The End of the Cognitive Empire: The Coming of Age of Epistemologies of the South
Boaventura de Sousa Santos is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Coimbra (Portugal), Distinguished Legal Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the author and editor of dozens of books, which include If God Were a Human Rights Activist andEpistemologies of the South: Justice against Epistemicide.
In The End of the Cognitive Empire Boaventura de Sousa Santos further develops his concept of the "epistemologies of the South," in which he outlines a theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical framework for challenging the dominance of Eurocentric thought. As a collection of knowledges born of and anchored in the experiences of marginalized peoples who actively resist capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy, epistemologies of the South represent those forms of knowledge that are generally discredited, erased, and ignored by dominant cultures of the global North. Noting the declining efficacy of established social and political solutions to combat inequality and discrimination, Santos suggests that global justice can only come about through an epistemological shift that guarantees cognitive justice. Such a shift would create new, alternative strategies for political mobilization and activism and give oppressed social groups the means through which to represent the world as their own and in their own terms.
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