This paper is a preliminary version of the introduction to my forthcoming book, Modernidades perifericas (Peripheral Modernities)1. It offers a retrospective insight into the problematical question of the nature and character of the "periphery" in the case of Latin America. I start by presenting a general diagnosis of "Modernity" from a peripheral perspective, namely, by approaching synchronically, rather than diachronically or chronologically, the relationships between pre-modernity, modernity, and post-modernity in the case of Latin American thought. I then follow this diagnosis with an exposition of the methodology that I have developed throughout my research as an appropriate theoretical framework for my project. It is here that I want to insist on the need for a move beyond the concept of "mestizaje" to that of "mimetism, " both in its historical and cultural significance, as well as from a philosophical perspective. This step is a key turn, I contend, for tackling the question of "our" Latin American Modernities. I conclude by exposing the pragmatic implications of the liberal, the Marxist and the pos-structuralist approaches to these questions. My position is an attempt to bring to light the shortcomings of each one of these perspectives and to develop a new possibility of approach, together with a new methodology, to the question of Latin American Modernities.
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