Constitutive Causes of Colonial and Decolonial Reasoning
The work of both the philosophers of Western modernity and modern African(a) philosophers is premised on a fundamental reimagining of the foundations of the discipline. In both cases this has, and for African(a) philosophers continues to assume, the form of an appeal to First Philosophy. The shared interest in First Philosophy leaves the two canons irrevocably intertwined and invites the African(a) scholar to be creative when it comes to engaging Western theorists such as Hobbes whose reimagining of the social contract has been foundational to the contemporary world order: its universalist assumptions must be negated but not at the cost of dispensing with what is valuable about the particular, Western insight into the human condition. In this article I argue that the reasoning deployed by African(a) philosophers can ironically be represented in terms of the very “constitutive causes” introduced by Hobbes. First, I discuss Hobbes’s appeal to First Philosophy and how this yielded the notion of “constitutive causes”. I then show how decolonial theorists radicalized the appeal to First Philosophy in order to expose the universalist assumptions at work in Western philosophy before I outline what I consider to be “constitutive causes” of both colonial and decolonial reasoning.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Leonard Praeg, "Constitutive Causes of Colonial and Decolonial Reasoning" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2022) XXIV/2", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2022, pp. 461-480