Theological and Philosophical underpinnings of Developmentalism

Andres Francisco Dapuez


Depending on the dissemination of discursive forms through linguistic practices as well as a particular change in our contemporary doxa, the development language of collective social improvement has been based upon a particular mode of ontological naturalism. In a renewed version of the ontological mode that Descola termed "naturalism", international development has set social expectations in terms of a progressive future framed by violent ruptures, crises, perils and a threat actual of human annihilation. This paper investigates how this developmental enterprise and the consequent ideology of "developmentalism" have further expanded a bi-polar ontology. Since its inception, it articulates two radical sets of possibilities: one of infinite progress for humankind and one of its total annihilation according to the well-known metaphysics of possibilism. First, I will show how the institutionalization of development goes hand in hand with the emergence of a new form of naturalism that accentuates extreme possibilities as results of human action. My main claim here is that, after World War II, science and technology radicalized naturalism through the institutionalization of a new ideology. By presupposing a new transformational capability of science and technology, developmentalism furthers the naturalistic ontology.


Development, Death, possibilism, American Ideology, Pilgrims and Puritans, Ontology

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