Towards Decolonising. A Translating World Philosophy: Concepts as Praxial in Institutionally Working Disparate Epistemic Traditions

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The presentation introduces a translating world philosophy focused through epistemics. This involves articulating epistemics as collective actions in the here and now through which answers to politicoepistemic questions are enacted in the workings of concepts expressing a variety of epistemicities. In turn, this involves recognizing that the concepts through and in which such epistemics are rendered, as sets of practices, nothing more or less.
Re-conceptualising concepts as concepts began for the author with numbers in Yoruba classrooms in Nigeria, where alternative concepts of enumerated length seemed to circulate as simultaneously distinct, and in combination. Having fallen foul of the metaphysical commitments embedded in both dualistic and monistic conceptions of concepts in the past attempts to analyse and interpret experiences of this phenomenon (Verran, 2001; 2015), here I ask about possibilities for praxial concepts. Inspired by two suggestive papers John Dewey published in 1922 , as a concept of concepts, the model is articulated within explicit and minimalist metaphysical commitments which evade both dualism and monism. Recognizing that in 2022 the terms monism and dualism mean something other than they meant in 1922, I argue that in 2022 a Deweyan experiential naturalism where concepts are conceptualized as entities that eschew both contemporary monism and dualism in rendering metaphysical commitments through experience (Shook, 2000), affords generative possibilities for translating world philosophies as they meet in institutional workings. The concept of praxial concepts affords institutionally working of disparate epistemic traditions together and separately, generating a decolonial institutional ethic.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventWorld Philosophies and Traditions of Knowledge-Making:: Why Now? Why Here? - De Boelelaan 1105 1081 HV , Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 19 Sept 202221 Sept 2022


WorkshopWorld Philosophies and Traditions of Knowledge-Making:
Abbreviated titleWorld Philosophies
Internet address


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