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    Hegel among the cannibals

    Guardiola-Rivera, Oscar (2017) Hegel among the cannibals. In: Monahan, M.J. (ed.) Creolizing Hegel. Creolizing the Canon. London, New York: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781786600233.

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    The aim of this paper may seem counterintuitive: to read (Hegelian) philosophy together with Amerindian Perspectivism. And yet, its outcome bears cognitive fruit. It runs against the two mainstream figures of Hegelianism today without reservation: the deflationary Hegelianism of the Pittsburgh School or Habermas, and, on the other side the inflationary image of Hegel as voracious Absolute Idealist. Neither of these preeminent views confronts the big ontological question at the heart of Hegel’s work and its implications in terms of legal-political institutions as well as human rights: is the human really a sub/super-species over and against nonhuman strangers, animals, and Nature? In contrast, this paper does confront such a question through the lens of indigenous cosmopolitics. The trick consists of using as interpretative key precisely that which is so often invoked against Hegel, the voraciousness of his thought. Hence the proosed move: to place Hegel “among the Cannibals”. The latter’s semio-phagic (“eating each other’s words”) practices and extreme hospitality to strangers for the sake of xeno-political alliances are taken here as historically constitutive and contemporary. Also as specially relevant for the project of decolonizing the political spirit of the 1970s, all the while criticalizing the (lack of) political spirituality in post-colonial and post-humanist trends in the 21st century that risk reconstituting the Great Divide between (and within) humans and non-human Nature or Artifice. Instead of repeating the usual criticism against Hegelian voraciousness, this paper affirms the cannibalistic multiplicity or “dividuality” of all elements and assemblages, human and nonhuman, realistically embracing their transformative power and seeking to harness it for the purposes of a fuller realization of freedom and liberation.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: School of Law
    Research Centres and Institutes: Moving Image, Birkbeck Institute for the (BIMI), Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, Centre for (CILAVS)
    Depositing User: Oscar Guardiola-Rivera
    Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2016 09:47
    Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 19:40


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