The Spacing of Decolonial Aesthetics

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Don Thomas Deere


This essay develops on the aesthetic dimensions of decolonial thought in the work of Rodolfo Kusch and Enrique Dussel, who both point us to non-objectifying modes of thinking and being. Beyond a strictly epistemological approach, decolonial critique ought to offer an account of bodies, spaces, and movements that are the very condition of thought—that is to say, the condition of a mode of thinking otherwise, beyond the dominant colonial paradigm. This account of aesthetics involves the spacing and temporalizing of bodies as they live and move through the world, or what Alejandro Vallega calls living-thinking. The spacing-temporalizing of life points us also to the rhythm of life—life as movement, flow, and spacing. Turning to resistant epistemologies alongside the work of Omar Rivera, I consider how these epistemologies go beyond disembodied and abstracted ways of knowing as they sidestep the subject/object divide and engage sensuous and embodied dimensions of thinking, aesthetic experiences, diverse geographies, and histories. In closing, I argue that decolonial aesthetics also points us to a critique of the coloniality of space. Moving beyond a cartographic grid that attempts to capture subjects and spaces in advance on its coordinate plane, decolonial aesthetics opens onto the richness of embodied and cosmic spaces.

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How to Cite
Deere, D. T. (2020). The Spacing of Decolonial Aesthetics. Journal of World Philosophies, 5(1), 89–98. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Don Thomas Deere, Fordham University

Don Thomas Deere is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University, USA. He received his PhD with distinction in Philosophy from DePaul University and previously taught as Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University. His work on Latinx and Latin American philosophy, decolonial theory, and continental philosophy has been published or is forthcoming in venues such as Inter-American Journal of Philosophy, Decolonizing Ethics: Enrique Dussel’s Ethics of Liberation, Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies, and The Cambridge Foucault Lexicon. He is the co-translator of Santiago Castro-Gómez’s Zero-Point Hubris: Science, Race, and Enlightenment in New Granada, forthcoming with Rowman & Littlefield International. Presently Deere is completing his book manuscript, The Invention of Order: Modernity, the Américas, and the Coloniality of Space.