Explain Lugones’s notion of "world"-traveling and its relevance to "loving perception."

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María Lugones is an Argentinian-born feminist philosopher who rose to prominence based on her theory of multiple selves.

Her essay “Playfulness, ‘World’-Travelling, and Loving Perception” was a foundational work in establishing her theory. Within the essay, Lugones writes that her idea of the “world” does not refer to the Earth...

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María Lugones is an Argentinian-born feminist philosopher who rose to prominence based on her theory of multiple selves.

Her essay “Playfulness, ‘World’-Travelling, and Loving Perception” was a foundational work in establishing her theory. Within the essay, Lugones writes that her idea of the “world” does not refer to the Earth but rather refers to all environments specific to an individual. For example, one’s “world” includes their childhood home, their schools, their relationship with their parents, and the state and country in which they grew up, to name a few.

Since every person has a different upbringing and had been exposed to different situations which they have handled in different ways, every person has a unique “world” inhabited only by themselves. Obviously, some people’s “worlds” will be similar to others, but no two people share the same exact “world.”

This idea relates to the idea of loving perception because Lugones contends that it’s not possible to truly love someone until one has travelled their “world,” meaning one has listened to and reflected on all of the different experiences that have had an impact on someone. This theory epitomizes the idea of knowing every aspect of another before one is truly able to love them.

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In order to understand the connection between these two concepts for Lugones, we must understand her explanation of what a "world" is and what she means by "world-traveling." To Lugones, a world is any individual's environment or life. She doesn't mean the world at large; she is referring to the circumstances in which someone has grown up—their nation, their family life, and so on. World-traveling, to Lugones, is the idea of being able to "visit" the worlds of others' lives, by putting ourselves in their shoes.

This is where this concept ties directly with loving perception. If you are able to truly understand someone else's "world," you can have a true understanding of their life, and you will then be able to love that person. By understanding and perceiving others' worlds and lives, we can have a true love for them.

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Lugones introduces a great many terms in her analysis of playfulness, world- travelling, and the loving perception. When clarification is sought in the connection between world travelling and loving perception, defining these concepts is vitally important.  Lugones defines the concept of worlds in a distinct manner:  

A "world" in my sense may be an actual society given its dominant culture's description and construction of life, including a construction of the relationships of a production, of gender, of race etc.  But a "world" can also be such a society given a non- dominant construction, or it can be such a society or society given an idiosyncratic construction.  As we will see it is problematic to say that these are all constructions of the same society.  But, they are different "worlds."  A world need not be a construction of a whole society.  It may be a construction of a tiny portion of a particular society... Some "worlds" are bigger than others.

The "world" is one in which individuals identify themselves and others.  They are not rigid appropriations of the arrogant understanding of the world.  They are fluid and dynamic.  It is for this reason that one cannot really answer "What is a Hispanic?" or other questions that reflect rigid understandings.  Lugones defines human identity in a complex manner, one that is not entirely rigid and defined in a monistic manner: "Those of us who are 'world'-travelers have the distinct experience of being different in different 'worlds' and of having the capacity to remember other 'worlds' and ourselves in them." For example, Lugones refuses to define herself as either a "woman" or one who is Hispanic. She is a world traveller, one that flows between both and other worlds of her perception.  This becomes critical in understanding one's "world" and the ease with which they travel in their own world and in other worlds. 

Part of the reason why Lugones defines world in such a manner is to reject the "arrogance" that has defined human consciousness.  Lugones borrows Frye's construction.  Frye argues that arrogant perception is rooted in "phallocratic machinations."  Such considerations advocate a divisive and reductive mentality in which individuals view one another in binary terms, reducing the complexity of human narrative and voice.  This perception creates division where there should be identification and solidarity.  Lugones argues that part of her advocacy in creating "worlds" is to embrace Frye's plea that "the loving eye is contrary to the arrogant eye."

This is where world- travelling and the loving perception are vital to one another.  The loving perception embraces "the eye of one who knows that to know the seen, one must consult something other than one's own will and interests and fears and imagination." The loving perception is one that allows different worlds to exist. It is a perception devoid of the arrogant need to demonize and invalidate other experiences.  Lugones suggests that in seeing oneself in a loving perspective, world travelling is authenticated because the individual sees "oneself as an agent in a fuller sense than one experiences oneself in other 'worlds.'"  In this way, Lugones' experiences of loving and world travelling are bound to one another.

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