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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

Despite decolonial thought offering many identifying features, I argue that to define decolonial philosophy as one type of action, or as merely justice, is itself an injustice. To present my argument, I first provide an understanding of how terminology can carry a colonial attitude and purview. Following this foundation, I then present the limitations of justice in comprehending colonial oppression and decolonial projects. I posit one identifying feature of colonial oppression and decolonial philosophy, namely the emotion of guilt. I believe my proposal of guilt, felt by the colonizing and decolonizing agent undercuts some, if not most, colonial aspects of language and ontological categories. Thus, my contribution avoids placing dogmatic definitions while also allowing for new perspectives to influence and adjust the boundaries of guilt. Lastly, I address two objections. The first objection asks whether the use of a colonizer’s language might be counterintuitive to the decolonial project. I argue that this objection, although valid to some extent, does not harm my argument or negate my proposal of guilt. The second objection addresses whether or not positing guilt disqualifies any previous decolonial projects: I believe guilt does not commit such an exclusion. Lastly, I urge my audience to keep an open mind to various projects and suspend judgment on the authenticity of decolonial projects.

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