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Civitas - Revista de Ciências Sociais

versão impressa ISSN 1519-6089versão On-line ISSN 1984-7289


PINTO, Júlio Roberto de Souza  e  MIGNOLO, Walter D.. Is modernity really universal?: Reemergence, dewesternization and decolonial option. Civitas, Rev. Ciênc. Soc. [online]. 2015, vol.15, n.3, pp.381-402. ISSN 1984-7289.

In this essay, we argue: (1) that modernity is not the ontological unfolding of a universal history, but rather the interpretation of certain events by actors and institutions that saw and see themselves as being in the center of the Earth and in the present of a universal time; (2) that this interpretation is locally and regionally conditioned, it is Western European, despite presenting itself as universal and global; that is, the enunciation is local in spite of the enunciated be global; (3) that, behind a triumphalist discourse, modernity hides the horrors that constitute it: coloniality; this is the very reason why we believe that modernity can not be understood without coloniality and coloniality can not be overcome by modernity; and (4) that this rhetoric of salvation of mankind and its most recent expressions – development and globalism –, articulated by agents and institutions that control the production of knowledge and translate their own privileges into promises for the rest of the world, as well as the project of cultural, economic and political domination that it promotes, especially starting from the second decade of the twentieth century have shown signs of weakening, in the same proportion as dissident discourses and projects of re-existence, including the de-colonial option based on which we formulate our argument, have gained strength.

Palavras-chave : Modernity; Universalism; Westernization; Coloniality; Dewesternization; Decoloniality.

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