Exteriority Against Totality: Enrique Dussel's Ana-Dialectical Method

Posted: 29 Mar 2010


Enrique Dussel is perhaps the best known, most prolific, and most influential of Latin American philosophers. This paper combines biography, politics, and philosophy to trace the development of Dussel's thought, showing that it was origin in Liberation Theology that would set the stage, after being exiled from his native Argentina, for an innovative (and exhaustive) re-reading of Marx. Dussel's Marx rediscovers in this reputed thinker of totality what Dussel deems the precondition for that totality: exteriority. I then trace the centrality of exteriority as a concept in Dussel's thought - a centrality buttressed by a dedication to Levinasian ethics - into the present role it plays as half of Dussel's equation of the people. In this concept, Dussel's revolutionary subject, we find the incarnation of the unity of the oppressed (within the totality) with the excluded (in the exteriority of the system), and analyze the methodological implications of each: namely, dialectics (Marx,totality) and analectics (Levinas, exteriority).

Suggested Citation

Ciccariello-Maher, George, Exteriority Against Totality: Enrique Dussel's Ana-Dialectical Method. Western Political Science Association 2010 Annual Meeting Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1580739

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