Cosmopolitanism to Come: Derrida and Latin American Border Thinking
Keywords:cosmopolitanism, democracy to come, equality, Derrida, border thinking, Latin America, Mignolo, voice
In an age where diversity is increasingly accepted as a value as well as a fact, ethico-political cosmopolitanism should propose a notion of global unity that is composed of rather than imposed on difference. Jacques Derrida and Walter Mignolo offer different versions of this view of cosmopolitanism. Derrida’s version is based on his notion of “democracy to come”. He characterizes this notion as an “unconditional” or “quasi-transcendental” injunction. Mignolo castigates this injunction as an “abstract universal”. He offers instead “a critical and dialogic” view of cosmopolitanism that is based more speci cally on the “colonial difference” or “border thinking” of Latin American subaltern groups. I argue that Derrida’s many implicit and explicit references to “voices” suggest a third alternative. This contender avoids certain problems in Derrida’s and Mignolo’s otherwise compelling views of cosmopolitanism. It also retains the universality of Derrida’s unconditional injunction but on the basis of the sort of worldly immanency urged by Mignolo’s border thinking.
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