Bridges between Critical Thinking and Ecological Thinking

Bridges between Critical Thinking and Ecological Thinking

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Western thought, according to de Sousa (2004), loaded with scientism has denied the possibility of considering other knowledge coming from peasants, indigenous people, workers, among other social groups, as the product of a historical accumulation of experiences and practices accompanied by reflections that - although they are not systematized - they allow survival in the face of daily life. Precisely, in the reconstruction of daily life, it becomes stronger to think of social becoming from a diverse but at the same time integrating perspective of the community as part of a social fabric from a dialectic of complementarity-antagonism. In this sense, tension is shown from different social spaces that resize concrete realities. There cannot then be an integration of knowledge, if there is no recognition of cultural differences and, therefore, respect for cultural diversity, a rare issue in the Eurocentric thought of logical positivism. This approach to interculturality offers an opportunity for the epistemological reconstruction of critical thinking as an alternative to unique thinking (Vega, 2012). Thus an ecology of counter-hegemonic knowledge unfolds that nurtures sociocultural and political resistance against the onslaught of neoliberal globalization and its mechanisms of domination (de Sousa, op.cit.).

This ecology of knowledge brings to the fore the issue of environmental devastation that is aggravated in capitalist society, through the process of capital accumulation and its antagonism towards nature, simultaneously with the gender and ethnic perspectives that are questioning the patriarchy immersed in the Eurocentric scientific-technical pattern and the invisibility of the cultural contribution of the indigenous, peasant and Afro-descendant communities. This exclusion of instrumental reason from "other rationalities" has facilitated the epistemological "blindness" that fosters a series of "monocultures" that mutilate the possibility of generating paradigmatic transformations. The first monoculture is that of scientific rigor, by emphasizing the denial of the dialogue of knowledge and the possibility of producing a new science that, according to Fals Borda (1980), is popular, thus promoting rather a new "ignorance" . A second monoculture exposed by Boaventura de Sousa is that of determining the linearity of time, an issue that has led to misrepresentations, especially by some Marxist and anti-Marxist currents (Gandy, 1978).

In this regard, we must critically assume this point, since de Santos challenges the progressive perspective, denying that "development" makes those who could be considered "primitive" happier. Which is usually relative, because the important thing is that the confusion of unlimited accumulation of satisfiers does not reign as an indicator of social happiness, so as not to assume the justification of the historical exclusion of non-Western peoples. Hence, we need to navigate in intercultural respect and the critical decision of technological options by vernacular communities, to satisfy social needs with equal access and Let's assume, in addition, differences without naturalizing inequality, since the latter naturalizes exclusion and social discrimination as mechanisms of domination. At the same time, the plurality of scales should be a key element in the coexistence of the urban fact, to guarantee sustainable spaces with ecologically responsible use, which is confronted with the irruption of a "mall" city that overwhelms areas in the name of the holy consumerism and the global productivity of real estate speculation. Thus, the fight for sustainable cities should lead us - if we follow the ideas of Boaventura de Sousa - to interrelate and interconnect the movements that arise from the local with those of a national and international nature, betting on sharing and nurturing experiences and proposals to dignify the working class from the urban area and the social groups of settlers, environmental refugees, among others, who must be vindicated in the right to the city and to a safe and ecologically balanced habitat. Only through the collective design and participatory execution of an ecosocialist policy could human dignity, authentic equity and a relationship with Mother Earth be considered as principles of life and social construction of the urban. That is why an urban policy in Bolivarian Socialism must be thought from the critical and alternative option, building bridges between Marxism and environmentalism, through popular and scientific planning.


de Sousa, Boaventura. "From the critique of critical thought to alternative thought", in: America

Latina in Motion, N ° 382, ​​March 23, 2004. Quito. [Consulted at:

publica / 382.phtml, on 06/13/2013]

Gandy, Ross (1978). Introduction to Marxist historical sociology. Editions Era. Mexico.

Fals Borda, Orlando [1980]. Science and people. New reflections. In: Salazar, María (Coord.)

(2006): Participatory Action Research. Beginnings and Developments. Editorial Laboratorio Educativo.

Vega, Renán (2012): "In Praise of Critical Thinking", in:, May 10, 2012.

[Consulted at:, on 03/17/2013].

Hector Bello Silva

Bolivarian University of Venezuela

PFA student at Cs. for Strategic Development

Knowledge Area: Management in Public Policies

Video: Principles of Critical Thinking (July 2022).


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  3. Calum

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  4. Heanford

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  5. Fineen

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  6. Husam Al Din

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