University of London
This paper asks a series of very direct, if not simple, questions. How and why is it that we assume that modern knowledge is universal, despite its European genealogy and its historically recent provenance? What warrant do we have for considering this superior to the pre-modern knowledges of the West, and the autochthonous knowledges of the non-West? Are we, in short, right to assume that modern Western knowledge transcends the circumstances of its historical and geographical emergence and thus that the social sciences are ‘true’ for everyone- even though to do so is to privilege the modern and the western, over the pre-modern and the non-Western?
Keywords: postcolonial theory; epistemology; modernity