HANS-GEORG GADAMER ON PREJUDICE AND THE TRANSMODERN PROJECT.
There is no doubt that there is an urgent need to imagine another world in the face of the fall outs of the current world order. The urgency of this need for ‘another world’ or ‘a world in which all worlds fit’ is the primary motivation for this research. In line with this motivation, this work is aimed at examining the concept of prejudice within Gadamer’s philosophy as well as the transmodern project with a view to constructing an understanding of cross-cultural contact that can foreground the possibility of ‘another world’ o r ‘a world in which all worlds fit’. The basis for this is that Gadamer’s direct appropriation of prejudice and its impact on the transmodern idea of the bio/geo/body-politics of knowledge challenges the idea of universality as it operates in the current Euro-American cosmovision. This challenge is not in favour of subjectivism or relativism, but in favour of ‘intersubjective dialogue’ and ‘pluriversality as a universal project’. Adopting the philosophical tools of exposition, critique and textual analysis the work seeks to demonstrate that a proper appropriation of Gadamer’s conceptualization of prejudice and of the influence it has had on the transmodern project can serves as the basis for a new principle of cross-cultural interaction/evaluation; the ethical-hermeneutic principle of intercultural contact/evaluation which can guarantee ‘a world in which all worlds fit’. In the addition to this, the work also establishes that: i) the transmodern anti-Cartesianism and resistance of provincial universality are strong influences from Gadamer in their philosophy. Hence, their claim of delinking is not totally true; ii) the transmodern project in taking on board the coloniality question within the context of the bio/geo/body-politics of knowledge is a clear extension and application of Gadamer’s prejudicial philosophy; iii) despite the strength of Gadamer and the transmodern case, Gadamer’s postulation is haunted down by the hegemony of the verbal understanding/factual modes of expression, while the transmodern project is wrong in blaming coloniality solely on foreign agency.
1.1 Background to the Study
Given the fall outs from the current world order, a certain strand of contemporary philosophy makes the case for another world. In their estimation, ‘another world is possible.’ For some others within this school of thought, the alternative to the current world order should aim at creating ‘a world in which all worlds fit’. 2 Yet for another group, they seek ‘worlds and knowledges otherwise’. 3 For these schools of thought, the current world order is Euro-American and it possesses an exclusivist cosmovision. On this count, the current world order rather than seeking to arrive at a world in which all worlds fit just elevates the ideals of a particular world as a standard for other worlds to follow. In more specific terms, it is the Euro-American vision that has been universalised for all to follow. But the economic crises that greeted the West between 2007 and now places a lot of doubt on the continued efficacy of this cosmovision. The grand narrative which this vision held that “…once situat ed humanity in some continuing stream of meaning has faltered amidst existential doubt or economic and political ruins…” 4 This places before us therefore, the urgent need for an alternative cosmovision. The urgency of this need is one motivation for this research.
Bearing in mind the fact that the world in which we live today is a global village, it becomes obvious that any effort at a new cosmovision cannot afford to ignore the demands for ‘a world in which all worlds fit’. Arriving at this world is primarily a practical task. But before this task can be executed in practice, it must redefine itself at a theoretical level or better still as a theoretical endeavour. It is within this context of theoretical redefinition that Gadamer and the transmodern engagement with prejudice is appropriated in this research.