Argentinean philosopher, theologian, and historian Enrique Dussel understands the present international order as divided into the culture of the center -- by which he means the ruling elite of Europe, North America, and Russia -- and the peoples of the periphery -- by which he means the populations of Latin America, Africa, and part of Asia, and the oppressed classes (including women and children) throughout the world.
In 'Philosophy of Liberation,' he presents a profound analysis of the alienation of peripheral peoples resulting from the imperialism of the center for more than five centuries. Dussel's aim is to demonstrate that the center's historic cultural, military, and economic domination of poor countries is 'philosophically' founded on North Atlantic onthology. By expressing supposedly universal knowledge, European philosophies, argues Dussel, have served to equate the cultural standards, modes of behavior, and rationalistic orientation of the West with human nature and to condemn the unique characteristics of peripheral peoples as nonbeing, nothing, chaos, irrationality. Hence, Western philosophies have historically legitimated and hidden the domination that oppressed cultures have suffered at the hands of the center. Dussel probes multinational corporations, the communications media, and the armies of the center with their counterparts among the Third World elite.
The creation of a just world order in the future, according to Dussel, hinges on the liberation of the periphery, based on a philosophy that is able to think the world from the perspective of the poor and to reclaim the Third World's distinct cultural inheritance, which is imbedded in the popular cultures of the poor. Apart from the liberation of the periphery, there will be no future: the center will feed itself on the sameness it has ingrained within itself. The death of the child, of the poor, will be its own death. This is a disquieting but stimulating book for scholars and advanced students of philosophy, ethics, liberation theology, and global politics.