Wednesday, 24 January 2007

'Discovering the origins of our socially-constructed certitudes'

"In order to find an alternative language, my colleagues and I are devising a dictionary of the history of those terms that are the mythological crystallization points around which modern experience is organized - terms like future, development, growth, participation, liberation, population, need...

"Our method is to go back into history to discover the origins of these socially-constructed certitudes that today dominate the development discourse. Poetry, meditation, etymology, drugs perhaps, the thoughtful recovery of real-life moments in one's past... these are so many different methods to discover the strange origins of our curious assumptions. Only by re-entering the present moment with this understanding will it be possible to establish a new discourse, a new way of seeing, a new set of terms that can guide sustainable 'policies' without recourse to the Nemesis-engendering idea of development."

(Ivan Illich, The Shadow that the Future Throws)

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