Transmodern philosophy of science in the case of informal transportation in Mexico City: Local ontology and epistemology for transport planning

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Abstract

The distance between the Global North and the Global South relates to different contexts regarding science creation and validation. After the world colonization period, there has been a tendency to Euro-centralise science in practically the whole world. Latin-American countries adopt Western thinking in science by ‘force-adapting’ North-Western theories and methodologies into South-Eastern study cases. That has entailed an epistemological issue in the Global South. Transmodernity is a project developed over the last 50 years or so in Latin-America, which goes beyond modernity by avoiding the European science superiority and by strengthening the forgotten philosophies of the ‘other world’. Transmodernity aims to create a South-South dialogue between philosophers until reaching a South-North critical and multicultural dialogue as a ‘pluriversal’ utopia. Governments of Mexico City have historically carried out transport planning under Western positivist guidelines. This has not given satisfactory results. In the periphery of the city, there is an informal motorcycle cab service (MCS), which has endured difficulties in reaching formality. The aim of this chapter is to highlight outcomes of an informal transportation study in which I applied the transmodernity philosophy of science. I created a ‘dialogue’ between Western theory and contextual data. The process provided knowledge directed to and focused on my study zone. I mapped power relations between social groups and I contextualised cultural aspects and governmental planning and action. This under-transmodernity-approach study provided transport planning fine-tuned methodologies, theories, and methods. The authorities of the city have considered these findings for the MCS formalisation, beyond positivist Western elements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransdisciplinary Thinking from the Global South : Whose problems, whose solutions?
EditorsJuan Carlos Finck Carrales, Julia Suárez-Krabbe
Number of pages23
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date2022
Pages32-54
Chapter2
ISBN (Print)9781032000350
ISBN (Electronic)9781003172413
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesRoutledge research on Decoloniality and New Postcolonialisms

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