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Medium 9780253012487

8. Modernity and Rationality Rethought in Light of Latin American Radical Exteriority and Asymmetric Temporality: Hybrid Thinking in Santiago Castro-Gómez

Alejandro Arturo Vallega Indiana University Press ePub

The “outsides” are not outside. They must be produced.

—Santiago Castro-Gómez

In the previous chapter we gathered a series of conclusions and implications that led to the question of how one may engage the simultaneous ana-chronic or the asymmetric or non-simultaneous simultaneity and the disseminating movement of meanings and forms of life figured by Latin American experience.1 This question is no longer posed over and against modernity; as we saw, Latin America figures a slipping within and beyond modernity, the underside of modernity. This view is possible because of two seemingly contradictory moments. The first is the possibility of a critique of modernity that arises from a sense of total exteriority and in this way becomes a critique from radical exteriority that may put in question the modern Western project of instrumental rationalism. The second position is already implicit in this last observation; Latin American thought is never entirely outside or a total other of modernity. Here appears another major implication for the question of Latin American philosophy: Latin American thought must be a decolonial thought. It must turn against and undo rationalist instrumental thought as figured by the coloniality of power and knowledge and by the coloniality of time and its epistemic prejudice. This does not mean, however, calling for the abandonment of rationality, falling into mysticism, or suggesting a return to utopian indigenism. Latin American thought is the underside of modernity, and this means that it is rational: The question is how one understands rationality out of Latin American radical exteriority. In the following pages I discuss a major figure in contemporary Latin American thought whose work begins to respond to this crucial and difficult question: the Colombian philosopher Santiago Castro-Gómez. I will focus mainly on his major work first published in 1996, Crítica de la razón latinoamericana (The Critique of Latin American Reason), a classic of Latin American philosophy.2 As we will see Castro-Gómez’s thought marks a crucial transition in our discussion, since in his work one finds a transition from thinking in terms of identity to thinking in radical exteriority.

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Medium 9781609940119

3: Channel the Passion

Booher, Dianna Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Without passion, you don’t have energy;
without energy, you have nothing.
Nothing great in the world
has been accomplished without passion.


Have you ever had a friend begin to tell you about a funny weekend escapade and start laughing while telling the tale? Their amusement in setting the scene brings a smile to your face before you actually understand the crux of what happened. You’re laughing along with them before they even get to the punch line of their story. In other words, it’s their amusement—as much as their story—that creates your entertainment.

In much the same way, your passion about an idea or topic generates interest in others. You often hear it said of others, “She has a zest for life.” “He has a passion for life that’s contagious. You can’t help but feel upbeat when you are around him.” Passion refers to an intense feeling, a palpable thing. You can be passionately angry or passionately happy or passionately in love.

On the other hand, have you ever walked into someone’s home and felt tension—as if everyone was “on edge” for some unknown reason? Then later, a family member explained that they’d just had an argument before your visit. As the saying goes, the tension was so thick, you could cut it with the proverbial knife. Maybe you’ve even sat through similar meetings at work.

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Medium 9781741799279

National Mall

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Folks often call the Mall 'America's Front Yard.' It is indeed a lawn, unfurling 2 miles of scrubby green grass from the Capitol west to the Lincoln Memorial. It's also America's great public space, where citizens come to protest to their government, go for scenic runs, and connect with the nation's most-cherished ideals wrought large in monuments and museums.

MHit the west side of the Mall first and visit the monuments. It makes sense to swoop through in a counterclockwise direction: start at the powerful Vietnam Veterans Memorial, then walk over to the awe-inspiring Lincoln Memorial, then on to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial and WWII Memorial. Finish at the sky-high Washington Monument; hopefully you prebooked your tickets.

RHave lunch at the Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe, then go next door to the whopping National Air & Space Museum. Art buffs should allot a few hours for the National Gallery of Art, while families can immerse in the tarantula-and-diamond-stuffed National Museum of Natural History and pop-culture-rich National Museum of American History. For something quieter try the Freer-Sackler Museums of Asian Art.

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Medium 9781576752296

3: An End to Self-Sabotage

Levesque, Paul Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.


It’s time to answer an important question and settle the matter once and for all: The proverbial glass of water bearing precisely 50 percent of its total capacity: is the darn thing half full or half empty?

We need a nonequivocal answer, a conclusive answer that we can grasp and embrace from now on and forever more, because the answer to this simple question is at the very root of dreamcrafting.

Two people are sitting facing each other across a small table. A third person approaches and deposits a card between them. The card has something printed on it.

“How many words appear on this card?” the third person asks.

“Just one,” the first person says.

“Can you read it?”


“Is what’s written on this card true?”

“Yes it is,” the first person answers.

The third person turns to the second. “How many words do you say appear on this card?”

“Only one.”

“Can you read it, without turning it or moving it in any way?”


“Is what this card says true?”

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Medium 9781927068304

Archangels and Jingle Bells

Lloyd Ratzlaff Thistledown Press ePub


I Question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight. I look thro’ it & not with it. — William Blake

Perceptions are acts of creation. They can bring a dead world to life. They can replace the objective idols of our culture, and its disdain for our subjectivity, with images that point back at us when we see them. Lively images.

He thought he saw a Banker’s Clerk
Descending from the bus,
He looked again, and found it was
A hippopotamus.

For more than a decade I worked as a therapist for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Sometimes we got into philosophical discussions which would go something like this.

“Is there such a thing as a real Santa Claus?” I’d ask.

“No there isn’t,” the sophisticated ones said, and went on to explain what really happens on Christmas Eve: “Your mom or dad just puts the presents under the tree after you go to sleep.”

For others, skepticism had begun to intrude: “Some people say there is no Santa, but I think there is. But I don’t know how he flies to all the houses in the world in one night, unless it’s on a laser beam or something. Or maybe he brings the presents early and your parents hide them till Christmas.”

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