, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 603-624
Date: 28 Jan 2011

An Ontological Critique of the Trans-Ontology of Enrique Dussel

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Enrique Dussel has developed a sweeping philosophical critique of the eurocentricity of Western habits of thought and action, with the aim of articulating an ‘ethics of liberation’ that takes the part distinctively of ‘the victims’ of the world system. The heart of Dussel’s effort is an ostensibly new method, ‘analectic’ or ‘anadialectic,’ which comes about through the ‘revelation’ of the other, and goes beyond the self-enclosure that, Dussel asserts, typifies dialectic in Western ontology. Thus, he takes his position to have gone beyond ontology: it is a trans-ontology, a genuine meta-physics. I question whether analectic does go beyond Western thinking of being, and propose an ontological critique that is classically Western or, as I would prefer to say, historically Western yet (along with its analogues in other philosophical traditions) classically relevant even in our ‘age of globalization and exclusion.’