This book explores the concept of 'cognitive injustice': the failure to recognise the different ways of knowing by which people across the globe run their lives and provide meaning to their existence. Boaventura de Sousa Santos shows why global social justice is not possible without global cognitive justice. Santos argues that Western domination has profoundly marginalised knowledge and wisdom that had been in existence in the global South. She contends that today it is imperative to recover and valorize the epistemological diversity of the world. Epistemologies of the South outlines a new kind of bottom-up cosmopolitanism, in which conviviality, solidarity and life triumph against the logic of market-ridden greed and individualism.
Table of Contents
Preface Manifesto for Good Living/Buen Vivir Minifesto for Intellectual-Activists Introduction Creating a Distance in Relation to Western-centric Political Imagination and Critical Theory Part One Centrifugal Modernities and Subaltern Wests: Degrees of Separation Chapter 1 Nuestra America: Postcolonial Identities and Mestizajes Chapter 2 Another Angelus Novus: Beyond the Modern Game of Roots and Options Chapter 3 Is There a Non-Occidentalist West? Part Two Toward Epistemologies of the South: Against the Waste of Experience Chapter 4 Beyond Abyssal Thinking: From Global Lines to Ecologies of Knowledges Chapter 5 Toward an Epistemology of Blindness: Why the New Forms of "Ceremonial Adequacy" neither Regulate nor Emancipate Chapter 6 A Critique of Lazy Reason: Against the Waste of Experience and Toward the Sociology of Absences and the Sociology of Emergences Chapter 7 Ecologies of Knowledges Chapter 8 Intercultural Translation: Differing and Sharing con Passionalita Conclusion
“Empistemologies of the South is an ambitious book on an important topic.”
—American Journal of Sociology
"The author's solidarity with the emancipatory movements and his acceptance of the urgency of their struggle for justice are apparent throughout the book. At the same time, the book is carefully researched, thoroughly argued, critically alert, erudite, original, and challenging. It contains detailed inter-connected arguments. . .that defy brief summary, defending a variety of provocative claims that deal with political, economic, social, social scientific, and historical, as well as scientific matters. . .Nevertheless, whether or not the conclusions of Epistemologies of the South are endorsed, I hope that it contributes to making central in the agenda of the philosophy of science questions about the role that science might play in fostering — or undermining — cognitive and social justice, and under what interpretation it should do so."
"A blockbuster work, disconcerting and judicious. Santos calls upon us to unthink all our most entrenched biases. He wants us to see the world from the bottom up, to view the 'universal' from the South rather than from the North. He thereby outlines a truly different possible future to construct."
—Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University
“Epistemologies of the South is a brilliant testimony about today's tensions within our inter- and trans-cultural spaces.”
—Valentin Y. Mudimbe, Newman Ivey White Professor of Literature, Duke University
“To what extent is the Global North still a West? And to what extent is the old West still just a North? These are not only geopolitical issues, but epistemological questions, whose resolution at the level of practices, disciplines, experiences, and affects, will shape a new Humankind in a new Environment. An original and timely critique. The combination of Santos’ many fields of inquiry is impressive. ”
—Etienne Balibar, author of Equaliberty
“This is the World Social Forum transposed to a World Forum of Knowledges, argued with radical democratic passion and with an immense erudition in philosophy, science, art, and politics.”
—Göran Therborn, University of Cambridge. Author of The World: A Beginner´s Guide (2011) and of The Killing Fields of Inequality (2013).
"One of the most original world social thinkers of our time, Santos finds the Latin American region a great intellectual challenge, as he considers, according to José Martí, that this is the Nuestra América century, where we can find the greater "emancipatory counterhegemonic potential."
—Raquel Sosa Elízaga, sociologist, historian, activist.