Liberation Ethics and Transcendental Phenomenology
Enrique Dussel’s Ética de la Liberación en la Edad de la Globalización y de la Exclusión seeks to correct the Eurocentric understanding of the history of philosophy, particularly modernity, and to develop an ethics that can play a role in transforming the present economic and political structures that oppress the majority of humanity. In his Ética, Dussel dismisses Husserlian transcendental phenomenology as an inadequate approach to understanding the subject in favor of Heidegger’s concrete Being-in-the-World. Despite the seeming disconnection between Dussel and transcendental phenomenology, I will make use of aspects of Husserlian transcendental phenomenology to criticize Dussel’s theory of modernity, his objection to formalistic ethics, and his approach to economics. I will show that Dussel’s work could profit from explicitly relying upon transcendental phenomenological underpinnings and that without such phenomenological bases, his own work would be imperiled.