On Pluriversality. By Walter D. Mignolo

The piece below was written in response to a question formulated by Arturo Escobar, Marisol de la Cadena and Mario Blaser. Marisol, Mario and Arturo are starting a project investigating the various uses of the concept of ¨pluriverse.¨ They asked me how I stumbled into the concept and how I used and use it. In responding to them I ended up writing a sort of auto-biographic op-ed on pluriversality.
Here it is:

The first time I used the concept of pluriverse was in a series of conferences between 1996 and 1998 , which was finally published in 2000 in Binghamton REVIEW, the journal of the Fernand Braudel Center , in the title of ¨The Zapatista´s Theoretical Revolution. Its consequences historical, political and epistemological.” It appeared as a chapter slightly revised, in The Darker Side of Western Modenrnity, 2011. Which means that during the 14/5 years span the concept of pluriversality was used in many instances of my work. I heard about it during the early years of the Zapatista’s uprising. Franz Hinkelammert and Enrique Dussel were using the term and it fitted perfectly well perfectly well with the idea of “pluritopic hermeneutics” I borrowed from Raymundo Pannikar and became a crucial concept in The Darker Side of the Renaissance. (1995 ).

Hermeneutics, in Western genealogy of thoughts, names a type of reflection on meaning and interpretation within one cosmology, Western cosmology. When you have to deal with two or more cosmologies, as i did in The Darker Side of the Renaissance, you need a pluritopic hermeneutics. Why? Because you are dealing with a pluriverse of meaning and not onli with a universe of meaning. Pluriversality became my key arguments to call into question the concept of universality, so dear to Western cosmology. How so? Western epistemology and hermeneutics (meaning Greek and Latin languages translated into the six modern European and imperial languages) managed universalize its own concept of universality dismissing the fact that all known civilizations are founded on the universality of his own cosmology.

Read the complete article (as a Word-document):

Mignolo, On Pluriversality