Boaventura DE SOUSA SANTOS: Para descolonizar Occidente

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 5:30 PM
Room: 502
Oral Presentation
Boaventura DE SOUSA SANTOS , Colegio San Jeronimo, Portugal
Modern Western thinking is an abyssal thinking. It consists of a system of visible and invisible distinctions, the invisible ones being the foundation of the visible ones. The invisible distinctions are established through radical lines that divide social reality into two realms, the realm of “this side of the line” and the realm of “the other side of the line.” The division is such that “the other side of the line” vanishes as reality, becomes nonexistent, and is indeed produced as nonexistent. Nonexistent means not existing in any relevant or comprehensible way of being. Whatever is produced as nonexistent is radically excluded because it lies beyond the realm of what the accepted conception of inclusion considers to be its other. What most fundamentally characterizes abyssal thinking is thus the impossibility of the co-presence of the two sides of the line. To the extent that it prevails, this side of the line only prevails by exhausting the field of relevant reality. Beyond it, there is only nonexistence, invisibility, non-dialectical absence. To decolonize the West offers a fundamental theoretical synthesis to question and reinterpret the modern Western thinking.

Para descolonizar Occidente. Buenos Aires, CLACSO/Prometeo, 2011