Volume 4, 2008
Approaches to Philosophy
Towards a New Historiography and Conceptual Decolonization
Considering two recent trends in the Humanities – the cultural turn and the increase of critical sociohistorical reflections on a global level – in this paper it should be looked at their influences especially on philosophy. One of these influences can be located in the emergence of “intercultural philosophy” since the 1990s which calls for a reorientation of philosophy in general. Regarding mainly one of the favored methods, the polylogue, it is important to take into account the postcolonial perspective, too. For such an interculturally and postcolonially motivated approach there are two tasks which are highly relevant: 1) the deconstruction of history in direction towards a new critical historiography and 2) the due reflection of crucial philosophical concepts and categories in direction towards a conceptual decolonization. Mainly the latter, in my opinion, marks a necessary and already overdue project for rethinking the philosophical vocabulary and for overcoming its colonial impact. Perhaps this may finally become a really intercultural philosophical project in which philosophers engage wherever they may be from.