Philosophy and Global Affairs

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2021

Thomas MeagherOrcid-ID
Pages 72-96

The Decolonial Reduction and the Transcendental-Phenomenological Reduction

This paper offers a philosophical exploration of Nelson Maldonado-Torres’s formulation of the “decolonial reduction” as an instrument of phenomenology and ideological critique. Comparing the decolonial reduction to Edmund Husserl’s notion of the transcendental-phenomenological reduction or epoché, I argue that working through the demands of rigor for either mode of reduction points to areas of overlap: the work of transcendental phenomenology is incomplete without the performance of the decolonial reduction and vice versa. I then assess Maldonado-Torres’s anchoring of the decolonial reduction in the spirit of the “decolonial attitude” and criticism of the Husserlian theoretical attitude. I conclude that foreclosing the theoretical attitude as a framework from which to perform the decolonial reduction implies significant limitations and pitfalls for the decolonial project.