Latin American Philosophy from Identity to Radical Exteriority

Latin American Philosophy from Identity to Radical Exteriority

Latin American Philosophy from Identity to Radical Exteriority

Latin American Philosophy from Identity to Radical Exteriority

Synopsis

While recognizing its origins and scope, Alejandro A. Vallega offers a new interpretation of Latin American philosophy by looking at its radical and transformative roots. Placing it in dialogue with Western philosophical traditions, Vallega examines developments in gender studies, race theory, postcolonial theory, and the legacy of cultural dependency in light of the Latin American experience. He explores Latin America's engagement with contemporary problems in Western philosophy and describes the transformative impact of this encounter on contemporary thought.

Excerpt

Latin American Philosophy

Only what is difficult can sustain thought. Today in philosophy one of these difficulties comes from the end of a myth that took philosophy as the child of Western rationalism, with its origins in Greek thought. Philosophy today is changing; the field of philosophy is undergoing a new dawn with the formation and inclusion of world philosophies that bear origins, experiences, overlappings, encroachments, and transformations well beyond the modern North American and European traditions. The new world philosophies open possibilities of unfathomable and fecund thinking as one engages and is exposed to unbridled senses of existence, to lineages, configurations of lives, memories, losses, and expressions that in their singularities and interplay do not correspond to what philosophy was once imagined to be (in its modern Western forms and dispositions). This is the case “historically” as well as in terms of contemporary cultural world migrations. One nascent field in the development of this broader philosophical consciousness is Latin American thought. This book introduces philosophy in Latin America in a radical and transformative sense that reopens the question of how philosophy may be conceived and understood.

A book on Latin American philosophy is a difficult task. The field being addressed is as broad and complex as any other in the study of philosophy. Moreover, given its history Latin American philosophy presents further complications of its own. Latin American thought is inseparable from Western philosophy by virtue of colonial history. As a result, it entails an interpretative reception of Western philosophy and ultimately its transformation and peculiar uses in the Latin American context. Furthermore, Latin American philosophy is influenced in important ways by Islamic, Jewish, and African traditions and thought. Also, in the last twenty years Latin America has seen the resurfacing of indigenous cultures. Indigenous thought, once thought decimated by colonization, has reap-

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