Epistemology of consequences and intercultural pedagogy in the postcolonial perspective of Boaventura de Sousa Santos
Keywords:Boaventura de Sousa Santos, epistemology, epistemologies of the South, intercultural translation, cognitive justice
The article discusses the postcolonial perspective outlined in the works of Boaventura de Sousa Santos. In his Epistemologies of the South, he brings out the fundamental characteristic of modern Western thought in its hegemonic, dominant, monopolistic sense that, by producing disjunctions, dichotomies, and reductionisms, operates a kind of domination, not always clearly recognizable, in every sphere of life. On the terrain of justice, a close conjunction is delineated between the global cognitive model, cloaked and sustained by a form of universalism that is self-legitimizing, and that of social justice in which everything on the wrong side of the true/false demarcation line (behaviors, traditions, knowledge) is identified with that which is disqualified with respect to the validity of knowledge; it is considered illegal, excluded from law, transfiguring itself into a kind of universal one-sidedness. Although with due differences, Santos compares the logic behind the epistemology of colonial movements to that which characterizes the postcolonial and neoliberal globalized world. On the terrain of intercultural pedagogy, the perspective identified by Santos makes a paradigmatic contribution that has inevitable implications on the field of intercultural education.
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