Coloniality at large: Knowledge at the late stage of the modern/colonial world system


Journal Article

The end of the twentieth century has brought a new series of problems not only in the socio-historical and economic order of things but in the domain of knowledge as well. To say that we do not have models or concepts to understand new social configurations and forces, or to anticipate and project the future is not enough. The question seems to be deeper or wider than that and it touches upon the very presupposition of the disciplines or culture of scholarship that have been producing concepts and models. In the last twenty years, cultures of scholarship have been running through new models and concepts as we have been running to buy the last version of Nikes or a new car model. The problem is not to find new models within the current disciplinary configurations, or interdisciplinary if you wish, but that it is the very structure of knowledge production and cultures of scholarship that need to be reviewed. It is hardly a novelty today to say that the coming into being of the social sciences is parallel and interconnected with the wave of colonial expansion after Napoleon, that the growth and expansion of the natural sciences were related to both the industrial revolution and to the empirical knowledge of nature collected all over the world. Finally, that the humanities were re-articulated toward the end of the eighteenth century when the legacies of humanistic education (the trivium and the quadrivium), were dismantled by the philosophical re-structuring of the enlightenment. © 1999 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mignolo, WD

Published Date

  • January 1, 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 10

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2151-9668

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1326-0219

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/13260219.1999.10431794

Citation Source

  • Scopus