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Postcolonial critique of reason: Spivak between Kant and Matilal

Version 2 2024-06-13, 07:37
Version 1 2014-10-27, 16:27
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-13, 07:37 authored by P Bilimoria
The paper ponders the location of Gayatri Spivak in the discursive space between Kant and Bimal K. Matilal (but she is also dis-located by her own enactments, disavowals). So it wonders what a postcolonial critique of reason would look like. In the chapter on philosophy, Spivak (1999) develops a sustained critique of just this kind by decoding the works of the 'Three Wise Men of Continental Europe' (Kant, Hegel, Marx), pointing, via the European impact on the Third World, to the ultimate 'foreclosure: [in the fashion of] the native informant'. But the paper detects another triangular imaginary of reason - this time without an apex, and with limited strategies, each deconstructing and challenging the other. Kant is thus important in spite of his own cosmopolitheia, Matilal for his rational realism of 'moral love'. What both fell short of was a genuine critique of the rational, and therefore also of one of its unfortunate beneficiaries, the postcolonial 'informant'; and this critique is Spivak's 'gift'.

History

Journal

Interventions: international journal of postcolonial studies

Volume

4

Pagination

160-167

Location

London, England

ISSN

1369-801X

eISSN

1469-929X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2002, Taylor & Francis

Issue

2

Publisher

Routledge