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Conclusion

  • Adam SharmanEmail author
Chapter
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Abstract

Sharman identifies four basic assumptions that underpin contemporary scholarship’s difficulties with the Enlightenment in general and the Spanish American Ilustración in particular. The principal assumption involves a vulgar understanding of reason as property, that is, the view that modern reason belongs to the European imperial project or to Creole elites as a sort of ill-gotten gain. The chapter outlines Derrida’s insight, which is that reason is both a determinate historical formation with powerful effects and a boundless “empire” that nobody owns. It indicates the risks of those critiques of enlightened reason that highlight alternative reasons plural but fail to displace the idea of reason as property or possession. Such critiques cannot account for any advances in knowledge, and unwittingly bind themselves to a metaphysics of purity which is, ironically, redolent of Enlightenment thought.

References

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Modern Languages and CulturesUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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