifested itself until then as external to the notion of the Afro-Asian-Mediterranean system of the ancient world), and a certain notion of nature, as a kind of free, inexhaustible, and infinite source of resources. The new reason for the world emerged as a project of domination and exploitation of the people of the peripheries, and of extraction and appropriation of their resources; both dimensions correspond to an offensive of the imperial North on the margins and confines of the world. This is what the Eurocentric and colonial emplacement of modernity has consisted of up to the present, and the domination of the West over all other civilizational complexes.
The dimensions reached by the crisis of the modern sociocultural project drag along with it the type of subjectivity that erected it and the form of rationality (of universal pretension) with which this civilizing program was structured in the last five centuries. The crisis of the modern/capitalist/colonial system seems to shake to its foundations also the type of rationality that, over the centuries, integrated to modern rational thought (based on the categories of North Atlantic universalism) a complete set of expressions that developed as a system of sciences, philosophies, techniques, technologies, and techno-sciences.
This is what enables us to think and re-discuss from a pluriversal perspective modern Western thought, the totality of which it is a part and the crisis of both frameworks. This objective requires going beyond the hitherto hegemonic critical theories since the current situation is forcing us to shift the critique from the means to the ends, that is, not to limit our reading (however acute it may be) to suspicion of instrumental reason, but to direct our gaze towards deeper dimensions (or ends), towards the very horizon of "mythical reason" that underlies the categorical framework of modern thought with its promises of infinity, progress and supposed emancipation.
If it has proved useful to distinguish between epistemologies of the North and epistemologies of the South, perhaps it is not so arbitrary but rather convenient to aspire to construct dissident discourses and practices of modern Western thought which, leaving behind old orientalisms or renewed Eurocentrism, reorient us towards non-imperial geospatial enunciations: northern, equatorial, southern, Caribbean, Amazonian, Andean, Mesoamerican, African, Semitic, or the even Mediterranean. If this becomes possible, the flourishing use of the Southern viewpoint of social problems, and its inscription in various disciplinary fields and fields of thought (epistemologies, philosophies, social sciences, theologies, and feminisms, all of them from the signifier South), can give rise to new formulations that are tailored to our current and pressing problems.
Particular topics of interest:
- Background and current expressions of a critical decolonial theory.
- Dimensions of the decolonizing turn of knowledge
- Pluriversality, situated knowledge, cosmopolitics, relational ontologies, perspectivisms and pluritopic hermeneutics.
- Feminist epistemologies and decolonial anti-patriarchal critiques
- Structures of knowledge and organization of knowledge (from the university to the pluriversity)
- Thresholds of modern rationality: Ethics(s), aesthetics(s) and liberation spirituality(ies)