This essay offers an analysis of Enrique Dussel’s Ethics of Liberation: In the Age of Globalization and Exclusion, a book that culminates Dussel’s lifework on developing a materialist ethics. Dussel’s critique of Eurocentric and Hegelian approaches to freedom is treated at some length, along with his differences from postmodernism, liberalism, and proceduralism. Dussel argues against formalism in favor of a model that incorporates three elements: validity conditions, a feasibility threshold, and a material principle. The material principle is primary, from which Dussel formulates his concepts of exclusion and victimization. Dussel’s naturalism is explored, along with his account of the role of theory in social change movements. In the main, this essay is an interpretive elaboration and defense against some of his critics.
The Hegel of Coyoacán
Linda Martín Alcoff is professor of philosophy at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is past president of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. Recent books include Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self (2006), The Future of Whiteness (2015), and Rape and Resistance (2018). For more information, see www.alcoff.com.