Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and Decolonial Freedom

Theory, Culture and Society 26 (7-8):159-181 (2009)
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Abstract

Once upon a time scholars assumed that the knowing subject in the disciplines is transparent, disincorporated from the known and untouched by the geo-political configuration of the world in which people are racially ranked and regions are racially configured. From a detached and neutral point of observation, the knowing subject maps the world and its problems, classifies people and projects into what is good for them. Today that assumption is no longer tenable, although there are still many believers. At stake is indeed the question of racism and epistemology. And once upon a time scholars assumed that if you ‘come’ from Latin America you have to ‘talk about’ Latin America; that in such a case you have to be a token of your culture. Such expectation will not arise if the author ‘comes’ from Germany, France, England or the US. As we know: the first world has knowledge, the third world has culture; Native Americans have wisdom, Anglo Americans have science. The need for political and epistemic de-linking here comes to the fore, as well as decolonializing and decolonial knowledges, necessary steps for imagining and building democratic, just, and nonimperial/colonial societies.

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Walter Mignolo
Duke University

References found in this work

Les Mote et les Choses.Michel Foucault - 1969 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 74 (2):250-251.
The Politics of Life Itself.Nikolas Rose - 2011 - Praktyka Teoretyczna 3:187.

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