You are on page 1of 320

Institut International de Philo sophie

International Institute of Philosophy

La philosophie contemporaine
Chroniques nouvelles

par les soins de

Universite d'Oslo

Tome 8
La philo sophie en Amerique latine
Contemporary philosophy
A new survey

edited by
University of Oslo

Volume 8
Philosophy of Latin America


A C.I.P. Catalogue record for this book is available from the Library of Congress.

ISBN 978-90-481-6366-3 ISBN 978-94-017-3651-0 (eBook)

DOI 10.1007/978-94-017-3651-0

Published under the auspices of the International Council of Philosophy and Humanistic
Studies and of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies, with the support of

Pub lie sous les auspices du Conseil International de la Philosophie et des Sciences
Humaines et de la Federation Internationale des Societes de Philosophie, avec Ie concours

Printed on acid-free paper

All Rights Reserved

© 2003 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Originally published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 2003

No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording or
otherwise, without written permission from the Publisher, with thc exception of any
matcrial supplicd spccifically for the purpose of bcing entercd and exccuted on a computer
system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work.

GUTIORM FL0ISTAD, PREFACE .................................................................... vii

GUTIORM FL0ISTAD, INmODUCTION ............................................................ 1

ENRIQUE DUSSEL, Philosophy in Latin America in the 20th Century ........... 15

FERNANDO SALMERON, The Reception of Analytical Philosophy in

Latin America ............................................................................................... 61

RICARDO VELEZ RODRIGUEZ, La Philosophie Contemporaine en

Amerique Latine ........................................................................................... 89

SARA A. JAFELLA, La Philosophie Argentine au XXe Siec1e .................... 115

DANIEL HERRERA RESTREPO, Philosophy in Contemporary Colombia

(1930-1994) ................................................................................................ 143

JORGE ESTRELLA, La Philosophie au Chili ................................................ 155

JAVIER SANJINES, A Phenomenological Reading of the Andes: Toward

the Desublimation of the "Cholo" ............................................................. 171

RICARDO MALIANDI, La Discussion Contemporaine entre l'Ethique

du Discours et l' Ethique de la Liberation ................................................... 187

CARLOS P ALADINES, l,Muere 0 Sobrevive la filosofia en el

Ecuador? Razones de su descredito y propuestas para su renacimiento ..... 205

LEON OLIVE, Truth and Realism: A Current Debate in Latin America ...... 229

MARIO BUNGE, Philosophy of Science and Technology: A Personal

Report ......................................................................................................... 245

N.C.A. DA COSTA AND F.A. DORIA, On Some Recent Undecidability

and Incompleteness Results in the Axiomatized Sciences ......................... 273

ERNESTO MAYZ V ALLENILLA, Meta-Technics as the Philosophical

Expression of the New World .................................................................... 285

INDEX .......................................................................................................... 295


The present volume is a continuation of the series Contemporary Philosophy.

As with the earlier volumes in the series, the present chronicles purport to
give a survey of significant trends in contemporary philosophy.
The need for such surveys has, I believe, increased rather than decreased
over the years. The philosophical scene appears, for various reasons, more
complex than ever before. The continuing process of specialization in most
branches, the increasing contact between philosophers from various cultures,
the emergence of new schools of thought, particularly in philosophical logic
and in the philosophy of language and ethics, and the increasing attention
being paid to the history of philosophy in discussions of contemporary
problems, are the most important contributing factors. Surveys of the present
kind are a valuable source of knowledge of this complexity. The surveys may
therefore help to strengthen the Socratic element of modem philosophy, the
intercultural dialogue or Kommunikationsgemeinschaft.
So far, seven volumes are published in this series, viz. Philosophy of
Language and Philosophical Logic (Vol. 1), Philosophy of Science (Vol. 2),
Philosophy of Action (Vol. 3), Philosophy of Mind (Vol. 4), African
Philosophy (Vol. 5), Medieval Age Philosophy (Vol. 611 and Vol. 612), and
Asian Philosophy (Vol. 7).
The volumes are, for various reasons, of unequal length. The obvious
shortcomings, especially of Vol. 5 on African and Arab Philosophy, will to
some extent be compensated for in the volumes to come, Aesthetics (Vol. 9)
and Philosophy of Religion (Vol. 10).
The present volume on Latin American Philosophy (Vol. 8), containing
thirteen surveys, shows the variety of philosophical approaches in that
region. In addition to valuable contribution to international discussions,
especially of topics in Logic and Philosophy of Language, quite a few
philosophers attribute to philosophy also a more local and regional task: How
can philosophy contribute to the working out of a cultural identity for Latin
America. Victims of European colonialism for hundreds of years, this task
cannot be neglected.
The chronicles are as a rule written in English, French and German. In the
present volume eight surveys are written in English, four in French and one
in Spanish. The bibliographical references, with some exceptions, follow the
pattern introduced in earlier volumes. The bibliographies themselves usually

follow at the end of each chronicle arranged in alphabetical order. The

bibliographies are selected and arranged by the authors themselves.
I regret that the publication of the present volume has been delayed.
Doubts as to whether the chronicle series should be continued are a major
reason. The chronicles were all submitted in 1997/98.
I am most grateful to a number of persons who in various ways have
assisted in the preparation of this new series. My thanks are first of all due to
Mrs. Kari Hom, who undertook the laborious task of retyping the
manuscripts and the bibliographies written on paper in different foreign
languages into modem word processing. Without her help the volume would
have been much further delayed. (Most of the manuscripts were not
sufficiently distinct for scanning). I am also most grateful to the Secretariat,
especially to Ms. Catherine Champniers, at the Institut International de
Philosophie in Paris. They have done the final proof-reading as well as put
up the indices.
My thanks are also due to the Centre National de la Recherche
Scientifique (Paris), and to the Conseil International de la Philosophie et des
Sciences Humaines (UNESCO), and to the staff at Kluwer Academic
Publishers (Dordrecht).

University of Oslo, February 2002

Guttorm FlrjJistad

Does Latin America have a philosophy of its own? From the point of view of
the often assumed universal character of philosophy, the question appears to
be senseless. Not so to many, perhaps to most, Latin American philosophers.
The question is raised, in a variety of ways, in several chronicles. The
explanation easily comes to mind. It lies in the socio-economical and cultural
history of the continent. For hundreds of years the Latin American countries
were victims of European colonialism. The European powers, Portugal and
Spain in particular, not only dominated their socio-economic life, their
political system and to some extent also their cultural expressions. The
Europeans also imposed upon them their languages and their religious
beliefs. From the middle of the 16th century, Christian philosophy dominated
the scene.
No wonder then, that in the wake of colonialism questions of the
development of an independent economy, a just political system, the relief
from poverty and of a specific Latin American cultural identity were raised.
These questions also go to philosophy inasmuch as philosophical reflection is
part and parcel of most cultures.
An overview of some of the position is given by Ricardo Vetez Rodriguez in
his chronicle La Philosophie contemporaine en Amerique latine. Under the
heading method he outlines three main answers:
• Latin American philosophy has no originality. This is simply a
consequence of the mentality of the colonial powers. European schools of
thought determine all our philosophical thoughts.
The other extreme,
• Although there may be no genuine Latin American philosophy at
present, it is perfectly possible to work it out. The two world wars clearly
show the decadence of Europe and of its capitalist economic system.
European philosophy is therefore suffering a crisis (a thought that may have
been inspired by Husserl's work on The Crisis and more recently by the
American moral and social philosophers Alastair McIntyre and Ricardo
Sennet). Philosophy has become a discipline on its own, disconnected from
the socio-economic and cultural processes (R. Gomes). We are, on the
contrary, as held by Palacios and others, the native people with immense
possibilities and vast horizons before us. The mixture of the races has given
us a new soul. Within our frontiers "humanity is emerging". And a genuine
philosophy should incorporate the native culture.

Guttonn Fl¢istad (ed.), Philosophy of Latin America, 1-14.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Some think it possible to work out a genuine Latin American philosophy

following the philosophical hermeneutics of Heidegger. It would help people
in this part of the world to discuss their "original Being" (E. Mayz
Vallenilla). Others interpret the original Being in terms of the old myths.
Philosophers should therefore take into account the French ethnologist 1.
Lafarge. It is the myths that may provide the Latin American people with
their cultural identity. Philosophy of the myths is also central to the work of
V. F. da Silva. However, there cannot be any genuine Latin American
philosophy, Enrique Dussel holds, without a philosophy of liberation of the
oppressed. He envisages such a philosophy inspired by the philosophies of
Hegel, Marx, Husserl, and Heidegger.
In view of these positions, no wonder that some hold that an autonomous
philosophy emerges as a union of European meditation and a philosophy of
the native inhabitants of the country.
• This view is close to the third position, a relativistic view on the
possibility of a genuine Latin American philosophy. No philosophy in these
countries can avoid the influence of European philosophy. Their ordinary
language, as well as their philosophical vocabulary, bears the imprint of the
Europeans. Also their methods of investigation demonstrate all along
European influence. Christian philosophy, French positivism, German
philosophy of history, and phenomenology have all left their imprint. The
broad influence of Anglo-American analytical philosophy is clearly shown in
the chronicle by Fernando Salmer6n.
The relativistic view on Latin American philosophy is nicely formulated
by Mir6 Quesada (Peru). It is perfectly possible, he holds, to formulate a
Latin American philosophy which speaks with two voices, one which takes
as a starting point the contribution by Latin American philosophers to
universal problems of philosophy, and the other, which discusses problems
of the Latin American man in the light of the universal philosophical
As is evident from the present collection of chronicles both positions have
a number of adherents.

Philosophy and History

The various philosophical positions all have a history. The history of Latin
American philosophy, as is apparent, cannot be properly conceived without
taking into account Latin American history, the colonial, the pre-colonial and
the post-colonial history. Quite a few chronicles have such references as a
basis for their presentation of philosophical problems. The philosophy of
myths as part of a Latin American ethno-philosophy, has some of its roots in
the pre-colonial shamanism. The introduction of Christianity by missionaries

alongside the European intruders from 1492 and especially in the 16th
century, initiated a Christian philosophy. A Dominican school of philosophy
was founded already in 1538 (in Santo Domingo) and became a university
discipline at the first universities founded in Mexico and Lima in 1553.
Scholasticism now and then supported by a revival of Thomism inspired by
the universities of Louvain and Freiburg, has been a strong tenet of Latin
American philosophy ever since.
Colonialism lead to the extinction and suppression of large ethnic groups,
economic exploitation and poverty, which prepared the ground for the
emergence of radical and conservative political movements and parties.
Marxism played a significant role in Latin America in the 19th and 20th
century, and served as a basis for a number of revolutions (f. inst. Cuba
1959). The philosophy and pedagogical theories of liberation, especially in
the 20th century, is intimately related to the historical situation. The
destruction of the rainforests inspired ecological movements as well as eco-
philosophy and ethics, especially outside Latin America.
The influence from European and American philosophy often lifted, as it
were, the Latin American philosophy out of their historical context and made
philosophy "universal". A number of Latin American philosophers have
given important contributions to a more general philosophy.

They (the philosophers) "lived in a non-European world, but they reflected out
of a philosophy for which reality was what was European". That made their
philosophical reflection ambiguous. They lacked "a focus". (Mir6 Quesada)

To this stage belongs an anti-positivist reaction inspired by Henry Bergson

and an anti-rationalist movement inspired by Schopenhauer and Pascal,
Philosophy of history inspired by Jose Ortega y Gasset, and most universities
also scholastic philosophy. They all lacked an overall purpose.
Enrique Dussel gives a broad presentation of the development of Latin
American philosophy in the 20th century. He distinguishes between three
stages. The first stage was dominated by the positivist philosophy of Auguste
Comte and later on of Herbert Spencer and Ernst Haeckel. Given that Comte
in his positive philosophy envisages a positive development of the French
and the other European societies and of politics as the new "exact science", it
is hard to see the relevance of this mode of thinking in Latin America.
Secondly, as Mira Quesada comments, the nest generation (in the middle of
the 20th century) broadened the scope of philosophical approaches, partly due
to new impulses from European philosophy, partly to a growing awareness of
the dominion by foreigners. Husserl's "phenomenological idealism" and
Heidegger's "existential metaphysics" (Carlos Astrada) came into focus.

Husserl together with Scheler and Hartman promoted studies in ontology,

epistemology and axiology in several Latin American countries. Francisco
Romero, inspired by these philosophies in addition to Mounier's
personalism, launched a collection of Latin American thought. It was part of
a project of developing "a rigorous philosophy". Husserl also inspired a
number of philosophers to reflect on the character or Latin American history
as a contribution to its genuine identity. However, some philosophers (Carlos
Astrada) thought that Husserl remains imprisoned within the horizon of the
objects of consciousness. Heidegger's ontology on the other hand, gave
priority "to the being in the historical world". And the world is our world,
that is, the world of the Latin American people.
Thirdly, especially after World War II, the influence of analytical
philosophy was growing. Some defended the logical empiricism of Vienna. It
was regarded, according to Fernando Salmeron, as a renaissance of the
anti positivist polemic. The focus shifted, however, soon to Cambridge and
England in the 1960s, to Russell, Wittgenstein, Ross, Moore, and others. The
first generation of philosophers of law appeared. The most prominent among
them was Carlos Alchourron and Eugenio Bulygin, both of them with an
analytical bent. Analytical philosophy became a test, as it were, for checking
the logical validity of reasoning in most disciplines, and for developing a
"rigorous philosophy". Miro Quesada and Mario Bunge are well-known

The philosophy of liberation

"I have to dismantle their machinery of oppression. And philosophy has to be
in this struggle." This statement from Salazar Bondy may be said to
introduce the philosophy of liberation in an important part of the third
generation. Liberation appears to have a twofold meaning: the colonial
powers should be removed and people on the Latin American continent
should be relieved from their poverty and suppression, and: the "dignity of
the cultural alterity" of the Latin American people should be affirmed and
developed. The cultural alterity should be the basis in the development of a
Latin Amel;can cultural identity.
For this purpose the philosophy of Husserl and Heidegger were most
useful in that it strengthened the historical awareness of the Latin American
people. What was needed was a dialectical revolutionary understanding of
history. Hegel and Marx came into focus. And philosophy became powerful:
it inspired revolutionary movements in several Latin American countries.
The Cuban revolution of 1959 is still lasting. The philosophical impact of
these revolutionary movements was widespread (in accordance with the
dialectical principle).

Some philosophers took a somewhat milder approach. Paulo Freire

strongly believed in the education of people and developed his pedagogy of
liberation. It certainly exercised an important influence, also outside Latin
The codex of the liberation movement was published in Cordoba in the
years 1970-75 in five volumes, Towards an Ethics of Latin American
Liberation. It is still worth reading.
The liberation of women is an issue in philosophy as well. The topic is
barely mentioned in the present chronicles. Those who want a name may go
to the work of one of the Latin American feminists, Graciela Hierro. Further
references to feminist philosophy are given in the contribution by Sara A.
lafella and by Daniel Herrera Restrepo.
Both have chosen an historical approach in their contributions. lafella lists
the most important topics and philosophers in Argentinean universities, some
of whom have been mentioned above. She stresses the importance of the
influence from Spanish philosophers and the tension present in several Latin
American philosophers between modernity and postmodernity. Philosophy
of law and a dialectical philosophy of liberation are key issues.
Mario Bunge is a most original philosopher who has settled in Canada. His
great system of philosophy in eight volumes shows how most of the central
topics and disciplines in philosophy may be integrated in one coherent
system (see below).
Philosophy is both a theoretical and practical discipline. In Colombia,
according to Daniel Herrera Restrepo, after the independence in 1819,
Bentham's utilitarianism demonstrated its practical power. His thought
inspired both the legal organization of the new state and the program of the
Liberal Party (which came to power in 1930). Philosophy, together with the
processes of industrialization and socialist movement increased the
awareness of the need for education and cultural support. Thus philosophy
contributed to the secularization of the traditional theocratic society. The fall
of the dictatorship (in 1957) appears to have released the enormous potential
for philosophy. Numerous centers and institutions were erected.
A main theme in Colombia is the emancipation of man as f. inst. in
Guillermo Hayas Vasques. It is a question of thc meaning of man's action, of
science, of history, and of political action. Sources of inspiration were both
Husserl, Kant's thoughts on liberty, and the Neo-Marxism of Habermas. This
questioning leads to the phenomenological project of an ontology of "the
world life".
According to another prominent philosopher, Luis Enardo Nieto Arteta,
life is dialectic. It reveals itself as the unity of opposites - between liberty
and necessity, between rationality and irrationality, between objectivity and

subjectivity, immanence and transcendence, and between finitude and

infinity. And it reveals itself in the experiences of the individuals in their
historical setting. Due to this dialectic character of the experience, there can
be no radical separation between is and ought, between reality and value, or
between being and must be. This dialectical process in individuals and
henceforth in society, I take it, is the basis of the emancipatory process.
Analytical tools, basically introduced in Colombia by Ruben Sierra Mejia,
especially inspired by Russell and Popper, serves to sharpen the
philosophical concepts and logic.
The search for a genuine Latin American philosophy and cultural identity
is central to the chronicles by Jorge Estrella and Ricardo Maliandi as well.
Estrella observes that the philosophy taught at the universities in no way
differs from the philosophy taught in Europe. And European philosophy has
always pretended to be universal. The notion of a regional philosophy is non-
existent. As a consequence, philosophy rarely pays attention to history and
historical changes, or to the variety of present social, political and cultural
situations in the world.
In general, however, it makes perfect sense to speak of a regional or even a
national philosophy. German philosophy with its preference for the Absolute
differs from the English and French mode of thinking. Analytical thinking
certainly has a wide-ranging application.
Philosophy should not be separated from reality, in casu from the history
of the Latin American people. Their history should be the basis of a
philosophy of cultural identity. It may perhaps to some extent also be a basis
for some contribution to the international discussions of philosophical
This genuine basis for a Latin American philosophy is to be found in the
literature, particularly in the novels. A novel is not philosophy, but the stories
abound of themes and ideas that may be worked out philosophically. How
this can be done, is demonstrated in the contribution by Javier Sanjines on a
phenomenological reading of the Andes.
Jorge Estrella goes on to review briefly the philosophical book collections
and periodicals published in Chile in the latter half of the 20th century. The
periodicals, particularly Revista de Filoso.ffa, contain numerous contributions
by eminent Latin American philosophers and by internationally renowned
philosophers from Europe and the United States (f. ex. Quine, Ayer,
Davidson, Bunge, and Rictrur). The publications show the variety of
approaches in Chilean philosophy. The Estudios Publico,\' is a successful
attempt by philosophers and historians of ideas to inform and engage the
public. The magazine emphasizes the importance of connecting philosophy
to the concrete problems of the Chilean society, to the democratic movement

and party politics, to the law system and the military in Chile, to international
politics and to the ecological crisis, and a host of other topics engaging the
Ricardo Maliandi makes the curious observation that, in discussing the
possible authenticity of Latin American philosophy and its cultural identity
the philosophers make extensive use of a vocabulary imported from the
European philosophy. To what extent the vocabulary, "the conceptual
schemes", determine the expositions and discussions is hard to determine.
However, the Latin American reality in all its aspects - historical, social,
political, economic, and cultural - certainly also influences the use of the
vocabulary. The philosophical problems raised by the historical reality, the
problem of identity, may after all, in different ways be common to all
nations. It is just the application that differs.
The difference between the European and Latin American reality and
identity is obvious. In Europe philosophy has all along been based on an
already established identity, whereas in Latin America there is a constant
search for one. The difference in the historical reality expresses itself,
according to Maliandi, in different styles of thinking.
Maliandi illustrates the issue by referring to the discussion between
Enrique Dussel and Karl-Otto ApeJ. The discussion is between two positions
in moral philosophy, between the "ethics of liberation" and the "ethics of
Apel developed his ethics of discourse on the basis of "a transcendental
pragmatics of language", being a synthesis of Kant's transcendental
philosophy and the linguistic turn of modern philosophy in Peirce,
Wittgenstein, and others. A main point in transcendental pragmatics and the
ethics of discourse is to overcome the subjectivity in European philosophy in
f. inst. Descartes, Kant, and Heidegger. The way to do it is to transform the
monological philosophy into a dialogue, that is, to work out the dialogical
character of language itself. This is parallel to the Kantian question of "the
condition for the possibility and validity of .... ".
This ethics of discourse is itself a philosophy of liberation. It purports to
establish a dialogical community the world over. This process has started
already. The numerous international meetings of philosophers is a case in
Dussel, in view of the situation in Latin America, questions the power of
reason and the ethics of discourse in solving the ethics of liberation. One of
his arguments is very simple: there can be no rational discourse between the
suppressors and the suppressed, between rich and poor countries. The long
history of suppression of the Latin American countries by colonial powers
has left traces in the Latin American mind that does not function in a free

rational dialogue. Economic development is in no way sufficient. The roots

of the Latin American mind are deeper than that. Liberation is primarily a
cultural challenge. A cultural identity of one's own is a necessary condition
for any free encounter between people.
Hence reason must have, as it were, a pre-reasonable stage. This model is
well known from modern European philosophy, f. inst. in Husserl. Scientific
research necessarily rests on a pre-scientific stage. To pose a scientific
question requires a proper education and a familiarity with the field of
research. A similar familiarity with other people together with a respect for
their cultural identity is a condition for a rational discourse. One of the
strategies for contriving such a familiarity Dussel finds "the ethics of the
face" in Levinas and in Derrida's philosophy of deconstruction. The
immediate encounter between people will be a test. In such an encounter
history is speaking, as it were, prior to any rational discourse.
The debate goes on.
Liberation is a movement towards a differently ordered society. Any such
movement confronts enemies. There is the existing social and political order,
imposed by the ruling class, the cultural elite, upon the masses of people, and
there is often a widespread illiteracy. Paradoxically, the liberation movement
causes, in a sense, difficulties for itself: the development towards modernity
and postmodernity seems to invalidate any commitment to values. The effect
is that social movements and traditional political parties "lose their vital
Another effect, according to Javier Longines, is that "new social practices
and actors are more expressive and festive than political".

Philosophy of art
Processes such as these are well known almost the world over. Some call it
the decline of the public sphere (Habermas). There are many ways of
illustrating and analyzing the process. Javier Sanjines uses the visual art and
literature in Bolivia and a phenomenological analysis to make his point.
The process may be conceived as a movement from an ordered universe to
chaos. "The ordered universe" has a double meaning. It denotes the
traditional social and political order dominated by the mestizos, the highcr
classes of citizens whose mixture of blood is closer to the Spaniards than to
the indigenous population, and, symbolically order stands for the way we
order the world in our perception.
Sanjines takes as a starting point Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of
perception. The perceptual organ is our body. The body perceives objects in
our surroundings intentionally, and our intention gives the objects
significance in space. In addition our intentions brings with them the Gestalt

principle, ordering our perception into an organic whole, a parallel to the

body itself.
Bodies, however, as Sanjines observes, are not only intersensorial and
organic systems, they are masses. And a mass, f. inst. the human body,
consists of parts that may destabilize and disintegrate. Human bodies also
move in a world "by decomposing whatever nature they were given and
whatever culture put on them, leaving their warmth in the winds". Such body
mass, to which the phenomenology of perception never has paid attention, is
basic to contemporary Andean culture, to its rituals and festivals.
Manifestation of it also expresses itself in Bolivian art, f. inst. in the paintings
of Raul Lara and Darla Antezana. The paintings exhibit "an obscene mass of
stomachs and buttocks". They are "visual forms of desublimation", readily
interpreted as "forms of the postmodem sublime". The canvases of Raul Lara
take us to the carnival and other festivals, where we enter a surreal world of
masks where human bodies coexist with angels and demons. These paintings
show "sweaty bus drivers that take flabby passengers from the city back to
the shanty towns".
To get hold of the meaning of these paintings, one has to know their roots
in Bolivian history. Their visual force comes from the tradition of the
oppressed. They are an expression of conflicts between the ruling group of
people, the mestizos, and the cholo, the class of people who according to
their blood mixture was closer to the Indians.
This conflict is not solved. It has rather reached a stage of disorder, a
postmodem situation, where people really don't know where to go. The
commitment to traditional values is lost. The "social universe" is composed
of energies that have lost their directions. According to history, this chaos is
a necessary condition for the creating of a new social and political order.
Literature, visual arts and philosophy may assist in clearing the sight.
Liberation and education are closely related notions. Paulo Freire is not the
only one who launched a pedagogy of liberation. All great philosophies of
the past had a basic element in them, liberation of the mind and of nations
from slavery and oppression to freedom and authenticity, and democracy. An
improved system of education may in itself be said to have a liberating
effect. And philosophy is a discipline for both reflection and action.
Is philosophy in Ecuador dead or still alive?, Carlos Paladines asks. In the
beginning of the latter half of the 20th century philosophy was certainly alive,
but the conditions were poor. Philosophy just became a discipline proper
with the emergence of a broader educational system in the 1970s and 1980s.
History of philosophy is an important part of every study of philosophy.
However, the growth of science together with revolutionary movements
tended to make history obsolete. A major achievement in 1970s and 1980s

was the rediscovery of the history. And knowledge of the history is

tremendously enriching for present-day philosophy. Carlos Paladines,
himself an important philosopher, offers a fascinating description of the
policies and founding of educational and philosophical institutions in
Ecuador as necessary stops towards authenticity.

Analysis andfonnallogic
Analytical philosophy is a method. It is almost a universally applicable
method, or as Fernando Salmeron puts it, it is "open to all tendencies of
contemporary thought". Quite a few of those philosophers mentioned in the
present volume is also listed in Salmeron's article on analytical philosophy.
Most of them were educated at European universities. Analysis is, however,
a very productive method with a view to discovering new philosophical
problems. Salmeron was himself lead to (analytical) philosophy of language
upon studying Husserl and Heidegger. Two other eminent Latin American
philosophers, Miro Quesada and Salazar Bondy, followed much the same
They both started out studying continental philosophy and published
articles and books on phenomenology. Immediately after Miro Quesada
delved into issues of logic and mathematics. He afterwards extended his
interests to the field of political thought, and to a humanism based on ethics.
Based on his humanism Miro Quesada also joined political movements.
Salazar Bondy developed a double inclination towards the history of ideas
and towards phenomenology as a method. He remarked on the philosophy of
culture and on education, proposing a humanist socialist solution to the
problems of his country (Peru) closer to Sartre than to Marx. From the 1960s
he wrote on British moral philosophy and translated Moore and Wittgenstein.
It followed a series of analytical articles on "valorative languages" published
in Santiago de Chile.
Miro Quesada and Salazar Bondy have much in common. Starting from
studies in continental phenomenology they both published in a broad specter
of philosophical disciplines, and they both thought that philosophy should
not be separated from political activity and from science on the other. There
are numerous philosophers in Latin America who held such an integrative
view on philosophy.
Studies in epistemology, history of science, logical analysis and formal
logic flourished in the latter half of the 20th century in most Latin American
universities. The eminent philosophers Carlos Alchourron and Eugenio
Bulygin made extensive use of formal logic in their philosophy of law. A
most prominent figure in formal logic is Newton C. A. da Costa at Sao Paulo
in Brazil. Together with F. A. Doria he contributed to the present volume on

a topic in the axiomatized sciences. The aim is to give "a few recent results
on the incompleteness of elementary real analysis and its consequences to the
axiomatized sciences, from chaos theory to the dynamics of population".
They also discuss the old controversy of the essential difference between the
world of nature and of culture. If the main purpose of the social sciences is to
predict the future, their methodical approach, some philosophers hold, cannot
be taken from the natural sciences. Others think that the difference between
them lies in the way time is perceived. Attempts have been made to reconcile
the two systems. With tasks from the theory of chemical kinetics A. Latka
and associates stated that the behavior of biological and social systems is
very similar, and consequently that there are no reason to upheld the
Another prominent philosopher of the analytical bent is Hector Neri
Castaiieda from Guatemala. He has published extensively on a number of
topics, on the nature of philosophical problems and on the philosophy of
arithmetic, on consciousness, where the relation between "universes of
mental concepts is ordinary language" is essential. One of Castafieda's main
publications is A general system of normative logic published in a Mexican
Characteristics of analysis and analytical methods in Latin America,
Salmeron observes, is the link Latin American philosophers have established
between themselves and their active participation in international
discussions. They have long since proved the fruitfulness of philosophical
analysis in nearly all areas of philosophy, phenomenology and philosophical
hermeneutics included.
The classical epistemological problem of the rationality of beliefs is still a
current debate among Latin American philosophers. The question is whether
it is possible to say something objective and true about reality. Leading Latin
American philosophers are Mario Bunge and Luis Villoro.
Leon Olive takes as a starting point Villoro's definition of knowledge:
"knowledge is the best justified belief that a community can have at a given
time, according to the intellectual and conceptual resources they have".
The definition presupposes that "there is a world, the existence of which is
not derived from subjectivity", and that truth is defined as correspondence
between language and reality.
This metaphysical assumption has been criticized by a number of
philosophers. Thomas Kuhn's theory of paradigms allows for
incommensurable theories of the world. There may moreover be semantic
differences between the languages of each community. The idea that there
must be a unique world cannot be upheld.

Olive, quoting both the intemalist or pragmatic realism (held by Kuhn and
Putnam) and the extemalist position (held by Villoro and Bunge), tries to sort
out the difficulties by distinguishing between adequacy and correspondence.
A fact is that "confluence between what is stated and what is given", and
consequently that to which proposition refers "when they are true". It should
just be added, according to Olive, that each conceptual framework "cuts"
reality in such a way that there are facts that make certain propositions true.

A new system
Hardly any topic in philosophy and the historical, social and natural sciences
are left untouched by Mario Bunge, probably the most prolific writer of
today. He sets out to build an exact and scientific system of philosophy,
culminating in his Treatise on Basic Philosophy in eight volumes. In some
way or another themes from his numerous books and articles have found
their way into his system. Whatever the future evaluation of the system will
be, it is based on a very sound principle, rarely found in any of the
specializations in present-day philosophy. The principle is, that no
philosophical topic or problem should be studied in isolation from others.
They are all interconnected and should be studied as a component in the
system of philosophy. Or, as Bunge himself puts it in his Personal Report: in
his view, "philosophy of science is a mansion of many rooms". The
philosophy of science is composed of the logic of science, the semantics of
science, the epistemology of science, the methodology of science, the
ontology of science, and finally the ethics of scientific research. Each of
these areas is on their part connected within a broader framework. Thus,
ontology of science is part of a broader ontology. Another example is from
the study of economics: a purely economic approach to social problems, with
neglect of their political and cultural components, is bound to fail - a
warning already issued by Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill.
The titles of the eight volumes composing the Treatise on Basic
Philosophy give an indication of his system:
Vol. 1: Sense and Reference
Vol. 2: Interpretation and Truth
Vol. 3: The Furniture of the World
Vol. 4: A World of Systems
Vol. 5: Exploring the World
Vol. 6: Understanding the World
Vol. 7: Philosophy of Science and Technology
Vol. 8: Ethics
To envision future states of society and humanity and even of the individual
is a central feature of classical philosophy. The notion of liberation,

itinerarium mentis in Deum and Utopia are all parts of this mode of thinking.
Western philosophy appears to have lost much of its interest in such big
questions. Habermas even adds that we have lost much of our "utopian
energy". Philosophy of Latin America certainly has not. Liberation with a
view to work out a cultural identity of our own is still a key issue. The same
applies, mutatis mutandis, to Africa, Asia, and to the Arab world.
In Meta-technics as the philosophical expression of the New World, a
Latin American philosopher, E. Mayz Vallenilla, focus on the challenge
gradually facing all nations and cultures, the technical development.
ValleniIla argues that the technical development has reached a point where it
transforms itself into meta-technics. It is difficult, as yet, to see the
consequences of this transformation. The author points to some of the effects
already visible.
The purpose of technical innovation is to increase man's mastery of nature
- the otherness. So far the mode of technics prevailing until now is
anthropomorphic, anthropocentric, and geocentric in style and limits. Out of
this mode of technics emerges a new logos, modifying the style of technical
activity. The ultimate aim is to increase the amount of power available to
man beyond the boundaries set by his innate psychosomatic constitution and
the cognitive capacity that it sustains.
Vallenilla illustrates his point by pointing to changes in our concepts of
space and time. Traditionally space is a substance that can be referred to in a
variety of ways. He shows how traditional languages, even the ancient Greek
language, are immersed in the spatio-temporal dimension. The latest
technical developments tum space into functions only, which can no longer
be referred to in the usual way. Thus the technical development points to a
new reality, a trans-reality that cannot be referred to by our anthropomorphic
Instead of the classical microscopes and telescopes, to quote an example,
man "sees" with the aid of sound waves, invisible to the human eye. The
same happens to missiles that pursue and locate their objectives using
thermic services - similar to some reptiles. Thus the amount of energy
available to man far surpasses the usual resources. Changes such as these are
part of the new logos.

The consequences for human behavior and interpersonal relationships of the

new technical developments remain to be analyzed. A simple question
remains: How do we keep people together - friends, families, societies, and
how do we achieve cultural identity - repeatedly a request in this volume? It
is hard to see how the new logos can cooperate towards such goals.

It is likewise hard to see how we can avoid using the traditional manuals,
customs, rituals, and celebrations. They are areas for social and cultural
training in different ways known to all cultures and religions.
In Africa they say - as they also would way in Latin America, in the Arab
world, and in Asia: As human beings we have two needs, the small need and
the big need. The small need is our need for living under a roof, having
something to eat and some money to pay our bills. The big need is our need
to get an answer to the question why.
A cultural identity is supposed to provide an answer.



UNAM-I (Mexico)

In this extremely short work, the exposition will be organized according to

the most significant currents of Latin American Philosophy in the 20 th
century. I will analyse the central problems and main philosophers of each
current, knowing that I will have to leave out many names. At the end of the
work, we submit a minimal and indicative general bibliography, according to
countries - even though we did not treat the theme from a national
perspective - and of philosophical currents. The chronology can be useful for
the reader who is a beginner to the theme.

#1. General Panorama 1

The process of philosophy in Latin America in the 20th century begins with
the presence of a positivist philosophy (of Comtean inspiration, but
posteriorly Spencerian or Haeckelian) articulated for hegemonic minorities
of political society who established the liberal state in the second half of the
19th century. The anti positivist reaction (#2), vitalist (inspired by Henry
Bergson), sometimes even anti-rationalist (departing from Schopenbauer or
Pascal), historicist (Jose Ortega y Gasset) or traditional (Third Scolastic with
influences from the universities of Louvain or Freiburg) established .Latin
American university philosophy. It is the "founders", in the sense of
Francisco Romer02, that in some fashion articulated themselves in the
nascent national and industrial bourgeoisie (in countries such as Argentina,
Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, etc.) or the populist movements (such as the

I See at the end bibliography I.

2 Romero, 1952. It is recommended, in the case of Latin American philosophers named in the
text, to verify the complete name, nationality, date of birth and death (if it has taken place),
and their principal works, at the end of this work in the Minimal Chronology or in the

Gu(tonn Fl¢istad (ed.), Philosophy (!f Latin America, 15-59.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Mexican revolution of 1910 or Cardenas from 1934 on, that of the radical
party of Hip6lito Irigoyen in Argentina in 1918, or that of Per6n from 1946
on, or Getulio Vargas' nationalism in Brazil from 1930 on, etc.).
Their consciousness were sundered by a "lack of focus" - in Mir6
Quesada' S3 expression:

Latin Americans who gave themselves to the activity of philosophizing could

understand what they read. But they could not give a complete account of what
they did not comprehend. 4

They lived in a non-European world, but they reflected out of a philosophy

for which reality was what was European. This "lack of focus" made
philosophical reflection ambiguous. s
The process deepened in what Francisco Mir6 Quesada6 denominated a
"second generation", or the "normalization", which begins a "bifurcation"
between a current (#3.a) rather inspired in Heideggerian ontology (i.e.,
Carlos Astrada or Wagner de Reyna) and another rather oriented by
Husserlian phenomenology (i.e., Miguel Reale, Miguel Angel Virasoro or
Luis Juan Guerrero). This last one attained a certain impact and began a
school. Among its developers there were also axiologists, personalist
anthropologists, metaphysicians, and other points of view.
From the beginning of the 20th century, until its end, there exists a current
of philosophers (#4) who use neo-scholasticism at the beginning, through a
revalorisation of Thomas of Aquinas; in the thirties it turns nationalistic in
political philosophy; divides itself in the fifties because of the personalist
movement (inspired by Maritain or Mounier); some became earnest
collaborators in the military dictatorships; others opened themselves up to
new creative Latin American philosophical currents.

3 Mir6 Quesada, 1974, pp. 30 ff.

4 Ibid., p. 33.
5 It is with respect to the "professorial style" of this concrete generation that Salazar Bondy
(and I myself) indicated that philosophy was "imitative or inauthentic" and not with respect
to the totality of Latin American thOUght that affirmed itself as existing and as historical
reflection (which in no way is negated. Sec my article: "Leopoldo Zea's projcct of a
Philosophy of Latin American History" in Amaryll Chanady, ed., Latin American Identity
and Constructions of Difference, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1994, pp. 26-
6 Mira Quesada, 1974. They are the ones who institutionalize ("normalize") for a second time
university philosophy since the first "normalization" took place from 1553 on with the
foundation of the first universities in Mexico and Lima and philosophical studies within the
renovated second Scholastic cultivated with precision by some great creative Latin American

Since the 19th century, because of the anarco-syndicalist movements and in

contact with the First and Second Internationals, socialist thinking, and later
Marxist (#5), made itself present with Juan B. Justo. Jose Carlos Marhitegui
meant the most creative in the twenties; shortly thereafter it was known of
Guardia Mayorga; frontism and the War of 39 weakened the movement; the
Cuban revolution impacted all of Latin American philosophy in the sixties.
Adolfo Sanchez Vazquez gave it its own stature of problematic, during a
period in which Althusserianism reigned (in the seventies); and today is
embattled in the crisis produced by the events of 1989.
From within Husserlian phenomenological or ontological thinking
(Leopoldo Zea) there originated a problematization of the Latin American as
history that must be reconstructed with sense (Arturo Ardao or Arturo Roig)
and as a problematic that has to be defined and developed (Abelardo
Villegas). It is the birth of a strong current that formulates the theme "Latin
America" as object of philosophical reflection (#6). It is the "third
generation", pressed to reach the authenticity and the affirmation of a Latin
American identity that formed a school and extended vigorously throughout
the entire continent.
Facing the methodological difficulty of the prior current, epistemological
studies, after World War II and under Anglo-Saxon influence (Miro
Quesada, Gregorio Klimovsky or Mario Bunge), and the philosophical
"analysis" in search of "strict rigor" (Luis Villoro, Fernando Salmeron or
Alejandro Rossi) (#7), are undertaken. This current achieved new
contributions in universal philosophical thinking and elevated in general the
level of philosophical precision in the continent.
Having diverse tributaries (from phenomenological ontology, the
Latinamericanist currents, to the Frankfurt School) the philosophy of
liberation is born coinciding with the diagnostic of the a) lack of "rigor" in
addition to the lack of "authenticity" (this is Augusto Salazar Bondy's
position). But, in addition, b) consciousness was taken of the need for
"militancy" (Osvaldo Ardiles) as articulation of the dialectic theory-praxis;
and, lastly, c) the misery of the great majorities, popular, student, political,
social, ecological, anti-racist, etc. Movements are defined as theme and
context from the end of the decade of the sixties on, and bcforc the military
dictatorships - from 1964 on in Brazil - (#8). The movement elaborated its
own discourse (Enrique Dussel, Juan C. Scannone), although it divided itself
into different points of view. Latin American feminist philosophy meanwhile
produced its own discourse of liberation (i.e. Graciela Hierro).

#2. Anti-positivist philosophies. The ''Founders,,7

In 1900 appeared Ariel, work of Jose Enrique Rod6, true symbol of the
change of century8. It is a hermeneutical narrative demarcation of the cultural
difference between Anglo-Saxon America (that in 1898 has just militarily
occupied Cuba and Puerto Rico) and Latin America: the theme transverses
the entire century. "Ariel" is the spirit (the new philosophy, Latin America);
"Caliban" is technology, instrumental rationality, materiality (philosophical
positivism, Anglo-Saxon America):

It is thus that the vision of a de-latinized America by its own will, without the
extortion of the conquest, and regenerated later to the image and resemblance
of the archetype of the North, floats already on the dreams of many who are
sincerely interested for our future. 9

The Cuba of the end of the 19th century would appear to be the same as that
of the end of the 20th century, as we can read in Jose Marti:

Concerning our history there is another more sinister plan than that which up
to now we have known and it is the iniquity of forcing the island, of
precipitating it into war, in order to have the pretext to intervene in it [ ... ].
Nothing more cowardly exists in the annals of free peoples. 10

The failure of the Latin American governments that had integrated

themselves peripherally to the expansion of capitalism at the end of the
century (the Mexican Porfiriato, the Brazilian republic, Julio Roca's
Argentina, criticized by the radical generation of the 90s), is analogous to the
failure of its militant ideology: philosophical positivism. The reaction was as
virulent as it was with the other. The philosophical figures count innovative
thinkers as well as university professors with pedagogical vocation of
founders. All of them were original thinkers. They did not intend to write for
philosophers, but for the non-philosopher, propaedeutically, in order to
convoke the vocation of thinking. In some cases, as in that of the Mexicans,
their action was philosophical-political of true articulation of the
revolutionary movement of the moment. Nevertheless, their philosophies had
clear arguments before the positivism that they combated.
Let us look at some central figures and philosophical positions of this "first
generation" of the 20th century.

7 See at the end bibliography 3.1.

8 See Arturo Ardao, 1956, pp. 25 ff.
9 Rod6, 1956, Ariel, pp. 190-191.
10 "Carta a Gonzalo de Quesada", December 14th, 1889 (New York), in Marti, 1953, II, pp.

The first of all is Alejandro Deustua, since he received his doctorate in

1872, although he only occupied the chair of aesthetics in San Marcos of
Lima in 1888. Prior to positivism, he was trained in its doctrine, though he
never felt tempted by its proposals. In reality, he was its ftrst frontal attacker.
At the beginning of the century he departed for France (the Mecca of Latin
American philosophy in the 19th century) and got to know personally Henry
Bergson, publishing his ftrst work fairly late (in his 60th year), between 1919
and 1922, in two volumes: The Ideas of Order and Freedom in the History of
Human Thoughtll. This work had great influence in the new generation.
Mariano Iberico, decidedly a positivist, effected with Deustua a deftnitive
change, by writing his thesis in 1916 on The Philosophy of Henry Bergson12.
Deustua went from an aesthetics of order and freedom to an ethics of value
(two volumes of The Systems of Morality, published between 1938 and
1940). He was knowledgeable in Krause, Wundt, Bergson, Croce. It is a
matter of a true philosopher. Aesthetics is the contemplative moment; ethics
the actualizing moment (although inspired by The Two Sources of Morality
and Religion, it has its own theses): aesthetic freedom becomes practical
solidarity, in the organic order of life, as metaphysical realization of values.
In the end:

In concordance with his attitude in the Peruvian politics and its social
perspective, Deustua's pedagogical reflection culminates thus in aristocratism.
Since its confidence in this selection of the spirit was complete, it believed that
the salvific formula of national life was moralized education, mdiating from
the elite and only from it. 13

Carlos Vaz Ferreiral4 , educated by Spencerian positivists, already in 1908

wrote: "Of Spencer's work, by itself, little remained. But today, can anyone
be sure of not having made use of it?,,15 The emancipated positivist retained a
clear respect for science, practices rigorously logic, but showed the
impossibility of not having to take recourse to any metaphysics, question that
he formulated in his work of 1910: Live Logic. Departing from William
James, Bergson and Stuart Mill himself, he related language with thought.
His arguments against the positivism of the prior century, mutatis mutandis
served to show the limits of the analytic positivism of the 20th century. In no
way, however, does it fall into irrationalism:

II See Salazar Bondy, 1967, J, pp. 149 ff.

12 Sec D. SobreviIIa, 1988, I, pp. 8 ff.
13 Salazar Bondy. Op. cit., p. 189.
14 See Vaz Ferreira, 1908, p. 100.
I, Sec A. Ardao, Op. cit .• pp. 45 ff. A. Roig, 1981, pp.115 ff.

Reason is not everything: reason [ought to be] complemented by feeling and

imagination, but never forced, nor deteriorated, nor despised. 16

It is then a question of an anti-positivist vitalist rationalism of great

actuality 17, of powerful ethical structure, of rigorous argumentation, of strict
Alejandro Kom, doctor (with a thesis on Crime and Madness)18 began as
professor of history of philosophy in the philosophy faculty in Buenos Aires
in 1906 19 . In his work From Saint Augustine to Bergson, he dealt with, on the
one hand, Augustine, Spinoza, Pascal (who enjoyed a great reputation during
this generation), Keyserling, Bergson, but, on the other, with Kant (to whom
he dedicates the course of 1924, founding the Argentinean Kant Society),
Hegel and Croce. The first, in the voluntarist-vitalist line allowed him to
oppose the creative life to the positivist mere matter; Kant and dialectical
thinking, allowed him to put in question the naively affirmed object of the
empiricist, from out of the affirmation of science (Einstein delivered some
lectures and gave some courses in Buenos Aires in 1925) and the freedom of
the subject. Vitalist-transcendental thinking (very similar to that of Vaz
Ferreira, although with less systematic penetration) constituted a categorical
horizon that allowed to develop a rigorous argumentation against the naIve
determinism of the positivists:

16 Vaz Ferreira, 1920, pp. 168-169.

17 In the chapter on "the false precision", he writes: "There are scientific systems, whole
theories [ ... ] that can be considered as illustration of this fallacy. For instance, Herbart's
psychology. This author attempts to explain psychology through mathematics. [ ... ] Such
explications produce a deceiving effect: they make believe that psychology has acquired
precision [ ... J this precision is false, is illegitimate." (Vaz Ferreira, L6gica viva, 1957,p.
18 It ought to be recalled that he was municipal president of his town, Ranchos, when he was
field doctor; municipal manager of La Plata, dismissed by the eoup of 1893; representative
of the Radical Party (the first populism, before Peronism). He was elected by the university
reform in 1919 as dean of the faculty of philosophy of Buenos Aires. In the thirties, when
the socialist Alfredo Palacios wins the election in Buenos Aires (like in the city of Hamburg
in Germany, which opened the door to the triumph of Nazism), Korn entered the socialist
party, to oppose the military coup of 1930, which will allow the captain Francisco Romero,
who supported the coup, to occupy an undisputable pre-eminence in the philosophy faculty
until 1946.
19 He considers himself an "autodidact", when speaking of those who admire Ortega y Gassct's

exposition in Buenos Aires in 1916.


Economic freedom, domination over the objective world, and ethical freedom,
domination over oneself, constitute, united human freedom [ ... ]. Struggle for
existence is not the eminent principle, but the struggle for freedom. 20

This is Argentina before its identity crisis. Coriolano Alberini deserves to be

remembered here.
The Mexican revolution (1910) was both a Latin American and a global
event. It allowed Antonio Caso to take a demolishing and militant pickaxe
against the positivism of Porfrrio Dfaz, the dictator of the "scientists" -
Mexican ideological current of the 19th century. Educated in the positivism,
he founded with other young philosophers in 1909, the Ateneo de fa
Juventud. In addition to the authors studied by other already named
philosophers (especially Bergson and North American Pragmatism, but not
Kant or Hegel), Antonio Caso read Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Tolstoy,
Driesch, all of vitalist stripe:

The mechanism of the universe maintains itself through hunger and love, as
Schiller sang [ ... ]. According to Bergson, instead of saying homo sapiens, one
oUght to say homo faber. Intelligence, elegant solution to the problem of life, is
the faculty of the creation of tools, instruments of action. 21

Existence as economy tends to the reproduction of life; existence as charity is

the creative transcendental impulse, but which in the last instance is aesthetic

In short, the table of values of humanity is this: the more it is sacrificed and the
more difficulty it is carried out the sacrifice of the solely animal life [Porfirist
positivism] with disinterested ends, until arriving - from the aesthetic
contemplation and simple good actions - at heroic action, the more noble one
is. 22

And inverting the Nietzschean meaning of the "Ubermensch" he arrived at

an opposite conclusion:

Nietzsche's superman, conceived in all of its magnitude of sacrifice [which is

lived daily in the Mexican revolution of more than a million dead], in all of its
desire for the elevation of life, has, what it has of noble, the Christian. 23

20 Kom, 1944.
21 A.Caso, 1972, 1II, p. 9.
22 Ibid., p. 16.
23 Ibid., p. 17.

As in all the prior cases, it is an aesthetics that culminates in a creative,

emancipatory ethics. It is no abstract philosophical reflection; it is a militant
philosophy, like that of the also belated Catholic Jose Vasconcelos, who
reached the secretariat of education of the national revolutionary
government. Like the prior philosophers, the popular, nationalist political
movement was articulated - this is the reason why it called upon the great
Marxist artist, such as Rivera and Orosco, to paint ancestral Mexican motifs
in its public buildings -. Inverting the racist naturalism (which gave
supremacy to the white race) Vasconcelos defends in his The Cosmic Race,
the mestiza, mixed, race in its identity. Human life is action and ought to be
organized through ethical behaviour. From Schopenhauer to Hindu

Well seen - writes Vasconcelos - and speaking the truth, the European almost
does not recognize us, and we do not recognize ourselves in him. Neither
would it be legitimate to talk of a return to the native [ ... J because we do not
recognize ourselves in the native nor does the Indian recognize us. Spanish
America is by this fate the new par excellence; novelty not only of territory,
but also of the soul. 24

The disturbing Brazilian thinker Raimundo Farias Britto lived no longer in

need of the critique to positivism. The Catholic Jackson de Figueiredo died
too young and took the path of the neo-scholasticism renaissance 25 • In
addition, Enrique Jose Molina ought to be mentioned26 , who introduced
Bergson in Chile, and who already in 1913 published American
Philosophers27, or Carlos Arturo Torres from Colombia28 , and many others.
This generation of "founders" have great relevance. They were
philosophers who thought their reality with the conceptual tools that they
forged, frequently autodidactically, and who ought to be recuperated into
contemporary reflection.

#3. Existential Ontology or Phenomenology: the "normalization"

Now it is a question of the "second generation". Now the philosophers are
professors of philosophy endowed by the formal exigencies of the exercise of
the academic profession. This "second generation" was inspired by
phenomenology, in its diverse forms, and was the predominant philosophy in
Latin Amelican thinking until the end of the decade of the sixties.

24 Cited in M. Kempff Mercado, 1958, p. 153.

2S See Antonio Paim, 1984, pp. 417 ff.
26 See Escobar, 1976, pp. 63 ff.
27 See Marqufnez Argote. 1988, pp. 343 ff.
2X See at the end of bibliography 3.2.

It must be underscored that there were two different styles of practicing

this philosophy. It is my opinion that these styles are the source of the
"bifurcation". Carlos Astrada, in his work Phenomenological Idealism and
Existential Metaphysics, indicated precisely these two styles to which I am

Between phenomenological idealism (Husser!) and existential metaphysics

(Heidegger), there mediates a fundamental difference. Heidegger, due to a
radicalization of the notion of existence, arrives at a conception of philosophy
and its task that diverges, and even opposes, from those that Husser! considers
fertilized rigorously by phenomenology.29

Astrada, with great profundity, showed that Husserl remains imprisoned

within the horizon of the object of the consciousness-entity, while Heidegger
opens himself to the totality of the "world" where entities confront us as
phenomena. Said "world" will be discovered amongst ourselves as "that
which is Latin American". a) One style, then, is more linked to Heideggerian
ontolog/o, which gives primacy to being on the historical world, with
practical relations that are national, and even popular (it will have as
inheritance the Latinamericanist thinking, #6, and the philosophy of
liberation, #8). b) The other, more indebted to Husserlian phenomenology,
which gives primacy to the subject before the object as eidos (i.e., F.
Romero), of greater solipsistic inspiration (will have as inheritance, amongst
others, epistemological and analytic thinking, #7 31 ). Both occurred
simultaneously and in parallel, in mutual fertilization and transit from one to
the other.
a) In the first style, then, against Rod6' s Ariel, Anfbal Ponce raised himself
up in defence of Calib<i.n, who is now the Latin American people, the
dominated classes (the humanist Ariel has also failed)32. In fact, the
economic crisis of 1929 will reverberate with great political changes from
1930 onwards in the whole continent (Roosevelt himself compromised the
state in an active intervention of Keynesian cut). In the same way,
Heideggerian thought will impact profoundly Latin America for reasons
similar to those that determined its appearance in Germany: telluric-historical
interpretation is linked to the strcngthening of the project of a national

29 Astrada, 1936, p. 6. The bibliography appended at the end calls attention to the fact that
Astrada had achieved a high technical level in the use of sources.
30 On the Latin American "contemporary ontologies" see Roig, 1981, pp. 138 tT.
31 This distinction, however, should not be fixed, since J. Gaos, republican and anti-francista,
was Heideggerian and will advocate the study of that which is Mexican. Carlos Astrada
himself will end up adhering to Marxism after the fall of Peroni sm.
32 "Ariel or the agony of an ohstinate illusion", in Anfbal Ponce, 1970, pp. 94 1'1'.

bourgeoisie33 , and to the simultaneous and massive emergence, in the more

developed countries of Latin America, of a working class. Between 1930 and
1940, a group of thinkers 34 exalted nature, geography, and the Indian. Franz
Tamayo wrote:

[In BoliviaJ The earth makes the man [ ... J colossal steep mountains that like
natural fortresses and also like natural prisons [ ... J the soul of the earth has
gone through it with all of its greatness, its solitude, that sometimes seem its
desolation and its fundamental suffering [ ... J. The Diaz, the Melgarejos, the
Guzman Blanco, the Castro, the Rosas and others more [ ... J all dominators,
vanquishers and hegemonies, they all have the mestiza mark in the forehead,
and the energy that they represent is of Indian origin - it is the blood of the
Indian that surges up in the adventurous and young blood. 35

On the strictly philosophical plane, some Latin American students who had
studied in Germany or Switzerland (for the first time superseding the French
horizon) between the two wars, with Heidegger (Carlos Astrada or Alberto
Wagner de Reyna), with Cassirer (Nimio de Anqufn), or in Zurich (Luis Juan
Guerrero), originated a Latin American ontological reflection. We could say
that they adopted two different attitudes.
Among the ontological interpretation, some will opt for an affirmative
attitude, an assumptive, positive vision of that which is American, which will
have a long history. I would like to remember Carlos Astrada with his work
The Gaucho Myth. Related to the nationalism of 1946 - since it is this
philosopher who replaces Romero, who was in turned replaced by him in
195636 - recuperates the figure of the "gaucho Martin Fierro',37, as ancestral,

33 In Latin America the peripheral bourgeoisie, as in the case of the popUlist governments,
instead, search for national emancipation; the German or Japanese bourgeoisie search,
instead, global hegemony, in competition with the Anglo-Saxon domination of the global
34 Think here of Franz Tamayo, Creaci6n de la pedagogia nacional, La Paz, 1910; Roberto
Prudencio, "Sentido y proyecci6n del KoJlasuyo", en Kollasuyo, La Paz, 1939; Ezequiel
Martfnez Estrada, Radiogra/fa de la Pampa, Losada, Buenos Aires, 1961; Gilberto Freyre,
Casa-grande y senzala, Biblioteca de Autores Brasilenos, Buenos Aires, 1942; Samuel
Ramos, El perfil del hombre y la cultura en Mexico.
35 Cited in G. Francovich, 1966, p. 229. See A. Villegas, 1963, pp. 74-92. Rodolfo Kusch
belonged, with belated appearance, to this generation.
36 Only if the history of Europe is taken into account and its ehange of "sense" in the periphery
of capitalism, can be understood this division: in 1930, captain Romero took over the chair
of philosophy in Buenos Aires, with the anti-nationalist "military coup" of this year; in 1946
it was taken by Astrada, with the military coup that later gives power to Peronism; in 1956
Romero returned with the "liberating revolution" that organizes the independence from
North American expansion; in 1966, with the military eoup of Unganfa some go in exile; in
1976, with the neoliberal military coup some of us go in exile. One has to be extremely
careful not to confuse the "sense" of each one of these divisions, and of situating them in the

authentic, proper apparition. It is not strange that posteriorly he took on

Marxism following an ontological progression that from Heidegger, was
continued in Hegel, and was concluded in Marx, in the fashion of the
Frankfurt school - he demanded a return to history in order to subsume
negations -. In this way the gaucho (cowboy) became the proletariat as
subject of history - Marxist tradition of Jose Arico, as we will see -.
Other ontologists, instead, analysed with tragic attitude the negation of that
which is Latin American in many varied ways: as that which is "bereft of
history", the "savage lands", the "ontological vacuum" of Felix
Schwartzmann in Chile38 ; as the merely turned towards the future as
"expectation", before "the something that approximates" us, as "what is to
come" of Ernesto Mayz Vallenilla in Venezuela39 ; as the pre-Socratic aural
entity without past, guilt, the "pure future" of Nimio de Anquin in Cordoba4o ;
as the "original sin" of having been expulsed from Europe of H. A. Murena:

During a time we inhabited in a land fertilized by the spirit, which is called

Europe, and suddenly we were expelled from it and we fell into another land in
the brute, empty of spirit, to which we gave in name, America. 41

The criollo (white, child of immigrants) does not recognize now the
Amerindian, colonial world, of the "inward land"; she negates a millenary
history. In the same line we ought to situate Edmundo O'Gorman, who spoke
of the "dis-covery" of 1492 as the "invention of America" by Western
culture - not noticing the interpretation of the "discovery" by the indigenous
as an "invasion" of Cemanahuac ("the whole world" in Aztec)42 -; or
Alberto Caturelli43 , where the American is "to be a brute", without history,
the "immature,,44.

periphery. Hitler is not the same thing as Adenauer, but Getulio Vargas or Cardenas are not
simply Hitler, and Frondizi or Chilean Christian Democracy are not simply Adenauer.
Therefore, Astrada is not Heidegger (although he has a lot of him), and Romero does not
have their philosophical-political analogue in Europe.
37 The Argentinian "gaucho" [cowboy], like the Colombian or Venezuelan "\Ianero", is the
prototype of the "barbarian" for Sarmiento. Astrada recuperates this prototype in its
38 El sentimiento de lo humano en America, 1950.
39 America como problema, 1959.
40 "Lugones y el ser americano", 1964.
41 El pecado original de America, 1954.
42 La invenci6n de America, 1958. See my critic in my work, Dussel, 1992, lecture two.
43 America Bifronte, 1961.
44 I believe that Caturelli does not know that he has used the same expression that Kant used in
his dcfinition of Aujk/iirung: "Unmundigkeit" (see my work, Dussel, 1992, lecture one).

Jose Gaos, a Spaniard "trans-territorialized" in Mexico, departs similarly

from Heidegger in order to situate the problem of the Latin American and
Mexican. His translation into Spanish of Being and Time is more than a mere
translation. It is itself a historical philosophical work. Furthermore, from the
ontological horizon he demonstrated the importance of thinking "one's own
world" - therefore there originates the Latinamericanist current (i.e., L. Zea)
-, reconstruction carried out with such seriousness and extreme rigor that it
will leave that attitude to its disciples, from where analytic philosophy also
followed (i.e., L. Villoro or F. Salmeron).
Alberto Wagner de Reyna45 , in turn, was educated in Lima, and later
studies with Hartmann, Spranger and Heidegger in Germany. In 1937 he
defended his doctoral dissertation on The Fundamental Ontology of
Heidegger. Its Motive and Significance. His mature work is Analogy and
Evocation46 • It concerns Kierkegaardian and Christian interpretation of
Heidegger's thought. It cannot be denied its philosophical stature, which
means he would have to be situated at the level of Carlos Astrada and Jose
As transition to the other style Danilo Cruz Velez47 , who travelled in 1951
to Freiburg to study with Heidegger, manifested in his main work,
Philosophy without presuppositions: From Husserl to Heidegger, and From
Hegel to Marcuse, an academic philosophical practice. The theme of the
American did not catch his reflection.
b) The other style, phenomenological, axiological, more solipsistic
(following as we have said more closely Husser!, Scheler or Hartmann),
developed and achieved broad presence in the academic world; they are
"professors of philosophy". Their most important representative was without
question Francisco Romero48 , if one also takes into account "his not written
work", his importance could be understood. In fact, Romero launched from
Washington the collection of Latin American thought - thanks to his contacts
-, because of his enthusiasm and initiative; he intended a project of rigorous
philosophy in the continent. He thus inspired a whole generation. His
theoretical works 49 are closely inspired by Hartmann's ontology, by
Scheler's position on the place of the human being in the cosmos, and the

45 See Sobrevilla, 1989, I, pp. 203 ff; Miro Quesada, 1981, 52 ff; Salazar Bondy, 1967, II, p.
413 ff.
46 Gredos, Madrid, 1976.
47 See Daniel Herrera Restrepo, "La filosoffa en Colombia eontemponinea (1930-1988)", in
Marqufnez Argote, 1988, pp. 381 ff.
48 See Salomon Lipp, "Francisco Romero", in Three Argentine Thinkers, Philosophical
Library. New York, 1969, pp. 113-167.
49 See Romero, 1944 and 1952.

distinction between individual and person, so unique to the personalists

(especially of Jacques Maritain). All of this made itself present in his
transcendentalism of the spirit and values.
In Argentina there existed a whole group of great philosophers in this
tradition. Luis Juan Guerrero, who wrote an important aesthetics50 , with a
decisive Heideggerian influence, but also with resources from Husserl,
Merleau-Ponty and others, which makes of his description of the operative
constitution of the being of the work of art a philosophical example not
superseded in the continent. Miguel Angel Virasoro, Vicente Fatone, Angel
Vasallo, Risieri Frondizi, Arturo Garda Astrada, Carlos Ceriotto, and more
recently Ricardo Maliandi (influenced by Hartmann and lately a student of
Apel's transcendental pragmatics) are some of the other philosophers who
need to be taken into account.
In Brazil we could say that it is Miguel Reale who introduced the
phenomenological movement, in the tradition of the philosophy of law, in an
"axiological personalism" that is linked to the "tridimentionality of the
doctrine of law". Vicente Ferreira da Silva analyzed phenomenologically the
spheres of axiology, formal logic, metaphysics and the philosophy of
religion. Emmanuel Carneiro Leao needs to be mentioned because of his
creative ontological thinking.
It would fit to mention here, although his thinking supersedes
phenomenology, the philosophy of Eduardo Nicol in Mexico, whose
Metaphysics of Expression is one of the most relevant works of Latin
American thought as a set. The work of Luis Villoro, Studies on Husserl
(1975), or those of Ramon Xirau, indicate similarly the cultivation of this
discipline by an extensive number of professors.
Francisco Miro Quesada launched himself in 1941 with his work Meaning
of the Phenomenological Movement51 • He never acceded to the ontological
style by conviction, and remained at the phenomenological level of a
rationalism self-conscious of its limits and of the need for a history of Latin
American thought.
Recently, a phenomenological generation formed in the Germany of the
60s, Guillermo Hoyos, a Colombian, for instance, dominated in a strict
manner the methodology (which from Husserl to Hcidcgger passes on in the
present to Habermas), which allowed him to produce a critique of scientific
positivism, subsuming it and attempting to transplant it within a more critical
horizon 52 . In a more hermeneutical line of the notable Colombian

50 See L. J. Guerrero, 1956, in three carefully thought volumes.

51 Sec Salazar Bondy, 1967, II, pp. 394 ff, and Sohrevilla, 1988, II, pp. 607-854.
52 See D. Herrera Restrepo, Op. cit., pp. 389 ff.

philosopher, elected recently president of the Inter-American Society of

Philosophy, Carlos Gutierrez, must also be highlighted. The Venezuelan
Alberto Rosales53 , the Uruguayan Juan Llambias Acebedo, the Chilean Juan
de Dios Vial Larrain, the Colombian Daniel Herrera Restrepo who was
educated in Louvain, deserve a special place in this analysis.

#4. Philosophy practiced by Christians54

Since the 16th century, but in a special way since the end of the 19th century,
Christians in Latin America have been cultivators of philosophy. I present
briefly the complex and little studied problematic of this tradition, which is
relatively independent from the other currents due to its links to extended
ecclesiastical institutions. It is a matter of philosophical thought practiced by
Christians from out of the context of the church, which is one of the oldest
institutions in the mestizo continent - since the schools of philosophy
founded by the Dominicans in Santo Domingo in 1538, or that of Nichoacan
in 1541 in Mexico, not forgetting that the fIrst philosophical "normalization"
(with masters and doctors degrees in philosophy) took place in the
universities of Mexico and Lima in 1553, in addition to dozens of centres
where bachelor's degrees were granted, from Guadalajara or Durango to
Santiago de Chile, Mendoza or Buenos Aires in the colonial period55 • The
same takes place in the 20th century, when dozens of Christian centres of
learning, cultivated in a special manner philosophical studies - a tradition
that dates back to the schools of Alexandria in the Roman empire, or to the
Muslim (from the re-discovery of Aristotle in the 9th century A.D.) or the
Medieval-Latin which maintained the autonomy of reason before faith -.
Thousands of youths learned and appreciated, through this path, philosophy.
In general, it was the European neo-scholasticism (in the fashion of
Desiderio Mercier or Joseph Gredt), of Italian, Belgian, or German authors
that was taught, repeated and commented. Mercier's work Reasoned Analytic
Program of Metaphysics was translated in 1923 in Lima. This had several
The fIrst stage was of a frank anti-positivist struggle (like with the
"founders" already analysed in #2). Jose Soriano de Souza, who received his
doctorate from Louvain, published in Recife (Brazil) Lectures of Elemental
Rational and Moral Philosophy, where he opposed the "Cartesian-Cusanian"
philosophical position. In 1908 the Benedictines, following Miguel Kruze,

53 With his dissertation Transzendenz und Differenz: ein Beitrag zum Problem der
ontologischen Differenz beimfruhen Heidegger, Nijhoff, La Haye, 1971.
54 See at the end, the bibliography 3.3.
55 See Walter Redmond, Bibliography oj the Philosophy in the Iberian Colonies of America,
Nijhoff, La Haye, 1972.

founded in Sao Paulo a faculty of philosophy - which grants degrees

recognized by Louvain -. In Argentina, it was Mamerto Esquiu, Cordoba,
and Jacionto Rios who launched themselves against positivism. In Colombia,
the conservative hegemony (1886-1930) made sure that Catholic thinking
occupied during this period the faculties of philosophy. In Uruguay, Mariano
Soler is still to be highlighted, who with an acceptable European education
frontally attacked positivism56 • The most distinguished was Rafael Maria
Carrasquilla57 , founder of the School of Rosario, he seconded Leon XIII with
respect to the drive to return to Thomas of Aquinas, and published in 1914
Lectures of Metaphysics and Ethics.
Around 1920 there began to be founded around the whole continent many
faculties of philosophy (the Catholic university of Lima, 1917; the Javeriana
in Bogota, the faculty of philosophy of the Benedictines in Sao Paulo, the
Centreo Vital in Rio de Janeiro and the "Courses on Catholic Culture" in
Buenos Aires, in 1922; San Miguel in Buenos Aires, 1931; Medellin in
1936). Journals (like Vozes in Brazil since 1907, Estudios in Buenos Aires
since 1911, El Ensayo in Bogota since 1916, A Ordem in Rio since 1921, Arx
in Cordoba since 1924, Criterio in Buenos Aires since 1928, Revista
Javeriana in Bogota since 1934, Stromata in San Miguel since 1937) created
an attentive reading public.
A critical moment was the Spanish crisis of 1936, which divided Christian
democratic thinking (which is inspired first by Maritain and later by
Emmanuel Mounier) and from which there evolved the whole Christian
renovation at the end of the 60s, and the thinking that supported Franquism,
decidedly anti-Maritain, which ended up collaborating in the military
dictatorships of the 70S58 •
Thus there emerged the Catholic thinkers such as Tomas Casares, Cesar
Pico, Luis Guillermo Martinez Villada, Enrique Pita, Ismael Quiles, Raul
Echauri or Diego Pro in Argentina. The prototype of non-critical realist
metaphysics was that of Octavio Derisi. In opposition, the figure of Juan
Ramon Sepich stands out because of his acuity and profundity - not soured

56 See Ardao, 1956, pp. 163 ff. In his work La iglesia y la civilizacfon (1905) he demonstrates
an open, liberal, anti-positivist spirit. Enrique Legrand, astronomer, in his Divagaciones
.filos6ficas (1906) showed the coherence of a believing scientist in the mutual autonomy of
science and faith.
57 See Leonardo Tovar Gonzales, "Tradicionalismo y neoescolastica", in Marqufnez Argote,
1988, pp. 320 ff.
58 The 1st World Congress of Christian Philosophy of 1979, organized in C6rdoba (Arg.),
which published three volumes entitled Lafilosoffa cristiana, fwy [Universidad Nacional de
C6rdoba, 19801, was presided by the dictator General Videla, with a speech prepared by
Alberto Caturelli, is the limit expression ofthis attitute.

with political attitudes of the right -. The same can be said of Guido Soaje
Ramos, a specialist in ethics. Gonzalo Casas was instead a distinguished
critical teacher of young philosophical generations. Alceu de Amoroso Lima
or Leonel France in Brazil; Victor A. Belaunde in Peru59 , Ignacio Bravo
Betancourt, Jose M. Gallegos Rocafull or Antonio Gomez Robledo - noted
translator of Aristotle - in Mexico; Clarence Finlayson Elliot of Chile, to
which one would have to add many of the already mentioned thinkers like
Jose Vasconcelos, Antonio Caso, Wagner de Reyna and Nimio de Anqufn,
philosophers who declared themselves Christian; they all constitute a
significant group of Latin American thinkers in the 20th century.
Manuel Dominguez Camargo divides, to conclude, the thinkers who are
Christian in Latin America at the end of the 20th century into three groups: a)
those who professed a thinking that gathers them in the Inter-American
Society of Catholic philosophers (A. Caturelli, Stanislaus Ladusans, O.
Derisi), who must protect a true tradition and attempt to refute Marx,
Nietzsche, Freud, Sartre, etc.; b) those who thought that philosophy and faith
do not mix with or negate each other (in the sense of the work of Blondel:
The Philosophical Exigencies of Christianity, who are the majority of those
already named), and who manifested an autonomous rationality; c) those
who departing from the second position, still "make an effort to find a new
point of departure, to elaborate a new language or to construct a new type of
philosophical discourse that is at the level of contemporary rationality,,60
critical, and Latin American.

#5. Marxist Philosophy61

Marxist thought has extreme relevance in Latin America in the 20 th century
given that it is a question of a dependent capitalism where the extreme
poverty (absolute and relative: there are more poor who are poorer) continues
to grow from its beginning to its end. Marx, inasmuch as philosopher-
economist, continues to be perceived as a critique of the reality of a suffering
people. Marxist philosophy therefore has a political, social and ethical
In 1846, when Esteban Echevarria wrote his work Socialist Dogma we are
far from comprehending what socialism is to mean to Latin America. In thc
same fashion Juan B. Justo, who translated Capital in 1895, founded the
magazine La Vanguardia, the prior year, and organized the International
Socialist Party in Argentina in 1896, published in 1909 his work Theory and

59 See his work La realidad naciOlwl, EI Mercurio Pemano, Lima, 1945.

60 M. DomInguez Camargo, 1993, p. 262.
61 See at the end, bibliography 3.4.

Practice of History, which became a defence of a socialist democratic thesis.

Ricardo Flores Mag6n, in tum, represented the anarchist utopian thinking,
which in the magazine Regeneraci6n and the Liberal Fraternal Union of
1906 struggled against the Porfiriato in Mexico.
Among the first Marxists there was, among others, Luis Emilio
Recabarren, founder of the Socialist Worker's Party of Chile in 1912, and the
Communist Party in 1922, and who wrote in 1910:

Where are my fatherland and my freedom? Did I have them in my infancy

when instead of going to school I had to go into the shop to sell to the
insatiable capitalist my meagre force of a child? Do I have it today when the
entire product of my work will be absorbed by capital without my enjoying an
atom of my production? I aver that the fatherland is the satisfied and complete
home, and freedom only exists when this home exists. 62

Like Julio Antonio Mella, who died very young in 1929, founder of the
Communist Party of Cuba in 1925, they ought to be considered as belonging
to the generation of founders of Marxist critical thought in the continent. It is
known that once founded the ill International in 1919, the communist parties
rapidly repeated the soviet formulations and fell into eurocentrism in their
diagnoses, and later with Stalin, into an ideological ontological materialist
dogmatism. This did not prevent the appearance of great thinkers who knew
how to think in adverse situations. Jose Carlos Mariategui is the main of
them, who without doubt integrates the thinking of Marx, theses extracted
from the vitalism of Bergson and mainly from the mythical-political thought
of Sorel. He discovered, in tum, that the "Indian problem" is central to Peru
and other Latin American peoples, and he does not fear to contradict with
that an ideology which had already began to fossilize into a "classism"
without attenuations, a La Europe. When in 1928 there appeared in his
editorial Amauta the Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality, he could
be greeted as the most original and the least dogmatic of Latin American
Marxism in the first part of the 20th century. He was harshly criticized during
his life and after his death he was stigmatized as having been a "reformist
populist" by the already triumphant Stalinism of the Party in Peru. In a
famous text of political philosophy, he wrote:

The nationalism of the European nations - where nationalism and

conservatism identify and co-substantiate - has imperialist goals. It is
reactionary and anti-socialist. But the nationalism of the colonial peoples -
yeas, economically colonial, even if they boast of political autonomy - have a
totally different origin and impulse. In these peoples, nationalism is

62 "Ricos y pobres", in Recabarren, 1976, pp. 74-75.


revolutionary and, therefore, concludes in socialism. In these peoples the idea

of nation has not yet concluded its trajectory nor has it exhausted its historical
mission. 63

He wrote in a way that is still valid in Latin America:

Marxist critique studies concretely the capitalist society. As long as capitalism

has not been superseded definitively, the canon of Marx continues to be valid.
Socialism, in other words the struggle to transform the capitalist social order
into collectivism, maintains alive that critique; it continues, confinns, and
corrects it. In vain is all attempt to catalogue it as a simple scientific theory, as
long as it is effective in history as a gospel and method of a movement of
masses. 64

And he remains it just the same:

Those phases of the economic process that Marx did not anticipate [ ... ] do not
affect in the most minimum the foundations of the Marxist economy.65

The "frontist" and "Browderista" crises prevented Marxism from expressing

itself with philosophical seriousness and rigor66. The great exception was
Arubal Ponce, whose works Education and Class Struggle (1937) and
Bourgeois Humanism and Proletariat Humanism (1935) are the most after
Marh'itegui. He was born in Buenos Aires and died exile in Michoacan
(Mexico). He gave a lecture in 1930 at the faculty of economy:

So great is the determination to separate intelligence from life that one would
say that in this there is some hidden fear, some usurpation to defend, some
great crime to hide. Societies have never stemmed the thinker. They have
considered him, and with reason, as a heretic. 67

With the Cuban revolution of 1959, the impact of Marxist thinking extended
throughout the entire continent, especially in the faculties of philosophy. The
ethical and voluntaristic focism of Emesto Guevara and Fidel Castro won for
a time the opinion of the youth of the left. I want to cite a text in which
Guevara expresses the same intuition that Antonio Caso had at the beginning
of the century:

63 HEI problem indigena", in Mariategui, 1978, p. 232.

M Mariategui, 1934, ppAO-41 .
65 Ibid., p.75.
66 See Dussel, 1990, pp. 275-293.
67 Anfual Ponce. 1970, p. 55.

The large estate [ ... J that results in the low salary, the under-employment, an
unemployment: the hunger of the people. All of these existed in Cuba. Here
there was hunger [ ... ]. The objective conditions for the strug~le are given by
the hunger of the people, the reaction before this hunger. 6 Our vanguard
revolutionaries have to idealize this love of the people, to the sacred causes and
to make it unique, indivisible [ ... J. Every day one has to struggle because this
living love of humanity is transformed in concrete events. 69

Profound ethical sentiment rooted in suffering corporeality that opens itself

altruistically to the other, the universal.
From strictly theoretical point of view the contribution of Sergio Bagu was
determining: he demonstrated that the Latin American colonial system was
not feudal but dependent capitalism70 . This will allow later on to begin to
formulate the question of dependency (Andre Gunder Frank, Theotonio dos
Santos, etc.) and the "world-system" of Immanuel Wallenstein. All of this
established since 1970 in Santiago de Chile, because of the triumph of
Allende's Popular Unity, as the intellectual centre ofthe continent.
Meanwhile Carlos Astrada turned from a Heideggerian to a Hegelian
ontology, and finally developed a Marxist thinking in Cordoba. His students,
among them Jose Arico, launched during their later Mexican exile a whole
theoretical dispute within the interior of Latin American Marxism, editing
more than a hundred volumes of the collection "Past and Present" in the
editorial Siglo XXI. In Mexico, a Marxist philosophical thinking had
flourished thanks to the presence of Alfonso Sanchez Vazquez, with his
classical work Philosophy of Praxis in 1967; he later criticized the
Althusserian current which had great influence in the 70s through the work
of Martha Harnecker.
In 1979 the Nicaraguan revolution gave a new theoretical impulse and
formulated a profound renovation of political philosophy, taking over the
nationalist, popular positions and opposing Stalinist dogmatism, thus
innovating all the levels of reflection. Orlando Nunes wrote on the
Nicaraguan revolution:

The reductivism of some proclaims that there can be no revolution unless it be

with the exclusive participation of the proletariat, and the reductivism of the
second affirms that the proletariat are no longer the ones who make the
revolution, but instead the people [ ... J. The myopia of the first resides in not

68 E. Guevara, 1974, p. 520.

69 Ibid., p. 637.
70 The most important works of this dcbatc were: Sergio Bago, Economia de la sociedad
colonial, 1949; Caio Prado Junior, Historia eCOIu5mica del Brasil, 1953; Silvio Frondizi, 1£1
realidad argentiml, ensayo de interpretacion sociologica, 1955.

seeing the popular in the proletariat, and that of the others in not seeing the
proletariat in the popular.71

The works of Bolivar Echeverria, of Gabriel Vargas, director of the journal

Dialectics (Puebla), in Mexico, Nunez Tenorio in Venezuela, Antonio Garda
or the Althusserianism of the moment of Luis Enrique Orozco in Colombian,
or the three volumes of commentary of the four redactions of Marx's
Capital3 , ought to be mentioned. The work of Raul Fornet-Betancourt,
published in German, fills an important vacuum74 .

#6. Latinamericanist Philosophy: The 1st ''Bifurcation,,75

If we return to an exposition of the historical evolution of Latin American
philosophy, we can discover that what Mir6 Quesada called the
"bifurcation", deepened (which already had begun with the prior generation,
as we saw in #3a and b). This concerns a "third generation". From the decade
of the 30s there began a more detailed investigation of the history of Latin
American philosophy, which corresponded to an ontological exigency of the
surrounding historical world (from the philosophy of Jose Ortega y Gasset,
Sartre, Dilthey or Heidegger), and to the strengthening of the industrial
national bourgeoisies in the times of war of 1939. Not only as historiography,
but also as philosophical intention of discovering the problematics that were
formulated and resolved by the prior currents. From these pioneering studies
was born a philosophical-historical consciousness with a continental
In fact, already Juan Bautista Alberdi had exposed in 1842, in a conference
presented in Montevideo, "Idea for a course on Contemporary Philosophy",
twenty years before the beginning of the pragmatic formulations of Charles
Sanders Peirce:

The philosophy of each epoch and of each country has been commonly the
reason, the principle, or the most dominant and general sentiment that has
governed the acts of its life and its conduct. And this reason has emanated
from the most imperious needs of each period and each country. It is thus that
there has been a Greek, Roman, German, English, and French philosophy, and

71 Orlando Nunes, 1986, p. 60.

72 See Orlando Fals Borda et aI., 1983, El marxismo en Colombia, Universidad Nacional,
73 In 1857-1858, in 1861-1863, in 1863-1865 and from 1866 to 1867 Marx wrote four times his
magnus opus. See DusseI, 1985 to 1990, and furthennore Hacia un Marx desconocido
[Towards an Unknown Marx], Siglo XXI, Mexico, 1988.
74 See R. Fornet-Betancourt, 1994. This is the first work that studies in a philosophically strict
manner the development of Marxism in the continent.
75 See at the end, bibliography 3.5.

as is necessary that there exist an American philosophy [ ... ]. There is, then, no
philosophy in this century; there are only systems of philosophy, that is, more
or less partial attempts, contradictory among themselves?6

Alejandro Korn already in 1912 had written in his work on "Argentinean


I imagine the smile of the reader before the epigraph. Since when do we have
Argentinean philosophy? Do we indeed have philosophy? [ ... ]. Us
Argentineans, would say the reader, belong to the realm of Western Culture
and up to this moment we have only assimilated important ideas [ ... however,]
our struggles were no mere brawls. Argentinean positivism is of
autochthonous origin; only this fact explains its deep-rootedness. It was
expression of a collective will [ ... ].77

Even Jose Carlos Mariategui asked himself years later: is there a philosophy
in Peru?
It is thus that within the pan-American organizations, with headquarters in
Washington, Anfbal Sanchez Reulet in 1936 published an article on
"Panorama of ideas in Hispanic America,,78. Rizieri Frondizi collaborated in
1940 with the inclusion in the Handbook of Latin American Studies a section
on the history of ideas. Leopoldo Zea, student of Jose Gaos, published in
1949 a work where he adopted a continental horizon: Two Stages of Hispanic
American Thought. F. Romero himself, distanced from the faculty of
philosophy because of Peronism, published in 1952 his work Concerning
Philosophy in America. In Ecuador, in Guyayaquil, Ramon Insua Rodriguez
also dealt with the theme in 1945. Shortly thereafter in Washington, under
the direction of Sanchez Reulet, supported by Romero and Zea, a collection
of the histories of thinking by countries is launched. Suddenly there began to
profile a panorama never before known. Now there could emerge before the
eyes of a new generation the critical horizon that the philosophies practiced
by the "normalizers" was alienating, "unauthentic", inasmuch as it had not
taken charge of the antecedent reality of Latin American philosophy. The
affirmation of a forgotten identity, the negation of the mere repetition of what
is European, required a return to what is Latin American as object (what has
to be thought) and a<; subject (to know who thinks and from where they
think) of philosophical reflection. It is in this fashion that with the resources
of the ontological current the question of the "Latin American being" is
problematized (#3.a). The philosophers that I will denominate

76 See Marquinez Argotc, 1981, pp. 12-13.

77 A. Korn, 1961, pp. 233-234.
78 See bibliography 1., at the end.

"Latinamericanists" from part of this generation, but they specialized in a

more particular manner in historical investigations, with its own
philosophical stamp - that is, doing history of Latin American philosophy
does not mean to stop doing philosophy as such, although obliquely, and this
is what the analytic philosophers criticized-.
Leopoldo Zea begins his task as a historian of ideas79 of Mexico, and later
of Hispanic America. These works were numerous and the first of their
kindBo• Furthermore, he practiced what we could call a philosophy "as such"
(sin mas)Bl, which he has not reconstituted from the perspective of the
Latinamericanist's hypotheses. The third level of his work consists in a
"philosophy of the history" of Latin AmericaB2 • In this last line, at the
beginning it is an attempt to answer the question: "what is our being?". But
as we saw before (in #3.a), the answer with concrete content slipped through
the fingers and little remainedB3 • Zea then attempted to navigate through a
positive reconstruction of Latin America in confrontation with the West.
With the passing of the decades, Zea reconstructed this discourse according
to the advance of the development of the continent's philosophy and history:

A more intense and hard struggle because Western domination encounters

allies in our peoples, in groups of oligarchical power who also speak of
freedom but only to defend their interests, interests that coincide with those of
the foreign dominators84 . Zea moves from the Mexican to the philosophy of
what is American, and then, in a stage of maturity, to the philosophy of the
Third World [ ... J. This humanist integration of humanity and its history is,
today, the horizon from which there unfold the theories of cultures of
dependence and in which the philosophy of liberation sinks many of its
rootS. 85

If the written work of Zea is immense, the "work not written" is even greater.
Like no other Latin American philosopher of the 20th century, he has
propelled the study of Latin American philosophy not only in the continent

79 See Mir6 Quesada, 1974, pp. 208 ff; 1981, pp. 136-180.
80 See L. Zea, 1949, 1955, 1963.
81 See my work: "EI proyecto de una Filosoffa de la historia latinoamericana de Leopoldo
Zea", in Cuadernos Americanos (Mexico) 35, sept.-oct. (1992), pp. 203-218.
82 See L. Zea, 1969 or 1978.
83 To a certain extent Emilio Uranga in Andlysis del ser del me.xicano (porma, Mexico, 1952),
which he defined by its "radical ontological insufficiency", closed already the path of the
ontological analysis of the American being. Luis Villoro, 1950, in tum, following the
negative tradition, showed that given that the Indian is "the other", the only way of
overcoming its discrimination is by integrating him into the Mexican as such, thus
disappearing as Indian.
84 Mir6Quesada, 1981,p.149.
85 Ibid., p. 183.

(including the United States), but also in Europe and the world. From his
centre (CECYDEL), founded in Mexico, Zea has for decades radiated the
Latinamericanist passion.
F. Mir6 Quesada, on the other hand, from out of his project of a historical
rationality86 has drawn a suggestive interpretation of the recent Latin
American philosophical transformation.
Arturo Ardao, for instance, is the prototype of the historian of ideas, with
his own philosophical style. The same ought to be said of Arturo Roig who
reflects creatively from out Hegel, what he called the "anthropological a
priori,,87, "to want to hold oneself as valid (fUr sich gelten will) from out of a
universal horizon and with reference to "the concrete figure of a people (die
konkrete Gestalt eines Volkes)". The subject that affirms itself is an "us"
(Latin America) before the "ours" (not only territory) that has as "legacy" the
cultural inheritance of tradition, in the dialectic civilization-barbarity. Thus,
when we ask after the "beginning (Anfang)", that is no mere "point of
departure (Ausgang)", of American philosophy we must think it as "self-
consciousness", as a thinking about ourselves, but in reality as permanent re-
starts. In tum, the "philosophies of accusation,,88 are not to be left to the side.
Abelardo Villegas made known notorious works in his time89 . With a very
purified dialectical methodology, relating the philosophical text with
historical economic, political and social structures. Villegas diagnosed that
the central problem of the Latin American conflict is the contradiction
between traditional and modem society. Revolution is the action that makes
the answer emerge, which is simultaneously (in the case of the Mexican
revolution, Batlista in Uruguay or the Cuban revolution) anti-traditional and
anti-imperialist. The reformed (radial Argentineans or Peronists, Vargistas in
Brazil, etc.) remain included. The Villegas' project, however, has not
received in the last years new contributions, unfortunately. We ought to
mention here a whole group of Latinamericanists such as Weinberg, Horacio

86 To D. Sobrevilla (1989, II, p. 835), Quesada's project appears as a contradiction in so far as

it is a formal conception of rationality (in his works on logic, mathematical logic,
formalization of a juridical philosophy and the theory of rationality) and what he tries to
achieve in his works on the history of Latin American ideas. Later on we will return to the
theme, but already it is necessary to take into consideration that the Quesada's theory of
rationality is flexible, is aware of its limits. Furthermore, before ethics, or the experience of
having to formulate an ideology for a Peruvian political party, he understood the difficulty
of the axiomatization and the need of a "broad" concept of rationality (which I think would
not be accepted by Mario Bunge, for instance, in this far more reductivist).
87 See Roig, 1981, pp. 9 ff. It is a matter of a historical "re-construction" of subjectivity, fertile
method for a history of Latin American philosophy.
88 Ibid., pp. 100 ff. On the concept of "recognition" see p. 106.
89 See Villegas, 1963; F. Mir6 Quesada, 1981, pp. 184 ff.

Cerutti, Carlos Paladines, German Marqufnez Argote (with the organization

of the International Congresses of Latin American Philosophy in the USTA
of Bogota without interruption every year since 1982), Hugo Biagini, and
many others.

#7. Philosophy of Science and Analytic Philosophy: The 2nd

The "bifurcation", as we said, is accentuated in this "third generation". Some
depart from the position of the preceding phenomenological current (#3.6,
this being the path of evolution of Mir6 Quesada or Mario Bunge). In other
cases, due to the exigency of greater rigour in the use of the resources, use is
made of linguistic analysis 91 , and therefore, they distanced themselves from
the Latinamericanist tradition (for example, L. Villoro or F. Salmer6n). All
are influenced by post-war Anglo-Saxon thought, namely by the "linguist
turn". Philosophy in Latin America made a clear forward step - although the
project of quasi-perfect rigour of mathematical formalization or analysis
meant an exaggerated scepticism before the other currents, and discovered,
already in the 80s, the limits of its internal and external consistency,
especially with respect to practical philosophy. In any event, Latin American
philosophy made itself in this manner self-conscious of its own
methodological-linguistic mediations.
In the first place, V. Ferreira da Silva, proceeding from phenomenology in
Brazil, published in 1940 Elements of mathematical logic. The same took
place with Mir6 Quesada92, who goes from phenomenology to the cultivation
of logic and mathematical logic (Logic, 1946; Philosophy of Mathematics,
1954), and to the support of the axiomatization of juridical philosophy
(Fundamental Problems of Juridical Logic, 1956), until he arrived to his
most important philosophical work: Notes Towards a Theory of Reason
(1962). Mir6 Quesada's particular position in the Latin American thought of
the 20th century consists in a definition of reason that allows him, on the one
hand, to ascend to the level of logical, mathematical, formalizing knowledge,
but, on the other hand, without disdain for the knowledge that he
denominates ideological, metaphysical or ethical, even if these cannot reach
the formal rigour of the first, they still do not loose their rational validity. The
broad rational spectrum (from the formal to the Latin American historical)

90 See at the end bibliography 3.6, especially the whole work of Gracia, 1985.
91 Note that rigour is desired in the linguistic apparatus but not in the socio-historical (which is
another epistemological horizon that they do not attempt to improve).
92 See D. Sobrevilla, 1989, pp. 607-854.

corresponds in Mir6 Quesada to a strict vision, albeit broad, of a historical

reason93 •
In 1944 Quine and Hans Lindemann, from the Vienna circle and who lived
in Buenos Aires, visited Brazil. It is in this city that interest in Russell's work
was awakened. Through him the mathematician Julio Rey Pastro and
Gregorio Klimovsky began their path. Mario Bunge, in tum, colleague of
Romero in Buenos Aires (who published Causality in 1961), attempts in
Canada the most ambitious work of these currents, the Treatise on Basic
Philosophy, Vol. I (1974)-VII (1985), which he concluded with an ethics as
its eighth volume (1989r. In the prologue to the last volume he writes:

The ultimate goal of theoretical research, be it in philosophy, science, or

mathematics, is the construction of systems, i.e. theories [ ... ] because the
world itself is systemic, because no idea can become fully clear unless it is
embedded in some system or other, and because sawdust philosophy is rather
boring. 95

There lies its value and its limit: formalizing theoretical rationalism. Leaving
the side logic and mathematics, Bunge began through a semantics96 ,
continues through an ontology97, and an epistemolog/8 • Finally, his ethics
are developed from an axiological, Aristotelian teleological model. "Values"
as evaluative horizon that takes over the utilitarian position; morality as the

93 By the philosopher see: "Outline of my philosophical position", in Southern Philosophers

(Univ. of N. Carolina), 1953, 2, pp. 1-5, and "La filosoffa como actividad racional", in
Philosophische Selbstdarstellungen, 1986, pp. 195-203.
94 See also the work published in 1980, The Mind-Body Problem, where he makes not of a
theme of great importance.
95 Bunge, 1989, VIII, pp. v-vi.
96 Vol. I: Designation, Reference, Representation, Intention, Content. Vol. II: Interpretation,
Meaning, Truth, Precision, Contiguous fields. It is to be noted that this is all a pre-pragmatic
97 Vol. III: Substance, Form, Thing, World (only as the totality of real things), Possibility,
Change, Time-Space. Vol. IV: System, Life, Mind, Society, a systematic vision of the
world. This work deserved a special study. For Bunge, ontology is the formal reflection of
systems as systems (formal systematizability). It would be interesting to compare this
position with Niklas Luhmann's position. In synthesis: "Everything interacts with other
things, so that all things cohere forming systems" (IV, p. 245). This is neither atomistic, nor
holistic, nor scientistic. The "systematicity" of things is diverse (insofar as they are
heterogeneous systems). Lastly, since the universe is the whole of all the systems: "it
endures eternally although no part of it does" (p. 246).
98 Vol. V: Cognition, Knowledge, Investigation, Communication; perception, conception,
inference, exploration, conjecture, systematization. Vol. VI: Understanding, production of
evidence, evaluation, epistemological change, types of knowledge, results. Vol. VII: Formal
science, physical science.

set of moral norms; ethics as the theories on values, morality and action; the
theory of action as a praxiology:

The morality advocated in this book is based on a value theory according to

which anything that promotes welfare is good. Our morality can be summed
up in the norm Enjoy life and help live. 99

Hector-Neri Castaneda, born in Guatemala (with his first publication in the

United States, Morality, 1963), is the best known of the Latin American
analytic philosophers JO o. Castaneda dedicated himself since his doctoral
dissertation to the development of an analysis of ethical language, and he has
. a creatIve
d one so III . an d person al manner.101 Rigorous anal' ytlC, he
concluded one of his first works presenting us his position:

Thus Morality builds, upon the connection between the moral value of sets of
actions and happiness, the basis of a special complex and pervasive network of
duties (obligations, oughts, or requirements). I 02

Ontologically, like Moore or Bunge, the point of departure is an axiology,

from out of which moral principles are determined with reference to an ethos.
The "elements of practical thinking", unities (noema) are analytically
searched, which are formulated in "propositions" that can constitute
"imperatives", with intentions, until arriving to deontic judgments. Little by
little the "logical structure of practical thinking", the justification of
prescriptions and intentions, imperatives and duties, is discovered, until "the
structure of morality" is analytically reached.
Thomas M. Simpson (Logical Forms, Reality and Meaning, 1964) in
Buenos Aires, Roberto Torretti in Chile, are some of the ones who also
opened the path. Eduardo Rabossi made known in 1977 his Philosophical
Analysis, Language and Metaphysics.
Meanwhile, in 1967, Alejandro Rossi having returned from Oxford, Luis
Villoro and Fernando Salmeron, founded the journal Critica, which became
the organ of the analytic movement in Latin America. Carlos U. Moulines,

99 VIII, p. 398. But it is there, precisely, when the difficultics begin. How is the fact thought
philosophically, that the majority of humanity, in misery, in the peripheral world, can
accomplish this objective? Bunge indicates that this would be more concrete levels of
reflection of application that depart from the presented.
100 He has had students like Ricardo Gomez, excellent Argentinean epistemologist in Los
Angeles, Jorge Graeia, Hispanic-American in Buffalo, who carries out an extremely
relevant work since he is a true "inter-cultural bridge" between the United States and Latin
101 See his works: Castaneda, 1974, 1975, 1989.
102 Castaneda, 1974, p. 175.

Venezuelan doctor in Munich (1975) and in fact with a title in epistemology

from the city's university, published in 1973 The Structure of the Sensible
World - departing from Stegmliller's position. Ze1jko Loparic promoted in
the University of Campinas near Siio Paulo a centre for logic, epistemology
and the history of science, where in 1977 was published the journal
Luis Villoro, in his work Belief, Knowledge, Learning, asked himself:

How does human reason operate throughout history in order to reiterate

situations of domination, or on the contrary, to liberate ourselves from our

And concluded the work with the same thematic:

If intolerance is an indispensable part of a thought of domination, the critical

activity is the first step of a liberation thinking. 104

Critique departs from beliefs105. Every rational being has beliefs for reasons,
when they are sufficient they are enough; when they are insufficient, its
causes and better reasons are looked for. When sufficient reasons are
objectively justified as valid, it can be said that s has knowledge of pl06. To
learn adds to knowledge the "personal experience,,107, which is judged
specifically in discoveries, in empirical application, and in wisdom.
Criticizing with vehemence the scepticism of scientism that measures
everything according to the disproportionately rigorous degree of
justification of some sciences, he concludes:

Contemporary scientism is brother of the attitude of scomful arrogance with

which the civilized contemplate the beliefs of human groups which have not
ascended to a specific level of technical level of development [ ... J. The
colonial expansion of the West has ruled despotically entire peoples,
destroying their cultures, with the Rretended justification of introducing them
to science and modem technology. I 8

103 Villoro, 1982, p. 9.

104 Ibid., p. 292.
105 "In an acquired dispositional state which causes a coherent set of responses and which is
determined by an object or apprehended objective situation" (Ibid.), p. 71).
106 Ibid., p. 175.
107 Ibid., p. 220.
108 Ibid., p. 294-295. And he adds: "Skepticism before every possibility of innovation and
profound change accommodates very well with conformism before the existing situation
and its structures of domination. It is not without reason that technocratic and conservative

The clear defence of "wisdom", as the knowledge extracted from lived

experiences, which is different from scientific knowledge, allows Villoro to
be precise without delegitimating the narrative of a Shakyamuni, the "wise
man of the tribe ofthe shakyas" 109.
Putting aside the critiques that are made of them, and that they temselves
formulate llO , this current has contributed greatly to raising the level of
philosophical reflection. If it was born with the vocation of rigour, it has
achieved its objective.

#8. The PWlosophy of Liberation 111

Part of a new generation 112 (of those born after 1930, although it is already
anticipated by some), began its reflection at the end of the decade of the 60s,
not without some relation to the events of '68, with respect to a philosophy of
liberation. It is thus linked to the Latinoamericanist philosophy. Salazar
Bondy belonged to this current, and he responded negatively to the question:
Is there a philosophy of our America?, from where he saw the need for the
birth of a new philosophy, more rigorous and engaged in the struggle against
the culture of domination. For Salazar Bondy only one who understands
"domination" can, without illusion, hope for an exit:

The insufficiencies and weaknesses of our philosophy, which subsist despite

the present efforts and progresses, are not, then, negative characteristics of
philosophy taken separately and as such, but symptomatic effect of a deeper
and more fundamental failure that affects our culture and society jointly .113

With extreme lucidity, Bondy concludes:

focuses on social life often attempt to disguise themselves with a scientistic posture." (Ibid.),
109 Ibid., p. 227. Here the "second" Villoro could follow the "first" (the phenomenological and
historian of ideology Villoro), and to meet up with the "third" (his present political
110 From within the current. Gracia writes: "A more serious weakness from the philosophical
standpoint that I see in the work of Latin American analysts is their lack of interest and
competence in the history of philosophy in general and particularly in the history of Latin
American thought [ ... J. At a time when the analytic tradition in the Anglo-American world
is opening up to other philosophical traditions and trying to engage in dialogue with them,
some Latin American analysts seem to be going in exactly the opposite direction" ("The
impact of philosophical Analysis", in Gracia, 1988, pp. 138-139).
111 See at the end bibliography 3.7.
112 It would be the "fourth" of Mira Quesada (l981, p. 184). The term "generation" is not
meant here as a category, but as an approximate indication of a double membership: a) to a
certain problematic, and b) to a certain time (where the age of the philosopher is an
ambiguous term, which ncvcltheless indicates a certain historicity).
113 Lafilosofia en el Peru, p. 118.
Philosophical thinking oUght to become, as far as the human energies that are
empowered allow it, an instrument of radical critique with the goal of
achieving, through analysis and rational illumination, a fully realistic
consciousness of our situation. 114

A clear diagnosis on the need for a new philosophy:

To the side of the philosophies linked with the great contemporary blocks or
the immediate future, it is necessary, then, to forge a thinking that, at the same
time that it takes root in the socio-historical reality of our communities and
translates their needs and goals, serves to cancel the underdevelopment and the
domination that typify our historical situation. It is necessary that, within the
general frame of the Third World, the Hispanic American countries,
challenged to construct their development and to achieve their independence,
encounter the support of a philosophical reflection conscious of the historical
crossroad and decided to construct itself as a rigorous, realist and transforming
thinking. 115

In order to conclude by expressing that:

But there is still no possibility of liberation, and, to the extent that there is, we
are obliged to opt decidedly for a line of action that materializes this possibility
and evades its frustration. Hispanic American philosophy has before itself also
the option, that, its own constitution depends on its being an authentic

Salazar Bondy explained to us in 1973 in Buenos Aires, during the dialogue

we organized then:

When philosophy set out historically to liberate itself, it did not even achieve
the liberation of the philosopher, because no one who dominates another can
be liberated. Thus, taking matters in truth, the only possibility of liberation
opens itself for the first time in history with the Third World, to the world of
the oppressed and underdeveloped, who are liberating themselves and at the
same time liberate the other, the dominator. Then, for the first time can there
be philosophy of liberation. In the concrete case of the struggle of classes,
groups, nations there is another who is the dominator, who unfortunately I
have to remove from the structure of domination: I have to dismantle their
machinery of oppression. And philosophy has to be in this struggle, because if
not, it becomes abstract thought that with the intention that we are to liberate
others, as philosophers, not even we are liberated. 1I?

114 Ibid.
115 Op. cit., p. 127.
116 Ibid., p. 133.

II? "Dhilogo con los expositores", in Stromata (Buenos Aires), XXIX, Oct.-Dec., 4 (1973), pp.
441-442. I must testify here that Bondy was pleasantly surprised to encounter a

Salazar Bondy indicated that said new philosophy ought to respond

diachronically to three moments:

[a] a critical work to the extent that historical reality allows it, [b] a work of
reformulation to the extent that we emerge towards a new optic, and [c] a
reconstruction of philosophy to the extent that this optic gives us a way to
produce a thinking already oriented in the sense of the philosophy of

Leopoldo Zea's1l9 reaction was not so much to negate Bondy's

historiographical position - or mine -, but instead to defend the "Latin-
americanist Philosophy" in the sense of the affirmation that this already
responded to the exigencies of the new philosophy that Bondy is looking for.
This was the debated: Latinamericanist philosophy with already long
tradition or nascent liberation philosophy? Zea wanted to demonstrate that
there always was Latin American thought and even philosophy of liberation,
authentic insofar as it responded to our reality 120. These philosophies
responded to the reality of their time, especially to political reality. Salazar
Bondy and I perfectly accepted this hypothesis, given that Bondy himself had
written numerous historiographical works of such "thinking". Zea and we
were in agreement that to a large extent "academic" or "normalized"
philosophy, the philosophy of the "community of hegemonic European,
North American philosophers" propounded amongst ourselves, was not
authentic 121 ; it was imitative, eurocentric - the analytic philosophers of the

philosophical movement, with publications, presence in the universities, interdisciplinary

congresses, with a philosophical development of several years, and which is called
"liberation philosophy", whose existence he did not know. He immediately felt himself a
member and could thus enter in the constructive discussion. It was like a project of his own
that he had not been able to develop. It is thus that he honoured us greatly when he said: "In
this it appears to me velY interesting what you are doing [ ... since] you are precisely
attempting a reformulation of the traditional problematic of a new optic" ("Filosoffa de la
dominaci6n y filosoffa de la liberaci6n", in Stromata, cit., p. 397).
118 "Filosoffa de la dominaci6n y filosoffa de la liberaci6n", p. 397.

119 As much in Lafllosofia Americana como fllosofia sin nulS, Siglo XXI, Mexico, 1969, and

the critique he made of Salazar Bondy (and myself) in San Miguel (see "La filosoffa
latinoamericana como filosoffa de la liberaci6n", in Stromata already cited p. 406: "Enrique
Dussel, in tum, has formulated a similar need and, with Salazar Bondy, he has asked: is an
authentic philosophy possible in our underdeveloped, dependent, and oppressed continent,
even culturally and philosophically?")
120 See L. Zea, 1974.
121 Leopoldo Zea himself wrote: "Not to want to take consciousness of our own situation

explains partly that we have not been able to have our philosophy" ("La filosoffa como
compromido", in La fllosofia como compromiso y otros ensayos, Mexico, 1952, p. 33). Note
that here Zea coincides with Bondy and myself.

60s added validly that it was not sufficiently rigorous -. We admitted also
that for philosophy to be such, it ought to depart from concrete (or particular)
reality and ought to elevate itself to universality, when it is rigorous
philosophy - and in this there was concordance with the analytic and
epistemological current -. It is in such a way that all philosophy (Aristotle's
departed from a political reality of slavery, and Hegel's global-historical
philosophy was germanocentric) departs from the concrete and raises itself to
universality (Aristotle's and Hegel's logics are good examples). Every
philosophy is originally particular (and because of that it strictly deserved the
name of Greek, Roman, Muslim, Medieval, German, Anglo-Saxon, and even
North American, since Charles S. Peirce, philosophy), as point of departure,
and at the same time they are "philosophy as such" (jilosofia sin mas), as
point of arrival - since they can learn/teach something "universal" of/to all
others I22 -. The discussion does not reside here. The problem is located
somewhere else: Zea thinks that "Latinamericanist philosophy" suffices;
Salazar Bondy advocates a new philosophy which is more rigorous,
illuminative with respect to the question of "negativity", and that is more
linked to praxis in the question of social "transformation". In order to attain
this, the social sciences, the political economy of dependence (today we
would say the horizon of the "world-system") must be assimilated. The
original group of the philosophy of liberation, it is my personal opinion, was
in agreement with Salazar Bondy on this issue. I believe that there are four
possible positions before this problem: a) that which admits the validity of
historiographical "Latinamericanist philosophy" or as hermeneutics of the
"life world"; b) that which discovers the degree of prostration of our
academic-normalized philosophy; c) that which indicates similarly the
possibility of a Latin American philosophy as historiography, and that
dialogues with the best of the hegemonic Euro-American philosophical
community; d) that which attempts the development of a philosophy of
liberation as differentiated from the prior project, although it ought to be
articulated in conjunction with them - that is, supporting itself in
historiography, in epistemological rigour and in dialogue or clarifying
debaters with the other recognized and hegemonic philosophical positions.
Salazar Bondy's project, and that of a philosophy of liberation in a strict
senseI23, distinguishes itself from "Latinamericanist philosophy" (a) (#4 of

122 See the volume that emerged from a meeting where the question "whether there is a Latin
American philosophy? was discussed: Antonio Sidekum, ed. 1994, Etica do Discurso e
Filosofia da Ubertar;ao. Modelos Complementares, Sao Leopoldo, RS, Editora Unisinos.
123 Salazar Bondy advanced to the moment (a) he called attention to (b), and also attempted (c),
position that in an independent way we practiced in Argentina since 1969-1970. In (d) we

this essay), although said "philosophy of liberation" (d) can be considered as

a movement that emerged from the style of the "Latinamericanist
philosophy". But, since it is not only a particular process (although it set out
from particularity), it is at the same time "universal philosophy", that is, it
opens itself to globality (but in the sense of linking up with the philosophical
movements of liberation of the periphery in general, of the underdeveloped
nations, of the dominated social classes, of ethnicities, of the marginal, of
women, of homosexuals, of children, the youth and popular culture, of the
discriminated races, of the future generations in the ecological question, etc.).
The new philosophy whose agenda is opened by Salazar Bondy from a
negative moment (as "philosophy of domination") has been developed in the
last decades l24 •
Some, like Osvaldo Ardiles in the 70s, who belonged to the
Latinamericanist current of ontological style, develops this philosophy with a
political philosophical consciousness, from an analysis of continental reality
such as it was practiced by the nascent Latin American critical social science
(think here of Fals Borda, Sociology of Liberation, published in 1969), and
from the militant engagement with popular groups in action against the
military dictatorships 125. The "late Heidegger" is criticized by Emmanuel
Levinas (thanks to the contribution of J. C. Scannone), allowing for the
emergence of a Latin American thought which discovers that: a) the
negativity of the domination of the Latin American exploited people
originates with the beginning of the "world-system" itself in 1492. The
reality of Latin American oppression, already criticized by Bartolome de Las

are in agreement personally in 1973. Bondy lived the entire process of development of the
philosophy of liberation (d) that he ignored, but that he "recognized" immediately.
124 For a general panorama see my article "Filosoffa de la liberaci6n desde la praxis de los
oprirnidos", in Dussel, 1993, pp. 13-31.
125 This concerns the military dictatorships of dependence, which began with Castello Branco
in Brazil (1964) or Unganfa in Argentina (1966), and that are generalized later (Banzer in
Bolivia, Pinochet in Chile in 1973, Videla in Argentina in 1976, etc.). These historical
"ruptures", until in 1983 the return to formal democracy takes place in Argentina, produced
deep fissures in the philosophical development, as we have seen. The European "fissures"
(the irruption of Nazism and Fascism, from the end of the 20s, and the return to democracy
in 1945) will be equally acute and produced important "philosophical" effects. One has to
know how to analyse them analogically with Latin America, where they have not yet ended.
In Latin America there were many expUlsions of philosophers like the Frankfurt school,
many like Walter Benjamin (think of the philosopher Mauricio Lopez, tortured and
assassinated in Argentina in 1976), many Marcuses (we were more than ten professors who
shared our commitment to the philosophy of liberation who were expulsed from the
university and the country), and many collaborationist Heideggers (without for that no
longer being philosophers). The historical analysis of the global periphery is more complex
than that of Europe or the United States.

Casas in the 16th century (which was the first counter-discourse of

Modernity), is the point of departure of this uniquely Latin American
philosophy by thematic, by method, by self-consciousness of a different
discourse. But, immediately, b) positivity, the dignity of the cultural alterity
of the Latin American historical subject, is affirmed from the perspective of a
project of liberation.
Perhaps the philosophy of liberation (which emerged approximately at the
end of 1969 in Argentina) begins with the work Towards an ethics of Latin
American liberation (five volumes written between 1970 and 1975 126 ). This
group of philosophers was known at the II National Congress of Philosophy
(Cordoba, 1972). It is a discourse that has as its point of departure the fact of
the massive poverty of the under-developed and dependent Latin American
continent. It is a reflection from the oppressed and/or excluded from the
system (be they politically, economically, erotically, pedagogically, etc.) - in
the way the pragmatists do from out of the process of verification -; it is a
practical process, not of freedom, but of liberation, which departs from
another process, not that of the modem consciousness, but from that of
concientizaci6n, which demands the sketching of an alternative project to the
one constructed by the "principle of hope".
This current has followed several paths of developments. Some were
included because of their ethical analysis, with greater links to Levinas or
Marx (an ethics of liberation), others return to a indigenous hermeneutics of
long tradition (Rodolfo Kusch), or others set out from popular wisdom (J.C.
Scannonel27, Carlos Cullen I28 ); others deal with ideological deconstruction
(Hugo Assmann) or with the critique of utopian reason (Franz
Hinkelammert 129); some tum frankly nationalists, populists (Mario
CasallaI3 O); others insert themselves within the study of tradition (L. Zea I31 );
or from out of an ideological practical project of rationality as emancipation

126 See the article by Luis Sanehez, "Dussel, Enrique" in F. Maffe, (Ed.), Dictionnaire des
(Euvres Philosophiques, PDF, Paris, Vol. 2, 1992, col. 3196.
127 See Scannone, 1990, where he announces a new beginning.
128 His work in three volumes (Cullen, 1986) has to be taken into account from the perspective
of Rodolfo Kusch.
129 His work is of great interest, particularly in view of the debate with K.-O. Apel in
September of 1993 in Sao Leopoldo (Brazil).
130 In Razon y Liberacion, Casalla does not arrive at an overcoming of the horizon of the
totality. The alterity of the oppressed class, of the poor, of the marginalized (different levels)
are not clarified: the national is identified as the popular.
1:\ 1 For Zea the "assumptive moment" (Zca, 1978) supersedes and subsumes the emancipatory
project of independence, whether liberal or conservative, but, like in Vasconcelos' cosmic
race, only a national liberation is proposed, which is not the same as popular liberation.

and solidarity (F. Mira Quesada132), or as philosophy of intercultural

dialogue (R. Fornet-Betancourt) or out of concrete situations, like the Cuban
Marxist, humanist (Guadarrama) 133. In addition, because of its thematic,
there is a pedagogy of liberation (Paulo Freire since his famous Pedagogy of
the Oppressed, 1968), of erotic liberation (begun by Vaz Ferreira and
continued with a strictly philosophical conceptual horizon, not without its
own ambiguities due to the social context of the period, begun in the 70s by
Enrique Dussel 134, or now properly feminist by Graciela Hierro, amongst
many others).
The debate established between Karl-Otto Apel and representatives of the
philosophy of liberation begins to give this current a greater significance,
with the possibility of incorporating the achievements of the "linguistic turn".
From the popular culture of the oppressed and excluded (the majority of
humanity which lives in the South), a strictly Latin American philosophy is
formulated. The challenge has been launched.

132 Mir6 Quesada's commitment to liberation philosophy does not come from the level of what
he calls "pure philosophy", but from the level of the "ideological character" of certain
rational discourses. His work Humanismo y Revoluci6n is not a practice of liberation
philosophy, but it indicates the way in which Mir6 Quesada fonnulated the political
problem. For him "ideology" - theoretical justification at the practical level - can be
fonnulated rationally departing from teleological principles: "Political problems can be
faced through theoretical principles, through rational rules that allow the achievement of
objective and valid conclusions from all humans" (Quesada, 1969, p. 21). In this whole
analysis, Quesada shows himself to be following the Aristotelian model of rationalist style.
Here Quesada has not fonnulated himself the difference between theoretical and practical
rationality. He thinks that the first operates in ideology with the same rules as practical
reason (question which in a different manner has not been solved by the rationalism of Apel
and Habennas). Compare Mir6 Quesada's Republic (with analogy to Plato) and my volume
IV of Towards an Ethics of Latin American Liberation ("Politics", USTA, Bogota, 1980).
When Mir6 Quesada got to know of the existence of liberation philosophy, in the 70s, he
understood its importance since it allowed him to fonnulate the theoretical-ideological
principle that he needed. I think that the question is far more complex, and I will show this
in an Ethics of Liberation presently under elaboration. For me, practical reason is the first
reason (and not simply ideological reason), just like ethics is prima philosophia.
133 The very worthy analysis of the Cuban team, like that of H. Cerutti, tend to confuse the
planes, since: a) they pretend to analyze everything through the criteria of a universalist,
humanist "Engelsian materialist" Marxism (Guadarrama, 1993), b) or from out of a
"c1assism" where the category of "people" is populist (see Cerutti, 1983; there is a response
to his objections in Dussel, 1985, pp. 400-413; and 1990, pp. 243-293).
134 See, for instance, my work Women's liberation and Latin American Erotics, Nueva
America, Bogota, 1980, with retractions and clarifications in "Philosophy of Liberation:
From out of the Praxis of the Oppressed", (Chapt. One of The Underside of Modernity,
Humanities Press, New York, 1995).

#9. Situation at the end of the 20th Century

As could be observed at the 19th World Congress of Philosophy in Moscow
(1993), or in the 13 th Inter-American Congress of Philosophy in Bogota
(1994), it would appear that the "bifurcation" of the 60s and 80s (between
epistemological and analytic philosophy [#7.] and Latin American historical-
political philosophy [#6. and #8.]), begins to transform into a possibility for
dialogue. From a) the weakening of dogmatisms, which affirmed its own
discourse without sufficient critique and disposed of other discourses,
ignoring them (such as the pre-pragmatic analytic philosophy, or the
reductive and one-dimensional mathematizing epistemology, or Marxist
Stalinism, the historicisms that expected too much from the reflection on the
mere past, the crises of political and social alternatives, etc.), and b) a healthy
skepticism (that does not require arguments that exceed reasonable
exigencies in order to validate rational consensus, and that therefore opposes
also the skepticism of extreme rigour135) allows today a more tolerant
discussion with the positions of the other, that is, a fertile dialogue between
the different currents at the end of this 20th centuryl36. Perhaps it will be a
rational exchange of Latin American philosophers a) among themselves, self-
conscious of their own limits, b) with the hegemonic European-North
American philosophical community, as well as c) with Afro-Asiatic
philosophy137, which will allow for the first time a "world" philosophy.
Should not the constitution of this first global dialogue (West/East,
North/South) between continental philosophical communities be one of the
initial and central tasks of the 21 st century that we already have at the door?
October 1994.

135 Theme studied by Ezequiel de Olaso.

136 These currents or philosophical styles, in the decade of the 90s are: a) an epistemological
and pragmatic philosophy (that subsumes analytic thinking), from out of the brain-mind
problematic; b) a "continental" philosophy (especially from Kant to Habermas), as history
of contemporary philosophy, including the modemity-postmodemity debate; c) a Latin
American philosophy, philosophy of liberation and political philosophy (this last one in
growth, through positions such as that of Carlos Pereyra in Mexico, which has as tributary
some Marxism, or as debate on the question of "democracy" that sets out from the political
sciences, with works such as those of Guillermo O'Donell in his work "Apuntes para una
teona del Estado" in Revista Mexicana de Sociologfa (1978), 40/4, pp. 1157-1199; or, for
example, with philosophical works such as those of Enrique Serrano, Legitimacion y
racionalizacion. Weber y Habermas: la dimension nonnativa de un orden secularizado,
Anthropos-UAM, Barcelona-Mexico, 1994).
137 From the 5th to the 9th December 1994, Latin American philosophers participated in the II
Congress of the Afro-Asiatic Association of Philosophy in Cairo (Egypt). This is the
beginning of a dialogue between the philosophers of the peripheral world (of the so-called
"Third World").

Translated: Eduardo Mendieta, University of San Francisco.

The bibliography on our theme, by itself, could take up hundreds of pages. I
only wish to "indicate" part of it in order to inform our colleagues of other
cultural horizons. This is a minimal, but reasoned, bibliography.

1. General Bibliography
I include in this section a bibliography that touches the whole Latin
American continent and not countries or currents.

Abellan, Jose Luis, 1967, Filosofia espanola en America (1936-1966), Guadarrama, Madrid.
Baggini, Hugo, 1989, Filosofia Americana e identidad, EUDEBA, Buenos Aires.
Crawford, W. R., 1961, A Century of Latin American Thought, Harvard University Press,
David, H. E., 1972, Latin American Thought: A Historical Introduction, The Free Press, New
Dussel, E., 1994, "Hip6tesis para una Historia de la Filosoffa en America Latina", in Historia
de la Filosofia latinoamericana y Filosofia de la Liberaci6n, Nueva America, Bogota, pp.
Fomet-Betancourt, Raul, 1985, Kommentierte Bibliographie zur Philosophie in Lateinamerika,
Peter Lang, Frankfurt.
Fomet-Betancourt, R., 1985b, Problemas actuales de lafilosfia en Hispanoamerica, FEPAI,
Buenos Aires.
Gaos, Jose, 1944, El pensamiento hispanoamericano, Colegio de Mexico, Mexico.
Gracia, Jorge (Eel.), 1975, El hombre y los valores en lafilosofia latinoamericana en el Siglo
XX, FCE, Mexico.
Gracia, J., 1986, Latin American Philosophy in the Twentieth Century. Man, Values and the
Search for Philosophical Identity, Prometheus Books, Buffalo.
Gracia, J., (Ed.), 1988, "Latin American Philosophy Today", in The Philosophical Forum
(New York), XX, 1-2 (1988-89).
Gracia, J., 1988a, Directory of Latin American philosophers, State University of New York,
Buffalo (CISP, Buenos Aires).
Handbook of Latin American Studies (Harvard University Press, Cambridge), dedica en los
ultimos afios secciones sobre temas filos6ficos. Cfr. Gracia, 1988a.
Tnsua Rodriguez, Ram6n, 1945, Historia de la filosoffa en Hispanoamerica, Editorial
Universitaria, Guayaquil.
Kempff Mercado, Manfredo, 1958, Historia de la filosoffa en Latinoamerica, Zig-Sag,
Santiago de Chile.
Kmmpel, Heinz, 1992, Philosophie in Lateinamerika. Grundziige ihrer Entwicklung,
Akademie Verlag, Berlin.
Larroyo, Francisco, 1958, Lafilosofia latinoamericana, UNAM, Mexico.
Marqufnez Argote, German (Ed.), 1993, La Filosofia en America Latina, EI Buho, Bogota.
Mir6 Quesada, Francisco, 1974, Despertar y proyecto del filosofar latinoamericano, FCE,
Mir6 Quesada, F., 1981, Proyecto y realizaci6n delfilosofar latinoamericano, FCE, Mexico.
Roig, Arturo, 1981, Teoria y critica del pensamiento latinoamericano, FCE, Mexico.
Roig, A., 1993, Rostro y filosofia de America Latina, EDIUNC, Mendoza.
Romero, Francisco, 1952, Sobre lafilosofia en america, Raigal, Buenos Aires.
Sanchez Reulet, Anibal, 1954, Contemporary Latin American Philosophy, University of New
Mexico Press, Albuquerque (hay un trabajo anterior publicado en Tierra Firme (1936), 2:
"Panorama de la ideas filosoficas en Hispanoamerica", pp. 181-209).
Saarti, Sergio, 1976, Panorama della filosofia ispanoamericana contemporanea, Cisalpino-
Goliardica, Milan.
Stabb, M., 1967, In Quest of Identity, University of North Carolina, Chapell Hill.
Villegas, Abelardo, 1963, Panorama de lafilosofia iberoamericana actual, EUDEBA, Buenos
Wagner de Reyna, Alberto, 1949, Lafilosofia en Iberoamerica, Sociedad Peruana de Filosoffa,
Zea, Leopoldo, 1949, Dos etapas del pensamiento en Hispanoamerica: del romanticismo al
positivismo, Colegio de Mexico, Mexico.
Zea, L., 1963, The Latin American Mind, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.

2. Bibliography by country
In this section we only indicate the works that touch on nations as a whole,
although they study authors who belong, as it is evident, to some current.

2.1 Argentina
Alberini, Coriolano, 1930, Die deutsche Philosophie in Argentinien, H. W. Hendriock, Berlin.
Alberini, C., 1966, Problemas de la historia de las ideas filos6ficas en la Argentina,
Universidad de La Plata, La Plata.
Biagini, Hugo, 1985, Panorama filos6fico argentino, EUDEBA, Buenos Aires.
CatureIli, Alberto, 1962, La filosofia en la Argentina actual, Universidad de Cordoba, Cordoba
Farre, Luis, 1958, Cinquenta arios de filosofia en Argentina, Penser, Buenos Aires.
Ingenieros, J., 1961, La evoluci6n de las ideas argentinas, Futuro, Buenos Aires.
Korn, Alejandro, 1961, El pensamiento argentino, Nova, Buenos Aires.
Pro, Diego, 1973, Historia del pensamiento argentino, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo,
Roig, Arturo, 1993, La Argentina del 80 a180. Balance social y cultural, UNAM, Mexico.
Romero, Francisco, 1965, El desarrollo de las ideas en la sociedad argentina del Siglo XX,
FCE, Mexico.
Torchia Estrada, Juan C., 1961, La Filosofia en Argentina, Union Panamericana, Washington.

2.2 Mexico
Cordoba, Arnaldo, 1974, La ideologfa de la revoluci6n mexicana, UNAM, Mexico.
Cueva, Mariano de la, 1966, Major Trends in Mexican Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
Press, South Bent.
Gaos, Jose, 1952, En lorno a lafilosofia mexicana, Porma, Mexico.
Salmeron, Fernando, 1980, "Los filosofos mexicanos del siglo XX", en Cuestiones educalivas
y pdginas sobre Mexico, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico, pp. 138-181.
Vargas Lozano, Gabriel, 1980, "Notas sobre la funcion actual de la filosofia en Mexico. La
decada de los setenta", in DiaLectica (Pucbla), V, 9, pp. 81-102.
Villegas, Abelardo, 1960, La Filosoffa de lo mexicano, FCE, Mexico.

Villegas, A., et alia, 1988, La Filosofia en Mexico Siglo XX, Universidad Aut6noma de
Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala.
Zea, Leopoldo, 1955, Lafilosofia en Mexico, Libro Mexicano, Mexico.

2.3 Brazil
Costa, Cruz, 1956, ContribUfM it historia das ideias no Brasil, Jose Olimpio, Rio (trad. esp.
en FCE, Mexico, 1957; trad. inglesa A History of Ideas in Brazil, University of California
Press, Berkeley, 1964).
G6mez Robledo, Antonio, 1946, Lafilosofia en Brasil, Imprenta Universitaria, Mexico.
Lima Vaz, Henrique Claudio, 1961, "0 Pensamento Filos6fico no Brasil de hoje", en revista
Portuguesa de Filosofia, pp. 267ss.
Paim, Antonio, 1984, Historia das Ideias filosoficas no Brasil, Editora Convivio, Sao Paulo.

2.4 Peru
Salazar Bondy, Augusto, 1954, La filosofia en el PerU. Panorama historico, Uni6n
Panamericana, Washington.
Salazar Bondy, A., 1967, Historia de las ideas en el PerU contemporaneo, Moncloa, Lima, I-
Sobrevilla, David, 1989, Repensando la tradicion nacionol I, I-II (1989), Editorial Hipatia,

2.5 Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador

Ardao, Arturo, 1956, La filosofia en el Uruguay en el Siglo XX, FCE, Mexico.
Barce16 Larrain, Joaquin, 1982, "La actividad filos6fica en Chile en la segunda mitad del siglo
XX", in Fernando Astorquiza P. (Ed.), Bio-Bibliografia de lafilosofia en Chile desde el
siglo XVI hasta 1980, Universidad de Chile, Santiago.
Escobar, Roberto, 1976, Lafilosofia en Chile, Universidad Tecnica del Estado, Santiago.
Francovich, Guillermo, 1945, La filosofia en Bolivia, Losada, Buenos Aires.
Francovich, G., 1956, El pensamiento boliviano en el Siglo XX, FCE, Mexico.
Lipp, Salom6n, 1975, Three Chilean Thinkers, McGill University, Waterloo (Ont.).
Molina, Enrique, 1951, La filosofia en Chile en fa primera mitad del Siglo XX, Nacimiento,
Roig, Arturo, 1982, Esquemas para una historia de la filosofia ecuatoriana, EDUC, Quito.

2.6 Venezuela, Colombia, Central America

Garda Bacca, Juan, 1964, Antolog(a del Pensamiento venezolano, Ministerio de Educaci6n,
Caracas, I-III.
Jaramillo Uribe, Jaime, 1974, El pensamiento colombiano en el siglo XIX, Temis, Bogota.
Lascaris Conneno, Constantino, 1983, Desarrollo de las ideas filosoficas en Costa Rica, Ed.
Studium, San Jose.
Marquinez Argote, German (Ed.), 1988, La Filosofia en Colombia, Editorial el Buho, Bogota.
Sierra Mejia, Ruben, 1978, "Temas y conientes de la filosofia colombiana en el siglo XX", in
Ensayosfilosoficos, Colcultura, Bogota, pp. 91-126.
Valle, Rafael, 1960, Historia de las ideas contemporaneas en Centroamerica, FCE, Mexico.

2.7 The Caribbean

Cordero, Armando, 1962, Estudios para La historia de la filosofia en Santo Domingo, Arte y
Cine, Santo Domingo, I-II.
Lizaso, Felix, 1949, Panorama de la cultura cubano, FCE, Mexico.
Pifiera Llera, Humberto, 1954, La ensefianza de la filosofia en Cuba, Hercules, La Habana.
Pifiera L., H., 1960, Panorama de lafilosofia cubana, Uni6n Panamericana, Washington.
Vitier, Medardo, 1938, Las ideas en Cuba, Tr6pico, La Habana.
Vitier, M., 1948, Lafilosofia en Cuba, FCE, Mexico.

3. Bibliography of Philosophical Currents

I include in this section, also, some representative philosophers of the
respective philosophical current.

3.1 Anti-positivist, vitalist, spiritualist philosophies

Ardao, Arturo, 1968, Espiritualismo y positivismo en el Uruguay, Universidad de la
Republica, Montevideo.
Caso, Antonio, 1972, La existencia como econom(a y como caridad. Ensayos sobre la esencia
del cristianismo, en Obras Completas, UNAM, Mexico, III.
Deustua, Alejandro, 1923, Estetica general, Imprenta E. Rlivago, Lima.
Deustua, A., 1938, Los sistemas eticos, EI Callao, Lima, I-II (1940).
Gonidec, Bernard Le, 1974, Aspects de la pensee hispano-americaine, 1898-1930, Centre
d'Etudes Hispaniques, Rennes.
Korn, Alejandro, 1963, La libertad creadora, Claridad, Buenos Aires.
Korn, A., 1959, De San Agustin a Bergson, Nova, Buenos Aires.
Marti, Jose, 1953, Obras Completas, Editorial Lex, La Habana, t. 1-.
Rod6, Jose E., 1956, "Ariel", in Obras Completas, Ed. Antonio Zamora, Buenos Aires.
Vasconcelos, Jose, 1945, Estetica, Ed. Botas, Mexico.
Vasconcelos, J., 1958, La raza c6smica, in Obras Completas, Libreros Mexicanos Unidos,
Vaz Ferreira, Carlos, 1908, Conocimiento y acci6n, Montevideo.
Vaz Ferreira, C., 1957, L6gica viva, Impresora Uruguaya, Montevideo.
Vaz Ferreira, c., 1920, "EI pragmatismo", in Conocimiento y acci6n, Montevideo.
Vaz Ferreira, c., 1933, Feminismo, Montevideo.
Woodward, R. L., 1971, Positivism in Latin America, 1850-1900, Heath and Co., Lexington.
Zea, L., 1976, Positivism in Mexico, University of Texas Press, Austin.

3.2 Existential and Phenomenological Ontology

Anqufn, Nimio de, 1964, "Lugones y el ser americano", in ArkM, C6rdoba, Arg., 1964.
Astrada, Carlos, 1936, 1dealismo lenomeno16gico y metal(sica existencial, Imprenta de la
Universidad, Buenos Aires.
Astrada, c., 1948, El mito gaucho, Cruz del Sur, Buenos Aires.
Astrada, c., 1969, Dialectica e historia, Juarez Editor, Buenos Aires.
Caturelli, Alberto, 1961, America Bifronte. Ensayo de ontolog(a y de filosofia de la historia,
Troquel, Buenos aires.
Cruz Velez, Danilo, Filosofta sin supuestos: de Husserl a Heidegger, Sudamericana, Buenos
Guerrero, Luis Juan, 1956, Estetica operatoria, Losada, Buenos Aires, vol. I-III (1967).
Mayz Vallenilla, Emesto, 1959, El problema de America, Universidad Central, Caracas.
Mayz Vallenilla, E., 1960, Ontolog(a del conocimiento, Facultad de Humanidades, Caracas.
Mayz Vallenilla, E., 1965, El problema de fa nada en Kant, Revista de Occidente, Madrid.
Murena, H. A., 1954, El pecado original de America, Grupo Sur, Buenos Aires.
Nicol, Eduardo, 1957, Metaftsica de la expresi6n, FCE, Mexico.

Ramos, Samuel, 1934, EI perfil del hombre y la cultura de Mexico, Imprenta Mundial,
Romero, Francisco, 1944, Filosofia de la persona, Losada, Buenos Aires.
Romero, F., 1952, Teoria del hombre, Losada, Buenos Aires (Theory of Man, University of
California Press, Berkeley, 1964).
Schwartzmann, Felix, 1950, EI sentimiento de 10 humano en America, Universidad de Chile,
Sobrevilla, David, 1988, "Phenomenology and existentialism in Latin America", in Gracia,
1988, pp. 85-113.
Wagner de Reyna, Alberto, 1939, La ontologfaJundamental de y Heidegger, Losada, Buenos
Aires, 1939.
Xirau, Joaquin, 1941, Lafilosofia de Husserl, Losada, Buenos Aires.

3.3 Philosophy practiced by Christians

Amoroso Lima, Alceu, 1948, "Maritain et I' Amerique Latine", in Revue Thomiste, pp. 12ss.
Amoroso Lima, A., 1960, Obras completas, Agir, Rio, I-XXXV.
Arruba Campos, Fernando, 1968, Tomismo e neotomismo no Brasil, Grijalbo, Sao Paulo.
Anqufn, Nimio de, 1972, Ente y ser, Gredos, Madrid.
Derisi,Octavio, 1941, Los Jundamentos metafisicos del orden moral, Imprenta L6pez, Buenos
Dominguez Camargo, Manuel, 1993, "La neoescohistica de los siglos XIX Y XX", in
Marqufnez Argote, 1993, pp. 227-265.
Echauri, Raul, 1971, Heidegger y la metafisica tomista.
Gonzalo Casas, Manuel, 1954, Introduccion a la filosofia, Buenos Aires.
Perdomo Garcia, Jose, 1951, "El maritenismo en Hispanoamerica", in Estudios americanos
(Sevilla), 11, octubre, pp. 567-592.
Robles, Oswaldo, 1946, "El movimiento filos6fico neoescohistico en Mexico", in Filosofia y
Letras (UNAM), Julio-Sept., pp. 178ss.
Sepich, Juan Ram6n, 1954, Ser y Tiempo de Heidegger, Buenos Aires.
Villa~a, Antonio, 1975, 0 pensamiento catolico no Brasil, Zahar, Rio.

3.4 Marxist philosophy

Aric6, Jose (Ed.), 1978, Marititegui y los orfgenes del marxislno latinoamericano, Siglo XXI,
Aric6, J., 1982, Marx y America Latina, Alianza, Mexico.
Astrada, Carlos, Marx y Hegel. Trabajo y alienacion en la Fenomenologfa y en los
Manuscritos, Siglo Veinte, Buenos Aires.
Bagti, Sergio, 1949, Economla de ta sociedad colonial, E1 Ateneo, Buenos Aires.
Dussel, Enrique, 1985, La produccion teorica de Marx, Siglo XXI, Mexico.
Dussel, E., 1990, El ultimo Marx (1863-1882) y la liberacion latinoamericana, Siglo XXI.
Mexico (bib!. p. 275).
Fornet-Betancourt, R., 1994, Ein anderer Marxismus? Die philosophische Rezeption des
Marxismus in Lateinamerika, Gruenewald, Mainz (the most important work on the
Guevara, Ernesto, 1974, Obra revolucionaria, Era, Mexico.
Justo, Juan 8., 1969, Teorfa y practica de la historia, Ed. Libera, Buenos Aires.
Liss, Sheldon 8., 1984, Marxist Thought in Latin America, University of California Press,
Mariategui, Jose Carlos, 1934, Defensa del marxismo, Ed. Nacionales y Extranjeras, Santiago
de Chile.

1959, Siete Ensayos sobre la relidad peruana, en Obras completas, Amauta,

Mariategui, J. C.,
Lima, vol. 2 (there are translations into English and other languages).
1978, Obra politica, Era, Mexico.
Mariategui, J. C.,
Nunes, Orlando, 1986, "Las condiciones polfticas de la transicion", in Transicion diflcil. La
autodeterminacion de los pequefios paises perijericos, Siglo XXI, Mexico.
Lbwy, Michael, 1980, El marxisma en America Latina (De 1909 a nuestros dias), Era,
Ponce, Anfual, 1970, Humanisma y revolucion, Siglo XXI, Mexico.
Posada zarate, Francisco, 1977, Los ongenes del pensamiento marxista en Latinoamerica,
Nuevas Ediciones, Bogota.
Recabarren, Luis Emilio, 1976, Obras, Casa de las Americas, La Habana.
Sanchez Vazquez, Adolfo, 1967, Filosofia de la praxis, Grijalbo, Mexico.
Sanchez Vazquez, A., 1988, "Marxism in Latin America", in Gracia, 1988, pp. 114-128.

3.5 Latinamericanist Philosophy

Ardao, Arturo, 1978, Estudios latinoamericanos, Monte Avila Editores, Caracas.
Dussel, Enrique, 1992, 1492: El encubrimiento del Otro. Nueva Utopia, Madrid (can
traduccion al aleman, Patmos, Dusseldorf; al frances Editions Ouvrieres, Paris; al ingles
Continuum Pub!. Group, New York).
Marqufnez Argote, G., 1981, ;,Filosofia latinoamericana? El B uho, Bogota.
Miro Quesada, Francisco, 1974, Despertar y proyecto del filosofar latinoamericano, FCE,
Mexico, 240p.
Miro Quesada, F., 1981, Proyecto y realizacion del filosofar latino-americano, FCE, Mexico.
Roig, Arturo, 1982, Teoria y cntico del pensamiento latinoamericano, FCE, Mexico.
Villoro, Luis, 1950, Los grandes momentos del indigenismo en Mexico, El Colegio de Mexico,
Zea, L., 1969, Lafilosofia latinoamericana como filosof{a sin mas, Siglo XXI, Mexico.
Zea, L., 1978, Filosof{a de la HistoriaAmericana, FCE, Mexico.

3.6 Analytic Philosophy and Philosophy of Science

Bunge, Mario, 1959, Causality, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
Bunge, M., 1980, The Mind-Body problem, Pergamon Press, New York.
Bunge, M .. 1974, Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Reidel, Boston, I-VIII (1989).
Castaneda, Hector-Neri, 1963, Morality and the language of conduct, Wayne State University
Press, Detroit.
Castaneda, H.-N., 1974, The Structure of Morality, Thomas, Springfield.
Castaneda, H.-N., 1975, Action, Knowledge and Reality, Babbs-Merrill, Indianapolis.
Castaneda, H.-N., 1989, Thinking, Language and Experience, Universsity of Minnesota Press,
Gracia, Jorge (Ed.), 1985, El ancilisis filos~fico en America Latina, FCE, Mexico (a very
complete and excellent study, 690 p.) (there is a partial translation into English, Reidel,
Dordrecht, 1984).
Gracia, J., 1988, "The impact of philosophical Analysis", in Gracia, 1988, pp. 129-140.
Moulines, Carlos U., 1973, La estructura del mundo sensible, Ariel, Barcelona.
Villoro, Luis, 1982, Creer, saber, conocer, Siglo XXI, Mexico.

3.7 Philosophy of Liberation

Ardiles, O. et alia, 1974, Hacia una .fiiosof{a de la liberacion lati/wamericana, Bonum,
Buenos Aires.

Cerutti, Horacio, 1983, Filosofia de la Liberaci6n Latinoamericana, FCE, Mexico.

Cullen, Carlos, 1986, Reflexiones desde America, Ross, Buenos Aires, vol. I-III (1987).
Demenchonok, Eduard, 1992, Filosofia latinoamericana, EI BUbo, Bogota.
Dussel, Enrique, 1973, Para una etica de la liberaci6n latinoamericana, Siglo XXI, Buenos
Aires, I-II; Edicol, Mexico, 1977, III; USTA, Bogota, N-V.
Dussel, E., 1974, Metodo para unafilosofia de la liberaci6n, Sigueme, Salamanca.
Dussel, E., 1977, Filosofia de la Liberaci6n, Edicol, Mexico (hay traducci6n portuguesa en
Laoyola, Sao Paulo, 1987; inglesa in Orbis Books, New York, 1985; alemana in
Argument, Hamburg, 1989; italiana in Queriniana, Bescia, 1990).
Dussel, E. 1993, Apel, Ric(£ur, Rorty y fa Filosofia de la Liberaci6n, Universidad de
Guadalajara, Guadalajara (Me) (trad. al aleman in Augustinus, Aachen, 1990-1994, y al
ingles in Humanities Press, New York, 1995).
Fomet-Betancourt, Raul, 1992, Diskursethik oder BeJreiungsethik, Augustinus, Aachen.
Fomet-Betancourt, R., 1985c, "Filosofia y liberaci6n, 0 el problema de la constituci6n de una
Filosofia de la Liberaci6n", in Fomet-B., 1985b, pp. 117-142 (bibliografia).
Guadarrama, Pablo, 1993, HumanislTW y Filosofia de la Liberaci6n en America Latina, EI
BUbo, Bogota, 202p.
Guadarrama, P., 1993, "La fIlosofia latinoamericana de la liberaci6n", in Marquinez Argote,
1993, pp. 309-361.
Hierro, Graciela, 1985, La naturalezaJemenina, UNAM, Mexico.
Hierro, G., 1985, Etica y Jeminismo, UNAM, Mexico.
Hinkelarnmert, Franz, 1984, Franz, 1984, Critica a la raz6n ut6pica, DEI, Sand Jose (trad.
alemana, 1994, Exodus, FreiburglS.).
Mir6 Quesada, Francisco, 1969, HUlTWnislTW y revoluci6n, Casa de la Cultura del Peru, Lima.
Mir6 Quesada, F., 1987, "Filosofia de la liberaci6n: convergencias y divergencias", ponencia
presentada en el N Congreso Nacional de Filosofia (Toluca, Mexico), 22 p.
Salazar Bondy, Augusto, 1968, ;.Existe unafilosofia en nuestraAmerica?, Siglo XXI, Mexico.
Scannone, Juan Carlos, 1968, Sein und Inkarnation: zum ontologischen Hintergrund der
Friihschriften Maurice Blondels, Karl Alber, Freiburg.
Scannone, J. C., 1990, Nuevo punto de partida de la Filosofia Latinoamericana, Editorial
Guadalupe, Buenos Aires.
Schelkshom, Hans, 1992, Ethik der BeJreiung, Herder, Freiburg/Wien.
Schutte, Ofelia, 1988, "Philosophy and feminism in Latin America", in Gracia, 1988, pp. 62-
Sidekurn, Antonio, ed., 1994, Etika do Discurso e Filosofica do Liberta(;ao. Modelos
Complementares, Editora Unisinos, Sao Leopoldo, RS, Brazil.
Zea, Leopoldo, 1974, "La filosofia latinoamericana como filosofia de la liberaci6n", in
Dependencia y liberaci6n en la cul/ura latinoamericana, Joaquin Mortiz, Mexico.
Zea, L., 1976, "La filosofia como dominaci6n y come liberaci6n", in El pensamiento
latinoamericano, Ariel, Barcelona, pp. 513-540.
Zimmermann, Roque, 1987, America Latina. 0 nao ser, Vozes, Petropolis.


The abbreviations of some of the countries cited in this chronology are the
following: Germany: Ale, Argentina: Ar, Bolivia: Bo, Brazil: Br, Canada:
Can, Chile: Ch, Colombia: Col., Cuba: Cu, Ecuador: Ec, Spain: Esp, United
States: USA, Guatemala, Gut, Hispanic in the United States: HUS, Mexico:

Me, Nicaragua: Ni, Peru: Pe, Venezuela: V z. ill addition we abbreviated:

born: N., death: t.

1810 N. Juan Bautista Alberdi (Ar t1884)

1826 N. Marnerto Esquiu (Ar t1883)
1842 N. Jacinto Rios (Ar t1892)
1849 N. Alejandro Deustua (Pe t1945)
1853 N. Jose Marti (Cu t1895)
1857 N. Rafael Carrasquilla (Col t1930)
1860 N. Alejandro Kom (Ar t1936)
1862 N. Raimundo Farias Britto (Br t1917)
1865 N. Juan B. Justo (Ar t1928)
1867 N. Carlos Arturo Torres (Col t1911)
1871 N. Jose Enrique Rod6 (Ur t1917) y Enrique Molina (Ch t1964)
1872 N. Carlos Vaz Ferreira (Ur t1958)
1873 N. Ricardo Flores Mag6n (Me t1922)
1876 N. Luis Emilio Recabarren (Ch t1924)
1882 N. Jose Vasconcelos (Me t1959)
1883 N. Antonio Caso (Me t1946)
1886 N. Coriolano Alberini (Ar t1960) y Luis Guillermo Martinez Villada (Ar t1956)
1891 N. Francisco Romero (Ar t1962) y Jackson de Figueiredo (Br t1928)
1893 N. Mariano Iberico (pe t) y Alceu Amoroso Lima (Br t1983)
1894 N. Carlos Astrada (Ar t1970)
1895 N. Jose Carlos Mariategui (Pe t1930). J. B. Justo traduce El Capital I de Marx.
Farias Britto, Finalidade do Mondo, I-II (1899).
1896 N. Nimio de Anquin (Ar t)
1897 N. Samuel Ramos (Me t1959)
1898 N. Anibal Ponce (Ar t 1938)
1899 N. Luis Juan Guerrero (Ar t1957)
1900 J. E. Rod6, Ariel, y N. Miguel Angel Virasoro (Ar t1966)
1901 N. Juan Garda Bacca (Esp-Vz)
1903 N. Cesar Guardia Mayorga (Pe t1983)
1906 N. Juan Ram6n Sepich (Ar t1979) e Ismael Quiles (Ar t)
1907 N. Eduardo Nicol (Esp-Me t1990) y Octavio Derisi (Ar t)
1909 J. B. Justo, Teoria y practica de la historia
1910 C. Vaz Ferreira, LOgica viva; A. Caso, "Conferencia del Ateneo" (Me); N. Miguel
Reale (Br), Jose Gaos (Esp-Me t1959), Anibal Sanchez Reulet (Ar t ) y Risieri
Frondizi (Ar-USA t1983)
1912 A. Kom, El pensamiento argentino; R. M. Carrasquilla, Lecciones de MetaJfsica y
Etica; N. Leopoldo Zea (Me), Arturo Ardao (Ur-Vz) y Francisco Larroyo (Me)
1915 N. Alberto Wagner de Reyna (Pe t ) y N. Adolfo Sanchez Vazquez (Me)
1916 A. Caso, La existencia como economia y caridad; N. Vicente Ferreira da Silva (Br
t 1963). Primera estadia en Ar de Ortega y Gasset.
1918 N. Francisco Mir6 Quesada (Pc)
1919 N. Mario Bunge (Ar-Can)
1920 N. Danilo Cruz Velez (Col)
1921 N. Paulo Freire (Br)
1922 A. Kom, La libertad creadora; Jackson de Figueiredo, Pascal e a Inquietar,;ao
Moderna; N. Gregorio Klimovsky (Ar), Arturo Andres Roig (Ar) y Luis Villoro
1923 A. Deustua, Estetica general
1924 N. Hector-Neri Castaneda (Gut-USA t)
1925 N. Augusto Salazar Bondy (Pe tI974), Emesto Mayz Vallenilla (Vz) y Fernando
Salmer6n (Me t 1997). Estancia de Einstein en Ar
1928 J. C. Mariategui, Siete ensayos de la realidad peruana; N. Emesto Guevara (Ar-Cu
1929 J. C. Mariategui, En defensa del marxismo; N. Tomas Moro Simpson (Ar)
1930 N. Eduardo Rabossi (Ar)
1931 N. Juan Carlos Scannone (Ar) y Rodolfo Kusch (Ar t)
1932 E. Martinez Estrada, Radiografta de la Pampa; N. Alejandro Rossi (Vz-Me)
1933 N. Hugo Assmann (Br)
1934 S. Ramos, El Perfil del Hombre y la Cultura en Mexico; N. Abelardo Villegas (Me)
y Enrique Dussel (Ar-Me)
1935 N. Guillermo Hoyos (Col)
1936 C. Astrada, Idealismo fenomenologico y metaftsica existencial
1937 A. Ponce, Educacion y lucha de clases
1939 A. Wagner de Reyna, La ontologfajundamental de Heidegger
1940 J. Vasconcelos, La raza cosmica; V. Ferreira da Silva, Elementos de logica
1941 O. Derisi, Fundamentos metaftsicos del orden moral
1942 N. Jorge Gracia (HUS)
1943 L. Zea, EI Positivismo en Mexico; N. Carlos Cullen (Ar)
1944 W. V. Quine da conferencias en Br: 0 sentido da nova logica
1946 D. Cruz Velez, Nueva imagen del hombre y de la cultura; N. Carlos Ulises
Moulines (Vz-Ale)
1948 C. Astrada, El mito gaucho
1949 S. Bagli, Economfa de la sociedad colonial
1952 F. Romero, Teorfa del Hombre; J. Gaos, En torno a lafilosofta mexicana
1955 F. Mir6 Quesada, Filosofta de la Matemdticas
1956 L. J. Guerrero, Esthica operatoria en sus tres dimensiones, I-III (Tercer tomo
inedito: 10 major de la ontologfa latinoamericana)
1957 L. Zea, America en la historia
1959 M. Bunge, CausaLidad
1962 F. Mir6 Quesada, Apuntes para una teoria de la razon
1963 XIII Congreso Mundial de Filosoffa (Mexico)
1967 A. Sanchez Vazquez, Filosofta de la praxis
1968 A. Salazar Bondy, lExiste unafilosofta en nuestra America?
1972 II Congreso Nacional de Filosoffa (Ar)
1973 E. Dussel, Para una hica de la liberacion Latinoamericana, I-V (1980)
1974 F. Mir6 Quesada, Despertar y proyecto delfiLosofar Latinoamericano; M. Loon
Portilla, LafiLosoffa ndhuatL; H.-N. Castafieda, The Structure of Morality; M.
Bunge, Treatise of Basic Philosophy I-VII (1985)
1975 I Coloquio Nacional de Filosoffa (Me): Dec1araci6n de Morelia: "Filosofia e
1977 G. Marqufnez Argote, Metafisica desde America Latina; E. Dussel, Filosofta de La
Liberacion; E. Rabossi, Andlisis fiLosofico, Lenguaje y metafisica
1978 G. Hoyos, Fenomenologia como EpistemoLogfa

1980 F. Mira Quesada, Proyecto y realizaci6n del filosofar latinoamericano; M. Bunge,

the Mind-Body Problem
1981 C. U. Moulines, Exploraciones enfilosofia de la ciencia
1982 L. Villoro, Creer, saber, conocer
1988 David Sobrevilla, Repensando la tradici6n nacional I-II (1989)
1993 XIX Congreso Mundial de Filosoffa (Moscu) 199
1994 XIII Congreso Interamericano de Filosoffa (Bogota); III Congreso Nacional de
Filosoffa (Lima, Peru); R. Fomet-Betancourt, Otro marxismo? La recepci6n
filos6fica del marxismo en America Latina.


Institute for Philosophical Research
National Autonomous University of Mexico

1. This essay, whilst freely drawing on previous work by the author

(Salmer6n, 1991, 1992), endeavours to provide a more comprehensive view
of the question of how philosophical analysis has been received in Latin
America, throughout the entire process. Amongst other evident limitations, it
is clearly impossible to present the full depth of the historical questions
arising from this period of analytical contributions to the different national
philosophical traditions; the terrain that we would wish to cover is so broad
that no text of such dimensions could possibly include all the relevant facts.
The essay provides a possible interpretation of an overview of philosophical
activity in Latin America, without presuming to exhaustive coverage at any
point. It presupposes, naturally, that such an interpretation would only enjoy
the support necessary if backed up by an integral view of the history of ideas
in Latin America during our century - a history that is yet to be written, but
the complexity of which is acknowledged in other studies (for example, those
brought together by Jorge Gracia in 1984 and in 1988-89).
A further point should be made before proceeding. The emphasis in this
discussion will be determined by the way in which the panorama is
contemplated - leading, inevitably, to some involuntary remarks stemming
from my own experience. I am, for example, much less familiar with the
philosophical life of Brazil than with that of other countries like Argentina or
Peru, and, on the other hand, I am more at home with that of Mexico. This
latter act has allowed me, in the final section, to provide a separate discussion
of the Mexican case. Such disequilibrium, although rendering the
information void in other fields, seems less important here where it functions
only to illustrate the features of a landscape - a task for which a personal
testimony seems more effective than analysis of some seminal work. Finally,
the expression "analytical philosophy", a term with which many of the
figures mentioned below may not be readily associated, is used here in the
widest sense, embracing an array of possibilities, from a way of viewing the
problems of the philosophy of science and the developments of modern

Guttorm Fl¢istad (ed.), Philosophy of Latin America, 61-88.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

logic, to the philosophical consideration of language and conceptual analysis.

It could perhaps be characterised as a voyage "from Vienna to Cambridge",
or even to the Oxford of the 19608.
2. Logical empiricism, as it arose in the Vienna circle, was seen in Latin
America as the renaissance of the old antipositivist polemic. A small book
written by Antonio Caso, and published in Mexico in 1941 (Caso, 1941),
recounts the history of positivism, from Comte and Mill to the Vienna circle,
and devotes important central chapters to Mach and Poincare. The work
culminates with what Caso calls "critical positivism" and its opposition to the
phenomenology of Hussed and his disciples, an opposition of two
philosophical currents which the author elsewhere refers to as "the most
important and grandiose debate in contemporary thought". A review of this
small book written by Jose Gaos a few months afterwards recalls the
Hussed-Schick debate, and praises the Mexican scholar for having used the
phenomenology of the period prior to neopositivism as an argument against
this philosophical position (Gaos, 1941).
In reality, Caso's judgement about the dimensions of the debate may be
incorrect in terms of European philosophy, especially if one considers
explicit polemics. But in Latin America, keeping the dimensions in
proportion and considering that there was little experience here of theoretical
controversies, it must be recognised that analytical philosophy was received
in the years following Caso's text precisely by phenomenologists - and not
always without conflict. One of Caso's pupils from the later generations,
Nicolas Molina Flores (who later became the translator of Carnap and Ayer)
threw in his lot with logical empiricism and became, from the 1940s, its first
Mexican defender.
This emphasis on the phenomenologists should not be taken to imply that
there was no work during these years on the philosophy and history of
science: the books of Garda Bacca (one of them printed in Spain: Garda
Bacca, 1936, and others prepared in Ecuador, but published in Mexico),
which appeared at the same time as Caso's, prove the opposite. But at the
same time, they lead us to the conclusion that, at least in these two countries,
it was not because of science or logic that an interest in philosophical
analysis arose (Garda Bacca, 1940, 1941, 1942).
3. In the first months of 1945, Gaos published a commentary in which he
welcomed the appearance of the first Latin American journal "devoted
exclusively to philosophy". The journal was Minerva: Revista Continental de
Filoso/fa, which Mario Bunge had started publishing the year before in
Buenos Aires, together with the sister series Cuadernos. Gaos also wrote a
review of an issue of the Cuadernos written by Risieri Frondizi.

In spite of the fact that the journal had a brief life and that it opened its
doors to authors of the most diverse philosophical trends, its general
orientation reflected an obvious willingness to distance itself from the
dominant tradition of Latin American universities during the 1940s, i.e., that
of Ortega and philosophy in German. It also published, in one of its ftrst
numbers, an article on the Vienna circle by Hans A. Lindemann. Lindemann,
at the time residing in Buenos Aires, had pursued his studies in Austria and
had a first hand view of the activities of the circle, and of its internal
controversies. These anecdotes call to mind the example of Schajowicz: on
his arrival to the University of Puerto Rico, Ludwig Schajowicz, coming
from a similar philosophical experience in Vienna, had to modify the nature
of his research in the face of the solidity of the dominant tradition, and
neither his teaching nor his written work reflected his initial interests.
In Buenos Aires, though, matters took a different course. Bunge, who
came from a scientiftc background and worked in theoretical physics, began
to concentrate exclusively on philosophical questions. In 1956, he was even
appointed to the chair of philosophy of science, and there established a broad
programme of activities, not limited to his own country, for almost a decade,
until the political situation led him to pursue his career abroad. In 1959,
Harvard University published his book Causality: The Place of the Causal
Principle in Modern Science in English, the first work written in Latin
America on this subject from a point of view that can be called analytical
(Bunge, 1959). The next year Antologfa Semantica was published in Spanish;
edited by Bunge himself, it included texts by Russell, Carnap, Hempel,
Tarski, Quine, Goodman and Max Black, amongst others (Bunge, 1960). It
was an opportunity for the editor to distinguish between the various currents
of philosophical analysis and to identify himself with a neopositivist and
neopragmatic source. At the same time, it reflected his lack of interest in the
analysis of ordinary language. In any case, it defended a position that was
open to all the traditional concerns of logic, the theory of knowledge and
Frondizi's background was different, as was his influence also. He had
studied in the United States, first in Harvard (with Whitehead, C. I. Lewis,
and R. B. Perry) and then in Michigan (with Sellars). He always considered
himself an empiricist, the defender of a "humanist empiricism", and he was
in fact a severe critic of the more scienticist and technical tendencies in
analytical philosophy. But his work represents, in both subject matter and
style, a rejection of the dominant tradition, influenced by the literature in
German. Frondizi taught in Venezuela and Puerto Rico, and finally, during
his last political exile, in the United States, where he died in 1983. The years
he worked in Argentina (nearly a decade between 1956 and 1966) constitute

a period of recovery for the academic life of that country, and they coincide
with the arrival of analytical philosophers.
4. It is by no means an exaggeration to claim that in the years following
the appearance of Minerva, just before the decade mentioned above,
Argentinians interested in analytical philosophy had to work in circles and
associations outside the public universities. By way of examples of
institutions and personalities, one may cite the Argentinian Group of the
International Academy of the History and Philosophy of Science, to which
Julio Rey Pastro belonged; the Free Institute of Advanced Studies, in which
Gregorio Klimovsky worked,and the Philosophical Circle of Buenos Aires,
presided over by Bunge at that time. The only exception seems to have been
Carlos Cossio, a philosopher of law with a background in phenomenology,
also critical of analytical philosophy, who organised studies on modal logic
and the methodology of the deductive sciences in his seminar at the
University of Buenos Aires.
Ambrosio Gioja, one of Cossio's disciples, succeeded him in the chair in
1956. Although his published work was less important than that of his
mentor, he exercised greater influence of the younger students interested in
the philosophy of law. Gioja was also a phenomenologist, but his dedication
to the classics, especially to Kant, and his interest in contemporaries,
especially Kelsen and Wittgenstein, made the Institute of Philosophy of Law
and the journal Notas de Filosoffa del Derecho centres of great philosophical
activity. The journal survived for a short time (from 1964 to 1969) and Gioja
dies prematurely, but in those years the Institute was visited by various
foreign philosophers: Alf Ross, Strawson, von Wright, ChaYm Perelman, and
Ulrich Klug, apart from the Latin Americans Eduardo Garda Maynez and
Hector Neri Castaneda. The group of young men associated with the Institute
became the so-called "first generation" of Argentinian philosophers of law,
all of them with an analytical bent. They were Carlos Alchourron, Eugenio
Bulygin, Jorge A. Bacque, Genario Carrio, Ernesto Garzon Valdes, Eduardo
Rabossi, Roberto Bernengo, Marfa Isabel Azaretto and Jose Manuel
Vilanova. Subsequently, the "second generation", no less numerous, counted
amongst its members Carlos Nino, Martfn Farrel, Antonio Martino, Ricardo
Caracciolo and Ricardo Guibourg. All of them, from both generations, did
remarkable work, recognised beyond the borders of their own country. Their
joint reputation, on the other hand, does not imply a complete unity of theme
and procedure: some of them preferred the techniques of ordinary language
analysis, such as Carrio from his very first book (Carrio, 1965). Up until
recently, Carrio, also the translator of Alf Ross and of Hart, has been a
regular contributor to specialised journals, in open debate with Dworkin from
the end of the sixties (Carrio, 1970). Some others chose logical-formal

techniques, such as Carlos Alchourr6n and Eugenio Bulygin, authors of

Normative Systems and of Introducci6n a la Metodolog{a de las Ciencias
luridicas y Sociales, and of a recent compilation of their joint works,
published with a prologue by von Wright (Alchourr6n and Bulygin, 1971,
1974, 1992).
For reasons of space, we cannot account for the philosophical output of the
whole group in the fields of logic, philosophy of law, ethics and politics. We
shall, nevertheless, make two exceptions. The first brings into our discussion
the brilliant intellectual Carlos S. Nino, who died recently. Nino was a
distinguished member of the younger generation, whose philosophical work
is as prolific as it is instructive, and it would therefore be inexcusable to fail
to mention him explicitly (c. S. Nino, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989,
1992). Our second exception is made in order to give some general
references, with the intention of not repeating information available to the
reader elsewhere. As a first suggestion, the reader is directed to the anthology
Argentinische Rechtstheorie und Rechtsphilosophie Heute, published in 1987
by Garz6n Valdes and Eugenio Bulygin, a work which offers both seminal
texts as well as information on the publications of a considerable number of
the authors cited above (Garz6n Valdes and E. Bulygin, 1987). Another
suggestion would be to examine the rich interviews with Genaro Carri6 and
Garz6n Valdes, published in Doxa (papers on the philosophy of law from the
University of Alicante). These interviews provide first-hand testimony of the
philosophical scene in Buenos Aires, and of the political circumstances
which were so favourable to permanent or temporary exiles. It is not
restricted to Buenos Aires, since analytical philosophy reached other
universities such as that of Tucum<ln and especially, the University of
C6rdoba, with the return of Garz6n Valdes from Germany as professor of
philosophy of law in 1956, and of Andres Raggio as professor of Logic and
philosophy of science.
These references, especially the interviews, will allow the reader also to
witness the decisive effect of local philosophical life on the alignment of its
protagonists. On occasions it reaches beyond the experience of European or
American universities. These sources also provide information on the work
of editors and translators of some of thc figures mentioned above (e.g.
Carri6, Rabossi and Garz6n Valdes) in the years in which Argentinian
publishing houses (one of which was founded by Frondizi) opened their
doors to the analytical philosophers. It was also during this period that the
publishing house Paidos started the Library of Philosophy, headed by
Gregorio Klimovsky and Saad Chedid. We should make special reference to
Garz6n Valdes also, because we owe to him the publication in Spanish of a
substantial part of the new German analytical philosophy, and more recently,

in collaboration with Rodolfo Vazquez, the creation of a Mexican series on

ethics and the philosophy of law published by Fontamara.
5. In the philosophy of logic and language, Klimovsky played a similar
role to that of Gioja in the philosophy of law, first in private organizations,
and after 1956, in the chair of logic at the University of Buenos Aires (with
numerous interruptions due to the political upheavals). But wherever he has
been, including the University of La Plata, he has sustained his teaching for a
long period and has fostered several generations of disciples, whom he has
encouraged also through his own written works on the deductive method and
structure and on the validity of scientific theories. Unlike Gioja, he has been
committed since 1943 to the empiricist tradition and philosophical analysis.
As late as 1964 Klimovsky wrote some controversial pages against the
Argentinian philosophical scene and its resistance to analysis. Those pages
formed the prologue to the book of one of his disciples, a member of the
group we could call the "first generation" of Argentinian philosophers of
language with an analytical orientation. This book is Thomas Moro
Simpson's Formas L6gicas, Realidad y Significado; probably the first book
written in Spanish on the philosophy of logic, discussing ideas of Russell,
Frege, Church, Quine and Strawson. Years later, Simpson edited a second
modified version of his text and a careful anthology of Semantica Filos6fica,
a model in its genre (Simpson, 1964, 1975, 1973).
A second generation of young men dedicated to logic and the philosophy
of science and language, educated initially in Buenos Aires, has contributed
to the maintenance of philosophical activity, even though not all of them
remained in the country. Alberto Coffa, who died young, had emigrated to
the United States, as had Ricardo G6mez. Raul Orayen went to work
permanently at the National University of Mexico, where he published his
most important book (Orayen, 1989). Amongst those who remain in
Argentina are Juan Rodriguez Larreta, Alberto Moretti, Felix Gustavo
Schuster and Cecilia Hidalgo. This group, together with Klimovsky,
Simpson and those living in Argentina mentioned above as dedicated to law
and ethics, founded the Argentinian Society of Philosophical Analysis in
1972, with Rabossi as chairman. The society is not only a discussion group,
but also a ccntre for graduate teaching in philosophy. Twice a year since
1981, the Society has published Analisis Filos6fico, a journal that keeps the
analytical tradition alive. This tradition and, of course, its defenders, also
have a permanent place in other Argentinian journals of philosophy: Revista
Latinoamericana de Filosoffa, published by the Centre for Philosophical
Research and Cuadernos de Etica, published by the Argentinian Association
of Ethical Research.

6. Cultural relations between Argentina and Uruguay have always been

close. At least from 1956, there was the River Plate Group of Logic and
Scientific Philosophy, uniting nationals of both countries. We should
mention one exceptional antecedent of analytical philosophy: Carlos Vaz
Ferreira, whose work seems not to have been continued by his disciples,
most of whom turned to phenomenology or to the history of ideas. Vaz
Ferreira died in 1958, and in spite of his interest in the philosophy of life, he
never ceased to be an empiricist. He was influenced by Stuart Mill, and his
preoccupation with concrete problems in education led him to a reform of
logic and a personal method of treating ordinary language, which obliges us
to consider him (at least in this aspect of his work) an immediate forerunner
of the philosophical analysts.
Towards the end of the fifties, Ezra Heymann (who currently lives in
Venezuela and works at the Simon Bolfvar University) taught logic in
Montevideo and introduced Frege and Austin, amongst other authors. This
was thanks to his relationship with Raggio, whose follower he had been at
the University of Cordoba. During this period, the dominance of
phenomenology, especially Heidegger's, together with the increasing
development of Latin American studies of the history of ideas, did not leave
much room for other tasks.
It was around that time that Mario Otero, who had spent some time at the
State University of New York at Buffalo together with Marvin Farger,
travelled to Buenos Aires to work on his doctorate with Bunge. From there
he went to Paris and back to the United States where he took courses with
Quine and Putnam. Otero carried out part of his written work on the history
of logic and philosophy of science in Mexico, at the Institute of Philosophical
Research, during his years in exile; but when democracy was restored in
Uruguay, he went back to Montevideo, to work at the University of the
Republic. His work is spread through various specialised journals, but he
collected a small part of it into one volume (Otero, 1977). Uruguay, however,
lost Heymann and lost also the next generation: Javier Sasso, Eduardo
Piacenza and Carlos Pereda. Pereda went to Mexico and the other two
remained in Venezuela. All three were educated at European universities and
work on contemporary philosophy, the history of logic, philosophy of
language, and argumentation theory. They work in a style that is wide open
to all tendencies of contemporary thought, itself a demonstration of the broad
scope of analytical techniques. Pereda has published the most important part
of his work in two recent books (Pereda 1994a, 1994b). Despite these losses
to Uruguay, we should mention the publication of two collective volumes,
edited by E. Caorsi, as a clear indication of the recovery of philosophy in that
country. One is on Quine and the other on Strawson, both including papers

by these authors and by a considerable number of Latin American

philosophers (Caorsi, ] 982, 1992).
7. The Chilean case is somewhat different and cannot be understood
without admitting to a certain isolation. Once the influence of 19th century
positivism had vanished around the second half of the century, the teaching
of philosophy in this country seemed orientated mainly towards the
dominance of the great classics of the history of philosophy. One sometimes
has the impression that the field was divided amongst the Tomists and the
Heideggerians. Logical studies reached a very high level, both in
publications and in teaching, with the work of Juan Rivano, Gerold Stahl and
Rolando Chuaqui - until they were interrupted (at least for awhile) by the
1973 military coup. Largely on the basis of these works, but, of course, not
exclusively, one could surmise that the reception of analytical philosophy in
Chile has been due mainly to logicians.
Some nuances must be added to the above discussion. Until shortly before
his arrival at the University of Puerto Rico from Chile at the beginning of the
seventies, Roberto Torretti's publications were mainly concerned with the
history of philosophy, dominated by his excellent book on Kant (Torretti,
1967). It was only with his essay of Wittgenstein (Torretti, 1968), which he
wrote when he was still in Chile, that he focused his work more closely on
the study of science, of history and of the philosophy of geometry and
physics, crystallised in more recent publications (Torretti, 1990, 1993). His
contribution in Puerto Rico has been manifest in the direction taken by
philosophical studies in that country; proof of which is the journal Didlogos.
In a way, the path taken by another Chilean, from a younger generation, has
led in the opposite direction. Alfonso G6mez Lobo, on his return from
Heidelberg, where he studied with Ernst Tugendhat, published an anthology
of Frege in Siete Escritos sobre LOgica y Semantica. This meant for Chile the
opening of a new domain of research (G6mez Lobo, 1972). Later, he edited a
volume of texts by Frege, Russell, Strawson and other authors of an
analytical bent, which could not be published because of the military coup.
His transfer to Washington and his work at Georgetown University have led
him to publish on the history of Greek philosophy - though even at times
here his dexterity in analysis and his concern for the problems of analytical
ethics are noteworthy.
8. In Peru, the development of analysis can be defined with some precision
through the work of two of the country's most outstanding philosophical
figures of this century: Francisco Mir6 Quesada and Augusto Salazar Bondy.
Their work is both rich and complex, yet the former and older is more
prolific than the latter, who died at a relatively young age, in 1974. There is a

certain parallelism in the development of both authors, which is worthy of

Arriving by different paths, both received their education in continental
European philosophy, and started out as phenomenologists. After giving a
course on morality, Mira Quesada published El Sentido del Movimiento
Fenomenol6gico, but immediately after that delved into issues of logic and
philosophy of mathematics, within a research paradigm that can be
considered analytical and which he has sustained practically uninterrupted
since the 1940s (Mira Quesada, 1963, 1980, 1988). Apart from this
permanent interest, focused on formal languages, the work of this author has
been extended to the field of political thought, in which he is also a pioneer
in Latin America. An example of this is the work published at the beginning
of the sixties, in which he committed himself to a political movement in
defence of a humanist attitude, founded on moral postulates which, although
alien to Marxism, proposed various socialist measures which were adapted to
the needs of his country. These writings are confined completely to
knowledge of the empirical sciences as related to social issues, and, at the
same time, to the efficiency of analysis in the clarification of stated values,
with no other support than a decision wrought from feelings of sympathy and
solidarity. It is a general line of thought that can be documented within the
tradition of empiricism and non-dogmatic rationalism (Mira Quesada, 196],
1966). In contrast, Mira Quesada's more recent work on the philosophy of
history and the history of ideas in Latin America, published since the
seventies, do not seem to follow the same philosophical tradition.
The first works by Salazar Bondy, in the fifties, are two studies on
philosophy in Peru and his Ph. D. thesis, a phenomenological study of the
distinction between being ideal of being unreal, later published as Salazar
Bondy, 1958. He had studied in Mexico with Jose Gaos between ] 948 and
1950, and perhaps it was from him that he developed a double intellectual
inclination, which he would never quite abandon: towards the history of
ideas and towards phenomenology as a method. Following a time in Europe,
Salazar consolidated his background in several areas and underwent a very
productive phase. Committed to a new political movement in Peru at the end
of the sixties, he wrote on the philosophy of culture and worked on an
important educational project which proposed a humanist socialist solution
for his country, closer to Sartre, for example, than to orthodox Marxism. But
he was active philosophically at the same time: from] 961 he had started to
publish on British moral philosophy and had translated Moore and
Wittgenstein, culminating in a series of analytical essays on valorative
language, published as a book in ] 971 in Santiago de Chile (Salazar Bondy,

Of particular interest to us here is the precision of Salazar's contribution

on two points. Firstly, he views conceptual analysis as inseparable from the
consideration of experience, and so, in this sense, as a complement of
phenomenological analysis. This allows him to reach a point of view
logically prior to all interpretation (which he calls transcendental), leading, at
the same time, to the possibility of the objective world of praxis and of its
rational comprehension and construction. In the second place, he defends the
instrumental and critical function of philosophy, and the need for better
methodological and conceptual equipment, without which a true
consciousness of one's own reality is impossible. Nevertheless, he warns
against the danger of divorce from more urgent problems and claims a
convergence of effort between philosophy and scientific research in the
theoretical field, and with political action in the practical. In his posthumous
book on Peruvian educational reform, he outlines the initial place of
philosophical analysis and in fact recognizes the separability of ideologies,
i.e. of conceptions of the world. He clearly affirms their function as guides
for individual action, and their place in education and social movements
(Salazar Bondy, 1975).
Salazar and Mir6 Quesada always maintained direct links with Argentina
and Mexico. Since 1967, both formed part of the editorial board of the
journal Crftica. Two figures stand out from the next generation, seemingly
more interested in the new developments of German philosophy: one,
Alberto Cordero, who studied at Oxford with Rom Harre and currently
teaches in New York, because of his publications on the philosophy of
science: the other is Miguel Giusti, who, after studying in Germany, has been
concerned with topics in political philosophy, following the work of John
9. The development of philosophical analysis in Brazil responds to
conditions of its own, but nevertheless, when looked upon from a historical
perspective, differs only slightly from those of other Latin American
countries. In Brazil, the presence of Comtean positivism was stronger than
elsewhere in the area at the end of the 19th century; but even stronger was the
reaction of the first half of the 20th century guided by continental European
philosophies, and above all by Thomism - and by the nationalism that
marked the study of ideas in themselves. Towards the end of the forties, the
University of Sao Paulo initiated a new policy, which was instrumental in
changing the philosophical atmosphere: that of inviting foreign professors.
These included Martial Gueroult, who worked on a history of philosophy;
Willard V. O. Quine, who in 1944 published EL Sentido de La Nueva LOgica
in Portuguese; and, shortly afterwards, Gilles Gaston Granger, who

subsequently became a regular visitor to Brazilian universities, and who

wrote in Portuguese his Logic and Philosophy of Science, in 1955.
As in other Latin American countries, Brazilian research on logic, on the
history of philosophy (focusing on classics of empiricism), and strictly
analytical approaches to problems, emerged not as a continuation of the old
positivism, but as an attempt at philosophical innovation, which would
prosper in an adverse intellectual atmosphere. The study of logic has attained
a broad level of development in Brazil, first in the universities of Sao Paulo
and Campinas, and then in Porto Alegre, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro. The
scholar with the highest international profile is Newton da Costa, a specialist
in paraconsistent logic. In work on the history of philosophy, two figures
stand out. The first is Joao Paulo Monteiro, editor of the journal Ciencia e
Filosofia, who is at the same time an authority on Hume and contemporary
epistemological questions. In 1975 he published his book Teorla, Ret6rica,
Ideologia (Monteiro, 1975). Oswaldo Porchat is the second example: a
specialist in Aristotle, who on his return from studying under Tarski at
Berkeley entered the new Centre for Logic, Epistemology and History of
Science at the University of Campinas. The centre is very active, editing the
journal Manuscrito since 1977, and sponsoring the first Latin American
Conference on Logic. Amongst other philosophers with an analytical focus,
Balthazar Barbosa Filho, Henrique Lopez dos Santos, Zeljko Loparic and
Marcelo Dascal belong to this centre. The latter is editor of Relativismo
Cultural y Filosofla (Dascal, 1992), and other broadly circulated books on
the philosophy of language (Dascal, 1992-1993), as well as his own studies
on the same themes (Dascal, 1987, 1994).
In this way, analytical philosophy has achieved its place in the
philosophical life of the country, despite initial opposition and special
difficulties such as the 1964 coup d'Etat and its consequences for universities
in the years that followed. Currently, logic and analysis are taught not only in
Sao Paulo and Campinas, but also almost in every Brazilian university -
including the Catholic ones. The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de
Janeiro, for example, has a Ph. D. programme on the philosophy of science,
directed by Oswaldo Chateaubriand, a disciple of Quine. The technological
institutes are not excluded from this pattern: an example in Le6nidas
Hegenberg, a well known logician associated with one of them.
10. The dominant philosophical influences in Venezuela from the forties to
the beginning of the seventies were the same as in Mexico: first Husserl and
phenomenology; then Heidegger and Sartre; and at the end of this period
Marxism - with a strong element of Hegel. The father figure of that period,
who to some extent dominated all changes, was Garda Bacca. Alongside his
metaphysical work, he continued publishing books on the history and

philosophy of science, never abandoning his phenomenological and

hermeneutic roots, and always insisting on the continuity of Aristotelian
logic and of the Principia Mathematica and on the need to read them as
exercises in the logic of interpretation (Garda Bacca, 1963, 1967, 1961,
1968). Gaos visited Caracas once, but had no effect on the phenomenological
and existentialist order. Frondizi, on the other hand, made his pupils study
English empiricism, and left his stamp on some of them. Juan Nufio
established himself in those years and his work, published afterwards, reveals
those dominant influences almost photographically: books on Plato and
Heidegger, on Sartre and Marxism, all of them severely critical of the authors
studies. NUllO also went to Cambridge in the fifties, following in the
footsteps of the empiricists, and later he was with Bochensky in Freiburg. On
his return to Caracas he took over the seminar on modem philosophy and the
chair of logic. In his mentor, Garda Bacca, he found encouragement for a
new enterprise, and in the Venezuelan Marxists and metaphysicists, he found
the resistance much needed by his brilliant pen and his polemic temper.
In 1973 NUllO published a book on formal logic (NUllO, 1973); earlier,
however, in 1965, he had written his Sentido de La Filosofta Contemporanea,
which constitutes the first overview of this subject written in Latin America,
conceding a major place to logical empiricism and analytical philosophy. It is
a small book which, together with the persistence of metaphysics, describes
the validity of ideologies. It also brings to light the quarrel between those
currents of empiricism that were closer to science and the philosophy of
dialectical materialism (NUllO, 1965). NUllO'S essays discussing
contemporary subjects and authors, written in the sixties, were published in
book form in 1970 (NUllO, 1970); those of a later date were collected in the
volume Compromisos y Desviaciones (NUllO, 1982). When reading both
books, a broad thematic perspective is revealed, which allows us to see a
direction in the evolution of the author's theory, parallel to the changes in the
philosophical climate of his country. It is a gradual drift towards a situation
in which philosophical analysis could flow freely as academic currency; but
it also reveals a transition from discovery and combative enthusiasm to a
certain disenchantment.
Apart from NUllO, other non-Venezuelan authors worked towards the same
ends in that country. Amongst them was the Argentinian Emesto Battistella,
who published studies on deontic logic. The interest in legal logic was
extended to professors of law, for whom Garda Bacca translated Klug's
book in 1961. Later, we also find the work of the Venezuelans of the younger
generation: Rafael Burgos and Pedro Lluveres were amongst the best known
through their publications. The latter published Ciencia y Escepticismo in
1976 (Lluveres, 1976).

11. In Colombia the reception of philosophical analysis and the study of

contemporary scholars of empiricism and their ideas, seems to start slightly
later than in other countries, but still in the sixties. Viewed at a distance, the
discussion there, also, seems to have been less abrupt than, for example, in
Venezuela, even if the positions from which the conflict took place were the
same: first Heideggerian, then Marxist. But in Colombia it is the journals,
and above all the specialized Ideas y Valores and Cuadernos de Filosofia y
Letras, which provided a forum for analysis, alongside the airing of
continental European philosophical currents. This forum is maintained
vigorously, even if the compromise it entails has not been achieved without
The main activity in Colombia has been associated with Ruben Sierra
Mejia, whose initial training was in the study of phenomenologists such as
Max Scheler, Heidegger and Sartre. But in 1966, when he took over the chair
of logic in Bogota, at the National University, he introduced courses and
seminars of Popper, Austin and Strawson, and he translated Russell, G6del
and Koyre (Sierra Mejia, 1981). Sierra Mejia contributed regular articles to
Colombian journals, later published in book form. One of these essays,
demonstrating his knowledge of the field of analysis and a variety of
intellectual interests, is entitled Apreciacion de la Filosofia Analftica (Sierra
Mejia, 1987). Outside Bogota, at the University del Valle, in Cali, Adolfo
Le6n G6mez has fulfilled a parallel mission with studies on the theory of
argumentation following Perelman, and also applying ordinary language
A good example of how widespread philosophical analysis has become in
Colombian universities (perhaps even more so outside Bogota) is the 1983
meeting of the Colombian Society of Philosophy, where some of the more
active scholars convened. Apart from Sierra Mejia and G6mez, the
Proceedings include papers by Magdalena Holguin, Danilo Guzman, Alfonso
Monsalve, Juan Manuel Jaramillo and Jaime Velez (Quinto Coloquio de fa
Sociedad Colombiana de Filosofia, 1985). Other more recent publications,
especially since Ernst Tugendhat's visit in 1984, seem to have further cooled
the dialogue between the authors of the Heideggerian and hermeneutic
tradition, and those interested in philosophical analysis (Gutierrez, 1984).
In other Latin American countries, the presence of philosophical analysis
has been weaker, but not completely inexistent. In Central America, for
example, Claudio Gutierrez' name should be mentioned. He graduated from
the University of Chicago in the mid-sixties, became professor of logic at the
University of Costa Rica and an active collaborator in specialized journals in
the United States, Argentina and Mexico. Outside Costa Rica, though, the
political situation has been extraordinarily difficult in the last few years.

Hector Neri Castaneda taught philosophy after 1954 at the University of San
Carlos, in Guatemala, from the time he returned from his studies in the
United States and England until his transfer to Wayne State University, and
later on to Indiana, where he has conducted all his philosophical work.
Rigoberto Juarez-Paz, an old colleague of Castaneda and disciple of W.
Sellars, remained in Guatemala City, associated with the Francisco
Marroquin University, where he has published some of his works (Juarez-
Paz, 1977).
Castaneda had several publications in Guatemala: from his essay on the
nature of philosophical problems and his studies on the philosophy of
arithmetic, to his small book La DiaLectica de La Conciencia de Sf Mismo,
edited by the University of San Carlos in 1960, when he was already a
professor at Wayne State (Castaneda, 1960). This small book on
consciousness of the self presents a coherent proposal, not incompatible with
the facts, of how to view the relations between universes of mental concepts
in ordinary language. It contains much of the subject matter and style of
argumentation of Castaneda's later work and, of course, all the relevant
bibliographical references in English. For this reason our attention is drawn
to the fact that the initial statement of the problem makes use of works and
authors which were common reading in Brazil and in other Latin American
countries: Scheler, Heidegger and Sartre. As late as 1957, Castaneda
published "A general system of normative logic" in a Mexican journal,
giving as his affiliation the University of San Carlos. It is a long essay in
which he emphasizes the distance between his own position and that of
Scheler and Hartmann, and other Latin American philosophers in the Kantian
tradition, with the sole exception of Garda Maynez, who, despite
recognizing an ontology of what ought to be, is interested also in
systematizing normative logic (Castaneda, 1957).
12. Mention has already been made of some aspects of the antecedents of
analysis in Mexico. At this point, it is useful to take up the issue again by
referring to another paper by Gaos, presented at a conference at EI Colegio
de Mexico on 15 th October 1965 and published two years later in a collection
of essays edited by the author himself (Gaos, 1967). By 1965 the
philosophical panorama had changed in Mexico (as well as in the rest of
Latin America), and Gaos stated publicly (and for the first time in a direct
manner) what he considered the essential contents of private discussions with
his own disciples. His style is certainly forthright and not devoid of irony. He
starts by anticipating in a different context the observation that "the rebellion
of the disciples" has always been a motor in the history of philosophy. But
what is important is not only his lack of appreciation for what he calls
philosophies of logical empiricism, logical positivism and scientific and

analytical philosophy; but also the recognition of their notorious rise, his own
explanation of this fact, and the central point towards which he directs his
main argument.
Gaos thinks that the rise of these philosophies is due, most decisively, and
inexplicably, to the vacuum existing in German philosophy and in its French
and Italian dependencies. After Heidegger, Jaspers and Marcel, at that time
already sterile (only Sartre seems to him still to be productive), Gaos has the
impression that there is no follower of their stature. And the gap has been
closed by philosophies that seek support in the scientificism of modem
thought. According to him, this same concern for science is related in these
booming philosophies to the conviction that it is enough for philosophy to
stop being systematic and become mere conceptual analysis in order for it to
become scientific. The error lies not so much in the conviction itself as in the
supposition that philosophy can stop being systematic. For mere analysis,
Gaos insists, discovers immediately that concepts truly important to
philosophy are themselves systematic; in the sense that they necessarily
imply systematicity and lead to it. To pretend that philosophy is not
systematic is, therefore, a nonsense - no less serious than assuming a
scientific philosophy, or a purely objective one. The system itself (precisely
because it is a system) has to be subjective, in the sense that it cannot be
authentically accepted as true by anyone except the author himself.
Without being paradoxical, Gaos' defense of a feature of classical and
traditional philosophy (which identifies philosophy, system and conception
of the world) could not be but disappointing, and it represented for his
disciples a cuI de sac. Gaos had always recognized a substantial number of
elements within personal systems that were beneficial to all (and therefore
separable from the whole and bearing intersubjective value). These were
precisely the phenomenological aspects: descriptions and analyses of
concepts and of the other phenomena of the world. We are not in a position
to comment on the entire scope of Gaos' written work and teaching in this
essay, but it seems indispensable to acknowledge at least two points related
to his interest in logic and his idea of philosophical method.
At the beginning of the fifties, even when Garda Maynez had started to
deal with problems of logic and its application to the structure of the legal
norm, this discipline was taught (at least at the level of higher education)
using Pfander's book, except when it dealt with scholastic or so-called
dialectical logic. The first book published in Mexico that contributed to
changing this tradition was that of Ferrater Mora and Leblanc; and according
to the authors, the manuscript was seen by Gaos (Ferrater and Leblanc,
1962). Gaos had striven for that change, attempting to introduce manuals of
modern logic in the Faculty of Philosophy at the National University. He

himself gave an advanced seminar, with the support of Lukasiewicz' book on

Aristotelian silogistics, which was probably one of the first courses on
modem logic taught at the University since Garcia Bacca's visit in the
When it came to philosophical method, Gaos was a consistent
phenomenologist, and he defended "the first great rule" of this method: to
start with the verbal expressions for the phenomenon under study, in order to
identify the typical case and then proceed to descriptive, conceptual and
terminological analysis until the essence of the phenomenon is clarified.
From the early Heidegger he derived the idea that, in the development of
modem philosophy, this Husserlian procedure had been integrated with the
transcendental method of Kant, and afterwards, with Dilthey's hermeneutics.
But in his discussions with his disciples, he also explicitly recognized the
possibility and the convenience of incorporating the conceptual analysis of
analytical philosophy and the results of the new philosophy of language and
logic, which he considered, in part, "an Anglo-Saxon parallel to Germanic
phenomenology" .
As early as 1953, Gaos had abandoned his inclination towards extreme
historicism and the philosophy of the early Heidegger. In latter years he had
also published reviews in which he affirmed the impossibility of following
the later Heidegger, and declared his distancing from Ortega. This was
consistent with the explanation he made in the mid-sixties of the boom in
analytical philosophy; but the reaction of some of his closest followers was
equally consistent. Before discussing this, however, some remarks on other
antecedents are in order, to give an idea of the philosophical climate of the
13. Certain translations of books on the philosophy of science, such as those
begun by Garcia Bacca during his stay in Mexico, could be considered as
indirect, though weighty, antecedents. Also of note are those promoted later
by De Gortari in the Seminar on Scientific and Philosophical Problems.
Somewhat different are the courses of Arturo Rosenblueth, which, although
important, were confined to scientific circles until much later (in 1970 and
1971) when his two books appeared in print (Rosenblueth, 1994). The last
publications of Recasens Siches, on argumentation and rhetoric, discussing
Perelman and Toulmin among others, had less effect. This was due not so
much to their being directed to a readership of jurists, but above all to their
being presented as an attack on formal logic (Recasens Siches, 1971).
Garcia Maynez, on the other hand, took the side of formal logic, although
it is also true that he had no inclination towards empiricist currents in
philosophy or analysis, either. His background was fundamentally
phenomenological - he had studied in Mexico with Antonio Caso and in

Berlin with Nicolai Hartmann. He never abandoned his initial leanings, but
for slightly more than twenty years (from 1939), he worked on the formal
ontology of law and the logic of norms. Even though his starting point was
the valorative axiomatic of Scheler and Brentano, Garda Maynez did not try
to establish principles of axiological order, but rather logical laws on the
validity or invalidity of legal norms. His first book on legal logic follows
Husserl and Pfander; but his later work on the subject (the last book was
published in 1964), betrays a command of modem logic that goes far beyond
his early studies focusing on formal ontology, and the prestige of this work
was a decisive factor for younger generations. Garda Maynez' writings were
reviewed by Gaos and Castaneda in Mexico and, abroad, by Bobbio and
Kalinowsky. He himself had discussed the modal logic of von Wright in
1953 and, afterwards, that of Klug and Kalinowsky (Garda Maynez, 1953,
Later Garda Maynez returned to systematic issues in the philosophy of
law, to the history of Greek philosophy and to the metaphysical convictions
of his youth, but he always remained an example of discipline in the
fulfilment of a philosophical programme which contributed in its time to the
identification of a new branch of study. At the National University he
founded a research centre, which later became the Institute of Philosophical
Research, and in 1955 he started up the publication Dianoia. More
information on this author (as well as on others to be mentioned below), can
be found in the introduction to Philosophie und Rechtstheorie in Mexico
(edited by L. Olive and F. Salmeron, 1989).
In order to cover the elements that we want to stress in this outline of
philosophy in Mexico towards the second half of the fifties, we should
mention Robert S. Hartman, a researcher of the Institute of Philosophical
Research who was also the Institute's editorial advisor in those years.
Hartman, of German origin, had started his education in his own country,
where he had the opportunity to hear Husserl and Max Scheler. Later he
moved to the United States where he studied logic and philosophy of science.
Thus he was able to develop a programme of research which maintained a
certain parallelism with that initially undertaken by Garda Maynez, but this
time in the field of axiology. Hartman decided to construct a formal-logical
system of axiological statements, which he never fully developed, but which
constituted an attempt to axiomatise G. E. Moore's formulae (Hartman,
1964a). He was by no account an analytical philosopher; indeed, in 1964 he
wrote a long essay against ethical theories, which he identified as the
"Oxford School". He was, though, very well-read, and part of his work is a
polemical dialogue with contemporary philosophy in the English language
(Hartman, 1959, 1964b).

14. This should suffice for antecedents. For, in fact, if we put aside the
isolated case mentioned above of Molina Flores, we cannot talk of analytical
philosophy in Mexico until 1959, a year in which, on occasion of Husserl's
centenary, the Seminar of Modem Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy of
the National University held a public session on the Husserlian text
Philosophie als Strenge Wissenschaft. That same year, Adolfo Garda Dfaz'
translation into Spanish of Moore's Principia Ethica appeared. Discussion of
the connection between these two events is, however, beyond the scope of
this study.
The seminar on modem philosophy was coordinated by Jose Gaos and was
exclusively for professors of the Faculty. Two years later, the Faculty itself
published the papers presented at the public session, with some notes on
Husserl that were written after the session by Gaos (Facultad de Filosoffa y
Letras, 1963). These notes and the texts by Rossi, Emilio Uranga and
Villoro, all of them members of the seminar, are worthy of comment.
Rossi's text characterises Husserl's essay as a philosophical manifesto: a
confrontation with philosophies that view themselves as conceptions of the
world, and a defence of the ideal of a discipline as strict science. It is more an
exposition of the motives for this philosophical attitude than the balanced
description of a real historical situation. Whereas a conception of the world
obeys the specific and immediate demands of total explanation and of
personal salvation, scientific philosophy requires a different theoretical base,
and a way of conceiving its own task as a long-term enterprise. An
enterprise, furthermore, linked to the possibility of an ideal realm of
concepts, susceptible to analysis made with all the rigour required by
scientific canons. Thus, Rossi defends the contemporary relevance of Husserl
and ends up producing a personal philosophical manifesto in which he
announces a dilemma which is not subordinated to immediate spiritual
demands. The names of Moore, Reichenbach, Wittgenstein and Feigl are
conspicuous. Uranga's contribution to the seminar recalls also Husserl's
claim to have distinguished science from wisdom, even though he implies a
belief in the practical possibility of eclecticism. But his intention seems to be
directed above all to declare his rejection of phenomenology as method, a
rejection which, in fact, is no less than that of any form of historicism in the
history of ideas. This line was one he would take up in his later years of
rapprochement with the philosophy of Russell and Wittgenstein. Luis
Villoro, also concerned with Husserl's distinction, seeks another alternative
between wisdom and impersonal knowledge in science: a wisdom that gives
science meaning, as opposed to a science that guarantees the validity of all

Gaos' notes do not constitute a direct response to Rossi, and they hardly
mention Villoro, another member of the seminar. They do constitute an
indirect response, insofar as they present an apposite reading of Husserl's
text, introducing subtle distinctions to make the point and ultimately
establishing ranks of scientificity for each one of the philosophical
disciplines. He rejects the idea of the possible scientificity of classical
metaphysics, which he considers the ultimate nucleus of philosophy, and
presents it literally as a monster of contradictions. He concludes nevertheless
by accepting the methods of current scientific philosophy, since it seems to
proceed from the analysis of scientific theorems, and of philosophemes
themselves. This is, beyond discussion, the best method. He immediately
warns, however, that this method leads not to classical metaphysical
philosophy, but rather to its condemnation.
I have dwelt on these texts, not so much to demonstrate what might be
called the Mexican line of continuity between phenomenology and analysis
(i.e. reception and conflict), but rather to strengthen the conjecture made at
the outset of this essay, which, in general terms, should be valid for most
Latin American countries.
For further proof, I could relate the circumstances that conspired towards
the foundation of Critica: Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofta, and in the
adjustment of its goals. But I dealt with this in my report on twelve years of
the Institute of Philosophical Research (Salmeron, 1978), which excuses me
from repetition of this information here. It would also be useful to review the
contents of Dianoia, in order to follow the gradual steps of the transition
from phenomenology to analysis. This is particularly so, given that since the
presentation of the first issue of Critica, in January 1967, it no longer keeps
track of this process, even though it declares a preference for explanations
"appealing to description and analysis". On the contrary, it tries to give
weight to features which are characteristic of a philosophy that conceives of
itself as conceptual analysis and as critique; that attempts to achieve more
precision and clarity in its arguments; to fall into step with contemporary
science and to concern itself more with methodology. It attempts all this
without pretending to represent any particular school or thought.
15. The written works of all three members of Critica's first board of
directors, starting in the sixties, fully confirms this continuity. The first of
five essays collected by Rossi in Lenguaje y Significado (Rossi, 1969) deals
with Husserl's logical research. Another deals with Wittgenstein's discussion
of the possibility of private language and the last three with questions relating
to defined descriptions, in one of which Russell's theory and Strawson's
approach are addressed.

Villoro's major work of the sixties is, without doubt, his book on
Descartes. But reading his two essay collections can be considered the next
item on the itinerary: Paginas Filos6ficas (Villoro, 1962) includes, amongst
other topics, his ideas on Dilthey, Marcel and Husserl; but it concludes with
an essay entitled ''The logical positivist critique of metaphysics". His book
Estudios sobre Husser! (Villoro, 1975) ends with a review entitled
"Phenomenology and analytical philosophy". In Villoro's essays there is an
attempt to integrate apparently contradictory elements, which Gaos had
already reproached in 1959, and which seems to maintain alive some aspects
of his original training. His most relevant book, Creer, Saber, Conocer
(Villoro, 1982), tries to solve this dilemma. It consolidates the labour of
many years of teaching, constituting a model of analytical research which,
without confining its sources to a single philosophical tradition, pursues a
network of fundamental concepts, and reveals their systematic connectivity.
The whole analysis revolves around various kinds of knowledge and their
relationships with practical reason.
The third member of that first editorial committee of Critica, the author of
the present essay, arrived at analytical philosophy shortly after the first two,
but by the same route. My articles on Husserl, Nicolai Hartmann and
Heidegger appeared in Dianoia in the 1960s. The essay on Heidegger
marked the beginning of my concern with the philosophy of language
(Salmeron, 1968). In 1967 appeared the first of the texts included later in the
collection La Filosofia y las Actitudes Morales (Salmeron, 1971). The book
brings together the approaches of Brentano and Husserl, taking them in the
direction of analytical philosophy. It reaffirms the moral function of
conceptions of the world, maintaining its independence from the
philosophical task of conceptual analysis. This led to a discussion with
Salazar Bondy, which was published by the University of Kansas (Salazar
Bondy, 1969) and which endures, even if less visibly, in other papers in
Ensayos Filos6ficos (Salmeron, 1988) and Ensefianza y Filosoffa (Salmeron,
1991). In 1985, Rabossi and I published a volume of Etica y Analisis, a
collection of studies on language and moral justification, including texts from
Moore, Strawson, Stevenson, Hare, Searle, Foot, Baier and Gilbert Harman,
amongst others (Rabossi and Salmeron, 1985).
It could be said that the generation immediately following the first editors
of Critica followed a similar pattern of training and intellectual development.
Roberto Caso Bercho, Hugo Padilla and Wonfilio Trejo all attended courses
by Gaos and Robert S. Hartman, and also by Villoro and Rossi. Roberto
Caso's first publications were on value theory, but later he concentrated on
logic, mainly at the Metropolitan Autonomous University following a stay at
Berkeley with Tarski's group. Roberto Caso created a Master's degree

programme in logic and philosophy of science at this institution, with which

C. Ulises Moulines, Ignacio Jane, Susana Berestovoy, Mario Otero, Luis
Villoro and Leon Olive were associated at different times.
Hugo Padilla's fIrst publications were actually on Husserl, but afterwards
he too became interested in problems of logic; in 1972 he published a
volume of translations of Frege.
Wonfilio Trejo, who died a little more than two years ago, left behind a
wider and more signifIcant body of work. He taught epistemology in several
Mexican universities: at Veracruz, Nuevo Leon, and the National
Autonomous of Mexico. After his fIrst publications, amongst them a book on
Dilthey and a teaching anthology on ethics, he devoted himself to systematic
research on problems of knowledge. Fenomenalismo y Realismo, his
posthumous book, deals with fundamental issues arising from the classics,
and submits contemporary conceptions to analysis, before presenting Trejo's
own thoughts on matters of perception and empirical knowledge (Trejo,
1987). A previous book, bringing together the epistemological essays he
published between 1961 and 1972, reveals the congruence of his ideas and
the wide scope of his intellect. In those essays, he deals with Husserl, Sartre,
Merleau-Ponty, Russell and Wittgenstein (Trejo, 1976).
16. It is a different story for the following generations, who underwent a
different type of training, which did not include the study of phenomenology
as a fundamental element. Their output, furthermore, starts after the sixties,
which is after the period under discussion here; strictly speaking, they are
thus beyond the scope of this review.
One can find information about most of the new generation in the
publications cited at the beginning of this work and in the report of the
Institute of Philosophical Research from 1978, even though they are
mentioned there only as recently accepted members of the Institute, as
scholarship students, or as postdoctoral fellows in universities abroad. In any
case, they have been jointly responsible for the development of the
philosophy of science and analytical philosophy in Mexico over the last two
decades; they are responsible for the broad influence of analytical methods
here, for the consideration of practical questions both in the moral and
political spheres; for a more comprehensive view of the history of science
and the processes of production and validation of knowledge; and even for
what we can now call the reception of critical theory.
We are justified, nevertheless, in dwelling on some of these recent figures.
The first is Hugo Margain, whose publications cover the period from 1969 to
1977. Margain had entered Mexican philosophical life in a brilliant manner
upon concluding his studies at Oxford. He wrote a book based on his work
during those years, which was published in 1978, shortly after his death. The

book discusses the question of rationality from different angles, connected

with logical problems of the theory of meaning, the language of thought,
explanation and causality. These issues are addressed from the perspective of
a naturalist epistemology, in the manner of Quine and Gilbert Harman
(Margain, 1978). A second exception is the memory of Javier Esquivel, who
died recently. Esquivel worked at the Institute of Philosophical Research
during the seventies. Like Margain, but this time in the field of practical
philosophy, his strong personality is captured in a book on Kelsen and Ross,
and in a collection of seminal essays on moral philosophy (Esquivel, 1979,
1980, 1981).
The final exception concerns philosophers from other countries who,
during the sixties and the first years of the following decade, visited Mexico
either to teach or to attend academic meetings. The majority of them, those
connected with the Institute of Philosophical Research, are mentioned in the
report cited above. For present purposes we are obliged to mention those
who remained at least a year. Such is the case of Roberto Vernengo, who was
associated with the Metropolitan Autonomous University and, during his
visit, published his studies on legal interpretation and dogmatic concepts
(Vernengo, 1977) as well as numerous journal articles. Similarly, Otero,
Bunge and C. Ulises Moulines were, for a while, members of the Institute of
Philosophical Research, and also taught at other institutions. Otero published
his two approaches to the philosophy of science and his introduction to
Galeno's dialectics in Mexico (Otero, 1982), as well as various articles.
Mario Bunge, who was a visitor at the Institute between 1975 and 1976,
founded and directed the Mexican Society of Epistemology; he also wrote
several publications. His book Epistemologia (Bunge, 1980) contains part of
the courses and papers he gave in Mexico. During his stay he also worked on
one of the volumes of his Treatise on Basic Philosophy.
The Venezuelan Ulises Moulines also visited Mexico at this time. He
stayed in the country for a longer period, but his teaching had delayed results,
a fact we cannot enter into here. His task was interrupted with his successive
transfers to the universities of Bielefeld, Berlin, and finally Munich. Part of
the work he carried out in Mexico is incorporated in his book Exploraciones
Metacientfjicas (Moulines, 1982).
17. Like Garz6n Valdes and Castaneda, who accomplished an important
part of their education and their work outside Latin America, Bunge and
Moulines are figures whose names could not fail to be mentioned in this
review. Others have only barely been alluded to, such as Coffa, G6mez and
Cordero, and also the Spaniard Jose Ferrater Mora, part of whose work is
inseparable from philosophical life in Latin America. No mention has been
made so far of others, such as Ignacio Angelelli, who has been a professor at

Austin, Texas for several years. In spite of his links at one time with the
University of Buenos Aires, Angelelli does not belong to any of the groups
or generations specified here. We have mentioned neither Jorge Gracia nor
Ernesto Sosa, both Cubans, but whose education and professional activity
have always been based in Canada and the United States. Finally, we have
also excluded Mark Platts, who became associated with the Institute for
Philosophical Research shortly after the period we are considering, despite
the fact that many essays and his last book (1991) have been written here.
It must be acknowledged that, without these people, the overview of
philosophical analysis in Latin America traced so far would be incomplete.
Without exception, all have maintained a permanent relationship with Latin
American philosophical activity - and not only with their native countries.
Their presence in periodical publications, their participation at academic
meetings, and their own philosophical influence, are essential elements in the
normal activities of our countries. Indeed, a way of doing philosophy that, in
principle, is understood as a collective task, leaves little room for local and
personal idiosyncrasies, and thus facilitates communication and international
In this context, a characteristic of analysis in Latin America (if one were to
compare it with other philosophical currents) has been the major links that
Latin American philosophers have established between themselves and their
more active participation in international philosophical life. It is true that the
times we live in have helped, not so much due to the ease of mass
communication as to the presence of economic and political crises.
But it may well be that we should not deal with philosophical analysis in
Latin America as one school or philosophical current amongst others,
notwithstanding the fact that at one point it had drawn its own boundaries
with determination and had designated certain subjects and traditions as of
privileged status. In the forties and fifties, and even into the first years of the
following decade, the initial contacts with empiricism and modern logic
favoured this disposition. We have seen, nonetheless, that there was never an
attempt to resurrect or return to a forgotten tradition, even when in the 19th
century we had an empiricist philosopher such as Andres Bello. Rather, what
was involved was a claim at the level of exigencies of methodology and
style; it was a reaction against extreme historicist positions, and a way of
dramatising metaphysical problems, without returning, of course, to
dogmatism. It was an effort to express propositions in concrete terms, to
refine the description of concepts and to abide by the rules of fair play in
argumentation. That is, to pay attention to the weight each argument has in
itself and with regard to the proposition - and not to the weight it may derive
from its place in a chain of systematic connections.

This characterisation explains why analysis would be welcome amongst

the phenomenologists, as well as amongst logicians and scientists. Similarly,
it explains the opposition of Heideggerians and, also, of the Scholastics and
Marxists. It allows us to interpret the meaning of the change of philosophical
direction correctly. For most Latin American countries, to leave aside mere
speculation and to try to approach the Husserlian ideal of a scientific
philosophy represented a kind of historical-philosophical continuity. A
consciousness of innovation and rupture also came about; maybe not exactly
a tradition, but rather a defective form of philosophical curiosity. In Spain,
Ortega y Gasset had imposed this limitation, apart from which the only
survivors seemed to be Scholasticism and Marxism. In Mexico, the influence
of pragmatism had been felt from the early years of the 1920s, but only
superficially: a philosophical diet based on Bergson and the German
literature was soon restored. In a certain way, there was a clear consciousness
of this limitation, reflected in many statements by Gaos and, from the forties,
in his polemical dialogue with Frondizi. What was added later was simply
consciousness of the fact that this diet was a serious cause of philosophical
disease. It was as though thought were being nurtured with one only kind of
(Translated by Christopher J. Hall and Juan Gustavo Galindo G.).


Alchourr6n, C. and Bulygin, E., 1971, Normative Systems, Springer Verlag, New York.
Alchourr6n, C. y Bulygin, E., 1974, Introducci6n a la metodologfa de las ciencias juridicas y
sociales, Editorial Astrea, Buenos Aires.
Alchourr6n, C. y Bulygin, E., 1992, Andlisis 16gico y derecho, Centro de Estudios
constitucionales, Madrid.
Bunge, M., 1959, Causality. The place of the causal principle in modem science, Harvard
University Press, Massachusetts.
Bunge, M. (compilador), 1960, Antologia serndntica, Ediciones Nueva Visi6n, Buenos Aires.
Bunge, M., 1980, Epistemologfa. Curso de actualizaci6n, Editorial Ariel, Barcelona, Espana.
Caorsi, C. E. (compilador), 1982, Vol. especial dedicado a la filosoffa de Quine, de Andlisis
Filos6fico, Vol. II, Num. 1-2, mayo-noviembre, Buenos Aires.
Caorsi, C. E. (ed.), 1992, Ensayos sobre Strawson, Instituto de Filosoffa, Universidad de la
Republica, Montevideo.
Carri6, G. R., 1965, Notas sobre derecho y lenguaje, Abeledo-Perrot, Buenos Aires.
Carri6, G. R., 1970, Principios juridicos y positivismo juridico, Abeledo-Perrot, Buenos Aires.
Caso, A., 1941, Positivismo, neopositivismo y fenomenologfa. Pr61ogo de E. Garcia Maynez,
reimpreso en Obras Comptetas de A. Case, Vol. VII, UNAM, Mexico, 1971, pp. 119-

Castaneda, H. N., 1957, "Un sistema general de 16gica normative", Dianoia. Annono de
Filosofia. Ano III, Num 3, Instituto de Investigaciones Filos6ficas, UNAM-Fondo de
Cultura Econ6mica, Mexico, pp. 303-333.
Castaneda, H. N., 1960, La dialectica de la conciencia de sf mismo, Universidad de San Carlos
de Guatemala, Guatemala.
Dascal, M., 1987, Leibniz. Langnoje, Signs and Thought, J. Benjarnins, Amsterdam.
Dascal, M., (compilador), 1992, Relativismo cultural y filosofia. Perspectivas norteamericana
y latinoamericana, Instituto de Investigaciones Filos6ficas, UNAM, Mexico.
Dascal, M., Gerhardus, D., Lorenz, K., y Mengle, G. (compiladores), 1992-1993,
Sprachphilosophie, De Gruyter, Berlin-New York.
Dascal, M., 1994, "Lenguaje y conocimiento en la filosoffa modema", Ezequiel de Olaso, ed.
Del renacimiento a la ilustraci6n I, Enciclopedia Iberoamericana de Filosoffa, Vol. 6,
Editorial Trotta, CSIC, Madrid.
Esquivel, J., 1979, "Assassination and Tyranicide", Cntica. Revista Hispanoamericana de
Filosofia, Vol. XI, No. 33, diciembre, pp. 3-17.
Esquivel, J., 1980, Kelsen y Ross, formalismo y realismo en la leona del derecho, Instituto de
Investigaciones Juridicas, UNAM, Mexico.
Esquivel, J., 1981, "Juicios de valor, positivismo juridico y relativismo moral", Cntica.
Revissta Hispanoamencana de Filosofia, Vol. XIII, No. 37, abril, pp. 3-28.
Facultad de Filosoffa y Letras, 1963, Annorio de Filosofia, Ano I, correspondiente a 1961,
Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico, Mexico.
Ferrater Mora, J. y Leblanc, H., 1962, L6gica matematica, Segunda edici6n revisada, (Primera
ed., 1955), Fondo de Cultura Econ6mica, Mexico.
Gaos, J., 1941, "Positivismo, neopositivismo y fenomenologia", incorporado por el autor al
libro Pensamiento de lengua espanola, 1945; a su vez incluido en el Vol. VI de Obras
Completas de J. Gaos, UNAM, Mexico, 1990, pp. 137-142.
Gaos, J., 1945, "Una revista y un panorama", incorporado por el autor allibro Pensamiento de
lengno espanola, 1945; a su vez incluido en el Vol. VI de Obras Completas de J. Gaos,
UNAM, Mexico, 1990, pp. 205-209.
Gaos, J., 1967, "La antropologfa filos6fica", incorporado al libro De antropologfa e
historiograf{a, Cuademos de la Facultad de Filosoffa, Letras y Ciencias de la Universidad
Veracruzana, Xalapa, Ver., pp. 15-38.
Garcfa Bacca, D., 1936, Introducci6n a la 16gica moderna, Editorial Labor, Barcelona.
Garda Bacca, J. D., 1940, Invitaci6n a filosofar. I. La forma del conocer filos6.fico, La Casa de
Espana en Mexico, Mexico.
Garda Bacca, J. D., 1941, Filosofia de las ciencias. Teorfa de la relatividad, Arbol, Editorial
Seneca, Mexico.
Garda Bacca, J. D., 1942, Invitacifon afilosofar II. El conocimiento cienti.fico. Parte primera.
Los tres nwdelos heLenicos de Ciencia, EI Colegio de Mexico, Mexico.
Garda Bacca, J. D., 1961, Vol. Primero y 1968, Vol. Segundo, Textos dasicos para fa historia
de las ciencias, Instituto de Filosoffa, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas.
Garda Baeca, .I. D., 1963, Historia.filos6flca de la ciencia, Problemas cientfficos y filos6ficas,
UNAM, Mexico.
Garda Bacca, J. D., 1967, Elementos de .filoso.f[a de las ciencias, Direcci6n de Cultura,
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas.
Garda Maynez, E., 1953, "La 16gica de6ntica de G. H. von Wright y la onto1ogia fonnal del
derecho", Revisla de la Facultad de derecho de Mexico, Torno III, No.9, enero-marzo,
Gm'da Maynez, E., 1964, L6gica del raciocinio jurfdico, 1nstituto de Investigaciones
Filos6ficas, UNAM-Fondo de Cultura Econ6mica, Mexico.

Garzon Valdes y E. Bulygin (hrsg.), 1987, Argentinische Rechtstheorie und Rechtsphilosophie

heute, Duncker u. Humblot, Berlin.
Gomez Lobo, A., 1972, lntrod. Trad. y seleccion de G. Frege: Siete escritos sobre logica y
Serruintica, Ediciones Universitarias de Valparaiso, Chile, Santiago.
Gracia, J. J. E. et al. (eds.), 1984, Philosophical Analysis in Latin America, Reidel Publishing
Gracia, J. J. E. et al., 1988-89, "Latin American Philosophy Today", The PhilosophicalJorum.
A Quarterly. A Special Double Issue, Vol. XX, Nos. 1-2, Fall-Winter.
Gutierrez, C. B., 1984, Metodos en filosofia, Vol. VII, Numeros 1-2, enero-junio, de
Cuadernos de Filosofia y Letras, Publicaciones de la Facultad de Filosoffa y Letras de la
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota.
Hartman, R. S., 1959, La estructura del valor. Fundamentos de axiologfa cientifica, lnstituto
de Investigaciones Filosoficas, UNAM-Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico.
The Structure oJ Value: Foundations oj Scientific Axiology, Carbondale, Southern llIinois
University Press, 1967, 1969.
Hartman, R. S., 1964a, "The Definition of Good: Moore's Axiomatic of the Science of
Ethics", Proceedings oj Aristotelian Society, V. LXV, pp. 235-256.
Hartman, R. S., 1964b, "Raz6n y razones del valor, la axiologfa de la Escuela de Oxford",
Dianoia. Anuario de FilosoJfa V. X, No. 10, pp. 63-92.
Juarez-Paz, R., 1977, Estudios Filosoficos, Editorial Jose de Pineda Ibarra, Guatemala,
L1uberes, P., 1976, Ciencia y escepticismo. Aproximacion a Descartes, Universidad Sim6n
Bolfvar -Editorial Equinoccio, Caracas, Venezuela.
Margain, H., 1978, Racionalidad, lenguaje y filosoJfa, Fondo de Cultura Econ6mica, Mexico.
Miro Quesada, F., 1961, Las estructuras sociales, Tipograffa Santa Rosa, Lima, Peru.
Mir6 Quesada, F., 1963, Apuntes para una teorfa de la razon, Facultad de Letras, Universidad
Nacional de San Marcos, Lima, Peru.
Mir6 Quesada, F., 1966, EI Peru como doctrina. Manual ideologico, Acci6n Popular, Lima,
Mir6 Quesada, F., 1980, LOgica I. FilosoJia de las matematicas, I. Prado Pastor, Editor, Lima,
Mir6 Quesada, F., 1988, Ensayos de .filosoJfa del derecho, Instituto de Investigaciones
Filos6ficas, Universidad de Lima, Peru.
Monteiro, J. P., 1975, Teorfa, retorica, ideologia, Editora Atica, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Moulines, C. U., 1982, Exploraciones metacientijicas. Estructura, desarrollo y contenido de la
ciencia, Alianza Editorial, Madrid.
Nino, C. S., 1974, COl1sideraciones sobre la dogrruitica jurfdica, UNAM, Instituto de
Investigaciones Jurfdicas, Mexico.
Nino, C. S., 1979, Algunos modelos metodologicos de ciencia jurfdica, Facu1tad de Derecho,
Valencia, Venezuela.
Nino, C. S., 1984, Iilica y derechos humanos. Un ensayo de Jundanumtacion, Editorial Paidos,
Buenos Aires.
Nino, C. S., 1985, La validez del derecho, Editorial Astrea, Buenos Aires.
Nino, C. S., 1987, Introducch5n a lafilosofia de la acdon humann, Eudeba, Buenos Aires.
Nino, C. S., 1989, mconstructivisnw etico, Centro de Estudios Constitucionales, Madrid.
Nino, C. S., 1992, Un pals al margen de fa ley. ESludio de la anomia como componenle del
suhdesarrollo argentino, Emcee, Buenos Aires.
Nuno, .I. A., 1965, Senlido de la filosofia contemporanea, Ediciones de la Biblioteca de la
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas.

NUllo, J. A., 1972, La superacion de lafilosofia, Ediciones de la Biblioteca de la Universidad

Central de Venezuela, Caracas.
NUllo, J. A., 1973, Elementos de 16gicaformal, Ediciones de la Biblioteca, Universidad Central
de Venezuela, Caracas.
NUllo, J. A., 1982, Compromisos y desviaciones, Ediciones de la Biblioteca, Universidad
Central de Venezuela, Caracas.
Olive, L., und Salmeron, F., (hrsg.), 1989, Philosophie und Rechtstheorie in Mexiko, Dunken
u. Humblot, Berlin.
Orayen, R., 1989, LOgica, significado y ontologfa, Instituto de Investigaciones Filos6ficas,
UNAM, Mexico.
Otero, M., 1977, Lafilosofia de la ciencia hoy: dos aproximaciones, UNAM, Mexico.
Otero, M., 1982, "Introducci6n a Iniciacion a la dialectica de Galeno", Trad. A. Ramirez
Trejo, Biblioteca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Mexicana, Instituto de
Investigaciones filol6gicas, UNAM, Mexico.
Pereda, c., 1994a, Razon e incertidumbres, Siglo XXI-UNAM, Mexico.
Pereda, c., 1994b, vertigos argumentales. Una etica de la disputa, UAM-Anthropos,
Platts, M. de Breton, 1991, Moral Realities. An essay in philosophical psychology, Routledge,
London, New York.
Quinto Coloquio de la Sociedod Colombiana de Filosofia. (La filosofia analftica), 1985,
Ediciones de la Fundaci6n para la Promoci6n de la Filosoffa en Colombia, Cali,
Rabossi, E. y Salmer6n, F., 1985, (compiladores), Etica y andlisis, Instituto de Investigaciones
Filos6ficas, UNAM, Mexico.
Recasens Siches, L., 1971, Experienciajurfdica, naturaleza de la cosa y LOgica "razonable",
Instituto de Investigaciones Filos6ficas, UNAM-Fondo de Cultura Econ6mica, Mexico.
Rosenblueth, A., 1994, Mente y cerebro, una filosofia de la ciencia, seguido del metodo
cientifico, Edici6n en un s610 volumen, Siglo XXI-EI Colegio Nacional, Mexico, Primera
ed. de Mente y cerebro 1970, Primera ed. de El metodo cientifico 1971.
Rossi, A., 1969, Lenguaje y significado, Siglo XXI Editores, Mexico.
Salazar Bondy, A., 1958, Irrealidod e idealidod, Universidad Nacional de San Marcos, Lima,
Salazar Bondy, A., 1969, Sentido y problema del pensamiento filosofica hispanoamericano
(with English translation), Center of Latin American Studies, The University of Kansas,
Salazar Bondy, A., 1971, Para una filosoffa del valor, Editorial Universitaria, Santiago de
Salazar Bondy, A., 1975, La educacion del hombre nuevo. La reforma educativa peruana,
Paidos, Buenos Aires.
Salmeron, F., 1968, "Lenguaje y significado en El ser y el tiempo de Heidegger", Dianoia.
Anuario de Filosofia, V. XIV, No. 14, pp. 96-121.
Salmeron, F., 1971, Lafilosofia y las actitudes morales, Siglo XX! Editores, Mexico.
Salmeron, F., 1978, El Instituto de Investigaciones Filosoficas. Informe de doce afios. La
Palabra y el Hombre, Revista de la Universidad Veracruzana, No. 26, abril-junio, pp. 3-
Salmeron, F., 1988, Ensayos .filosoficos, Lecturas Mexicanas, Secretarfa de Educaci6n PUblica,
Salmer6n, F., 1991, Ensefianza y Filosoffa, EI CoJegio Nacional - Fondo de Cultura
Econ6mica, Mexico.

Salmeron, F., 1991, "Nota sobre la recepci6n del anaIisis ftlos6fico en America Latina",
Isegorfa 3, Madrid, pp. 119-137. Reproducida en Salmer6n, F., 1992, "Nota sobra la
recepci6n del anaIisis ftlos6fico en America Latina": America Latina, historia y destino.
Homenaje a Leopoldo Zea, Vol. II, pp. 305-322.
Sierra Mejia, R., 1981, Epemenides, el mentiroso. Documentos para la historia de la ciencia.
Russell, Godel, Koyre, Publicaciones de la Facultad de Filosofia y Letras de la
Universidad de los Andes, Vol. 4, Numeros 1-2, enero-junio, de Cuadernos de Filosofia y
Letras, Bogota.
Sierra Mejia, R., 1987, Apreciaci6n de la filosofia anaUtica, Universidad Nacional de
Colombia, Centro editorial, Bogota.
Simpson, T. M., 1964, Formas 16gicas, realidad y significado, Eudeba, Buenos Aires.
Simpson, T. M., (compilador), 1973, Serrui.ntica filos6fica: problemas y discusiones, Siglo
XXI, Argentina Editores, Buenos Aires.
Simpson, T. M., 1975, Formas 16gicas, realidad y significado, Segunda edici6n aumentada,
Eudeba, Buenos Aires.
Torretti, R., 1967, Manuel Kant. Estudio sobre los fundamentos de la filosofia cntica,
Ediciones de la Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile.
Torretti, R., 1968, "Las Investigaciones de Wittgenstein y la posibiJidad de la ftlosoffa",
Didlogos, Revista de Filosoffa, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Ano V, No. 10, enero-marzo,
Torretti, R., 1990, Creative Understanding: Philosophical Reflections on Physics, University
of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Torretti, R., 1993, "El metodo axiomatico", C. Ulises Moulines, ed. La ciencia: estructura y
desarrollo. Enciclopedia Iberoamericana de Filosofia, Vol. 4, Editorial Trotta, CSIC,
Trejo, W., 1976, Ensayos epistemol6gicos, Facultad de Filosofia y Letras, UNAM, Mexico.
Trejo, W., 1987, Fenomenalismo y realismo, Instituto de Investigaciones ftlos6ficas, UNAM,
Villoro, L., 1962, Pdginas filos6ficas, Cuademos de la Facultad de Filosoffa, Letras y Ciencias
de la Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Ver., Mexico.
Villoro, L., 1975, Estudios sobre Husserl, Facultad de Filosofia y Letras, UNAM, Mexico.
Villoro, L., 1982, Creer, saber, conocer, Siglo XXI Editores, Mexico.



Universite Gama Filho - Rio de Janeiro (Bresil)

Ce travail analyse trois problemes fondamentaux abordes par la philosophie
contemporaine en Amerique latine: celui qui concerne la methode d'etude,
celui de l'arcMtype de la totalite et finalement celui de I' integration.
Au cours du developpement du premier des problemes mentionnes ci-
dessus, on analysera trois tendances soutenues par les penseurs latino-
americains : celle qui nie toute originalite a la philosophie con<;;ue dans cette
partie du monde, celle qui affirme l'existence d'une originalite totale et enfin
celle qui defend l'idee d'une originalite relative. On exposera brievement la
methode utilisee pour l' etude de la philosophie latino-americaine, methode
qui a ete forrnulee dans Ie contexte de la troisieme tendance.
Au cours du developpement du deuxieme probleme, on abordera les deux
voies ou s'engagent les penseurs latino-americains: celIe qui envisage la
culture ibero-americaine com me totalite archetypique dans un contexte
herrneneutique ; et celle qui etale une attitude critique par rapport a cette
approche totalisante.
Quant au developpement du troisieme probleme, on exposera quatre
conceptions de I' integration, elaborees par des penseurs latino-americains.

1) Questions methodologiques
Le probleme de I'originalite constitue la premiere controverse, lorsqu'il
s'agit de la philosophie en Amerique latine. La meditation philosophique
latino-americaine, represente-t-elle quelque chose de nouveau dans Ie
domaine plus vaste de la philosophie occidentale? En face de cette question,
deux reponses radicales emergent: il n'y aucune originalite, ou alors, il est
possible d'avoir une totale originalite. Exemple de la premiere alternative,
c' est l' opinion du philosophe du droit bresilien C. Bevilacqua, pour qui "la
speculation philosophique suppose une base de meditation etendue et
profonde dans les divers domaines du savoir humain, surgissant comme une
f1eur mysterieuse C... ) de cette vegetation mentale, de la meme fa<;;on que la

Guttorm Fl¢istad (ed.). Philosophy of Latin America, 89-113.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Puhlishers.

poesie est la fleur de l'emotion" [Bevilacqua, 1899: 16]. Or, comme Ie

remarque Bevilacqua, quoique la poesie s'epanouisse au Bresil, du fait de
s'enraciner dans Ie sentiment, il ne se passe pas la meme chose en ce qui
concerne la philosophie, domaine ou les Bresiliens n' ont cesse de copier la
pensee des Europeens, sans avoir une ecole propre a eux, ou alors un concept
original et considerable. Une opinion egalement radicale est soutenue par Ie
penseur colombien F. Gonzalez Ochoa, pour qui il est impossible de parler
d'une philosophie latino-americaine, en consequence du fait que les Latino-
americains ont une mentalite de colonises. "Celui qui est colonise de
l'interieur - ecrit Gonzalez Ochoa [1986 : 76] - conc;oit la liberte comme un
changement de maitre".
Un exemple de la seconde alternative, c' est l' opinion du bresilien R.
Gomes, pour qui il serait possible d' elaborer une pen see latino-americaine
completement originale, qui surgit de la meditation sur la propre realite et de
l' oubli de la philosophie europeenne, devenue culture ornementale en
Amerique latine. A propos de cela, condut ledit auteur: "du point de vue
d'un mode de pensee bresilien, Noel Rosa (compositeur populaire) a
beaucoup plus de choses a nous apprendre que Monsieur Emmanuel Kant,
puisque la philosophie, ainsi que la samba, ne peut etre apprise a l' ecole"
[Gomes, 1980: 107]. Une opinion sembi able est soutenue par Ie peruvien A.
Palacios, lequel, dans son reuvre "Message a la jeunesse universitaire de
l'Ibero-Amerique", considere que jusqu'a maintenant la culture
philosophique latino-americaine a ete redevable a la pensee europ6enne.
Cette circonstance change a partir de la fin de la Premiere Guerre mondiale,
qui a revele la decadence de l'Europe. L' Amerique latine, selon Palacios, se
situe dans l'imminence de mettre a jour une nouvelle philosophie, tout a fait
originale. Dans la lignee de cette grande nouveaute, Ie magazine peruvien
Valoraciones a meme propose Ie theme suivant: "supprimons les topiques en
usage, expressions agonisantes de l'ame decrepie de l'Europe" [apud
Mariategui, 1986: 62]. Le fondement ontologique de ce renouvellement
autochtone est la race-synthese qui est eclose en Amerique latine. A ce
propos, ecrit A. Palacios: "Nous sommes des peuples naissants, libres de
liens et d' atavismes, avec d'immenses possibilites et de vastes horizons
devant nous. Le croisement des races nous a donne une arne neuve. A
I'interieur de nos frontieres campe l'humanite. Nos enfants et no us sommes
synthese de races" [apud Mariategui, 1986: 64].
Entre ces positions extremes, se trouvent les opinions de divers penseurs
latino-americains, qui se penchent sur Ie probleme controverse de
I' originalite philosophique. Ainsi, par exemple, pour Ie peruvien A. Salazar
Bondy [1968], quoique les conditions de sous-developpement aient empeche
meme la formation d'une philosophie latino-americaine, il sera quand meme

possible d' arriver a cela, dans la mesure OU les causes du sous-

developpement seraient depassees. Et les critiquer, c'est deja donner
naissance a cette philosophie. Pour l' argentin A. Kom [1940] il est possible
de parler d'une philosophie autochtone, quand il y a une collectivite humaine
unifiee par des sentiments, interets et ideaux communs, qui developpe, a leur
lumiere, son action historique. L'explication rationnelle de cet ensemble
original, avec l' appui de la tradition philosophique occidentale, constitue ce
qu'on peut nommer la philosophie argentine.
Le penseur mexicain J. Vasconcelos [1927 et 1986] considere que les
Latino-americains ne peuvent pas echapper a l'elaboration d'une philo sophie
propre a eux, qui represente "une fa<;;on renouvelee et sincere de contempler
1'univers" [Vasconcelos, 1986 :50] et qui est con<;;ue a partir de 1'assimilation
critique des valeurs et des concepts berites de la culture occidentale. Ce
processus constructif doit prendre en consideration l'apprehension
emotionnelle du monde, ce qui se produit en contact avec l'experience
esthetique. Cet aspect est fondamental pour I'interpretation du monde par les
Latino-americains, qui sont, selon J. Vasconcelos, une "race emotive".
D' autre part, le penseur peruvien J. C. Mari:itegui [1978 et 1986] remarque
qu'il n'y a pas une pensee typiquement hispano-americaine. "ll me paralt
evident - ecrit Mariategui [1986: 63] - l'existence d'une pensee fran<;;aise,
d'une pensee allemande, etc., dans notre culture de 1'Occident, il me parait
pourtant aussi evident, dans ce sens, l'existence d'une pensee hispano-
americaine, tous les penseurs de notre Amerique ayant ete formes par l'ecole
europeenne. On ne ressent pas dans leur ceuvre l'esprit de Ia race". Toutefois,
cela ne signifie pas que so it impossible I'apparition, dans l'avenir, d'une
philosophie typiquement latino-americaine, et cela dans la mesure OU, a la
meditation philosophique, soient incorporees les cultures indigenes. A cause
de cela, Mariategui concIut plein d'espoir: "L'esprit hispano-americain est
en formation". Par contre, Ie penseur peruvien reconnait que la philosophie
europeenne est en crise, car est au d6clin I'expression capitaliste de cette
culture. Pourtant, il croit que l'Europe va se renouveler. "La pen see
europeenne submerge dans les plus lointains mysteres, dans les plus
anciennes civilisations. Et juste a cause de cela, elle montre sa possiblite de
se retablir et de renaltre". II appartient aux penseurs Iatino-americains de
savoir assimiler la seve de la culture universelle, qui circule dans les veines
de la philosophie europeenne.
Le penseur argentin F. Romero [1944, 1952 et 1986] considere que, pour
discuter Ja question sur l'existence d'une philosophie latino-americaine, on
doit, d' abord, souligner Ies deux positions extremes mentionnees au debut.
Elles sont de cette fa<;;on synthetisees par lui: celie qui soutient "que tout a
ete deja dit et qu'il ne reste qu'a repeter pieusement les schemas illustres" et

celIe qui "attend des nSvelations extraordinaires, des nouvelles inou"ies, des
creations ex nihilo". Romero [1986: 69] rejette donc l'une et l'autre. "La
premiere suppose Ie decret de la radicale sterilite du present et de I'avenir,
leur nier, sans raisons valables, la capacite innovatrice qui fremit dans toutes
les epoques, et se refugier dans une tranquille contemplation de Ia richesse
ramassee par les ancetres". C'est l'attitude commode de l'Mritier, qui a
l'extreme arrive au stupide gaspillage des biens. Quant a l'attente de Ia
demande de revelations colossales, residu de I' attitude mythique, elle revele
l'ignorance, car l'histoire de la philo sophie temoigne, a chacun de ses
instants, la continuite et l' articulation de la pen see philosophique, qui meme
dans ses grandes tendances et caracteristiques, fait appel aux acquis et s'y
appuie pour Ies perfectionner ou alars pour Ies contredire.
Romero souligne, ensuite, Ie pMnomene de Ia "normalite philosophique",
qui constitue Ie climat de la philo sophie en Amerique latine actuellement et
qui est ainsi definie: "I'exercice de Ia philosophie en tant que fonction
ordinaire de la culture, a cote d'autres soucis de I'intelligence" [Romero,
1986 : 68]. Ce climat ouvre Ia porte au murissement de Ia conscience de soi
et a la formulation, dans un proche avenir, d'une authentique philosophie
latino-americaine. A ce propos ecrit Romero [1986: 71] : "Ce qui existe est
beaucoup plus modeste, mais c'est aussi solide et permet tout espoir, puisque
c'est une presupposition indispensable pour que surgisse et se developpe a un
moment une philosophie originale. La veine philosophique affleure de tous
les cotes; ce serait betise ou malveillance d'exiger que les eaux surgissent,
au depart, abondantes et cristallines, tandis que dans des pays de civilisation
beaucoup plus mures, il n'y a eu que des filets precaires. La philosophie
naissante doit frequenter encore beaucoup I'ecole, et doit etre stimulee a
pro longer sa scolarite, car toutes les precocites, et surtout celles de
l'intelligence, sont dangereuses, et dans les cas moins graves, aboutissent a
de deplorables pertes de temps. L'essentiel, en definitif, c'est cela: que dans
notre spiritualite, la vocation philosophique a reussi a acquerir Ia conscience
de soi et cherche son expression".
Le philosophe venezuelien E. Mayz Vallenilla [1959 et 1986] pense qu'il
est possible d'avoir une philosophie latino-americaine, dans Ia mesure OU,
suivant Ia methode heideggerienne de l'hermeneutique existentielle (de nette
inspiration phenomenologique), les hommes de cette partie du monde
decouvrent leur origine, c'est-a-dire, leur apprehension primordiale de I'etre.
L'originalite, en philosophie, presuppose, en principe, deux choses: d'un
cote, Ia connaissance approfondie du patrimoine philosophique de
)'humanite, et d'un autre cote, l'explication de mode particulier ou, au cours
de I'histoire, I'homme latino-americain a vecu son experience d'etre, qui,
etant Iimitee, est caracterisee par quelques aspects singuliers. Ces

caracteristiques expriment l' originalite (Ia originariedad, dit Mayz

Vallenilla) de la philo sophie latino-americaine. "L' experience de l' etre de
l'homme americain - remarque Ie penseur venezuelien [1986: 80] - cotoie
l'histoire de l'experience de l'etre realisee par I'Humanite dans sa totalite et,
pourtant, chez elle on per~oit la presence d'une reelle originalite.
L' originalire consiste en la fa~on differente de comprendre l' etre, et donc
d'objectiver son sens et meme ses significations categoriales". Cette
originalite de la philosophie en Amerique latine est ainsi exprimee:
apprehender l'homme de cette partie du monde comme un "non-etre-
toujours-encore", qui met a nu l'inachevement de l'univers historique latino-
Pour Ie penseur peruvien F. Mir6 Quesada [1974 et 1986], il est
indiscutable que, de nos jours, on est en train de formuler une authentique
philosophie latino-americaine, qui parcourt deux voies: celle de ceux qui
pensent a partir de l' Amerique latine tous les problemes universaux de la
philosophie et celle de ceux qui pensent a la lumiere de la philosophie
universelle les problemes de l'homme latino-americain. Cette tache est
menee par la "troisieme generation" de penseurs latino-americains de ce
siecle, etant donne que la premiere fut celle des "patriarches" ou "fondateurs"
(qui, pour la premiere fois, ont parle de "philosophie americaine", tels J. B.
Alberdi, A. Korn, J. E. Rod6, C. Vaz Ferreira, E. Molina, A. Deustua, R. de
Farias Britto, J. Vasconcelos et A. Caso) et la deuxieme celle des "forgeurs"
(qui ont formule la question de 1'authenticite de cette philosophie, tels, par
exemple, F. Romero, C. Astrada, N. de Anqufn, J. de Figueiredo, A.
Amoroso Lima, J. C. Mari<itegui, S. Ramos, etc.). La troisieme generation
accomplit cet ideal, en parcourant les deux voies mentionnees. G. Marqufnez
Argote [1986b: 13] a ainsi resume les caracteristiques de cette generation
appelee "technique": ses membres "naissent environ dans la deuxieme
decennie du vingtieme siecle. TIs se chargent du projet de la generation
precedente et lui donnent continuite, avec l'avantage d'etre la philosophie
deja arrivee a ce moment a une premiere maturite de discipline formalisee,
sur les bases de laquelle on peut penser a la creation d'une philosophie
authentique". (Dans cette generation se placent, en plus de F. Mir6 Quesada
lui meme, des auteurs te1s R. Frondizi, V. Fatone, C. Cossio, J. A. Vasquez,
E. Pucciarelli, A. Vasallo, M. Reale, O. N. Derisi, M. A. Virasoro, A. W. de
Reyna, A. Ardao, J. Llambias de Acebedo, V. Ferreira da Silva, J. Cruz
Costa, G. Francovich, L. E. Nieto Arteta, C. Betancur, D. Cruz Velez, J.
Jaramillo Uribe, E. Mayz Vallenilla, L. Zea, R. Soler, E. Garcfa Maynez, F.
Larroyo, E. de Gortari, L. Villoro, A. Sanchez Vazquez, L. Recasens Siches,
E. Nicol, J. Gaos, J. Xirau, J. D. Garcfa Bacca, E. Imaz, M. Grane1, J.
Ferrater Mora, M. Zambrano, etc. Quoiqu'ils ne soient pas mentionnes par

Marqufnez Argote, on trouverait aussi dans cette generation des penseurs, a

notre avis importants, tels R. Uribe Ferrer, A. Restrepo Arbehiez, A. Paim, C.
B. Gutierrez, D. Menezes, J. P. Galvao de Sousa, A. Correia et d'autres
Le penseur mexicain L. Zea [1974, 1976 et 1986] pense qu'il est possible
de parler "d'une philo sophie latino-americaine comme philosophie tout
court", soit une authentique philosophie [Zea, 1974]. Inspire des concepts
issus de la dialectique hegelienne, Zea souligne que, du fait d' etre des
hommes latino-americains, ils sont dotes de la capacite de penser
philosophiquement. Sauf que la meditation s' est produite en Amerique latine
differemment de celle qui a donne naissance a la philosophie en Europe.
Appuyes sur les penseurs europeens, les Latino-americains ont mene Ie deb at
vers Ie probleme fondamental qui les a toujours inquietes : la liberte. Dans ce
projet, ils ont interprete les auteurs europeens, essayant de resoudre, a la
lumiere de leurs enseignements, l' objet de leur inquietude. Or, cette solution
ouvre un chemin : depasser Ie passe du colonialisme et la presence du neo-
colonialisme. Pourtant, la prise de conscience de ce defi s'est produit, pour
les penseurs latino-americains, au sein de l'etude d'histoire des idees, c'est-a-
dire, de la fac,;on dont les diverses generations ont essaye, a la lumiere de la
pensee europeenne, de resoudre Ie probleme fondamental de la liberte.
Rationalisme, positivisme, Iiberalisme, etc., Ies diverses tendances de la
pen see europeenne ont ete confrontees par les penseurs latino-americains au
grand defi qui leur echauffait Ie c~ur: la question de la liberte. Dans cet
effort de nier la servitude, ont surgi des etincelles qu'on pourrait nommer une
authentique philosophie de l'histoire latino-americaine, et qui a ete Ie mode
predominant adopte par la philosophie dans cette partie du monde. Mode qui
est, selon Zea, "philosophie tout court", puisqu'il repond a la question
fondamentale de I'homme a la recherche du sens de son etre.
Zea synthetise de la fac,;on suivante sa conception de la philosophie latino-
americaine : "en resume, on pourrait dire que notre philosophie, philosophie
indeniable, est partie et part de la conscience de la servitude et de la
dependance imposees par les interets d'autres hommes. Mais servitude et
dependance qui ne pourront pas etre annulees si on pretend tout simplement
etre I'echo d'autres hommes, quoiqu'ils soient libres, en oubliant
I'experience de ses propres servitude et dependance. Car on ne peut pas etre
different de soi-meme, et c'est de soi-meme qu'on devra partir pour etre
libre. Tout cela derive d'une philosophie de I'histoire traduite dans cette
histoire de la philosophie latino-americaine. Philosophie de l'histoire qui,
prenant conscience de la servitude et de la dependance, devient philosophie
tout court, et met fin a la servitude et a la dependance imposees tout au long
de notre histoire. Philosophie de la liberation qui est, finalement, la

preoccupation de toute philosophie, mais qui dans notre Amerique se

presente comme preoccupation centrale. One philosophie qui, pour etre telle
qu'elle est, ne doit pas attendre que les hommes de notre Amerique soient
libres. Dans une societe d'hommes pleinement libres, d' autres seront les
inquietudes philosophiques de ses membres. Dans une societe OU la liberte
court encore des risques, la preoccupation centrale d'une te1le philosophie
doit etre conquete de la liberte" [Zea, 1986: 127].
Pour Ie penseur argentin E. Dussel [1980 et 1986], il est possible d'avoir
une phi10sophie latino-americaine comme philosophie de la liberation. La
pensee europeenne-nord-americaine est devenue ontologique, laissant
apprehender I' authentique point de vue metaphysique, qui signifie embrasser
et comprendre la realite humaine du monde peripherique, soumis a la
domination du centre. n s'agit d'elaborer un nouveau discours philosophique,
a partir de la perspective des domines. De fa<;on semblable a celle comme,
dans la theologie de la liberation, on identifie Ie lieu theologique de la
Revelation a la lutte historique des exploites contre les exploiteurs, de la
meme fw;;on, dans la philosophie de la liberation, Ie lieu d' apprehension de la
vraie dimension metaphysique se situe dans cette lutte. Ce nouveau mode de
penser, qui a surgi en Argentine en 1972 et qui, tres rapidement, s' est
repandu dans les annees suivantes dans Ie reste de l' Amerique latine "part,
evidemment, de la peripherie, mais utilise encore Ie langage du centre"
[Dussel, 1980: 7]. Ce langage embrasse quelques categories venues des
philosophies hegelienne, heideggerienne, husserlienne et marxiste. Le groupe
de categories qui tend a dominer, c'est, parait-il, celui qui derive de
materialisme historique de Marx (1818/1883). Les questions concernant Ie
theme de la liberation des opprimes sont fondamentales pour cette
philosophie. Le point central est Ie suivant: "il n'y a pas de liberation
nationale devant les empires du moment, sans la liberation sociale des classes
opprimees. Endossee cette these, la philosophie de la liberation eclaircit sa
definition historique" [Dusse1, 1986: 134], et elle commence a s'identifier a
la pratique liberatrice des opprimes.
Pour Ie penseur bresilien A. Bezerra [1936 : 72], il est hors de doute qu' il y
a eu deja pendant la peri ode coloniale une philosophie autochtone au Bresil,
resultat de 1'union de la meditation europccnnc ct de la "philosophie des
Naturvolker". L. W. Vita [1964, 1969a et 1969b], un autre Bresilien,
considere indiscutable I'existence de la philosohie bresilienne, "pas en tant
qu'un organisme eidetique, supratemporel, totalement depourvu de la
contingence historique, mais quelque chose qui n'est rien de plus que
l'elevation abstractive d'une situation vitale historiquement donnee. Dans Ie
processus d' assimilation des idees d' autrui, on imprime ses propres
caracteristiques, selon, d'ailleurs, Ie vieux principe 'tout ce qu'on re<;oit

prend la forme du recipient', ou alors comme certains parfums qui, au

contact de la peau, subissent une modification chimique qui change leur
arome, et en cela consiste notre 'originalite''' [Vita, 1969b : 6].
Deux penseurs bresiliens, M. Reale [1947, 1977, 1981a et 1981b] et A.
Paim [1977, 1981 b, 1984 et 1986] ont formule la methodologie qui permet a
la philosophie latino-americaine de caracteriser son originalite, sans etre,
pourtant, arrivee a l'extreme d'une originalite totale (revendiquee, comme on
lOa deja vu, par des auteurs tels R. Gomes ou A. Palacios). Partant du fait que
la meditation philosophique contemporaine se produit preferablement en tant
que discussion de problemes et non en tant que formulation des grandes
perspectives transcendante et transcendantale - (qui ont deja ete fixees dans
les philosophies de Platon et de Kant, respectivement), ou alors en tant que
construction de systemes (ce qui a ete la modalite adoptee par la meditation
occidentale jusqu'a la fin du siecIe dernier), Reale et Paim decident de
formuler une methode qui permet l'analyse de la production philosophique
bresilienne et latino-americaine en tant que discussion de problemes,
depassant Ie vice de l'engagement apologetique, qui condamne ou
survalorise les auteurs selon les preferences axiologiques du chercheur.
D' autre part, cette methode permet de depasser I' attitude purement
analytique, qui reduit la philo sophie a l'etude des classiques, sans
reconnaitre, pourtant, chez les penseurs latino-americains, la meditation sur
leur propre realite. Concernant cette question, A. Paim [1981 b : 92] ecrit:
"La philosophie est siirement un savoir speculatif, qui se tourne vers une
question qui, encore que renouvelee, a travers les temps, s'est revelee
imperissabIe, contrairement a l'alternative des systemes. Ces problemes,
pourtant, ont toujours egard a la circonstance culturelle. De fa<;on que Ie
caractere speculatif de la philosophie ne peut pas etre qualifie com me du
dilettantisme, comme si la philosophie n'etait point engagee, avec la
temporalite et les angoisses d'un moment donne de la culture d'un peuple".
A. Paim [1981 b : 92], inspire du courant culturalista bresilien (tributaire
du neo-kantisme et de la phenomenologie) a resume de la fa<;on suivante la
proposition methodologique en question: "La methode suggeree par M.
Reale pour l'investigation de la philosophie bresilienne est constituee des
elements suivants: 1) identifier Ie probleme (ou les problemes) que Ie
chercheur avait devant lui, evitant de chercher ('affiliation a des courants qui
lui sont contemporains a l'exterieur; 2) abandonner l'effort pour verifier si Ie
penseur bresilien a interprete de fa<;on adequate les idees d'un certain auteur
etranger, soit, plus clairement, renoncer a la confrontation d'interpretations
et, donc, a la comparaison de I'interpretation du penseur bresilien etudie avec
d'autres interpretations possibles, pour choisir entre l'une ou l'autre, et 3)

s' occuper preferablement de l' identification de liens et derivations qui

permettent d' apprehender les lignes de continuite reelle de notre meditation".

2) Le probleme de la totalite
C'est un des themes, qui, tout au long du XXe siecle a exerce la plus grande
attraction parmi les penseurs latino-americains, soit en ce qui conceme
l'abordage hermeneutique, soit en ce qui conceme une analyse critique. Le
premier type d' analyse sera illustre a partir de la pensee de deux auteurs: Ie
mexicain O. paz et Ie bresilien V. F. da Silva. Le deuxieme type sera analyse
dans l' reuvre des bresiliens R. M. Barros et M. Penna.
L'approche hermeneutique remonte a un archetype qui transmet l'idee
d'unite primordiale. Le monde ibero-americain est apprehende, dans cette
perspective, comme realite proto-historique qui attribue du sens au present
[cf. Velez Rodriguez, 1993a].
Une version actuelle de cette conception se trouve dans l'reuvre essayiste
de O. Paz [1983, 1986, 1989, 1990a, 1990b, 1992a et 1992b]. Pour avancer
sur Ie chemin qui conduit a l'identite ibero-americaine, Ie poete-philosophe
mexicain suit, dans son essai "Nueva Espana: orfandad y legitimidad" [in
Paz, 1983: 38 suiv.], les pas de l'ethnologue franc;ais J. Lafaye [1974], qui
approfondit l'analyse des croyances sur lesquelles se dresse la structure de la
culture mexicaine. Paz s'inspire aussi d'Ortega y Gasset, pour lequel "la
substance de l'histoire, son noyau, ce ne sont pas les idees, mais ce qu'il y a
au-dessous : les croyances. Un homme se definit plutat par ce en quoi il croit
qu'en ce qu'il pense" [in Paz, 1983: 39].
Les mythes qui inspirent le peuple mexicain proviennent de deux
syncretismes : Ie catholicisme peninsulaire et la religion amerindienne. "Le
premier, souligne Paz [1983 : 39], marque par sa coexistence de plusieurs
siecles avec l'IsHi, religion de croisade et de fin de siecle; Ie second aussi
religion militante de peuple elu". On pourrait affirmer quelque chose
d' analogue dans les autres cultures ibero-americaines. Ce sont ces mythes,
selon Paz, qui ont permis aux Mexicains de rencontrer leur identite, tout au
long des siecles d' exploitation et de frustrations. "Les deux mythes - ecrit
I' essayiste mexicain [Paz, 1983 : 40] - surtout celui de Guadalupe, se sont
convertis en symboles et bannieres de la guerre d'Independance et arrivent
jusqu'a nos jours, non comme des images collectives. Le peuple mexicain,
apres plus de deux siecles d' experiences et de detresses, ne croit plus qu' en la
Vierge de Guadalupe et qu'a la Loterie nationale".
Ces mythes trouvent leur expression originelle au XVIIlc siecle, dans Ie
double processus d'identification de QuetzaIc6atl a l' Apatre Saint Thomas et
de Tonantzin ala Vierge de Guadalupe. C' est celle la, dit Paz [1983 : 48], "Ia
creation la plus complexe et singuliere de la Nouvelle Espagne". Le mythe

de QuetzalcoatVSaint Thomas, malgre le fait de n'avoir pas ete vraiment

populaire, a permis aux Jesuites de traduire la realite de la Nouvelle Espagne
qui surgissait des cendres de la Vieille. C. de Sigiienza y Gongora
(1645/1700) appelle Phenix d'Occident l'assimilation Saint
Thomas/Quetzalcoatl, soit, Ie Phenix americain. "L'apotre - ecrit ace sujet
Paz [1983: 41-42] - surgit du bficher OU se consume Ie dieu indigene, et la
Nouvelle Espagne s'eleve de la Vieille. Mystere insondable: elle est autre
tout en etant la meme. Ce mystere lui donne l' etre mais renferme une
contradiction qui ne peut etre resolue sans laisser d'etre : pour etre autre, elle
doit mourir, nier la Vieille et la Nouvelle".
Mais, si d'une part Ie mythe de QuetzalcoatllSaint Thomas traduit
1'universalite de la Nouvelle Espagne et son renouvellement devant 1'ordre
ancien, c'est aussi Ie mythe de la legitimite. A ce propos, ecrit Paz [1983 :51]
"Quetzalcoatl ou la legitimire : en demontrant, avec tout genre de preuves,
1'identification entre Quetzalcoatl et l' Apotre Saint Thomas, dom Carlos de
Sigiienza y Gongora et Ie jesuite Manuel Duarte ne font que repeter
I' operation de legitimation religieuse des Azteques plusieurs siec1es
auparavant". Ce processus legitimateur etablit un pont entre Ie Mexique pre-
colombien et la Nouvelle Espagne. A ce sujet, ecrit J. Lafaye [in Paz, 1983 :
43]: "en abolissant la rupture de 1'histoire americaine que la conquete
representait, on essayait de donner a I' Amerique un statut spirituel et, par
consequent, juridique et politique, qui la mettrait en condition d' egalite avec
la puissance tutrice, I'Espagne".
Le mythe de TonantzinlGuadalupe a rencontre, dans la realite bresilienne,
un correspondant dans celui d'IemanjaJNotre Dame d' Aparecida,
evidemment posterieur au premier, etant donne les conditions particulieres de
la conquete et de la colonisation du Bresil par les Portugais, OU I' element
culturel africain est venu s'ajouter a 1'amerindien et a l'iberique, dans un
contexte enormement influence par la perspective familiale et intimiste [cf.
Rolanda, 1989 : 110].
Sur la base mythologique qui vient d'etre relevee, les penseurs mexicains
du XVIr' et du debut du XVIIr' siecles, Sigiienza y Gongora, sreur J. I. de la
Cruz (1651/1695) et J. Eguiara y Eguren (1706/1763) ont elabore une
conception originelle, OU les elements issus de la philosophie modeme, tels
que la defense de l'independance des sciences par rapport ala philosophie et
ala theologie et Ie presuppose d'une conception rationnelle du monde qui ne
soit pas fondee sur les dogmes, ont coexiste avec la tentative d'elaborer une
Weltanschauung universaliste [cf.lbargiiengoitia Chico, 1980: 98-101].
O. Paz a exprime de 1a fac;on suivante cet universalisme : "au XVIr' siec1e,
les creoles decouvrent qu'i!s ont une patrie. Ce mot apparait tant dans les
ecrits de sreur Juana que dans ceux de Sigiienza, et dans les deux on designe

invariablement la Nouvelle Espagne. Le patriotisme des creoles ne contredit

pas leur fidelite a l'Empire et a l'Eglise : c'etaient deux ordres de loyaute
differents. Quoique les creoles du XVII" siecle ressentent un enorme anti-
espagnolisme, il n'y a pas chez eux, au sens modeme, de nationalisme. Ce
sont des vassaux du Roi et, sans aucune contradiction, patriotes d' Amiliuac.
Un siecle et demi plus tard, quand ils revendiquent l'independance, les
creoles desirent encore etre gouvemes par un prince de la maison royale
espagnole. Dans Ie theatre de sreur Juana et dans ses villancicos, chantent et
parlent, chacun a sa fa<;on, noirs, indiens, blancs et metis. L'universalite de
l'Empire favorisait la pluralite des parlers et des peuples. Le patriotisme
nouveau-hispanique et la reconnaissance de ses singularites esthetiques
n' etaient pas en contradiction avec cet universalisme" [Paz, 1983 : 46].
La reflexion de O. Paz souligne donc l'existence d'un archetype
mythologique dans la culture hispano-americaine, qui inspire, de nos jours,
une vision totalisante de l'homme de cette partie du monde et qui permet de
depasser les differences nationales et d' aller au-dela des propres institutions.
Au-dela du pays formel, il existe Ie monde reel, baroque, universaliste,
syncretique, dont la seve sont les mythes pre-colombiens indissolublement
attaches a la mythologie iberique, ainsi qu'aux concepts issus du
rationalisme. "La caracteristique du cas mexicain - remarque Paz [1983 : 80]
- (et cette affirmation peut etre appliquee a tout Ie reste du monde ibero-
americain), ce n'est pas que les survivances pre-colombiennes se presentent
masquees, mais qu'il est impossible de separer Ie masque du visage: ils se
sont fondus". L'homme hispano-americain ne peut etre compris sans
reference a ce fond syncretique et totalisant.
Une autre approche hermeneutique du probleme de la totalite est celle
elaboree par Ie philosophe bresilien V. F. da Silva. Inspire de la philosophie
de Schelling et de Heidegger, ainsi que de la meditation du penseur portugais
A. da Silva, et des etudes de W. Otto, K. Kerenyl et M. Eliade sur Ie mythe,
F. da Silva identifie l'origine du monde humain dans une dimension
transcend ante qu'il appelle Fascinator, "source de pulsion et de creation de
tout etre, matrice de lumiere et de tenebres, enveloppante et meme
seduisante", com me Ie signale M. Reale [1992: 1131]. A. Crippa [1984:
115] remarque que: "Ia philosophie de la mythologie constitue (... ) Ie
chapitre Ie plus important de la reflexion philosophique de Ferreira da Silva".
II y a pour lui une realite inaugurale constituee par Ie Fascinator et qui se
devoile dans la mythologie. Par rapport au role que joue la mythologie dans
Ie developpement de la realite primordiale du Fascinator (qui est la premiere
source de I' etre) , ecrit F. da Silva [1964, I: 318]: "La mythologie est
I'ouverture d'un regime de fascination (... ). Le contenu du rapport mythique
et la cosmographie devoilee dans ce savoir nous renvoient aux choses elles-

memes, nous installant dans un mode de presences reelles et irresistibles. La

configuration des choses presentes dans ce cosmos est esquissee et stylisee
par Ie projet fascinant, qui lui permet de s'elever dans sa propre identite
intramondaine. Toutes les choses sont des choses mythiques. La presence et
la manifestation des forces lumineuses qui dechainent l'elevation d'un
monde, constituent plus qu'un simple pMnomene de representation (... ). La
fonction d'illuminer et de fasciner qui dresse ce decor cosmique-patMtique
appartient au mythe et seulement au mythe, qui n'est pas un simple mot ou
cpos litteraire, mais, au contraire, une presence reelle et effective des dieux et
de l' action divine".
Dans l'origine de la culture humaine se trouve la comprehension du
mythe. Les diverses cultures s' etablissent et se differencient en se rapportant
a un mythe dominant, qui donne de la forme a sa realite historique. A ce
point. F. da Silva [1964, I : 354] repete les paroles de W. Otto: "Ce que nous
nommons culture est fonction, dans sa configuration totale d'un mythe
dominant, qui est indissolublement uni au Mythe du Divin. Avec la creation
de ce Mythe se forme la culture et Ie peupIe; avant il n'existe d'aucune
fac;:on". A. Crippa [1984: 188] traduit de Ia fac;:on suivante Ie concept de
culture seion F. da Silva: "projet temporel qui a pris sa forme a partir du
ravissement provoque par la manifestation premiere du divin". Cette
definition exige, d'une part, la consideration de la culture comme etant
quelque chose d'absolument anterieur a toute initiative humaine, et d'autre
part, son identification a une manifestation de nature divine et
La pen see de F. da Silva ne laisse pas de doute quant a cette dimension
supra-humaine de l'invention ou de la decouverte de la culture. "Nous
devons enlever de I'homme compris comme agent individuel et singulier
ecrit Ie penseur bresilien [Silva, 1964, I: 355] - toute la responsabilite de
l'invention ou decouverte des biens culturels". Ceux-la sont [Silva, I: 352]
"des expressions d'une arne, d'une conception selective du monde". Ailleurs,
i1 ecrit: "Nous devons rencontrer de nouveau, dans l'existence transcendante
et meta-humaine des pouvoirs et des figures lumineuses, Ie point de depart
pour la comprehension exhaustive des processus historiques" [Silva, 1964, I :
281]. Dans l' affirmation suivante du penseur bresilien, est revele, aussi, Ie
caractere Iumineux qui inspire la realite culturelle: "L' etat de fascination
provoque par une image du monde, par une epiphanie des realites
superieures, est essentielle a I'action creatrice et institutrice des formes socio-
culturelles" [Silva, 1964, I : 353].
La fondation de la culture est, pour F. da Silva, un evenement primordial,
de nature meta-historique. Cette idee est mise en relief par Ie penseur
bresilien de la fa<.;on suivante: "On n'a meme pas un seul exemple,

empmquement verifiable, du surgissement d'une civilisation ou d'une

culture, a partir de la deliberation et volonte des individus. On n' a jamais
assiste a la naissance d'une culture. Pour qu'il y ait action ou inter-action
entre les individus, doit etre deja inaugure Ie theatre social d'une action
culturellement pertinente. Une culture est un prius absolu par rapport a toute
creation de biens ou d'institutions derivees" [Silva, 1964, II: 447]. La culture
en tant que de-voilement primordial se produit au sein d'une epiphanie
mythique-poetique, qui rachete l'unite primordiale entre l'etre et les entites.
A ce propos, affirme Ie penseur bresilien: "Quand on attribue au siege
mythique-poetique du divin l'irruption d'un monde, on se rerere,
evidemment, au de-voilement de la totalite de l'etre, ou des possibilites
terrestres ou celestes qui deviennent disponibles a la lueur d'une culture.
Dieu ou alors les dieux sont des principes de base dans Ie but de denicher du
secret du dissimule tous les niveaux et toutes les possibilites du monde"
[Silva, 1964, I, 383].
Le langage mythique-poetique est, pour Ie penseur bresilien, Ie mode
primordial d'apprehension humaine de la culture. F. da Silva s'approche, ici,
de la thematique developpee par Heidegger quand celui-ci se rerere a la
poesie comme langage batisseur du parler humain. n se situe, egalement,
dans Ie contexte de valorisation poetique des romantiques allemands
(Hblderlin, Novalis, Schelling). La mort prematuree a empeche Ie penseur
bresilien de faire une application systematique de son idee de culture a la
meditation sur l'homme latino-americain, avec ses implications
historiographiques, anthropologiques, sociales, morales et theologiques [cf.
Crippa, 1984: 187]. Pourtant, on trouve dans son reuvre des references a
l'importance que l'etude des mythologies a pour la comprehension de
l'homme bresilien, ce qui perrnet l'identification d'une anthropologie
philosophique chez F. da Silva [ef. Velez Rodriguez, 1981].
A partir de son idee du "mythe dominant" comme fondement de la culture
d'un peuple, des chercheurs se sont penches sur son reuvre dans Ie but
d'elaborer un modele archetypique ou mythique-poetique capable d'etre
applique a I' etude de la culture latino-americaine. Selon cette interpretation, a
la lumiere des mythes amerindiens, il serait possible de racheter I' originalite
de la reflexion latino-americaine [ef. C. Cesar, 1980 ct E. Barbosa, 1975],
tout en preservant I'idee de culture comme totalite, et en incorporant, aussi,
la mythologie judai"co-chretienne, a la lumiere de laquelle s'etablit l'idee
d'histoire comme progres [cf. Crippa, 1975].
La question de I' Amerique latine en tant que realite apprehendee a la
lumiere d'un archetype totalisant a ete abordee par d'autres auteurs en-dehors
de ceux analyses dans les pages precedentes. Seulement pour souligner
l'interet que, de nos jours, eveille Ie sujet, on peut citer : A. Roig [1982], A.

Sanchez Vazquez [1975], M. Ferrandis Torres [1933], R. Levillier [1976], L.

Zea [1978 et 1986], G. Giucci [1992], O. Morales Benitez [1979, 1984 et
1988], G. Arciniegas [1959 et 1988], E. de Souza [1981], I. Ellacurfa [1990],
L. Boff [1988], E. Cardenal [1988], G. Gutierrez [1980, 1981 et 1986], P.
Freire [1982 et 1985], A. G. Cassani [1990], J. C. Scannone [1990], J.
Vasconcelos [1990], L. F. Crespo [1990], I. Lins [1966], C. B. Gutierrez
[193a, 1983b, 1983c et 1984], etc.
L' approche de l' Amerique latine comme totalite a eu des repercussions
dans la pensee philosophique nord-americaine. R. Morse, dans l'reuvre
intitulee Prospero's Mirror [1982], analyse la culture ibero-americaine
comme paradigme totalisant qui, a partir de la deuxieme scolastique
espagnole, a integre Ie Nouveau Monde dans une conception recumenique (et
selon Morse, de modernisation). Ainsi que Ie mythe universaliste des
penseurs mexicains du XVIII" siecle a perrnis une conception totalisante qui
se prolonge jusqu'a nos jours, de fa<;on semblable 1'universalisme de la
seconde scolastique a aussi constitue un archetype totalisant, grace auquel
l'lbero-Amerique a pu prendre conscience d'elIe-meme comme unite,
constituant un exemple pour l' Amerique du Nord, plongee dans une crise
d'identite et d'auto-confiance.
Le probleme de la totalite dans la pensee latino-americaine a ete aussi
aborde sous l'angle critique. La principale analyse dans ce sens est celIe
entreprise par Ie penseur bresilien R. M. de Barros [1990], pour lequel
I' existence oscille dramatiquement entre les extremes du phenomene
totalitaire et du phenomene de la liberte. Inspire de la pensee de Zamhitin,
Huxley, Orwell et Tocqueville, et muni d'une profonde connaissance en
philosophie politique, M. de Barros considere que Ie phenomene totalitaire
ne se borne pas seulement aux totalitarismes nazi et communiste, mais il
s'ancre plus profondement dans l'ame humaine, comme une des tendances
ontiques de 1'homme. A. ce propos, affirme M. de Barros [1990: 745-746] :
"Au moins tant que 1'homme sera homme - etre ambigu, immanent et
transcendant au monde, a la fois avide de Iiberte et nostaIgique de la totalite -
Ie devenir continuera comme quelque chose d'ouvert, pret a cueillir, en
successifs pieges, la pensee preditive, ainsi que la pensee desireuse ou
craintive. Soulignons seulement (... ) que Ie 'phenomene totalitaire', dans sa
signification ontique profonde, qui s'etend bien au-dela de la sphere
politique, n'est pas une chose occasionnelle et passagere, mais qu'il
s'enracine dans Ie fond meme de l'etre humain. De la meme fa<;on que Ie
phenomene de la liberte".
A. la lumiere de cette approche ontologique, l'option totalitaire ou
colIectiviste (a la fa<;on inspiree de l'Etat patrimonial en Amerique latine), est
une tentation toujours presente a l'esprit humain, qui est capable, en tout

temps et lieux, de changer la liberte pour la servitude. La grandeur humaine

consiste a opter pour Ie risque de la liberte, depassant Ie chant de sirene de
1'esprit totalitaire. Le totalitarisme "n'est pas necessairement fonde sur la
terreur, mais il peut meme 1'etre sur Ie bonheur, pourvu que la liberte
n'apparaisse pas pour Ie compromettre" [Barros, 1990: 742].
Le penseur bresilien M. Penna [1988 et 1994], de son cote, a partir d'une
solide position liberale, critique Ie modele d' autoritarisme patrimonial, qui a
prospere au Bresil et dans tout Ie reste de l' Amerique latine, ainsi que les
collectivismes du XXe siecle (fondes sur la religion civile de l'Etat
totalitaire), tenus comme des reifications d'un paradigme qui essaie de
reduire l'individu a la masse. Le probleme de la totalite est aborde par lui
dans un esprit critique, tel que Ie processus de depersonnalisation de
l'homme contemporain. L'histoire du x:xe siecle est celle de la lutte de
l'individu qui essaie de preserver sa liberte contre Ie processus de
massification en marche. "L'histoire de notre siecle est l'histoire de l'homme
singulier - remarque M. Penna [1994: 14] - c'est l'histoire du conflit de
l'individu libre, dans sa resistance a l'ecrasement croissant par la societe
collectiviste, la societe de masses que Ie socialisme et la structure de l'Etat
national souverain imposent. C'est l'histoire de la protestation contre ce que
les Allemands, qui en ont plus souffert que n'importe quel autre peuple,
appellent Massenmensch dans ses diverses modalites. L'histoire de la
resistance contre ce qu'Ortega y Gasset a decrit comme La rebeli6n de las
M. Penna considere qu'il ne sera possible a l'homme contemporain de
reagir contre Ie risque de la massification que s'il outrepasse les limites de la
religion politique, selon les principes de la tradition liberale. C'est a nous de
la depasser "dans une societe ouverte, pluraliste, recumenique, orientee selon
des crireres d'ordre pratique ou d'ethique pragmatique - une societe ouverte
au monde, mais invertissant, dans l'autonomie de l'homme moral
responsable, les principes de la philosophie etemelle" [penna, 1994 : 14].
L'approche critique du prob1eme de la totalite a toujours ete I'objet
d'etude d'innombrables penseurs, qui soulignent la valeur de la personne et
de la liberte comme contrepoint a la comprehension de l'homme latino-
americain a partir d'un archetype totalisant. n n'y aurait pas d'espace ici pour
un expose, encore que roouit, sur la pensee de ces auteurs. Nous nous
bomerons a mentionner leurs noms: M. Reale [1956, 1963 et 1969], A. Paim
[1981a et 1984], R. Velez Rodriguez [1987b], R. Uribe Ferrer [1990], F. A.
Santos [1991], R. Campos [1994], A. LOpez Trujillo [1977], C. Rangel
[1981], A. Oliva [1993 et 1994], A. Wehling [1994], B. Kloppenburg [1983],
T. Padilha [1955, 1975 et 1982], A. Lima [1955, 1965 et 1977], M. V. de

Mello [1994], R. Durand Florez [1988], J. G. Merquior [1987], R. L. Torres

[1991], U. Macedo [1978], V. Barretto [1989], E. Soveral [1993], etc.

3) Le probleme de l'integration
L'idee de l'integration constitue un leitmotiv de la pensee philosophique
latino-americaine. Quoique I' origine de la thematique se situe dans la periode
coloniale, a partir de l'recumenisme de la deuxieme scolastique iberique [cf.
Morse, 1982], on fera remarquer ici seulement la fac;on dont cette idee a ete
traitee par les penseurs latino-americains tout au long de ce siecle.
TI faut, d'abord, mentionner la repercussion qu'a eue, en Amerique latine,
la conception des hispanistes. Ceux-Ia, c'etaient des penseurs espagnols du
debut du siecle: ils defendaient l'idee que l'Espagne, par rapport a
l' Amerique latine, devrait avoir l'attitude d'une mere qui veille a la
preservation des ideaux iberiques, dont fait partie une conception organique
de la societe; cette conception s'oppose au "laissez-faire" du liberalisme
classique et retablit les principes d'une "selectocratie", contre l'idee d'une
democratie de masses. Les hispanistes affirment, d'autre part, que la societe
materialiste frustre les valeurs spirituelles de la personne. La democratie
capitaliste etait, pour eux, etroitement attachee au marerialisme.
En outre, les hispanistes reconnaissaient qu'il etait necessaire de donner
quelque participation aux masses dans la gestion des affaires publiques, afin
de compenser les desirs revolutionnaires, mais seulement en ce qui concerne
des interets plus immediats, garantissant l'independance et la capacite de
decision des elites dans les affaires plus importantes. D'autre part, les
hispanistes croyaient que 1'Espagne devrait surveiller pour eviter la
penetration, dans Ie monde ibero-americain, de cultures etrangeres a l'esprit
iberique, notamment les cultures anglo-saxonne et franc;aise. TIs croyaient a
I'exemple, dans la mesure oil ils reconnaissaient I'importance de I'education
pour la citoyennete, comme moyen de combattre les vices de l' absolutisme
politique et du dogmatisme. On pourrait dire, en un mot, qu'ils etaient
liberaux moderes, animes par I'idee de reconstruire, dans Ie terrain culturel,
1'univers iberique.
Les hispanistes se sont inspires du "rationalisme harmonique" du
philosophe allemand K. C. F. Krause [178111832]. Le plus important
representant de cette ecole dans ce siecle est Ie penseur espagnol F. Giner de
Los Rios. D'autres hispanistes importants sont M. Rodriguez Navas, F.
Rahola, A. Gonzalez Posada, R. M. de Labra, L. Alas et R. Altamira. Parmi
les auteurs latino-americains, c'est l'uruguayien J. E. Rodo, celui qui d'une
fac;on plus directe s'est inspire des idees des hispanistes. Rodo montre la
necessite de fortifier les liens entre l'Espagne et l' Amerique espagnole, afin
que, moyennant un effort conjoint des peuples ibero-americains, on eloigne

les dangers issus de la democratie materialiste et utilitariste, cela en cultivant

les valeurs sprituelles au sein du peuple.
n faudrait, ensuite, mentionner Ie philosophe mexicain J. Vasconcelos
[1926 et 1986]. A. Basave [1958: 451] considere que "Vasconcelos est
actuellement la figure intellectuelle la plus prestigieuse de l' Amerique
espagnole". Malgre cette importance, Ie penseur mexicain, en adoptant une
idee d'intuition totalement mystique, "melange sans scrupule - dans
l'opinion de Z. Kourim [1976: 148] - divers plans de reflexion et
d'investigation", et rejette des philosophes contemporains tels que Husserl et
Heidegger. Ses sources d'inspiration se trouvent dans Ie pythagorisme, Ie
plotinisme, Ie christianisme et Ie rationalisme de Leibniz (164611716).
Vasconcelos valorise l'idee d'energie, quijoue dans sa pensee, selon Ferrater
Mora [1984], un role analogue a celui de l'idee de substance dans les
anciennes conceptions immanentistes. L' apprehension de la vraie realite, de
l' energie, qui constitue "1' etat definitif de la substance", ne se fera pas par la
voie analytique de la raison discursive, mais, moyennant l'intuition
esthetique. Dans l'apprehension de la beaute, il n'y a donc pas lieu ni pour
des lois abstraites ni pour la pure raison kantienne. Elle est apprehendee et
vecue d'une fa<;;on integrale par l'organe esthetique, l'fune. Se rappellant de
l' esprit de finesse pascalien, Vasconcelos pense qu'il y a une "logique
organique", val able pour I' arne, qui conduit a un type de connaissance vecue,
intuitive et naturelle, tout a fait differente de la connaissance conceptuelle.
C'est a travers cette connaissance, eminemment esthetique, que l'homme
peut avoir l'intuition de l'unite de l'univers, dont la loi supreme est I'amour,
essence du christianisme.
Aux peuples ibero-americains, heritiers du phenomene esthetique et
spirituel qui consiste en "metissage universel", commence par les Espagnols
et Portugais, est destinee la tache de rendre reeIIe la "race definitive, la race
synthese ou race integrale" qui, ayant I' Amazonie comme centre, va
organiser la ville du futur, Univers6polis, tiers etat de l'Humanite,
l'esthetique (ou celui de la "beaute qui convainc"). Cet etat esthetique, on
suppose, aurait deja depasse les etats anterieurs imparfaits : Ie materiel (ou
alors guerrier) et I'intellectuel (ou alors politique). L'integration ibero-
americaine se produira donc par la force de I'elan createur de la racc
integrale, qui a la mission de conduire l'humanite jusqu'a sa plenitude.
11 faudrait rappeler, egalement, Ie philosophe colombien L. Lopez de
Mesa. Sa philosophie consiste en un eclectisme humaniste influence, parmi
d' autres auteurs, par Espinosa (163211677), Comte (1798/1857), Planck
(1858/1947), Whitehead (186111947), Santayana (1863/1952) et Bergson
(1859/1941). Le point central de sa conception s'identifie avec la conviction
que l'homme est Ie point central de toutes les valeurs et que, par consequent,

toutes les sciences et les techniques doivent lui etre soumises, pour qu'il
puisse s' accomplir pleinement sur les plans individuel et social, tout en
preservant sa liberte et sa dignite. Le progres humain, selon LOpez de Mesa,
doit se fonder sur quatre principes: la vigueur de la race, la vigueur de
l' economie, la vigueur de l' education et la vigueur de la volonte creatrice.
, Fonde sur ces quatre principes, l' etre humain est I' artisan de sa propre vie et
createur de cultures.
En ce qui concerne la realite latino-americaine - que LOpez de Mesa
prefere appeler ibero-americaine - Ie penseur colombien considere que la
civilisation europeenne est decadente (suivant, sur ce point, I'idee de
Spengler) et qu'il s'agit maintenant d'epanouir Ie monde ibero-americain, La
force provient de I'universalite de ses origines. A propos de cela, L6pez de
Mesa ecrit dans son livre La civilizaci6n contemporanea [1936: 51]:
"L'histoire ne repete pas ses faits, cela n'est qu'une illusion de penseurs
imaginatifs. L' Amerique sera fondamentalement I' Amerique. Etendu d'un
pole it l'autre entre les oceans majeurs, etant orient d'une civilisation et
ponant de l'autre, l'Amerique pense et pensera en fonction de l'universalite.
Nos races sont venues des quatre points cardinaux et notre pensee se nourrit
de la tente asiatique, de la jungle africaine, de l'urbs europeenne, mais Ie
sous-sol est toujours Ie granit des Andes".
Pourtant, Ie role que l'histoire a reserve pour l'Ibero-Amerique, dans Ie
sens d'etre la civilisation de l'avenir, n'est pas un absolu determinisme. Les
Latino-americains doivent construire leur propre destin, qui est varie, mais
uni en une grande fraternite. Dans cet effort commun, doivent etre exploites
leurs propres richesses et, en meme temps, assimilee la technique
occidentale. A ce sujet, ecrit L6pez de Mesa [1936: 57]: "La mission
culturelle ibero-americaine ne sera peut-etre pas parfaitement pareille pour
tous les pays ou elle se developpe. Des influences sociales, ethniques et
geographiques nous obligeront it une prudente distribution de cet effort
commun ; il y aura, pourtant, Ie sceau de la fraternite du debut et de la finalite
meme qu'on poursuit. Elle sera devant I'histoire, qualifiee de fac;on univoque
de culture ibero-americaine, et fleurira quand on aura parcouru les etapes de
preparation necessaires: developpement de notre richesse, fusion de nos
races et assimilation de la technique occidentale".
Dans cet effort de construction de la realite latino-americaine, L6pez de
Mesa - qui a ete, dans son pays, Ministre de I'Education - attribue une
enorme importance it l'education pour la formation du citoyen. II part
d'abord de I'affirmation que Ie concept de "peuple" est plus proche de
Volksgeist, et non celui d'une realite seulement physique. Le peuple, affirme
Ie penseur colombien, "n' est pas une masse ignorante et sale des basses
couches, ce n'est pas non plus l'elegante societe de clubs; c'est l'esprit

qu'une nation construit avec Ie temps et l'etablit avec ses propres

caracteristiques, dans Ie vaste lit de l'histoire universelle C... ). Le peuple est
une culture ou, au moins, un ideal, et pas une simple portion de race ou partie
du territoire" [LOpez de Mesa, 1936: 58]. Si Ie peuple est une realite
culturelle, l'education est, pour L6pez de Mesa, formatrice de la nationalite,
et il revient aux gouverneurs des pays ibero-americains Ie devoir de creer une
conscience historique parmi les habitants du continent. A ce sujet, Ie penseur
colombien remarque que les gouverneurs doivent "enseigner au peuple qu'il
y a a accomplir une mission historique : accorder avec les autres les actes de
sa vie, en vue de quelque chose de superieur. Le citoyen appartient a un
peuple historique et pas a un troupeau. Chaque peuple, ayant Ie vrai sens de
I'histoire, forme, jour apres jour, la conscience universelle" [LOpez de Mesa,
1936: 58].
Enfin, il faudrait souligner la figure du penseur argentin F. Romero. Sa
conception philosophique, d'inspiration anti-positiviste et spiritualiste, est
polarisee autour de deux points fondamentaux : une axiologie, ou ressortent
la transcendance des valeurs et un personnalisme, ou s' affmne la valeur
absolue de l' esprit, qui devient presence chez l' etre humain. Romero croit
que I' Amerique latine sera une grande nation, ou vivront ensemble
pacifiquement tous les peuples latino-americains. La possibilite que cela se
realise depend du developpement de la conscience sur les valeur communes,
qui fondent la culture latino-americaine. Cette conscience se developpe au
sein de la meditation philosophique. Comme Ie remarque E. Mayz Vallenilla,
F. Romero a voue sa vie a l'effort d'abattre les frontieres de la
meconnaissance mutuelle des intellectuels latino-americains: "Son propos
etait d' etendre des fils de communication spirituelle entre tous les pays, afin
de permettre la connaissance, l'amitie et l'echange d'reuvres entre les
penseurs isoles, entre les chercheurs ou meme entre les dilettantes, qui
s'inreressaient a la philosophie" .
Romero fait remarquer Ie fait que la conscience philosophique a muri en
Amerique latine, surtout a partir de la Deuxieme Guerre mondiale. L'etape
de depart du monopole philosophique a deja ere depasse et les penseurs
n5flechissent conjointement sur les questions concernant l'homme latino-
americain, echangeant projets et idees. Cette nouvelle etape conduira,
sfirement, a la formulation plus precise de la particularite du "fait" americain,
une fois depassee l'atomisation, qui n'etait que l'effet de la mutuelle
meconnaissance. La vraie integration est, seIon I' avis de Romero, celle qui se
produit a la lumiere de la pensee philosophique. A ce sujet, voila ses propres
mots: "L'actuel interet pour la philosophie en Thero-Amerique offre des
conditions et des aspects tres riches et divers, qui stimulent l'expose et Ie
commentaire. Mais, au-dessous des faits visibles et evidents, Ie mode ou a

couve et continue de germer, dans les profondeurs, ce mouvement, (... )

depasse en extension Ie simple registre d'une serie de nouveaux travaux. Les
faits (... ) invitent a la reflexion sur des themes beaucoup plus larges: Ie
parcours total de la culture dans ces terres, son rOle futur a l'interieur et aussi
hors du contexte latino-americain, Ie caractere et les chemins de la spiritualite
de l' Amerique et finalement la particularite du 'fait' americain, cache par
l'atomisation des 'faits' americains (... )" [Romero, 1986: 72-73].
Dans cette demiere partie, a ete mise en relief la fac;on dont les penseurs
latino-americains ont aborde l'integration continentale. Cet ideal, vrai
archetype herite de l'recumenisme iberique du XVe siecle, a inspire aussi des
agents sociaux. Des etudes recentes [ Vasquez Carrizosa, 1993] soulignent,
par exemple, les ideaux integrationnistes du Liberateur S. Bolfvar
(178311830), qui pensait a la creation d'une Confederation Latino-
Americaine, integree par Ie Mexique, Ie Perou, Ie Chili, l' Argentine et la
Colombie, reunie dans une Assemblee de Plenipotentiaires de chaque Etat.
Cette idee etait, sans doute, tres avancee a l' epoque, puisqu' elle allait au-dela
de la notion de solidarite de Ia Sainte-Alliance, qui etait en vigueur en
Europe. La Confederation imaginee par Bollvar ressemblait davantage a
1'OTAN qu'a I'OEA, puisqu'elle prevoyait un systeme de defense. Cette
idee, que Bolivar Iui-meme a tente de consolider en deux occasions, sera de
nouveau proposee, au niveau mondial, avec le Traite de Versailles, en 1919,
et aussi avec Ie Document des Nations Unies, une fois achevee Ia Deuxieme
Guerre mondiale. n n'y a aucun doute que Ie processus d'integration latino-
americain, concretise d'abord dans l' ALALC et actuellement identifie a des
initiatives comme celles du MERCOSUL et du Pacte Andin, s'enracine dans
cette tradition culturelle.


Amoroso Lima, A. [1955]. Medita(,:iio sobre 0 mondo interior. Rio de Janeiro: Agir.
Amoroso Lima, A. [1955]. Pelo humanismo amea(,:ado. Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro.
Amoroso Lima, A. [1974], Em busca da liberdade. Rio de Janeiro: paz e Terra.
Amoroso Lima, A. [1977], Revolu(,:iio suicida. Rio de Janeiro: paz e Terra.
Arciniegas, G. [1959]. America magica. Buenos Aires: Sudamericana.
Arciniegas, G. [1988]. Entre la libertad y el miedo. Bogota: Printer Colombiana.
Ardao, A. [19681. Filosojia en lengua espanola. Montevideao : Alfa.
Ardao, A. [1978J. Estudios latinoamericanos de historia de las ideas. Caracas: Monte Avila.
Ardao, A. et alii. [1983J. Francisco Romero, maestro de lajilosoffa latinoamericana. Caracas
Sociedad Interamericana de Filosoffa.
Barbosa, E. [1975]. Vicente Ferreira da Silva: uma visiio de mundo. Salvador: Universidadc
Federal da Bahia.

Barretto, V. [1972]. A ideologia liberal no processo de independencia do Brasil. Brasilia:

Cfunara dos Deputados.
Barretto, V. et alii. [1989]. EvolW;iio do pensamento politico brasileiro. Sao Paulo: Edusp;
Belo Horizonte : Itatiaia.
Barros, M. de. [1990]. 0 fen6meno totalitario. Sao Paulo: Edusp; Belo Horizonte: Itatiaia.
Basave, A. [1958]. Lafilosofta de Jose Vasconcelos. Madrid: Cultura hispiinica.
Bevilacqua, C. [1899]. Esbor;;os efragmentos. Rio de Janeiro: Laemmert.
Bezerra, A. [1936]. Achegas it hist6ria dafilosofia. Rio de Janeiro: Arquivo Nacional.
Boff, K. [1988]. "C6mo predicar la cruz hoy en una sociedad de crucificados ?". Nuevo
Mundo, Buenos Aires, n. 36: pp. 81-96.
Campos, R. [1994]. A fanterna no popa.Rio de Janeiro: Topbooks.
Cardenal, E. [1988]. "La democratizaci6n de la cultura". In: Politicas culturales y liberaci6n
en Latinoamerica. Buenos Aires: Dialectica, pp. 65-86.
Cassani, A. G. [1990]. Reflexiones y discernimientos sobre fa unificaci6n politica de la naci6n
fatinoamericana. C6rdoba : Edition de l' Auteur.
Cesar, C. M. [1980]: Vicente Ferreira da Silva: trajet6ria intelectual e contribuir;;iio
filos6fica. Campinas : Pontiffcia Universidade Cat6lica.
Cesar, C. M. [1988]. Filosofia naAmerica Latina. Sao Paulo: Paulinas.
Crespo, L. F. [1990]. Ejercicio del saber y servicio a los pobres. Lima: Pontificia Universidad
Cat61ica del Peru.
Crippa, A. [1975]. Mito e cultura. Sao Paulo: Convivio.
Crippa, A. [1978]. (Org.). As ideiasfilos6ficas na Brasil. Sao Paulo: Convivio, 3 vol.
Crippa, A. [1984]. A itMia de cultura em Vicente Ferreira da Silva. Sao Paulo: Convivio.
Durand Fl6rez, R. [1988]. La utopia de fa liberaci6n. Callao: Editora Diocesana.
Dussel, E. [1980]. Filosofia da libertar;;iio na America Latina. Sao Paulo: Loyola; Piracicaba :
Dussel, E. [1986]. "La fIlosoffa de la liberaci6n en Argentina: irrupci6n de una nueva
generaci6n fIlos6fica". In: G. Marquinez Argote (org.). Que es eso de filosofta
latinoamericana ? Bogota: EI Buho, pp. 129-136.
Ellacurfa, I. [1990]. "EI desaffo cristiano de la teologfa de la liberaci6n". Acontecimiento.
Madrid, n. 16: pp. 81-93.
Ferrandis Torres, M. [1933]. El mita del oro en fa conquista de America. Madrid: Talleres
Gnificos Cuesta.
Ferrater Mora, J. [1984]. Diccionario de filosofta. 5~mc ed., Madrid: Alianza Editorial.
Figueiredo, F. [1931]. As duas Espanhas. Lisboa : Guimariies.
Freire, P. [1982]. Ar;;iio cultural para a liberdade. "fmc ed. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra.
Freire, P. [1985]. Educar;;iio como pratica da liberdade. 16~e ed. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra.
Giner de Los Rios, F. [1969]. Ensayos. Madrid: A1ianza Editorial.
Giucci, G. [1992]. La conquista de lo maravilloso: el Nuevo Mundo. Montevideo: Ediciones
de Juan Darien.
Gomes, R. [1980]. Critica da raziio tupiniquim. 4~mc ed. Sao Paulo: Cortez.
GonzaJez Ochoa, F. [1929]. Viaje a pie. Medellin: Bedout.
Gonzalez Ochoa, F. [1986]. "Filosoffa colombiana ?". In: G. Marquinez Argote (org.). Que es
eso de fllosofia latinoamericana ? Bogota: EI Buho, pp. 75-76.
Gutierrez, C. B. [1983a]. "Verdad y metodo". Cuadernos de Filosofia y Letras. Bogota, IV, n.
1-2: pp. 25-30.
Gutierrez, C. B. [1983b]. "La filosoffa hermeneutica de Gadamer". Cuadernos de Filosofia y
Letras. Bogota, IV, n. 1-2: pp. 31-38.
Gutierrez, C. B. [1983c]. "La urbanidad en la provincia heideggeriana". Cuadernos de
Filosofia y Letras. Bogota, IV, n. 1-2: pp. 39-42.

Gutierrez, C. B. [1984]. "Hermeneutica: verdad contra metodo 7". Cuadernos de Filosofla y

Letras. Bogota, VII, n. 1-2: pp. 99-110.
Gutierrez, G. [1980]. Lajuerza hist6rica de los pobres. 2'~me ed. Lima: Cep.
Gutierrez, G. [1981]. Teolog{a de la liberaci6n. 3emc ed. Lima: Perspectivas.
Gutierrez, G. [1986]. La verdad los hara libres." confrontaciones. Lima: Cep.
Henriquez Urena, P. [1947]. Historia de la cultura en la America hispanica. Mexico: Fondo
de Cultura Econ6mica.
Holanda, S. B. de [1989]. Ra{zes do Brasil. 21 erne ed. Rio de Janeiro: Jose Olympio.
Ibargiiengoitia Chico, A. [1980]. Sumafilos6fica mexicana. Mexico: Pom1a.
Kloppenburg, B. [1983]. Igreja popular. Rio de Janeiro: Agir.
Kom, A, [1940]. Obras. La Plata: Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
Korn, A. [1986]. "Filosoffa argentina?" In: G. Marqufnez Argote (org.). Que es eso de
filosofla latinoamericana ? Bogota: El Buho, pp. 29-48.
Kourim, Z. [1976]. "Dos emancipadores de la fIlosffa en Mexico: Caso y Vasconcelos".
Humanitas, Universidad Aut6noma de Nuevo Le6n, n. 17 : pp. 139-160.
Lafaye, J. [1974]. Quetzalc6atl et Guadalupe. Paris: Gallimard.
Levillier, R. [1976]. El paititi, El Dorado y las Amazonas. Buenos Aires: Emeee.
Lins, I. [1966]. Escolas filos6ficas, ou introdw;iio ao estudo da filosofia. 4 cmc ed. Rio de
Janeiro: Sao Jose.
L6pez de Mesa, L. [1936]. La civilizaci6n contemporanea. Bogota: Biblioteea Aldeana de
L6pez Morillas, J. [1956]. El krausismo espano!. Mexico: Fondo de CulturaEcon6mica.
L6pez Morillas, J. [1988]. Racionalismo pragmtitico." el pensamiento de Francisco Giner de
Los R{os. Madrid: Alianza Editorial.
L6pez Trujillo, A. [1977]. Liberaqiio marxista e liberar,;iio cristii. (Trad. E. P. Mendonc;a). Rio
de Janeiro: Agir.
Macedo, U. [1978]. Metamorfoses da liberdade. Sao Paulo: lbrasa; Rio de Janeiro: Fundac;ao
Nacional de Material Escolar.
Mariategui, J. C. [1978]. Obras completas. 5cme ed. Lima: Amauta, vol. 12.
Mariategui, J. C. [1982]. Polftica. (Trad. M. L. Bellotto et A. M. Correa). Sao Paulo: Atiea.
Mariategui, J. C. [1986]. "Existe un pensamiento hispanoamericano?" In: G. Marqufnez
Argote (org.). Que es eso de filosofia latinoamericana ? Bogota: EI Buho, pp. 60-65.
Marqufnez Argote, G. [1986a]. "De la repetici6n ala investigaci6n : el problema de la filosoffa
en Colombia visto a traves de la obra de Fernando Gonzalez". In: G. Marqufnez Argote
(org.). Que es eso deftlosofia latinoamericana ? Bogota: EI Buho, pp. 137-148.
Marqufnez Argote, G. [1986b]. (org.). Que es eso de filosofla latinoamericana ? Bogota: EI
Buho, pp. 75-76.
Marqufnez Argote, G. [1988]. (Org.). La filosoffa en Colombia." Historia de las ideas.
Bogota: E1 Buho.
Mayz Vallenilla, E. [1959J. El problema de America. Caracas: Universidad Central de
Mayz Vallenilla, E. [1986]. "Programa de una filosoffa Oliginal". In: G. Marqufnez Argote
(org.). Que es eso defilosofia latinoamericanfl ? Bogota: EI Buho, pp. 77-83.
Mello, M. V. de [1994]. 0 cidadiio." ensaio de poUticafilos6fica. Rio de Janeiro: Topbooks.
Merquior, J. G. [1987]. 0 lnarxislna ocidental. (Trad. R. S. Barbosa). Rio de Janeiro: Nova
Mir6 Quesada, F. [1974]. De.lpertar y proyecto delJilosofar latinoamericano. Mexico: Fondo
de Cultura Eeon6mica.
Mir6 Quesada, F. [1986]. "El proyecto latinoamericano de fIlosofar como decision de hacer
fIlosoffa aurentica". In: G. Marqufnez Argote (arg.). Que es eso de filosofta
latinoamericana ? Bogota: El Buho, pp. 95-115.
Morales Benitez, O. [1979]. Aguja de marear : notas criticas. Bogota: Banco Popular.
Morales Benitez, O. [1984]. Latinoamerica: atisbos desde Merida. Merida: Corporacion de
los Andes.
Morales Benitez, O. [1988]. Propuestas para analizar la historia con criterios
indoamericanos. Bogota: Tercer Mundo.
Morse, R. [1982]. El espejo de Pr6spero. (Trad. S. Mastnmgelo). Mexico: Siglo XXI.
Neves, J. [1986]. Ideias filos6ficas do barroco mineiro. Belo Horizonte: Itatiaia; Sao Paulo:
Ocampo Lopez, J. [1987], Historia de la cultura hispanoamericana - siglo XX. Bogota: Plaza
y Janes.
Oliva, A. [1993]. Entre 0 dogmatismo arrogante e 0 desespero cetico. Rio de Janeiro:
Instituto Liberal.
Oliva, A. [1994]. Conhecimento e liberdade. Porto Alegre: Edipucrs.
Padilha, T. [1955]. A ontologia axiol6gica de Louis Lavelle. Rio de Janeiro: Universidade do
Distrito Federal.
Padilha, T. [1955]. Brasil em questao. Rio de Janeiro: Jose Olympio.
Padilha, T. [1982]. Uma filosofia da esperanr;a. Rio de Janeiro: Pallas.
Paim, A. [1977]. Problemtitica do culturalismo. Rio de Janeiro: Graficon.
Paim, A. [1981a]. A questiio do socialismo, hoje. Sao Paulo: Convivio.
Paim, A. [1981b]. "Miguel Reale e a fIlosofia brasileira". In: J. C. Azevedo (arg.). Miguel
Reale na Un. B. Brasilia: Universidade de Brasilia, pp. 91-100.
Paim, A. [1984]. Hist6ria da ideias filos6ficas no Brasil. 30mc Cd. Sao Paulo: Convivio;
Brasilia: Instituto Nacional do Livro/Fundac;ao Nacional PrO-Mern6ria.
Paim, A. [1986]. 0 estudo do pensamentofilos6fico brasileiro. 2eme ed. Sao Paulo: Convivio.
Paim, A. [1987]. Bibliografia filos6fica brasileira - Periodo contemporaneo (1931-1980).
Salvador: Centro de documentac;ao do Pensamento brasileiro.
Paim, A. [1989]. "CuIturalismo no Brasil". In: R. Cabral et alii (org.). LOgos - Enciclopedia
Luso-Brasileira de Filosofia. LisboaiSao Paulo: Verbo, vol. 1, pp. 1258-1262.
Paim, A. [1990]. "Filosofias Nacionals". In: R. Cabral et alii (org.). LOgos - Enciclopedia
Luso-Brasileira de Filosofia. LisboaiSao Paulo: Verbo, vol. 2, pp. 626-634.
Paim, A. [1992]. "Reale (Miguel)". In: R. Cabral et alii (arg.). LOgos - Enciclopedia Luso-
Brasileira de Filosofia. LisboaiSao Paulo: Verbo, vol. 4, pp. 592-599.
Paim, A. [1994]. A querela do estatismo. 20me ed. Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro.
Paz, O. [1983]. El ogro filantr6pico. 4emc Cd. Bracelona: Seix Barral.
Paz, O. [1986]. Las peras del olmo. 2emc ed. Barcelona: Seix Barral.
Paz, O. [1989]. El peregrino en su patria. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, vol. 1.
Paz, O. [1 990a]. Aguila 0 sol? 2eme 00. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica.
Paz, O. [I 990b]. El arco y la lira. 3emc ed. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica.
Paz, O. [1992a]. Ellaberinto de fa soledod. 3emc ed. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica.
Paz, O. [1992b]. Sor Juana ines de la Cruz 0 las trampas de lafe. 3emc Cd. Mexico: Fondo de
CuItura Econ6mica.
Pecaut, D. [1990]. Os intelectuais e a politica no Brasil. (Trad. M. J. Goldwasser). Sao Paulo:
Penna, M. [1988]. 0 dinossauro. Sao Paulo: T. A. Queiroz.
Penna, M. [1994]. A ideologia do seculo Xx. 2emc Cd. Rio de Janeiro: NordicaiInstituto

Pike, F. [1971]. "Making the hispanic world safe from democracy: Spanish liberals and
hispanismo". The Review of Politics. Jul. 1971 : pp. 307-322.
Rangel, C. [1981]. Do bom selvagem ao bom revolucioruirio. (Trad. B. S. Otero). Brasflia:
Universidade de Brasilia.
Reale, M. [1947]. A doutrino de Kant no Brasil. Sao Paulo: Editora Revista dos Tribunais.
Reale, M. [1956]. Horizontes do direito e da historia. Sao Paulo: Saraiva.
Reale, M. [1963]. Pluralismo e liberdade. Sao Paulo: Saraiva.
Reale, M. [1969]. Problemas de nosso tempo. Sao Paulo: Grijalbo.
Reale, M. [1977]. Experiencia e cultura. Sao Paulo: Grijalbo/Edusp.
Reale, M. [1981a]. "Miguel Reale por ele mesmo". In : J. C. Azevedo (org.). Miguel Reale no
Un. B. Brasflia: Universidade de Brasilia, pp. 127-153.
Reale, M. [1981b]. "Minha trajetoria filosofica". In: J. C. Azevedo (org.). Miguel Reale no
Un. B. Brasilia: Universidade de Brasilia, pp. 161-164.
Reale, M. [1984]. Figuras da inteligencia brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro;
Fortaleza : Universidade Federal do Ceara.
Reale, M. [1989]. Introdufiio afilosofia. 2'~me ed. Sao Paulo: Saraiva.
Reale, M. [1991]. "Paim (Antonio)". In: R. Cabral et alii (org.). LOgos ~ Enciclopedia Luso-
Brasileira de Filosofia. LisboaiSao Paulo: Verbo, vol. 3, pp. 1305-1306.
Reale, M. [1992]. "Silva (Vicente Ferreira da)". In: R. Cabral et alii (org.). LOgos ~
Enciclopedia Luso-Brasileira de Filosofia. LisboaiSao Paulo: Verbo, vol. 4, pp. 1129-
Rod6, J. E. [1986]. Ariel. Bogota: Ediciones Universales.
Roig, A. [1982]. "La experiencia iberoameriicana de 10 utopico y las primeras formulaciones
de una utopia 'para si"'. Revista de historia de las ideas. Quito, n. 3: pp. 53-67.
Romero, F. [1944]. Filosofia de la persona y otros ensayos de filosofla. Buenos Aires, Losada.
Romero, F. [1952]. Sobre lafilosofia en America. Buenos Aires: Raigal.
Romero, F. [1986]. "Sobre la filosoffa en Iberoamerica". In: G. Marquinez Argote (org.). Que
es eso defilosofia latinoamericana ? Bogota: EI Buho, pp. 66-74.
Salazar Bondy, A. [1968]. Existe una filosofia de nuestra America? Mexico: Siglo XXI.
Salazar Bondy, A. [1986]. "Sentido y problema del pensamiento filosofico hispanoamericano".
Tn: G. Marqufnez Argote (org.). Que es eso de filosoffa latinoamericano ? Bogota: EI
Buho, pp. 84-94.
Sanchez Vazquez, A. [1975]. Del socialismo cient(fico al socialismo utopico. Mexico:
Ediciones Era.
Santos, F. A. [1991]. 0 liberalismo. Porto Alegre: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do
Sauerland, G. [1989]. "Una historia de la filosoffa desde America Latina". Cuadernos de
Filosofia Latinoamericana, n. 40 : pp. 37-51.
Scannone, J. C. [1990]. Nuevo punto de partida en lafilosoffa latinoamericano. Buenos Aires:
Silva, V. F. da [1964J. Ohras completas. Sao Paulo: Instituto Brasileiro de Filosofia, 2 vol.
Souza, E. de [1981]. His/aria e mito. Brasilia: Universidade de Brasilia.
Soveral, E. [1993]. Ensaios sobre etica. Lisboa: Imprensa NacionallCasa da Moeda.
Torchia Estrada, J. C. r1961]. 1.£1 filosofia en la Argentina. Washington: Union Panamericana.
Torres, R. L. [1991]. A ide;o de liberdade no £Stado patrimonial e no Fstado fiscal. Rio de
Janeiro: Renovar.
Uribe Ferrer, R. 11990j. Bazar: escritos filosoficos e literarios. Medellin: Universidad
Pontificia Bolivariana, 2 vol.
Vasconcelos, J. [1926J. Indologia: una interpretacion de la cultum iheroamericana.
Barcelona: Ariel.

Vasconcelos, J. [1986]. "El pensamiento iberoamericano". In: G. Marquinez Argote (org.).

Que es eso defilosofia latinoamericana ? Bogota: El Buho, pp. 49-59.
Vasconcelos, 1. [1990]. La sonata magica. Mexico: Cnca.
Vasquez Carrizosa, A. [1993]. Historia diplomatica de Colombia. Bogota: Universidad
J averiana, vol. I.
Velasquez, F. M. et alii. [1985]. Vida Y obra del profesor Luis LOpez de Mesa. Medellin:
Universidad de Antioquia.
Velez Rodriguez, R. et alii. [1983]. Filosofia luso-brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Universidade
Velez Rodriguez, R. [1984]. "0 pensamento de Vicente Ferreira da Silva sobre 0 homem".
Revista Brasileira de Filosofia. Sao Paulo, 31 n. 123 : pp. 198-222.
Velez Rodriguez, R. [1987a]. "0 ensino da filosofia no Brasil: perspectivas e impasses".
Revista Faculdade de Letras. Universidade do Porto 4, n. 2, pp. 1-32.
Velez Rodriguez, R. [1987b]. "Politischer Messianismus und Theologie der Befreiung". In: R.
Hofmann (org.). Gottesreich und Revolution. MUnster: Verlag Regensberg, pp. 57-73.
Velez Rodriguez, R. [1989]. "America Latina". In: R. Cabral et alii (org.). LOgos -
Enciclopedia Luso-Brasileira de Filosofia. Lisboa/Sao Paulo: Verbo, vol. 1, pp. 207-212.
Velez Rodriguez, R. [1992]. "Vasconcelos (Jose)". In: R. Cabral et alii (org.). LOgos -
Enciclopedia Luso-Brasileira de Filosofia. Lisboa/Sao Paulo: Verbo, vol. 5, pp. 417-419.
Velez Rodriguez, R. [1993a]. "Iberoamerika jako cellstvost". Filosoficky Casopis. Praga, 41, n.
1, pp. 59-71.
Velez Rodriguez, R. [1993b]. "La historia del pensamiento filos6fico brasilefio (siglo XX):
problemas y corrientes". Revista interamericana de Bibliografia. Washington, 43, n, 1,
Vita, L. W. [1964]. Escort;o dafilosofia no Brasil. Coimbra: AtHintida.
Vita, L. W. [1969a]. Afilosofia contemporanea em sao Paulo. Sao Paulo: Instituto Brasileiro
de Filosofia/Grijalbo.
Vita, L. W. [1969b]. Panorama dafilosofia no Brasil. Porto Alegre: Globo.
Wehling, A. [1994]. A inveTlfGo da hist6ria. Rio de Janeiro: Universidade Gama Filho;
Niter6i : Universidade Federal Flurninense.
Zea, L. [1974]. Lafilosofia latinoamericana comofilosofia sin mas. 2~mc 00. Mexico: Siglo
Zea, L. [1976]. El pensamiento latinomaericano. Barcelona: Ariel.
Zea, L. [1978]. Filosofia de la historia americana. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Econ6rnica.
Zea, L. [1986a]. America como autodescobrimento. Bogota: Universidad Central.
Zea, L. [1986b]. "La historia de la filosofia latinoamericana". In : G. Marquinez Argote (org.).
Que es eso de filosofia latinoamericana ? Bogota: EI Buho, pp. 116-128.

La version de ce travail a ete executee par Maria Lucia Viana. L' Auteur
consigne ici ses remerciements. Juiz de Fora, (Minas Gerais - Bresil).
Decembre 1994.

Professeur titulaire ordinaire de la "Filosoffa de la Educaci6n" et
de la "Teorfa de la Educaci6n", Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentine.

En ce qui concerne Ie travail presente, j' aimerais faire quelques remarques

qui me paraissent indispensables.
1. II est difficile de condenser dans une breve recherche un espace de
reflexion philosophique comme celui qui est en vigueur en Argentine des la
fin du 1ge siecle jusqu'a nos jours (avec quelques interregnes d'autoritarisme
politique et de mepris de la libre expression des idees).
2. Le travail presente essaie de concilier deux axes d'adequation difficile:
d'une part, Ie developpement chronologique des representants, et d'autre
part, l'ordre thematique des propositions philosophiques. Par rapport a ce
sujet, il faut signaler qu'a partir du point IV, "La philosophie en Argentine:
1920-1960", je n'ai pu prendre en consideration, avec un sens strict, la
generation a laquelle appartiennent les philosophes argentins dont Ie poids
intellectuel est encore en vigueur de nos jours, grace aux nouvelles
productions bibliographiques. A cette occasion, je les ai places dans la
peri ode 1960-1990. Cette extension chronologique est inevitable dans un
travail de synthese.
3. L'espace donne a chaque penseur tente d'exprimer un equilibre entre sa
presence intellectuelle et Ie moment de son entree dans I' activite
philosophique. Dans quelques cas, les deux criteres presentent des difficultes
de coordination.
4. Le travail est oriente dans Ie cadre institutionnel et universitaire, ayant
comme base des penseurs qui sont des enseignants et/ou des chercheurs dans
des universites nationales, dont leur production editoriale est en rapport avec
ces activites.
5. En vertu de ce qui vient d'etre expose, les penseurs du courant chretien
- de tres grand poids dans les universites privees sont seulement
mentionnes, tout en leur reconnaissant une activite permanente dans la vie
philosophique du pays. De plus, l'etude de la pen see chretienne en Argentine
aurait exige une recherche plus grande.
6. Finalement, il est important de remarquer que j'utilise un large critere
de f1exibilite par rapport a la place des penseurs argentins, selon leurs

Gut/orm FI¢istad (ed.), Philosophy of Latin America, 115-142.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

specialites, car la pensee philosophique est naturellement prodigue dans ses


I. Introduction
Tous les peuples, a partir de leurs contextes historico-culturels, ont montre
des preoccupations et des inquietudes philosophiques. La systematisation de
tels sujets permit l'incorporation du savoir philosophique comme une
discipline methodique, structuree et d'une signification speciale dans les
autres creations de I'homme : la science, l' art, la religion, la technologie, etc.
L' Amerique latine ne fut pas exc1ue de ce procede de formalisation et de
systematisation pbilosopbiques. A partir de l' entree des pays latino-
americains dans leur vie independante (la plupart d' entre eux au
commencement du 1ge siecle), les etudes philosophiques s'incorporerent
progressivement au probleme de la formation culturelle dans differents
espaces intellectuels de ces pays.
L' Argentine est un pays qui a maintenu et continue a maintenir une
communication fluide et des relations reciproques avec la culture
europeenne. Des Ie debut du 20e siecle, avec l'etablissement du projet de
modernisation du pays, les influences de quelques nations europeennes
reussirent a obtenir une plus forte expression dans Ie domaine de la pensee
Dans la configuration socio-politique et culturelle du pays, a partir de la
colonisationjusqu'au 1ge siec1e, les influences les plus decisives furent celles
qui provenaient de I'Espagne : ses apports culturels et son influence ethnique
constituent encore la base de la configuration nationale. Dans cette meme
periode, un autre pays qui influen~a intellectuellement l' Argentine fut la
France, surtout sur les sujets philosophico-politiques, et sur l' esprit de liberte
des idees. D'une fa~on speciale, l'influence des ideologues de la Revolution
Fran~aise ou des philosophes des Lumieres (Voltaire, Montesquieu,
Rousseau et les Encyc1opedistes) contribuerent avec leurs ecrits a consolider
les idees de liberte et d'independance politique dans les pays du Rio de la
Plata. En plus, comme nous le remarquerons, I'influence des courants
migratoires europeens fut importante, a partir de la deuxieme moitie du 1ge
siecle et pendant les premieres annees du 20e siec1e. Parmi celles-ci, une des
plus significatives fut I'immigration italienne.
Afin d'etablir un schema orientateur des principales peri odes du
mouvement des idees philosophiques en Argentine, nous allons decrire la
presentation proposee par Ie philosophe argentin connu Coriolano Alberini
dans son livre Problemas de la historia de las ideas filos6ficas en la
Argentina (La Plata, Departamento de Filosoffa, Facultad de Humanidades y

Ciencias de la Educaci6n, Universidad Nacional de la Plata, 1966, Ira

edici6n aleman a, 1930).

1° Scolastique coloniale, dont la figure la plus interessante est Ie

philosophe argentin Chorroarfn.

2° L'Aufklarung ou llluminisme, c'est la philo sophie des Lumieres et de

la raison. n pnSpara la Revolution Fran~aise et fut la pensee que les
hommes de l'emancipation nationale (Belgrano, Moreno, Rivadavia, etc.)
professerent sans une excessive fidelite. La derniere forme theorique de
l'llluminisme argentin fut "l'ideologie" de Alcorta, Agiiero et Lafinur.
Elle concerne aussi plusieurs pretres influences par l' esprit du 18e siecle,
par exemple Funes.

3 ° Le romantisme comprend surtout des ecrivains teIs que Echeverria,

Alberdi, Juan Marfa Gutierrez, Mitre, Sarmiento, Lopez, etc., c'est-a-dire
la plupart d'entre eux des hommes de l'organisation nationale.

4 ° Le positivisme qui apparalt dans les annees ] 880.

5° La reaction contre Ie positivisme et la fondation d'une culture

philosophique pure.

Nous nous occuperons des deux dernieres periodes mentionnees ci-dessus

(points 4 et 5). Elles correspondent a l'etude de la pensee argentine de la fin
du ] ge siecle a Ia moitie du 20e siecle, epoque ou Ie spiritualisme (que
Alberini fait entrer comme "culture philosophique pure") commence a
decliner. Puis, la peri ode qui va des Ia fin des annees 50 jusqu' a nos jours,
peri ode dans laquelle il y a d' autres courants avec de nouvelles propositions
et de nouveaux philosophes.
Nous commencerons Ie travail avec une presentation de Ia pensee de la
generation de 1880, antecedent du positivisme; puis, une etude sur Ie
posltlVlsme argentin (1890-1920); enfin, les nouveaux courants
philosophiques qui sont apparus a partir de 1960 jusqu'a nos jours. Ce qu' on
vient de dire, c'est une synthese. Le schema est Ie suivant.
1. Antecedents philosophico-politiques de la "generation de 1880" comme
avance du courant positiviste.
2. Le positivisme en Argentine (1890-1920).
3. Spiritualisme, phenomenologie et philosophie de I'existence. Influences
des nouveaux courants philosophiques de I' Allemagne et de la France (1920-

4. Propositions des philosophies anti-metaphysiques: neo-positivisme,

logique, epistemologie, logique et philosophie du langage (surtout a partir
des annees 50).
5. Parallelement aux courants precedents, l'expression des courants
marxistes (dont leurs premiers representants correspondent aux premieres
decennies du siecle) et neo-marxistes, par l'influence convergente de Lukacs,
du marxisme italien (surtout Gramsci), du structuralisme fran<;ais (Althusser)
et de la premiere epoque de l'Ecole de Francfort (leur influence s'exer<;a a
partir de la fin des annees 50).
6. Expression parallele des courants qui s'interrogent sur la legitimite d'une
philosophie d' origine latino-americaine, qui provoque la decolonisation
philosophique, culturelle et politique de ces pays. (Des 1960 a 1975, il yeut
la plus grande mobilisation. Elle coYncida avec les courants latino-americains
de la "theologie de la liberation" et de la "pedagogie de la liberation").
(Interregne des 1976 a 1983, en Argentine, pour des raisons politiques).
Actuellement, Ie chemin des adeptes se manifeste dans la recherche et la
connaissance des differents aspects des cosmovisions et des problemes
philosophico-culture1s et politiques de la realite latino-americaine, mises
dans Ie contexte de l'historicite et de l'identite culturelle et nationale de ces
7. Actuellement, les courants philosophiques d' origine europeenne, ainsi
que ceux qui proviennent des Etats-Unis, maintiennent leur consistance dans
les propositions de diverses systematisations. La periode actuelle correspond
a une consolidation des courants precedents et a l'ouverture des theories
philosophiques provenant des pays importants, y compris les problemes de
poids dans les themes episremologiques, ethiques et socio-politiques. On les
observe d'une maniere speciale, dans les centres d'etudes superieures, dans
l' enseignement et les recherches universitaires et dans les autres activites de
communication, promotion et interdisciplinarite. Tous les courants
philosophiques du derniers tiers du 20e siecle sont presents, y compris la
confrontation entre "modernite" et "post-modernite".
Nous ferons maintenant une etude referentielle des differentes peri odes
indiquees ci-dessus.

II. La pensee philosophico-politique de la "generation de 1880"

D' une fa<;on generaIe, on peut affirmer qu' a la fin du 1ge siecle, les dirigeants
rendirent propice une reaffirmation de I' organisation nationale apres que
1'''Asamblea Constituyente de 1853" ait donne au pays une Constitution qui
favorisa Ia pacification definitive, l'unification interne et I'affirmation pleine
de l'autodetermination de l' Argentine comme pays libre et souverain.

A la fin du 1ge siecle et pendant les premieres decennies du 20c siecle, les
courants migratoires s'intensifierent, comme consequence des projets
politiques qui favorisaient la formation d'un pays avec une population
europeenne. La phrase "gouvemer, c'est peupler" de Juan Bautista Alberdi
(1810-1884) - auteur de Bases y puntos de partida para la organizaci6n
nacional de la Republica Argentina (1852) - se transforma en "gouvemer,
c' est enseigner" chez Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1811-1888), Ie principal
ideologue de la politique de l'enseignement, qui est utilisee dans Ie pays a
partir de cette cpoque et pendant les premieres decennies du 20e siecle.
La promulgation de la Loi 1420 de l'annee 1884 etablit que tous les
habitants du pays auront le droit de finir I'ecole primaire, laquelle sera
gratuite, la'ique et obligatoire. A cette epoque-Ia, la loi d'enseignement
universitaire, plus connue comme Loi Avellaneda, organisa et structura, d'un
point de vue institutionnel, l'enseignement superieur universitaire pris en
charge par l'Etat.
Ces importantes mesures du gourvemement contribuerent a consolider le
sentiment d'unite nationale dans un pays OU, comme consequence des
immigrations, i1 y avait en 1864 une population formee par 15% d'etrangers,
tandis qu'en 1914 Ie pourcentage d'etrangers atteignit 30%, dont 50%
habitaient a Buenos Aires.
Les flux migratoires procederent de differents pays: des Franc;ais (emigres
pour des raisons politiques dans les annees 1830 et 1851), des Nordiques et
des Anglais ; des Italiens et des Espagnols aussi ; plus tard, des Polonais et
d'autres petits groupes de Slaves; des Arabes (Syrie et Liban) ; des Juifs;
des Allemands, etc. Parmi ceux-ci, I'immigration espagnole et italienne fut la
plus nombreuse.
Parfois, on indique une phrase comme representative de la politique
economique, sociale, culturelle et educative des representants de la
"generation de 1880" : "europeaniser Ie pays et argentiniser les immigrants".
A cause de I' importance atteinte par I' enseignement, cette etape fut nommee
"normalismo" par quelques pedagogues argentins, grace a la grande
repercussion qui fut la creation de la premiere Ecole Normale de Sarmiento,
a Parana, en 1870. Les plus remarquables professeurs ayant une forte
formation positiviste firent partie de cette ecole.
Le modele du gouvemement s'inscrit dans Ie type du liberalisme politi que
et economique ayant com me base I'Europe. L' Argentine fut connue sur Ie
plan international comme "Ie grenier du monde" et a cette epoque-lii, elle
etablit des relations commerciaJes avec des pays europeens, mais
I' Angleterre fut le pays qui fit les echanges Jes plus importants.

III. Le positivisme en Argentine: 1890-1920

1. Presentation
D'apres Risieri Frondizi, Ie positivisme eut des caracteristiques differentes
dans les pays d'Amerique latine, ou les idees d'Auguste Comte (1798-1857)
et de Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) eurent beaucoup d'adeptes, mais avec une
proportion inegale. "D'une maniere generale, on peut affirmer que les idees
de Comte eurent un plus grand poids au Bresil, au Mexique et au Chili,
tandis que Spencer eut une plus grande influence en Argentine, en Uruguay
et a Cuba". (Frondizi Risieri et Gracia Jorge: El hombre y los valores en la
filosofia latinoamericana de siglo XX, Mexico, Fondo de Cultura
Econ6mica, 1974). n faut signaler que, apres les influences de Comte et de
Spencer, arriverent les theories philosophico-politiques de J. Stuart Mill. En
Argentine, apres 1900, il y eut aussi des influences du positivisme italien.
Le mot "positiviste" est employe dans un sens large. Pourtant, ses axes
referentiels sont l' agnosticisme de Spencer et de Comte. Ricaurte Soler
affirme que Ie positivisme argentin ne fut pas influence par Ie positivisme
sociologique de Durkheim. Ses themes fondamentaux sont en rapport avec
une orientation "naturaliste", denomination la plus adequate, d'apres ce
critere. Pourtant, il existe une forte tradition terminologique qui soutient Ie
nom "positivisme" dans l'historiographie hispano-americaine et argentine
(Ricaurte Soler: El positivismo argentino. Buenos Aires, Paid6s, 1968). Le
positivisme eut des expressions dans plusieurs domaines scientifiques
argentins: les sciences juridiques, la sociologie, la psychologie, la
paleontologie, la pedagogie, les sciences naturelles, l'historiographie, la
philosophie, etc.
Ce mouvement scientiste donna lieu a un phenomene complexe, apparu
dans differents domaines epistemologiques, avec des propositions originales
chez la plupart de ses representants. Ainsi, par exemple, dans Ie domaine de
la paleontologie, un des scientifiques les plus reconnus fut Florentino
Ameghino (1854-1911) qui fit connaitre sa propre theorie sur I' origine de
l'homme americain. En 1884 fut fonde Ie Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Ia
Plata (actuellement, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales et Museo de
l'Universidad Nacional) OU il Y a de precieux specimens sur l'origine dc la
vie, dont leur importance montre, a ce moment-la, I'influence de I'orientation
de la pen see de Darwin. Le rapport entre les sciences naturelles - surtout la
biologie - et les sciences sociales, constitue un evenement cle dans la pensee
positiviste argentine.
En outre, l'Universidad Nacional de La Plata, creee en 1906, demontre
l'influence de cette pensee philosophique d' origine scientifique avec la

creation de ses ecoles primaires et secondaires et avec l' organisation des

etudes universitaires.
Comme nous l' avons deja signale, Ie mouvement positiviste argentin est
purement "naturaliste-biologiste". En quelque sorte, ce fait influenc;a
quelques representants ayant une conception anthropologique qui soutenait
des concepts limitatifs et discriminatoires dans leurs propositions sur la race
et les ethnies, lesquelles agirent negativement sur la consideration des
habitants natifs du pays (et de I' Amerique latine) d' origine indigene. Ces
aspects furent la cause de critiques posterieures et justifiees.
D'apres quelques historiciens, la periode de l'expression du positivisme
s'etend des 1890 a 1910; d'autres I'dendent jusqu'a 1920. Sans aucun
doute, la decennie de 1920-1930 correspondit au declin definitif du
positivisme de Comte et de Spencer. Plusieurs decennies devront passer pour
arriver a un nouveau retour des courants philosophiques qui exalteront la
valeur des sciences et la deconsideration de la metaphysique. A la fin des
annees 20, en Europe, ces courants prirent Ie nom de "neo-positivisme" de
l'Ecole de Vienne et de I'Ecole de Berlin. L' epistemologie et la philosophie
du langage (surtout celle d'origine anglosaxonne) arriverent dans notre pays
plusieurs annees plus tard, dans un mouvement partage avec l'empirisme
logique. Avec celles-ci, les differentes tendances actuelles de I'analyse
philosophique ou philosophico-analytique peuvent etre placees a I'interieur
de ces deux ecoles.

2. Antecedent d'un autre courantfranfais

Parmi les penseurs qui anticiperent les nouvelles propositions philosophiques
dans notre pays, il yale penseur franc;ais Amedee Jacques (vers Ie milieu du
1ge siecle), representant de l' eclectisme spiritualiste de Victor Cousin,
courant philosophique qui influenc;a quelques pays latino-americains.
Jacques est I'auteur d'un Manuel de philosophie, en collaboration avec Jules
Simon et Emile Saisset, pubJie a Paris, en 1877 par Hachette ; il a ete traduit
en espagnol deux ans plus tard. L' ec1ectisme de Cousin fut peu developpe en
Argentine, surtout a cause du courant positiviste, posterieur dans Ie temps.

3. L'orientation pedagogique
Elle fut representee par un grand nombre d'intellectuels de I'enseignement,
lesquels partagerent les sujets centraux du positivisme avec des positions
moins extremes dans Ie domaine scientifique.
Dans cette orientation, on peut citer : Jose Marfa Torres (en rapport avec
l'ec1ectisme), Pedro Scalabrini, Francisco Berra, Alejandro Carb6, Rodolfo
Senet, Rodolfo Rivarola (plus pres du positivisme "spiritualiste" : en 1900, il
introduisit Critica de la razon pura de Kant a la Facultad de Filosoffa y

Letras de l'Universidad de Buenos Aires), Carlos N. Vergara (expression des

nouvelles experiences pedagogiques et avec 1'influence de Kraus) ; Leopoldo
Herrera; P. A. Pizzumo; Carlos Octavio Bunge; J. Alfredo Ferreira, parmi
A La Plata, capitale de la province de Buenos Aires, Ie pedagogue Dr
Victor Mercante nSalisa un remarquable travail de recherche. En 1922, il fut
le premier Doyen de la Facultad de Ciencias de la Educaci6n (actuellement,
Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educaci6n) de l'Universidad
Nacional de La Plata. La crisis de la pubertad y sus consecuencias
pedag6gicas (1918) fut une de ses principales ceuvres.

4. Les idees philosophiques

• Jose Ingenieros (1877-1928)
D'une part, il soutient un naturalisme philosophique qui a ses fondements
dans la biologie et refuse toute expression mecaniste. A son tour, il soutient
que l'experience ne peut pas etre consideree comme apprehension
sensorielle ; dans une etape superieure, elle se manifeste comme experience
de caractere metaphysique. En plus, les enonces scientifiques ne peuvent pas
etre opposes a l'experience. La metaphysique obtient un renouvellement
grace ala possibilite de l'enonciation des hypotheses "inexperentielles". Son
pricipal ouvrage sur ce sujet est Ideas relativas al porvenir de la filosofia
Un autre travail significatif est La evoluci6n de las ideas argentinas, 2 vol.
(1918-1920). Ses profondes convictions ethiques et socio-politiques
apparaissent dans des livres tels que El hombre mediocre (qui produisit une
forte repercussion par ses idees morales sur pJusieurs generations
d' Argentins et de Latino-americains) et Hacia una moral sin dogmas.
11 fonda Ia "Revista de Filosoffa" en 1914. Elle n'etait pas seulement un
moyen de divulgation pour les penseurs positivistes, mais - sous sa direction
- il favorisa les publications des representants du spiritualisme qui
commenc.;ait deja a avoir un espace significatif en Argentine.
• Jose Maria Ramos Mejia (1849-1914)
L'intensification sur I' axe "naturaliste-biologique" fit apparaltre de nouveaux
referents epistemologiques panni lesqueJs: l'analyse psychiatrique et ses
effets dans Ie domaine social. Ramos Mejia realisa des etudes sociologiques
sur Ie role joue par Ia foule en tant qu'expression du peuple qui exposait ses
desirs et ses interets a travers l'ideologie apportee en Argentine par Ia grande
force de l'immigration europeenne. D'une part, les ideologues socialistes et
anarchistes; d'autre part, la nouvelle configuration politique des secteurs
populaires (plusieurs d'entre eux concentres dans Ia Uni6n Civica Radical),

ils s'exprimerent dans les espaces culturels, syndicalistes et ouvriers de cette

• Carlos Octavio Bunge (1875-1918)
Son ~uvre ne correspond pas seulement au plan philosophique mais s'etend
a d'autres domaines de l'epistemologie positiviste : la psychologie, Ie droit et
I' enseignement.
• Jose Nicolas Matienzo (1898-1938)
Connu par ses ~uvres et sa profession d'enseignant a l'Universidad de
Buenos Aires, il a incorpore la pensee de J. Stuart Mill a sa chaire de logique.
n fut Doyen de la Facultad de Ciencias Jurfdicas y Sociales de l'Universidad
N acional de La Plata.
• Anibal Ponce (1898-1938)
Disciple d'Ingenieros. Son orientation positiviste va etre remplacee par la
pensee marxiste qui apparaitra surtout dans les ~uvres pedagogiques.
• Agustin Alvarez (1857-1914)
Homme d' etat, critique, professeur universitaire et auteur d' essais prestigieux
sur des sujets moraux, pedagogiques et politiques de l' Amerique latine.
• Le Krausisme
Courant du Rio de la Plata qui se manifesta dans Ie domaine politique et
pedagogique. n eut des origines dans I'orientation de la "generation del 837"
(Echeverria, Alberdi, etc.) mais il se consolide dans une peri ode posterieure,
a la fin du 1ge sieele. n influen<;;a aussi les politiciens argentins de l' epoque.
Le krausisme favorisa des facteurs rationalistes sur un plan ethique et
favorisa un pantheisme qui s'appuyait sur la vie interieure de l'individu. TI
arriva au pays a travers la pen see de l' espagnol F. Giner de Los Rfos (1839-

IV. La philosophie en Argentine: 1920-1960

1. Le spiritualisme et d'autres influences de l'Allemagne et de La France

Ce mouvement philosophique apparait comme une reaction contre Ie
positivisme de Comte et de Spencer, qui etait vivant dans quelques secteurs
de l'intellectualisme argentin, malgre son deelin absolu en Europe. La plus
grande influence du spiritualisme s' etend de 1920 jusqu' au debut de 1960.
D'une part, face a certaines positions positivistes qui avaient cherche des
points de co·incidence avec les propositions spiritualistes ou metaphysiques
(c'est Ie cas de la pensee d'Ingenieros), et d'autre part, a cause du
rapprochement des penseurs positivistes au krausisme, vont surgir des
indices de changements importants dans la philosophie de notre pays. TIs
venaient surtout de la philosophie allemande (Dilthey, Simmel, Cohen,
Cassirer, Brentano, Windelband, Rickert et Max Scheler). Dans Ie domaine

de l'enseignement, on commence a connaitre l'ouvrage des pedagogues

allemands (Kerchenteiner, Spranger et Litt).
En Argentine, un des divulgateurs de la nouvelle pIeiade des philosophes
allemands fut Ortega y Gasset. Pendant ses voyages a Buenos Aires en 1916,
il fit un cours sur la pensee de Kant et etablit un contact intellectuel avec les
jeunes etudiants de la Facultad de Filosoffa y Letras de Buenos Aires.
Pendant son voyage en 1928, Ie philosophe espagnol continue a divulguer les
systemes philosophiques allemands tels que ceux de Husserl, Heidegger et
Nicolai Hartmann. De la meme maniere, il reaffmne une etroite
communication avec les secteurs des penseurs allemands. La "Revista de
Occidente" dirigee par Ortega y Gasset constitue un des moyens de
divulgation des nouveautes bibliographiques, des congres et des rencontres
Du point de vue didactique, la creation de la chaire de "Introducci6n a la
ftlosoffa" a partir de 1919, a la Facultad de Filosoffa y Letras de Buenos
Aires, puis, dans presque toutes les facultes de philosophie du pays,
contribua a initier les nouveaux etudiants aux problematiques de la pensee
philosophique de cette epoque-Ia.
Le spiritualisme ne fut pas Ie seul courant de cette periode. La
phenomenologie eut une grande repercussion dans les etudes philosophiques,
a partir des propositions de Brentano et des reuvres de son fondateur Edmund
La philosophie de l'existence (surtout chez Heidegger, dans Ser y tiempo)
eut aussi une tres forte signification, de 1940 a 1960. D' autres philosophes de
l'existence tels que Jaspers, Marcel et Sartre furent aussi etudies.
En plus de la philosophie allemande, la philo sophie fran<;aise atteignit
progressivement une signification importante, surtout a cause de
I' extraordinaire force du spiritualisme de Bergson et de son style litteraire
creatif. D'autres philosophes fran<;ais sont etudies: Blondel, Lavalle et Le
Les philosophes catholiques fran<;ais Gilson et Maritain exercerent une
influence remarquable de 1940 a 1960, ainsi que d'autres penseurs belges,
notamment ceux de Louvain.

2. Les premiers penseurs spiritualistes argentins

• Alejandro Kom (1860-1936)
Ce penseur arrive a la philosophie apres une trajectoire reconnue comme
medecin psychiatre. n fut un critique du courant positiviste, pas autant que
Coriolano Alberini. Sa formation philosophique eut comme base les etudes
des philosophes allemands teis que Kant et Dilthey, Ius en allemand, leur
langue d' origine. n fut aussi influence par Bergson. Comme le philosophe

franc;ais, Korn met en relief la force dynamique spirituelle de 1'homme,

nommee "liberte creatrice". Ces etudes constituent l' origine de la plus
importante de ses reuvres - qui porte ce titre - publiee en 1922. Son
axiologie eut comme base 1'action de l'homme qui, grace a sa volonte, cree
une culture comme expression de liberte.
En ce qui concerne la condition universelle de la philosophie, il soutint que
sa direction vers la totalite des etres ne lui ferme pas la possibilite de creer
des espaces particuliers de la pensee qui refletent les propres realites d'une
region ou d'une nation. De la, la possibilite d'une pensee philosopbique
argentine. Tel le cas d'Ingenieros, mais a partir d'une perspective
spiritualiste, il etudia Ie deroulement des idees dans notre pays, dans son
reuvre Influencias filosoficas en la evolucion nacional, dont la premiere
partie commenc;a a etre editee en 1916.
• Coriolano Alberini (1886-1960)
Ce philosophe argentin se distingua dans plusieurs domaines : a) sa vocation
d' enseignant ; b) sa trajectoire en tant que doyen de la Facultad de Filosoffa y
Letras de l'Universidad de Buenos Aires, poste qu'il occupa pendant trois
peri odes alternees et qui rend notable sa fonction academique, de 1928 a
1940; c) sa condition d'auteur d'ouvrages philosophiques et d) ses
conferences sur la situation de la pensee philosophique argentine, realisees en
1927 et en 1930, a la Sorbonne (Paris) et dans les universites allemandes de
Berlin, Leipzig et Hambourg. Le resultat de ces voyages, c'est son reuvre sur
l'influence de la philosopbie allemande en Argentine (1 ere edition Berlin,
1930). 11 fut un opposant controverse au positivisme ; face a ce courant, il
soutint l'apparition d'une "culture philosophique pure" : Ie spiritualisme.
• Alfredo Francheschi (1882-1942)
Professeur a l'Universidad Nacional de La Plata; c'est un des premiers
penseurs qui s'appliqua aux sujets metaphysiques et gnoseologiques. Une de
ses principales reuvres, c' est Ensayo sobre la teorfa del conocimiento (1925).
• Alberto Rouges (1880-1945)
11 projeta sa remarquable activite philosophique des les etudes juridiques
faites a I'Universidad de Buenos Aires jusqu'a sa profession academique et
d'enseignant a l'Universidad de Tucuman. Auteur d'un livre reconnu
intellectuellement et de nette formation spiritualiste : Las jerarquias del ser y
la etemidad (1943).

3. Les etudes esthetiques

• Juan Luis Guerrero (1896-1956)
11 etudia differents plans de l'activite de la pensee et de l'activite du sujet:
ces plans reunissent des problemes ontologiques et esthetiques. Son livre
Estetica operatoria en sus tres dimensiones (1956), en 3 volumes, constitue

une precieuse recherche sur les moments qui interviennent dans la realisation
des valeurs de la beaute. En plus, son enquete philosophique releve des sujets
anthropologiques et historico-culturels.
• Emilio Estiu (1914-1984)
Meme si son travail de recherche et d' enseignement universitaire deborde Ie
sujet estMtique, c' est ce dernier qui definit sa production philosophique.
Ses recherches sur l'a:uvre des dramaturges contemporains (parmi lesquels
no us citons Pirandello et Ionesco) revelent les caracteres significatifs de sa
conception esthetique. En plus, c' est l' auteur de deux ouvrages reconnus au
plan historique de la philosophie: Del arte a la historia en la filosofia
moderna et De la vida a la existencia en la filosofia contemporanea. En
outre, il fut un eminent traducteur en espagnol des ouvrages des philosophes
allemands contemporains. Sa tache d' enseignant et de chercheur eut lieu en
tant que professeur et directeur du Departamento de Filosoffa de la Facultad
de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educaci6n de l'Universidad Nacional de
La Plata.

4. Anthropologie philosophique et esthetique

• Francisco Romero (1891-1962)
C'est une des personnalites de la philosophie argentine. Une de ses a:uvres
les plus completes, c'est Historia de la filosofia moderna (1959). Sa vaste
production philosophique aborda particulierement les sujets axiologiques et
anthropologiques, avec les influences des philosophies de Scheier et de
Nicolai Hartmann. Ces optiques sont exprimees dans son livre Ie plus connu
Teoria del hombre (1952) qui presente une proposition originale sur ce sujet-
lao D' autres a:uvres d'interet sont: Filosofia de la persona (1938) et El
hombre y la cultura (1950). Pour des raisons politiques, il dut abandonner les
chaires universitaires de 1946 a 1955. n soutint des rapports permanents avec
d' autres penseurs de l' Amerique latine et des Etats-Unis, raison pour laquelle
ses a:uvres furent connues et etudiees dans les universites et centres d'etudes
philosophiques de ces differents pays. Son livre Sabre la filosofia en America
(1952) se rapporte a ce sujet. En plus, il a des travaux sur des penseurs
contemporains (Alejandro Korn, Ortega y Gasset parmi d'autres).
• Risieri Frondizi ( 191 0-1979)
Un de ses premiers ouvrages, c' est El punta de partida del filosofar (1945).
Dans son livre Que son los valores (1962), il presente la polemique entre
objectivite et subjectivite axiologique et soutient ace sujet sa propre position.
En plus, il s'interessa a la pen see philosophique des penseurs de I' Amerique
latine dans EI hombre y los valores en la filosofia latinoamericana del siglo
XX (1974, en collaboration). Comme dans Ie cas de Romero, il abandonna
ses chaires universitaires pour des raisons politiques. II enseigna dans les

universites des Etats-Unis. A son retour, i1 fut Recteur de I'Universidad de

Buenos Aires. La plus significative de ses reuvres de la derniere periode de
sa production bibliographique est Introducci6n a los problemas
jundamentales del hombre (1977), OU i1 exprime sa pensee ethique.

5. Sujets de metaphysique
• Anfbal Sanchez Reulet
n eut une longue trajectoire aux Etats-Unis. Son activire philosophique
commenc;a a I'Universidad Nacional de Tucuman ou il publia Rafz y destino
de la filosofia (1942). n etudia l'histoire de la pensee de l' Amerique
hispanophone, de meme que d'autres textes sur Korn, Unamuno et Ortega y
Gasset. Sa position philosophique a de tres nettes orientations
metaphysiques: des themes de l'etre, de la valeur, de l'existence et de la
• Rafael Virasoro
La pensee allemande representee par HusserI, N. Hartmann et Scheler exerc;a
une profonde influence sur sa formation philosophique, penchee vers les
problemes ethiques et metaphysiques. n fut professeur a I'Universidad
Nacional del Litoral (Santa Fe) ou il publia ses reuvres principales.
• Angel Vassallo
Professeur aux universites de Buenos Aires et de La Plata. Sa formation
metaphysique rec;ut non seulement l'influence allemande, mais aussi celle
des penseurs franc;ais de differentes periodes (Descartes, Pascal, Blondel,
Marcel). Ses reuvres principales sont Elogio de la vigilia (1939, edition
augmenree en 1950) et ~Que es lafilosofia ? (1954)
• Luis Farre
n fut professeur aux universites de Tucuman et de La Plata. Applique aux
problemes d' anthropologie philosophique, il consacra aussi ses recherches a
la philosophie de la religion et a la pensee argentine actuelle. Parmi ses
reuvres, nous trouvons : Hombre y libertad (1972); Antropologfa filos6fica
(1974) et La filosofia en Argentina (1981), cette derniere en collaboration.
• Eugenio Pucciarelli
Professeur aux universites de Tucuman, de La Plata et de Buenos Aires. Les
sujets concernant l'etre, la valeur et, d'une maniere particuliere, Ie temps,
constituent les aspects les plus significatifs de sa production philosophique.
Ses premiers ecrits furent publies en 1938. A partir de ce moment-la, ses
recherches se poursuivent en une pleiade d'etudes qui s'interessent a la
probIematique de l'histoire de la philosophie a travers les theories et les
philosophes les plus brillants.

6. Histoire, philosophie et humanisme

• Rodolfo Mondolfo (1877-1976)
D'origine italienne, il etudia et travailla comme professeur aux universites de
Florence, de Turin et de Milan. A cause de son opposition au fascisme, il
emigra vers l' Argentine en 1938; il fut professeur aux universites de Cordoba
et de Tucuman. Sa production bibliographique est vaste et excelle dans les
sujets d'histoire de la philosophie (surtout la pensee grecque, l'epoque
modeme et la philosophie politique de Marx). lis manifestent non seulement
sa rigoureuse formation intellectuelle mais aussi ses profondes convictions
humanistes, projetees aux plans social et politique. Sa pensee se caracterisa
par une grande preoccupation pour l'histoire des idees et des creations
culturelles de l'homme, ou la dynamique de la relation theorie-"praxis"
s'oppose a un mecanisme qui repond a une stratification erronee des
creations humaines. Plus de 40 travaux philosophiques affirment son prestige
et la reconnaissance que tous les penseurs argentins eprouvent envers son

7. Philosophie et existence
• Vicente Fatone (1903-1962)
Meme si ce penseur excella aussi par ses recherches sur la philosophie de
l'Inde (El budismo nihilista. Introduccion al conocimiento de la filosofta de
la India (1942)), ses reuvres sur la philo sophie de l'existence Ie placent parmi
les premiers chercheurs sur ce sujet dans notre pays. li realisa plusieurs
recherches sur cette pensee: El existencialismo y la libertad creadora (1948)
et La existencia humana y sus filosofos (1953) ou il evoque Sartre. li fut
professeur dans quelques universites nationales.
• Miguel Angel Virasoro (1900-1966)
Professeur a l'Universidad de Buenos Aires, ses idees porterent sur differents
aspects de l'existence humaine, sous l'influence d'autres philosophes
existentiels, la plupart de formation chretienne (La libertad, la existencia y el
ser, 1932).
• Carlos Astrada ( 1874-1970)
Trois sujets tres importants constituent la problematique de sa production
philosophique: la pensee existentielle de Heidegger; la philosophie
dialectique dans les propositions de Hegel et de Marx et l'optique historico-
culturelle qui configura un style dans Ie traitement des sujets sociaux,
exprimes dans Ie contexte historique et dans sa preoccupation pour l'homme
argentino Penseur actif, il forge a une proposition philosophique preoccupee
par l'origine existentielle et dynamisee par Ie jeu dialectique de ses idees. En
correspondance avec les horizons signales, nous pouvons citer trois livres de

sa nombreuse production bibliographique : El juego existencial, Hegel y la

Dialectica et El mito gaucho.

8. De la philosophie modeme jusqu'aux sujets historico-humanistes

• Rodolfo M. Agoglia (1920-1985)
Deux fois doyen a la Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educaci6n
de l'Universidad Nacional de La Plata et recteur de la meme universite
(1973) ou il fut aussi professeur. Pendant son exil de plusieurs annees, pour
des raisons politiques, il fut professeur ala Pontificia Universidad Cat6lica
de Ecuador. Avec Ie retour de la democratie (1983) en Argentine, il fut
nomme professeur a l'Universidad de Buenos Aires. Son travail se centra sur
la problematique de l'homme en tant que mediateur historique dans Ie
deroulement dialectique de la philosophie. n centra ses recherches sur la
cosmovision moderne - surtout la periode de la Renaissance - pour
s' exprimer dans une philosophie qui laisse de cote la recherche
contemplative de la verite et se raffermit dans la "praxis", ayant comme base
deux coordonnees de sa pensee: l'humanisme et l'histoire. Ses deux derniers
ouvrages furent: Sentido y trayectoria de la filosofia moderna (1979) et
Conciencia hist6rica y tiempo hist6rico (1980).

9. Philosophie socio-politique. Philosophie du droit. Philosophie de

Raul A. Orgaz excella sur Ie terrain de la pensee socio-politique des annees
30. Une de ses reuvres la plus remarquable est: La ciencia social
contemporanea, figuras, doctrinas, instituciones (1932).
Dans les annees 40, l'reuvre de Carlos Cossio est tres importante dans Ie
domaine de la philosophie du droit: La teoria egol6gica del derecho y el
concepto juridico de libertad (1944); et aussi celle d'Enrique Aftali6n :
Critica al saber de los juristas (1951), tandis que dans les annees 50
jusqu'aux annees 70 est remarquable l'reuvre d'Ambrosio Gioja (Ideas para
unafilosofia del derecho, 2 volumes, 1973).
Les sujets de Ia philosophie de l'histoire furent analyses par Leon
Dujovne, professeur a l'Universidad de Buenos Aires. Ses reuvres
principales aborderent Ies peri odes suivantes: l' Antiquite et Ie Moyen Age,
Ies 16e , 17e, 18e siecles et a partir de la pensee de Nietzsche jusqu'a celle de
Toynbee (1959). n fit, en plus, une recherche historique sur Ia pensee juive.

10. Philosophie de I'education

Dans ce domaine philosophique, dans Ies annees 30, Saul Taborda (1885-
1944) fut un des penseurs Ies plus importants. Ses deux reuvres principales
sont : Investigaciones pedag6gicas (1930) et La psicologia y La pedagogfa

(1939). Dans la premiere, il fait une analyse de l'education argentine dans ses
perspectives culturelles, sociales, politiques et regionales.
Un autre penseur sur l' education fut Alfredo Calcagno, disciple et
continuateur de l'reuvre pedagogiques de Victor Mercante, avec qui il se
forma dans Ie courant positiviste ci-dessus mentionne. n accomplit des
activites academiques et d' enseignant et en tant que directeur del
Departamento de Ciencias de la Educaci6n. Plus tard, il fut doyen de la
Facultad de Humanidades et, en plus, recteur de l'Universidad Nacional de
La Plata (1945).
L'reuvre pedagogique de Juan Mantovani (1898-1962) se caracterisa par
sa centralisation au plan spiritualiste. n fut professeur a Buenos Aires et a
I'Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Ses reuvres les plus representatives
sont : Educaci6n y vida et La educaci6n y sus tres problemas.
Juan Cassani subit l'influence de la pedagogie italienne (Gentile) tandis
que Juan P. Ramos continue la pensee culturelle des pedagogues allemands
(Diltheyet Spranger).

V. La philosophie en Argentine: 1960-1990

1. Nouvelles influences europeennes et des Etats-Unis

Depuis la fin des annees 50 arriverent dans Ie pays de nouveaux courants
philosophiques qui sont rapidement absorbes par les intellectuels argentins,
au niveau institutionnel universitaire et aussi dans les centres de recherches
philosophiques, dans les publications, les journaux et les maisons d' edition.
I. Une de ces influences decisives vint du structuralisme fran~ais, de
l'anthropologue Claude Levi-Strauss. Ses travaux envahirent les differents
domaines des sciences de l'homme et entrerent dans la philosophie, a travers
differentes optiques. La plus importante fut celle de Louis Althusser et ses
nouvelles interpretations de I' reuvre de Marx. n faut dire que, dans les
annees 80, reapparait avec force Ie post-structuralisme, surtout dans les
travaux de Foucault, de Deleuze et de Lacan.
II. Sur Ie plan epistemologique, de la logique et de la philo sophie du
langage, les premieres influences furent celles du neo-positivisme logique
CEcoles de Vienne et de Berlin), I'empirisme logique (Russell), la theorie de
Popper, I'analyse philosophique, les propositions sur les theories
scientifiques de von Wright et de Hempel, aussi bien que les influences des
courants des Etats-Unis, comme c'est Ie cas, parmi d'autres, de Kuhn. Ces
influences sont encore actuelles dans les differentes orientations
epistemologiques de la philosophie argentine.
III. Sur I'horizon de la philosophie pratique morale et de la philosophie
socio-politique, depuis la moitie du siecle arriverent des influences de

differents courants philosophiques. Parmi ceux-ci, nous pouvons mentionner

la ''theorie critique" cEcole de Francfort, l ere epoque) aussi bien que d'autres
penseurs marxistes (Lukacs et Gramsci parmi d'autres). Pourtant, depuis la
fm des annres 60, ces theories r~urent un accueil nuance pour des raisons
politiques. A partir du retour de la democratie, nous avons repris Ie chemin
du pluralisme ideologique. De nos jours, sur Ie plan ethique, en plus des
philosophes neo-marxistes et des philosophes analytiques deja mentionnes,
nous etudions quelques orientations de la pensee, parmi lesquelles il faut citer
les philosophies de Ricreur, de Habermas et d' Apel.
N. D'autre part, les etudes c1assiques, les histoires de la philosophie, les
sujets metaphysiques, gnoseologiques, esthetiques et anthropologiques
continuent a etre hierarchises et r~oivent les apports des penseurs et des
critiques europrens, dans chaque specialite. Un des philosophes de la plus
grande influence est Paul Ricreur, mentionne ci-dessus.
V. Dans les dernieres annres eut un grand poids dans differents domaines
de la culture argentine - et surtout, dans Ie cadre de la philosophie - la
polemique "modernite versus post-modernite". Ainsi, quelques representants
europeens de ce demier courant visiterent Ie pays (Vattirno, Baudrillard,
parmi d'autres). Les penseurs argentins qui maintiennent l'actualite d'une
philosophie d' origine historico-culturelle pour l' Amerique latine, refusent
generalement la polemique "modernite - post-modernite", parce qu'ils la
considerent comme une nouvelle importation ideologique et comme une
colonisation culturelle. D' autres secteurs la refusent en faveur de la
cosmovision rationnelle de la modernite.

2. Epistemologie, logique et philosophie du tangage

• Armando Asti Vera
Professeur aux universites de Buenos Aires et de La Plata. Ses reuvres
principales dans Ie domaine de l'epistemologie sont George BooLe, precursor
de La L6gica simb6Lica (1968) et Fundamentos de filosofia de La ciencia
• Mario Bunge
Son travail scientifique commen~a a Buenos Aires en tant que professeur a
l'universite locale et continua aux Etats-Unis et au Canada depuis quelques
annees. Directeur de la Library Exact Philosophy of Science Unit, it a une
chaire a McGill University (Montreal). Sa production epistemologique est
tres vaste et reconnue au niveau international. Nous citons : Causalidad, La
investigaci6n cientifica, Seudociencia e ideoLogia, Racionalidad y realidad,
parmi d'autres.

• Gregorio Klimovsky
Les sujets de logique, de philosopbie du langage, de methodologie des
sciences et d' epistemologie sont developpes chez ce philosophe, un des plus
remarquables representants, avec une longue et prestigieuse trajectoire dans
ces problematiques. Chercheur et professeur universitaire a La Plata et a
Buenos Aires, directeur des cours de specialisation, son cruvre ecrite est
publiee dans des revues nationales et intemationales specialisees.
• Eduardo Rabossi
Representant de la philosopbie analytique, membre fondateur de la Sociedad
Argentina de Amilisis Filosofico, professeur universitaire a La Plata, a
Buenos Aires et a Caracas (Venezuela), ses travaux comme chercheur
portent sur des sujets de son domaine. Dne de ses cruvres la plus connue:
Analisis filos6fico, 16gica y metafisica (1975).
• Felix Gustavo Schuster
Chercheur, professeur universitaire a La Plata et a Buenos Aires, son travail
epistemologique est connu dans la communaute scientifique de notre pays et
de l' etranger. Parmi ses cruvres les plus recentes : Explicaci6n y predicci6n
(1986) et El metodo en las ciencias sociales (1992).

D'autres penseurs remarquables sur des sujets logiques et de la philosophie

du langage - bien qu'ils aient des optiques heterogenes - sont les suivants :
Manuel Comesafia, Eduardo Flischman, Augusto Furlan, Rodolfo Gaeta,
Carlos Lungarzo, Alberto Moreno, Hector Llambfas, Julio Colacilli de Muro,
O. Naishtat, Raul Orayen, Andres Raggio, Jorge Roetti et Tomas Moro
Simpson, parmi d' autres.

3. La continuite dans Tes etudes de metaphysique, de gnoseoTogie et

d'histoire de Ta philosophie
• Adolfo P. Carpio
Professeur aux universites del Litoral (Rosario), de San Juan de Puerto Rico
et de Buenos Aires. Son principal ouvrage philosophique etudie la
problematique de la verite et sa place dans l'histoire de la philosophie : El
sentido de la historia de la filosofia (1977). II soutient, face a I' anarchie
apparente des systemes philosophiques, I'exigence d'un retour a la question
de Heidegger sur la comprehension de l' etre et son interpretation, a partir de
la temporalite de I'existence. Principios de filosofia (1974) constitue une
cruvre d'introduction a Ia pen see historico-problematique d'Occident (depuis
les Grecs jusqu' a Heidegger).

• Conrado Eggers-Lan
Professeur a l'universite de Buenos Aires. Son travail philosophique se
projeta vers differents themes: philosophie de l' Antiquite, sujets religieux et
philosophie politique.
• Ezequiel de Olaso
Chercheur et professeur aux universites de La Plata et de Buenos Aires. n se
specialisa en gnoseologie et en philosophie modeme. n mena des recherches
sur la philo sophie de Leibniz.
• Arturo Garda Astrada
Professeur a l'universite de Cordoba n excella dans Ie do maine de la
metaphysique et dans l'anthropologie philosophique.
• Andres Mercado Vera
Professeur a l'universite de Buenos Aires, il se fit remarquer par son activit6
d'enseignant et de chercheur.
• Narciso Pousa
Professeur a l'universite de La Plata, sa formation dans des sujets
metaphysiques et anthropologiques s'est orientee ensuite vers la philosophie
contemporaine, aussi bien que vers des problemes esthetico-litteraires.
• Orlando Pugliese
Professeur aux universites de La Plata et de Buenos Aires. n travaille comme
chercheur dans Ie domaine de la philosophie hispano-americaine a Berlin.
Son activite philosophique s' oriente vers des themes de la philosophie
• Hernan Zucchi
Professeur a l'universite de Tucuman. n se specialisa dans des sujets de
philosophie de l' Antiquite et d'anthropologie philosophique.

Actuellement un nombre important de chercheurs universitaires de la

nouvelle generation trouve une place remarquable dans Ie domaine de la
philosophie. Parmi ceux-ci nous citons : Daniel Brauer, Mario HeIer, Julio C.
Moran, Guillermo Ranea et Roberto Walton.

4. Les etudes esthetiques

• Jacobo Kogan
Professeur a l'universite de Buenos Aires. n se specialisa en philosophie de
I'art et en esthetique, surtout dans les peri odes modeme (Kant, Schelling,
Hegel) et contemporaine (Whitehead, Heidegger). Ses reuvres principales :
Ellenguaje del arte et Arte y metafisica (1971 ).

• Mario A. Presas
Chercheur et professeur universitaire a La Plata et a Buenos Aires. Son
reuvre philosophique peut etre envisagee sous deux angles de specialisation :
d'une part, ses recherches sur la philosophie de HusserI dans ses differentes
periodes et perspectives; d'autre part, ses travaux sur l'estMtique et
l'approfondissement dans ce domaine. n publia, en plus, des etudes sur des
philosophes de l'existence (Marcel et Jaspers).

5. La philosophie pratique morale

• Osvaldo Guariglia
Chercheur et professeur a La Plata et a Buenos Aires. Ses premieres
recherches porterent sur la philosophie hellenique (Aristote en particulier).
Apres il realisa des etudes sur la philo sophie pratique morale et politique
(Kant, Hegel, Marx). n se specialisa dans la philosophie de Habermas.
Actuellement il est president de l' Asociaci6n Filos6fica de la Republica
Argentina. Ses reuvres principales : Ideologfa, verdad y legitimaci6n (1 ere
edition, 1986, 2eme edition, augmentee en 1993); Etica y polftica segUn
Arist6teles (1992).
• Jose Alberto Mainetti
nest professeur en philo sophie et aussi docteur en medecine. Professeur a
l'universite de La Plata, c'est Ie directeur de l'Instituto de Estudios Medicos
y Antropol6gicos de la Facultad de Medicina, a la meme universite. n se
specialisa en bio-ethique.
• Ricardo G. Maliandi
Chercheur et professeur aux universites de La Plata et de Buenos Aires. Ses
travaux s'orientent vers les themes de la philosophie morale. Ses premieres
reuvres se rapportent it l'ontologie et it l'axiologie (Scheler et N. Hartmann).
Ensuite, il fit des recherches sur des sujet ethiques, specialement dans la
pensee de Karl-Otto Apel. il est directeur de l'Instituto de Investigaciones
Eticas "Risieri Frondizi" (Buenos Aires). Parmi ses reuvres: Etica:
conceptos y problemas (1991), Transformaci6n y sfntesis (1991), Cultura y
conflicto (1984).

Dans une probIematique de recherche concernant aussi la pen see d' Apel,
nous trouvons Ie penseur Julio de Zan.

6. Le contexte historico-culturel dans la philosophie argentine et latino-

• Rodolfo Kusch
Son reuvre philosophique trouve ses racines dans la problematique culturelle,
ethnique et socio-historique de l'histoire latino-americaine. Le centre de ses

recherches tourne autour de la cosmovision et de la realite culturelle et

politique de ces pays (America profunda, 1962).

Dans une orientation de pensee qui, d'une certaine maniere, prolonge et

approfondit la position arnericaniste de Kusch, nous pouvons citer Enrique
Dussel (Para una filosofia de la liberacion latinoamericana, 2 vol.) et Juan
Carlos Scanonne.
• Arturo Andres Roig
Specialiste en pbilosopbie latino-arnericaine, professeur et chercheur a
l'universite de Cuyo (Mendoza). Ses longues annees d'exil dans des pays de
l' Amerique latine (Mexique, Equateur, parmi d'autres), lui permirent une
experience particuliere des differentes cosmovisions latino-arnericaines
(entrelacement des racines hispaniques et indigenes) projetees vers
l'ouverture face aux dominations politiques et culturelles. L'analyse de
l'heterogeneite dans l'ourdissage des symbolisations culturelles de ces
peuples provoquerent de nouvelles perspectives d'etude. n mene une
reflexion critique permanente sur Ie discours politique et social au s'actualise
I' histoire des idees d' Amerique latine.
• Diego F. Pro
Professeur aux universites de Tucuman et de Cuyo (Mendoza) et directeur
durant de nombreuses annees de l'Instituto de Historia del Pensamiento
Argentino (Cuyo). Son travail philosopbique s' orienta vers les recherches sur
des penseurs celebres (Coriolano Alberini, 1960; Rodolfo Mondolfo,

Les penseurs suivants appartiennent aux nouvelles generations:

• Hugo Biagini
Professeur universitaire a La Plata et a Buenos Aires. Son reuvre
philosophique se specialise dans la pensee argentine et latino-arnericaine.
(Educacion y progreso, 1986; Filosofia americana e identidad, 1989;
Historia ideologica y poder social, 1992).
• Oscar Tenin
Professeur aux universites de Buenos Aires, de La Plata et de Quilmes et
chercheur dans differentes peri odes de la pensee argentine. Ses reuvres
principales sont : Jose Ingenieros (1986) ; Positivismo y nacion en Argentina

7. La philosophie socio-politique. Philosophie du droit. Philosophie de

• Enrique Marf
Specialiste en philosophie socio-politique et en philosophie du droit, il est
professeur al'Universidad de Buenos Aires.
n s'interesse aux sujets epistemologiques a partir d'une projection sociale
et politique. Parmi ses reuvres nous remarquons Elementos de epistemiologia
comparada (1990).
• Jose Sazbon
Specialiste en philosophie socio-politique, professeur aux universites
nationales de La Plata et de Buenos Aires. n conduit ses investigations sur Ie
structuralisme,le post-structuralisme et Ie marxisme.

En philo sophie du droit, les penseurs les plus representatifs sont : Carlos
Alchourr6n, Eugenio Bulygin et Carlos S. Nino, professeurs et chercheurs a
l'Universidad de Buenos Aires.
En philosophie de l'histoire nous citons Victor Massuh, professeur a
l'Universidad Nacional de Tucuman (Sentido y fin de la historia, 1963; La
Argentina como sentimiento, 1982).

8. Philosophie de l'education. Enseignement de la philosophie

• Ricardo Nassif (1924-1984)
Professeur aux universites de La Plata et de Tucuman, il developpa sa plus
grande influence pedagogique et academique dans cette demiere institution.
n mit en reuvre une vision sociale et historique des sciences de I' education.
Ses reuvres principales furent: Pedagogia general (1958) ; Pedagogia en
nuestro tiempo (1963) et Teoria de la educaci6n (1979).
• Jose Marfa Lunazzi
Professeur a l'Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Sa carriere academique Ie
place parmi les representants d'une orientation pedagogique caracterisee par
sa defense de la democratie et des droits de l'homme.
• AdeLmo Montenegro
Professeur a I'Universidad Nacional de C6rdoba, il s'interessa aux aspects
historico-politiques de I'enseignement argentin dans ce siecle et aux sujets
d'anthropologie de I'education (La crisis del hombre y de La educaci6n,
• Gustavo F. Cirigliano
Professeur aux universites de Entre Rios, de Buenos Aires et de La Plata et,
au Venezuela, a l'Universidad de Zulia. Ses publications aborderent des
sujets de philosophie de l'education sur les plans anthropologiques et socio-

culturels. Ses ceuvres les plus connues sont: FiLosofia de La educaci6n,

Educaci6n y futuro et Juicio a La escuela.
• Guillermo ObioLs
Ii s'interessa a l'enseignement de la philosophie. Professeur aux universites
de La Plata et de Buenos Aires. Ses ceuvres principales sont : La filosofia y eL
fiLosofar (1993), en collaboration; Postmodernidad, adoLescencia y escuela
secundaria (1992), en collaboration.

VI. L'activite permanente de la pensee chretienne

La pensee philosophique chretienne a toujours tenu une place significative
dans la philosophie argentine. Au 20e sieele son rOle s' est 6largi,
premierement, a partir du declin du positivisme et avec l'arrivee des
influences du spiritual is me europeen (surtout a partir de 1930). Ensuite,
comme consequence de la Loi appelee "d'enseignement libre", promulguee
en 1958, on autorisa la creation des universites privees, ce qui favorisa la
creation de carrieres de philosophie dans les universites catholiques.
Un grand nombre de penseurs chretiens furent aussi des professeurs dans
des universites nationales, durant differentes periodes historiques. Une
recherche sur la pensee philosophico-chretienne depasse les limites de ce
travail. En consequence, nous ne citerons que quelques representants:
Guillermo Blanco, Juan Boizan, Tomas Casares, A. Gonzalo Casas, J. A.
Casaub6n, Alberto Caturelli, Nimio de Anqufn, Jose M. de Estrada, Octavio
Derisi, Raul Echauri, F. Garda Bazan, J. R. Garda Venturini, Hector
Mandrioni, J. Menvielle, G. Ponferrada, Ismael Quiles, J. Seibold, Juan
Sepich, E. Sosa Lopez y Gaston Teran, parmi d' autres.

VII. Remarque sur la presence de la femme dans les etudes

Depuis quelques annees, la femme presente un profil significatif dans la
pensee philosophique argentine par ses travaux, sa participation aux Journees
et Congres et sa carriere comme professeur d'universite. Le sujet demande
une etude systematisee que nous ne pouvons pas offrir dans ce travail. Nous
mentionnons seulement quelques noms feminins remarquables: Carmen
Balzer (Philosophie de la culture) ; Marfa Mercedes Bergada (Philosophie
chretienne) ; Marfa Julia Bertomeu CEthique); Alcira Bonilla, Margarita
Costa, Cristina de Gregorio, Esther Dfaz (Philosophie moderne et
contemporaine) ; S. Duran, Lidia Peradotto (Logique) ; Graciela Fernandez
de Maliandi, Marfa Eugenia Valentie (Philosophie moderne) ; E. Kohlmayer
de Estrabou, Marta Lopez Gil (Philosophie contemporaine) ; Alicia Gianella
(Logique et epistemologie); Violeta Guyot (Enseignement de la
philosophie); Clara Jalif de Bertranou (Philosophie latino-americaine);

Elena T. Jose (Logique et enseignement de la philosophie) ; Celina Lertora

Mendoza (Philo sophie chretienne et histoires des idees); Gladys Palau
(Logique et philosophie de la logique); Blanca Parfait, Lucia Piossek
(Metaphysique) ; Delia Sampietro (Introduction a la philosophie) ; Maria I.
Santa Cruz (Philo sophie de l'Antiquite) ; Rosa Ravera (EstMtique) ; Maria
Cristina Reigadas (Histoire des idees).

VIII. Associations philosophiques, revues, congres et journees

1. Associations philosophiques
Asociaci6n Filos6fica de la Republica Argentina. Buenos Aires.
Sociedad Argentina de Amilisis Filos6fico (SADAF). Buenos Aires.
Sociedad Argentina de Filosoffa. C6rdoba.
Sociedad Argentina de Profesores de Filosoffa (SAPFI). Buenos Aires.

2. Congres
Le premier Congres National de Philosophie eut lieu a Mendoza en 1949.
Durant les dix dernieres annees eurent lieu les Congres Nationaux suivants :
Seme Congres National: La Plata, 1985.
6eme Congres National: Cosquln (C6rdoba), 1992.
?"me Congres National: Rio Cuarto (C6rdoba), 1993.
En plus, se tiennent regulierement des Journees, des Rencontres, des Tables
rondes et d'autres fa~ons d'inter-communication dans les differentes
universites du pays.
En 1987 eut lieu a C6rdoba Ie 1er Congres International Extraordinaire de
Philosophie, ou participerent de celebres philosophes.
En 1989 eut lieu a Buenos Aires Ie 11 e Congres Hispano-americain de
Philosophie avec la pruticipation de philosophes latino-americains,
europeens, des Etats-Unis et du Canada.

3. Revues philosophiques
Depuis la publication de la premiere "Revista de Filosoffa", dirigee par Ie
Docteur Jose Ingenieros, en 1914, un nombre croissant de publications a ete
edite, sous les auspices de differents centres d'etudes philosophiques, surtout
Dans cette breve reference, nous citerons les revues qui maintiennent leur
I. Analisis Filos6.fico. Sociedad Argentina de AnaIisis filos6fico (SADAF).
Buenos Aires.

2. Cuadernos de Etica. Instituto de investigaciones eticas "Risieri

Frondizi". Buenos Aires.
3. Cuadernos de Filosofla. Instituto de Filosoffa. Facultad de Filosoffa y
Letras. Universidad de Buenos Aires.
4. Cuyo. Anuarlo de Historia del Pensamiento Argentino. Facultad de
Filosoffa. Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. Mendoza.
5. Revista de Estetica. Escuela de Altos Estudios del Centro de Arte y
Comunicaci6n. Buenos Aires.
6. Revista de Filosofla y Teorfa Politica. Departamento de Filosoffa.
Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educaci6n. Universidad
N acional de La Plata.
7. Revista de la Sociedad Argentina de Filosofla. C6rdoba.
8. Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofla. Centro Latinoamericano de
Filosoffa. Buenos Aires.
9. Sapientia. Revista de Filosoffa de la Facultad de Filosoffa. Universidad
Cat6lica Argentina. Buenos Aires.

IX. Orientation bibliographique sur la philosophie argentine

1. A.A.V.V. Francisco Romero, maestro de la filosofia latinoamericana. Caracas
(Venzuela), Sociedad interamericana de filosoffa, 1983.
2. A.A.V.V. Lafilosofia en Argentina ; 1930-1960. Buenos Aires, Sur, 1961.
3. A.A.V.V. Represion y reconstruccion de una cultura: el caso argentino. Buenos Aires,
Eudeba, 1988.
4. Agosti, Hector P. Jose 1ngenieros, ciudadano de la juventud. Buenos Aires, Futuro, 1945.
5. Alberini, Coriolano. Precisiones sobre la evolucion del pensamiento argentino. Buenos
Aires, Docencia, ClNAE, 1981 Colecc. Perspectivas.
6. A1berini, Coriolano. Problemas de la historia de las ideas filosoficas en la Argentina. La
Plata, Depto. de Filosoffa, Facultad de Hurnanidades y Ciencias de la Educaci6n,
Universidad Nacional de La Plata, 1966.
7. Alvarez, Agustin. South America. (J 894). Buenos Aires, La Cultura Argentina, 1918.
8. Bagd, Sergio. Vida ejemplar de Jose 1ngenieros. Buenos Aires, Claridad, 1936.
9. Berrnann, Gregorio. La obra cientifica de Jose Ingenieros. C6rdoba, sle, 1929.
10. Biagini, Hugo. Como fue la generacion del '80. Buenos Aires, ed. Plus Ultra, 1980.
Colecc. Esquemas hist6ricos.
11. Biagini, Hugo. Compilador. El movimiento positivista argentino. Buenos Aires, ed. de
Belgrano, 1985.
12. Biagini, Hugo. Filosofia americanae identidad. Buenos Aires, Eudeba, 1989.
13. Biagini, Hugo. Historia ideologica y poder social. Buenos Aires, Centro Editor de
America Latina, 1992.
14. Biagini, Hugo. Panorama filosofico argentino. Buenos Aires, Eudeba, 1985.
15. Canal Feij60, Bernardo. En tomo al problema de la cultura argentina. Buenos Aires,
Docencia, 1980.
16. Castellanos, Juan. El pensamiento revolucionario de Jose Ingenieros. San Jose (Costa
Rica), Educa, 1972.

l7. Caturelli, Alberto. La filosofia en la Argentina actual. Buenos Aires, Sudamericana,

18. Cooper, William. Francisco Romero's Theory of Value. Waco (Texas), 1966.
19. Farre, Luis. Cincuenta anos de filosofia en Argentina. Buenos Aires, Peuser, 1958.
20. Farre, Luis - Lertora Mendoza, Celina. La filosofia en la Argentina. Buenos Aires,
Docencia, CINAE, 1981.
21. Harris, MaJjorie. Francisco Romero in Problems of Philosophy. New York, Philosophical
Library, 1960.
22. Hernandez, Enrique. Positivismo y cientificismo en Argentina. Bariloche, Universidad del
Cornahue, 1975.
23. Ingenieros, Jose. Evoluci6n de las ideas argentinas. Buenos Aires, Claridad, 1918-1920.
2 vols.
24. Ingenieros, Jose. Las direcciones filos6ficas de la cultura argentina. Buenos Aires,
25. Irazusta, Julio. La generaci6n del '80. Profecias y realizaciones. Buenos Aires, Docencia,
CINAE, 1982.
26. Jafella, Sara Ali. Directora. Bibliografia de filosofia y ciencias de la educaci6n. La Plata,
Ministerio de Educaci6n y Cultura, Instituto Bibliognifico, Provincia de Buenos Aires,
1961-62. 2 vols.
27. Kilgore, William. A Korn's Interpretation of Creative Freedom. Austin, Univ. Texas,
28. Korn, Alejandro. Injluenciasfilos6ficas en la evoluci6n nacional. Buenos Aires, Claridad,
29. Lertora Mendoza, Celina. Bibliografiafilos6fica argentina. Buenos Aires, Eudeba, 1980.
30. Lipp, Salomon. Three Argentine thinkers (Korn - F. Romero -Ingenieros). New York,
Philosophical Library, 1969.
31. Montenegro, Adelmo. Ensayos argentinos. C6rdoba, Univ. Nacional, 1984.
32. Parker, C. M. F. Romero's "Theory of Man". University of Oklahoma, 1973.
33. Perelstein, Berta. Positivismo y antipositivismo en la Argentina. Buenos Aires, Procyon,
34. Pr6, Diego F. Director. Cuyo. Anuario de historia del pensamiento argentino. Mendoza,
Universidad Nacional de CUyo. Vols. varios.
35. Pr6, Diego. Coriolano Alberini. Mendoza, Valle de los Huarpes, 1960.
36. Pr6, Diego - JaJif, G. - Prada, G. Historia del pensamiento ./ilos6fico argentino.
Mendoza, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, 1973-1980.
37. Pr6, Diego. Rodolfo Mondolfo. Buenos Aires, Losada, 1967/68.
38. Rivarola, Rodolfo. Las ideas - fuerzas en la vida argentina. Buenos Aires, Docencia,
39. Rodriguez Alcala, H. Misi6n y pensamiento de Francisco Romero. Mexico, UNAM,
40. Rodriguez Bustamente, Norberto. Alejandro Korn y el problema de la cultura nacional.
La Plata, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educaci6n, Universidad Nacional,
41. Roig, Arturo Andres. El espiritualismo argentino entre 1850 y 1900. Mexico, Cajica,
42. Roig, Arturo Andres. Los krausistas argentinos. Mexico, Cajica, 1969.
43. Romero, Jose. A history of Argentine Political Thought. Stanford University, 1968.
44. Soler, Ricaurte. El positivismo argentino. Panama, Imprenta Nacional, 1959. (2 da. ed.
Buenos Aires, Paid6s, 1968).
45. Teran, Oscar. En husca de la ideologfa argentina. Buenos Aires, Catalogos, 1986.

46. Teran, Oscar. Jose Ingenieros. Mexico, Siglo XXI, 1979.

47. Teran, Oscar. Positivismo y nacion en Argentina. Buenos Aires, Puntosur, 1987.
48. Torchia Estrada, Juan Carlos. Alejandro Korn. Mexico, UNAM, 1986.
49. Torchia Estrada, Juan Carlos. La filosofia en la Argentina. Washington, Union
Panamericana, 196I.
50. Van der Kaar, J. Jose Ingenieros. New York, Vantage, 1977.
51. Varsavsky, Oscar. Hacia una politica cientifica nacional. Buenos Aires, CEAL, 1969.
52. Vasquez, Juan Adolfo. Antologfa filosofica argentina del siglo XX. Buenos Aires,
53. Zalazar, Daniel. Freedom and Creation in the essays oj A. Kom. University Pittsburg,
54. Zan, Julio de. "Der Krausismo in Argentinien". En: K. M. Kodalle, (comp.), K. C.
Krause, Hamburgo, F. Meiner, 1985.

X. Orientation bibliographique sur la philosopbie latino-americaine

1. A.A.V.V. Europa - America Latina. Buenos Aires, Comisi6n Argentina de Cooperacion
lntelectual, Pesce editores, 1937.
2. A.A.V.V. Lafilosofia actual en America Latina. Primer Coloquio Nacional de Filosofia.
Mexico, Grigalbo, 1976. Colecc. Teoria y Praxis.
3. A.A.V.V. Hacia una metodologfa de la historia de las ideas en America Latina.
Guadalajara (Mexico), Universidad de Guadalajara, 1986.
4. A.A.V.V. Ortega y Gasset y el destino de America Latina. Buenos Aires, Fundacion
Banco de Boston, 1983.
5. Ardao, Arturo. Battle y Ordonez y el positivismo filosofico. Montevideo (Uruguay), ed.
Numero, 1951.
6. Ardao, Arturo. FilosoJfa en lengua espanola. Montevideo, Alfa, 1963.
7. Ardao, Arturo. La filosoJfa en el Uruguay en el siglo XX. Mexico, Fondo del Cultura
Econ6mica, 1956.
8. Aric6, Jose. Marx y America Latina. Mexico, Alicuya, 1980.
9. Carrillo Narvaez, A. La trayectoria del pensamiento filosofico en Latinoamerica. Quito
(Ecuador), Casa de la cultura ecuatoriana, 1959.
10. Casalla, Mario. Razon y liberacion. Notas para una filosofia latinoamericana. Buenos
Aires, siglo XXI, 1973. Colecc. "Minima".
11. Costa, Cruz. Esbozo de una historia de las ideas en el Brasil. Mexico Buenos Aires,
Fondo de Cultura Econ6mica, 1957.
12. Cullen, Carlos. Reflexiones desde America. Rosario (Argentina), Fundaci6n Ross, 1986.
13. Dussel, Enrique. Histoire et theologie de la liberation. Paris, Ed. Ouvrieres, 1974. (Ed.
inglesa, 1976).
14. Dussel, Enrique - Quillot, D. Liberacion latinoamericana y E. Levinas. Mexico, Bonum,
15. Dussel, Enrique. Para una hica de la liberacion latinoamericana. Buenos Aires, Siglo
XXI, 1973.2 vols.
16. Follari, Robcrto A. Modemidml y Postmodernidad: una 6ptica desde America Latina.
Buenos Aires, Rei Argentina - Aique cd., 1989.
17. Fornet-Bctancourt, R. - Lert.ora Mendoza, Celina. Ethik in Deutschland und
Lateinamerika heule. Frankfurt, P. Lang, 1987.
18. Francovich, Guillermo. El pensumiento universitario de Charcas y olros ensayos. Sucre
(Bolivia), Universidad de San Francisco Javier, 1948.
19. Francovich, Guillenno. Lafi/osofia en Bolivia. Buenos Aires, Losada, 1945.

20. Francovich, Guillermo. Pachamama. Dialogo sobre el porvenir de la cultura en Bolivia.

La Paz, Libreria La Juventud, 1973.
21. Frondizi, Risieri - Gracia, Jorge. EI hombre y los valores en lajilosofia latinoamericana
del siglo XX. Antologfa. Mexico, F.C.E., 1975.
22. Gaos, Jose. Sobre Ortega y Gasset y otros trabajos e Historia de las ideas en Espana yen
la America Espanola. Mexico, Imprenta Universitaria, 1957.
23. Jaramillo Uribe, Jaime. EI pensamiento colombiano en el siglo XIX. Bogota (Colombia),
Temis, 1964.
24. Kusch, Rodolfo. Esbozo de una antropologfa jilosojica americana. San Antonio de
Padua, Castafieda, 1978.
25. Kusch, Rodolfo. EI pensamiento indfgena americano. Mexico, Cajica, 1970.
26. Larroyo, Francisco. Lajilosofia iberoamericana. Mexico, Pomia, 1978.
27. Mariiitegui, Jose Carlos. Temas de nuestra America. Lima (Peru), Amanta, 1970.
28. Marti, Oscar. The Reaction against Positivism in Latin America (Ingenieros). New York,
City University of New York, 1978.
29. Medin, Tzvi. Leopoldo Zea: ideologia, historia y jilosofia de America Latina. Mexico,
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1983.
30. Roig, Arturo Andres. Esquemas para una historia de la jilosofia ecuatoriana. Quito
(Ecuador), Educar, 1982.
31. Roig, Arturo Andres. Teorfa crftica del pensamiento latinoamericano. Mexico, Fondo de
Cultura Economica, 1981.
32. Roig, Arturo Andres. Filosofia, universidad y jilosofos en America Latina. Mexico,
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1981.
33. Romero, Francisco. Sobre lajilosofia en America. Buenos Aires, Raigal, 1952.
34. Salazar Bondy, Augusto . .;Existe una jilosofia de nuestra America? Mexico, siglo XXI,
1969. Colecc. "Minima".
35. Salazar Bondy, Augusto. Historia de la ideas en el Peru contemporaneo. Lima, MoncJoa,
1967.2 vols.
36. Salazar Bondy, Augusto. La .filosofia en el Peru. Washington, Union Pan americana,
37. Villegas, Abelardo. Filosoffa de los mexicano. 2a ed. Mexico, 1976.
38. Vitier, Medardo. Lafilosofia en Cuba. Mexico, F.C.E., 1948.
39. Zea, Leopoldo. Apogeo y decadencia del positivismo en Mexico. Mexico, el colegio de
Mexico, F.C.E., 1944.
40. Zea, Leopolda. Dos etapas del pensamiento en hispanoamerica. Del rornanticismo al
positivismo. Mexico, F.C.E., 1949.
41. Zea, Leopoldo. En tormo a una .filosofia americana. Mexico, EI Colegio de Mexico,
42. Zea, Leopoldo. La esencia de Lo americano. Buenos Aires, Pleamar, 1961.
La Plata, novembre 1994


1. Origin and development of present day philosophical activity

1.1 What is characteristic of philosophical activity in contemporary
Colombia is the critical approach to the classical philosophers or thinkers
who, with their solid background in the main centres of countries with a long
philosophical tradition, are slowly but progressively dedicating themselves to
the analysis of our reality on the basis of this approach.
Philosophy has always been present in our milieu. It must indeed be
recognized that in earlier periods it had a significant influence on society.
However, this was a development of the self-taught who, in general, were
only aware of second rank thinkers or critics.
In fact, philosophy was taught during the Colonial period as a propaedeutic
study for those who wished to continue with theological or legal studies. It
was a decadent scholasticism, but it had a profound influence on the being
and thought of Colombian man, and to a large extent this is still the case.
Towards the end of the 18th century, a certain Jose Felix de Restrepo taught
Port-Royal Logic and the principles of the philosophy of nature appropriate
to European Enlightment. This teacher educated the majority of the heroes of
our Independence. Immediately following Independence, the utilitarianism of
Bentham held sway for several decades. His thought inspired the legal
organization of the new state and the formulation of Liberal Party
Programmes. In the second half of the 19 th century, Balmes, Donoso Cortes
and French traditionalism inspired a good number of thinkers, among them
Miguel Antonio Caro, whose thought was incarnated in the 1886
Constitution, which guided us for a whole century.
Thanks to this Constitution, the Catholic Church was able, among other
things, to exercise rigid control over the content of teaching, its
administration and the ideological position of teachers.
Within this context, the teaching of philosophy, provided only by the
Colegio Mayor del Rosario University until 1930, was limited to the study of
Thomism according to the orientation of Balmes and the primitive School of
Louvain. The thought of the great philosophers of the West was presented
synthetically in caricaturesque, even ridiculous form. This presentation could
do no more than induce spontaneous rejection; a rejection demanded, in fact,

Gutlorm Fl¢istad (ed.). Philosophy of Latin America, 143-154.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

in very diverse ways: in university admission examinations, for example,

applicants were obliged to demonstrate the falsity of positivism, of scientific
determinism and evolutionism.
To the extent that the Colombian State was governed by theocratic criteria,
philosophy, conceived as a "servant of theology", played the role of
ideological mediator in the political action and principles of those who had
held power since 1886.
1.2 Efforts to transform this context were made at the beginning of the 20th
century, and intensified with the passing of the years. The processes of
industrialization and agricultural expansion; the social dynamics brought
about by the creation of socialist movements in defence of the new
proletariat; the polemics started by Rafael Uribe Uribe in 1904 on the need
for an interventionist State; the gradual acquisition of knowledge of the
different currents of thought which were emerging beyond our frontiers, all
this created an awareness of the need for radical change in the structures of
the State and, especially in the field of education and culture in general.
Among others, Baldomero Sanin Cano, Carlos Arturo Torres, Julio
Enrique Blanco, Augustin Nieto Caballero, Luis LOpez de Mesa and
Fernando Gonzales contributed with their activities as well as their writing to
the process of secularisation of Colombian thought and the discovery of new
cultural horizons with visions of man, society and reality which were
different from the unilateral vision defended and propagated from the
cloisters of Rosario University, and which had turned into the ideological
ferment of the existing political regime.
1.3 When the Liberal Party came to power in 1930, the process of change
began to bring Colombia into harmony with the demands of the
contemporary world.
Between 1930 and 1950, there are certain names and facts which should be
highlighted, for they permitted philosophy to achieve autonomous status in
knowledge and culture, thus enabling its activity to develop along the lines of
the so-called "normalisation".
A reform in education took place along the lines of the following criteria.
In the first place, the education system had to be in harmony with the
economic and social transformations of the country. In the second place,
education must be a function of the State and could therefore not be
subordinated to the Church. In the third place, technical and scientific
knowledge could not be subject to religious principles. Finally, a
transformation was required in both the administrative and the academic
aspects of the university, to tum it into a critical, investigative entity of the
country and its problems. For this to be feasible, the National University
General Law (1936) created a university city for the express purpose of "the

perpetual interchange of ideas, knowledge and systems which would reveal

to the student, experimentally and directly, the indomitable unity of culture"
taking place within its walls. The integration of the few existing academic
units and the creation of many new ones on one same campus encouraged the
introduction of new methods, the intensification of the use of the laboratory
and the library and, above all, the interdisciplinary discussion of scientific
and philosophical ideas in the contemporary world. A new cultural ambience
began to be experienced: memoristic, verbal and elitist higher education gave
way to investigative, creative education.
Within this new ambience, the activity of the Law School was outstanding,
and numerous students enrolled, whose interest was not to take a degree in
law, but to acquire intellectual training humanistically. Outstanding among
these students were Luis Eduardo Nieto Arteta, Rafael Carrillo and Danilo
Cruz Velez, who in the decade of the 40s broke with the unilateral vision of
the Scholasticism of the three previous decades. World phenomena such as
the introduction of Fascism in several European countries, the Spanish Civil
War and the Second World War, joined the inquiring minds awakened by the
reforms which were taking place in Colombia, and because of the discussions
concerning Hans Kelsen's positivist concept of the law, a concept very dear
to the Liberal ideologies of the time. The intellectual curiosity of students
and teachers benefited greatly from the opportunity that was given to them to
read the European philosophers, thanks to the numerous translations that
Ortega y Gasset was undertaking with his Revista de Occidente (Western
Journal) group. The thinkers mentioned earlier, together with Cayetano
Betancur and Abel Naranjo Villegas, took on the task of introducing among
us the thought of Husserl, Hartmann, Scheler and Heidegger and of creating,
according to the needs of the moment, a doctrinal body surrounding the logic
and epistemology of law and of man in his relationship with the world of
values, culture and education.
The importance and quality achieved by philosophical reflection was such
that it became necessary to think within a sphere that recognised the
autonomous stature of philosophy as a part of knowledge. The creation of the
Institute of Philosophy in 1945 was in response to this need. It was planned
and organised academically in such a way as to permit investigation and the
critical appropriation of contemporary thought.
The decade of the 50s brought a regression in philosophical activity. The
Institute of Philosophy became a Faculty in 1952 and its investigative
orientation changed. The exclusive objective of the new programmes was the
ideological formation of the students in "the moulds of Christianity and
Hispanity", as conceived by the political regime of the moment. Austrian
Victor Frankl resolved to legitimise the new regime philosophically,

proclaiming the need for a return to Saint Thomas and Suarez as the sources
necessary to discover and secure our cultural identity and to make possible
our own "Mediaeval Epoch", as appropriate to our "juvenile organic age".
The thought of this author can be read in Espiritu y camino de
Hispanoamerica (The spirit and the course of Hispano-America, 1953).
The new situation made way, however, for two positive facts. On the one
hand, a considerable number of Colombians, among them some of the
teachers of the Institute of Philosophy, travelled abroad, which allowed them
to acquire more direct knowledge and domination over contemporary
thought. Equally, philosophical enquiry emerged from the dominions of
acadaemia to conquer broader spaces, which led to a social recognition of
philosophical thought. This was the significance of the group of thinkers
which formed around the journal Mito (Myth, 1955), inspired by Jorge
Gaitan Duran and Hernando Valencia: "The decision to publish dangerous
texts, if their intellectual value so justified, lent a special dimension to the
journal. To a large extent, this decision explains the orientation of the journal
towards Sartre. From Sartre they learned to assume critical stances before the
diverse problems, with freedom of thought and determination; from him they
also learned to make the apparently unimportant occurrences of our culture
an object of analysis. Many were the pages of the journal dedicated to
Husserl, Heidegger and, of course, Sartre".
1.4 With the fall of the dictatorship in 1957, philosophical activity
normalised and grew gradually in quantity and quality. Numerous centres of
philosophical studies were created throughout the country. This phenomenon
permitted an increase in the number of teachers with a better academic
background, the publication of a large number of specialised journals and,
finally, the frequent holding of events, some of which have become
permanent institutions. These events have, in tum, promoted the rigorous
discussion of ideas and problems.
Among the regular events, the following should be mentioned: the
National Philosophical Forum, begun in 1975 and of which eight have been
held in different Colombian cities; the Discourses of the Colombian Society
of Philosophy; the International Latin American Philosophy Congresses
organised by Santo Tomas Univcrsity cvery two years since 1980.
The publishing activity of the present decade, which is the result of the
maturity achieved in philosophical activity, must be highlighted. Over the
last six years, Santo Tomas University alone has published, as part of its
Biblioteca Colombiana de Filosofla (Colombian Library of Philosophy)
collection, seventeen titles which form part of a programme which is
intended to gather together the most outstanding works of the last two
centuries, which will permit the writing of the history of philosophical ideas

in Colombia with a solid background of knowledge, and increase the value of

the contributions of our culture to universal culture.

2. Thinkers, subjects and problems

La filosofia en Colombia. Bibliografia del Siglo XX (Philosophy in
Colombia. Bibliography of the 20th century) includes 2,740 different titles of
books, articles and essays of a philosophical nature, produced this century by
707 authors. Fifty-five of these are outstanding in the bibliography for having
behind them "a significant work of dedication, if not exclusively, at least
preferentially to Philosophy, not only in the Socratic oral teaching form, but
also through arduous investigation". These figures are illustrative of this
philosophical activity. It may well be said that there is no subject, no problem
nor worthwhile philosopher who has not been the object of attention and
analysis by present Colombian thinkers. Given the impossibility of analysing
these subjects, problems and philosophers in detail here, we should like to
present a summary of the thoughts of four thinkers who have achieved
unanimous recognition as the maximum exponents of contemporary
Colombian philosophy.

2.1 Luis Eduardo Nieto Arleta (1913-1956)

The distinction between natural and cultural sciences established by Ricker
was a starting point for Luis Eduardo Nieto Arteta's philosophical reflection,
while at the same time distancing him from Marxism and leading him to a
permanent criticism of positivism. One and the other sin, according to him,
by excessive naturalism. While it is true that the natural sciences possess a
totally objective meaning, in cultural sciences meaning depends on the
existence of a subject. This is the reason for the need to form regional
ontologies corresponding to the diverse modes of being and a pure ontology
that reveals the contradictory content of the different spheres of reality. In the
formation of these ontologies, Nieto sought the support of phenomenology as
an eidetic and descriptive science.
Ontologfa de la vida (Ontology of life) demands a rejection of any
materialistic or spiritualistic view. These are unilateral views, which do no
respect the information provided by phenomenological analysis, as neither do
those visions which postulate mechanical, rigid or exclusive oppositions in
human existence, or which seek to defend a specificity of man consisting, for
example, in an exclusive liberty or in a merely objective reason. Life
represents an autonomous sphere, which defines a certain way of being and
some particular objective connections, without what is typical of this way of
being or its connections making a fundamental reality of life as the vitalists

The way of being appropriate to the sphere of life reveals itself as the unity
and division of opposites. In this sense, it is dialectic and opposed to the way
of being of natural reality. The unity and division of man's way of being
arises between: liberty and necessity, rationality and irrationality, objectivity
and subjectivity, matter and spirit, immanence and transcendence, wealth and
privation, historicity and inhistoricity, finitude and infinity. Man is all of
these at the same time. But these diverse oppositions overcome one another
dialectically in one unit. Man, for example, is not pure liberty as Sartre would
wish, nor pure necessity, as certain materialists maintain. He is subject to the
need to decide, but is free as far as what is decided is concerned. This
necessity, however, is not causal- as occurs in nature - and by not being so
does not eliminate liberty. Moreover, liberty is only possible thanks to the
need to decide. A liberty that does not decide is not liberty. Consequently,
liberty and necessity are opposites reconciled in one unit. This unit and this
opposition permit an understanding of the phenomenon of human anxiety:
man has to take decisions constantly, but what is decided is irreparable, since
time is irreversible.
The unity and division of opposites cited thus define man's way of being.
It must be added, however, that this way of being is expressed in very
different ways in the course of history: there are historical epochs in which
rationality prevails over irrationality, or the contrary, just as there are epochs
dominated by matter or by the spirit. Finally, the internal connections
between each of such units and divisions of opposites and the others are also
varied. The irrationality of life, for example, is linked to necessity - the
'having' to decide - as is necessity with liberty: man decides rationally even
when he does not approach motives rationally, since he has necessarily to
Equally, Ontologfa social (Social ontology) reveals the dialectic nature of
the social way of being. In this sphere, unity and opposition refer to being
and must be, to the fact and the value, to the tension between means and ends
as a relationship. Society is the result of the relationships which men
establish between ends and means to satisfy his necessities. These
relationships, insofar as they are the fruit of human decisions, are
impregnated with an "objective meaning" which is expressed in the values
shared by the individuals who form a particular society in a certain historical
moment. The meaning of social facts, by not being immediately perceptible
in the way that the meaning of natural realities is, must be reached through an
understanding of the experiences of individuals. This comprehension reveals
that there is no radical separation between value and reality, between being
and must be.

The judicious and valuable content of social facts is linked to human

existence. Existence "takes place through social facts"; it is "to create the
world". This is why in man "ontic arises in the need to forge his own
existence". Given the historicity of man, social reality and the created world
will also be subject to historicity. In the scale of values accompanying
decisions, there is always a fundamental value on which the unity and
coherence of partial decisions and the sense of totality depend. This value is
not the same for everyone. "Each individual life develops a particular
existential orientation", on the basis of which man creates this world. The
experience of the fundamental value at the same time expresses a particular
conception of man and the world. The putting into practice of this conception
originates social totality, i.e., the series of experiences which have an
identical meaning; totality integrated by a legal order, a moral order, a
religion and certain social habits.
The ontic aspects of this social totality are individuality and singularity,
originality and unrepeatability, aspects which are opposed to the equality and
identity of natural reality which the scientist turns into his generalizations
and into the formulation of his laws.
The Ontologia de 10 juridico (Ontology of the law) reveals "must be" as
the legal way of being, a necessary and objective relationship whose content
is expressed in legal imputation or juridical proposition. Alongside the pure
category of must be, Nieto analyses how fundamental categories of the law
must be, subjective law and the juridical relationship. From fundamental
categories flow certain categoric concepts: active subject, passive subject,
object, etc. Nieto dedicated many essays to the way of being of the juridical,
as well as to the corresponding logic, which he conceived as transcendental
and not merely formal. In this sense, he interpreted Kelsen's "pure theory of

2.2 Danilo Cruz Velez (1920-)

The correlation between man and culture has for Cruz Velez been the central
theme of his philosophical reflection, a reflection which allowed him to
distance himself from both the anthropologism of Scheler and the culturalism
of Cassirer. For our thinker, these positions are unilateral, since the
subordination of culture to man does not exist (Scheler) nor does that of man
to culture (Cassirer). There is a correlation between the two, which prevents
man from thinking without his relationship to culture nor culture without its
reference to man. But, how can this correlation be based on metaphysical
Under the inspiration of Heidegger, Cruz finds this foundation in the
ontological structure of man himself, thanks to which he is "an entity who

goes beyond nature and binds himself to a world projected by him". For
Cruz, as for Heidegger, man is not a self which can detach itself from
transcendence to become a pure subject. The self reveals itself to him like
Dasein by analysing the dual relationship of man with being and of being
with man: it appears to him as existence when he considers man as being
static within this relationship; it is revealed as transcendence when he
considers the movement of man from the entities to his being: and a being-in-
the-world when he thinks in terms of transcendence and of the concrete
dimension in which man finds himself in relation to his being. Finally, man is
seen as freedom, when he thinks of the opportunity given to him to liberate
himself from the entities to transcend in the direction of the being.
From the foregoing perspective, the origin of culture lies in the freedom of
man to transcend himself towards a world as a horizon of the possibilities of
the project or "having to be". Culture thus responds to the structure of man as
an open opportunity for the being. On this basis, man makes things "be", in
order for the entities to acquire a meaning. The sum of meanings, as a
horizon of possibilities of man's transcending, constitutes, precisely, culture
and in this sense it is man's only home.
Consequently man cannot exist outside this home. But this home is subject
to transitoriness. Cultural worlds change. With Nietzsche the death of one
world - that subject to Logos - was announced, as well as the birth of
another dominated by the "will for power" incarnated in technical
possibilities. The technical world is the present home of man. As a world of
possibilities, it includes the same possibility of the death of man. Does his
submission to the technical perhaps constitute the greatest of his alienations?
Does the evaporation of the being from the entities which occurs in the
technical world, not perhaps imply a "more radical nihilism" than that which
Nietzsche wanted to overcome? These questions are the food of our
philosopher's reflection; a metaphysical, but at the same time ethical
Wherever the being of man is committed there is an ethical problem. The
nihilism which accompanies the technical world, urgently requires new
reflection on the essence of man and his relationship with the essence of the
technical world itself, in view of the creation of a humanism which at the
same time saves man's being and the being of the technical world.
The "problematic world is the area within which philosophy moves. This
is a science which only goes into motion when problems arise on the human
horizon". The present problem for man is man's salvation and at the same
time the salvation of the technical dimension from nihilism. This problem is
essentially ethical and, as such, determines the ethical orientation of the

present reflection of Cruz Velez, who, from the beginning, has thought only
about man and his world.

2.3 Ruben Sierra Mejia

For Ruben Sierra, to speak of a "Colombian philosophy" is a nonsense.
Philosophy as an activity has normalised in Colombia: it constitutes a
phenomenon of undoubted significance in Colombian cultural life;
professional, responsible work is being done; it has ceased to be the ')ob" of
just a few thinkers urged on by forces foreign to philosophy itself. The
presence of a broad range of philosophical tendencies is permitting not only
the debating of ideas, but also the taking up of critical positions regarding the
great philosophers who inspired such tendencies. The foregoing allows us to
be optimistic about the future of philosophy in Colombia. This does not,
however, mean that we may have the illusion of a "Colombian philosophy".
Philosophy is characterised by implying a methodological, categorical
scheme on the basis of which reality is understood, represented and
expressed. Universality belongs to the essence of philosophy because there is
one same reason which formulates these schemes, and because it is one and
the same reality which is confronted by reason. If we speak of philosophy
"we have necessarily to refer to a discipline created by the Greeks, that has
come to us from Europe and which it is not possible for us to do without in
any project of philosophical thought".
We belong to a cultural tradition and within this we have one same
destiny. For this tradition, philosophical problems are defined in
philosophical terms and not in sociological, geographical or telluric terms.
It is possible for a particular methodological or categorical scheme to
predominate in one place and, consequently, it can be identified as the ways
to "philosophise" in that geographical area. In this case, we may speak of the
"naturalisation" of a thought within a particular cultural environment. It is
equally possible that, given a concrete situation, certain philosophical
problems may predominantly attract attention, as with the problem of the
philosophical foundation of law in our culture of the decade of the 40s. All
the foregoing does not, however, signify a renunciation of the universality
inherent in philosophising.
Thinking of a problem of our own outside a methodological, categorical
scheme only leads to a notional rather than a conceptual interpretation of
reality. It is this interpretation which is expressed through the essay, a style
which has arisen in this country in a masterly way, but a style of a nature so
ambiguous and semantically equivocal as notional interpretation itself.
Ruben Sierra has been the thinker who has most contributed to the
development of analytical philosophy in this country. His interest in this

philosophy may be interpreted, precisely, as his strategy to overcome the

ambiguity and equivocation of the traditional philosophers in Colombia. For
him, the fundamental function of analytic philosophy is that of serving as a
control over thought. This is the reason for his efforts to divulge and
"naturalise" analytical philosophy, especially that of Russell and Popper,
which he has implemented through written works characterised by their
"elegant rigour", as if our philosopher wanted to demonstrate that thought, to
be rigorous, does not have to renounce elegance in its expression.

2.4 Guillermo Hoyos Vasquez

The central theme of Hoyos' reflection has been his interest in and
responsibility for the emancipation of man. It is the basis of this theme that
his permanent questioning arises as to the meaning of man's actions, of
science, of history and of political action.
The replies to this questioning form a whole in response to the
phenomenological project of an ontology of the world of life, an ontology in
which reflection on the functions of empiric and transcendental subjectivity
in relation to the everyday world, of Husserlian inspiration, is complemented
by the themes of Kant's thought on liberty as being that which defines man's
being, and on the world of objectives, and by the Neo-Marxism of Habermas
which provides him with the elements for a critical analysis of the concrete
and historic determinations of those functions of subjectivity.
The world of life, that of everyday living, prior to any scheme of subjects
is, as a whole, the world of interests, of motivations, of the inspiration of
subjects involving knowledge of the objectives of science, on the basis of
which man, from a relative-subjective stance, constitutes anonymously the
meaning of all that is real and, by doing so, makes this world into the genetic
foundation of all other approaches different from the natural one, i.e.,
philosophical, scientific, technical and political.
Following Husserl closely, Hoyos analyses how in the natural approach,
normal in everyday life, the relative-subjective meaning of this world is
unknown. In this approach, man takes the world as a set of things, persons,
institutions and facts which are there before him, as autonomous
objectivities. This approach is reinforced by the positivist orientation of
science which expressly rules out the intervention of the subject in the
proposal to be more objective, turning into simple, mute data the set of
realities - including man - organising them and subjecting them to structural,
causal models and, by doing so, acquiring the capability to manipulate and
control reality, including human society itself, with a view to an improved
rationalisation of producti vity.

Hoyos considers that the true meaning of "epoje" and phenomenological

reduction, through which man may change this natural approach to a
reflective one, is that of permitting the revelation, on the one hand, of the
relative-subjective nature of reality, of science and of history and, on the
other, the analysis of the structure of subjectivity which, in an intentional and
teleological form, becomes the genesis of all meaning and all objectivity.
This analysis of the intentional and teleological nature of subjectivity permits
Hoyos to discover the emancipating interest that governs this subjectivity,
i.e., the interest in determining the destiny of man responsibly and
From this reflective approach, Hoyos has interested himself in a special
way in forming, under the inspiration of Husserl, a radical critique of
scientific positivism.

3. Present tendencies in philosophy in Colombia

As we have seen, one of the characteristics of present day philosophical
activity is the presence of a variety of tendencies, which has favoured debate
and the taking up of critical positions. One of the immediate consequences of
this has been, as we have said, the increase in events and publications. Let us
cite these tendencies and some of their principal representatives. The
corresponding works are found in La filosofla en Colombia. Bibliografla del
siglo XX (Philosophy in Colombia. 20th Century Bibliography).
1. Phenomenology: in addition to Guillermo Hoyos, Daniel Herrera,
Gonzalo Serrano, Juan Manuel Botero and German Vargas also reflect
on phenomenology.
2. Hegelism: the principal representative is Jorge Aurelio Diaz. Close to
him are Luis Alberto Restrepo, Angelo Papacchini and Ramon Perez
Mantilla. The last of these interprets Hegel from a Marxist point of
3. Hermeneutics: Carlos B. Gutierrez, Jaime Rubio and Angel Marfa
4. Analytical philosophy: in addition to Ruben Sierra Mejia, Adolfo
Leon Gomez, Magdalena Holguin, Danilo Guzman, Juan Manuel
Jaramillo, Alejandro Patino should also be cited.
5. Latin American Philosophy: German Marquinez, Luis Jose Gonzalez,
Roberto Salazar, Eudoro Rodriguez.
6. Metaphysics: Jaime Velez Saenz, Jaime Hoyos, William Betancurt.
7. Marxism: Ruben Jaramillo, Estanislao Zuleta.
8. Philosophy of the sciences: Luis Enrique Orizco, Victor Florian,
Gonzalo Hernandez de Alba, Bernardo Guerra.

The growing interest in the thought of Zubiri should also be mentioned.

Fideligno Nifio, Luis Enrique Ruiz and German Marquinez are some of the
thinkers with a special interest in this Spanish philosopher.

Las tendencias actuates de la Filosofia en Colombia. N Congreso Intemacional de Filosofia
Latinoamericana. Universidad Santo Tomas, Bogota, 1987,616 pp.
La Filosofia en Colombia. Bibliografia del Siglo XX. Universidad Santo Tomas, Bogota, 1986,
230 pp.
La Filosofia en Colombia. (Siglo XX). Compilacion de Ruben Sierra, Procultura, Bogota,
1986,254 pp. Text of: Nieto Arteta, Danilo Cruz, Rafael Carrillo, Jaime Velez, Daniel
Herrera, Guillermo Hoyos, Estanislao Zuleta, Cayetano Betancur, Francisco Posada,
Rafael Gutierrez.
Herrera, R., Daniel et al.: La Filosofia en Colombia. Historia de las Ideas. Ed. EI Buho,
Bogota, 1988,470 pp.
Herrera, R., Daniel: Filosofia en Colombia. Bibliografia 1627-1873, Universidad del Valle,
Cali, 1975,248 pp.

Universidad de Chile

I - Philosophie europeenne et philosophie latinoamericaine

II est courant, dans les milieux academiques, de discuter intensement autour
de la question a savoir s'il existe ou non une philosophie latinoamericaine J38 •
Pour certains, la reponse est non. Ce qui existe en Amerique latine n' est
qu'une reiteration de la philosophie europeenne. Pour d'autres, la philo sophie
est universelle et Ie fait de la pratiquer sous ces latitudes nous transforme en
participants de la grande tradition philosophique occidentale. Le probleme,
alors, se pose sous un autre angle, celui de la legitimite avec laquelle nous
nous referons aux "philosophies regionales". Existe-t-il une philo sophie
grecque, une fran<;aise, une allemande, differentes d'une anglaise, par
exemple? Ou bien est-ce le fait qu'elles traitent toutes des memes themes
universels qui en fait des philosophies? Quiconque ayant etudie l'histoire de
la philosophie reconnai'tra que ces deux positions ont des arguments en leur
faveur, et egalement chacune leur faiblesse. Car il est notoire que chacune de
ces regions geographiques se caracterise par une sorte de style, surtout dans
leur fa<;on de voir et de formuler les problemes. Par exemple, la propension a
l'absolu qui caracterise la philosophie allemande n'a pas son egal dans la
tradition anglaise ou nord-americaine. Bien qu'elles traitent de problemes
proches, leur fa<;on d'interroger, d'analyser et de repondre sont differentes. A
l'inverse, face a l'ampleur des grands problemes philosophiques, il est
egalement tentant d'en mini miser les expressions "villageoises" pour ne
parler que de philo sophie tout court.
Existe-t-il un style latinoamericain de philosopher? Ou bien, comme Ie
soutient Joaquin Barcel6, il y a plus d'un siecle et demi "notre culture
(latinoamericaine) promettait de s'epanouir et lajeune Amerique de remettre
au Vieux Monde un message nouveau ... mais l'Europe attend toujours notre
message et continue entre-temps de nous livrer de nouveaux chefs-d' ~uvre
scientifiques et philosophiques qui nous permettent de tuer Ie temps qui

I3R Au Chili, cette poh~mique a ete formulee particulierement c1airement par deux professeurs
de la Universidad de Chile: Joaquin Barcelo et Humberto Giannini. Voir Revista de
Filosofla, volumes XVI et XVII, annces 1978 et 1979.
139 Revis/a de FUosof/a, volume XVI, 1979.

Gutform Fl¢istad (ed.), Philosophy of Latin America, 155-169.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Le philosophe Ernesto Grassi140, qui a ens eigne la philosophie au Chili

dans les annees 50 et a laisse une forte empreinte dans ce domaine (lecture et
analyse des classiques), a soutenu qu'en Amerique latine, la presence
demesuree de la nature dans l'esprit de l'homme fait de lui un etre mythique,
spectateur des cycles cosmiques, pour lequel prevaut l'identique, Ie reiteratif.
Selon lui, l'homme sud-americain est essentiellement ahistorique. La pensee
et la technique ne font pas partie de la maniere de faire latinoamericaine : ses
hommes ne pretendent pas dominer la nature, ils s'y soumettent plutot. De la
a ce que I' apre travail intellectuel des specialistes latinoamericains en
philosophie soit condamne a rester un travail desenracine, il n'y a qu'un pas.
Car ils se contentent de prolonger, d'imiter, de commenter et de repeter une
tradition europeenne qui n'est pas la leur. Grassi estime qu'au contraire, Ie
travail de la pensee latinoamericaine devrait consister a expliquer la
physiologie complexe de l' arne latinoamericaine, sa singularite. Et avertir
l'Europe a propos des lirnites de son projet historique, de la manipulation
technologique qu'elle exerce sur la nature et de sa fac;on de faire et
d'envisager l'art.
Nous ne sommes pas nombreux a avoir privilegie cette tache enoncee par
Grassi. La figure solitaire de Felix Schwartzmann 141 est une exception
d'importance au Chili (comme Grassi lui-meme a su Ie percevoir. Des
penseurs comme Bernardo Canal Feijoo, Ezequiel Martinez Estrada ou Jorge
Luis Borges, chacun dans leur style, ont assume cette tache en Argentine,
presque toujours sous l'reil dedaigneux de 1'intelligentsia universitaire.
nest une curiosite historique : au Chili, la presence vigoureuse du credo
marxiste parmi les intellectuels les a toujours pousses a recIamer un
"engagement au cote du peuple". Et pourtant, entre eux, ils n'ont jamais
materialise de programme de pensee veritablement engagee au cote de la
particularite nationale, ni regionale, ni meme latinoamericaine. II s'est
toujours agi d'un acte decIamatoire sans suite, d'une raison de plus pour
accuser ceux qui n'assumaient pas pas meme verb al ement - cet
engagement. L'intellectualite etrangere, par contre (des europ6ens comme
Grassi ou Keyerling par exemple) a souvent releve la necessite d'ouvrir de
nouvelles voies a la reflexion philosophique sur I' Amerique latine et son
Le plus curieux est que ce furent ceux-la memes qui les premiers
denoncerent I'urgence d'extirper la philosophie de sa tour de cristal afin

140 Voir Ie travail de Joaquin Barcel6, "Ernesto Grassi y su experiencia sudamericana", Revista
de Filo.w~r[a, volume XLIII-XLIV, 1994.
141 Voir Felix Schwartzmann, El sentimiento de 10 humano en America, deux tomcs, Santiago.
1950- 1952. Reedite cn 1992 par Editorial Universitaria (EI libra de fa revoluciones - El
sentimiento de 10 humano en America).

qu'elle cesse d'etre Ie porte-parole permanent de la culture dominante

europeenne, qui recoururent sans cesse 11 l' autorite europeenne (Sartre,
Nietzsche, Marx, par exemple). La pensee se devait d'assumer la realite qu'il
nous est donne de vivre, car c'est ainsi que Ie professorat europeen
l'enseignait. Ainsi, il n'etait pas rare (et 1'0n en trouve encore des exemples
aujourd'hui) de lire des travaux d'intellectuels appelant 11 "penser ce qui est
notre" tout en citant copieusement les consignes, arguments et diagnostics du
credo gauchiste cultive en Europe.
Plus encore, la philosophie chilienne laissa filer sous son nez la vaste et
complexe transformation radicale exp6rimentee par la societe au Chili sous
l'impulsion de la vigoureuse reforme liberale mise en a:uvre par les forces
armees (un ensemble d'institutions paradoxalement tres peu liberales).
Aveuglee par l'ideologie, une bonne partie de la philo sophie chilienne eleva
la voix sans chercher 11 comprendre, s'insurgea au nom de ses dogmes contre
ce qui se passait. Et, comme cela arrive souvent, ce furent d' autres
intellectuels (notamment des economistes) qui, s'en tenant aux faits,
formulerent leurs hypotheses en acceptant que ceux-ci les contrOlent. Le fait
de se declarer "engage" ne debouch a pas sur la formulation d'une pensee
consistante : l' engagement en resta au stade de vieilles consignes en retard
d'un siecle.
La realite de l' americain du sud et de son univers culturel resta ainsi
orpheline de toute analyse rigoureuse, interpretee par des categories
etrangeres 11 ces terres.
A l'inverse, rapport Iitteraire de I' Amerique Iatine surprend par son
originalite et sa fecondite. Le roman, en particulier, a su penetrer Ie monde
humain de nos terres, percer ses projets, ses expectatives, ses fa<;ons
d'assumer I'autre et Ie monde exterieur. Mais, bien evidemment, Ie principe
du roman, si fort soit-il comme genre, n'est pas d'exprimer des idees. n n'est
pas philosophie, bien qu'il revele une pensee implicite.
Alors qu'en Amerique Iatine, Ia decouverte d'un Iangage propre exprimant
philosophiquement I'experience vitale de I'homme d' Amerique du Sud se
fait attendre, la philosophie europeenne parmt vivre quelque chose de
semblable: occupee 11 ressasser interminablement ses gloires passees, sa
tradition, elle ne semble pas se rendre compte que ses problemes, ses themes,
ses questions, sont en train de passer aux mains des sciences, desquelles ils
re<;oivent une traitement plus consistant.
De telle sorte que, oubHe de lui-meme, le regard Iatinoamericain des
specialistes en philosophie se detoume vers la tradition europeenne.
Exagerement imbue d'elle-meme, la philosophie europ6enne maintient avec
sa tradition non pas un dialogue depuis Ie present, sinon un etemel voyage
dans Ie passe afin d'essayer de l'assumer tel qu'il mt, encore et toujours. On

dirait deux amoureux de la meme femme qui, a force d' etre tellement
attaches a l'image de leur bien-aimee, ont fini par l' oublier. Car la conviction
premiere de la philo sophie consiste a atteindre la connaissance du reel. Ceci
s'est transforme en connaissance (quelquefois minutieuse, complexe et
meme eblouissante) de la connaissance atteinte dans Ie passe par des
hommes illustres. Plutot que d'observer Ie monde et l'homme, la philosophie
actuelle observe son passe.
D'une part, la philo sophie analytique (cultivee particulierement en
Angleterre et aux Etats-Unis) a resolu de confiner la tache philosophique a
une "analyse du langage", et non pas de la realite. D'autre part, la
philosophie europeenne continentale traine interminablement avec elle la
vision du monde des classiques (des pre-socratiques a Heidegger) comme s'il
n'y avait rien de nouveau a dire sur l'univers et sur l'homme.
Pendant ce temps, cet univers et cette humanite font l'objet d'etudes
diligentes de la part des disciplines scientifiques (cosmologie, paleobiologie,
ethologie, genetique, pour n'en citer que quelques-unes). Le degre de
connaissance atteint par ces disciplines est tel qu'il a mis en crise de
nombreuses croyances charriees par les sciences humaines traditionnelles.
Ainsi, des themes tels que la place de l'homme dans l'univers, la recherche
d'un sens au deroulement du reel, Ie temps, l' espace, la causalite, les
conditions et les limites de la connaissance, Ie phenomene moral (quelques
exemples parmi d'autres), ne peuvent etre etudies serieusement a l'insu de
ces sciences. Cependant, la philosophie et les sciences humaines, aveuglees
par Ie souvenir de son passe, ne semblent pas s'en rendre compte. De nos
jours, il ya peu de philosophes assumes comme a pu l'etre Emile Meyerson
au debut de ce siecle. Et il est notable que cette maniere de faire de la
philosophie depuis la science soit en train de renaltre sur tous les fronts de la
meilleure science: Monod, Prigogine, Reeves, Hawking, chacun a leur
maniere et avec un succes different, sont des exemples d'une pensee resolue
a refiechir sur les vieilles questions philosophiques a partir d'aujourd'hui, et
non pas d'hier.
La philosophie et les sciences sociales humaines traditionnelles ont etabli
leur domicile conservateur au sein des universites. De la, elles peuvent
exercer presque dans l'impunite leur "reve dogmatique", toute confiantes
qu'elles sont d'accomplir leur devoir. La philosophie cultivee dans les
universites latinoamericaines en ce sens ne difrere pas de l'europeenne. 142

142 J'ai developpe plus amplement ce point de vue dans mes livres Ciencia y filosoffa (Editorial
Universitaria, 1982), Teoria de la acci6n (Ediciones de la Universidad de Chile, 1987), La
filosofla y sus formas an6malas (Editorial Hachette, 1991), Conocimientos y biologla
(Editorial Hachette, 1991), et;, Tiempo 0 etemidad? (Dolmen Ediciones, 1994).

II - La philosophie au Chili (1973-1933)

Il existe plusieurs fa<;ons de dresser un etat des aspects les plus relevants de
la philo sophie d'un pays143. L'une des plus courantes consiste a aborder la
question par Ie biais de la biographie; c'est-a-dire, a dresser un registre des
auteurs les plus eminents et de leur production intellectuelle.
Etant donne qu' au Chili la recherche philosophique est centree autour de
diverses institutions, il m' a paru approprie de rappeler dans les grandes lignes
Ie travail editorial de celles-ci. Je ne m' etendrai pas, par consequent, sur les
auteurs et leurs reuvres afin de consacrer une large place a la description des
centres d' expression philosophiques les plus notoires du Chili des annees
1973 a 1993.

1 - Revista de Filosofia
La Revista de Filosofia est la plus ancienne revue periodique dediee a la
philosophie du Chili. C'est aussi la plus reguliere et celIe qui jouit du plus
grand prestige. Elle vit Ie jour en aout 1949 sous les auspices de la Sociedad
Chilena de Filosoffa et de la Universidad de Chile. Une annee plus tard, elle
passa sous la dependance unique de la Universidad de Chile. A sa direction
se succederent les professeurs du departement de philosophie de la
Universidad de Chile, Messieurs Mario Ciudad, Felix Schwartzmann, Carlos
Miranda et Jorge Estrella, de 1949 a 1993 respectivement. Son rythme de
publication est de deux numeros par an en moyenne. Elle cessa de paraitre en
1951, 1954, 1967, 1968 et pendant la periode 1970-1976. Entre 1949 et
1993, 46 numeros vi rent Ie jour. L' ouvrage Indice de La Revista de Filosofta,
elabore par deux specialistes de la Pontificia Universidad Cat6lica de Chile,
Elena Sanchez c. et M6nica Cagelmacher V.I44, fait mention pour la periode
comprise entre 1949 et 1990 de 199 auteurs, 259 articles, 51 textes, cours et
travaux divers, 153 notes et commentaires et 53 chroniques.
La Revista de Filosofta, depuis ses origines, est en fait I' organe
d'expression de l'activite philosophique realisee par les universitaires du
Chili. Son point fort est la publication d'etudes portant sur des auteurs

143 Je cite ici les quelques textes suivants concernant egalernent la philosophie au Chili:
Roberto Escobar: La fllosojia en Chile, Ediciones de la Universidad Tecnica del Estado,
Santiago, 1976.
Fernando Astorquiza Pizarro (Directeur): Bio-bibliograffa de la jilosofia en Chile desde el
sigfo XVI hasta 1980, editc par la Universidad de Chile et I'Instituto Profesional de
Santiago, Santiago, 1982.
Fernando Astorquiza Pizarro (Directeur): Bio-bibliograffa de fa .filosaffa en Chile desde
1980 hasta 1985, idem, Santiago, 1985 (les deux tomes totalisent 400 pages).
Jaime Caiceo Escudero: Principales etapas de la fllosa.fia en Chile a traves de su historia,
Ediciones de la Pontificia Universidad Cat6lica de Chile, Santiago, 1988.
144 Voir Revista dejilosojia, volumes XXXVII-XXXVIII, 1991.

classiques d'Occident, sur des themes et des problemes analyses dans Ie

cadre universitaire. Les questions metaphysiques, l'histoire de la philosophie,
la theorie de la connaissance, la logique, la philosophie politique,
l'epistemologie sont au centre de son interet intellectuel. En ce sens, c'est un
representant autochtone de la philosophie classique, permeable aux
tendances developpees en Europe (positivisme, phenomenologie,
existentialisme, par exemple).
Les auteurs les plus eminents de la philosophie chilienne ont ecrit dans la
Revista de Filosofia. Depuis quatre generations (1950, 1965, 1980, 1995), les
penseurs s'appuient sur cet important et decisif espace intellectuel pour
formuler leurs idees. Mario Ciudad, Jose Echeverria, Rafael Gandolfo,
Bogumi1 Jasinowski, Jorge Millas, Luis Oyarztin, Felix Schwartzmann, pour
n'en citer que quelques-uns, appartiennent a la premiere generation. Joaquin
Barcel6, Roberto Escobar, Ana Escnoar, Humberto Giannini, Karla Kordua,
Castor Narvarte, Juan Rivano, Francisco Soler, Gerold Stahl, Roberto
Torretti, Juan de Dios Vial Larrain, ala seconde. Parmi les membres de la
generation de 1980, on peut nommer Jorge Acevedo, Antonio Arbea,
Eduardo Carrasco, Luis Flores, Carlos Miranda, Margarita Schultz, Oscar
Velasquez. Quant a la plus recente generation, on y trouve des specialistes
tels que Gustavo Cataldo, Jose Gandolfo ou Alejandro Ramirez 145 .
Autre caracteristique notoire de la revue, son ampleur de registre : ouverte
a des perspectives differentes, elle comprend des travaux OU plus que les
idees defendues compte la qualite theorique avec laquelle celles-ci sont
Le comite directeur de la revue s'est efforce, de plus, a inclure
regulierement des ecrits d'auteurs d'importance intemationale. C'est ainsi
qu'ont collabore a la revue Villard Quine, Mario Bunge, Alfred Ayer,
Donald Davidson, Max Bense, Paul Ricceur, Emesto Grassi, Desiderio Papp,
Jerzy Pelc, Gillo Dorfles, Francisco Romero, Garcia Bacca, Ferrater Mora,
entre autres.

2 - Seminarios de Filosofia
La Faculte de Philosophie de la Pontificia Universidad Cat6lica de Chile,
situee a Santiago, a deploye un important travail editorial a partir de l'annee
1982. Sous la conduite du philosophe Juan de Dios Vial Larrafn et dans Ie
cadre du Plan basico defilosofia mis en place par cette faculte, eUe a edite un
materiel bibliographique de soutien portant notamment sur la metaphysique

J 45 Pour une approche plus detaillee des auteurs et de leurs travaux, consulter la Revista de
FilosoJfa de 1991 et la Bio-bibliografia de La filosoJia en Chile desde el siglo XVI hasta

platonicienne et sur celle de Saint Thomas d' Aquin (Sofista, par Juan de Dios
Vial Larrafn, El Banquete, par Jorge Eduardo Rivera, Parmenides, par
Amoal Edwards. La trascendentalidad de la metafisica - Saint Thomas - par
Jose Luis Fernandez).
La meme faculte de philosophie initia en 1982 une seconde ligne de
publications - Ensayos e investigaciones - dans le but de faire connaitre
certains travaux de longue haleine realises par ses chercheurs plus
specialises. Anima Mundi (1982) d'Oscar Velasquez, Una ciencia del ser
(1987) de Juan de Dios Vial Larrafn, Imaginadon, sfmbolo y realidad (1987)
de Jorge Pena Vial, Una teoria de la inteligencia (1992) de Juan de Dios Vial
Larrafn, Filosofia, poesfa y mito a la luz de Eros en el symposio de Plat6n
(1993) de Ana Marfa Vicuna, sont quelques-uns des titres edites dans cette
Dans les annees 80 egalement et dans un format sembI able au precedent,
furent edites des textes monographiques (sur Ortega y Gasset et Kant
notamment) ecrits par des specialistes de la Faculte de Philo sophie de la
Pontificia Universidad Cat6lica de Chile elle-meme. A partir de 1988 et sous
la conduite du professeur Oscar Velasquez, une nouvelle ligne editoriale
s' affirme dans Ie prolongement de I' anterieure : elle regroupe des travaux de
differents specialistes autour d'un meme theme ou auteur. La publication se
nomme Seminarios de Filosofia. Elle paral't regulierement tous les ans.
Unamuno, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Filosofla y cultura en el Renacimiento,
Karl Popper, sont quelques exemples des titres publies. n s'agit d'un style de
production philosophique periodique qui, contrairement a d'autres, convoque
ses collaborateurs autour de I' analyse d'un meme sujet.

3 - Teorfa
Le premier numero de Teoria, date de I'annee 1973, parut au sein de
I' ancienne Faculte Nord de la Universidad de Chile a Santiago (dans un
campus dedie aux sciences), sous la direction du philosophe Humberto
Giannini. La revue pretendait creer un moyen de reflexion centre sur les
relations contemporaines avec les sciences (Ies sciences humaines en
particulier) plutot que sur I'histoire de la philosophie.
Elle parut de fac;;on irreguliere jusqu' en 1977, totalisant six numeros.
Depuis 1977 etjusqu'en 1979, elle rec;;ut Ie soutien financier de la Fondation
Ford. Pour cette raison, et comme elle n'appartenait plus ala Universidad de
Chile, son titre original fut remplace par celui de Escritos de Teoria. Elle
sortit trois numeros de plus, toujours sous la direction de Humberto Giannini.
Le style de travail applique par cette revue merite qu'on en fasse mention.
Les collaborateurs formaient un groupe qui discutait les collaborations
presentees. De cette fac;;on, chaque numero donnait I'impression d'un travail

convergeant emanant de personnes partageant des problemes communs.

Dans tous les cas, sa thematique resta centree sur les questions classiques de
la philo sophie academique.

4 - Cuadernos de fa Universidad de Chile

Un autre philosophe chilien, Joaquin Barcel6, dirigea une publication
periodique de la Universdad de Chile qui, bien qu'elle ne ffit pas
exdusivement consacree a la philosophie, sut en indure quelques ecrits dans
ses numeros. n s'agit de la revue Cuadernos de la Universidad de Chile.
Barcel6 en fut Ie President du Conseil Editorial pour Ie premier numero,
poste qu'il occupa de nouveau pour Ie numero 5 et qu'il conserva jusqu'au
demier numero, Ie 8, publie en 1989.
Les numeros 5 et 6, consacres au theme de la creativite, revelerent un
interessant travail editorial. Le Conseil Editorial sollicita la collaboration de
specialistes de diverses branches du savoir afin d'aborder ce theme
philosophique sous plusieurs angles tels que I' art, la science, la biologie, la
physique, la musique, Ie design, la psychanalyse, Ie droit, les mathematiques
et la philosophie. Ce meme critere fut applique aux numeros 7 et 8, consacres
cette fois au theme du fondement moral de diverses disciplines (art,
medecine, historiographie, philosophie, droit, sociologie, sciences politiques,
communication sociale et urbanisme).
Ainsi, sans etre une publication philosophique a proprement parler, la
revue Cuadernos de la Universidad de Chile a toujours aborde des questions
philosophiques et occupe par-Ia meme une place significative dans le milieu

5 - Philosophica
La revue Philosophica fit son apparition en 1978. Elle appartient a l'Institut
de Philosophie de la Universidad Cat6lica de Valparaiso. Son directeur, Juan
Antonio Widow, affirme dans le premier numero que la revue "est Ie fruit de
l'activite academique gravitant autour de l'Institut de Philosophie de la
Universidad Cat6lica de Valparaiso. Le rythme de publication, Dieu aidant,
sera annuel". n declare egalement que la revue "recueillera tout resultat
emanant d'une activite intellectuelle ordonnee visant, comme but ultime, la
connaissance de la verite universelle". D'ou la decision d'incorporer "des
themes theologiques dont l'intention est d'etre le intellectus .fidei de la
tradition chretienne". Dans sa presentation, Ie directeur affirme explicitement
que c'est la raison pour laqueUe la revue "exclut un pluralisme pris en raison
de principe". Selon lui, la publication vient combler un vide: "I'absence,
depuis tres longtemps, de publication periodique destinee a traiter,
principalement, les questions philosophiques selon les criteres fondamentaux

de la tradition thomiste et chretienne". n termine sa presentation en

declarant: "c' est a Saint Thomas, notre Saint patron, que nous
recommandons l'a:uvre entreprise aujourd'hui avec la sortie du premier
numero de PHILOSOPHICA. Valparaiso, jour de la Fete-Dieu, 1978".
Le contenu des quinze volumes publies entre 1978 et 1993 confirme la
fidelite de la revue au point de vue defendu par son directeur.

6 - Anuario de Filosofia juridica y Social

En decembre 1981 se constitua la Sociedad Chilena de Filosofia Jurfdica.
Parmi ses aspirations figurait celle de "promouvoir, sous to utes ses formes,
les etudes et recherches en Philosophie du droit, Philo sophie sociale et autres
disciplines annexes". La corporation, comme l'indiquent ses statuts, "ne
s'identifie a aucune ecole determinee, aucune doctrine ni theorie
philosophico-juridique ni philosophico-sociale, raison pour laquelle elle
n'etablira aucun type de discrimination ni de preference en la matiere". A la
meme date, I'institution decida de publier regulierement un Anuario de
Filosofia Juridica y Social.
Le premier d' entre eux parut en 1983. Celui de 1984 fut dedie a la
memoire de Jorge Millas, philosophe chilien decede en 1982. Ce fut Ie cas
egalement du demier numero, paru en 1993 et intitule "Souvenir de Jorge
Millas'" en hommage ace penseur chilien.
De 1983 a 1993, onze numeros de l'annuaire virent Ie jour. n s'agit de
volumes comprenant chacun environ 250 pages, d' ou se degagent deux
lignes principales. La premiere examine la pensee philosophique chilienne
dans le domaine du juridique et du social; la seconde presente et etudie des
themes de plusieurs disciplines attenant au droit (Philosophie du droit,
Sociologie juridique, Theorie politique, par exemple). C'est Agustin Squella,
professeur universitaire d'Introduction au Droit et de Philosophie du Droit,
qui dirige l'Anuario de FilosoJfa Juridica y Social depuis ses dix ans
d' existence.

7 - Revista de Ciencias Sociales

Cette revue semestrielle editee par la FacuIte de Droit et de Sciences sociales
de la Universidad de Valparaiso entretient un lien privilegie avec la
philosophie. De 1970 a 1973, elle fut dirigee par Jorge Jobet. Depuis 1973
jusqu'a present, son directeur est Agustin Squella. Elle totalise aujourd'hui
trente-huit numeros pams.
La revue a publie des numeros speciaux consacres a des personnalites
ayant effectue un apport significatif dans Ie domaine de la Theorie et de la
Philosophie du Droit. Ces publications specia1es font partie d'une collection
intitulee Grandes .figuras y tendencias del pensamiento juridico moderno

(Grandes figures et tendances de la pensee juridique modeme). A titre

d'exemple, on peut citer Ie numero 20, dedie au "Neokantisme dans la
pbilosophie du droit" (1982) et Ie numero double 33/34 (datant de 1990), sur
Ie theme "Philosophie du Droit et democratie en Amerique latine".

8 - Estudios Ptiblicos
La revue Estudios Publicos est nee en 1980. Elle est dirigee par un
specialiste en philosophie, Arturo Fontaine Talavera, depuis 1982. J usqu' en
1993, on comptait cinquante numeros parus. Un index des themes et auteurs
couvrant ces cinquante premiers numeros (1980-1993) fait mention de 410
auteurs et d'un nombre encore superieur de travaux, ce qui donne une idee de
l'ampleur de l'effort intellectuel deploye par cette publication pendant la
peri ode consideree.
Bien qu'il ne s'agisse pas d'une revue purement philosophique, elle est
devenue un organe de debats d'idees. Elle a rapidement acquis une
importance decisive au sein de la culture chilienne. Bien que Ie spectre de ses
interets reste principalement centre sur les aspects politiques, economiques et
sociaux, elle n'a neanmoins jamais cesse d'aborder les problemes
philosophiques lies aux theories politiques et economiques. Des specialistes
en philosophie tels que Juan de Dios Vial Larrafn, Humberto Giannini ou
Joaquin Barcel6 y ont pub lie des travaux originaux ou des selections de
classiques de la philo sophie comme Tocqueville ou Kant pour n'en citer que
La revue Estudios Publicos accomplit un travail intellectuel sur plusieurs
fronts. En premier lieu, elle remit a I' ordre du jour les themes centraux de la
philosophie liberale et leur confrontation avec les idees totalitaires. Pour ce
faire, elle diffusa - au moyen de textes choisis et d' exposes concis - la
philosophie d' auteurs classiques tels qu' Aristote, J. Locke, T. Hobbes, A.
Smith, Stuart Mill, H. Spencer, L. von Mises, K. Popper ou F. A. Hayek. Ce
demier - prix Nobel d'economie 1974 - fut, jusqu'a sa mort, President
honoraire du Centro de Estudios Publicos, institution editrice de la revue.
Cependant, Estudios Publicos entreprit une tache plus difficile et plus
decisive encore, depassant Ie cadre du travail pedagogique de diffusion et de
debat des idees liberales: elle materialisa une pen see consacree a la
recherche des problemes concrets du Chili, de leur diagnostic technique, des
solutions realistes et de leur coUt. Le systeme judiciaire chilien, les forces
armees, la transition a la democratie, les partis politiques, la politique
intemationale, les problemes ecologiques du developpement et nombre
d'autres sujets d'interet pour Ie pays re<;urent dans ses pages un traitement
opportun, juste et orientateur.

Un autre merite notoire de la revue est qu'elle rendit propice la

confrontation intellectuelle d'idees opposees sur un meme sujet. Et ceci sans
tomber dans Ie pamphlet ou la disqualification des adversaires, tentations si
courantes dans Ie domaine de l' edition. Dans un document publie dans Ie
numero 51 (hiver 1993), Juan de Dios Vial Correa, recteur de la Pontificia
Universidad Cat6lica de Chile, soutient qu'il tient en estime la revue parce
qu'elle "maintient et alimente un debat intellectuel sur des sujets publics".
"Le Chili, affirme Juan de Dios Vial Correa, n'est pas un pays ou 1'on aime
Ie debat intellectuel. C' est la une profonde lacune de la formation, dont il faut
chercher les origines a l'6cole. Notre style d'enseignement est passif, et
meme quand il tente d'etre plus actif, il retombe vite vers les stereotypes. La
preoccupation pour la methode l'emporte sur la preoccupation pour la chose.
Dans nos salles de conferences, dans nos amphitheatres universitaires, les
debats sont timides. Personne n'aime se risquer, avancer une hypothese plus
osee. Jusque dans nos journaux, on prerere citer entre guillemets un enonce
plut6t que fournir l'effort dangereux d'en composer, reproduire et interpreter
la pensee".

9 - Le rappel anterieur de la production philosophique realisee au Chili au

cours des deux dernieres decades est, sans doute, incomplet. n serait
egalement necessaire de dresser la liste des publications des differentes
maisons d' edition pour pretendre a un panorama plus ample.
L' activite editoriale a connu une croissance soutenue au Chili depuis la
recuperation economique notoire du pays a partir de 1973.
Je mentionnerai, a titre d' exemples, les maisons Editorial Universitaria et
Dolmen Ediciones (ex-Hachette).
Entre 1973 et 1993, Editorial Universitaria a publie vingt-neuf titres ayant
trait a des themes philosophiques, parmi lesquels La reflexi6n cotidiana, de
Humberto Giannini; Nihilismo y violencia, de Castor Narvarte; Hombre y
mundo, de Jorge Acevedo.
Entre les annees 1989 et 1993, Dolmen Ediciones pour sa part a edite onze
ouvrages d'auteurs chiliens touchant a des themes philosophiques. A titre
d'exemples, citons Autoconocimiento en Occidente, de Felix Schwartzmann,
et La cuerdafloja, de Margarita Schultz.
Le volume important de production philosophique chilienne ne doit
cependant pas nous induire en erreur et nous faire croire que la pensee
philosophique est tres repandue dans la societe chilienne. En stricte rigueur,
Ie travail philosophique vit grace a la decision politi que de la maintenir dans
I'enceinte des universites plut6t que grace a la demande sociale qu'elle
meriterait. La presence de la philosophie au Chili - tout comme dans un
grande partie de l'Occident - reste plus institutionnelle que culturelle.

Ceci oMit it plusieurs raisons. L'une d'entre elles, et pas la moindre,

repond it l'incapacite frequente des specialistes en philosopbie it sortir de leur
cloitre; it abandonner Ie langage cryptique dans lequel ils ont l'habitude
d'emettre leurs idees; it se decider it penser les sujets importants du monde
des maintenant (et non pas depuis Ie point de vue de la tradition), afin de ne
pas abandonner cet espace de pensee, que toute societe reclame, it des
entreprises peu habiles dans l'art de penser comme Ie joumalisme,
I' occultisme, les ideologies ou la rumeur ...

III - Temoignage personnel

Je ne serais pas fidele it l'esprit philosophique si je n'exprimais pas ce que
j' ai observe de la philosophie au Chili au cours de ces vingt demieres annees.
Les experiences personnelles ont de nombreuses limites. On pourra toujours
en effet argumenter en sens contraire partant d'un vecu different. Cependant,
il est possible de moderer en partie les Ii mites d'un temoignage personnel si
l'on explique quels sont les prejuges que formule Ie temoin.
Je considere important deux types de prejuges qui marquent mon
experience de la philosophie au Chili ces vingt demieres annees. Le premier
d' entre eux reside dans Ie fait que je ne suis pas ne et n' ai pas ete eleve au
Chili, main en Argentine. Cela me permet un certain recul. D'un autre cote,
cette situation me pousse inevitablement it etablir un tableau de comparaison
avec mon pays d' origine. Je suis arrive au Chili it l' age de 35 ans. Ma
formation philosophique et mes preferences etaient donc enracinees dans une
autre culture que la culture chilienne. Par exemple, il m'a ete donne de vivre
(entre 1969 et 1975) au sein d'une societe marquee par l'action violente de
puissants groupes terroristes et par la repression menee par les forces armees
argentines. Les deux types d' action atteignirent des niveaux extremes
d'irrationalite et de cruaute. Tant et si bien que, vivant au Chili it partir de
1975, je garde toujours en toile de fond dans rna memoire cette experience
limite du social en Argentine: en comparaison, Ie Chili m'impressionne par
sa plus grande ponderation, sa rationalite, par Ie fait que la violence y a ete
employee selon d'autres criteres. Mon affirmation s'appuie sur des elements
objectifs, ce n'est pas seulement un jugement de valeur: alors qu'au Chili,
les organismes de defense des droits de I'homme accusaient le gouvemement
militaire de la disparition de 700 personnes, en Argentine ce chiffre s'elevait
it 30.000 (rappelons au passage que la population argentine etait alors de 30
millions alors que la population chilienne etait de 13 millions. Par
consequent, Ie nombre de disparus - remis par des institutions humanitaires
d'inspiration ideologique semblable dans les deux cas - nous renseigne
clairement sur la plus grande moderation des militaires chiliens qui, de plus,
lutterent contre Ie marxisme installe au pouvoir).

La dictature militaire en Argentine coupa Ie probleme a sa racine. Sa

tMorie de la "pomme pourrie" la mena a eliminer une bonne partie des
pommes saines du cageot. Liberal ou catholique, etranger ou argentin, juif ou
chretien, de gauche ou de droite, meme sans parti, personne ne se sentait en
securite en Argentine dans les annees 70. De puissantes forces impregnees de
cruaute s'etaient dechainees et leurs administrations assumaient avec plaisir
la chasse a l'homme, la violence au hasard, la veMmente resolution de ne pas
reprimer leur envie de haine.
C' est pourquoi quand je commem;ai a travailler a la Universidad de Chile,
en septembre 1975, je fus immediatement surpris par la presence massive du
langage marxiste dans son enceinte. Au contraire de l' Argentine, Ia dictature
chilienne respecta dans une importante mesure Ia liberte de filiation
ideologique du corps enseignant. Bien que la majeure partie d' entre eux (tout
comme ceux qui avaient ete depossedes de leur poste) protestat contre Ie
manque de Iiberte, a la difference de l' Argentine, eux vivaient encore pour
exercer leur droit a la manifestation.
Je choisirai deux anecdotes parmi toutes celles qui m' ont ete donnees de
vivre pendant ces annees pour demontrer Ie pMnomene que j'aborde ici. La
premiere se deroula lors de mon entree a la Universidad de Chile, en 1975.
Un ami et professeur de la Universidad de Chile me commenta que Ie doyen
de Ia Faculte de Philosophie et d'Education, mis au courant de rna presence
a Santiago, souhaitait me rencontrer. n etait fort probable qu'il m'offrirait
I'occasion d'un travail, car il se trouvait qu'on avait besoin d'un
epistemologue. Je souhaite ici reproduire la teneur de cette entrevue. Informe
par la presse mondiale sur Ie fascisme barbare en vigueur dans Ie pays,
con scient du fait que les universites (et en particulier Ies facultes de sciences
humaines) jouent en general Ie role de centre d'endoctrinement ideologique
en Amerique latine, j'assistai a la reunion plus pousse par la curiosite que par
Ie desir de decrocher un poste. Le doyen m'expliqua qu'effectivement ils
avaient besoin d'un professeur de Philosophie des Sciences, et qu'il
connaissait par references mon travail Q'avais deja enseigne la philosophie
dans cette meme universite en 1967). Je lui exposai a mon tour que je venais
d'une universite ideologisee, constamment menacee par des bandes armees et
que je n'avais aucun interet a travailler de nouveau dans de semblablcs
- Je suppose, lui dis-je, que vous interdisez certains auteurs et certains
courants de pensee. Et qu'au contraire vous en imposez d'autres. Dans ces
conditions, je n' ai aucun interet a travailler ici.
- Vous venez d'arriver dans ce pays, vous etes en droit de penser ce qu'il
vous plaira. Cependant, si vous acceptez Ie poste que je vous propose, je
vous assure que vous jouirez de la plus grande liberte academique qui soit

pour enseigner votre matiere comme il vous plaira. Aucun courant de pensee
ne vous sera jamais interdit ni impose.
n en fut ainsi. Jamais je n'avais eu l'occasion d'exercer l'enseignement de
la philosophie, la recherche et l'expression d'idees avec autant de liberte que
pendant ces dix-neuf dernieres annees.
Evidemment, tres peu de professeurs partageaient mon opinion. Et ceci
m' amene a reconnaitre mon second prejuge qui illustre, sans doute possible,
ce qui m' a ete donne de vivre au Chili pendant cette periode : je ne ressens
pas La moindre sympathie pour quelque forme de totaLitarisme que ce soit.
Ceux qui ont noirci ce siecIe, Ie nazisme, Ie fascisme et Ie communisme, ont
brandi des bannieres salutaires qui se sont implacablement terminees en
camps de concentration, en exterminations massives, en xenophobie et en
pratiques aberrantes contre les personnes.
Le Chili est un pays Ionguement travaille par l'ideologie marxiste. rnfus,
omnipresent, Ie communisme a impregne l'ame des chiliens au point de se
convertir en veritable pole d'imaginaire collectif. Vu par moi, ce qui aux
yeux des Chiliens etait parfaitement normal, devenait un fait notable:
democrates-chretiens, radicaux, libre-penseurs ou se reclamant tels (et, bien
sur, socialistes et communistes), tous parlaient un langage commun, Ie
langage du marxisme, de la theorie de la dependance, de la theologie de la
Un observateur exteme comme moi etait incapable de distinguer l'origine
heterogene des participants de ce langage commun. Et, sans doute, je
commettais l'erreur de prendre leurs affirmations et leurs negations au pied
de la lettre.
Je mentionnerai ici un incident illustrant ce que j'entends par
denominateur commun du credo socialisant. En 1980, un professeur adjoint a
rna chaire organisa un seminaire sur Ie theme "Qu'est-ce que la
philosophie ?". Furent invites a participer tous les membres du departement
de philosophie de ce qui etait alors la Faculte de Philosophie et d'Education
(sur Ie fameux campus Pedag6gico), ainsi que des professeurs d'autres
universites. Plusieurs exposants mirent I'accent sur la "fonction Iiberatrice de
la philosophie", sur sa condition de "pen see engagee" afin de "demasquer les
ideologies", etc. L'un d'entre eux, en particulier, attira mon attention par son
severe jugement contre l' "etat de prostration de la philosophie chilienne".
Selon lui, les professeurs de philosophie "etaient des laquais de la dictature",
"des porte-paroles de I'ideologie opprimante". C'etait un langage tres proche
de celui que j'avais entendu a Vincennes en 1972. Apres chaque expose
s' ouvrait Ie debat. Je fis remarquer au professeur en question que sa
description du professeur de philosophie soumis a la dictature correspondait
beaucoup plus a la situation cubaine qu'a celie que nous vivions au Chili.

Naturellement, il nia reconnaitre qu'a Cuba, la liberte des personnes flit

limitee. Or, justement dans Ie meme temps, l' ambassade du Perou a la
Havane - a laquelle Ie gouvemement cubain avait retire sa protection
policiere en raison d'un differend - avait ete envahie par dix mille personnes
demandant asile. Comme on s'en souviendra, la crise des "Marielitos"
culmina par l'exil de cent vingt mille personnes fuyant Cuba a la recherche
d' air libre. Je rappelai ace professeur les evenements de Cuba: une veritable
bombe humaine avait trouve Ie moyen de fuir Ie pays. Au Chili, au contraire,
I' opposition protestait implacablement contre la prohibition de retour des
personnes forcees par la dictature a s'exiler. Ainsi, a Cuba, il y avait des
personnes qui se battaient pour s'en aller pendant qu'au Chili, les exiles
voulaient revenir. La reponse de ce professeur a mes objections, toutes les
personnes presentes purent l'ecouter. Je la reproduis ici car elle revele
plusieurs choses :
- Tu te trompes dans ton appreciation de ce qui se passe a Cuba ! Car ces
personnes ne fuyent pas, contrairement a ce que tu crois: elles cherchent
simplement a planter Ie drapeau de la liberte dans d' autres points d' Amerique
du Sud. Elles veulent partager avec d' autres peuples Ie bonheur du
socialisme cubain !
Une telle reponse revele a quel point la formation philosophique devient
inefficace quand elle est voilee par l'ideologie. Elle revele egalement la
presence d'un esprit collectif durant ces annees: ceux qui ne pensaient pas
comme ce professeur garderent Ie silence. Ma dissidence etait presque
solitaire. Malgre ses opinions, cette personne continua a travailler dans
l'universite d'Etat la plus importante du pays. Elle fut ecartee de son poste en
1981, huit ans apres Ie coup d'Etat.
L' exercice de la philosophie n' est pas chose facile. n exige des conditions
qui ne sont pas toujours celles des communautes humaines. Au cours de cette
difficile periode vecue par Ie Chili et prise en compte dans ce travail, tous les
styles de philosophies ont su atteindre et conserver leur propre physionomie
(comme Ie montre l'enumeration de mon chapitre II). Et, chose notable, il
regna entre tous une co-existence eduquee.
n existe dans Ie domaine academique des personnes qui connaissent tres
bien 1'histoire de la philosophie, il y a des specialistes tres capables dans
differents secteurs, ainsi qu'un excellent corps d'enseignants universitaires.
Au cours de ces dernieres annees, moderement, l'idee d'une pensee creative
qui ne limite pas son travail a la divulgation de la philosophie traditionnelle
fait son chemin. Les annees a venir nous diront si cet effort culminera ou non
par des apports solides dans ce domaine.


Rockefeller Fellow
Chicago Humanities Institute

One of the characteristics of the emerging Latin American public sphere is

precisely a shift away from the predominantly "literary" model of the nation
and national culture held by both traditional and modernizing elites in Latin
America. The book that provided the main impetus to broaden the
perspective of Latin American literary studies to embrace larger cultural
contexts was La ciudad letrada 1 (The Lettered City, 1984), by Angel Rama,
perhaps the most important figure in modern Latin American literary
criticism. Rama sketched in that book an incipient critique of what might be
called the "literature-centrism" of Latin American culture, showing the
involvement of a certain idea of literature and its institutionalization in the
construction of systems of social power and exclusion from the colony
onward. This was in part a self-criticism of his own sense of the progressive
role of literature in his earlier work on the problem of what he called
"narrative transculturation", which was extremely influential in defining a
major direction of Latin American criticism in the seventies. Since then, a
series of books and articles have deepened and problematized his basic
thesis: for example (to mention only one indicative title) John Beverley's
Against Literaturi.
My work, which starts in the same place, proceeds, however, in a different
direction, which is to begin to move out of literature itself and instead to use
techniques of literary and philosophical analysis to study cultural constructs
that, because of their own social dynamic, were never or could no longer be
properly contained or represented in literature, even by expanding the notion
of literature to include testimonial or "oral" literature3 • Resembling Raymond
Williams, who moved from literary criticism (without ever abandoning it) to
become one of the pioneers of Communications and Cultural Studies in

1Angel Rama, La ciudad letrada, (Hanover, New Hampshire: Ediciones del Norte, 1984).
2John Beverley, Against literature, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993).
3 Particularly my book Literatura contempordnea y grotesco social en Bolivia, (La Paz:

Guttorm Fl¢istad (ed.), Philosophy of Latin America, 171-185.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Britain, I have studied the limits of testimonial discourse4 within the political
and economic reforms introduced by neoliberalism, and the upsurge of post-
testimonial forms of popular culture. Thus the importance of recent Andean
paintings, among other expressions of the visual arts, in the cultural
imaginary of contemporary Latin America.
Following this line of thought, my article situates the cultural construct of
the contemporary Bolivian "cholo" within the breakdown of a political
culture that can no longer interpellate convincingly the entirety of the socius
on the basis of the traditional homogeneous master discourses of "mestizaje"
and "nationalism". I assume in this paper that there is no point in attempting
to understand only the limitations of past ideologies, but to discern the new
cultural spaces in which oppositional practices ("civilization" vs.
"barbarism"; "nation vs. anti-nation") are no longer very well defined.
To elucidate what contemporary Bolivian paintings on "cholos" are
nowadays trying to express, I start this article with a general reflection on
phenomenology and on its limited capacity to understand the manifestations
of what can be called the postmodern sublime. I then proceed to trace the
distinctions between "cholos" and "mestizos". This distinction allows me to
return, in the last part of the paper, to a particular watercolor painting in order
to explain "cholaje" as a social expression of desublimation and resistance to
(seigneurial) authority.

The visual form

Like the recent work of Lucian Freud, contemporary Bolivian painters (Raul
Lara, Dario Antezana, among others) question the notion that the bodies we
really touch are the bodies described by phenomenology. Could it be that the
language of the body formulated by phenomenology is no longer an
epiphenomenon of the experienced structure described by Merleau-Ponty?5
The language of phenomenology sought to capture in coherent concepts
the lines of significance inscribed on our bodies. Do not bodies decompose
those lines of significance and disassemble in their mass and weight?
Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception6 is a phenomenology of
perceptual competence. In Merleau-Ponty, bodies form an experienced
structure, a Gestalt. The distinctive features of this Gestalt are brought out in
the discussion of the inner postural diagram and the body image in

4 See my article ''Testimonial Discourse and New Popular Trends in Bolivia", in Mediations,
Vol. 17, No.1 (December 1992) 50-59.
5 I follow here Alphonso Lingis' "Bodies That Touch Us", in Thesis Eleven, No. 36 (1993)
6 Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Colin Smith (London:
Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986).

Phenomenology of Perception. But the central thesis of this philosophical

work equates the dynamism of the motor axes of the body with the
intentional movement of signification. The body is shown to be postured by
an intentional arc, which orients itself toward objectives and positions objects
meaningfully before itself. Phenomenology of Perception inaugurates several
of its chapters by announcing that the thesis is to see how a bodily
intentionality constitutes space, and intersensorial objects. The postural
schema, a spontaneous self-maintaining Gestalt, is always oriented upon a
task outside, upon a perceived pattern, which it perceives and makes into a
task by aligning its inner axes in a specific way. When my body senses its
own movements and gestures, it senses a phase, which retains the sense of its
past positions and anticipates its final position; it senses, Merleau-Ponty says,
an intentional arc. The French philosopher insists on calling the body a
sensible thing - a sensible-sentient, in the terminology of The Visible and the
Invisible? .
Merleau-Ponty shows perception to be teleologically oriented toward the
positing of intersensorial things with their real qualities, sizes, shapes, and
right positions. Things are objectives, tasks. The perceived world is a
practicable field. Perceptual competence is motor competence, praktognosis.
The significance that this philosopher finds in the postural schema is a
structure of competence in the body. But, how many of the movements of the
body do not show this teleological structure, this competence? What happens
when visual forms negate this postural schema? Are there not incompetent
bodies that repel orderly signification? What happens when bodies lose their
teleological intentional arc, and become the result of a cultural construction
that transforms reality into a simulacrum?
Under the tissue of the world is the flesh of the world touched by a body of
flesh. Flesh is mass. This mass is not simply an intentional arc, or the
condensation of a force operating gear. Sartre spoke of the expanse of the
torso, the flanks, incapable of manipulation. One touches the mass of the
stomach, buttocks, cheeks, tongue, palms, eyes. Bodies also equilibrate,
destabilize, with their own weight. This weight, as we shall later see in one of
the canvases of Darlo Antezana, a contemporary Bolivian painter, is a
downward-exerted gravity. Bodies weigh on themselves; they push against
one another, lean on one another, push off one another, embrace one another.
A body ean be a bulimic mass, to be borne in the abandon of love or distress,
repulsion or rebellion.

7 Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible, trans. Alphonso Lingis (Evanston:
Northwestern University Press, 1968), 131-132.

If Merleau-Ponty's work is wholly dominated by the idea that the body

unifies itself in its moves, reality indicates the multiplicity of organs and
parts that constitute an obstacle to this unity. Bodies are surfaces that sweat,
the hairs that grow in total disorder, the stomach fluids that exude gases.
Human bodies too move in the world by decomposing whatever nature they
were given and whatever culture put on them, leaving their warmth in the
winds, their fluids on chairs and tools. We are talking here of porous bodies
exhaling microbes, spasmodically spreading deliriums, viruses, pollutions,
acids, toxins. This body mass, which has received little or no attention by the
phenomenology of perception, is at the core of contemporary Andean
culture, particularly in its rituals and festivals. The penetrating, even
revelatory scrutiny of these manifestations of culture is also rendered in
Bolivian art.
The paintings of Raul Lara and Dario Antezana, an obscene mass of
stomachs and buttocks, are visual forms of desublimation that could be
labeled as forms of the postmodern sublime. The canvases of Raul Lara, for
example, take us to the marginal suburbs of the city of La paz during
Carnival and other very important local festivities. Weare thus invited to
enter into a surreal world of masks where human bodies coexist with angels
and demons. As could be expected, the subjects are quite frankly not
handsome. Lara paints husky "cholos" with confetti on their eyelids and
traces of alcohol on their lips. Through dialectic of colors, where the blue and
the violet predominate, Lara paints sweaty bus drivers that take flabby
passengers from the city back to the shantytowns.
These powerful visual images should be located more firmly within all the
other dimensions of cultural construction. Indeed, the visual imaginary that
Lara's paintings show are an expression of the complex "cholo" culture that
nowadays struggles to attain political signification. Likewise, the
communicative exchange that this economically growing "cholo" culture
creates is so powerful that it travels through idiocultures, families,
subcultures, and other "alternative" meanings produced at the micro level of
everyday life. Where does the visual "force" of these paintings come from? It
comes, as we shall see next, from the tradition of the oppressed.

On "mestizos" and "cholos"

Since the Bolivian National Revolution of 1952, there has been a sublimating
intention to treat "mestizos" as a harmonious melting pot of the cultural
diversity of Bolivian society. The revolutionary elites, intending to break the
back of the oligarchic constitution of Bolivian society, tried to conform a
unique and homogeneous social type that would dispel the conflictive nature
of a society deeply divided by racial differences. So necessary was this task

to the ideologues of nationalism that they had no qualms in reinventing the

past, obviating the anti-colonial struggles of the indigenous communities, and
projecting the new mestizos-creole8 ideology of "revolutionary nationalism"
onto the "imagined community" that they were now creating. This attack
against the local communities sought to change peasants into the cultural
model of the ideal mestizo, duly hispanicized, and integrated to the market
economy. Above all, the model was designed to have the peasantry under the
control of the "enlightened" mestizos in power. Using Kant's notion of the
sublime, it could be said that the ideology of "revolutionary nationalism" was
the attempt to reconstitute the excess of revolutionary feeling within the
notions of "unity", "integrity", and "coherence" sanctioned by the construct
of the ideal mestizo. As Hayden White has noticed, this form of sublimation
is some sort of disguised ideology, which disciplines the suprasensible by
reconciling it with the re-cognition of a social meaning in it. The individual,
rather than freeing himlherself from overwhelming totalities, is eventually
subjected to the overpowering force - a force of representation - of the ideal
man9 • Consequently, and despite all the rhetoric invested in the term
"revolutionary nationalism", the sublime has, in what we could call the
politics of historical formation, served the conservative aims of the elites in
power. In this way, the sublime is reduced to duties that only sound as if they
were truly a rebellious task. Behind this screen lies the deep and until today
unresolved contradictions of centuries of colonial domination that Homi
Bhabha has so ably studied in his book The Location of Culture JO ,
contradictions that I find to be very helpful in the analysis of both "cholos"
and "mestizos".
The category "cholo" originated in sixteenth-century Spanish colonial
legal tenets and was designed to classify the indigenous Andean population
within a caste system according to racial characteristics. Legally, any
individual whose blood was more than half-Indian was considered to be an
Indian and forced to pay tribute to the Crown. The problem, however, was
that, due to the lack of Spanish peninsular females in the colony,
intermarriage or illicit unions between Spaniards and female Indians became
a common practice. Hispanic colonists considered intermarriage suitable
between native female nobility and male Spaniards mainly because it gave
members of the Conquest society further access to indigenous lands and
economic resources. While Hispanic colonists and the Crown encouraged

8 Creole or "criollo" is the descendant of Spaniards, born in America.

9 See Hayden White, "The Politics of Historical Interpretation: Discipline and DesubIimation",
Critical Inquiry 9 (September, 1982).
10 Homi Bhabha, The Location afCulture, (New York: Routledge, 1994).

legal marriages between Indian nobility and Spaniards, they only tolerated
illicit unions between male Spaniards and low-status indigenous females.
The offspring of marriages between peninsular Spaniards and Indians was
alternatively called mestizo or "cholo", depending upon how much non-
Indian blood they could claim. Biological distinctions between Indian and
non-Indian becarne impossible to maintain, and "cholos", who belonged
neither to a pure Indian nor to a pure Spanish caste, constituted a thorny
problem for colonial bureaucrats.
It is in this ill-assorted universe of the mestizo strata of society that cultural
identities were articulated as either linked to the Indian, on the one hand, or
to the European, on the other. A distinction between mestizos and "cholos"
was then established: mestizo would be the strata closest to the Spaniards,
while "cholo" would designate those segments of the population closest to
the Indian component of society!!. This distinction, which gives an idea of
the concealed violence that runs within Bolivian society, was retained by 19th
century economic and political liberalism. Thus the mestizo-creole
"civilization" would eventually triumph over the "barbarian" and
"uncivilized" "cholo"-Indian sectors of Bolivian society. Since then, the
mestizo-creole component looks down upon the "cholo", reinforcing the
caste system through complex mechanisms of segregation and exclusion that
keep the urban "cholos" subjugated under the political system.
As helpful as this opposition between "cholos" and mestizos may be in
understanding the intricacies of a social situation inherited from the colonial
past, reality has found its way to confuse matters even further. This
complexity has to do with the fact the "cholos" have also learned to fight
back by shrewdly combining two competing ways of living, that of the
Indian peasants, who live close to the land and to a cosmology from which
they obtain and to which they attribute all their energy (mountains, rivers,
rocks, earth, stars, sun, and moon), and that of the mestizos, who live the
power myth of capitalism and attribute all their energy to commodity
fetishism. Brutally rejected by the social system, the "cholos" have thus
found their way to enter the cities through "populistic" means that combine
the support to mestizo-enlightened political figures with their increasing
economic power, something they are proud to show in rites and urban patron
festivals. Migrating from the countryside, "cholos" have become necessary
to the mestizo economy, providing ties with the rural agricultural producers.
In recent years, local political sociology has had to adapt its Marxian

11 See Silvia Rivera, "La Rafz: Colonizadores y Colonizados" in Xavier Alb6 and Raul
Barrios, editors, Violencias encubiertas en Bolivia, Vol. I (La Paz: CIPCA/Aruwiyiri,

terminology and label these steadily growing new social sectors as "cholo"
bourgeoisie 12 •
As I indicated, it would be too simplistic to place "cholaje" within
capitalism and forget its complexity, its cultural "mess" (I think that this
complexity could be further explored through a chaos-theory model that
Cultural Studies should develop). Behind this ambiguous social category lies
the clashing combination of economic, ethnic, and cultural factors that make
it impossible to treat this new bourgeoisie in a linear way. In economic terms,
for example, this "cholo" bourgeoisie shows a modality of accumulation of
capital that is quite different from that of the traditional creole-mestizo
bourgeoisie. Indeed, this growing and powerful new sector was not
considered by the modernizing revolution of 1952 and was not born under
the protection of the nationalist state. Furthermore, the "cholos" nowadays
re-invest their capital gains within Bolivia, and have shunned away from the
manifestations of high culture. "Cholos" participate in ritual ceremonies and
festivals such as "ch' allas", baptisms, marriages and "presterios". "Cholos"
have also generated their independent media, an alternative media for
communication within and between marginalities, with strategies that defy
the upper sectors of society. How is this so?
Early in the ' 50s Indian peasants took one road to secure their neglected
communication rights: peasant broadcasts through commercial stations. Little
known and to date, unresearched, peasant broadcasting is a format in which
communicators do not own or run the stations - urban and commercial for
the most part - but have gained access to them at the earliest hours of the
day, when Aymara migrants listen while city dwellers continue to sleep.
Peasant communicators rent this "dead time" from the station owners, using
it either on a profit-sharing basis with them or by being paid to do
programming that targets the Aymara-speaking audience in the marginal
suburbs of La Paz and the outlying rural areas. The main objective is to
create communication ties between the Aymaras living in the city and their
communities of origin. This audience is not small at all: at the very least one
million people, in a country with a total population of seven million. Half of
them are located in La Paz and in its satellite city of EI Alto. The other half is
in thc ficld arcas of the northwestern region of La Paz, close to the borders
with Peru. La Paz has some eight hundred thousand people, of which easily
two thirds are Aymara migrants, and the neighboring EI Alto counts on
another four hundred thousand people, of which easily two thirds are also
such migrants. Together they constitute a strong "cholo"-Indian subaltern

12 A notion that Carlos Toranzo explores in his introduction to Fernando Mayorga's Max
Fernandez: fa politica del silencio (La Paz, Cochabamba: ILDIS/uMSS, 1991).

culture in the country's main urban center and seat of government. The
growing political importance of this community is considerable, becoming
most evident in times of elections. Carlos Palenque, one of the key mestizo
political figures, understood this reality long ago.
Affectionately named "el compadre" (the godfather) by the migrant and
the dispossessed, Palenque set the foundation for a new form of political
action that included two women in his talk-shows. He then proceeded to buy
television and radio networks to consolidate his "Popular Radio and
Television Network". This network system rapidly became an "alternative"
institution of important micro-political signification. Indeed, when his talk-
show was closed, in 1988, by state authorities because Palenque had
interviewed a well-known narcotrafficker, the popular protest was
overwhelming. With popular backing, Palenque next moved swiftly to create
his own political party: "Conciencia de Patria"ICONDEPA (Awareness of
Fatherland). CONDEPA now plays a key role in national politics using
micro-political tactics that have been extremely successful - Palenque was
elected mayor of the city of La paz in the '80s, a position his wife,
"comadre" Monica, currently holds (Time Newsmagazine has recently
selected her as one of the most important young political figures of Latin
CONDEPA, closely linked to television and radio talk-shows, is a new
political party that expresses the crisis of legitimation of the traditionally
dominant political system. CONDEPA comes from "below", representing
the "cholo"-Indian population that was never truly accepted by the upper-
class and its organic intellectuals. By means of a form of communication
increasingly based on emotionally charged images, "palenquismo" re-
articulates the political sphere at the same time as it desublimates the
mestizo-creole image that the national revolutionary elites created in order to
conform a homogeneous, rational, and progressively modern society. The
mestizo as a symbol is thus counteracted with the "cholo" as an expression of
the post-revolutionary sublime. Do contemporary Bolivian painters express
this new social situation?

Back to the visual arts

In developing an ontology of the human body, Merleau-Ponty explained that
the body is that strange object that uses its own parts as a general system of
symbols for the world. This is a theory of sublimation. Conversely, we might
say that for Bolivian painters such as Raul Lara and Darlo Antezana, the
symbols and matter of the world are those strange deformations, indeed
distortions, of the human body - the "cholos". This is a process of
desubIimation. I will thus focus my reading of "cholos" in contemporary

Bolivian painting on the desublimatory role of political scatology and

Since the English translation of Julia Kristeva's Powers of Horror: An
Essay on Abjection in 1982, the concept of "abjection" has entered the
critical syntax of contemporary art 13 . Scatological assemblages, and base
materials have defiled the white cube of the gallery space, calling into
question its ideological "neutrality" as a site encoded with a rhetoric of
contamination. This body of production often incorporates what Lacan terms
"images of the fragmented body"14, which is to say, images of dislocation,
evisceration, bursting open of the body, particularly the stomach.
Representing an oppositional practice rather than an ontological sublimation,
this insurgent materialism in art asserts the claims of the body, and difference
over and against societal repression and its institutional architecture. As
Simon Taylor has expressed, desublimatory abjection within art implies not
so much a lack of health (the "cholos", we shall see, are bulimically healthy)
as an assault on the totalizing and homogenizing notions of national identity,
system, and order. This base materialism in art confronts and transgresses
social prohibitions and challenges the stability of our body Gestalts. While
the body ego signifies a unified, phenomenological Gestalt, of a socially
stable subject, the stability of this imago is continually threatened from
within by traces of abjection, such as open stomachs and corporeal wastes
that are leaked from the body. An examination of the interior regions of the
body, specifically the digestive system, suggests an investigation of body
anti-symbolism, one that rejects the "high-brow" hierarchy of the body,
which privileges the head and denigrates the lower bodily stratum 15 .
In "Complicidad" (Complicity), for example, one of Dario Antezana's best
watercolor paintings, two "cholos" are associated as if in a wrongful act.
They are probably coming out of a "chicheria" after having consumed
"chicha" (beer maize) or beer. Their grotesqueness reveals a process of
desublimation. This process is indicated in the very center of the figure of
one of the "cholos", where the intestines are shown in the form of a
labyrinth. The labyrinth, equivalent to the Nietzschean sign of the Earth, is
the signifier that embraces chaos. Hence it is no longer of the symbolic

13 Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, Leon S. Roudicz, trans. (New
York: Colombia University Press. 1982).
14 Jacques Lacan, "Aggressivity in Psychoanalysis", in Ecrits: A Selection, Alan Sheridan,
trans. (New York and London: W. W. Norton & co., 1977),11.
15 Simon Taylor, "The Phobic Object: Abjection in Contemporary Art", in Abject Art.
Repulsion and Desire in American Art. (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art,

register which collapses as the labyrinth absorbs all possible symbols,

transforming them into primary matter offering nothing in exchange.
The labyrinth, exposed as the bowels of the "cholo", is a static, fire-like
labyrinth. It signifies a transformational system whereby what enters from
above is changed into base matter, the ultimate anti-idealist symbol. Such a
metamorphosis signifies materialism as scatology, where the end product
must also be culturally interpreted. The intestine as labyrinth proffers a
miasma; out of its chaos, its heterogeneity, some form of meaning is
generated. Fecal matter is a sign that is doubly threatening to high culture:
first because it signifies, just like the legal and illegal economic activities of
the rising "cholo" bourgeoisie, an expenditure that circumvents established
modes and organizations of production; secondly, because it is a sign of self-
production, an autonomous, sovereign activity that eludes the exigencies of
the traditional, seigneurial groups in power.
It is also interesting to note that the almost invisible penis of the other
"cholo" signifies the loss of the Apollonian masculinity that Silvia Rivera has
interestingly linked to the decay of the proletariat and its class-
consciousness 16 • Indeed, due to massive firings in the state mining
corporation, the traditionally powerful and virile worker's trade unions have
been stripped of power to become nothing more than committees for the
unemployed. Like a postmodem demiurge, Dario Antezana de-mystifies the
Apollonian truth of the mestizo construct, a "grand narrative" now
condemned, unmasked, and bound to the deceptive nature of the Dionysian.
In other words, if eating and drinking disorders may be the product of a
resistance to masculinity, patriarchal authority, and its imaginary
constructions, it must be noticed that the resistance is not on the part of the
anorectic, but, rather, of the bulimic. As the title (if not the argument) of
Sohnya Sayres' article on "Food and the Agon of Excess" suggests 17 ,
Antezana's watercolor is a representation of bulimic excess.
But is "appetite" enough for the "cholo" survival? Cannot eating rather
produce a blockage? Heavy meals can create a digestive disorder, a rampant
dyspepsia, and a metabolic chaos. The "urgent message" of this watercolor is
hindered. Can contemporary Bolivian society overcome this moment of
blockage? It all depends of the "digestive capability" of the "cholo"
bourgeoisie - the power to actively transform authorities and traditions into
fecal signs, into wastes from which the subject has to separate in order to
constitute its new identity. It is the ability of forcing apart, separating the

16 Silvia Rivera, "La Rafz: Colonizadores y Colonizados", 101.

17 Sohnya Sayres, "Glory Mongering: Food and the Agon of Excess", Social Text, 16 (Winter

"cholo" individuality from that of the imaginary community created by

traditional elites.
As an articulatory process of desublimation and the unsolved and
problematic postmodern sublime, Antezana's watercolor is an expression of
one of those instances where adult social production takes the inverse route
back toward the body. In so doing, it breaks the significative chain of
everyday existence by inaugurating a return of the uncomfortable "other",
thus posing a problem to identity formation. The visual, however, never
occurs separately, and narrative needs now to be pursued in relation to the
notions of desublimation and the postmodern sublime.
In the 1960s, George ytidice indicates, the writers of the Boom thought
they could achieve a global culture. Leaving behind indigenous and popular
traditions, they sought to forge a new aesthetic language as an option of the
elites in their bid for hegemony. Notwithstanding their protestations to the
contrary, this group of writers ended up espousing technological
development in the realm of the aesthetic 18 •
Today, with poor prospects for liberating homogeneous cultural projects, it
becomes difficult to accept autonomous cultural spheres. In compensation,
what we now see is the conformation of alternative narratives that deviate
from modernity seeking the re-articulation of traditions that have little in
common with the linguistic innovations of the 60s and 70s. These new
narratives are in a better position to measure how and to what extent the
diverse groups of Latin America's heterogeneity interact; how "eccentric"
subalterns haunt the "center" of rationality and the order of the symbolic.
An interesting case study of alternative narratives is the work of Jaime
Saenz. Through his "aparapitas", migrant Aymara loaders that dwell in the
marketplaces of the city of La Paz, Saenz aestheticizes the rural indigenous
cultures of the Andes as the non-rational "otherness" that invades the urban
system and its order.
Felice Delgado, Saenz' most important novel and a masterwork on the
grotesque, is a challenging study of the city of La Paz 19 • It is in the cellar
passages of the novel that Saenz makes some very original observations on
these loaders of La Paz, the ideal models of corporeal destruction that bring
back the notion of the postmodern sublime. As noted in his narration on "EI
aparapita de La Paz" (The "aparapita" of La paz)20, Saenz pictures these
Aymara settlers, these rural parvenus, as the quintessence of the city.

IX George Yudice, "Postmodemity and Transnational Capitalism in Latin America", in George

Yudice, Jean Franco and Juan Flores, cds. On Edge. The Crisis of Contemporary Latin
American Culture, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992), 10-11.
19 Jaime Saenz, Felipe lJelgado, (La Paz: Difusi6n, 1979).

20 Jaime Saenz, HEI aparapita de La Paz", Mundo Nuevo, 1968.


The "aparapitas", destined to perish intoxicated, are what rational minds

would consider the abject. People, Saenz writes, repudiate them; priests
consider them to be possessed by the devil. For some, they are beasts, for
others, repulsive lepers. High culture has deliberately forgotten them while
sociologists deem them a product of underdevelopment. For Saenz, who is
fascinated by them, they are a source of veneration and fear, particularly the
jacket they wear. In "EI aparapita de La Paz", Saenz makes a wonderful
interpretation of the multiplicity, the heterogeneity of the Andean cultures
that the traditional, mestizo-creole classes reject or, at best, unwillingly

... La ropa que lleva en realidad no existe. Es para quedarse perplejo. El saco
ha existido como tal en tiempos preteritos, ha ido desapareciendo poco a poco,
segiin los remiendos que han cundido para conformar un saco, el verdadero,
pues no es obra de sastre, es obra de la vida un saco verdadero. Los primeros
remiendos han recibido algunos otros remiendos: estos a su vez han recibido
todavfa otros, y estos otros, todavfa muchos otros mIs, y asf, espesor de una
prenda, tanto mas verdadera cuanto mas pes ada y gruesa ...

(... The jacket really does not exist. It existed a long time ago, but it has been
disappearing little by little, being replaced by the patches which have been
forming a new jacket, the real one, which is not tailor made. The new jacket is
the product of time, something that can only be proved by its weight. The
value of the garment is in strict relation to its thickness. The more its weight,
the more its worth ... )

To put it in rhetorical tenns, the organizing principle of this jacket would be

the metonymy of life - the succession of unconnected patches - rather than
metaphor - the tailor linking the parts. The jacket breaks syntactic hierarchy
and becomes a metonymic uncodifiable garment of the complexities of the
disquieting world the official mestizo-creole culture wishes to reject. For
Saenz, the jacket is not simply something the "aparapitas" wear; it is what
they create throughout life. The final meaning of that life is the
transcendence into death. When the "aparapita" decides that his time has
arrived, he remains in the cellar and consumes alcohol uninterruptedly. Close
to death, he leaves the cellar and throws his body in the street. This action,
what Saenz calls "shedding the body", indicates a form of negation that
reintroduces the notion of the abject. In Saenz' fiction, abjection surpasses
the rule-governed order of the metaphoric, and, ultimately, of the symbolic.
Repression, then, the prohibition made on the abject not to haunt the rational
side of things, is too weak. Consequently, the repressed returns disguised,
masked, and concealed.

Like the "cholos" of Daria Antezana's watercolor, the "aparapitas" of this

novel, migrating parvenus, provoke cultural discomfort. They usually invert
but do not subvert the "status quo", the structural form of society. Their
reversal is disquieting because it underlines to the rational members of
society that chaos may be the alternative to cosmos. They can also provoke
discomfort given their insecure social position. Their transitional situation in
society appears to be ambiguous in connotation, because, coming from the
repressed past, they have not yet been able to conform to a positive
articulated future condition. Inside and outside society, they are, for
rationality, system, and order, the abject, with no definite positions, or rules,
or socially imposed limits. This brings the argument back to my comments
regarding phenomenology, desublimation, and the postmodern sublime.
In Merleau-Ponty, the themes of Gestalt, postural schema, and body-image
give determination to the intentional arc that makes all body movements
teleologically significant and positing of sensible essences. But the loss of
this intentional arc results in human bodies that move in the world
decomposing whatever nature they were given and whatever culture put on
them. Once reality and life have lost any intentional and ontological arc, and
have become the result of a desublimatory process, radical subjects such as
the "cholos" seem to be undermining the hold that artificial social
constructions such as the imaginary community of "revolutionary
nationalism" have on Bolivian society. Thus the grand narratives that have a
hold on our life may be unmasked on the assumption that they aspire to
Apollonian truth, forgetting, as I indicated before, that they are bound to the
deceptive nature of the Dionysian. In this way, the "cholos" may be
inventing new plots and new fables of identity in order to survive the
annihilation of the once powerful and cohesive working class. Why, then,
does postmodernism repeat, as Robert Dianotto suggests, the litany of the
dead at the same moment in which death is to tum into survival?21 One of the
reasons may be that postmodernism deals with daily life, and there is always
the risk that new social actors may end up being annihilated by the
overpowering social myths created by the enlightened mestizos and the
destructive forces of the uncontrolled market economy. Without any clear
strategy that may counteract thcse realities, postmodernism is a tale of
bulimic excess.
As in Darlo Antezana's "cholos", the oral incorporation and its correlates-
acids, toxins - consume a patricidal act. In other words, if eating and
drinking practices may be the product of resistance, these practices do not

21 Robert Maria Dianotto, "The excremental sublime", in Essays in Postmodern Culture, Eyal
Amiran & John Unsworth, cds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), J41-142.

aim to the unification of the subject with a transcendent totality, nor do they
express the postural schema of phenomenological thought. Both "cholos"
and "aparapitas" are moments of unsolved blockage, trying to escape the
grand narratives built by the nationalist state, whose overpowering force
blocks and paralyzes. By advocating the need for rupture, they may be
rejecting the improper use of hierarchy and opening the new "camp vision"
of an asocial sublime that is the ironic inversion of the totalizing
aestheticizations of the upper-classes, resisting unity and locating the force of
the postmodern sublime within the realm of an anti-aesthetic "difference".
This sublime strategy of ingestion and consumption of alcohol is the
privileged strategy of what Robert Dianotto has defined as "excremental
culture". This ironic release of annihilation is a surplus that cannot be
codified and inscribed in the imaginary community fabricated by
revolutionary nationalism. Its resistance to codification institutes at the same
time its absolute superfluity in relation to the symbolic order. Though hard to
predict, the "cholos" may be the "locus" of consciousness of the fictional
nature of overpowering structures that hinder the new subjects from
imagining new plots, new stories, new lives to be told. In Dario Antezana's
watercolor, the "cholos" are anal-retentive characters who survive a
repressive society by disrupting its order, and by transforming its Law into
pleasurable signs of oral ingestion.
But, can signification be reduced to porous bodies exhaling pollutions and
toxins? Will digestion resist the commodification of our lives? Should we
surrender to the ultimate impossibility of reconstructing radical politics other
than through digestive practices? If I am not mistaken, cultures can only be
sustained today as a critical practice if they assume an "arriere-garde"
position, that is to say, one which recognizes that different systems of
thought and ways of life coexist in Latin America and, obviously, in Bolivia.
Some complement modernity, others, as I have tried to show in this paper,
develop a disturbing postmodernity, and others maintain premodernity. All
of them are mixed in a "messy" culture. Following Fernando Calderon's
study on Latin American identities22 , I cannot think of a better mapping of
Bolivia's mixed temporalities than astronomy. Seen from the point of view
of modernity, social movements and traditional political parties have lost
their vital impulse, and their former order has been replaced by the big bang
of the "cholo" bourgeoisie; those subjects and actors who constructed history
are today fragmented and dispersed, and the new social practices and actors
are more expressive and festive than political. The social universe is like a

22 Fernando Calderon, "Latin American Identity and Mixed Temporalitics" in "The

Postmodernism Debate in Latin America", special issue of Boundary 2, (Fall 1993).55-64.

great galaxy in formation, embryonic but spastic, with multiple identities. It

is like a joining around a black hole of dispersed energies, which may
become stars tomorrow.



Depuis un certain nombre d' annees, un debat confronte les "ethiques du

discours"(aussi connues sous Ie nom d"'ethique de la communication" ou
d'''ethique discursive") al"'ethique de la liberation". Ce debat represente une
sorte d' ouverture a une forme nouvelle de dialogue philosopbique dont
chaque partenaire exprime davantage un style intellectuel different - Ie style
europeen et Ie style latino-americain - plutot qu'un courant de pensee a
proprement parler. n s'agit, avant tout, de deux "modules" philosophiques,
deux manieres differentes de comprendre le mode meme de fonctionnement
de la pensee. Leur confrontation met ajour une querelle mais aussi, et pour la
plupart, un signe de confluence.
n peut paraitre arbitraire - et il Ie serait, en effet - de considerer tres
globalement Ie "style europeen" et Ie "style latino-americain". Cependant, il
est possible de d6couvrir au moins un trait qui occuperait la place d'un
tertium comparationis: c'est la question de "l'identite". Les deux univers,
I' europ6en et Ie latino-americain, enferment un tres grand nombre de
variables sans pour autant devenir des notions vides ; chaque univers inc1ut
egalement des constantes comprehensionnelles qui permettent de les
identifier. Ce qui les differencie c'est qu'en Europe la pensee progresse sur
des rails peu a peu devenus inconscients tandis qu' en Amerique latine elle a
ete toujours a la recherche de ses propres voies. Ce qui a pris Ie nom de
"pensee latino-americaine" se presente comme une incessante recherche de
soi, de son propre chemin. La "philosophie latino-americaine" est,
consciemment, une philosophie autorejeree. En grande partie, cette
autoreference represente une forme de reaction. Le schema conceptuel
dominant dans la philosophie est sans doute europtSen (fran~ais, britannique,
allemand), mais un grand nombre de philosophes - "ayant raison, sans raison
ou contre la raison", au dire d'Unamuno - ont interprete cette "mainmise"
comme un moyen de "domination" economique et politique et, par
consequent, l'ont denoncee faisant des efforts (qu'ils continuent de faire)
pour la surmonter. n s'agit, donc, d'une attitude defensive a partir de laquelle
la pensee latino-americaine refl6chit sur sa propre identite mais, en meme
temps, sur 1'identite de I' Amerique latine. Cette pensee soul eve et met en

Guttorm Fl¢istad (ed.), Philosophy of Latin America, 187-204.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

question cette identite; en tout etat de cause, il s'agit d'une pensee posee
autour du probleme identitaire et qui trouve en lui son soutien et, peut-etre,
ses propres voies qu' elle cherche depuis toujours.
Celui qui se pose Ie probleme de sa propre identite Ie fait, probablement,
parce qu'il n'est pas entierement sur de la detenir. Dans un sens
synchronique, on ali mente des doutes sur la specificite du phenomene latino-
americain, sur Ie fait qu'il soit "different" du "reste", de ce qui se trouve en
dehors de l' Amerique latine. Dans un sens diachronique, on Msite a croire si
"on est toujours" ce qu'''on a ete"!. L'identite synchronique represente
l' unite de l' Amerique latine (elle viendrait designer les traits partages par
l'ensemble des pays ou des peuples latino-americains par-dela une multitude
de differences). La dimension diachronique fait davantage allusion a
}'existence d'une histoire commune, au lien temporel qui persiste parmi les
changements operes depuis l' epoque de la conquete dans des endroits
differents du territoire latino-americain ; cette dimension evoque l'existence
de certains aspects invariants a travers les changements. Dans les deux sens
evoques, sans distinctions, les do utes sur l'identite latino-americaine sont lies
a une autoconscience indubitable de soi de I'homme latino-americain, une
conscience de soi au creur de laquelle s' entrecroisent I' arrogance et la
timidite. n y a une grande fierte d' etre latino-americain et, en meme temps de
maniere paradoxale, une certaine humilite exageree, voisin ant presque la
pudeur. Les peuples latino-americains ont fait la revolution et se sont liberes
de I'Europe. Or, il s'agit la d'une revolution inachevee car l'Europe et
I' Amerique du Nord ont continue a exercer des modalites de colonialisme
plus ou moins cacMes. La conscience de soi s'est donc structuree sous la
forme d'une conscience d'etre victime de I'injustice, comme une perception
renouvelee sans cesse du besoin de se liberer de ces chaInes. Dans les annees
cinquante, Ie versant intellectuel de cette conscience a produit ce que I'on
connalt aujourd'hui sous Ie nom de "tMologie de la liberation", d'ou est
issue tres rapidement une "philosophie de la liberation" a I'interieur de
laquelle s'est developpee, a son tour, une "ethique de la liberation". La
naissance de cette pen see ne veut pas dire qu'en Amerique latine d'autres
courants philosophiques plus ou moins "europeens" - meme avec des
innovations tres originales - ne se soient pas developpes. Ga ne veut pas dire
non plus que les representants de ces courants soient entierement depourvus
de to ute "autoconscience latino-americaine,,2, mais que les differentes

1 Sur cette question cf. Maliandi, R., 1993b.

2 II yen a qui ont cherchC, c'est Ie cas du peruvien Francisco Mir6 Quesada, une "passerelle"
entre la philosophie analytique et la philosophic de la lihCration. I1 y a aussi, tel que
I'argentin .Juan Carlos Scannone, ceux qui proposent des points de depart autres que la

theories philosophiques de type latino-americaniste semblent se rencontrer au

sein de la "philosophie de la liberation". C'est pour cette raison que la
philosophie latino-americaine constitue, je I' ai dit, Ie "module" d' une
idiosyncrasie intellectuelle en vertu de quoi sa confrontation avec l'''ethique
du discours" inaugure une nouvelle forme de dialogue philosophique;
d' autant plus que celle-ci constitue, elle aussi, un paradigme pour Ie
"module" de la pensee europeenne, tel que nous Ie verrons plus loin. Dans
cet article je m' occuperai de certains aspects essentiels de cette confrontation
a partir des deux representants que sont, respectivement, Karl-Otto Apel et
Enrique Dussel, a partir du dialogue qu'ils ont etabli depuis deja un certain
nombre d' annees.
La philosophie d' Apel adopte la forme generale d'une "pragmatique
transcendantale du langage", c'est-a-dire, d'un essai de mediation entre la
philosophie transcendantale kantienne et ce qu'on a connu sous Ie nom de
"toumant linguistique" de la philosophie contemporaine, preconise par des
philosophes tels que Peirce, Wittgenstein et autres. Un trait caracteristique de
cette "pragmatique transcendantale" est I' exigence (particuliere et decisive
dans la pensee de Kant) de s'interroger a propos des "conditions de
possibilite et de validite". Apel considere insuffisante l'inscription kantienne
de ce type de conditions dans les structures de la conscience. Selon lui Kant,
de meme que toute la "philosophie de la conscience" depuis Descartes
jusqu'a Husser!, partage un "paradigme" philosophique qui est devenu
obsolete aujourd'hui: Ie, soi-disant, "paradigme de la conscience". La
modification radicale proposee par la pragmatique transcendantale consiste a
renoncer a ce paradigme et a Ie substituer par Ie "paradigme du langage". II
ne s'agit pas, disons, d'une proscription de tout recours aux elements de la
conscience, mais d'accepter Ie fait qu'avec de tels elements on ne peut pas
assurer l'''objectivite'', tant recherchee, de la connaissance. Autrement dit,
l'exigence de "validite" n'est pas satisfaite. Le "paradigme de la conscience"
(introduit par I'evidence cartesienne du cogito) entralne au "solipsisme
methodologique", lorsqu'il est con~u comme la seule procedure possible.
Ceci veut dire que Ie simple recours a des evidences de la conscience (meme
si on reconnait qu'elles aussi doivent etre prises en compte) laisse le sujet
referme sur soi-meme, sans acces a ce qui compte du point de vue
transcendantal: l'intersubjectivite. Alors il faut bien comprendre que
l'''abandon'' du "paradigme de la conscience" n'implique pas son abolition
totale et complete mais la prise de conscience de son insuffisance. Son
"remplacement" par Ie "paradigme du langage", sous la figure du "toumant

"philosophic dc la liberation" pour la philosophic latino-americaine: cf. Scannone, J. C.,


linguistique", veut dire qu'il est repris dans une perspective pour laquelle
l'intersubjectivite est assuree des Ie depart. Le "no us argumentons" se
substitue au 'Je pense": Ie "rationnel" echappe a la monadologie et se
transforme en dialogique.
Apel trouve Ie point de depart de sa reflexion dans une decouverte de
Peirce, developpee plus tard dans les theories semiotiques de Morris et de
Carnap: Ia "tridimensionalite" du Iangage (ou celle de sa "fonction de
signe"). Morris et Carnap avaient developpe une "semiotique" empirique
qu'ils divisaient deja en "semantique" (etude de la relation entre Ie signe et sa
reference objective), "syntaxe" (etude des relations des signes Ies uns aux
autres) et, finalement, "pragmatique" (etude de Ia relation entre Ie signe et
I'utilisateur ou l'interprete). Pour la pragmatique Ie Iangage etait une "action"
(pragma); mais puisque son point de vue etait purement empirique, ce
caractere pratique perdait sa veritable importance aux yeux de Ia semiotique,
restant limitee a s'interroger sur des questions purement psychologiques.
C'est cette perspective qu' Apel corrige. Selon lui, c'est dans Ia pragmatique
que l' on doit chercher Ies "conditions de possiblite et de validite"
fondamentales pour toute connaissance exprimee dans un langage. On
retrouve ici un deuxieme toumant connu sous la denomination de "toumant
pragmatique". Encore une fois, il ne s'agit pas de refouler la semantique et la
syntaxe mais de signaler qu'une semiotique reduite a ces deux volets reste
insuffisante. Apel - qui, sur ce point accompagne une orientation tres forte
de la semiotique postcarnapienne - remet a sa juste place la pragmatique. En
soulevant I'importance de la pragmatique, il nous montre une de de sa
pensee: des questions com me celIe de la verite ne peuvent se resoudre
exdusivement sur Ie plan semantique mais font appel a la relation
communicative et, done, au consensus 3 •
La notion de "pragmatique transcendantale" explique ainsi Ie titre du
principal ouvrage philosophique de Apel, La transformation de La
philosophie. L' application des deux toumants, Ie "toumant linguistique" et, a
son interieur, Ie "toumant pragmatique", a la philosophie transcendantale
issue de la tradition kantienne determine une "transformation semiotique".
Apel a signale que cette "transformation" represente la "reconstruction"
d'une transformation qui s'est produite dans la philosophie depuis les annees
60, d'une part, et de I'autre, elle represente un "programme" qu'il developpe
depuis Ie debut des annees 704 . Ce programme est un renouvellement de la
philosophie transcendantale grace a l'application des deux "tournants"
evoques precedemment. Dans ce parcours, i1 a pris part a plusieurs

3 Cf. Apel, K.-O., 1987.

4 Cf. Maliandi, R., 1991, pp. 87-88.

polemiques, par exemple celle qu'il a entretenue avec Ie popperien Hans

Albert et a l'issue de laquelle il a adopte l'expression "fondation reflexive
demiere" (reflexive Letztbegrundung), jusqu'alors source de nombreux
malentendus. Le programme a accompli egalement d' autres etapes
importantes, comme son interpretation de Peirce et celle des "actes de
parole" (Austin, Searle).
Dans Ie cadre de la "pragmatique transcendantale" definie de la sorte, il y a
lieu d'etablir une "ethique de la communication" (aussi designee, avec
Habermas, "ethique du discours"). Apel pense qu'il est possible de proposer
une "fondation demiere" de l'ethique, au sens ou l'on peut montrer d'abord
que certaines normes ont une validite et sont obligatoires pour tout locuteur
faisant appel a des argumentations. De telles normes sont "reconstruites" ou
explicitees par une "reflexion transcendantale" sur les conditions de
possibilite de l' argumentation. Cette reflexi on montre que, parmi ces
conditions, se trouve la reconnaissance implicite, de la part de celui qui
argumente, d'une "communaute ideale d'argumentation", c'est-a-dire, des
conditions ideales selon lesquelles Ie dialogue peut conduire au consensus.
Puisque I' argumentation, a son tour, est une forme de la communication, il se
trouve qu'une "communaute ideale de communication" est egalement
supposee. On arrive a une "fondation demiere" lorsqu'on met a jour ce qui
etait presuppose dans l'argumentation et qui ne peut ainsi etre remis en cause
sans s'exposer a une "autocontradiction performative" (c'est-a-dire, a une
contradiction entre le contenu semantique de ce qui est en train de se dire et
ce qui est necessairement presuppose dans l'acte de Ie dire), ni peut etre a son
tour fonde a partir d'un fondement deductif.
La principale norme fondee de la sorte dans une ethique du discours est ce
qu'on appelle une "norme de base" - ou aussi une "metanorme". Elle exige
que tout conflit d'interets soit resolu non par la violence mais, precisement,
par des moyens "discursifs", c'est-a-dire, a l'aide d'arguments et du
consensus qui pourrait ainsi s'ensuivre. Le dialogue a l'interieur duquel se
deploie ce type d'arguments pour proteger des interets particuliers est connu
sous Ie nom de "discours pratique". Neanmoins il doit prendre en compte
non seulement les interets de ceux qui participent a ce discours, mais aussi
de tous ceux qui pourraient etre afJectes par les consequences des actions
correspondantes. Le consensus obtenu par Ie discours pratique legitime des
normes situationnelles concretes, c'est-a-dire, des indications sur des actions
particulieres a suivre. Tandis que la "norme de base" a un caractere a priori
et une validite universelle, les "normes situationnelles" sont contingentes et
n'ont qU'une validite limitee a une situation precise. La nonne de base
indique seulement la procedure pour legitimer des normes situationnelles.

Cet aspect de l'ethique discursive Apel1'a baptise "partie A" de l'ethique

et signale en son sein l'existence de deux niveaux correspondant
respectivement a. la norme de base et au discours pratique. Mais on doit
signaler aussi les conditions historiques d' application de la norme de base.
Dans la situation historique qui est la notre il n'est pas toujours possible
d' appliquer la norme de base, c' est-a.-dire, de resoudre les con flits par le biais
du consensus des acteurs impliques. De cette difficulte decoule Ie besoin
d'une "partie B". Celle-ci expose, d'abord, le fait que chaque personne et que
chaque institution constituent des "systemes d'autoaffirmation", face
auxquels l'agent moral a certaines responsabilites. La partie Best structuree
precisement com me une "ethique de la responsabilite". De par sa propre
responsabilite (par exemple, celle d'un homme politique par rapport a. son
pays, ou un pere de famille par rapport a. ses enfants, etc.) dans certaines
circonstances il est indispensable d'enfreindre la norme de base. Au lieu
d' agir selon la rationalite ethique correspondante a. cette norme de base, on
agit suivant une rationalite strategique sans que ceci implique - puisqu'il
s'agit d'une circonstance inevitable d'une action automatiquement
immorale. De toute faC,(on on trouve ici un conflit entre les parties A et B.
Pour Ie resoudre, Apel a propose un "principe de complementarite"
permettant de ne pas renoncer a. la responsabilite face a. son propre systeme
d' auto affirmation et de prendre en compte, en meme temps, la norme de
base. Ce principe s'associe a. l'idee regulatrice d'une realisation "a. long
terme" d'une "communaute ideale de communication". Le principe de
complementarite rend possible un depassement approximatif de la distance
existante entre les conditions "anticipees de maniere contrafactique" dans la
norme de base et les conditions empiriques determinees par la situation
historique concrete. Ce principe peut s'exprimer, d'une maniere tres
synthethique, com me l'exigence de diminuer au minimum l'attitude
strategique et d'augmenter au maximum l'attitude ethique, c'est-a.-dire, de
faire appel a. autant de procedures strategiques qu'on ait besoin (mais pas
plus), et de dedier, en revanche, Ie plus d'effort possible a. la formation de
consensus. On pourra argumenter qu' une telle concession a. I' acceptabilite
ethique de l'attitude "strategique" est incongrue avec ce qui a ete propose
dans la partie A, ou encore que cette partie B rend la premiere superflue.
Quoique j'aie aussi mes propres objections sur lesquelles je reviendrai plus
loin, je pense que ce type de critiques manque son but. Utiliser la "strategie"
ayant reconnu la validite d'un principe est bien different que de faire sans
cette reconnaissance. Le principe impose une restriction des procedures
strategiques qui pourraient, Ie cas echeant, etre utili sees d'une faC,(on
arbitraire et sans la contrepartie "compI6nentaire" d'une maximisation des
procedures discursivo-consensuelles. De plus, si on utilise des procedures

strategiques il est toujours possible de s'interroger sur Ie jugement possible

d'une hypothethique "communaute ideale de communication" qui prendrait
en compte les circonstances historiques singulieres d'un teljugement.
La "norme de base" indique, selon Apel, la procedure susceptible d' etre
utilise sans exception dans une "communaure ideale de communication";
mais i1 serait meme "irresponsable" d' etendre son application sans exception
dans une communaute r6elle, historiquement conditionn6e et dans laquelle on
ne pourrait esperer que les autres la respectent. Cette limite indique aussi une
difference essentielle avec l' imp6ratif categorique kantien pour lequel Ie
"sans exception" de l' exigence est pris dans un sens absolu. La partie B de
l'ethique apelienne remoigne d'un effort pour biltir une ethique realiste. La
norme de base se distingue aussi de l'imperatif categorique par le type
d'''experiment mental" exige pour son application: tandis que l'imperatif
categorique oblige l'agent a se demander "s'il pouvait vouloir" que la
maxime de son action se transformerait en loi universelle, la metanorme
d' Apel exige de chacun a se demander s'il pourrait soumettre la norme
situationnelle au consensus de tous les acteurs virtuels impliques par les
consequences previsibles qui s'ensuivraient de son application.
L"'ethique de la liberation", pour sa part, est fondee sur l'id6e que Ie
"Tiers Monde" et, notamment, Ie grand ensemble latino-americain, a ete
exc1u des Ie debut du grand "discours pratique", c'est-a-dire, du dialogue
symetrique. La necessite de choisir entre "liberation" et "dependance" est un
trait caracteristique de ces peuples. Si au depart la ret1exion de Dussel etait
plutOt axee sur une "ethique de la liberation latino-americaine"s,
actuellement elle n'est plus restreinte a l' Amerique latine et montre une
"pretention de mondialisation (qui se distingue d'une simple universalite
abstraite et formelle),,6. n s'agit d'une tentative d'elaborer une ethique ayant
comme point de depart l'''Autre'' (l'''oppresse, 1'''exc1u''). Dussel affirme que
cette ethique (fondee sur un principe tel que "Libere I'oppresse hic et nunc!"
ou bien "Fais participer l'exc1u!") releve d'''une logique de procedure
differente de la logique simplement discursive,,7. A propos de l'ancien
probleme de la refutation du scepticisme (doctrine qu' Apel recuse voyant en
elle une "autocontradiction performative"), par exemple, Dussel se rapproche
de Levinas et de la fa~on selon laquelle cet auteur met en relation Ie plan de
l'argumentation avec la "raison d'Etat"s. Dans l'''ethique de la liberation"

5 Cf. Dussel, E., 1973.

6 Cf. Dussel, E., 1994a. p. 146.
7 Ibid .• p. 151.
x Cf. loc. Cit.

cette derniere refutation est remplacee par l'opposition entre l'''oppresse-

exclu" et Ie "cynique".
Le point de depart de l'''ethique de la liberation" est donc, "1' Autre",
inevitablement domine, oppresse (principium oppressionis) et affecte-exclu
(principium exlusionis)9. Reprenant des notions de Levinas, Dussel donne Ie
nom de "raison ethique originaire" au "moment premier et rationnel,
precedant tout autre exercice de Ia raison, et par Iaquelle nous avons
I' experience (empirique et forme lIe, transcendantale ou ideaIe) de I' Autre,
avant toute decision, comprollllsslOn, expression Iinguistique ou
communication a son egard"lO. Cette experience trans met a celui qui est en
train de Ia realiser, une responsabilite a I'egard d'Autrui, une responsabilite
qui, selon DusseI, est "a priori"llet est en rapport avec ce que Levinas
appelle "rationalite meme de La raison": c'est ce qui precede necessairement
toutes les autres operations rationnelles parmi lesquelles se trouve
I'argumentation. Suivant un schema de pen see clairement dialectique, Dussel
propose "trois moments" successifs et qui viennent apres la "raison ethique
originaire" mais precedent Ia raison ethico-discursive: 1) Ia "source" positive
de la negation: la prise de conscience de soi et, a Ia fois, de sa relation
negative avec le systeme oppressif dans Ie cadre duquel Ie sujet
s'autodecouvre et dresse son "interpellation" a Ia communaute de
communication hegemonique; 2) la "negation de la negation", au sens d'une
"de-construction" (Derrida) pratique du systeme et de possibles sous-
systemes (par exemple, du "machisme" oppresseur de la femme, du
capitalisme, du liberalisme, du racisme, de la destruction ecologique, etc.); et
3) Ie "passage" ou la "transition" (Ubergang), de signe dialectique positif
cette fois, vers Ie "nouveau" systeme ou vers la "nouvelle" communaute de
communication, c'est-a-dire, la modification d'une situation d'injustice et
I'apparition d'une nouvelle situation plus juste. C'est seulement dans ce
demier cadre qu'il est possible d'instaurer, selon Dussel, un veritable
dialogue symetrique entre tous les membres de la communaute de
communication. Autrement dit, ce qui apparalt comme un "point de depart"
pour une ethique discursive devient un "point d' alTivee" pour une ethique de
la liberation.
On poulTait penser que cette difference serait un signe de I'incompatibilite
entre les deux modules de la reflexion ethique. Neanmoins, depuis quelques
annees un effort important se developpe, meme s'il entralne un vif debat de

9 Cf.Ihid., pp. 154-155.

to Ihid., p. 157.
It Ce qui ne semhle pas clair. je crois, puisqu'il s'agit d'une "experience". Nous sommes ici
face it une question cle sur laqueUe nous reviendrons plus loin.

la part des deux interlocuteurs, aussi bien d' Apel que de Dussel, pour
chercher des points en commun ou peut-etre une compIementarite. Et ils ne
sont pas seuls dans cette tache. Arturo Roig, par exemple, pour definir la
morale latino-americaine propose l' expression de "morale emergente" qui
prend appui dans la valeur de la "dignire humaine". n declare egalement que
cette morale se penche aussi sur Ie "toumant linguistique" si repandu, mais
avec un style different a l' ethique discursive qui voudrait proposer un
principe ethique. Selon Roig, cette morale se doit de reconstruire Ie "monde
des voix que tout discours nous transmet lorsqu'il integre 'un univers
discursif duquel il est son expression incontoumable"; en meme temps, elle
se doit de reconstruire "Ie regime categoriel en vigueur dans un univers
discursif comme c'est Ie cas, par exemple, dans l'opposition entre
'civilisation' et 'barbarie', ainsi que dans les successives resemantisations
que les categories signalent dans Ie processus historique,,12. Roig ne conteste
pas Ie fait que, apartir de cette perspective, on puisse postuler une "condition
ideale pour Ie dialogue", mais il signale egalement que cette premiere
condition en ferait appel a une deuxieme, une "condition ideale de travail".
En tout cas, il accepte clairement la compatibilite de la tradition latino-
americaine - qu'il synthetise avec Ie terme "morale de l'urgence" - et de
l'ethique discursive d'Apel 13 • Les deux partagent, a l'encontre du ''pensiero
debole" de Vattimo, par exemple, ou de l"'incertitude normative" proposee
par Derrida et Baudrillard, ou encore a l'encontre d'autres "faiblesses"
postmodemes du meme style, un "penser fort". Le terme evoque la "force"
en tant qu'une reference universaliste qu'implique en meme temps un
engagement social. Bien qu'il admette la cloture de la foi dans Ie "progres",
Roig partage avec Apel la croyance que l' ancien ideal kantien cosmopolite
ne se serait pas encore efface et il souligne Ie fait que cet ideal, dans la
mesure ou il ne nierait pas la relation dialectique avec l'univers latino-
americain, est une fac;on de Ie renforcer dans Ie cadre d'une reconnaissance
de la "dignite humaine,,14. n partage aussi la critique d' Apel a
I' ethnocentrisme du common sense propose par Rorty.
ApeI, de son cote, evoque Ies essais de Dussel pour demontrer qu'il y a des
relations entre l'ethique du discours et l'ethique de la liberation. Un de ces
essais suppose une relation de complementarite entre Ia "communaute ideale
de communication" et Ia "communaute ideale de vie", postulee par une
"philosophie transcendantale de Ia liberation". Une autre tentative essaye de
rapprocher I'interpellation de Ia "raison de I'autre", propre au discours

12 Roig, Arturo, 1994, p. 181.

13 Cf. Ibid., pp. 182 et ss.
14 Cf. Ibid., p. 184.

argumentatif, a l'interpellation des "autres", les "exclus" de la "communaute

nSelle de communication". Et, finalement, une tentative d'etablir une relation
de complementarite entre la refutation pragmatico-transcendantale du
sceptique et l'opposition de l'ethique de la liberation au "cynique" (c'est-a-
dire, au capitalisme dominant qui pretend se justifier soi-meme et exclure
l"'autre" par la pratique de la rationalite strategique). Apel admet d'une
maniere explicite la possiblite d'une complementarite reciproque entre les
deux ethiques - celle du "discours" et celIe de la "liberation" - 15, quoique
pour une comparaison critique il fait appel a Hans Schelkshorn, qu'il
considere "Ie plus parfait connaisseur" des deux. Schelkshom met en relief
des differences dans la fac;on de presenter les problemes qui ne dependent
pas seulement des differentes localisations geographiques; ce n'est pas non
plus que I' ethique de la liberation voudrait "demasquer" I' ethique du
discours en l'accusant de faire partie d'une "ideologie de la communaute
reelle de communication des dominants, c'est-a-dire, du Nord ou du
capitalisme". La difference est, pour la plupart, d'ordre methodologique, ce
qui implique des corrections reciproques mais exclut que l'une des deux
puisse etre "supprimee". De plus, Apel reconnalt Ie merite de l'ethique de la
liberation comme denonciation de la misere et de I' exclusion dont souffre un
grand nombre d'etres humains, atteignant peut-etre 75% de I'humanite. Face
a cette detresse, telle que Marx et Engels l'avaient deja remarquee, il y a une
necessite morale de prendre parti en faveur des "exclus" parce que,
autrement, tout essai de fonder des norrnes serait superflu, voire meme une
evasive ideologie. Apel reconnait que "la position des oppresses est toujours
la position ethico-normative de l'humanite,,16. Neanmoins, si d'un point de
vue ethique et sociologique on veut vraiment donner une reponse aux besoins
des pauvres et conduire la "praxis de la liberation", il est indispensable de
donner un fondement norrnatif aux notions de justice et de responsabilite sur
les consequences des actes. Ce fondement n'est pas un simple luxe theorique.
Au contraire, il est la seule fac;on de mettre en avant une mediation entre les
discours des acteurs concernes. Appartient a l'ethique de la liberation, selon
Apel, la tache de garder vivante la conscience de I' "interpellation" justifiee
des "exclus" et de realiser la critique de l'ideologie dominante. Malgre
l' evidence originaire, Ie danger du dogmatisme existe toujours, voire sa
perversion en terrorisme qui, a terme, touche precisement les "pauvres et les
exclus". II ne s'agit pas seulement de cas extremes comme ceux de Pol Pot
ou du Sentier Lumineux, mais aussi d'essais "respectables" comme ceux de
Fidel Castro ou les sandinistes. Apel s'etonne de n'avoir trouve dans les

15 Cf. Apc!' K.-O., 1994, p. 21.

16 Ibid., pp. 22-23.

ceuvres de Dussel aucune reference aces essais concrets de "liberation des

pauvres". Meme si elle est fondee sur une evidence indubitable, l'ethique de
la liberation ne permet pas qu'on derive d'elle une theorie d'une validite
intersubjective et ne permet pas non plus qu'on en derive une justification
pour I' agir pratique.
En revanche, l'ethique discursive echafaudee par Apel prend comme point
de depart la "fondation demiere" de la validite. C'est ici qu'elle trouve sa
base d'evidence mais ne se limite pas ace probleme et essaye, des Ie depart,
de resoudre une deuxieme question: comment surmonter les consequences et
sous-consequences de la science et de la technique modemes. La "fondation"
est une sorte de plate-forme pour toute "application". Des problemes tels que
la "crise ecologique" ou encore, j' ajouterai, des problemes tels que
l'injustice du systeme dominant actuellement - requierent Ie fondement
d'une ethique de la responsabilite de validite universelle. La recherche de ce
fondement a oppose Apel au "sceptique" (c'est-a-dire, aux positions qui nient
la possibilite d'une fondation "derniere", voire, tout type de fondation). La
"refutation" utilisee par la pragmatique transcendantale consiste, nous
l'avons dit, a montrer que Ie sceptique commet une autocontradiction
performative. Si on peut demontrer que cette autocontradiction a vraiment
lieu on aura obtenu, nous dit-il, non seulement une "refutation du sceptique"
mais aussi une base irrefutable et infranchissable pour I' argumentation
(philosophique et scientifique). Apel insiste qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une
fondation "deductive" mais "pragmatico-transcendantale", c'est-a-dire, non
pas semantico-Iogique mais dialectico-dialogique. A partir de cette fondation
on pourrait echafauder un argument pour soutenir les axiomes de differentes
theories possibles. Pour l'instant, ce qui est important c'est que Ie fondement
permet d'entamer la defense argumentative d'une ethique universelle de la
responsabilite solidaire. Le ')e pense" cartesien n'est plus interprete comme
etant renferme sur soi ("solipsisme methodologique") pour devenir un
'),argumente dans un discours", c'est-a-dire, j'argumente comme un membre
appartenant a une communaute reelle de communication historiquement
conditionnee, mais a la fois comme membre possible d'une communaute
ideale de communication; autrement dit reprenant une expression de
Habermas - j'argumente comme un membre possible d'une communaute
"anticipee de maniere contrafactique". Et dans ce sens, plus qu'une
communaute "reelle", Ie "je pense" devient un "nous argumentons".
Apel admet que I'ethique de la liberation a une certaine reussite dans sa
critique adressee aux pretentions de validite universelle qui ont ete enoncees
par des theories philosophiques europeennes; critique d'apres laquelle ces
pretentions viendraient exprimer des formes d"'eurocentrisme". Puisque
l'ethique de discours est, elle aussi, une philosophie europeenne et a la fois

universaliste, elle devrait s'inserer dans Ie cadre de la critique evoquee (qui

porte aussi bien sur Ie volet epistemologique que sur Ie volet ethico-
politique). Depuis Ie debut, la philosophie europeenne en general aurait ete
l'instrument ideologique de la domination en Amerique latine. n s'agit d'une
critique similaire a celle que Marx et Engels avaient adressee au
capitalisme 17. Apel croit qu'il doit prendre cette critique au serieux et signale
que la pragmatique transcendantale est du cote de la "critique des ideologies"
mais contre l'''historicisme'' marxiste. II essaye d'accomplir une fonction
correctrice: eviter que l'illustration hermeneutique et critico-ideologique
derivent en "hermeneuticisme" et "historicisme".
Pour Apel, I' ethique de la liberation defendue par Dussel represente une
combinaison de l'historicisme de Hegel, de Marx et de Heidegger avec
"l'exigence ethique inconditionnelle" au sens de Levinas 18 . II a une
conception de l' histoire analogue a celle de Marx ou de Hegel et interprete
les "morales" par rapport aux "totalites" ontoIogiques se deployant dans
l'histoire. Neanmoins, il ne s'attache pas a cet historicisme (qui
l'empecherait d'obtenir tout type de fondation ethique) mais fait appel a
"l'exteriorite de l'autre" (notion sur laquelle cO'incident Apel et Levinas)
comme origine extrahistorique, "transontologique" de I' exigence ethique
inconditionnee, exprimee par I' imperatif de liberer Ie pauvre.
La "metaphysique transontologique" de Dussel, consideree depuis la
"partie A" de l'ethique discursive, presente quelques postulats qu'on peut
objecter. Apel admet, par exemple, que la comprehension de l'''autre'' (il faut
comprendre par cet autre Ie representant d'une forme de vie socioculturelle
etrange) est en partie determinee par la "precomprehension du monde" de la
propre forme de vie. Cette comprehension de l'''autre'' peut-etre appelee
"transontologique". Mais Apel declare, en meme temps, qu'il ne peut pas
l'identifier - comme Ie pretend DusseI- avec une relation d'opposition entre
la philosophie occidentale, qui aurait adopte depuis l'epoque des Grecs la
forme d'une "dialectique de l'identite" et la philosophie d'orientation
"semitique", c' est-a-dire, celle qui depasse cette dialectique vers une
"analectique". Ni Platon ni Hegel ont pense a un "horizon", historiquement
conditionne, de la "comprehension de l'etre". La totalite et l'identite de la
dialectique ontologique de ces philosophes ne peut pas s'identifier a la
philosophie de l'histoire de Hegel, que nul ne doute "eurocentrique". Apel

17 Cf. Ibid., p. 26. Au passage, Apel nous dit que dans cette ressemblance on retrouve encore
une fois la "dependance" de la phiolosophie latino-americaine par rapport 11 la philosophie
europeenne. Mais il signale. cgalement, qu'il ne veut pas faire valoir cette ohservation un
peu "malicieuse" commc argumcnt contre I'ethique de la liberation.
18 Cf.Ibid., pp. 28-29.

pense que toute argumentation philosophique doit concevoir la totalite de

n'importe queUe verite comme etant Me a un logos19.
Jusqu'ici les remarques d' Apel sont fondees sur la "partie A" de l' ethique
du discours, c'est-a-dire, on presuppose que, en principe, les discours de
conciliation sont possibles et qu'il existe une bonne volonte pour mener a
bien une teUe conciliation discursive. C' est ainsi que la discussion avec Ie
"sceptique" a lieu. En ce qui suit, on s'interroge sur ce qui arrive lorsque
cette bonne volonte est absente, par exemple, dans la relation entre les
dominateurs et les do mines ou entre les exploiteurs et les exploites. C' est sur
cette situation que se penche I' ethique de Dussel dans laqueUe Ie "cynique"
se substitue au sceptique: c'est ici que l'ethique de la liberation pose Ie
principal defi ai' ethique discursive20 •
Habermas a deja analyse la possibilite que Ie sceptique refuse simplement
de participer au discours, et il pense avoir trouve dans cette denegation un
argument contraire a la possiblite d'une "fondation derniere" de l'ethique
discursive. Dussel fait remarquer qu'un tel sceptique n'est plus un
"sceptique" au sens traditionnel du terme et, dans ce cas, l'argument de
Habermas, d' apres Apel, n' est plus valable. Celui qui se refuse a donner des
arguments ne peut pretendre que sa pen see soit en accord avec des
pretentions de validite intersubjective21 • Mais ce n' est pas toujours ainsi: Ie
sceptique peut refuser de participer au discours, par exemple, comme une
"strategie" pour ne pas etre refute. C'est alors qu'il devient un "cynique",

19 Cf. Ibid., p. 31. Apel adhere a la these que, de nos jours, la fonction methodologique de la
prima phitosophia n'est plus assuree par I'ontologie (au sens aristotelicien du tenne) ni par
une philosophie transcendantale de la conscience (au sens donne par Kant ou par Husserl),
mais par une semiotique transcendantale qui pennet de comprendre de quelle fa<;on il est
possible de mettre en cause la "comprenension de I'autre" par Ie biais de "]'interpretation de
I'autre" dans Ie discours. Lorsqu'il s'agit d'une forme de vie differente, l'''autre'' est Ie sujet
d'une constitution de sens de monde differente a soi. Mais cette difference ne veut pas dire
que la comprehension de l'etre de l'autre soit differente de la comprehension de son propre
etre. L'interrogation sur les conditions de possibilite d'une comprehension valide n'a de
sens que si on presuppose I'identite d'une et la meme raison en nous et en les "autres". (cf.
ibid., p. 32).
20 Cf. Ibid., pp, 33-34.
21 Pour rna patt, je pense que, ala rigueur, Ie sceptique se refuse toujours a argumenter, soit
parce qu'il propose - et pratique - une "ahstention de tout jugement" (epochej d'une fa<;on
explicite, et par la meme il commet une "autocontradiction performative" (d'apres laquelJe,
je pense, qu'it n'afJirme rien); soit parce qu'il ridiculise son interloeuteur (ce qui constitue
une autre 1'a<;on de se soustraire au dialob'Ue). Je me suis deja oecupe de ce probleme que j'ai
evoque sous Ie nom de "trilemme d' Aristophane" (cf. Maliandi, R., 1990). J' ajouterai que Ie
"cynique", au sens defini par I'ethique de la liheration, est aussi une variante du sceptique:
c'est un sceptique qui dissimule son vrai caraetere parce qu'il fait semblanr de recourir a

c' est-a-dire, quelqu'un qui a des raisons pour fuir la refutation discursive, des
inten~ts economiques et politiques, par exemple. Mais tant qu'il ne participe
pas de l' argumentation il ne peut pas non plus mettre en cause la fondation
de l' ethique discursive; Ie probleme est alors de savoir si I' applicabilite
pratique de cette ethique peut etre remise en cause. Apel pense que la
difference principale avec I'ethique de la liberation se trouve dans la fac;on
d'aborder ce probleme. Le "defi" que l'ethique de la liberation pose a
l'ethique de la communication apparal't deja dans la these de Dussel selon
laquelle 10rsque Ie representant de l' ethique discursive commence a
argumenter avec Ie sceptique il se trouve concretement dans un systeme ou
regne la "raison cynique". Cette raison cynique est, d'apres Dussel, Ie pire
adversaire de l'ethique du discours, car tant que la discussion se tient a
I'interieur d'un registre academique, l'ethique reste impuissante pour deceler
ce cynisme.
Apel retorque que, si I' objection de Dussel etait juste, toute personne
faisant recours au disc ours philosophique pour parler, tel que nous Ie faisons,
de la relation entre l' ethique du discours et I' ethique de la liberation, tout
interlocuteur participant a ce deb at, ne sera qu'un "idiot utile" du systeme
capitaliste dominant. Ainsi, la violence devrait etre la seule pratique de
liberation valable. Dussel n'est pas trop precis ace sujet, puisque parfois il
encourage la revolution par les armes et parfois il s'incline sur des
"reformes" possibles aupres desquelles I'ethique du discours pourrait jouer
un rOle important sur Ie plan de la "prise de conscience", au sens donne par
Paulo Freire22 .
Du point de vue de la "partie B" de I'ethique du discours et par rapport a la
transition du "sceptique" au "cynique", Apel introduit deux remarques tres
importantes pour Ie debat que nous sommes en train d'analyser 23 .
En premier terme, il n'accepte pas que I'argumentation de l'ethique du
discours ait une fonction a I'interieur du systeme capitaliste. Les
argumentations sur lesquelles repose cette denonciation (qui vient de Dussel
mais aussi d'autres, par exemple d'Anton Leist avec quelques modifications)
ont des presuppositions qui ne peuvent pas etre supprimees: d' abord elles
doivent etre prises com me appartenant a un niveau de reflexion "superieur"
aux argumentations de la "raison cynique", un niveau qui permettrait de
distinguer, par exemple, la raison strategique (ou "cynique") de la raison
communicative, ou Ie "sceptique" du "cynique". Elle permettrait de
distinguer ceux avec qui on peut et on doit discuter de ceux sur qui on peut et
on doit discuter. Et bien, Ie discours argumentatif de l'ethique discursive est

22 Cf. Ape!, K.-O., 1994, p. 34.

23 Ibid., pp. 34-37.

transcendant (va au-dela de) tout "systeme totalitaire". n ne peut y avoir de

priorite unilaterale en dehors de la priorite de rendre consciente une
motivation concrete et de montrer les fondements de sa validite: l'ethique de
la liberation et l'ethique du discours se renvoient ainsi l'une l'autre.
La deuxieme remarque d' Apel porte sur Ie fait que l' ethique du discours
apparait au regard de Dussel comme etant inefficace precisement a l' endroit
ou I' on met en pratique un "contre-pouvoir" (Foucault) contre Ie "cynique"
ou la "volonte de pouvoir". Sa reponse est que cette presomption laisse de
cote ou n'a pas compris la "partie B" de l'ethique discursive. La fondation de
la "partie A" faisait allusion d'une fa<;on tres precise a une "interpretation
contrafactique" des conditions ideales, qui ne peuvent jamais se realiser
entierement dans une communaute reelle de communication. Mais il faut
distinguer encore une fois entre ceux avec qui on peut discuter et ceux a
propos de qui on peut discuter. Seulement sur Ie plan du discours libere de
toute reserve strategique il est possible de fonder quand et de quelle maniere
i1 est acceptable, voire meme obligatoire, d' opposer la rationalite strategique
du cynique a une rationalite contre-strategique: pour ce faire on doit agir par
rapport a un principe regulateur de la responsabilite sur les consequences. Ce
principe est guide par deux criteres de mediation: Ie but au long terme
(realisation approximative des conditions d'une communaute ideale de
communication), et la condition restrictive de ne pas mettre en perilles fruits
obtenus par l'humanite dans ce cheminement (par exemple, l'etat de droit,
democratique et constitutionnel).
Apel admet que Ie soup<;on de cynisme encourage par l'ethique de la
liberation, n'est pas errone compte tenu de I'ethique traditionnelle
europeenne guidee par des principes qui font abstraction du plan historique.
n pense aussi que Ie debat actuel entre liberalisme et communisme est atteint
d'une abstraction similaire: on discute de fa<;on ingenue la question des
conditions de constitution et de legitimation d'une "societe moderne", sans
voir Ie fait que toutes les societes modernes "du Nord" maintiennent une
relation asymetrique avec toutes les autres societes de la planete.
Apel essaye, finalement, de faire une evaluation "realiste" (d'apres lui,
"plus realiste" encore que celIe d'une ethique de la liberation) du "conflit
Nord-Sud,,24. II signale que Ie "cynique" evoque par Dussel de meme que Ie
"sceptique radical" refute par I'ethique du discours, sont de pures
"constructions" utiles aux fins proposees par I'argumentation. Si on croyait
qU'une telle construction refletait une dimension reelle du conflit Nord-Sud,
ceci impliquerait la diabolisation du point de vue denonce et, donc, un

24 Ibid., pp. 37-39


manquement a la responsabilite ethique. La division du monde dans Ie conflit

Nord-Sud est deja une simplification excessive bien qu'utile; mais laissant de
cote cet aspect, il n'y a aucun doute sur Ie fait que les representants des
interets du Nord renouvellent chaque jour leur part de responsabilite aupres
de l'injuste distribution des biens. Neanmoins, Ape! pense que la reclamation
portee par I' ethique de la liberation est incompatible avec l' evaluation
suivante issue de la "partie B" de l' ethique discursive: les nombreuses
reunions et conferences internationales - entre des representants du Nord et
du Sud - qui actuellement ont lieu montrent que les normes de base d'une
ethique du discours semblent etre comprises et acceptees par tous. La
philosophie ne peut pas reagir a son tour d'une fa~on cynique contre eux
pour montrer qu'elle decele la une intention cacMe. La tache de la "partie B"
de l'ethique discursive est de reconnaitre que ces reunions et ces conferences
sont subordonnees a deux criteres de rationalite tres differents: 1) I'idee
regulatrice des discours pratiques qui oblige a tenir compte des interets de
toutes les personnes affectees (idee qui est deja dans la conscience morale de
nombreux participants et, de plus, constitue une pretention indispensable au
regard de l'opinion publique mondiale), et 2) la conscience (et la
responsabilite d'etre conscient) que de telles reunions et conferences ont
aussi Ie caractere de negociations strategiques a l'interieur desquelles il faut
agir en representation d'interets particuliers.
Dans Ie conflit d'interets entre riches et pauvres ou oppresseurs et
oppresses, les criteres de la "partie B" de I'ethique discursive sont valables
pour les deux secteurs. Le cadre d' action des premiers (meme les
representants ayant de bonnes intentions) se voit limite par des criteres de
succes possible; mais les autres ont une prerogative ethique et Ie devoir de
chercher la compensation de leurs desavantages structuraux.
Le debat entre l'ethique de la liberation et I'ethique du discours - ou des
modules representes par l'une et I'autre - n'est, sans doute, pas fini. La
confrontation met a jour des elements de compatibilite et aussi, jusqu'a
present, quelques details qui limitent cette compatibilite mais qui, peut-etre,
pourraient etre contournes si on prenait mieux en compte, a partir de chaque
ethique, I'importance des structures generales de conflit. Dans d'autres ecrits
je me suis occupe specifiquemcnt de l'ethique du discours 25 . Je voudrais,
pour finir, reprendre tres succinctement la notion de "raison ethique
originaire" elabaree par Dussel et fondee sur Levinas, et que nous avans deja

25 Cf. Maliandi, R., 1991 ct 1993 a, passim.


Pour rna part, je crois en effet qu'une telle raison existe, qu'il y a une
limpide "rationalite de la raison", necessairement pre-argumentative ou, au
dire de Dussel, "prealable a tout exercice de la raison". Mais je ne crois pas
qu'elle soit essentiellement ou d'une fac;on primaire l"'experience de l'autre"
ni notre responsabilite a priori aupres de lui. La raison ethique originaire est,
a mon avis, pure et simplement opposition a la dimension conflictive.
L' exigence de resoudre ou d' attenuer toute situation de conflit met en
evidence un type d' attitude pratique (plus qu'une "experience"). Cette
attitude precede necessairement tout raffinement de I' argumentation. On peut
aller plus loin encore: c' est la condition de possiblite necessaire de
I' argumentation en general. Sur ce point je m' ecarte d' Apel. n pense que Ie
simple recours a I'argumentation presuppose que l'on ait reconnu et accepte
"depuis toujours" la "norme de base" selon Iaquelle tout conflit d'interets
do it etre surmonte a I'aide d'arguments. Je pense que I'exigence rationnelle
limpide ne porte pas encore sur les arguments mais seulement sur Ie besoin
d' eviter, resoudre ou attenuer Ie conflit. La sauvegarde, resolution ou
attenuation argumentatives ajoutent, pour ainsi dire, une "difference
specifique", tandis que Ie "genre" constitue Ie moment sans distinction de
cette exigence. La violence, comme appel aI'irrationnel, s'oppose sans doute
a se servir de I'argumentation. Mais Ia violence n'''evite'', ne "resout", ni
n'''attenue'' les conflits: simplement elle les dissout; et avec ce procede
I'harmonie est loin d'etre retrouvee. Je pense que la "raison ethique
originaire" est Me etroitement aI'exigence d'equilibre, d'equite, d'harmonie.
Le conflit et I'injustice brisent I'harmonie et cet attentat repugne a la
rationalite. Dans cette repugnance resident les racines les plus profondes de
I' exigence de "liberation".

Apel, Karl-Otto, 1973, Tran~formation der Philosophie (2 voL), Frankfurt a.M., Suhrkamp.
Apel, Karl-Otto, 1986, Estudios eticos, Barcelona, Alfa.
Apel, Karl-Otto, 1987, "Falibilismus, Konsenstheorie der Wahrheit und Letztbegriindung", in
VVAA, 1987,pp. 116-211.
Apc!, Karl-Otto, 1990, Una etica de fa responsabilidad en fa era de La ciencia, Buenos Aires,
Almagesto, 1994, pp. 19-39.
Apel, Karl-Otto, 1994, "A ctiea do discurso em face do desafio da filosofia da liberta;;:ao
latino-americana", en VV AA, 1994, pp. 19-39.
Dussel, Enrique, 1973, Para una hica de La liberacidn fatinoamericana, Buenos Aires, Siglo
Dussel, Emique, I 994a, "Etica de la liberaci6n", en VVAA, 1994, pp. 145-170.
Dussel, Enrique, 1994b, Rica!ur, TayLor, Apel, Rorty and the Philosophy of Liberation, New
York, Humanities Press.

Maliandi, Ricardo, 1990, "El trilema de Arist6fanes y los presupuestos normativos del dialogo
cntico", in Critica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofia, Mexico, XXII, 65 (aoiit
1990), pp. 43-55.
Maliandi, Ricardo, 1991, Transformaci6n y sintesis, Buenos Aires, Almagesto.
Maliandi, Ricardo, 1993a, Dejar la posmodemidad. La eticafrente al irracionalismo actual,
Buenos Aires, Almagesto.
Maliandi, Ricardo, 1993b, "Identidad, diferencia y universalidad en el contexto de America
Latina", Rio Cuarto (Argentina), ediciones del ICALA.
Roig, Arturo A., 1994, "La 'dignidad humana' y la 'moral de la emergencia' en America
Latina", en VV AA, 1994, pp. 171-186.
Scannone, Juan Carlos, 1990, Nuevo punto de partida de lafilosofia latinoamericana, Buenos
Aires, Guadalupe.
Ouvrages collectifs:
1987, Philosophie und Begrundung (Hrsg. von Forum fUr Philosophie bad Homburg),
Frankfurt, Suhrkamp.
1990, Ethik und Befreiung (Hrsg. von Raul Fomet-Betancourt), Aachen, Verlag der
Augustinus-Buchhandlung (Concordia, Reihe Monographien Nr. 4).
1992, Diskursethik oder Befreiungsethik? (Hrsg. von Raul Fomet-Betancourt), Verlag
der Augustinus-Buchhandlung (Concordia, Reihe Monographien Nr. 6).
1994, Etica do Discurso e Filosofia da Libertafoo. Modelos complementares, Sao
Leopoldo (Bresil), UNISlNOS.




1. Introducci6n
La "crisis" y hasta la "muerte" de la filosoffa se ha anunciado en forma
rei terada, 10 cual a su vez es ejemplo elocuente de su persistencia a pesar de
sus limitaciones y los pronosticos sobre su fallecimiento en un futuro
proximo. Como pocas instituciones probadas por el tiempo ella ha logrado
vencer, tras reiteradas batallas, al polvo de los siglos y de modo similar a
Sfsifo, Rey de Corinto, parece condenada a levantar su legado desde la faldas
de la montana hasta su cima, y una vez coronada esta verlo caer, para
reiniciar la tarea de modo reiterado y etemo, con igual 0 mayor optimismo.
En este etemo renacimiento 10 importante es preguntarse por el momento
del desarrollo filosofico al que nos ha tocado asistir: el de una temible
glaciacion 0 anquilosamiento 0 el de una brill ante primavera: aunque
tam bien es posible que estemos asistiendo en el Ecuador a la confluencia de
uno y otro momento, transitando por el verticie 0 gozne de un momenta
historico en el que se descomponen y entierran algunas de la antiguas
formulas y se abren pasos nuevos y mas vigorosas altemativas, sobre todo en
el area de la ensenanza de la filosoffa, ese campo de marte, donde a nuestro
entender se librara en Ecuador la batalla por la renovacion de la filosoffa en
las proximas dccadas.
En efecto, la ensenanza de la filosoffa, tanto la que se imparte en los
centros de la educacion media como en las universidades, ha constitufdo en
Ecuador la principal yen mas de un caso la unica puerta de entrada de que se
disponfa para aeceder al templo de Minerva. En clara diferencia con otros
siglos, baste reeordar el XIX, en que la puerta de entrada a la filosoffa
dependio basicamente del interes individual y el espfritu autodidacta; hoy en
dfa el canal de comunieacion con la filosoffa esta sujeto, nos guste 0 no, a las

Gu/torm FI¢istad (ed.). Philosophy (~r Latin America. 205-228.

2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

posibilidades que ofrecen la instituciones acad6rnicas, sobre todo la

universidad 1•

2. Situaci6n de la ensefianza de la Filosof'ia en el Ecuador

Quien examine la publicaciones ultimas, por supuesto escasas en el Ecuador,
facilmente constatara que mas aHa de la diferencias que ofrece el mosaico
latinoarnericano, existe un consenso generalizado de imputaciones e incluso
de larnentos, no necesariamente arnparados en investigaciones de corte
empfrico, sobre el desastroso nivel a que ha descendido la ensefianza de la
Los factores claves atafien a los actores inmersos en el quehacer filos6fico,
a las condiciones de ensefianza de la filosoffa, a la metodologfa utilizada y a
los planes y programas, aspecto curricular este ultimo que data de 1978 y a
pesar de su obsolecencia conserva aun vigencia.

2.1 Los actores

En cuanto a los "sujetos" 0 actores de quehacer filos6fico, se coincide en
sefialar un claro deterioro del cuerpo docente responsable de la ensefianza de
la filosoffa, y para mas de un autor este es uno de los "cueHos de botella",
que incide incluso en las posibles reforrnas, diffciles de implementar por
carecer el pais de un cuerpo docente apto para tal empresa. Conocido es que
solo elementos calificados pueden hacer aun de malos programas de estudio
buenos instrumentos de trabajo, mientras que por el contrario, excelentes
planes de estudio no producen ningun efecto en el aprendizaje de los
alumnos si los maestros que los utili zan no estan debidamente preparados.
Entro los factores que inciden en el deterioro del nivel docente, se sefialan
los siguientes:

I Cfr. IX Congreso Interamericano de Filosoffa, Caracas, 1977. Vol. 1, tema 1, dedicado a "Ia
ensenanza de la filosoffa en America Latina"; el ecuatoriano Manual Augustin Aguirre
expuso una poncncia sobre "La Filosoffa de los Planes". Tambien puede consultarse el XI
Congreso Interamericano realizado en Guadalajara cuyos trabajos fueron publicados en
Filosofia del Lenguaje, de la ciencia, y de los derechos humanos y problcmas de su
ensenanza, Edt. Unam, 1985. Del autor consultar: "Los programas de filosofia del
bachillcrato", en: Rev. de la Pontificia Universidad Cat6lica del Ecuador, p. 185, Ano XV,
Nro. 47, Agosto 1987. Quito-Ecuador; este analisis fue ampliado en la poncncia sustentada
en Guayaquil, Nov. 1987, V Congreso Nacional de Filosofia. Tambien puede consultarse:
Abelardo Villegas, "Sobre el Estudio de la Filosofia Latinoamericana", en: Rev. de Historia
de la Idcas, Nro. 10, pp. 207-88. CELA, 1990; Y Gregor Sauerwald, "Los programas de
ensenanza de la filosoffa cn el Ecuador", en: Rev. de Historia de la Ideas, del Centro de
Estudios Latinoamericanos, CELA, de la Universidad Cat6lica de Quito, Nro. 11-12, 1991-

2.1.1 La erronea politica de remuneraciones vigente para el magisterio, que

ha descargado sobre sus hom bros la crisis econ6mica de la ochenta,
particularmente su proceso inflacionario. En el caso ecuatoriano, el deterioro
de las remuneraciones lleg6 al 55% acumulativo en la dec ada de los ochenta:
sus remuneraciones se convirtieron en las mas bajas de todo el sector publico
y de gran parte del privado, y no se pudo ni siquiera conformar una unidad
especializada al interior del gobierno como responsable de politica salarial
del magisterio. Mientras en 1980 un maestro de quinta categori'a recibfa
alrededor de 340 d6lares por mes como sueldo basico, en 1990 ya solo
percibfa $ 74, para marzo del 92 su remuneraci6n baj6 a $ 68 y en septiembre
del 92 se redujo a menos de $ 60; en los ultimos tiempos ha conseguido
alglin repunte2 •

2.1.2 La minus-valoracion del status profesional del maestro. Mientras

otros profesionales gozan de relativo prestigio, al maestro Ie falta el
reconocimiento social e incluso cientffico al que tendri'a derecho en la escala
de valores intelectuales. Multiples circunstancias confluyen en su status: el
maestro no es considerado por los demas y en mas de un caso, 10 que es peor,
por sf mismo, como un especialista desde un doble punto de vista: el de las
tecnicas y el de la creaci6n cientffica. Para la generalidad es un simple
trasmisor de un saber al alcance de todo el mundo, pese a las recientes
especializaciones en educaci6n que en el Ecuador estan en su fase
Esta minus-valoraci6n tambien se refleja en el cada vez mas reducido
numero de estudiantes con interes en la Filosoffa, que contrasta con la
preferencia de la mayorfa estudiantil por carreras tecnicas y rentables;
ademas, al igual que en la dificultad para reclutar maestros especializados en
la ensefianza de filosoffa en una sociedad cada vez mas urbana e
industrializada. La ocupaci6n de esta catedra, en un alto porcentaje por
personal no especializado, con rudimentaria preparaci6n, general mente
soci610gos, abogados y hasta de especializaciones poco afines ala filosoffa,
es tambien un claro testimonio de la carestfa de personal preparado en
Filosoffa y del escaso interes de los maestros por esta area del saber.

2.1.3 La caUdad de la formaeion .filoso.fiea que se imparte en nuestras

Faeultades de Fil()s(~fia y Cieneias de la Edueaeion. En el Ecuador, en mas
de veinte facultades dedicadas a esta area del saber, que incluso llevan su
nombre, no existe un solo departamento, instituto 0 escuela especializada en

2 Cfr. mi ensayo: "C6mo redistribuir el capital educativo?: debate sobre la equidad del sistema
educativo en los afios noventa", en: Rev. Ecuador Debate. Nro. 29. Quito, Agosto 1992.

el cultivo intensivo de la filosofia; 10 mas cercano serfa la especializaci6n en

"Filosofia y Ciencias Econ6micas, Sociales y PoHticas", que por 10 general
presta mas atenci6n a estas ultimas ciencias que ala misma Filosofia.
La carencia de centros especializados ha repercutido tambien en la
actualizaci6n de los textos, planes, programas y mas actividades vinculadas a
esta area. Los obsoletos textos de Filosofia elaborados en el Ecuador, al igual
que los programas y la misma actividad docente, desconocen los avances que
se han dado a nivel mundial. Con justa raz6n, Carlos Rojas ha sefialado que
nuestra reflexi6n filos6fica "se halla largamenta desfasada de la historia,
respecto de los demas campos del saber. La filosofia esta todavfa en el
pasado remoto, ni siquiera alcanz6 su pre-historia, sino que esta atravesando
una de esas temibles glaciaciones,,3.

2.1.4 El escaso y casi nulo desarrollo profesional e institucional, que

contrasta con el dinamismo de la sociedades medicas, de arquitectos e
ingenieros. Mientras las unas sorprenden por el dinamismo de su presencia
social y su acci6n en el campo de las publicaciones, congresos, sedes sociales
e investigaci6n, las corporaciones educativas se caracterizan mas bien por la
concentraci6n en problemas salariales y de fndole polftica. A 10 cual aun
habrfa que afiadir el control casi absoluto que desde los afios 70 ha venido
ejerciendo un solo partido polftico en la mayorfa de las Facultades de
Ciencias de la Educaci6n. EI control del "partido unico", tan propio de la
tradici6n estalinista, ha debilitado la participaci6n y acci6n pluralista y ha
implementado el predominio de dogmatismo y el sectarismo.

2.2 Las condiciones

2.2.1 Comenzaremos por las actitudes, Juibitos, prejuicios y hasta derto
conservadorismo que parece prevalecer en el magisterio en general y en los
docentes de filosoffa en particular. Eduardo Rabossi, en el XI Congreso
Interamericano de Filosoffa, Guadalajara, ] 985, sefialaba que si "uno analiza
la praxis docente en las facultades de Filosoffa, sobre todo en Latinoamerica,
va a advertir en realidad que 10 que prima en las actitudes del profesor medio
y del alumno medio en esos ambitos es un enfoque eclectico, (... ) por el cual
se Ie muestra al estudiante a traves de los afios una cantidad de tesis,
sistemas, autores sin que opere la dimensi6n veritativa, que queda totalmente
obscura y sin soIuci6n."
A la actitud y ensefianza eclectica predominante en nuestro medio, Jorge
Gracia afiade actitudes como el "personalismo" y "preciocismo", que

3 Cfr. Carlos Rojas Reyes, "Detenninaciones de Rct1cxion y Detenninaciones Concretas: de

Hegel a Marx", en: Rev. Pucara, Nro. 7, p. 132, Edt. Universidad de Cuenca, 1983.

predominarian igualmente en los docentes latinoamericanos. Por la primera

actitud se consideraria a la filosoffa como una expresion de la personalidad
del individuo, como el producto de su meditaci6n intema y el reflejo de su
"genialidad" mas que como un quehacer profesional y social. Por la segunda
actitud, resultado en buena medida de la influencia orteguiana, se preferiria la
belleza de la forma y el estilo literario y grandielocuente a la misma verdad y
coherencia de la ideas que se presentan4 •
A estas actitudes ann habria que afiadir la resistencia al cambio y
actualizacion que nuestros centros de formacion filosofica no logran afrontar.
Por el contrario, cada ilia son mayores los indicios que aporta la
investigacion empmca y que permiten afmnar que el deterioro de la calidad
de la educacion va en aumento.
En el area de la filosoffa la actualizacion es ann mas compleja y solo un
gran esfuerzo permitira alcanzar los adelantos que ella ha logrado en las
nltimas decadas, particularmente en 10 que se refiere al analisis y filosoffa del
lenguaje, logicas: simbolica, polivalente, proposicional, matematica, ...
epistemologia, hermeneutica, fenomenologia, constructivismo, ... materias
que por regIa general nuestros programas de estudio no contemplan. AMdase
a esto dificultades de ejecucion dada la dispersion del magisterio a 10 largo y
ancho del pais y 10 costoso de su concentracion para cursos 0 seminarios
Todas estas actitudes y barreras han conducido ala filosoffa en el Ecuador
a una accion y radio de influencia muy reducido y a ser mirada con recelo,
como una empresa sui generis y de poco utilidad por la mayoria de quienes
se dedican a otras ciencias y actividades.

2.2.2 Las condiciones objetivas son tanto 0 mas deprimentes que las
actitudes y valores que se pueden descubrir en el ejercicio docente. Factores
de indole economic a y social que no es el momenta para desbrozar: la
disminucion de las asignaciones del Presupueto General del Estado para el
area de la educaci6n, el deterioro de los sueldos del magisterio, el desface
entre el area rural y la urbana, entre el mundo del trabajo y el de la
ensefianza, el analfabetismo y la injusta distribucion de recursos y
oportunidades educativas, ... configuran un cuadro en el que se destaca no
solo el aumento de los pobres y los indigentes sino tambien la disminuci6n
de su capital educativo y sus posibilidades profesionales, con la

4 Cfr. Eduardo Rabossi, "Ensefiar filosoffa y aprender a filosofar", en: Filosoffa del lenguaje,
de la ciencia y de los derechos humanos, p. 201, XI Congreso Interamericano de Filosoffa,
Guadalajara, Edt. Unam, 1985. Jorge Gracia, "Problemas en la ensefianza de la filosoffa en
Ibero-America", en: Filosoffa del Lenguaje, de la cicncia y de los derechos humanos, p. 219.

correspondiente vulnerabilidad econ6rnica y social que tal tipo de procesos

conlleva para los estratos populares. Mas que un proceso de redistribuci6n de
la riqueza educativa estamos asistiendo a un proceso de concentraci6n en
iniquidad 0 al menos de muy poca equidad.

2.3 La metodologia: el sistema tradicional de catedra

La crftica al sistema tradicional de ensefianza de la filosofia tampoco es
as unto de la ultimas decadas. Los primeros planteamientos sobre las
deficiencias de la principal manifestaci6n del sistema de catedra: la "clase
magistral" en nuestro medio practica docente mal comprendida y reducida a
la mera repetici6n de contenidos narrados 0 trasmitidos de profesor a
profesor, sin el apoyo de la investigaci6n y el aporte de la creatividad,
correspondieron al movimiento ilustrado que puso de manifiesto la
lirnitaciones de este tipo de ejercicio docente, especialmente atraves de la
obra de Jose Perez Calama y Eugenio Espejo, Sim6n Rodriguez, ...
posteriormente Fernando Pons, Daniel E. Proafio a finales de XIX y
comienzos del XX quienes insistieron en la necesidad de hacer desaparecer
las "catedras" y con ellas los "patronazgos" y mas bien dar importancia a
todas las form as participativas y creadoras dentro de las relaciones
educativas. Objetivo basico de su propuesta era desplazar el verticalismo
tradicional de los metodos de ensefianza hacia un mayor horizontalismo y
partipacionismo. Mediante ello se intentaba lograr la inserci6n creadora,
dentro del acto educativo, del educando, sometido generalmente a formas
impositivas de educaci6n, "bancaria", como la denominara Paulo Freire5 .
Junto al caracter predominantemente narrativo de la actividad "magistral"
tambien cabe destacar las relaciones de pasividad que supone tal tipo de
ejercicio docente. La "clase magistral", por regIa general vaciada en nuestro
medio de su riqueza, habrfa terminado por transformar tanto al docente
como al discente en elementos pasivos, pues a los unos convierte en

5 Paulo Freire ha resumido las principales Iimitaciones que estimula tal tipo de ensefianza en
las siguientes: -EI cducador es sicmpre quien cduca; el educando, cI que es cducado. -EI
educador es quien sabe; los cducandos quienes no saben. -EI educador es quien piensa; los
educandos son los objetos pensados. -EI cducador es quien habla; los cducandos quienes
escuchan d6cilmente. -EI cducador es quien disciplina; los educandos los indisciplinados. -
EI educador es quien opla y prescribe su opci6n; los educandos quienes siguen la
prescipci6n. -EI educador es quien acrna, los educandos son aquellos que tiene la ilusi6n de
que actuan, en la actuaci6n del cducador. -EI cducador es quien escoge el contenido
programitico, los cducandos a quienes jamas se escucha, se acomodan a cl. -EI cducador
identifica la autoridad del saber con su aUloridad funcional, la que opone anlag6nicamente a
la libertad de los educandos. Son estos quienes deben adaptarse a las delerminaciones de
aque!. -Finalmente, el educador es el sujelo del proceso; los educandos, meros objetos. efT.
Pcdagogfa del Oprimido, p. 78, Lima, Edt. Universidad Nacional de San Marcos, 1971.

"vasijas", en recipientes 0 depositos, que solo les permite ser coleccionistas 0

fichadores de cosas que les orden an archivar 0 "memorizar"; pero
igualmente, a los otros, especialmente por la carencia de investigacion y
desarrollo creativo de los contenidos, en "papagayos" 0 trasmisores
repetitivos de mensajes. La "clase magistral", importante metodologia de
trabajo en otros lares, es asi desvirtuada y reducida a la trasmision mecanica
de conocimientos, al uso repetitivo de consagrados manuales e incluso al
mero "dictado".
Cabe ademas destacar que el verbalismo dominante en la catedra tambien
est a en la base de la orientacion profesionalizante de nuestra universidad,
espiritu que hasta la fecha no ha sido alterado sino, mas bien, tiende a
agravarse. Correctamente se ha sefialado las limitaciones del sistema
atomistico y feudal que hace girar la estructura docente en torno a campos
epistemologicos 0 catedras y facultades, como el medio mas expedito para
seguir fabricando profesionales y sobre todo profesionales "integrados", que
no se planteen ni reformas de estructuras 0 academicas ni menos aun pongan
en cuestionamiento la pretendida "seriedad" de los estudios.
Finalmente, a las limitaciones inherentes al modo tradicional de ejercicio
de la "docencia" habrfa que sumar otra serie de defectos muy propios del
sistema de "catedra", que desde el punto de vista del estudio y la
investigacion no aparecen como menos graves. EI alumno, por ejemplo, no
logra una real insercion en la catedra, pues se mantiene externo a ella, como
"objeto" de la ensefianza y rara vez como "sujeto" partfcipe de la misma. EI
espfritu de patronazgo siempre considero inaceptable y aun inconcebible que
el alumno participe en la determinacion de los contenidos de la ensefianza, en
el proceso de evaluacion 0 en la orientaci6n que se ha de dar a dichos
contenidos. Igualmente, la relaci6n entre investigaci6n y docencia se ha visto
empobrecida, en relaci6n con la necesidad de adaptar metodos y sistemas de
descubrimiento, trasmici6n, asimilaci6n y creaci6n del saber en un medio
masificado; motivo por el cual en las leyes universitarias los legisladores se
han visto obligados a sefialar con fuerza que todo docente debe ser
investigador y todo investigador docente, exigencia que de hecho ha quedado
librada a la buena voluntad de cada uno, pero no facilitada por la estructura
misma de la "catedra".
Por todo 10 cual, e1 sistema tradicional de catedra, de amplia vigencia en la
ensefianza de la filosoffa, serfa el causante, en buena medida, de un sin
numero de contradicciones y limitaciones, por su clara tendencia a sobre-
valorar un momenta de proceso de ensefianza aprendizaje en desmedro de
otros y por establecer un tipo de relaciones que destruye el dialogo que
implica indefectiblemente el quehacer docente. En la ensefianza de la
filosoffa es donde menos se habrfa logrado cambiar e innovar el viejo

"sistema de catedra", y las crfticas que se han formulado a este respecto no

por reiterativas y conocidas pueden ser soslayadas6•

2.4 Los planes y programas

En diferentes aspectos del proceso de ensefianza aprendizaje las limitaciones
son palmarias, pero de todos estas falencias, la referente a los planes y
programas de filosofia raya incluso en 10 anecd6tico por su obsolencia,
enciclopedismo, centralizaci6n, autoritarismo y deshistorizacion.

2.4.1 Obsolecencia. En Octubre de 1975 el gobierno militar expidi6 un

nuevo Plan de Estudios para el bachillerato en humanidades, con las tre ya
conocidas especializaciones: ciencias sociales, qufmico-biol6gicas y fisico-
matematicas: en marzo del 77 el gobierno aprob6 los nuevos programas que
hasta el presente no han sido actualizados, a pesar de que para esa epoca
estaban los programas anclados mas en tematicas del pas ado que en las
contemporaneas e igualmente son mas abundantes los autores clasicos que
los modernos. No se mencionan, por ejemplo, los temas que han resultado
relevantes en la reflexi6n contemporanea y sin los cuales no es factible
comprender hoy que es filosoffa, cual es su funci6n y cumes son sus actuales
desarrollos y tendencias.
Dicho de otro modo, el proceso de "institucionalizaci6n" de la filosofia, 0
"normalizaci6n" iniciado en algunos pafses latinoamericanos a mediados de
siglo y coronado con relativo exito en las ultimas decadas, en Ecuador no ha
logrado carta de ciudadanfa y por ende carecemos aun de la infra-estructura
filos6fica illlmma: institutos especializados, informaci6n relevante,
intercambio de experiencias y materiales, publicaciones, profesionales en
filosoffa ... Por supuesto, el quehacer filos6fico no puede ser reducido a las
f6rmulas institucionales, al estilo universitario de praticar la filosoffa, pero
tampoco puede ser despreciada tal modalidad a riesgo de continuar la
tendencia a la generalidad y el ensayismo, producto a menudo de la
improvisaci6n y la falta de formaci6n especializada.

2.4.2 Enciclopedismo. Otra prueba mas de la obsolecencia de los programas

es su marcado enciclopedismo. No se ha visto en las ultimas decadas
programas de filosoffa mas amplios que estos, lastimosamente aun en
vigencia. Raya en 10 inaudito, por ejempl0, el programa de historia de la
filosoffa de cuarto y quinto curso. Desde la primera unidad: "Definici6n y

6 efr. mi trabajo sobre "EI sistema de catedra y el sistema de areas: repercusiones y

altemativas", en: La Universidad ecuatoriana: reaIidad y perspectivas, Quito, Fundaci6n de
Estudios SociaIes, PESO, 1991.

Objetivo de la Historia de la Filosoffa"; las "Corrientes y Escuelas

filosoficas, como partes estructurales de la historia de la filosoffa"; los
"Factores determinantes de todo sistema filosofico", pasando por los
"Factores de toda macro estructura filosofica", "Los dos grandes sistema del
pensamiento filosofico universal: idealismo y materialismo", "La
importancia del estudio de la Historia de la Filosoffa", y recien estamos al
termino de la primera unidad, faltandole al alumno de cuarto ano todavfa
recorrer cuatro unidades mas, algunas de ellas aun mas amplias que esta
primera. Para tan largo trayecto el estudiante, segt1n el plan, no dispone mas
que de dos horas de clase por semana, de las cuales habrfa que descontar las
conocidas interrupciones que caracterizan a nuestro ano escolar a causa de
sus paros y huelgas 7 .
El enciclopedismo ha sido y es un mal endemico de nuestra educacion y su
reinado se afianza desde hace siglos no solo en programas como el descrito
sino tambien, y esto es los mas grave, en la estructura misma de todo un
sistema que alimenta el enciclopedismo desde diferentes flancos: los planes
de estudio con un sinnumero de materias: 16 y 17 materias en quinto y sexto
ano y hasta 19 en la especializacion en ciencias sociales; los "manuales" mas
que textos escolares; el aparato jurfdico y de supervision con sus exigencias
por llenar el programa, etc.
Mientras predomine, por efecto del enfoque enciclopedista, una vision tan
esquematica 0 simplista del saber, se continuaran formulando programas en
los que la unidad del conocimiento con la praxis, su sentido historico 0 su
compromiso con la realidad se encubren, se desvanecen 0 se desconocen
consciente 0 inconscientemente. Igualmente, el trabajo multi e inter-
disciplinario que hoy reclama la ciencia y la unidad misma del proceso
educativo, unidad que se alcanza a traves de la continuidad, secuencia e
integracion de los diferentes campos y de las distintas materias que
constituyen un area especffica, es obvio que no se puede lograr a traves de la

7 EI prof. Gregor Sauerwald ha calculado la inviabilidad de este encicJopedismo: "Un vistazo

sobre la cantidad de los contenidos de la Primera Unidad de Filosoffa (4to curso), (...) y la
comparaci6n con el numero de las horas disponibles per annum nos da una relaci6n de mas
de 70 puntos formales y materiales a tratar, es decir, 70 contenidos en aproximadamente la
misma cantidad de cJases-hora, 10 que significarfa: una hora, quiere decir 45 minutos,
dedicados a Corrientes y Escuelas Filos6ficas 0 Divisi6n radical y marxista de la Filosoffa 0
Confucio, etc., asf cada cJase de filosoffa. Dudamos de que unas muchachas de 15 afios
puedan avalar y digerir problematicas tan diffciles y lejanas de su horizonte personal y
cultural y, en este proceso "digestivo", participar y lanzarse a investigaci6n y
experimentaci6n, como sugiere la Presentaci6n de los Programas de Filosoffa." Art. Cit. p.

atomizaci6n del conocimiento que el orden alfabetico de las enciclopedias

Tambien conocido es el can'tcter desintegrador que se ha venido
propiciando al interior de nuestros centros de estudio, incluidas la
universidades, forma de trabajo que ha conducido a la parcelaci6n de las
facultades, a la apropiaci6n de las catedras y a la atomizaci6n del curriculum,
llegandose hasta a impulsar el que la investigaci6n cientffica se conviertan en
una disciplina aut6noma mas que en actividad propia y correspondiente a
todas y cada una de las asignaturas.
Rehacer la unidad de las materias de filosoffa y su vinculaci6n con otras
disciplinas, respetando las diferencias de las diversas perspectivas, pero
exigiendo al mismo tiempo la debida integraci6n, es otra de las tare as
pendientes, ya que el estudiante requiere aprehender a visualizar el mundo
cultural, social e hist6rico que Ie rodea, como un conjunto interdependiente,
con relaciones e influencias mutuas, para 10 cual es necesario que tambien en
las diferentes asignaturas yea reflejada la unidad de la realidad y del saber,
tanto en el plano vertical 0 de profundidad como en el plano horizontal 0 de
complejidad, y esto no se alcanzara sin el trabajo coordinado e inter-
disciplinario de los docentes en cada una de sus respectivas areas, reducidas
al presente por efecto del enciclopedismo, lastimosamente, a un sinnumero
de asignaturas desperdigadas.
Para el caso de los programas de filosoffa vigentes, tocara integrar
Introducci6n a la Filosoffa y Teorfa del Conocimiento, L6gica y Etica e
Historia de la Filosoffa en una unidad que refleje la continuidad y la
integraci6n de la realidad y del saber filos6fico, aspectos descuidados por los
actuales programas. La unidad en referencia, debera ademas establecer un
puente con materias como Historia Universal e Historia del Ecuador, Historia
de las Ciencias y de la Cultura, Estudios Sociales y Elementos de Economfa
y otras mas sin las cuales el saber filos6fico queda flotanto en el aire al
perder el contexto del cual surgi6 y al cual sirvi6 para justificarlo,
consolidarlo 0 cambiarlo.

2.4.3 Deshistorizaci6n. Concomitante al enciclopedismo tambien hay que

situar la carencia u "olvido" de la dimensi6n hist6rica, por un lado; y, por
otro, su orientaci6n a un "historicismo" que reduce el devenir a una visi6n
parcial del "progreso" muy propia del siglo XIX y caracterizable por su
connotaci6n positivista, su sobrevaloracfon del pas ado e incluso un marcado
eurocentrismo, justificador de la dependencia y dominaci6n de unos pueblos
sobre el resto del mundo.
Las teorfas e ideologfas del "progreso" del XIX, segun las cuales nuestros
pueblos debfan ajustarse al proceso seguido por los pafses "civilizados",

recobraron fuerza y se generalizaron en America Latina a mediados de este

siglo a traves de los reiterados llamados al "desarrollo", cuyo fracaso hoy en
dia es ya palmario. A nivel curricular, segun Gregor Sauerwald, este
desarrollismo se expres6 mediante pautas que reclamaban, "renovar, en un
mundo de progreso acelerado, los contenidos programaticos para estar acorde
con los adelantos de la ciencia y de la tecnologias modemas, C... ). Pareceria
que para no estar a la zaga frente al progreso de Occidente y para remediar
los problemas de America Latina, habia que apostar a 10 que mas tarde se
llam6 la "alianza para el progreso". Una vez mas 10 adjetivo: el desarrollo
cientifico, se sobreponia a los sustantivo: la liberaci6n y superaci6n de
nuestra realidad.
Pese al nucleo desarrollista de los programas del 78, esto no obsta
reconocer a su favor un tfrnido giro de apertura, al aludir a la vinculaci6n de
la historia con la filosoffa y viceversa, al menos si se compara ese giro con la
situaci6n imperante en los programas del 69, en los cuales en grado casi
absoluto se desconoce dicha relaci6n. Tal fue el caso de la materia que se
denorninaba Cuestiones Filos6ficas, que aludi6 a dicha dimensi6n, a 10 largo
de toda la his tori a de la filosoffa, tan solo en dos ocasiones: al inicio del
renacirniento y de la etapa contemporanea.
La relaci6n entre contexto hist6rico y texto filos6fico se esfuma de
multiples maneras. Por ejemplo, los grandes hechos sociales, econ6rnicos 0
polfticos de la etapa escolastica 0 del pensamiento ilustrado brillan por su
ausencia; la revoluci6n industrial, el desarrollo de la ciencia, los nuevos
imperios coloniales 0 las luchas sociales del siglo XIX, circunstancias en que
Ie toc6 desenvolverse al pensamiento romantico e idealista, tampoco se
mencionan. La misma etapa del "nacimiento" de la filosoffa es enfocada a-
hist6ricamente, como un acontecirniento muerto, ubicado en un pas ado ya
remoto y por ende superado: el de los griegos; pas ado sin relaci6n con
nuestro presente y las posibilidades de un "re-nacimiento" de la filosoffa en
nuestro medio, que al igual que en tiempo de los griegos requiere superar su
mundo mftico-magico para construir un presente con mayor densidad y
sentido. La mismo podria afirmarse del periodo positivista 0 del
existencialismo 0 de cualquier otra etapa, en la que los contextos culturales,
polfticos 0 del sistema productivo ni siquiera se mencionan.
Ademas, el programa del 78 tiene como uno de sus aciertos, "el considerar
que no existen programas de estudio perfectos, inmutables, ni permanentes";
que los program as "pueden y deben mejorarse de acuerdo con las
experiencias que se obtengan de su aplicaci6n" ... Mas aun, al tratar la etapa
contemporanea introduce el tratamiento de los "Caracteres Generales de la
Filosoffa Latinoamericana", unidad quinta; la "Influencia de la Filosoffa de
Occidente en Latinoamerica", unidad sexta; los "Caracteres Generales de la

Filosoffa Ecuatoriana", unidad septima, y "Manifestaciones Filos6ficas en el

Ecuador", unidad octava. Tambien en una que otra unidad sefiala la
existencia de un marco hist6rico y cultural, en el cual se habria desenvuelto
la etapa filos6fica correspondiente.
Podria argumentarse aun mas contra el caracter a-hist6rico de los
programas de Filosoffa del 79 y esto es sorprendente incluso en las materias
de mayor cufio hist6rico como son las Historia de la Filosoffa de 5to. y 6to.
curso, en que predominan los heroes, genios y personajes sobre las
corrientes, escuelas y temas de filosoffa 0 las corrientes "fuertes" con
menoscabo de las "debiles". Caso inaudito es el programa del 69, que reduce,
por ejemplo, el surgimiento del Racionalismo a la genialidad de Descartes, el
del Idealismo a Hegel 0 el del Empirismo a Bacon.
Detras de esta forma de concebir la Historia de la Filosoffa se esconde una
historiograffa que plantea el devenir tan solo como una recolecci6n de
hechos, nombres, fechas y significados preteritos 0 como una mera repetici6n
del proceso civilizatorio europeo. Actualmente se cuestiona esta forma de
quehacer historiografico y se concede preferencia mas bien al presente-futuro
como principio de validaci6n hist6rica, y se supera asf la ingenuidad
epistemo16gica de la historiograffa tradicional que prescinde del rol relevante
del contexto hist6rico, del investigador y del sujeto social en cuanto
protagonistas de la historia.
Tal vez radique en esta deshistorizaci6n 0 en el tratamiento debil de la
historia de la filosoffa, gran parte de la perdida del interes por ella de parte de
los estudiantes, pues sin el reconocimiento de la dimensi6n 0 compromiso de
la filosoffa con su "tiempo", se torna diffcil formular sus propias metas y
organizar su acci6n y objetivos en funci6n de los valores y aspiraciones que
la sociedad se propone en cada epoca, convirtiendose asf su estudio en un
quehacer de corte academicista, sin capacidad de respuesta a los retos del
En este marco resulta impostergable reorientar los programas de Filosoffa,
10 cual implica la voluntad de ponerla al servicio de la construcci6n del
presente, de una sociedad en que tenga vigencia el estado de derecho, con
una clara identidad nacional y una marcada gesti6n democratica 0
participativa. En la medida en que los programas de filosoffa se orienten a
resaltar el compromiso de la Filosofi'a con su tiempo, se conformara no solo
un nuevo estilo sino que se pondra en pratica tambien un nuevo modelo de
quehacer educativo.
Pero ademas, rescatar la dimensi6n hist6rica de la filosoffa coadyuvaria a
tomar en serio nuestro propio pensamiento; y, si bien ha prevalecido entre
nosotros mas bien la actitud de desconocimiento de las formas y desarrollo
de nuestra reflexi6n, a pesar del interes que ofrece en sus principales

momentos, autores y tematicas, es hora ya de que realicemos un giro

copemicano, que haga de nosotros mismos, de nuestros anhelos y
esperanzas, de nuestros exitos y limitaciones, de nuestro pas ado con sus
lacras y sus glorias, el centro de nuestro universo reflexivo; tarea esta que, de
cumplirse, coadyuvara a que tambien por esta via accedamos a un grado
mayor de autovaloraci6n y autoconciencia, tan necesaria en pafses como el
nuestro en que la penetraci6n y dominaci6n no es solo as unto econ6mico
sino tambien cultural.
En esta linea se inscribi6 una abundante producci6n filos6fica en el
Ecuador de los anos 70, como se desprende de los trabajos de Arturo Andres
Roig, particularmente de su ya celebre obra: Teoria y critica del pensamiento
latinoamericano, 0 los trabajos de Rodolfo Agoglia, Heman Malo, Horacio
Cerutti, Carlos Paladines, Carlos Freile, Samuel Guerra, Nancy Ochoa,
empenados en recuperar un "legado" cultural y, especialmente, los
desarrollos especfficos del pensamiento ecuatoriano en su tarea de reflexi6n
sobre nuestros problemas fundamentales 8 •

2.4.4 Autoritarismo y centralismo. Otra enfermedad endemica de nuestra

programaci6n curricular es la escasa participaci6n 0 gesti6n democratica,
manifiesta tanto en la fase de elaboraci6n como en la de difusi6n de los
programas y en la de capacitaci6n del personal responsable de su aplicaci6n.
El autoritarismo y centralismo que caracteriza a la administraci6n
educativa se manifiest6 en el campo curricular, particularmente en los
programas, por ejemplo, del ano 78, en que a pesar del banG democratico que
se trat6 de darles despert6 una escasa participaci6n del magisterio. La
revisi6n de los programas, se dice expresamente que, se consigui6 mediante
la colaboraci6n de "program adores educativos, funcionarios de otras
dependencias del Ministerio de Educaci6n, asesores considerados como
autoridades en diferentes campos del saber, comisiones programadoras
compuestas por profesores de educaci6n media y superior y comisiones de
consulta organizadas por las direcciones provinciales de educaci6n del pais";
es decir: ] 6 programadores, 14 funcionarios de otras dependencias y cerca de
90 profesores de los mas connotados colegios y universidades de todo el pais,
que contrasta con el universo global del magisterio, alrededor de 60.000
docentes 9 .

R Cfr. Arturo Andres Roig, "La 'Historia de la Ideas' cinco lustros despues", en: Rev. Historia
de las Ideas, Nros. I y 2, reedici6n, Quito, Edt. Banco Central del Ecuador, 1984.
9 Cfr. Ministerio de Educaci6n y Cultura, Plan y Program as para cl Bachillerato en
Humanidades, p. 5, Quito, 1978.

Sucede que un curriculum no es abierto y participativo tan s6lo por la

"calidad" de quienes coadyuvaron en su elaboraci6n, para luego imponerlo al
resto del pais, 0 por las declaraciones que al respecto se formulen, sino ante
todo por la real participaci6n que logre generar tanto en los grupos tecnicos
como en la mayorfa de los docentes. Dicho de otro modo, descentralizar en el
area curricular supone no solo perrnitir que algunos maestros modifiquen,
enriquezcan 0 apliquen deterrninadas unidades del programa ministerial, de
acuerdo con las demandas de su medio, sino ante todo posibilitar a las
entidades educativas el que elaboren sus propios proyectos educativos, con
sus correspondientes programas y propuestas curriculares altemativas, a fin
de mejorar y tal vez hasta superar a las formuladas por el mismo organismo

3. Las propuestas 61timas en el area de Filosof'ia

3.1 La "propuesta" de 1984

En Cuenca, del 2 al 5 de Julio de 1984, se realiz6 el IV Encuentro Nacional
de Filosofla y entre una de sus actividades const6 el anaIisis y revisi6n de los
programas del 79 y la consiguiente propuesta de altemativas. Profesores de
Filosofla de la Universidad Cat6lica de Quito, convocados por Heman Malo,
venfan laborando desde hacia algunos afios la crftica al programa vigente y la
propuesta de un nuevo proyecto lO, cuyos objetivos y bases programaticas se
transcriben a partir de las actas de sus reuniones de trabajo:
"a) El objetivo general perseguido con la elaboraci6n de un nuevo
programa es el de proporcionar al estudiante una Introducci6n General a
la Filosoffa, pero desde las perspectiva y desarrollos de la Filosofla en
America Latina y el Ecuador.
b) La naturaleza enciclopedica de los anteriores programas hace
necesario abordar temas, autores y corrientes fundamentales en forma
sucinta y actualizada, reducir los aspectos bibliograficos y biograficos y
sobre todo adjuntar los textos 0 fuentes filos6ficas mismas, a fin de
facilitar el acceso de los estudiantes ala lectura directa de la Filosoffa.
c) EI caracter desintegrado 0 atomizado de las materias
correspondientes a los diferentes cursos y a fin de que el estudiante
encuentre secuencia y unidad a 10 largo de sus afios de estudio, hace
necesario iniciar con una Introducci6n a la Filosoffa y al Conocimiento

10 Asistieron a las reuniones de trabajo presididas por Heman Malo: Rodolfo Agoglia, Emilio
Cerezo, Samuel Guerra, Carlos Paladines, Nelson Reascos, Arturo Roig, entre otros.

Cientlfico y conduir con una catedra que enfoque los principales

problemas filosoficos actuales; razon por la cual se recomienda
reestructurar el plan vigente: L6gica, Etica, Historia de la filosofia y
Problemas del Mundo Contemponineo.
d) A la estructura poco flexible de la programacion nacional cabe
oponer una programacion opcional e insistir mas bien en la necesidad de
que las instituciones educativas, particularmente las facultades de
Filosofia, formulen altemativas y entrenen a los maestros en las nuevas
e) Dada la carencia de textos y manu ales a partir de los presupuestos
someramente descritos, se recomendaba proceder a la e1aboracion de un
manual basico, pero a traves de la participacion de los miembros del
A la presentacion de los nuevos programas se recomendaba adjuntar las
orientaciones 0 pautas que habian presidido su formulacion. Una
enumeracion de las bases programaticas que animaban la propuesta formulo
el prof. Arturo Roig a partir del documento elaborado por la Comision de
Historia de las Ideas, en 1974, en Morelia-Mexico:
"1. Partir de una concepcion de la idea entendida como un elemento
significativo que integra una estructura mas amplia, con todas las
connotaciones de este ultimo termino (economicas, politicas,
demograficas, etc.), dando cabida ademas a las ideas en sus divers as
manifestaciones: filosofemas, vivencias, ideologias, concepciones del
mundo, etc.
2. Aplicar un tratamiento dialectico a la historia de la filosofia,
subrayando principal mente dos aspectos: la conveniencia de encararla
desde nuestro presente y la necesidad de sefialar a la vez los
condicionamientos sociales y el poder transformador de la Filosofia.
3. Abordar la Filosofia no solo desde la perspectiva academica sino
abriendose a la incoporacion de las ideologias y en particular las de los
grandes movimientos de liberaci6n e integraci6n latinoamericana frente a
las ideologias de dominaci6n.
4. Encarar la Filosofia no solo a partir de campos epistemo16gicos
(16gica, etica, metafisica, ... ), sino de problemas concretos
latinoamericanos y las respuestas dadas a cada uno de el10s desde
aquellos campos.

5. Tratar todo el desarrollo de la Filosoffa desde la Historia de las Ideas

Latinoamericanas, a partir del supuesto de la unidad del proceso hist6rico
latinoamericano e ir mas alia de una historia de tipo nacional y avanzar
hacia un desarrollo mas amplio de regiones continentales, sin olvidar el
supuesto sefialado antes.
6. Recabar en 10 posible la funci6n de las influencias en relaci6n con
los procesos hist6ricos propios, y dar preferencia a la Historia de la
Filosoffa entendida como historia de la conciencia social
Bajo las pautas sefialadas se elabor6, luego de varios meses de trabajo, el
ante-proyecto presentado a discusi6n general en Cuenca, el mismo que fue
perfeccionado posterioremente y finalmente aprobado con caracter
experimental por el entonces Subsecretario de Educaci6n, Carlos Paladines.
En agosto de 1984, con el arrivo del nuevo gobiemo del Ing. Le6n Febres
Cordero, se suspendi6 su divulgaci6n y en la practica se dec1ar6 a la referida
propuesta insubsistente, pese a 10 cual 10gr6 ser presentada ante el XI
Congreso Interamericano de Filosoffa y ser editada en la Rev. de Filosoffa
"Prometeo", Nro. 4, 1985, de la Universidad de Guadalajara-Mexico, y
posteriormente en la Rev. de Historia de las Ideas de la Universidad Cat6lica
de Quito, Nro. 7, 1986, habiendose ademas logrado su aplicaci6n en uno que
otro colegio de la Capital.

3.2 La critica af programa def1984

Basicamente de dos frentes provinieron las crfticas: por una parte, del
Director de la Escuela de Filosoffa y Ciencias Socio-Econ6micas de la
Universidad Central; y, por otra, del investigador Prof. Gregor Sauerwald.
El primer frente encontr6 una doble falencia en los programas del 84, la
una de procedimiento y la otra de orientaci6n filos6fica. En cuanto a 10
primero, por desconocimiento del proceso seguido en su formulaci6n,
textual mente se dice: "Una programaci6n de tanta importancia no se puede
hacer en forma apresurada, requiere un concienzudo analisis y estudio; por 10
tanto, se inconveniente que el Gobiemo actual, faltiindole pocos dfas para
entregar el poder trate de poner en vigencia Programas de Filosoffas
elaborados en un dfa y medio".
En relacion a la orientaci6n de los program as del 84 la observaci6n es tan
subjetiva como la anterior, pero ademas plagada de incoherencias que saltan

II La editorial Grijalvo, en su colecci6n: Teorfa y Praxis, public6 estas recomendaciones

metodol6gicas y las ponencias del Primer Coloquio Nacional de Filosoffa. celebrado en
Morelia, Mexico, 1975, en los Nros 23-24 y 25.

a la vista, al sefialar que "este (programa) es de contenido neopositivista-

historicista; plantea como base de estudio que todo 10 que sabemos del
mundo es obra de las ciencias empiric as concretas, por ella los contenidos
programaticos, con un historicismo aparente, se refieren a un analisis logico
dellenguaje y de los postulados de la ciencia, es anti-materialista, porque se
nota claramente que su estudio se reduce a contenidos sensoriales,
vivenciales, estados de conciencia; se olvida de estudiar a la filosofia como
doctrina del mundo en su relacion materia-conciencia: no toma en cuenta el
estudio de las leyes mas generales del movirniento y el desarrollo de todo el
mundo material yespiritual"12.
El segundo frente de critica, el proveniente de las observaciones
formulados por el Prof. Sauerwald, sefiala: "En sus pautas introductorias
insisten los autores de los Programas de Filosofia (1984) y entre ellos Carlos
Paladines, en la necesidad de vincular la filosofia con la sociedad, el
pensarniento filosofico con la estructura social, econornica y polftica. Pero
estos lineamientos no les sirven a aquellos autores para situar de manera
sistematica la Filosofia y su historia en America Latina, sino para mezclar 0
mejor dicho: para injertar 10 latinoamericano a 10 occidental, cuya estructura
historica se mantiene (... ). Este intento no nos parece ni congruente ni radical
en su plantearniento desde America Latina". En otros terminos, el Prof.
Sauerwald planteaba un reto: superar la mera adaptacion 0 mezcla de la
filosofia europea con la latinoamericana, mediante la elaboracion de una
Historia de la Filosofia asumida desde America Latina, pensada desde estos
lares, sin pretensiones de exclusividad, pero como contribucion a una
Historia Universal de la Filosofia, que ya no es factible imaginar sino dentro
de la pluralidad de las repectivas historias de la filosofia que el mundo
contemporaneo presenta13 .
El prof. Sauerwald adem as llamo la atencion sobre el hecho de que "Si
bien es verdad que (en los programas) se pretende valorar y preservar las
culturas autoctonas, a fin de lograr la integracion nacional, nos deja con
aquella sospecha de que no se aspira al pluralismo que, a su vez, supone
cierto descentralismo polftico-educativo, que no se refleja en ningun lado de
este plan curricular. No hay, por ejemplo, un In dice en los correspondientes

12 crr. Informe del Lcdo. Napoleon H. Lara, Director de la Escuela de Filosoffa y Ciencias
Socio-Econ6micas, al Dr. Galo Cantos Oviedo, Decano de la Facultad de Filosoffa y
Ciencias de la Educacion, Quito, 1984.
13 Cfr. Gregor Sauerwald, "Los programas de ensefianza de la filosoffa en el Ecuador", en:
Rev. de Historia de la Ideas, del Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos, CELA. de Ia
Universidad Cat6lica de Quito, Nro. 11-12, pp. 211-212. Quito, 1991-92.

programas de que exista un interes en los estudios de lengua y culturas

quechuas, la representatividad de las naciones 0 pueblos indios ... ,,14.

3.3 Autocritica
Al igual que los programas de afios anteriores, los del 84 pecan por la escasa
participacion de los docentes de Filosoffa en las fases de elaboracion,
divulgacion y aplicacion, aspecto este recurrente en la programacion
curricular ecuatoriana, y uno de cuyos efectos es que muy poco personal esta
capacitado para poner en practica los ofrecido como alternativa.
Este desface entre las "loables y buenas intenciones" y la praxis educativa,
entre 10 que preven los programas y 10 que se hace en las aulas, descansa en
condiciones objetivas y subjetivas que nuestro "reforrnismo verbal" no logra
cambiar. Este desajuste entre la teona y la realidad, entre el "deber ser" y el
"ser", si bien para su correccion depende del empefio puesto por el hombre
para trazar su propio destino, descansa tambien en condiciones materiales
minimas, cuya reforma no se ve factible en un futuro inmediato, 10 cual nos
obliga a preyer para el Ecuador una fase de glaciacion en el desarrollo de la
filosoffa en los proximos alios.

4. Una "primavera" filos6fica en el Ecuador de los afios 1970

Examinadas las limitaciones y dificultades por las que atraviesa la ensefianza
de la Filosoffa en el Ecuador, es hora ya de detenerse en sus logros y
conquistas a fin de que la tarea de diagnostico permita establecer una
prognosis fundamentada en el debe y en el haber. Una y otra lfnea del
diagnostico: la de las flaquezas y debilidades y la de los exitos y conquistas,
es necesario tomar en cuenta ponderadamente, articular e interrelacionar,
tanto entre si como con su contexto y escenarios concretos, si la prospectiva
sobre el desarrollo futuro de la filosofla en el Ecuador que se pretende
vislumbrar, mas que un utopico suefio se quiere que sea un suefio realista.
Solo a partir de la dec ada del 70 recobraron les estudios de filosoffa, de
historia de las ideas y la cultura en general una mayor importancia en el
contexto ecuatoriano, logrando establecer una infraestructura 0 institucio-
nalizacion minima, en una especie de "primavera filosofica" que genero
abundante produccion y logro al menos por una dec ada terminar con las
acciones de caracter aislado que caracterizaron al quehacer filosofico de los
afios 50 y 60.

14 Idem, p. 209.

Entre las acciones que en estos afios de auge economico 0 de boom

petrolero fueron consolidando el area en referencia, cabe destacar la
··1) La conformaci6n y consolidaci6n del Departamento de Filosofia de
Universidad Cat6lica del Ecuador, al interior de la Facultad de Ciencias
Humanas, unico en su genero, pues el pais no cuenta con ningun otro Centro
dedicado en forma especializada al cultivo de la filosoffa universal, como
tambien del pensarniento latinoamericano y ecuatoriano. El resto de
Facultades de Filosoffa y Letras, - al menos veinte - no disponen de la
especializacion a que hace mencion su nombre y han preferido dirigir sus
interese a otras areas como la historia y geograffa, psicologfa, letras, idiomas,
ffsico-matematicas, etc.
2) La conformaci6n de un Equipo de Investigaci6n del Pensamiento
Ecuatoriano Hamado a reconstruir un rico pasado intelectual, tanto en su
nivel filosofico com en la relacion de este con otras ramas del saber: polftica,
economla, sociologfa, etc. Ecuador es de los pocos paises latinoamericanos
que aun no ha escrito la historia de sus corrientes filosoficas 0 de
pensamiento social 0 polftico mas notables, 0 de sus representantes mas
significativos en estas ramas del saber. Fruto de estos primeros esfuerzos de
investigacion han sido las obras: "Esquemas para una historia de la filosoffa
ecuatoriana", del Profesor Arturo Roig, y "Espejo: Conciencia Crftica de su
epoca", obra conjunta, resultado de un Seminario realizado sobre el mas
sobresaliente representante del movimiento ilustrado ecuatoriano: Eugenio
de Santa Cruz y Espejo. Posteriormente el Equipo inicio investigaciones
sobre el mas conspicuo representante del Espiritualismo 0 Romanticismo
ecuatoriano, Don Juan Montalvo, figura de renombre a nivellatinoamericano
y cuya produccion en buena parte se realizo en Francia.
3) El Equipo de Investigacion del Pensamiento Ecuatoriano tambien
trabajo en la confirmaci6n de un "Centro de Documentaci6n Multiple",
tendiente a la recoleccion de todo genero de publicaciones que guarden
relacion con la filosoffa 0 el quehacer filosofico en Ecuador y America
Latina, especial mente de la etapa ilustrada y rom anti ca. Se ha logrado
elaborar ya una "Bibliograffa Basica de Filosoffa Ecuatoriana", tanto de
libros como de artfculos editados en las principales revistas de los siglos XIX
y XX. El relevamiento y la recoleccion bibliografica es parte de la
infraestructura que se juzga necesario ir conformando para futuros planes de
creacion de un Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos.
4) En el campo de las publicaciones dos fueron los proyectos
fundamentales. En primer lugar, la "Biblioteca Bdsica de Pensamiento
Ecuatoriano", auspiciada por el Banco Central del Ecuador y la Corporacion
Editora Nacional, con un contenido de 40 volumenes. La Coleccion fue

proyectada con 1a intenci6n de presentar e1 desarrollo, principalmente, del

pensamiento filos6fico y e1 pensamiento social, politico y antropo16gico.
Dentro de sus series quedaron incluidas 1a filosoffa politica y 1a socio10gfa de
las primeras decadas de este sig10, por cuanto esta ultima fue formu1ada mas
bien como una filosoffa social. En 10 que respecta a 10 que podna ser
considerado como "fi10soffa", se pretendfa mostrar aspectos del pensamiento
re1ativos a sus diversos campos: estetica (quedando exclufda 1a cntica
1iteraria que no incluye manifiestamente aspectos relativos a una teona
estetica); pedagogfa, teo10gfa, metaffsica, cosmo10gfa, psico10gfa (y dentro
de ella "psico10gfa de los pueblos" y "psico10gfa social"), filosoffa de 1a
ciencia (en re1aci6n con la bio10gfa, psiquiatria, criminologfa, etc.), filosoffa
de la historia, teona de la cultura, etc.
La se1ecci6n de textos no excluy6, en la medida en que se consider6
significativo 0 oportuno, la inclusi6n de algunos materiales relativos a
economfa, en cuanto que en muchos autores, en particular del siglo XIX, este
campo del saber aparece fntimamente re1acionado con una filosoffa social y
en algunos casos con una antropologfa filos6fica.
La serie proyectada agrupa en algunos casos escritores por corrientes (Los
llustrados, vol. 1; Los Romiinticos, vol. 2; Los Cientfficistas, vol. 9; Los
Idealistas, vol. 12, etc.) yen otros dedica un vo1umen especial para un solo
autor: Jose Peralta, Alfonso Espinosa Tamayo, Jacinto Jij6n, Belisario
Quevedo, Julio Moreno ... Coron6 la Colecci6n una publicaci6n de Carlos
Paladines, que ofrece una visi6n de conjunto de la historia del pensamiento
filos6fico ecuatoriano de los siglos XIX y primeras decadas del XX; y queda
aun pendiente una obra que ofrezca el desarrollo del pensamiento
ecuatoriano en estas ultimas decadas.
La segunda iniciativa correspondi6 al proyecto de "Biblioteca San
Gregorio", cuya denominaci6n hace honor al nombre de la primera
Universidad que tuvo la Audiencia de Quito. Tiene como objetivo dar a
conocer una etapa fundamental dentro de la Historia del Pensamiento
Filos6fico Ecuatoriano: la epoca colonial, mostrando a traves de autores y
textos significativos algunas de sus expresiones mas valiosas. Se incorporara
al acervo cultural del Ecuador contemporiineo una producci6n intelectual de
valor indiscutible para el desarrollo filos6fico latinoamericano.
Esta Colecci6n comprendera las principales lfneas de desarrollo del
pensamiento filos6fico de aquel entonces, sobre la base de alrededor de diez
volumenes en cuatro series: Tratados de Ret6rica y LOgica; Filosofia y
Ciencia; Comentaristas y Estudios Contemporaneos sobre el Pensamiento
Colonial Ecuatoriano.
5) En el contexto que venimos narrando cabe insertar una serie de
encuentros nacionales e internacionales de .{ilosofia. El I Y II Encuentro

Nacional de Filosoffa, 1976 y 1977, se realizaron en las ciudades de Quito y

Cuenos, respectivamente, sobre "La Crisis de la Raz6n", y el III Encuentro
N acional de Filosoffa sobre "Problemas actuales de la filosoffa en el ambito
latinoamericano", que ademas de contar con representantes de diferentes
universidades del pais, tuvo la presencia de invitados latinoamericanos: Mir6
Quesada, Roig, Zea, Agoglia, etc. Sede del IV Encuentro fue Guayaquil y del
V nuevamente Cuenca.
Los encuentros de filosoffa a mas de permitir el dialogo entre docentes e
investigadores nacionales 0 la profundizaci6n en determinados temas,
sirvieron para romper el enclaustramiento que caracterizaba a esta area del
saber y favorecer la apertura y el contacto con la producci6n filos6fica de
centros, universidades y docentes a nivel latinoamericano. Se pas6 asf de
formas propias de una sociedad provinciana y nacional a las que caracterizan
al desarrollo intemacional y regional, con todas las modificaciones
productivas, existenciales, culturales y de informaci6n que ella supuso para
la misma filosoffa.
6) Se expendi6 min mas el radio de acci6n de la investigaci6n y estudio del
pensamiento ecuatoriano y latinoamericano gracias al Acuerdo Ministerial
del 29 de marzo de 1979 por el cual se introduce, por vez primera, en los
Programas de Educaci6n Media, las materias de pensamiento
latinoamericano y ecuatoriano. Para 1980 en los colegios del pafs que
confieren el Bachillerato en Humanidades, el Ecuador requerfa de ingente
trabajo en esta area para poder satisfacer su demanda. La Universidad
Cat61ica dispone ya del equipo de especialistas y de los materiales necesarios
para encarar la preparaci6n del profesorado ecuatoriano para estos cursos.
7) A 10 cual se podrfa min afiadir las catedras de pensamiento social y
politico ecuatoriano y latinoamericano que comenzaron a dictarse en
nuestras Universidades, particularmente en las Escuelas de Sociologfa; como
tambien los institutos de arte y cultura popular de reciente fundaci6n 15 .
Por todo 10 cual se puede hablar de una tarea de envergadura, que deshace
la afirmaci6n de muchos intelectuales ecuatorianos sobre la existencia de un
quehacer filos6fico y aun de una literatura de Ideas. Julio Endara, afirmaba
en las paginas de la celebre Revista de la Sociedad Jurfdica Literaria, alIa por
1920, que "Ayer como hoy, en nuestro pais, no han dirigido sus progresos
verdaderas normas filos6ficas, y por ello bien poco puede decirse de estas.
Careceremos - afirmaba con mas fuerza - de abolengo filos6ficio capaz de
dirigir acciones hacia el progreso". Otro significativo pensador ecuatoriano,

15 efr. mi trabajo: "Planeacion de la integracion y la difusi6n de los estudios latinoamericanos:

el caso ecuatoriano", en: Rev. Latinoameriea, Nr. 13, Mexico, Edt. Universidad Nacional
Autonoma de Mexico, UNAM, 1980.

Jose Rafael Bustamante, afinn6 que "En el Ecuador la cultura filos6fica no

existe" y que "En Ecuador, pueblo azotado como ninguno por los males de la
raza y la naturaleza, la carencia de filosofia es quiza mas notable que en los
demas". Por su parte don Benjamin Carri6n definia no hace muchos anos al
Ecuador como una "tierra sin fil6sofos" y se lamentaba del hecho que surgia
de la comparaci6n de esta tierra con otras de Latinoamerica, entre ellas
Mexico y la Argentina, que exibian nombres como los de Antonio Caso, Jose
Vasconcelos, Leopoldo Zea, Francisco Romero y otras, si bien entendia que
ese pensamiento filos6ficio inexistente en Ecuador habia aIcanzado alguna
expresi6n por 10 menos a traves del ensayo como forma caracteristica
utilizada por nuestros escritores.
Felizmente, por los datos resenados, es posible hablar de la constituci6n en
los anos 70 y parte de los 80 de un quehacer filos6fico surgido de la
Universidad Cat61ica del Ecuador, que dio inicio a un trabajo estable, acerca
de la historia de las ideas, la sistematizaci6n bibliografica del desconocido y
rico material contenido en los libras y revistas de los siglos XIX y XX Y la
investigaci6n de las principales corrientes de pensamiento y de sus
representantes mas sobresalientes, mediaciones estas y otras mas
insoslayables para la tarea de determinaci6n de la naturaleza del pensamiento
filos6fico ecuatoriano, sus caracteres y desarrollo, asi como tambien los
modos de su practica misma16 •
Si a esto se agrega un verdadero despertar de los estudios de filosofia que
responden a las exigencias academicas y docentes tradicionales, de 10 cual
son un ejemplo obras como las de Hernan Malo G.: El Habito en la filosoffa
de Felix Ravaisson; de Julio Teran Dutari: Conocimiento y tradici6n
metaffsica; de Rodolfo AgogJia: Sentido y trayectoria del pensamiento
moderno (La filosoffa moderna como desarrollo y consecuencia del
humanismo renacentista); de Eduardo Rubianes: Filosoffa I, Pensamiento; de
Jose Vega Delgado: Ensayo de una explicaci6n metafisica del tiempo,
ademas de los trabajos de Sanchez Astudillo, Emilio Uscategui, Cueva
Tamariz, Jaime Chavez, Olmedo Llorente, ... y la existencia de un excelente
conjunto de ensayos con los que se ha comenzado a elaborar la verdadera
imagen del pueblo ecuatoriano a traves de la obra de Jorge Carrera Andrade,
Leopoldo Benitez Vinueza, Elfas Munoz Vicuna, Gabriel Cevallos Garda, y
los de una generaci6n j6ven, posterior a estos autores: Alejandro Moreano,
Agustin Cueva, Oswaldo Hurtado, Rene Baez, Enrique Ayala, por citar
algunos, facil sera colegir que nos encontramos frente a un quehacer

16 Cfr. mi ensayo sobre "Filosoffa e historia de las ideas en la dccada de los 70: el caso
Ecuador", en: Rev. Cuitura, Quito, Edt. Banco Central del Ecuador, Nro. II, Sept.- Die.

intelectual con bases suficientes para comenzar a reelaborar toda una teona
de la cultural ecuatoriana.

5. EI "invierno" de la tilosot'ia: los alios 1980 y 1990

De la descripci6n hecha hasta aquf sobre exitos y limitaciones, es necesario
pasar a formular algunas reflexiones a fin de discutir el alcance exacto y las
consecuencias de este quehacer 0 desarrollo.
Sin lugar a dudas, la relativa consolidaci6n de los estudios de filosoffa, de
claro cufio academico si bien no academicista, se produjo concomitante con
el auge econ6mico que vivi6 el pais en la decada de los setenta, por efecto en
parte del boom petrolero, pero tambien por la penetraci6n sistematica y
masiva de capital e industrias extranjeras, por el alza coyuntural en las
exportaciones de algunos productos agropecuarios y por otras variables mas.
Fue precisamente el acelerado desarrollo industrial, urbano y de los aparatos
culturales y administrativos del Estado 10 que permiti6 que parte de sus
ingresos converjan ala Universidades y hacia la actividad cultural; actividad
o reproducci6n cientffica reclamada en gran medida por las necesidades
mismas de dicho proceso de desarrollo.
A partir de esta simple premisa: la inserci6n 0 relaci6n de la producci6n
filos6fica en 0 con una matriz maz amplia, cabe preguntarse por el tipo
indiscriminado 0 no de esta inserci6n y sobre su grado de contaminaci6n 0
compromiso con un sistema cuya redistribuci6n, por decir 10 menos, ha
favorecido a muy pocas personas y mantiene una serie de desequilibrios que
amenazan ya su tan aplaudida bonanza.
Mas superada esta "primavera filos6fica" de los setenta e inicios de los
ochenta y una vez que se hizo presente y fue cobrando fuerza 10 que ha dado
en llamarse la "dec ada perdida", el quehacer filos6fico parece haber cafdo
una vez mas en la modorra y elletargo caractenstico de decadas pasadas.
En otros terminos, desde mediados los afios ochenta, marcados por la
disminuci6n del producto intemo bruto, la concentraci6n cada vez mayor de
la riqueza en pocas manos, el pago de una exorbitante deuda extema, la
reducci6n de los servicios y aparatos del Estado, el deterioro permanente de
los precios de los productos de intercambio, una inflaci6n invencible y el
empobrecimiento de los sectores medios y bajos de la sociedad, ala Filosoffa
Ie ha tocado correr suerte similar. En efecto, en forma paulatina ha ido
diminuyendo la edici6n de obras de filosoffa, ha dejado de publicarse
regularmente la Revista de Historia de las Ideas, han disminuido los recursos
humanos y financieros dedicados a la investigaciones y al quehacer
filos6ficos, el Departamento de Filosoffa, unico en su genero, se restructur6 y
el numero de alumnos civiles interesados en esta area de las ciencias
disminuy6 significativamente, los encuentros de filosoffa han perdido

tarnbien su continuidad y, en definitiva, la Filosoffa ha vuelto a caer en una

de esas temibles etapas de glaciacion.
El declive del interes y de los estudios de filosoffa con que dio inicio la
decada de los noventa, luego de la corta primavera de los setenta y la crisis
de los ochenta pone de manifiesto que los problemas de fondo del quehacer
filosofico en el Ecuador no han logrado ser resueltos y su
"institucionalizacion" 0 "normalizacion" continua siendo un suefio diffcil de
alcanzar y mas bien los antiguos y eternos problemas no han perdido su
fuerza: prograrnas obsoletos, practicas rutinarias, manuales desactualizados,
profesores sin mayor preparacion, desarrollos institucionales y profesionales
mfnimos, etc. son testimonios actuales de centenarias falencias.
La situacion actual, con todas sus fuerzas y limitaciones, se agraba aun
mas de cara a los cambios que a nivel mundial se han hecho presente en
vfsperas del siglo XXI. Los pueblos latinoarnericanos y, entre ellos, el
Ecuador avizoran un futuro inmediato en cauces de globalizacfon,
integracion regional, liberalizacion y post-modernidad, 10 que les enfrenta a
la exigencia de la competividad, la calidad y eficiencia, al mismo tiempo en
que sus sistemas educativas, lastimosarnente, han entrado en claro proceso de
deterioro. En otras palabras, nos enfrentamos, cada vez mas, a problemas de
caracter macroeconomico: crecimiento y desarrollo; a problemas de orden
polltico; liderazgo y decision en un escenario internacional y mundial, y al
vertiginoso desarrollo de una cultura cientffica y tecnologica, en un momenta
en que nuestros niveles de preparacion decrecen y nos resulta no solo diffcil
el acoplarnos a las nuevas realidades mundiales sino ademas peligroso, pues
una integracion univoca, sin respeto a las diferencias, relativizaria la
soberania de nuestros estados, desnacionalizaria sus riquezas y podria incluso
afectar a su identidad cultural.
En estos nuevos escenarios, no es aventurado predecir que se generaran
efectos importantes tanto en la practica educativa y el quehacer filosofico,
como tambien en la vida de las instituciones que tradicionalmente han estado
hechas cargo de la filosoffa. Em todo caso, resulta aun diffcil imaginar 10 que
deparara el futuro a la Filosoffa en el Ecuador; seguramente no es su
liquidacion, pues como decfa Etienne Gilson: "La Filosoffa siempre entierra
a sus funebreros", pero tampoco esto significa que se avizore una primavera
filosofica a la vuelta de la esquina.
Quito, Octubre de 1994.


National Autonomous University of Mexico

One interesting debate that has been taking place in Latin America in recent
years has been around the classical epistemological problem of the rationality
of beliefs, especially the rationality of belief choice, and how it is possible
for us to consider that some of our beliefs are objective anellor true, that is to
say how it is possible for us to say something objective anellor true about
reality. Thus, one of the main issues in this debate hinges around the
elucidation of terms such as 'objectivity', 'truth' and 'rationality'.
The work of leading Latin-American figures such as Mario Bunge
(Argentinean, resident in Canada) and Luis Villoro (Mexican) has set up
good grounds for such a debate. I will not, and cannot deal with all major
recent proposals, so I will restrict myself to argue on behalf of the view I
myself endorse.
Ezequiel de Olaso - another leading authority in epistemological matters
in our part of the world - has correctly stated that Luis Villoro has written the
most important and complete theory of knowledge, not only in Latin
America, but in the Spanish-speaking world (XITI Interamerican Congress of
Philosophy, Bogota, Colombia, July 1994). My discussion is based upon a
critical appraisal of that work (Villoro 1982) and the ensuing debate that has
taken place since the publishing of this book (for some criticism of it, see for
instance Cabrera and Dfaz 1987; Moulines, Olive, Pereda, Perez Ransanz
and Salmer6n, in Garz6n Valdes and Salmer6n (eds.) 1993; as well as Olive
1984 and 1988a, and Perez Ransanz).

One of the main contributions of Villoro has been to argue for the
elimination of the condition of truth in the analysis of knowledge, that is in
the analysis of the proposition "S knows that p". Let us recall that the
traditional analysis of "S knows that p" is as follows:
A person S knows that p if and only if
a) S believes that p;
b) 'p' is true; and

Gut/arm Fl¢i.l'tad (ed.), Philosophy (d'Latin America, 229-244.

© 2003 Kluwer Academir Publishers.

c) S is justified in believing that p.

Villoro has argued forcefully that condition (b) should be eliminated, thus
proposing the following analysis:
A person S knows that p if and only if
a) S believes that p;
b) S has objectively sufficient reasons to believe that p.
Villoro offers three arguments to reject condition (b). One of them is based
upon Gettier's famous counter-example to the classical analysis of
knowledge (Gettier 1963). In a nutshell - as Emesto Sosa (1964) has
explained it - it can be put in this way: suppose S has good evidence for her
belief that p. Then she deduces p v q. So, she is justified in believing that p v
q. But as a matter of fact (-p) & q. Thus all three conditions for knowledge
are fulfilled, and yet S is justified in believing that p v q by reasons that she
considers evidence for p, while P is in fact false. So we do not want to say
that S knows that p v q, even if the three conditions are fulfilled.
Besides this objection, Villoro has given two more arguments to eliminate
the condition of truth. Briefly, the first one is as follows: if proposition "S
knows that p" includes - as it must according to the traditional analysis - the
proposition '''p' is true", and "true" is understood as absolute truth, then we
can only know those propositions that are infallible. For any reason that
could afterwards be adduced against 'p' is in principle false and should be
discarded (otherwise condition (b) would have not be met in the first place)
(Villoro 1982, p. 184).
Villoro wants to argue for a conception of knowledge so that if some
beliefs constitute genuine knowledge at one time, say for a particular
community, this does not imply that members of the community have to
reject beforehand any ulterior reason against what they know. Ulterior
reasons may be accessible for members of the community by virtue of which
what they believed at one time - with the best possible reasons at that time -
can no longer be held as genuine knowledge at some other time, with further
background knowledge, technology, and so on. This would be knowledge
with a human face. The crux of the matter is thus that knowledge is the best
justified belief that a community can have at a given time, according to the
intellectual and conceptual resources they have.
The second argument given by ViIIoro is that condition (b) has a different
form as compared to the other two conditions in the classical analysis. These
other two refer to the knowing subject, whereas the second condition does
not. Villoro says that the definition of knowledge is not precise as long as it
is not clarified who is judging the truth of 'p' . As long as it is not precise who
is judging the truth of 'p', the second condition is referring to an absolute

truth "independent of the reasons a subject has", but then "nobody can assert
it and thus nobody can judge whether S knows" (idem., p. 183).
Ulises Moulines has summarized this problem very well: "the condition of
truth seems to block any attempt whatsoever to use [the traditional
definition], not as definition, but as a general criterion of knowing. The
reason is simple: we do not have any adequate criterion of truth, but such a
criterion must be presupposed if we want to introduce a criterion of
knowing" according to the traditional definition (Moulines 1993, p. 13).
Moulines demands that what he calls "the platonic theory of knowledge" -
the traditional definition - be not only a nominal definition, but also a theory,
and "that means that it claims to have application cases with respect to which
the theory itself decides whether or not they are genuine. In other words,
besides offering a definition which is formally correct and compatible with
the current uses of language, it is a matter of offering a criterion of
knowledge, that is, to give standards of universal applicability to decide
whether a person does or does not know" (idem., p. 12).
Thus Villoro abandons the condition of truth in the analysis of knowledge
and redefines the notion of knowledge without such a condition. This step
can have just a limited scope or it can be very ambitious intending to
eliminate the problem of the elucidation of truth as an important one within a
theory of knowledge. In the first, restricted sense, this move certainly helps
to avoid the sort of problems Villoro and Moulines have shown for the
traditional definition of truth. In the second sense, it would suppose that
nothing more is to be said about truth within the perspective of the theory of
I claim that the first one is the correct stance. As a matter of fact, it seems
to me that the theory of knowledge, in recent years, has been widely
concerned with this issue, even if the condition of truth is removed from the
definition of knowledge. Nonetheless it must be said that several authors do
not agree with this move. Once again, in the Latin-American context see for
instance Moulines in the above mentioned paper, or Carlos Pereda (1993).
If we acknowledge that a theory of knowledge must deal with problems of
generation and explanation of knowledge, as much as it must deal with
problems of justification of beliefs, then it can be easily seen that the
elucidation of truth must continue to be a central problem.
This much was clearly acknowledged by Luis Villoro himself in his book,
when he granted that although the condition of truth had to be removed from
the definition of knowledge, truth - understood according to Tarski's theory
of truth, and construed by Villoro in terms of correspondence - had to be
admitted as the right elucidation of truth, and the one useful for his theory of
knowledge (cf. Villoro 1982, p. 76 and ss., and Villoro 1990, p. 74).

In his more recent participation in this debate, Villoro made it clear that an
elucidation of truth is necessary for a theory of knowledge, but also that that
elucidation is required when we want to go beyond the epistemological
problem proper, namely - according to him - the problem of the justification
of our beliefs. According to Villoro a distinction must clearly be drawn
between two kinds of questions, since they demand answers at different
levels: "One question is epistemological, 'what can we know?' the other is
ontological, 'what really exists?"'. Villoro adds: ''The analysis of the
conditions of justified beliefs does not necessarily imply an answer to the
latter. In order to answer it we must pass from the justification of knowledge
to the explanation of knowledge. Since there are justified beliefs, what must
exist to explain them? This is a metaphysical question ... Ontological realism
is the most reasonable explanation of the existence of justified beliefs"
(Villoro 1993, p. 340).
Thus, in order to explain knowledge, Villoro thinks that truth must be
construed in terms of a correspondence theory, and this view goes hand in
hand with the metaphysical conception known as "ontological realism".
According to Villoro, ontological realism says: ''There is a real world, the
existence of which does not derive from subjectivity. Thus, the independent
reality - independent with respect to subjects - must be put forward as the
explanation of intersubjectivity" (idem.). In turn, since "every knowledge is
subjectively conditioned ... objectivity must be linked to intersubjectivity".
Objectivity is understood in terms of intersubjective agreement; and this kind
of agreement is possible due to the independent existence of reality with
respect to the subjects; thus the independent reality explains intersubjective
agreement, that is to say, it explains objectivity.
To sum up, truth was eliminated as a condition in the definition of
knowledge, but it now reappears to account for the possibility of knowledge.
For, in order for there to be knowledge at all, there must be objectively
sufficient reasons. But there can be objective reasons only if there is an
independent reality - independent of subjects and of conceptual schemes -
and furthermore, we must assume that truth is correspondence between our
judgments and reality, and that, Villoro says, is "the only rational and
sufficient explanation of the objectivity of our reasons" (Villoro 1982, p.
As a matter of fact, as we have just seen, for a position such as Villoro's,
truth cannot be understood but as correspondence between judgments and
reality, since this conception of truth, alongside his ontological realism, is
what he needs to avoid an ontological relativist position. A position he is
most willing to avoid due to his explicit acceptance of an epistemological
relativist position, and the need to counterbalance it.

Indeed, having dropped the truth condition in the definition of knowledge,

Villoro maintains that knowledge, although based upon good reasons, is
fallible, and furthermore it is relative to the sufficiently objective reasons
available to an epistemic community at a given time and place. But beliefs
based upon good reasons, although fallible, do not depend on the variable
psychological attitudes of a community, Villoro says. This is so, according to
him, because knowledge is based upon reasons, and reasons are what connect
a proposition to reality. Thus, any belief based upon objectively sufficient
reasons has a guarantee that it "reaches reality". "As dependent as it may be
of intersubjective communities in its justification, knowledge is 'tied' to
reality" (Villoro 1993, p. 347).
Thus, Villoro is assuming the following two theses: "1) from the objective
justification [of a proposition] we can infer, with reasonable confidence, its
truth; 2) this inference is not necessary. If we do not accept (1) no knowledge
would be true, if we do not accept (2) all knowledge would be infallible"
(Villoro 1993, pp. 348-49). Thus Villoro concludes: "The hypothesis of the
truth of justified propositions, as correspondence with a real world, opposes
the extravagant hypothesis of the creation of the object in the process of
knowing it. It also explains the continuity of the progress of scientific
thought in its search for truth" (Ibid., p. 349).
So far we have seen Villoro's conception of knowledge, which is a
coherent one, linking the notions of objectivity and truth. Let us now see
some problems with this particular conception, and some alternatives that
have been put forward.
There are two basic assumptions of this conception that have been under
attack in the last decades: 1) the metaphysical assumption of the existence of
a reality constituted by objects, the existence of which is absolutely
independent of rational subjects, of their conceptual resources and of their
methods for knowing that reality, and 2) the conception of truth as
correspondence between language and reality.
The metaphysical assumption at issue has been severely criticized by
many authors for different reasons. I will mention here just one line of
argumentation, namely the one that follows from the so-called problem of
incommensurability as derived primarily from the work of Thomas Kuhn. As
is well known, in one of his earliest formulations, Kuhn put it in the
following very enigmatic way: "After a revolution scientists respond to a
different world" (Kuhn 1962, chapter X).
Kuhn's notion of incommensurability has evolved. In The Structure of
Scientific Revolutions, incommensurability is a notion that can be applied to
the relationship between two different paradigms, where there has been
failure to communicate between scientists holding each paradigm, and that

failure to communicate comes from semantic differences between the

languages used by each community - within the frame of each paradigm -,
differences in norms and criteria of evaluation, as well as differences in
ontological commitments within each paradigm, and finally differences in
the way they perceive the world.
Kuhn's analyses in the history of science, and the ensuing discussion about
the comparability of theories, translation between different languages,
interpretation of theories and conceptions about the world of different
cultures or from our own culture in the past, language learning and training
within specific disciplines, all this, supports the view that what there is, is not
independent of what Kuhn has called "lexical taxonomy", which in his own
words "might ... better be called a conceptual scheme, where 'the very
notion' of a conceptual scheme is not that of a set of beliefs but of a
particular operating mode of a mental module prerequisite to having beliefs,
a mode that at once supplies and bounds the set of beliefs it is possible to
conceive" (Kuhn 1991, p. 5). This conclusion runs against the metaphysical
thesis (1) mentioned above that there is a unique world of objects,
independent of conceptual frameworks. (One of the most complete and
detailed analyses of this problematic in the work of Kuhn, written in Spanish,
has been done by Ana Rosa Perez Ransanz).
From a different point of view, Hilary Putnam has also attacked this
metaphysical thesis, and has proposed instead what he has called internal
realism, or pragmatic realism (cf. Putnam 1981, 1987, 1990).
Internal realism claims that the question "How many objects are there in
the world", can only be posed within a conceptual scheme, and that truth is a
kind of idealized rational acceptability (Putnam 1981, pp. 49-50).
One of the clearest expositions of this idea is found in Putnam (1987, pp.
17-18). Let us consider a world with three individuals. How many objects are
there in this world? If object is understood as equivalent to individual, then
the answer is: three. But Putnam reminds us that there are logical theories,
for instance Lezniewski's, that with good reasons consider that for every two
objects there is another object, namely their mereological sum: "for every
two particulars there is an object which is their sum" (Putnam 1987, p. 18).
For such a school, the answer (if the void set is ignored) is: there are seven
objects in this world. The objects being

Xl X2 X3
X I +X2 X 2+X3 XJ+X3
X I +X 2+X 3

The crucial point is that there is nothing in that world that in itself decides
the question as to how many objects there are. The question cannot be settled
by direct comparison with that world. Rather, we have to have a specific
notion of an object, which is provided by specific conceptual frameworks,
before we can answer the question of how many objects there are. It should
be clear that according to this conception there are real objects existing in the
real world. It is not that objects are creations of the mind. But in tum, objects
are not independent of conceptual schemes. Thus, in this respect this position
is similar to that of Kuhn's: ontology, what there is in the world, is not
independent of the conceptual schemes human beings use to know reality
and to transform it.
If people like Kuhn or Putnam are right in this respect, then truth as
correspondence between language and an objective reality (in the sense of
the platonic tradition, that is as completely independent of rational beings
and their conceptual resources - cf. Sosa 1988, pp. 351-52), can no longer be
accepted. Because of this, Putnam suggests that truth "is some sort of
(idealized) rational acceptability - some sort of ideal coherence of our beliefs
with each other and with our experiences as tlwse experiences are
themselves represented in our belief system - and not correspondence with
mind-independent or discourse-independent 'states of affairs'" (Putnam
1981, pp. 49-50).
Conceptions such as Kuhn's or Putnam's are compatible, and very useful,
for a theory of knowledge that takes seriously the idea that knowledge is
something that is socially constructed according to human interests. Putnam
for instance, claims that "There is no God's Eye point of view that we can
know or usefully imagine; there are only the various points of view of actual
persons reflecting interests and purposes that their descriptions and theories
subserve" (Putnam 1981, p. 50).
Thus far we have seen positions such as Villoro's, which are externalists
(this is also Bunge's position, cf. Bunge 1977, 1979, and 1985), as opposed
to that of Putnam's and Kuhn's, which are internalists (to use Putnam's own
characterization; cf. 1981 chapter 3). For the externalist a belief is true or
false by virtue of something distinct of and external to the web of beliefs
itself, something that is out there in the real world. Thus the externalist draws
a clear distinction between truth and justification, and construes truth as a
sort of correspondence between beliefs and states of affairs. The internalist
on the other hand, believes that all our concepts, including our basic
ontological categories, depend on our conceptual resources by means of
which we interact with the world. What we take the world to be, is at least
partially constituted by our knowledge of it. Thus truth should be analyzed in
terms of the reasons we have to believe. There is thus, according to this view,

a close relationship between truth and justification (cf. Perez Ransanz,

chapter 11).
I shall now defend a conception of truth that is internalist in temperament
- following Putnam's internal realism - since it conceives truth partially as
rational acceptability under optimal conditions. This conception at the same
time acknowledges - and emphasizes - that true beliefs must be adequate to
reality, but a reality that is conceived in internalist terms, that is to say, where
objects, although real, do depend on conceptual schemes in order to exist.
We shall also see that it makes sense to maintain that this notion is a
different one from the notion of objectivity, and that both are necessary for a
theory of knowledge.
Let us first see what notion of objectivity is useful here. Following the
ideas of Villoro, objectivity should be understood in connection to the public
recognition within particular epistemic communities that a state of affairs is
the case. A belief is objective for an epistemic community if it is rationally
acceptable by any member of it, according to the conceptual scheme
available to that community. This is to say, that a belief is objective for a
given community if and only if there are objectively sufficient reasons to
accept that belief according to the conceptual scheme available to that
community, and there are no good reasons to reject that belief. But the
reasons in question are always relative to the conceptual scheme available for
that community. Objectivity is thus a notion relative to specific conceptual
schemes. A belief can be objective relative to a conceptual scheme A, but not
to another different conceptual scheme B.
Let us recall that for Villoro, "relevant epistemic community" is the set of
relevant epistemic subjects for a given belief. In turn, a relevant epistemic
subject for the belief of S in p, is every subject that has access to every
reason S has access to, and to no others (Villoro 1982, p. 147).

Let us now move on to see how truth can be conceived from the perspective I
am defending here. As it was remarked previously, truth will be understood
both as rational acceptability under optimal epistemic conditions, as well as
adequacy to reality. What this amounts to, we shall see in a moment; for the
time being, I want to distinguish between "adequacy" to reality and
"correspondence" with reality.
"Correspondence" between language and reality is usually understood in
the sense of propositions "corresponding" to, or stating, a state of affairs
which is taken to be objective in the sense assumed by the platonic tradition.
That is to say, it is assumed that propositions correspond to a world of facts

and objects that has a built-in structure, and thus objects and facts are given
independently of conceptual schemes or frameworks.
"Adequacy" in the sense that will be put forward in the following section,
is understood as adequacy between propositions - which can be stated, and
exist, because there are conceptual frameworks where they can be formulated
meaningfully -, and facts and objects the existence of which is likewise
dependent on conceptual frameworks. The difference thus between
"correspondence" and "adequacy" has to do more with the conception as to
the way in which reality exists and is constituted, and therefore with what it
is that propositions correspond to, or are adequate to, than with the kind of
relationship involved between propositions and reality.
Let us then turn to examine the proposal that truth should be understood
both in terms of rational acceptability and adequacy to reality. By means of
the conception here proposed it is claimed that we can overcome the
objection quite often raised against epistemic conceptions of truth, such as
Putnam's or Habermas', namely that it is a problem for them to explain why
a rational consensus guarantees an epistemic access to reality (cf. Habermas
1973b; for criticism of this position as stated by Putnam, see Perez Ransanz
1992 and forthcoming).

Truth as Adequacy and as Rational Acceptability

A fact is what makes a proposition true. But facts can be conceived in very
different ways. Luis Villoro, for instance, says that a fact is something that is
there and is stated. A fact is a part of reality which is not put there by my act
of stating it (Villoro 1990, p. 84).
Villoro adds that we will be able to judge as real the fact that has been
perceived or stated, insofar as we can show that the fact is given and is not
proposed, insofar as it is imposed upon us and is not a result of my desires
(idem.). "But if I infer the reality of the fact, I simply say that it has not been
created by me, but it is part of what is imposed upon my actions, desires and
beliefs. In the fact there is a confluence (there is "correspondence") between
what I state and the present or given" (idem.).
I think we can go farther than what Villoro states. Indeed, I would like to
suggest, according to internal realism, that the fact is that confluence between
what is stated and what is given. What is stated includes what is put there by
the subject, and what is imposed includes what is given by independent
Facts therefore can be understood as that to which propositions refer when
they are true (cf. Strawson 1964). If we accept this idea, then we can believe
that when a proposition is true, there is a fact in reality, the one the
proposition refers to. It is in this way that the proposition is adequate to

reality. But we can still claim that this is the case only by reference to the
conceptual frameworks where the proposition is meaningful and can be
This is to say that if we admit that facts are not independent of conceptual
frameworks, and furthermore that conceptual frameworks are determinant in
the constitution of facts, then, that p is a fact is not independent of the good
reasons there are in the relevant conceptual framework to accept the
proposition 'p'.
Once again, this is the core thesis of internal realism: true sentences (or
propositions) are adequate to reality, for the facts they describe really exist.
But their existence depends on the conceptual frameworks where 'p' is
meaningful. There is no entity in reality, independently of the conceptual
framework, that is the fact that makes the relevant proposition true (that
corresponds to that proposition). Each conceptual framework "cuts" reality in
such a way that there are facts that make certain propositions true. Thus, if
'p' is true, then there is a double implication:
i) that p is a fact,
and since p is a fact, p really exists, but only by reference to the conceptual
frameworks where 'p' is meaningful. Thus, since the existence of p is not
independent of its relationship with the relevant conceptual frameworks, it
follows that:
ii) within the relevant conceptual frameworks it is possible to adduce
reasons to accept 'p' and there cannot be good reasons to doubt that p is a
To sum up, if 'p' is true, p is a fact. But if p is a fact, it is not so
independently of the relevant conceptual frameworks. Thus it is always
possible - at least in principle - to find good reasons within those relevant
frameworks to accept 'p' under optimal epistemic and dialogical conditions.
Optimal epistemic conditions can be understood Ii la Putnam in the preface
to Realism with a Human Face (1990): "By an ideal epistemic situation I
mean something like this: If I say 'there is a chair in my study', an ideal
epistemic situation would be to be in my study with the lights on or with day-
light streaming through the window, with nothing wrong with my eyesight,
with an unconfused mind, without having taken drugs, or being subjected to
hypnosis, and so forth, and to look and see if there is a chair there. Or, to
drop the notion of 'ideal' altogether, since that is only a metaphor, I think
there are better and worse epistemic situations with respect to particular
statements" (p. viii).
By optimal dialogical conditions I mean those Habermas has widely
defended as highly relevant for epistemological purposes, and for the
elucidation of truth (cf. Habermas 1973a, I 973b): those conditions where
there is no other interest except the interest in mutual understanding, and
where there is no power exercise except the power of the best argument.
Academic life, fortunately, sometimes offers instances of situations where
these conditions are met, say in seminar rooms.
Thus, the claim here is that an adequate elucidation of truth is as follows:

T) 'p' is true if and only if

i) P is a fact (by reference to every conceptual framework where
'p' is meaningful- and has the same meaning),
ii) within any conceptual framework where 'p' can be stated with
the same meaning, under optimal epistemic and dialogical
conditions, there will be good reasons to accept 'p' and there will
not be good reasons to reject it.

Condition (ii) must be understood as stating that "there will be good

reasons to accept 'p"', even in those cases where, at the beginning of the
discussion where it is being disputed whether or not to accept 'p', people
taking part in the dispute cannot see good reasons in its favor; but this would
be only a contingent matter, to be overcome by the continuation of the
discussion under optimal epistemic and dialogical conditions.
(T) is offered as an attempt to explain what is involved when a sentence
'p' is true. The claim is that when 'p' is true, and not say just objective, then
p is a fact in the real world. Thus p would have to be acknowledged as such,
as a fact, by any rational being, whatever his or her starting point - the
starting conceptual framework - was, provided he or she has access to a
conceptual framework where 'p' can be stated with the same meaning, and
provided a discussion can take place, and evidence put forward, under
optimal epistemic and dialogical conditions.
But (T) also incorporates the idea that the fact p cannot exist but by
reference to relevant conceptual frameworks, and thus its existence is also
connected to there being good reasons to accept the proposition 'p'.
It should be noted that this conception is not claiming that every
proposition that can be meaningfully formulated within a given language is
either true or false. Many meaningful propositions can be neither true nor
false. For instance the proposition: ''The number of objects in the Universe is
even", is not necessarily true or false. Even if within the perspective of a
particular conceptual framework it can be claimed, correctly according to
that framework, that the number of objects is even, this does not necessarily
make the proposition true. The crux of our position is that it is not enough for

a proposition or a sentence 'p' to be stating a state of affairs for that

proposition or sentence to be true.
This point can perhaps be better understood if we recall that we have
assumed here an internal realist point of view. Therefore, claiming that at this
moment the number of objects in the Universe is even, may perhaps be right
according to what counts as objects from the perspective of the particular
conceptual framework involved. This would amount to the proposition
corresponding to a state of affairs which exists according to that particular
framework, but perhaps not in connection to others where the relevant
proposition is still meaningful. Thus, this is not the sort of propositions we
would like to call true from the point of view here defended.
We want to call true a proposition that states a fact that can be
acknowledged as such, as a fact, from the point of view of any conceptual
framework where the relevant proposition is meaningful. Once again, we
want to call true those propositions, and only those, that are adequate to
reality and that can be rationally acceptable from the point of view of all
conceptual frameworks where they can be formulated with the same
Our proposal to explain what is involved when a proposition is true,
emphasizes that (ii) has to be accepted as part of the meaning of a
proposition 'p' being true, besides having to accept (i) of course. But this
should be clearly distinguished from what it means for someone to claim that
a proposition 'p' is true. If someone claims that 'p' is true, this means that
i) he or she claims that p is a fact and
ii) he or she claims that he or she could convince any rational being, under
optimal epistemic and dialogical conditions, to accept 'p'.
It should also be clearly acknowledged that (T) is not a truth criterion. It is
as useless as a truth criterion as saying that truth is correspondence with the
facts. Because except for very simple empirical propositions, we can hardly
compare propositions or sentences with facts to see whether they correspond
to each other. But (T) offers an explication of truth in the sense of telling us
what is involved in a proposition being true, and what it says is that if 'p' is
true there is an implication as to what the real world is like (that p is a fact),
and as to the rational acceptability of 'p' itself ('p' is rationally acceptable
under optimal epistemic and dialogical conditions). And vice versa, if these
two conditions are met, the relevant proposition is true.
With these ideas in mind, we can go back to some aspects of the debate we
were reporting at the beginning.
Luis Villoro has insisted that questions of truth are to be maintained
separate with respect to questions of justification (cf. Villoro 1990, pp. 82
and ss.). My view is that, even if it is correct to claim that the terms "truth"

and ')ustification" are different, and that they answer different questions,
these questions nonetheless are intimately connected.
Villoro claims that the proposition "'p' is true although it is not acceptable
by every rational being under optimal epistemic and dialogical conditions"
may be false, or may be not sufficiently justified, but it cannot be
contradictory. From the point of view here defended, it is a contradiction.
To see that this is so, we can recall that, according to (T), if 'p' is true,
then p is a fact, and it is so not only by reference to my conceptual
framework but by reference to any other conceptual framework where 'p'
can be stated with the same meaning. Thus, under optimal epistemic and
dialogical conditions, no one can rationally reject 'p'.
Now the question can be raised: what do we need for the elucidation of
truth analyzed here? Furthermore, it can be claimed that we do not need the
distinction between "objectivity" and "truth" argued for here (as a matter of
fact this has been claimed both by Cristina di Gregori,1990, and Ana Rosa
Perez Ransanz, 1988 and 1993a).
The central answer to these objections is that our elucidation of truth is
important from the perspective of a theory of knowledge to understand how
it is possible for knowledge - defined as Villoro has done, that is in terms of
beliefs and objectively sufficient reasons, and thus knowledge being fallible
and corrigible - to be nonetheless genuine knowledge of the real world. But
where the notion of the "real world" following Kuhn and Putnam is not
understood in the platonic tradition, but in terms of internal realism.
In order to understand this we have had to analyze the concepts of
"objectivity", "truth" and "knowledge". Furthermore, we have shown that it
is necessary to be clear as to what reality we are talking about and what it
means to have epistemic access to reality.
The key to genuine epistemic access to reality can be found in the link
between the notions of "knowledge" and "truth" as we have analyzed them.
The notion linking these two is "rational acceptability" - although it should
be stressed that none of the former reduces to the latter -. Knowledge,
through objectively sufficient reasons, offers guarantees of rational
acceptability under optimal epistemic conditions. This is to say, when there
are objectively sufficient reasons to accept 'p', it is reasonable to believe that
'p' is acceptable under optimal epistemic conditions. But this kind of
acceptability is already - as we have seen - one of the conditions of truth.
This is then the crucial link between knowledge and truth. But in tum, truth
is also adequacy to reality. So we have here the passage from knowledge to
Let us remember that according to (T), the truth of a proposition 'p'
depends on the conceptual framework where 'p' is formulated, but it does

not only depend on that conceptual framework, it depends on something else.

That something else is, on the one hand, that 'p' must be acceptable from the
point of view of any other conceptual framework where it can be formulated
with the same meaning; but it also depends on the adequacy to a fact the
existence of which, in tum, is due to the interaction (confluence) of the
relevant conceptual frameworks and the independent reality.
That something else is what gives us a guarantee that reality is reached.
But furthermore, since truth, as against objectivity, transcends the mere
conceptual framework where the proposition in question is formulated, and
truth is thus trans-schematic, it is also universal.
The crucial step in this reasoning is the one that goes from acceptability by
means of objectively sufficient reasons, to rational acceptability under
optimal episternic conditions. This step is warranted by the guarantees
constituted by the former (objectively sufficient reasons). Of course these
guarantees can fail; this is precisely the meaning that knowledge is fallible.
But human beings can aspire to no more than this kind of warrant. Otherwise
they would be situated in God's Eye point of view.

Conclusion: Genuine Epistemic Access to Reality

We have thus suggested that a theory of knowledge must have, on the one
hand, a concept the application of which is immanent to each conceptual
framework, in order to account for acceptability of beliefs by relation only to
each relevant and specific conceptual framework. This is our notion of
objectivity. This notion implies intersubjectivity and supposes acceptability
under the actual conditions in which an episternic community is found. On
the other hand, we have analyzed the notion of truth, in terms of rational
acceptability under optimal epistemic and dialogical conditions and also as
adequacy to reality.
Through rational acceptability, truth is linked to knowledge, but through
adequacy, truth is linked to reality. Thus truth links knowledge to reality, and
furthermore, truth offers a guarantee that knowledge reaches reality.
In order to realize this, we have had to analyze the notion of truth, and
come to realize that truth is something else, and in fact much more, than
mere objectivity. But both notions, objectivity and truth are necessary to
understand the activities of rational beings by means of which they generate
genuine knowledge about the real world.

December 13,1994.

Bunge, Mario 1977, The Furniture of the World, Reidel, Dordrecht.
Bunge, Mario 1979, A World of Systems, Reidel, Dordrecht.
Bunge, Mario 1985, Racionalidad y Realismo, Alianza Universidad, Madrid.
Cabrera, Isabel and Diaz, Jose 1987, "Del saber y la sabiduria", Revista Latinoamericana de
Filosoffa, Vol. XIII, No.2 (July 1987), pp. 195-212.
Garz6n Valdes, Emesto and Salmer6n, Fernando (eds.) 1993, Epistemologfa y Cultura, En
torno a la obra de Luis Villoro, UNAM, Mexico.
Gettier, Edmund 1963, "Is justified true belief knowledge?" in Analysis, Vol. 23, pp. 121-123.
Gregori di, Cristina (ed.) 1990, "Sobre Conocimiento, Sociedad y Realidad de Le6n Olive",
Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia, Vol. XVI, No.3, November 1990, pp. 319-337.
Habermas, Jiirgen 1973a, "A Postscript to Knowledge and Human Interests", Philosophy of
the Social Sciences, Vol. 3, No.2, June 1973, pp. 157-189.
Habermas, Jiirgen 1973b, "Wahrheitstheorien", in H. Fahrenbach (ed.), Wirklichkeit und
Reflexion, Pfullingen, 1973, pp. 211-265.
Kuhn, Thomas S. 1962, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed., The University of
Chicago Press, Chicago, 1970.
Kuhn, Thomas S. 1983, "Commensurability, Comparability, Communicability", PSA, Vol. 2,
pp. 669-88, Philosophy of Science Association.
Kuhn, Thomas S. 1991, "The road since Structure", PSA 1990, Vol. 2, pp. 3-13, Philosophy of
Science Association, 1991.
Moulines, Ulises 1982. Exploraciones Metacientificas, Alianza Universidad, Madrid.
Moulines, Ulises 1991, Pluralidad y Recursion, Alianza Universidad, Madrid.
Moulines, Ulises 1993, "Platonismo vs relativismo en la teoria del saber", in Garz6n Valdes y
Salmer6n (eds.) 1993, pp. 11-22.
Olive, Leon 1984, "ViIIoro: sobre objetividad, verdad y saber", Critica 48, December 1984,
Olive, Leon 1988a, Conocimiento, Sociedad y Realidad, Problemas del aruilisis social del
conocimiento y del realismo cientifico, Fondo de Cultura Econ6mica, Mexico.
Olive, Leon (ed.) J988b, Racionalidad, Siglo XXIfUNAM, Mexico.
Olive, Le6n 1993a "Respuesta a "Verdad y realidad" de Ana Rosa Perez Ransanz", Revista
Latinoamericana de Filosojfa, Vol. XIX, No.2, November 1993, pp. 339-352.
Olive, Le6n 1993b, "Sobre verdad y realismo", in Garzon Valdes y Salmeron (eds.) 1993, pp.
Pereda, Carlos 1993, "Del saber y de la servidumbre", in Garz6n Valdes y Salmeron (cds.)
1993, pp. 153-168.
Perez Ransanz, Ana Rosa 1988, "Presentacion de Conocimiento, Sociedad y Realidad de Leon
Olive", Dianoia 1988, pp. 233-37.
Perez Ransanz, Ana Rosa 1992, "Verdad y justificacion", Dianoia 1992, pp. 85-93.
Perez Ransanz, Ana Rosa 1993a, "Verdad y realidad: comentarios a la propuesta de Leon
Olive", Revista Latinoamericana de Filosoffa" Vol. XIX, No.2, Noviembre de 1993, pp.
Perez Ransanz, Ana Rosa 1993b, "EI realismo de Villoro", in Garzon Valdes y Salmeron
(eds.) 1993, pp. 39-62.
Perez Ransanz, Ana Rosa (forthcoming), Kuhn y e! Cambio Cient(fico, Fondo de Cultura
Economica, Mexico.
Pitchcr, G. (cd.) 1964, Truth, Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Putnam, Hilary 1981, Reason, Truth and History, Cambridge University Press.

Putnam, Hilary 1987, The Many Faces of Realism, Open Court, Lasalle, TIl.
Putnam, Hilary 1988, "Racionalidad en la teona de la decisi6n y en la etica", in Olive (ed.)
Putnam, Hilary 1990, Realism with a Human Face, Harvard University Press.
Salmer6n, Fernando 1993, "La etica de la creencia y la filosoffa moral y politica. Notas allibro
de Luis Villoro", in Garz6n Valdes y Salmer6n (eds.) 1993, pp. 133-151.
Strawson, Peter 1964, ''Truth'', in Pitcher (ed.) 1964.
Sosa, Emesto 1964, "The analysis of 'knowledge that p"',Analysis 25 (1964) pp. 1-8.
Sosa, Emesto 1988, "Filosofia en serio y libertad de espiritu" in Olive (ed.) 1988b, pp. 350-
Sosa, Emesto 1991, Knowledge in Perspective, Selected essays in epistemology, Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge.
Villoro, Luis 1982, Creer, Saber, Conocer, Siglo XXI Editores, Mexico.
Villoro, Luis 1990, "Sobre lustificaci6n y Verdad: respuesta a Le6n Olive", Cntica, No. 65,
Vol. XXII, Mexico, 1990, pp. 73-92.
Villoro, Luis 1993, "Respuesta a discrepancias y objeciones" in Garz6n Valdes y Salmer6n
(eds.) 1993, pp. 331-350.



What follows is a summary of my work in the general philosophy and
methodology of science and technology, as well as in the philosophy of some
of their various branches. There is also a glance at my work in value theory
and ethics insofar as it relates to science and technology. Finally all these
various pieces are shown to be components of a new philosophical system
hoped to be in harmony with contemporary science and technology and
moreover one capable of stimulating their advancement.

1. Apprenticeship
My philosophical apprenticeship was unusually lengthy and unorthodox: it
took two decades and did not involve attending any philosophy courses. In
fact, I taught myself philosophy between 1936 and 1956. My teachers were
books, journals, and a few amateurs like myself. On the other hand I was a
regular physics student between 1938 and 1944. My first papers and my
doctoral dissertation were in theoretical atomic and nuclear physics. I was
lucky to work under the supervision of Dr. Guido Beck (1903-1988) from the
moment he landed in Buenos Aires in 1943. He was an Austrian exile who
had been an assistant to Werner Heisenberg in Leipzig, and had produced a
large number of original papers and long review articles in a variety of
However, my earliest intellectual love was philosophy. So much so, that
my first philosophy paper was published in 1939, whereas my first physics
paper appeared five years later, and my latest in 1983. I went into physics for
the love of philosophy, for I wished to refute the influential idealist doctrines,
now nearly forgotten, expounded in the 1930s by the astrophysicists Sir
Arthur Eddington and Sir James Jeans. The aim of my doctoral dissertation
(1952) was to find out whether relativistic quantum mechanics preserved
anything resembling Bohr's orbits: alas, it turned out that it does not.

Guttorm Fl¢istad (ed.), Philosophy of l.atin America, 245-272.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Quantons, as I call the things that "obey" the quantum theory, are quite
different from classons.
Thus, from the start I studied science for philosophical reasons. But, once I
thought that I had acquired a scientific frame of mind and background, I
began to approach philosophy in a scientific way. So, I was a philosopher
among scientists and a scientist among philosophers - which, I am afraid,
endeared me to neither.
My first work in the philosophy of science was a book-length criticism of
Reuben Osborn and Wilhelm Reich's combination of Freud with Marx. My
thesis - inspired in my readings of Russell's Problems of Philosophy and
some Marxist works - was that psychoanalysis is neither scientific nor
compatible with Marxism. I wrote that essay in the summer of 1938, shortly
before being admitted into the Facultad de Ciencias Flsicomatematicas of the
Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Fearing a police requisition of my home -
which eventually came to pass - I gave the typescript for safekeeping to a
physician-philosopher friend who, in tum, lost it. Good riddance.
My first published philosophical essay was "Introducci6n al estudio de los
grandes pensadores" (1939), a long and pretentious commentary on a number
of philosophical doctrines. In 1943 I published a criticism of classical
positivism inspired in Emile Meyerson, and two philosophico-historical
booklets, one on Newton's work and the other on Maxwell's theory of the
electromagnetic field. Nature and Beck published short favorable reviews of
both booklets. That same year I conducted a private seminar on the problem
of causality at the Universidad Obrera Argentina, which I had founded five
years earlier, and which was closed down by the military dictatorship at the
end of 1943, when it had a total of 1,000 students and 50 teachers.
In 1944 I launched Minerva, a philosophical journal devoted to the defense
of rationalism (in the broad sense) in the face of the Nazi onslaught on
reason. In this endeavor I was helped by the philosopher Risieri Frondizi -
who much later was elected rector of the Universidad de Buenos Aires - as
well as by my lifelong friend Heman Rodriguez. There I published "l,Que es
la epistemologia?", perhaps the first general discussion in Spanish on the
nature of the philosophy of science, and one that was to be often quoted.
Presumably the only noteworthy ideas of this paper were that (a) philosophy
is nothing but the theory of science, (b) philosophy is unique among all the
disciplines in that its own study is philosophical, and (c) these ideas can be
elucidated with the help of certain algebraic notions. Half a century later I
still subscribe to (b) and (c) but reject (a) most vehemently if only because it
leaves out ontology and ethics - as I noted gleefully in the paper.
In a note on "Precursores, predecesores y predictores" (1944) I criticized
the histories of ideas limited to the search for precursors, in denying the

occurrence of new problems and new approaches, and overlooking the

internal "logic" of a discipline. I also stated that the past and the environment
condition ideas but do no create them: this was a criticism of both pastism
(the dual of presentism) and externalism (the dual of internalism). The article
titled "Auge y fracaso de la filosoffa de la naturaleza" (1944) was a critical
examination of the philosophy of nature. Its main thesis is that, whereas the
pre-Socratic and Renaissance philosophies of nature prepared the way for
ancient and modem science respectively, the romantic Naturphilosophie was
a reaction against modem science. Its failure exemplifies the impotence of
apriorism to grasp reality. I took Bergson's vitalism and Husserl's
"positivism of intemporal essences" to task for claiming to have direct access
to reality and thus circumventing science. "Nietzsche y la ciencia" (1944)
examined Nietzsche's vitalist and pragmatist opinions on the search for
knowledge, and criticized his praise of error and the noble lie. In the same
journal I also published a number of book reviews as well as notes on
Rousseau, Boltzmann, Florentino Ameghino, and metaphysics. Minerva
lasted only one year (six issues). It had run out of money as well as of
rationalist contributors.
My next philosophical paper, "La fenomenologfa y la ciencia", appeared
only seven years later. It contrasted the ideals of science to Husserl's
phenomenology. The same year 1951 saw the publication of my first essay in
English: ''What is chance?". In it I proposed an objectivist (later called
"propensity") interpretation of the probability calculus. I argued that chance
is a feature of the world, not just a name for our ignorance. This article
attracted the attention of the physicist David Bohm, who invited me to visit
him at the Institute of Physics of the Universidade de Sao Paulo to discuss
his realistic and causal (or rather pseudocausal) interpretation of quantum
mechanics. What he had liked best about my article was my hypothesis that
randomness on one level of organization becomes causation on another and
conversely, so that any realistic world view must involve both categories.
Bohm expanded considerably this conjecture in this book Causality and
Chance in Modern Physics (1957).
My article "New dialogues between Hylas and Philonous" (1954) was an
attempt to refute Berkeley's idealism. Studying Berkeley helped me
understand the subjectivist features of the standard (so-called Copenhagen)
interpretation of quantum mechanics, which I had initially accepted but later
criticized in "Strife about complementarity" (1955). The year later K. R.
Popper and E. H. Hutten told me that they had recommended the publication
of the paper.
The same year I published a paper that seems to have provoked Richard
Feynman's notorious animosity towards philosophy: "The philosophy of the

space-time approach to the quantum theory". I argued that the Feynman

graphs in quantum electrodynamics are just mnemonic devices: that in reality
there are no virtual particles, and that electrons cannot go back to the past. I
also took Feynman to task for equating scientific laws with computation
rules. This philosophical confusion, typical of an engineer, had led him to
regarding the electromagnetic field as only a practical mental tool. Finally, I
criticized Feynman's claim that all physical problems are reducible to
collision problems, all of which can be solved by the same technique, so that
in principle all that is left to do in physics is to perfonn certain routine
In "A critique of the frequentist theory of probability" (1956) I criticized
Richard von Mises' frequency definition and interpretation of probability,
which had been adopted by most physicists as well as by the young Popper,
H. Reichenbach, A. Church, and P. Suppes. Most scientists took (and still
take) it to be the only alternative to the subjectivist of Bayesian
interpretation. My lifelong friend the mathematician Manuel Sadosky helped
me realize the technical shortcomings of von Mises' construction and lent me
Jean Ville's (1939) lethal albeit nearly unknown criticism of it.
"Do computers think?" (1956) was my first contribution to the
philosophies of mind and of technology. My answer was, and still is, in the
negative: Machines only follow instructions (programs) - even when they are
instructed to learn certain items. They only handle physical signals that stand
for concepts - except for those of continuity and infinity. Today I add that
computers do not feel emotions, whence they are not motivated to learn on
their own. In particular they do not invent problems: they only help us solve
some problems. Hence they are poor analogs of curious and creative human
brains. They implement algorithms but are incapable of designing them.
"A survey of the interpretations of quantum mechanics", published in the
American Journal of Physics (1956), underlines the philosophical as well as
the technical differences among the various interpretations of the key
concepts and statements of quantum mechanics. Another paper published by
the same journal was "Lagrangian fonnulation and mechanical
interpretation" (1957). In it I elaborated at length on a theme adumbrated in
my 1943 pamphlet on Maxwell. Contrary to Maxwell's own opinion, merely
casting a theory in the lagrangian formalism does not reduce it to mechanics.
the same holds for the Hamiltonian formalism. In particular, the analysis of
an electromagnetic field as an infinite collection of "oscillators" is a purely
formal affair, since the said oscillators are massless, hence non-mechanical.
My philosophical apprenticeship was completed at the beginning of 1957,
when I won the chair of philosophy of science at the Universidad de Buenos
Aires. (The same year I accepted a chair of theoretical physics at my alma

mater.) My inaugural dissertation was titled "Philosophizing scientifically

and approaching science philosophically". From then on I have devoted most
of my efforts to crafting a philosophy in harmony with contemporary
mathematics, science and technology. The completion of this task was to
take me nearly four decades.

2. Methodology of Science
My main contribution to the methodology of science is my two-volume work
Scientific Research (1967). This is a systematic treatise that starts by
describing the scientific approach and goes on to discuss concept,
classification, definition, problem, hypothesis, law, theory (statics and
dynamics), explanation, prediction, rational action, observation,
measurement, experiment, and scientific inference. Some of the salient points
of this work follow.
Psychoanalysis and parapsychology are just as pseudoscientific as
dowsing. It is not only that some of their hypotheses are irrefutable, as
Popper had pointed out. Others are refutable and as a matter of fact have
been refuted - as Grlinbaum was to note later on in his Foundations of
Psychoanalysis (1984). What is wrong with those disciplines is that they are
groundless and non-naturalistic; they propose no explanatory mechanisms
and have not added a single law to psychology; and they make no precise
predictions. They are groundless in that they are not based on any body of
scientific knowledge; moreover, they explicitly reject experimental
psychology and neuroscience. They are non-naturalistic in the sense that they
postulate the existence of the immaterial soul. To top it all, the
parapsychological experiments are methodologically flawed (they lack
adequate controls and suffer from suitable statistical sampling); and
psychoanalists make no experiments at all. I have returned several times to
the fascinating problem of pseudoscience, e.g., in Vol. 6 of my Treatise
(1983), Seudociencia e ideologfa (1985), "A skeptic's beliefs and disbeliefs"
(1991), and in the replies to the critics of this paper - in particular P. K.
Feyerabend and R. Thom. The examination of pseudoscience serves various
purposes: it helps define the concept of science, evaluate philosophies of
science (by the number of pseudosciences that they admit), and disabuse the
gullible. Besides, it is fun.
Contrary to the positivist textbooks, which start at the end, namely with
data, I started with problems, to which I devoted an entire long chapter. (I
had learned this from my physics teacher, who often began his presentations
by listing half a dozen topical open problems which he urged us to tackle.) In
particular, I sketched a formal logic of problems. But every problem is
introduced against some background knowledge: one never starts from

scratch. For example, "Who dunnit?" presupposes (rightly or false) the

existence of a guilty party. This assumption can be formalized as "(:3x)Gx".
I called Gx the generator of the problem. The (elementary) problem itself
can be symbolized "(?x)Gx", and its solution "Gb", where b names the
guilty party. Another example: "What is the truth-value of p?" can be
symbolized "(?v)[V(P) - v]". In general, individual problems are ofthe form
"(?x)Px", with P a constant, whereas predicate problems are of the form
"(?P)Pa", where a is a constant. Four rules for well-formed problems are
formulated. One of them is this: A well-formulated problem has as many
question marks as unknowns. Subsequently molecular problems are analyzed
into disjunctive and conjunctive, with the help of two new connectives, vel
and et. These functors are assumed to be associative and commutative.
Moreover, vel distributes over et, and et over vel. Further, problem 1tl is said
to imply problem 1t2 if and only if the generator of 1tl implies that of 1t2 . Two
problems are mutually equivalent if their generators are. And one problem is
stronger (or more general) than another if the generator of the former implies
that of the latter.
Another question neglected in most philosophies of science is that of
scientific laws. This neglect is responsible for the thesis, held by C. S. Peirce
and E. Boutroux, that nature is contingent rather than lawful, as proved by
the "inaccuracy of scientific laws". A recent version of the same thesis is
Nancy Cartwright's claim that "the laws of physics lie". This thesis crumbles
upon realizing that it involves the conflation of two ideas: that of objective
pattern, or law!> with that of our conceptual representation of it, or law2. A
related concept is that of law-based rule, or nomopragmatic statemcnt.
Example: the law2 schema "If A then B" provides the ground for two rule
schemata: "To get B do A", and "To avoid B refrain from doing A". Finally,
a law4, or metanomological statement, is a law about some law(s) of either of
the previous kinds. For example, the covariance principles in relativistic
physics are metastatements of this type. So is the philosophical principle of
lawfulness or "constancy of nature".
These ideas had first been proposed in my Metascientific Queries (1959).
In "Laws of physical laws", published in the American Journal of Physics
(1961), I analyzed a number of laws of physical laws. Some of these ideas
were rediscovered by two well-known British scholars, 1. D. North in 1966
and E. Zahar in 1980.
Scientific laws are lodged in scientific theories. A scientific theory has two
referents: one immediate and the other mediate. The former is a model object
or sketch of the thing. For example, particle mechanics refers immediately to
fictitious point particles, and mediately to corpuscles or small bodies.

Moreover, the facts a theory refers to are not to be mistaken for the empirical
evidence relevant to the theory. This distinction is particularly important in
the case of theories that purport to represent things - such as electrons and
nations - that are inaccessible to the senses. The standard interpretation of
the quantum theory rests on this confusion between reference and test, by
holding that every formula of the theory refers to some experimental
situation. (More on this in Sect. 6.)
There are shallow (or black box) theories and deep theories. The former
concern a single level and make no reference to any mechanisms. (See also
my papers "Causality, chance, and law" [1961], "A general black box
theory" [1963], "Phenomenological theories" [1964], "The maturation of
science" [1968], and "Explanation and mechanism" [1997].)
Correspondingly two kinds of explanation of facts must be distinguished:
subsumptive and interpretive (or mechanismic). The former is identical with
the so-called "covering law model". On the other hand interpretive
explanation involves reference to mechanism(s). (I like to think that Aristotle
would have been pleased with this partial vindication of his theory of
explanation.) For example, the doubling of the internal pressure in a gas
caused by halving its volume can be accounted for either as an instance of
Boyle's law, or, more profoundly, as a result of the doubling of the number
of molecular impacts on the container wall. Besides, I proposed quantitative
measures of the explanatory and predictive power of a theory, as well as of
its accuracy and degree of originality.
Finally, empirical confirmation and refutation were evaluated. I argued
that refutability in principle is desirable, but positive evidence is necessary to
regard a theory as at least partially true. However, confirmation, though
necessary, is insufficient for that purpose. The theory must also be externally
consistent: i.e., it must cohere with the bulk (not the totality) of the
background knowledge. And it must not go against the grain of the dominant
scientific world view. (Surely the 17C Scientific Revolution did collide head-
on with the then dominant world view, but the latter was more theological
than scientific. Yet all this proves is that that was the only global scientific
revolution: all the subsequent major innovations were partial, i.e., regional
breakthroughs.) In sum, a theory is subjected to a whole battery of tests.
Consequently deductivism is as inadequate as inductivism. (Not surprisingly,
Popper told me that he disliked this book as much as he liked my
Foundations of Physics.)
Metascientific Queries (1959), Intuition and Science (1962), The Myth of
Simplicity (1963), Method, Model and Matter (1973), and a number of
articles, made additional contributions to the general methodology and
philosophy of science. One of the chapters of the former book deals with

emergence and reduction, and is titled "Do the levels of science reflect the
levels of being?". The answer is in the negative: whereas the ontic levels are
stable, the cognitive levels are fluid. Besides, scientific knowledge includes
fictions and conventions. Hence the mirror theory of knowledge (or
language), held by both Lenin and Wittgenstein, is false.
The central theses of Intuition and Science are that (a) the word 'intuition'
designates many different concepts; (b) some kinds of intuition are involved
in scientific research; but (c) all varieties of intuitionism are inimical to
science for opposing both reason and experiment. The second Spanish
edition of that book, titled Intuicion y razon (1986), is a revised and
considerably expanded version of the original.
In The Myth of Simplicity I distinguished several kinds of simplicity (or its
dual, complexity), and criticized the conventionalist view, originating in late
scholasticism and held by P. Frank, N. Goodman and others, that simplicity
is the seal of truth. I showed that the history of science has been one of
successive complications, so that simple theories should be held in suspicion:
Simplex sigillum falsi. The same book contains my first mathematical theory
of partial truth, where I note - contrary to Reichenbach and Popper - that the
concept of partial truth is independent of and moreover prior to that of
probability. Another chapter deals with induction. I hold that, while induction
plays only a modest role in the genesis of hypotheses and theories, it is
indispensable in confronting them with empirical data. However, this does
not entail that there is an inductive logic parallel to deductive logic: this I
learned from Popper.
Method, Model, and Matter is a collection of essays. One of them
criticizes the artificiality of many problems in contemporary philosophy,
such as Goodman's "grue" puzzle, which would never have occurred to a
scientifically infonned scholar. Another chapter introduces the notion of
degree of testability of a hypothesis or theory corresponding to its degree of
generality. It argues that only specific theories (models) can be empirically
refutable: extremely general theories, such as lagrangian dynamics and
automata theory, are confirmable but irrefutable. A third elucidates the
various significations of the word 'model', and asserts that models in the
factual sciences are just specific theories. A fourth distinguishes analogies of
various kinds and notes their roles in science. A fifth points out that there is a
difference between an axiomatic theory in pure mathematics and one in
science: the latter contains interpretation (or semantic) assumptions that
relate some of the mathematical concepts to physical entities or properties
thereof. Though obvious to physicists, this point is ignored by the economists
who, like G. Debreu, believe that the axiomatization of an economic theory

transforms it into a part of pure mathematics, rendering it impregnable to

empirical refutation.
Exploring the World (1983) deals with epistemology and methodology. It
treats cognition, in particular inquiry, as a neurophysiological process
strongly influenced by the social environment, and regards knowledge as the
last stage of such process. Moreover, it makes belief and doubt dependent
upon knowledge rather than the other way round. (I believe p because 1 know
that p is true; 1 doubt p because 1 know of no conclusive evidence for the
truth of p.) However, this is not to belittle the psychological and social roles
of belief.
The same volume also examines the social matrix of scientific research,
proposes a via media between traditional internalism and fashionable
externalism, and sketches a criticism of the so-called post-Mertonian
(constructivist-relativist) sociology of science. 1 subject the latter, and the
irrationalist epistemologies inherent in it, to detailed criticisms in my longish
paper "A critical examination of the new sociology of science" (1991-92),
translated as Sociologfa de la ciencia (1993).
The sequel to the previously mentioned volume, Exploring the World
(1983), examines reduction and its dual, merger or integration (as
exemplified by biopsychology). It analyzes the notion of an indicator, and
discusses epistemic change, both gradual and sudden, and the question of the
limits to inquiry. 1 argue that the only known limits on scientific research are
the economic and ideological constraints placed by society. In the same book
1 propose comprehensive definitions of the concepts of science and
technology, which involve not only the epistemic dimension but also the
social and historical aspects. 1 use this definition to characterize, by contrast,
pseudoscience and ideology (in particular religion). And 1 introduce the
notion of ratio-empiricism, a synthesis of what I regard as the valid
ingredients of rationalism and empiricism. Subsequently scientific realism is
defined as ratio-empiricism plus scientism (i.e., the thesis that all matters of
fact are best studied scientifically). The book culminates with a
characterization of scientific realism in terms of a set of descriptive
principles and another of regulative ones.

3. Ontology
My first book in this field was Causality (1959), which was reissued thrice
and translated into seven languages. One of its main theses is that, Hume
notwithstanding, efficient causation is a mode of production or
determination. Another is that causation is only one of the categories of
determination: there are others, such as self-determination, randomness, and
teleology. A third thesis is that, in view of this multiplicity of modes of

determination, determinism must be updated. My version of neo-

determinism boils down to two principles: those of lawfulness ("Everything
happens according to some laws") and Lucretius ("Nothing comes out of
nothingness, and nothing turns into nothingness"). A fourth thesis of the
book is that causality is alive and well, even in quantum physics, where one
calculates, e.g., the probability that a given cause will have a given effect. A
fifth is that mathematical formulas are not sufficient to state causal laws: they
have to be joined with semantic assumptions. The book was very well
received. One reason for this reception is that, following the alleged demise
of causality at the hands of quantum physics, there had been no thorough
discussion of the matter. From then on the subject regained philosophical
Then came the paper "Is scientific metaphysics possible?" (1971) - a
question which, following C. S. Peirce, I answered in the affirmative by
exhibiting a few examples and sketching a program. I carried out this
program in volumes 3 and 4 of my Treatise: The Furniture of the World
(1977) and A World of Systems (1979). These two volumes expound a new
metaphysical system that elucidates and systematizes a number of
ontological categories occurring in science, such as those of thing, part,
physical addition, property, state, possibility, event, process, space, time,
system, chemical system, biosystem, mind, and society. In these books I also
ferreted out and formalized some of the metaphysical presuppositions of
science, such as that there are no forms (properties) in themselves, and that
every thing is either a system or a component of one.
My ontological system is organized axiomatically and formulated with the
help of some abstract algebra, and it draws on contemporary science. It
contains, among others, a theory of properties (different from predicate
logic), a relational theory of space and time (in terms of changing things), an
explicit formulation of the so-called psychoneural identity theory, a systemic
theory of society, and a general theory of systems. Additional contributions
to the latter - in particular on analogies between systems, system boundary,
and emergence - have appeared in various extra-philosophical publications,
such as International Journal of General Systems (1977, 1981, 1992),
Neuroscience (1977), American Journal of Physiology (1977), and News in
Physiological Sciences (1989).
One of the theses of my ontology is that, unlike predicates, which may be
attributed incorrectly to things, properties are possessed by the latter whether
we know it or not. There are unary (or intrinsic) and n-ary (or relational)
properties; thus composition is unary, and position is ternary. Some
properties are basic, others are derived; for example, electric charge is basic,
shape derived. There are only two universal properties: changeability and

energy - which are coextensive. A whole has both resultant and emergent
properties. (For example, the total mass of a cell is a resultant property,
whereas life is an emergent property of the cell.) An emergent property of a
whole is one that is not possessed by everyone of its components - and this
regardless of whether we are capable of explaining how the thing came to
acquire it. (Emergence renders radical reduction problematic in most cases.
Still, it is possible, at least in principle, to explain emergence in terms of parts
and their interactions - e.g., as an outcome of a self-assembly process.) The
emergence of qualitative novelty occurs in the course of certain processes
and it gives rise to the organization of reality into different levels - physical,
chemical, biological, social, and technical. Every one of these levels is a
collection of concrete things and can be divided into sublevels. The most
intriguing of these is constituted by animals with mental experiences.
(Minding animals, though not minds in themselves, may be made into a
distinguished sublevel of the life level.)
The Mind-Body Problem (1980) and Scientific Materialism (1981) pursue
some of the themes tackled in the former two volumes. In particular, the
former adduces considerable experimental evidence for psychoneural
monism. And the latter volume includes, among other items, severe
criticisms of Hegelian and Marxist dialectics, and of Popper's "three worlds"
speculation, as well as a materialist theory of culture. The materialism in
question is not of the vulgar, physicalist or eliminative kind: it is emergentist.
That is, it emphasizes the emergence of qualitative novelty in all realms of
nature and society, and it assumes that there is an uncounted number of
emergence mechanism. (For a history of the concept see D. Blitz's Emergent
Evolution [1992].) But, far from regarding emergence as mysterious, it
fosters a moderate kind of epistemological (not ontological) reductionism.
For example, it identifies mental processes, such as perception, ideation, and
decision, with neurophysiological processes occurring in the plastic regions
ofthe brains of highly evolved animals. We shall come back to this subject in
Section 8.

4. Semantics
Philosophical semantics is of course concerned with meaning, truth, and their
kin. The semantics of science is the branch of philosophical semantics
dealing with the semantic problems raised by science. "A program for the
semantics of science" (1972) sketches my approach to the field, until then
either neglected or cultivated either by operationists or by logicians who
failed to note that scientific constructs happen to refer to real, or allegedly
real, entities.

The first full treatment of the subject occurs in my books Sense and
Reference (1974) and Interpretation and Truth (1974). These were initially
motivated by my work in physical axiomatics. Here such questions as the
following appear naturally: "What does such and such theory refer to?", and
"What is the meaning of 'mass' [an undefined term in mechanics]?"
To tackle these questions I start by elucidating a predicate in a non-
Fregean way, namely as a function from individuals (or n-tuples of such) to
statements (P : A x B x ... x N ---7 S). Incidentally, like Frege and Russell,
and contrary to the nominalists, I distinguish statements or propositions,
which are conceptual objects, from their linguistic wrappings, namely
sentences. Whereas the latter are language-dependent the former are not.
(Hence 'sentential calculus' is a misnomer for the prepositional calculus. If a
sentential calculus could exist, it would belong in linguistics or in computer
science, not in logic.)
The reference class of a predicate is next defined as the union of the sets
occurring in its domain. For example, the reference of "mass" is the set of
bodies (or of bodies and reference systems in the case of relativistic physics).
Reference is thus quite different from extension or truth domain. Unlike the
latter, the former does not involve the concept of truth. Which is only natural
for, before undertaking to find out the truth-value of p, one must ascertain
what p is about.
The sense of a defined predicate is defined as the set of its definiens. For
undefined predicates a more general definition is proposed, namely the set of
entailing and entailed. Finally, the meaning of a predicate is defined as its
reference together with its sense. What holds for predicates holds, mutatis
mutandis, for propositions too. In general, the meaning of construct c is
defined as M(c) = <S(c), R(c». Thus meaning precedes truth - contrary to
the verification (or operationist) "theory" of meaning introduced by the
Vienna Circle and still held by Donald Davidson.
As for truth, following Leibniz - hence contrary to Tarski, Popper, Quine,
Putnam, and many others - I draw a radical distinction between formal and
factual truth. (I also admit artistic, moral and philosophical truths.) Model
theory, which is about abstract theories and their interpretation inside
mathematics, only tackles the former. Factual truth, which is often only
partial or approximate, is elucidated by the correspondence "theory" (thesis)
- which, pace Tarski, has nothing to do with model theory. Incidentally, I
hold that, if only because of this reason, the "semantic" or "structuralist"
view of scientific theories, which relies on model theory, is wrong-headed.
A new theory or partial truth is proposed in Interpretation and Truth. But
in Vol. 6 of the Treatise I show with a counterexample that the truth-value of

an assertion cannot be the complement to unity of the truth-value of its

negation. I therefore propose a different theory. Marquis (1988) presents still
another theory and studies its complex algebraic ramifications. In The Mind-
Body Problem (1980) and Understanding the World (1983) I sketch a
naturalistic correspondence theory of truth as a correspondence between facts
internal or external to an animal, on the one hand, and facts in the animal's
brain on the other.
A number of applications to scientific controversies are made. For
example, it is proved - not just claimed - that relativistic and quantum
physics are not about experimental devices, let alone observers, but about
independently existing physical objects. As well, in ''The relations of logic
and semantics to ontology" (1974) I refute Quine's thesis of the ontological
commitment of predicate logic. I do so by exhibiting the referents of the
logical connectives - which are propositions in general - and by arguing that
the "Existential" quantifier should be read "for some" rather than "there
exists". An existence predicate is defined mathematically in Vol. 3 of the
Treatise, which allows one to make assertions of the form "some objects
exist really".
Besides, my semantics includes formal analyses of the concepts of
representation, interpretation, definite description, and translation, different
from the usual ones. (On the other hand I borrow Peano's identification of
definition with identity.) For example, definite descriptions are elucidated in
terms of the concept of a function, as in "the sine of 90°".

5. Philosophy of Mathematics
I first dealt with this subject in my Intuition and Science (1962), where I
noted the virtues of flaws of mathematical intuitionism. In Scientific
Research (1967) I discussed abstract theories and their intramathematical and
extramathematical interpretations, as well as the functions and limitations of
mathematization in science. This discussion was influenced by Camap's
formalism - not by his conventionalism, though, because not everything is
convention in mathematics.
Volumes 1 and 2 of my Treatise contain a number of reflections upon the
nature of mathematical objects and mathematical truth. I emphasize the
purely formal (or ideal) character of mathematical constructs, and
consequently their (conceptual, not historical) independence with respect to
experience. Volume 7, Part I, Chapter 1 of the same work (1985) contains a
lengthy critical examination of the main philosophies of mathematics, as well
as my own alternative, which I now call 'moderate fictionism'.
I argue that all mathematical concepts and theories are fictions, just as
those of art and myth. But, unlike artistic and mythological fictions,

mathematical fictions are strictly rational and law-abiding. There is nothing

either irrational or arbitrary about them. For example, definitions are
conventional, but they are justified only when required to state or prove
theorems. On the other hand axioms are not conventional. Furthermore they
are only introduced either to define (implicitly) new mathematical objects, or
to identify (and thus keep under control) the ultimate sources of theorems.
Moreover, mathematical fictions are hypothetico-deductive systems or
components of such. (In general, there are no stray items, whether
conceptual, linguistic, or material.) My latest thoughts on the subject are
found in "L'ecart entre les mathematiques et Ie reel" (1994) and "Moderate
mathematical fictionism" (1997).
I believe that the most important offshoot of my philosophy of
mathematics is the methodological norm that commands to exactify
philosophical concepts, hypotheses and theories with the help of logical and
mathematical tools. My eight-volume Treatise (1974-89) is, among other
things, an essay in exact philosophy, the merits of which are discussed in my
paper "Why we cherish exactness" (1991). In 1971 I founded the Society for
Exact Philosophy, which is still alive and well after a quarter century.

6. Philosophy of Physics
My work in the philosophy of science took a new turn when I realized, in the
early 1960s, that the only way to settle controversies of the rival inter-
pretations of relativistic and quantum theories was to axiomatize them. For
example, the subjectivistic interpretations of Heisenberg's famous
"unceltainty" inequalities are conclusively refuted upon showing that those
formulas derive from assumptions that make no reference whatsoever to any
observations, such as the Schrodinger equation (which contains no observer
coordinates) and the Schwartz inequality (a purely mathematical formula).
I then proceeded to axiomatizing some of the most basic physical theories:
classical mechanics (both particle and continuum), classical electrodynamics,
the two relativities and quantum mechanics. This work, as well as its
philosophical motivations and offshoots, is contained in my Foundations of
Physics (1967). "The structure and content of a physical theory" (1967)
supplements that book. So does "Physical time: the objective and relational
theory" (1968), which presents an axiomatic theory of time as well as
criticisms of Adolf Griinbaum's view on time, of the "arrow of time"
metaphor, and of the common confusion between reversibility and invariance
under time reversal. Additional material in the same vein, though on a more
elementary level, is found in my Philosophy of Physics (1973), and in Ch. 2,
Vol. 7, Part I of my Treatise (1985). Recently Perez-Bergliaffa, Vucetich,
and Romero (1993) have updated my axiomatization of quantum mechanics,

while Covarrubias (1993) has done the same with my work in general
These results reinforce philosophical realism, if only because relativity and
quanta had been the only scientific footholds of subjectivism. Incidentally,
the experimental refutation of Bell's theorem was hailed as a defeat of
realism, when actually all it refuted was the family of hidden (or
neoclassical) variables theories, such as Bohm's. The initial motivation
behind these theories evaporates upon realizing that realism can be salvaged
by just reinterpreting good old quantum mechanics. Bell's theorem is
irrelevant to the realism question: realism is now as defensible as before Bell.
What Bell did was to give classicism (definite trajectories and separability)
the coup de grace.
Further philosophical spin-offs of the above-mentioned work are the
following. First, quantum logic is a purely academic toy: the axiomatization
of quantum mechanics shows clearly that it employs classical mathematics,
which in turn is based on ordinary logic. Second, the quantum theory of
measurement is a similar academic industry, for there can be no general
measuring instrument: all the theories of measurement actually used in
physics are magnitude and instrument-specific. (Moreover, von Neumann's
assumptions about measurement are unrealistic: see Bunge & Kalnay
1983b). Third, some of the quantum paradoxes can be dissolved by adopting
a realistic interpretation of the superposition principle (Bunge & Kalnay
1983a). Others are dissolved by refusing to employ the principle altogether
when it involves undefined state functions (i.e. non-denoting symbols), such
as those purported to describe the live and dead states of Schrbdinger's cat.
Work in physical axiomatics led me naturally to both formal semantics and
mathematical ontology. The former is needed to clarify the notion of
semantic assumption or hypothesis that confers a factual (e.g., physical)
meaning upon a mathematical formalism. I say 'factual', not 'empirical',
because to realists human experience is a tiny subset of the totality of facts.
My semantic assumption replaces the "correspondence rule" of R. Carnap, C.
Hempel and H. Margenau, which was supposed to pair off mathematical
symbols to empirical items. One first interprets, then worries about empirical
The need for some ontology compatible with science, in particular physics,
becomes obvious upon ret1ecting on the pervasiveness of the part-whole
relation and the associated notion of physical addition or juxtaposition - as it
occurs, for instance, in the axiom that the electric charge of the (physical)
addition (or juxtaposition) of two bodies equals the sum of their charges. In
sum, my formal semantics and ontology were motivated by my work in the
foundations of physics, and in turn served to advance it.

7. Philosophy of Biology
My main contributions to this field are the elucidations of the concepts of
species, biopopulation, ecosystem, biodiversity, and life, contained mainly in
Vol. 4 (1979) and Vol. 7, Part II (1985) of my Treatise. They were
influenced by years of discussions with my friend the late biologist Osvaldi
Reig, as well as by own work on "A model for processes combining
competition with cooperation" (1976) and "A model of evolution" (1978),
both published in the journal Applied Mathematical Modelling. The paper
''Two controversies in evolutionary biology: Saltationism and cladism"
(1989) discusses further issues in biophilosophy.
My views on biological systematics - which were subscribed to by George
Gaylord Simpson but disputed by Reig - are already found in my Scientific
Research. Contrary to the view proposed by A. Dobzhansky and E. Mayr,
and popularized by M. Ghiselin and D. Hull, I regard all taxa as sets. This
allows one to use set theory throughout biological systematics. (Thus the
species Homo sapiens is the set of all humans living, dead, and to be born.)
Being a set, a taxon is a concept, not a thing - though of course not an
arbitrary concept. And the taxonomic relation among sets is that of inclusion.
(Thus the species Homo sapiens is included in the primate genus.) On the
other hand a biopopulation is a thing and, more particularly, a system. (An
organism is a member of a species and a part of a population.) The
consequences of this idea for the concepts of selection and evolution are the
following. Selection acts primarily on individual organisms: after all, it is a
euphemism for death. And what evolve are biopopulations, not individuals or
species. As for the technical concept of biodiversity in an ecosystem, it is
defined with the help of the set-theoretic concept of symmetric difference.
Coming to life, either individually or in the course of evolution, is a
process involving the self-assembly of systems endowed with emergent
properties. Consequently it fits neither mechanistic reductionism nor
vitalistic holism. In particular, the view of organisms as machines is
mistaken, if only because machines, unlike organisms, are designed by
people and built according to specification and with some purpose. Hence the
"artificial life" fad is wrong-headed. The view of life consistent with
evolutionary biology and modern studies on the origin of life is materialist
(as opposed to spiritualist), emergentist (as opposed to reductionist), and
systemist (as opposed to both individualism and holism).
Another pair of items belonging in the intersection of biology with
philosophy is the nature of genetic "information" and the thesis of genetic
determinism. Both are discussed in volumes 4 and 7 of my Treatise. I take
the view that talk of genetic information (and translation and transcription) is
metaphorical. Moreover it is misleading, for it hampers progress by

producing the illusion that it constitutes a theory that has solved the problem
of protein synthesis. Genetic "information", as Lwoff held, is nothing but the
structure of a system made up of nuc1eotides. A particular molecular
structure is not an "instruction" . As for genetic determinism - the
contemporary version of ancient preformationism, revived by R. Dawkins -
it is nothing but a wild exaggeration of the role of the genome. Most
geneticists, embryologists, neuroscientists and psychologists agree that
development results from both genes and the environment: nature and
nurture intertwine. For example, certain genes are not expressed at all in the
absence of the suitable environmental stimuli. And no environmental forces
can make up for the lack of certain genes.
All of the above views, and then some - as Kurt Vonnegut would say -
have been revised, expanded, and deepened in collaboration with the German
evolutionary zoologist Dr. Martin Mahner, in our book Foundations of
Biophilosophy (1997).

8. Philosophies of Mind and Psychology

I have defended and elaborated the so-called psychoneural identity theory,
according to which all mental processes are neurophysiological - though not
conversely. I was able to do so thanks to my association with Bernard
Dubrovsky, Rafael Perez-Pascual, Rodolfo Llimi.8, Dalbir Bindra, and Peter
Milner, as well as to the lucky circumstance that neural plasticity (by contrast
to both rigidity and elasticity) had been discovered a few years earlier. My
view is that the mind of an organism is the collection of processes occurring
in the plastic regions of its brain. I first proposed this hypothesis in A World
of Systems (1979). A far more detailed elaboration of it occurs in The Mind-
Body Problem (1980). This book, generally ignored by philosophers, became
known to a number of neuroscientists (such as Vernon Mountcastle),
ethologists (such as Rene Zayan), and psychologists (such as Donald Hebb,
Dalbir Bindra, and Peter Milner). It has been repeatedly attacked by Sir John
Eccles - who, however, borrowed my term 'psychon'.
A long article, "Philosophical problems in linguistics" (1984), deals with
the nature of language, speakers, linguistics communities, and the various
angles from which they can be studied. This multiplicity of approaches
shows that linguistics overflows psychology: in fact it is a socio-natural (or
biosocial) science. I criticize in particular the psycholinguistic,
methodological and philosophical views of the Chomsky school, which I
regard as being closer to Kantianism and intuitionism than to rationalism. My
former student Michael Dillinger (1990) has considerably improved my
definition of a language. By the way, in 1995 Chomsky admitted that mental

processes are brain processes, and went so far as to declare that psychology
and linguistics are biological sciences - which ignores the social context.
My philosophy of psychology derives from my philosophy of mind and
my general philosophy of science. From a realist viewpoint behaviorism is
narrow-minded in refusing to investigate the mental; and information-
processing psychology is shallow for ignoring that which - according to
physiological psychology - does the minding, i.e., the central nervous
system. Obviously, whoever understands and defends the scientific method
must reject the psychoanalytic and parapsychological fantasies. The
requirement of emergentist materialism leads to the same result: all of the
above mentioned schools fail this test for ignoring the nervous system. Only
biopsychology (or neuropsychology) is materialist on top of being realist and
abiding by the scientific method.
However, in the case of humans and other gregarious higher animals
neuroscience is not enough to explain emotion, cognition and action: to do so
it must be supplemented with sociology. Hence although the mental is
neurophysiological (ontological reduction), psychology straddles biology and
sociology rather than being included in the former. This exemplifies the
combination of ontological reduction with epistemological merger. These
views are expounded in my book with R. Ardila, Philosophy of Psychology
(1987), as well as in my articles "Reduktion und Integration, Systeme und
Niveaus, Monismus und Dualismus" (1989) in "What kind of discipline is
psychology?" (1990).

9. Philosophy of Social Science

Before tackling the philosophy of social science I tried my hand at sociology
in order to get a feel for it, in conformity with my rule: "Before
philosophizing about X, get to know something about X". That was a major
motivation behind my papers "Four models of human migration: an exercise
in mathematical sociology" (1969), "The role of forecast in planning"
(1973), "A decision-theoretic model of the American war in Vietnam"
(1973), "The concept of social structure" (1974), "What is a quality of life
indicator?", "Differentiation, participation and cohesion" (1976), "A systems
concept of the international system" (1977), "Devclopment indicators"
(1981), and "Mechanism and explanation" (1997).
My philosophy of social science embraces an ontology of social systems, a
sketch of a theory of action, a theory of knowledge of the social, some notes
on the social roots of values and morals, and plenty of criticisms of both
mainstream and deviant social studies and their underlying philosophies. My
first comprehensive treatment of these questions is found in Treatise, Vol. 4,
Vol. 7, Part II and Vol. 8 respectively. Two volumes on the subject update,

refine and considerably expand that work: Philosophy in Social Science

(1996) and Social Science under Debate (1998). The former elucidates the
key philosophical concepts and hypotheses that occur in social science and
its philosophy. Social Science under Debate examines critically some of the
most influential schools in the contemporary social and biosocial sciences
and the associated technologies. In particular, both books criticize some of
the antiscientific schools in social studies (such as hermeneutics), as well as
some of the fashionable pseudoscientific theories (such as rational choice
theory). And both offer an alternative philosophy of society and of social
My ontology of the social boils down to the thesis that people gather into
social systems - such as families, business firms, and schools - characterized
by emergent (supraindividual) features, such as social function, cohesion,
and stability. This thesis contradicts the entire family of rational choice
models, which presuppose ontological, methodological and moral
individualism. The notorious empirical and moral inadequacy of these
models - in particular neoclassical microeconomics and game-theoretical
polito logy - renders the systemist view attractive.
The matching epistemological thesis is, of course, that social systems,
from families and schools to business firms and governments, constitute the
proper objects of social science. However, since social systems happen to be
composed by organisms, and moreover feeling and thinking ones, there is a
whole family of mixed sciences situated between the natural and the social
ones, namely the socionatural sciences, such as geography, demography,
anthropology, social psychology, and linguistics. Acceptance of the two
preceding theses entails the adoption of systemism and the rejection of both
holism and individualism. And acceptance of the norm that the study of the
social should be scientific entails the rejection of the neo-Kantian thesis that
the social sciences are methodologically alien to the natural ones, as well as
of the Marxist thesis that all social studies are unavoidably contaminated by
An important substantive hypothesis of my ontology of the social is that
every society is composed of four subsystems: the biological system and
three artificial systems - the economy, the polity and the culture (understood
in the sociological not the anthropological sense). All four are material for
being composed of material though supraphysical entities, namely
organisms. And neither of them has absolute primacy over the others,
because they are mutually linked. Consequently either of the four subsystems
may take the lead at a given moment, only to be subsequently replaced by the

The consequence of this thesis for development policies is obvious:

genuine sustainable development is at the same time biological, economic,
political, and cultural. This is one of the two central theses of my book on
science policy, Ciencia y desarrollo (1980). The other is that the cultivation
of science, technology and the humanities is not a luxury but a necessity in
developing countries, if only because underdevelopment is characterized, by
among other things, a low level of science, technology (which feeds on
science), and the humanities. This conclusion, of interest to social policy as
well as to the sociology of culture, is a spin-off of the systemic and
materialist conception of society.

10. Philosophy of Technology

My first papers in this field were "Do computers think?" (1956),
"Tecnologfa, ciencia y filosoffa" (1963), "Technology as applied science"
(1966) - whose original title, changed by the editor, was "Towards a
philosophy of technology" - "The philosophical richness of technology"
(1977), and "The five buds of techno-philosophy" (1979). Scientific
Research (1967) was the first treatise in the philosophy of science to contain
a whole chapter on techno-philosophy. Parts of it were included in
Philosophy and Technology, edited by C. Mitcham and R. Mackey (Free
Press, 1972, 1983). Vol. 7, Part II of my Treatise (1985) includes a long
chapter on this subject.
From the start I conceived of technology in a broad way, not in the narrow
traditional fashion that equates it with engineering. Indeed, I distinguished
the following branches of technology: physical (e.g., electrical engineering),
chemical (e.g., industrial chemistry), biotechnology (e.g., agronomy),
psychotechnology (e.g., psychiatry), socio-technology (e.g., management
science), knowledge technology (e.g., AI), and general technology (e.g.,
cybernetics). I have recently added a new category, that of philosophical
technologies, which encompasses ethics, praxiology, political philosophy,
and even methodology (or normative epistemology). The reason for this
inclusion is that all these disciplines are concerned with steering human
I emphasize the differences as well as the commonalities betwccn
technology and science. One of these differences is that, whereas scientists
study the world, technologists use some of the knowledge of the world (as
well as mathematics) as a means for designing artifacts, processes, or plans
of action aiming at changing reality. A second difference is that, because
tcchnology can change human behavior, it is not morally neutral: there are
evil technologies as well as beneficial ones. More on this in my Ethics

Though widely practiced, socio-technology is seldom studied as a branch

of technology on a par with engineering. This approach has two advantages
over the traditional one: it exhibits both the social embeddedness and the
moral commitment of all technologies, particularly those which - like
education, the law, ergonomics, operations research, resource management,
city planning, normative macroeconomics, and military science - aim at
controlling human behavior. Nearly half of my Social Science under Debate
is devoted to sociotechnology and its philosophy. So is the doctoral
dissertation of my former student Dan A. Seni (1994), which focuses on

11. Value Theory and Ethics

My ftrst writing on the morals of science and technology was Etica y ciencia
(1960). My latest thoughts on the subject are found in Vol. 8 of my Treatise
(1989), titled Ethics and devoted to value theory and moral philosophy. I
argue for the following theses. First, basic scientiftc research abides by an
internal code of conduct (endomorality), which is essentially that formulated
masterly by R. K. Merton in 1938: intellectual honesty, integrity, organized
skepticism, disinterestedness, impersonality, and common property. Thus the
only social responsibility of the basic scientist is to search for truth and teach
Second, researchers in applied science and technology, though
intellectually just as honest and skeptical as scientists, are in the service of
either private or public interests. Hence they face the moral problems raised
by all social (prosocial or antisocial) action. That is, they obey two sets of
moral norms: the universal endomorality of scientific research and the
regional exomorality inherent in their society. Third, every branch of
technology has its own value system and raises its own set of moral
problems. For example, health is paramount in medicine, whereas justice has
priority in the law, economic efficiency in management science, and social
equality (or else inequality) in normative macroeconomics.
In addition to investigating the endo and exomorality of science and
technology, the philosopher may wish to explore the possibility of crafting a
general code of conduct based on (though not dictated by) science and
technology. Such possibility is of course denied by those who exaggerate the
is-ought gap. But the gap is conceptual not practical: in fact we cross it
whenever we perform an action inspired in our sense of duty. This being so,
it should pay to examine the biological and social sources of values and
norms, and moreover to do so in the light of science and sociotechnology.
One result of such examination is the distinction between needs (biological
or social, basic or derived) and wants (socially legitimate or illegitimate). In

tum, this suggests drawing a list of rights and duties regulated by the
maximal imperative "Enjoy life and help live". This maxim is selftuist, for
joining selfishness with altruism. It is offered as a sort of synthesis of
deontologism and utilitarianism. Another offshoot of the science-ethics
connection is moral realism, or the view that there are moral facts and,
consequently, moral truths and falsities, such as "Poverty is bad" and "There
are no just wars". Because of its underlying scientism, this kind of moral
realism is quite different from the one associated with linguistic philosophy:
see "A new look at moral realism" (1997).

12. Pseudoscience and Ideology

Pseudoscience and ideology are not only important cultural items, and in
some cases even multi-billion industries. They are also good test cases for
any philosophy. In my opinion, the worth of a metaphysical system can be
measured by the number of nonsense principles and ghostly entities it
condones; and the value of an epistemology is proportional to the number of
bogus doctrines and practices it tolerates. I believe that the wise philosopher
avoids the extremes of gUllibility and of radical skepticism: he does not
admit everything he reads, but he believes that not every item of human
knowledge is subject to doubt.
In Seudociencia e ideologfa (1985) I attempt to demarcate science from
pseudoscience, and examine a few pseudosciences. I also try to characterize
ideologies, and raise the problem of the possibility of ideologies based on
sound social science and sociotechnology. I sketch one such ideology in my
talk "Technolodemocracy: an alternative to capitalism and socialism",
delivered at the XIX World Congress of Philosophy (Moscow, 1993). The
science/pseudoscience dichotomy was the subject of a special issue of New
Ideas in Psychology, Vol. 9, No.2, 1991: "Mario Bunge on nonscientific
psychology and pseudoscience: A debate". A number of well-known
scholars, such as R. Boudon, P. Feyerabend, S. Moscovici and R. Thorn took
part in this debate.
An entire issue of Science & Education (Vol. 5, No.2, 1996), was devoted
to my paper with Martin Mahner titled "Is religious education compatible
with science education?". We started by characterizing science and religion,
and comparing them in detail. We argue that science and religion are not just
different, like engineering and poetry, but mutually opposite, like balance
sheet and fairy tale.
If my definition of pseudoscience is correct, then some of it is found not
only in New Age catalogues but also in the scientific literature. What are
scientists and scientistic philosophers to do in the face of such frauds? In my
paper "In praise of intolerance to charlatanism in academia" (1996), I suggest

that they should examine and denounce publicly the most dangerous bogus
sciences and fake philosophies. I single out not only such classics as
psychoanalysis, but also feminist philosophy and all the rational choice
theories that involve undefined utility functions and subjective probabilities.

13. The System

The traditional view of the philosophy of science and one that I shared
myself in the beginning - is that it is one of the chapters of epistemology, or
the "theory" of knowledge. The neopositivists had adopted this view under
the names "the syntax of science" and "the language of science". I now find
this view far too narrow: see my Epistemologfa (1980). In my opinion the
philosophy of science is a mansion of many rooms: the logic of science (e.g.,
the theory of scientific theories and the analysis of theory reduction and
merger); the semantics of science (e.g., the reference and factual truth value
of scientific hypotheses); the epistemology of science (e.g., the hypothesis-
data relation and the peculiarities of scientific knowledge in contrast to other
kinds of knowledge and to illusory knowledge); the methodology of science
(e.g., the nature of indicators and the weight of confirmation); the ontology
of science (e.g., the analysis of the ontological concepts and hypotheses
underlying scientific research); and the ethics of scientific research - which,
incidentally, is gaining in importance because it is being breached with
increasing frequency, particularly in biomedical research.
But of course everyone of the above branches of the philosophy of science
is included in a broader branch of philosophy. For example, the ontology of
science is only a part of ontology. And in tum every branch of philosophy is
a component of the system of philosophy. Because of such systemicity, every
particular problem in the philosophy of science should be tackled as a
component of a whole system of problems instead of being investigated in
isolation. This is why hyperspecialization, here as elsewhere, is a guarantee
or superficiality. Hence the rule: tackle every problem as a component of a
problem package and in the light of all the pertinent branches of knowledge.
Example: a purely economic approach to social problems, with neglect of
their political and cultural components, is bound to fail. (Mill warned long
ago that there are no purely economic problems, but mainstream economists
did not listen.)
Furthermore, philosophy can be approached scientifically or otherwise.
That is, one mayor may not adopt the following criterion (necessary
condition) of philosophical truth: "A philosophical hypothesis or theory is
true only if it coheres with the best pertinent science of the day". For
example, a philosophical theory of space-time is true only if it harmonizes
with relativistic physics; and a philosophy of mind is true only if it is

consistent with the most advanced science of the mind, namely

biopsychology. The philosopher has some leeway only when he
philosophizes about matters whose scientific study is still primitive or in
need of philosophical guidance, as is the case with most social studies.
However, even in this case he should feel constrained by such general
desiderata as conceptual rationality (in particular clarity and consistency),
testability, realism, systemicity, avoidance of the ghostly, and concern for
human welfare.
My own attempt to build an exact and scientific system of philosophy
culminated in my Treatise (1974-89). All my other philosophical
publications are either precursors, offsprings, or complements of this work.
(For a number of studies on this work see Weingartner & Dorn Eds. 1990.
For a popular exposition see Vacher 1993.)

Agassi, J. & R. S. Cohen, Eds., Scientific Philosophy Today: Essays in Honor of Mario Bunge.
Dordrecht-Boston: D. Reidel, 1982.
Blitz, D., Emergent Evolution. Qualitative Novelty and the Levels of Reality. Dordrecht-
Boston: Kluwer Academic.
Bunge, M., l.Que es la epistemologia? Minerva 1: 27-43 (1944)
Auge y fracaso de la filosoffa de la naturaleza. Minerva 1: 212-235 (1944).
What is chance? Science and Society 15: 209-231 (1951).
New dialogues between Hylas and Philonous. Philosophy and Phenomenological
Research 15: 192-199 (1954).
Strife about complementarity. British J. Philosophy of Science 6: 1-12. 141-154 (1955).
The philosophy of the space-time approach to the quantum theory. Methodos 7, 295-308
A critique of the frequentist theory of probability. Congresso Internacional de Filosofia,
Sao Paulo III: 787-792 (1956).
Do computers think? British J. Philosophy of Science 7: 139-148,212-219 (1956).
Causality: The Place of the Causal Principle in Modern Science. Cambridge MA:
Harvard University Press, 1959. Repr.: Yew York, Dover, 1979. [Translated into
Spanish, Russian, Japanese, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Polish.]
Metascientific Queries. Springfield III: Charles C. Thomas, 1959.
La ciencia: Su metodo y sufilosofra. Buenos Aires: Siglo Veinte, 1960.
Etica y ciencia. Buenos Aires: Siglo Veinte, 1960.
Levels: A semantical preliminary. Review of Metaphysics 3: 396-406 (1960).
The place of induction in science. Philosophy of Science 27: 262-270 (1960).
Laws of physical laws. American Journal of Physics 29: 518-529 (1961).
Causality, chance, and law. American Scientist 49: 432-448 (1961).
Intuition and Science. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1962. Repr.: Westport CT:
Greenwood Press, 1975. [Translated into Spanish and Russian.]
The Myth of Simplicity. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prenticc Hall, 1963.

Tecnologia, ciencia y filosofia. Revista de la Universidad de Chile 121, No. 166: 64-92
A general black box theory. Philosophy of Science 30: 346-358 (1963).
Phenomenological theories. In M. Bunge, Ed., The Critical Approach: Essays in Honor
of Karl Popper, pp. 234-354. Glencoe IL: Free Press, 1964.
Technology as applied science. Technology and Culture 7: 329-347 (1966).
Mach's critique of Newtonian mechanics. American Journal of Physics 34: 585-596
Scientific Research. Vol. I: The Search for System. Vol. II: The Searchfor Truth. Berlin-
Heidelberg-New York: Springer-Verlag, 1967. [Translated into Spanish.] Reissued as
Philosophy of Science (New Brunswick NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1998).
Physical axiomatics. Reviews of Modem Physics 39: 463-474 (1967).
The structure and content of a physical theory. In M. Bunge, Ed., Delaware Seminar in
the Foundations of Physics, pp. 15-27. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer-Verlag,
Analogy in quantum mechanics: from insight to nonsense. British J. Philosophy of
Science 18: 265-286 (1967).
Foundations of Physics. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer-Verlag, 1967.
The maturation of science. In 1. Lakatos & A. Musgrave Eds., Problems in the
Philosophy of Science, pp. 120-137. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1968.
Physical time: the objective and relational theory. Philosophy of Science 35: 355-388
The metaphysics, epistemology and methodology of levels. In L. L. Whyte, A. G.
Wilson & D. Wilson Eds., Hierarchical Levels, pp. 17-28. New York: American
Elsevier, 1969.
Philosophy of Physics. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1973. [Translated into French, Russian,
Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.]
Method, Model, and Matter. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1973.
The role of forecast in planning. Theory and Decision 3: 207-221 (1973).
A decision-theoretic model of the American war in Vietnam. Theory and Decision 3:
328-338 (1973).
The relations of logic and semantics to ontology. Journal of Philosophical Logic 3: 195-
Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Vol. I: Sense and Reference. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1974.
[Translated into Portuguese.]
Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Vol. 2: Interpretation and Truth. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1974.
[Translated into Portuguese.]
The concept of social structure. In W. Leinfellner & E. Kohler Eds., Developments in the
Methodology of Social Science, pp. 175-215. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1974.
Les presupposes et les produits metaphysiques de la science et de la tcchnique
contemporaines. Dialogue 13: 443-453.
Differentiation, participation and cohesion (with M. Garcia-Sucre). Quality and Quantity
10: 171-178 (1976).
Possibility and probability. In W. Harper & C. Cooker Eds., Foundations of Probability
Theory, Statistical blference, and Statistical Theories (~f Science III: 17-33. Dordrccht:
Reidel, 1976.
The relevance of philosophy to social science. In W. Shea, Ed., Basic Issues in the
Philosophy (if Science, pp. 136-155. New York: Neale Watson, 1976.
A relational theory of physical space (with A. Garcia Maynez.) International Journal (~r
77leoretical Physics 15: 961-972 (1977).

States and events. In W. Hartnett, Ed. Systems: Approaches, Theories and Applications,
pp. 71-95. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1977.
A systems concept of the international system. In M. Bunge, J. Galtung & M. Malitza,
Eds., Mathematical Approaches to International Relations, pp. 291-305. Bucharest:
Romanian Academy of Social and Political Sciences, 1977.
Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Vol. 3: The Furniture of the World. Dordrecht: Reidel,
Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Vol. 4: A World of Systems. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1979.
A systems concept of society: beyond individualism and holism. Theory and Decision
10: 13-30 (1979).
The five buds of techno-philosophy. Technology in Society 1: 67-74 (1979).
Philosophical inputs and outputs of technology. In G. Bugliarello & D. B. Donner Eds.,
The History and Philosophy of Technology, pp. 262-281. Urbana IL: University of
lllinois Press, 1979.
The mind-body problem in an evolutionary perspective. In Brain and Mind, Ciba
Foundation Series 69, pp. 53-63. Amsterdam: Excerpta Medica, 1979.
From neuron to behavior and mentation: an exercise in levelmanship. In H. M. Pinsker
& W. D. Williams Eds., Information Processing in the Nervous System, pp. 1-16. New
York: Raven Press, 1980.
The geometry of a quanta! system (with M. Garcia-Sucre) International 1. Quantum
Chemistry 19: 83-93 (1980).
The Mind-Body Problem. Oxford-New York: Pergamon Press, 1980. [Translated into
German, Japanese and Spanish.]
Ciencia y desarrrollo. Buenos Aires: Siglo Veinte, 1980. [Translated into Portuguese.]
Epistemolog{a. Barcelona: Ariel, 1980. [Translated into French, Portuguese and
German.] Reissued by Siglo Veintiuno, Mexico-Madrid, 1997.
Scientific Materialism. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1981. [Translated into Spanish.]
Analogy between systems. International 1. General Systems 7: 221-223 (1981).
Is chemistry a branch of physics? Zeitschrift flir allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 13:
209-333 (1982).
The revival of causality. In G. Fllilistad, Ed., Contemporary Philosophy Vol. 2, pp. 133-
155. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1982.
Economia y filosofia. Madrid: Technos, 1982. Enlarged ed.: 1985.
Lingiiistica y filosofia. Barcelona: Ariel, 1983.
Controversias infisica. Madrid: Tecnos, 1983.
Solution to two paradoxes in the quantum theory of unstable systems (with A. J.
KaInay). Nuovo Cimento B77: 1-9 (1983a). Repr. In L. E. Ballentine, Ed., Foundations
of Quantum Mechanics Since the Bell Inequalitites. Selected Reprints, pp. 53-61.
College Park MD: American Association of Physics Teachers, 1988.
Real successive measurements on unstable quantum systems taking nonvanishing time
intervals do not prevent them from decaying (with A. J. Kalnay). Nuovo Cimento B77:
10-18 (1983b).
Demarcating science from pseudoscience. Fundamenta scientiae 3: 369-388 (1983).
Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Vol. 5: Exploring the World. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1983.
Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Vol. 6: Understanding the World. Dordrecht: Reidel,
Philosophical problems in linguistics. Erkenntnis 21: 107-173 (1984).
Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Vol. 7: Philosophy of Science and Technology, Part I:
Formal and Physical Sciences. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1985.

Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Vol. 7: Philosophy of Science and Technology, Part II:
Life Science, Social Science and Technology. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1985.
From mindless neuroscience and brainless psychology to neuropsychology. Annals of
Theoretical Psychology 3: 115-133 (1985).
Types of psychological explanation. In J. McGouch Ed., Contemporary Psychology:
Biological Processes and Theoretical Issues, pp. 489-501. Amsterdam: North-Holland,
Seudociencia e ideologfa. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1985.
Racionalidad y realismo. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1985.
A philosopher looks at the current debate on language acquisition. In I. & M. Gopnik,
Eds., From Models to Modules, pp. 229-239. Norwood MJ: Ablex, 1986.
Philosophy of Psychology (with R. Ardila). New York: Springer-Verlag, 1987.
[Translated into Spanish and German.]
Two controversies in evolutionary biology: Saltationism and cladism. In N. Rescher,
Ed., scientific Inquiry in Philosophical Perspective, pp. 129-146. Washington DC:
University Press of America, 1987.
Two faces and three masks of probability. In E. Agazzi, Ed., Probability in the Sciences,
pp. 27-50. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1988.
Ideology and science. In G. L. Eberlein & H. Berghel, Eds., Theory aud Decision:
Essays in Honor of Werner Leinfellner, pp. 79-89. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1988.
Superposition of quantum states: fact or fiction? In N. Fleury et aI., Leite Lopes
Festschrift: A Pioneer Physicist in the Third World, pp. 132-142. Singapore: World
Scientific, 1988.
Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Vol. 8: Ethics. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1989.
Game theory is not a useful tool for the political scientist. Epistemologia 12: 195-212
Mente y sociedad. Madrid: Alianza Universidad, 1989.
Reduktion und Integration, Systeme und Niveaus, Monismus und Dualismus. In E.
Poppel, Ed., Gehirn und Bewusstsein, pp.87 -104. Weinheim: VCH, 1989.
What kind of discipline is psychology: autonomous or dependent, humanistic or
scientific, biological or sociological? New Ideas in Psychology 8: 121-137 (1990).
Why we cherish exactness. In G. Schurz & G. J. W. Dom, Eds., Advances in Scientific
Philosophy, pp. 591-598. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1991.
A skeptic's beliefs and disbeliefs. New Ideas in Psychology 9: 131-149 (1991).
What is science? Does it matter to distinguish it from pseudoscience? New Ideas in
Psychology 9: 245-283 (1991).
The power and limits of reduction. In E. Agazzi, Ed., The Problem of Reductionism in
Science, pp. 31-49. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1991.
A philosophical perspective on the mind-body problem. Proceedings of the American
Philosophical Society 135: 513-523 (1991).
A critical examination of the new sociology of science. Philosophy of the Social
Sciences 21: 524-560 (1991); 22: 46-76 (1992).
Systems everywhere. In C. Negoita, Ed., Cybernetics aud Applied Systems, pp. 23-41.
New York: Marcel Dekker, 1992.
Sette paradigmi cosmologici: I'animale, la scala, il fiume, la nuvola, la macchina, illibro
e il sistema dei sistemi. Aquinas 35: 219-235 (1992).
A neurophysiological explanation of creativity. In J. Brzezinski, F. Coniglione & T.
Marek, Eds .. Science: Between Algorithm and Creativity, pp. 161-164. DelJl: Eburon,

Eine Kritik der Grundlagen der rationalen Wahl. Zeitschrift for Wissenschaftliche
Forschung 7/9: 19-33 (1992/93).
Realism and antirealism in social science. Theory and Decision 35: 207-235 (1993).
Die Bedeutung der Philosophie rur die Psychologie. In L. Montada, Ed., Bericht iiber
den 38. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaftfor Psychologie in Trier Vol. 22, pp. 51-
63. Gottingen: Hogrefe, 1993.
Sociologfa de la ciencia. Buenos Aires: Siglo Veinte, 1993.
Counter-Enlightenment in contemporary social studies. In P. Kurtz & T. I. Madigan
Eds., Challenges to the Enlightenment. In Defense of Reason and Science, pp. 25-42.
Buffalo: Prometheus, 1994.
L'ecart entre les mathematiques et Ie reel. In M. Porte, Ed., Passion des formes Vol. 1,
pp. 165-173. Fontenay-St. Cloud: E. N. S. Editions, 1994.Quality, quantity, and
pseudoquantity in social science. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics 2: 1-10, 1995.
Finding Philosophy in Social Science. New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1996.
The seven pillars of Popper's social philosophy. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 26:
In praise of intolerance to charlatanism in academia. Annals of the New York Academy of
Sciences 778: 96-116, 1996.
Is religious education compatible with science education? With Martin Mabner. Science
& Education 5: 101-123,1996.
The incompatibility of science and religion sustained: A reply without critics (with
Martin Mahner). Science & Education 5: 189-99,1996.
Moderate mathematical fictionism. In E. Agazzi, Ed., Philosophy of Mathematics Today
51-71. Dordrecht-Boston: Kluwer Academic, 1997.
Foundations of Biophilosophy, with Martin Mahner. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York:
Springer-Verlag, 1997.
A new look at moral realism. In E. Garz6n Valdes, W. Krawietz, G. H. von Wright and
R. Zimmerling, Eds., Normative Systems in Legal and Moral Theory pp. 17-26. Berlin:
Duncker & Humblot, 1997.
Social Science under Debate. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.
Mechanism and explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 27: 410-65,1997.
Covarrubias, G. M. An axiomatization of general relativity. International J. Theoretical
Physics 32: 2135-2154 (1993).
Dillinger, M. On the concept of a language. In Weingartner & Dom, Eds., pp. 5-28.
Marquis, I.-P., Towards a Theory of Partial Truth, Ph.D. dissertation, McGill University,
Moessinger, P. Let's be as precise as possible: An interview with Mario Bunge, New Ideas in
Psychology 5: 385-397 (1987).
Perez-Bergliaffa, S. S., H. Vucetich & G. E. Romero. Axiomatic foundations of nonrelativistic
quantum mechanics: a realistic approach. International J. Theoretical Physics 32: 1507-
Seni, D. A., Elements of a Theory of Plans, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania.
Ann Arbor: U.M.I., 1994.
Vacher, L.-M., Entretiens avec Mario Bunge. Une philosophie pour {'age de la science.
Montreal: Liber, 1993.
Weingartner, P. & G. 1. W. Dom, Eds., Studies on Mario Bunge's Treatise. Amsterdam:
Rodopi, 1990.




Research Group on Logic and Foundations,

Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Sao Paulo.

Research Center on Mathematical Theories of Communication,

School of Communications.

We summarize in an intuitive vein a few recent results by the authors on
the incompleteness of elementary real analysis and its consequences to the
axiomatized sciences, from chaos theory to the dynamics of populations.

1. Introduction
We begin with a well-known quotation ([4], p. 133):

Kurt Godel of Vienna seems to have proved that a specific contradiction could
be derived from any proof of the impossibility of the occurrence of
contradictions in mathematics.

Max Black wrote that slightly doubtful remark in 1933, two years after the
appearance of Godel' s results on the incompleteness of formalized
arithmetic. The existence of unprovable sentences in fonnal systems strong
enough to cover sizable portions of mathematics had already been expected
(at least in some quarters) since the mid 20's, when Finsler [33] discussed
that possibility in a sketchy, informal vein. One can go farther in the past and
return to the early 19 th century discovery of the independence of the parallel
postulate from Euclid's axioms. Sure, the Euclidian system is very far from
our present concept of a formal axiomatic system, but nevertheless that first
independence result provided an example of an "intuitively true" sentence
which however cannot be derived from the remaining traditional axioms of

GuttOlm Fl¢istad (ed.), Philosophy of l~atin America, 27~-284.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Black's doubtful remark mirrors a discussion that will go on for a few

more years, for even if the vast majority of logicians immediately recognized
the correctness of G6del's arguments, several authors still tried to show that
there was some mistake in the proof of the incompleteness of mathematics
In 1944 E. Post gave a simple, intuitive proof of G6del's main
incompleteness result [36] which clearly exposes its inner workings to full
clarity: consider the set {Min)}, of all Turing machines that act upon their
own indices. The subset {J,,} c {Min)} of those machines that stop is
recursively enumerable but its complement is productive. We can formalize
within a reasonably strong language the theory of Turing machines and
translate within that language some actual computation procedures that lead
to a halt as proofs of assertions such as "Min) halts". We can enumerate
them, and we can also enumerate some provable assertions of the form
"M,lm) doesn't halt". Yet, as the set of non-halting machines is productive,
there will be infinitely many mo such that the assertion "Mmimo) doesn't
halt" is unprovable in our formal theory. When we go down to the intuitive
semantics (i.e., in this particular case, a model with a standard arithmetic
portion) we immediately see that the unprovable sentence is true!
Post's proof shows that (in this case) incompleteness in the formal system
corresponds to the unsolvability of the halting problem in the 'real world',
which is here represented by the model with a standard portion.
Next step is Cohen's 1963 proof [3] of the independence of the continuum
hypothesis from the axioms of Zerrnelo-Fraenkel set theory plus the axiom of
choice (which also turns out to be independent from the remaining set-
theoretic axioms). Here we have a sensible, meaningful mathematical
assertion which is unprovable within mainstream mathematics. The high
point was reached in the early 70's: an almost pedestrian undecidable
sentence was discovered by Davis [24] as a consequence of the unsolvability
of Hilbert's 10th Problem: there is a Diophantine equation p(x) = 0 such that
the assertion ''p(x) = 0 has no roots" cannot be proved or disproved in
formalized arithmetic.
One then sees that there are simple noncomputable expressions for
functions within mathematics; those expressions creep up even within
languages close to arithmetic, and lead to apparently nai·ve undecidable
questions such as, can we decide, for an arbitrary expression fJ\n) in one of
those languages whether fJ\n) equals 0 or J? Analogous naive-looking but
intractable expressions for functions can also be found within more elaborate
languages, as classical elementary analysis. With their help we can generate

infinitely many undecidable sentences with a trivial appearance from

arithmetic on and all the way up to the whole of mathematics.
Around 1987 the authors started a research program whose main goal was
to axiomatize physics and to apply modem techniques from mathematical
logic to problems in physics. The starting point was a venerable one, the
1900 list of 23 problems that David Hilbert presented to the Second
International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris. The sixth problem in
Hilbert's list asks for an axiomatic formulation of physics; the tenth problem
(which has already been mentioned above) asks for a decision procedure to
verify whether a polynomial Diophantine equation with integral coefficients
has any solutions. Both problems are fused in our results. Empirical theories
have been axiomatized in Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory through Suppes
predicates [6] [20] [41] while the tenth problem led to the construction of
those simple undecidable expressions for functions in the language of
analysis which in our chief examples represent the halting function fJ(m), that
tells us whether the Turing machine Mm(m) stops over its own index m. Once
we have an expression for the halting function, we can obtain explicit
expressions for all complete arithmetic degrees and even beyond. Therefore
the associated undecidable predicates represent problems in all the
corresponding degrees of unsolvability, both inside and outside the
arithmetic hierarchy. We immediately noticed that those constructions led to
the negative solution of several open problems in dynamical systems theory
and related areas. Well, there are lots of weird situations in our examples, as
we can obtain formal expressions that describe physical systems such that
nothing but trivialities can be proved about them. And again those systems
may be shown to fully lie outside the arithmetical hierarchy, since they
belong to the non-arithmetical portion of set theory (if we are working, say,
within Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory). Those are truly faceless systems,
similar to generic sets in set-theoretic forcing models; however their
construction shows no immediate relation to the usual forcing tools. Our
results are consequences of general incompleteness theorems that are to be
found in our papers [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [16] [17] [19] [20]
[21] [22] [23]; other references are [34] [39].

2. A first example: chaos theory is both undecidable and incomplete

Is there a decision procedure for chaos? Chaos theory has been a fast-
growing research area since the early 70's, a decade after the discovery of (an
apparent, but still unproved) chaotic behavior in a deterministic nonlinear
dynamical system by E. Lorenz (for references see [7]). Chaos scientists
usually proceed in one of two ways: whenever they wish to know if a given
physical process is chaotic the usual starting point is to write down the

equations that describe the process and out of them to check whether the
process satisfies some of the established mathematical criteria for chaos and
randomness. However those equations are in most cases intractable nonlinear
differential equations as they cannot in general be given explicit analytical
solutions. Therefore, chaos theorists tum to computer simulations and for
most nonlinear systems one sees a confusing, tangled pattern of trajectories
on the screen. The system looks random, and there are statistical tests such as
the Grassberger-Proccacia criterion that guarantee the existence of
randomness in computer-simulated systems, modulo some error. Yet
statistical tests furnish no mathematical proof of the existence of chaos in a
dynamical system. There is always the chance that the system is undergoing
a very long and complicated transient state, before it settles down to a nice
and regular behavior. Therefore how can we prove that a dynamical system
that looks chaotic is, in fact, chaotic?
This problem had been around since Morris Hirsch stated in a 1983
conference (published in 1985) that time was ripe for a marriage between the
"experimental" and "theoretical" sides of chaos research and posed the
decision problem for chaotic systems [30]. Hirsch asks for a decision
procedure to test for chaos in a system. We showed [7] that no such a
decision method exists. Moreover, for any nontrivial characterization of
chaos in a dynamical system there will always be systems where proving the
existence of chaos is unattainable within standard axiomatizations. Chaos
theory and dynamical systems theory are both undecidable - there is no
general algorithm to test for chaos in an arbitrary dynamical system - and
incomplete - there are infinitely many dynamical systems that will look
chaotic on a computer screen, for they are chaotic in an adequate class of
standard models for axiomatized mathematics, but such that no proof of that
fact will be found within the usual formalizations of dynamical systems
theory. That result applies to any nontrivial characterization for chaos in
dynamical systems. You conceive a nontrivial definition for chaos, and it will
be undecidable.
So, Hirsch's query on the existence of an algorithmic criterion for proving
chaos in dynamical systems has a negative answer.

3. Some other consequences

Besides the decision problem for chaos theory, we have solved in the
negative the following decision problems:
1. The integrability problem in classical mechanics. That's an old
question; we can divide it into three queries:
• Given any Hamiltonian b, is there an algorithm to decide whether
the associated flow Xj, can be integrated by quadratures?

• Given an arbitrary Hamiltonian h such that X h can be integrated

by quadratures, can we algorithmically find a canonical
transformation that will do the trick?
• Can we algorithmically check whether an arbitrary set of functions
is a set of first integrals for a Hamiltonian system?
No, in all three cases. There is no general algorithm to decide, for a
given Hamiltonian, whether or not it is integrable. Also there will be
sentences such as ~ = "h is integrable by quadratures", where
however ZFC 1-1 ~ and ZFC 1-1 ....,~ [7].
2. Wolfram's conjecture and Penrose's thesis. Wolfram had long
conjectured that simple phenomena in classical physics might lead to
undecidable questions [42]. On the other side Penrose asserted as a
kind of thesis that classical physics offers no examples of
noncomputable phenomena. The preceding results prove Wolfram's
conjecture and therefore give counterexample to Penrose's thesis [8]
3. Arnol'd's problems. Arnol'd formulated in the 1974 AMS Symposium
on the Hilbert Problems [2] some questions dealing with algorithmic
decision procedures for polynomial dynamical systems over Z[2]:
Is the stability problem for stationary points algorithmically
decidable? The well-known Lyapounov theorem solves the
problem in the absence of eigenvalues with zero real parts. In
more complicated cases, where the stability depends on higher
order terms in the Taylor series, there exists no algebraic
Let a vector field be given by polynomials of a fixed degree, with
rational coefficients. Does an algorithm exist, allowing to
decide, whether the stationary point is stable?
A similar problem: does there exist an algorithm to decide,
whether a plane polynomial vector field has a limit cycle?
For those questions there is no general algorithm available if we add
the sine function, the absolute value function and rr to our language;
also the corresponding theory is incomplete [13]. In the polynomial
case again there is no algorithm to decide whether a fixed point at the
origin is stable or not [14] [16].
4. "Smooth" problems equivalent to hard number-theoretic problems.
Common wisdom among mathematicians has that number-theoretic
problems are in general much more difficult than "smooth" problems.
We showed that this is definitely not the case. We gave an explicit
example of a dynamical system where the proof that there will be

chaos is equivalent to the proof of Fermat's last theorem (or, say, the
proof of Riemann's hypothesis). We also proved that (given some
conditions) those 'nasty' problems are dense in the space of all
dynamical systems [19].
5. Problems worse than any number-theoretic problem. The language of
analysis is much richer than the language of arithmetic, as we can
express the halting function in analysis. Also we can explicitly
construct "natural" -looking problems which lie beyond the
arithmetical hierarchy with our techniques [l3].
6. Faceless objects. One of the features of the main set-theoretic forcing
constructions is that we add "generic", faceless sets to our formal
theories. However, there are no explicit expressions for those objects.
With the help of our techniques we exhibited an expression for a
"faceless" Hamiltonian [l3]: the only thing we can prove about it is
that it definitely is a Hamiltonian, and nothing more, as shown above.
7. A free particle that looks chaotic. Consider the following situation:
let's go through the usual nonstandard description of the canard ([1],
p. 33; see also [5]) in a dynamic system. A nonstandard model may be
seen as arising out of the following setting: we are given an axiomatic
formulation for arithmetic which we then extend to our theory T,
supposed consistent. We add to T an undecidable arithmetic statement;
out of that statement we can concoct a Diophantine equation
P(Xl," .. ,xn) = 0 which has no roots in any standard models for T but
which has roots in some nonstandard model. We thus get our
nonstandard model: it is one of the models where p = 0 for some
(infinite, nonstandard) numbers.
Again out of p we can obtain a function B (P) such that B = 1 if P has
roots, and B= 0 if P has no roots. Let X represent a single free particle
over an adequate Rn and let Y represent a chaotic system on the same
domain [7]. Then
Z = B(P)X + (1 - B(P))Y
is chaotic in all standard models. Yet it equals a single free particle in
our nonstandard model! When we simulate the expression for Z on a
computer screen, we get a tangled system which will pass the usual
statistical tests for randomness. For the elementary arithmetic portion
of a standard model is recursive, so that it will be simulated on a
computer screen.

Therefore consistency requires that when dealing with the nonstandard

approach to physical systems we must be careful with the behavior of
those undecidable statements of ours.
Which are the looks of those models defined, say, either by "there is an
x such that p(x) = 0" or by "for no x,p(x) = O"? That question will be
dealt with by the authors in a future paper, but we may add here that
while the last assertion (when taken in ZFC) is true in a standard
model, it will also be true in a nonstandard model which can be
slightly modified to make it false and verify instead the other assertion.
(In a more technical language, suffices to slightly change the ultrafilter
that characterizes both nonstandard models).
This analysis has immediate discouraging consequences for the
"experimental" or "proof-less" approach to mathematics [31] [32].
8. Undecidable sentences as bifurcation points in a formal theory. Our
techniques allow a simple coding of undecidable sentences within an
incomplete formal theory T into a bifurcating vectorfield [14] [16].
The example sketched in the two previous subsections goes (roughly)
as follows: given the extended theories T= T + P(S';, T - =
T +-,P(Sj, we have that:
• T 1- P if and only if for a certain vector field X, 1- "X r
undergoes a Hopf bifurcation";
• T - I--,P if and only if T -- 1- "X doesn't undergo a Hopf
bifurcation" .
(We can obtain an expression for that X within our formal language
[16] [17].) That construction can be fully developed into a functor
from formal systems to dynamical systems, where Godel
incompleteness translates into bifurcation phenomena.
9. Social systems and their unpredictability. Two venerable
philosophical traditions have long asserted that there is an essential
difference between the worlds of Natur and Kultur, that is to say, the
domain of the sciences of nature and the domain of the social sciences.
According to the first viewpoint, even if the main goal of the historical
sciences is conceived as the ability to predict the historical future, their
main tools were supposed not to be taken from the corpora of the
natural sciences [38]. A related, contemporary analysis tried to assert
that the difference between both domains lies in the way time is
perceived and manipulated in the natural sciences and in the historical
sciences [29].
However at about the same time when those ideas were stated A.
Lotka successfully stmted to model the behavior of biological and

social systems, seen as competing populations, with tools from the

theory of chemical kinetics. Thus arose the Lotka-Volterra (LV)
equations, which give a very reasonable depiction of an actual
predator-prey system [35] and which can be modified to give an
account, of, say, the dynamics of business cycles in economics. Some
offshoots of those models even allow us to make finely-tuned
predictions about the behavior of social systems, such as the Garin-
Lowry models for urban planning [26] [27].
So, despite age-long prejudices that are derived from the two
philosophical traditions we mentioned above, there seems not to exist
any barrier between the way dynamical systems theory models both
chemical and social systems. Therefore the limits to predictability in
social systems tum out to be the same phenomena that limit
predictions in dynamical systems: nonlinearities and GOdel
incompleteness [17]. We discuss the second situation here:
• Intractable problems in population dynamics and in mathematical
economics. Lewis [34] pointed out that our results immediately entail
the incompleteness of the theory of Hamiltonian models in economics.
They also entail the incompleteness of the theory of Arrow-Debreu
equilibria and (what may at first look surprising) the incompleteness of
the theory ofjinite games with Nash equilibria [13] [22].
(Assuredly when a finite game is given through an explicit table of
outcomes, it is always decidable. However for weak extensions of
formalized arithmetic we can exhibit a description for the table of
outcomes so that undecidability and incompleteness follows).
• Class structures may be undecidable. The Lotka-Volterra (LV)
equations describe two interacting populations, a 'preyed' population x
and a 'predator' population y. If left by themselves, the x blow up
exponentially, while the y decay exponentially. When x and y interact,
they start to move in nonlinear cycles. The LV model describes in a
reasonable way a number of ecological cycles [28] [35].
Now consider the following situation: let (x, y) and (x', .1'> be two
uncoupled LV systems. We can show that they can be described by a
Hamiltonian system 3, and that there is a perturbed system
3' = 3 + £1
(£ > 0, 'small') where all populations are (in general) coupled and 3'
has a Smale horseshoe. So 3' is chaotic in its behavior.
We slightly modify 3' and get:
3* = 3 + £ pr,

where it cannot be decided in T whether f3 equals or 1. Then the
assertion "3* describes two sets of oscillating, nonchaotic, uncoupled
populations" and "3* describes four coupled, chaotic populations" are
both undecidable in our formal theory T.
We can also formulate a beautiful model for the interaction of three
coupled populations, x, y, Z, where Z is a small-sized 'upper' or
'warrior' class, y is a 'lower' or 'working' class, and x is a 'middle
class'. The model predicts two stable equilibria: in the first, the
'middle class' vanishes; in the second, the 'warrior' class vanishes
while 'workers' and the 'middle class' thrive. The 'middle class' will
grow to a steady state value if:

where p is a measure of the aggressiveness up the 'upper class' against

the 'middle class', and No measures the total wealth of the ecological
niche; Yo, :zn are constant values obtained out of the system's
parameters, like 8.

We now write p* = {Jp/ + (1 - j3)p/~ where p/» p/~ and p/ doesn't

satisfy the preceding condition, while p" satisfies it. Then, out of

K(Po -Yo - Zo) - 5- p*:zn > 0,

the sentences "The middle class will thrive" and "The middle class
will fade away" are both undecidable in T.

4. Related results by other researchers

Our results sparked an upsurge of activity in the research group headed by
the first author, da Costa. D. Krause (sometimes in collaboration with either
N. C. A. da Costa or with M. L. Dalla Chiara) proposed a modified,
nonclassical, logical framework for the development of quantum mechanics,
which turned out to be equiconsistent with ZFC theory. M. Tsuji originally
suggested the application of our techniques to the theory of market equilibria
in economics and to finite systems in general. J. Y. Beziau, O. C. Bueno and
S. French (of the University of Leeds) have been doing research with a more
strictly philosophical bent. Beziau developed a kind of analog of universal
algebra (Beziau called it "universal logic") to encompass both classical and
nonclassical logic; A. Coelho and O. Bueno have been investigating theories
of induction and S. French is currently interested in the theory of pragmatic

Finally A. S. Sant' Anna has recently reformulated portions of physics in

the language of category theory in the light of the authors' results; a version
of the Atiyah-Singer theorem for gauge field theory was then obtained.

s. Conclusion
The point seems to be: our current conceptions about formalized
mathematics do not fully capture the inner wealth of intuitive mathematics.
Formal languages made up of a finite number of discrete symbols that add up
to sentences with a finite length are too coarse an instrument to capture our
mathematical intuitions about a world that is sometimes best described by
continuous, 'infinite' -sized objects.
Our viewpoint, which is an almost pedestrian one, directly stems from the
results described above, which show the omnipresence of undecidable
sentences in the formal counterpart to our everyday kind of mathematics. Just
by adding new axioms to those formal theories won't be of much help, since
the underlying machinery remains incomplete.
There are only two possibilities here, the authors think. Either one starts
the search for stronger proof techniques (or, perhaps, for a concept of
'computation' strictly stronger than Turing computation), so that previously
unprovable stuff will become provable, or one tries to understand (as we
have suggested above) undecidable sentences as bifurcation points in
formalized theories. Perhaps that kind of diversity should be accepted as a
fact of mathematical life, a reflection of the deep freedom that seems to lie in
the heart of any abstract construction.

6. Acknowledgements
The authors acknowledge support from CNPq and FAPESP (Brazilian
funding agencies). Topics exposed here were presented and discussed by the
second author during the workshop on "limits to scientific knowledge" at the
Santa Fe Institute in May 1994; he wishes to thank John Casti, Joe Traub and
the Santa Fe Institute for the invitation to attend that workshop, and the Sloan
Foundation for support. The second author also acknowledges fascinating
discussions with Otto Rossler on the continuum and on heterodoxical
epistemologies for mathematics. The authors wish to thank the Research
Center on Mathematical Theories of Communication (CETMC-UFRJ) for
support in the preparation of this paper, which was computer-formatted with
the help of Project Griffo, School of Communications, Federal University at
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
February 1995.

[1] S. Albeverio, J. E. Fenstad, R. Hoegh-Krohn, T. Lindstrom, Nonstandard Methods in
Stochastic Analysis and Mathematical Physics, Academic Press (1986).
[2] V. 1. Amol'd, "Problems of Present Day Mathematics", XVII (Dynamical systems and
differential equations), Proc. Symp. Pure Math. 28, 59 (1976).
[3] J. L. Bell, Boolean-Valued Models and Independence Proofs in Set Theory, Clarendon
Press (1985).
[4] M. Black, the nature of mathematics, Littlefield, Adam and Co. (1959).
[5] R. Chuaqui, Truth, Possibility and Probability: New Logical Foundations of
Probability and Statistical Inference, North-Holland (1991).
[6] N. C. A. da Costa and R. Chuaqui, Erkenntnis 29,95 (1988).
[7] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, Int. 1. Theor. Phys. 30,1041 (1991).
[8] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, Found. Phys. Letters 4, pp. 363 (1991).
[9] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, Philosophica 50,901 (1992).
[10] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, "Suppes Predicates for Classical Physics", in J.
Echeverria et aI., eds., The Space of Mathematics, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin-New York
[11] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, "On the Existence of Very Difficult Satisfiability
Problems", Bulletin of the Section of Logic, (University of Lodz) 21, # 4, 122-133
[12] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, Metamathematics of Physics.
[13] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, "Suppes Predicates and the Construction of
Unsolvable Problems in the Axiomatized Sciences", P. Humphreys, ed., Patrick
Suppes, Scientific Philosopher, II, Kluwer (1994).
[14] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, "On Amol'd's Hilbert Symposium Problems", in G.
Gottlob, A. Leitsch, D. Mundici, eds., Proceedings of the 1993 Kurt Cadel Colloquium:
Computational Logic and Proof Theory, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 713,
Springer (1993).
[15] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, "Structures, Suppes Predicates and Boolean-Valued
Models in Physics", to appear in J. Hintikka, ed., Festschrift in Honor of Prof V.
Smirnov on this 60th Birthday, Kluwer.
[16] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, "An Undecidable Hopf Bifurcation with an
Undecidable Fixed Point", Int. 1. Theor. Phys. 33, 1913 (1994).
[17] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, "GOdel Incompleteness in Analysis, with an
Application to the Forecasting Problem in the Social Sciences", Philosophia Naturalis
31, 1 (1994).
[18] N. C. A. da Costa and F. A. Doria, "Godcl incompleteness, explicit expressions for
complete arithmetic degrees, and applications", to appear in Complexity (1995).
[19] N. C. A. da Costa, F. A. Doria and A. F. Furtado do Amaral, Int. 1. Theor. Phys. 32,
2187 (1993).
1201 N. C. A. da Costa, F. A. Doria and J. A. de Barros, Int. 1. Theor. Phys. 29, 935 (1990).
[21] N. C. A. da Costa, F. A. Doria and D. Krause, "Metamathematical Results on the
Satisfiability Problem", preplint CETMC-30 (1994).
[221 N. c. A. da Costa, F. A. Doria and M. Tsuji, "The Incompleteness of Finite Games with
Nash Equilibria", preprint CETMC-17 (1992).
[231 N. c. A. da Costa, F. A. Doria, A. F. Furtado do Amaral, J. A. de Barros, Found. Phys.
24,783 (1994).

[24] M. Davis, "Hilbert's Tenth Problem is Unsolvable", in Computability and

Unsolvability, 2nd edition, Dover (1982).
[25] F. A. Doria, in J. Casti and J. Traub, eds., "On limits", preprint, Santa Fe Institute
[26] M. Echenique, ed., Modelos matemdticos de la estructura espacial urbana:
aplicaciones en America Latina, Siap, Buenos Aires (1975).
[27] D. Foot, Operational urban models, Methuen (1981).
[28] N. S. Goel, S. C. Maitra and E. W. Montroll, Rev. Mod. Phys. 44, 231 (1971).
[29] M. Heidegger, "Der Zeitbegriff in der Geschichtswissenschaft", in Friihe Schriften,
Vittorio Klostermann (1972).
[30] M. Hirsch, "The Chaos of Dynamical Systems", in P. Fischer and W. R. Smith, Chaos,
Fractals and Dynamics, M. Dekker (1985).
[31] J. Horgan, "Is Mathematics Becoming too much like Physics?" Sci. Am., # 2, 269, 14
[32] J. Horgan, "Trends in Mathematics: the Death of Proof', Sci. Am. 269, # 4,77 (1993).
[33] J. Ladriere, Les limitations internes desformalismes, Univ. de Louvain (1959).
[34] A. A. Lewis and Y. Inagaki, "On the effective Content of Theories", preprint, U. of
Califomia at Irvine, School of Social Sciences (1991).
[35] G. Nicolis, 1. Prigogine, Self-Organization in Nonequilibrium Systems, Wiley (1977).
[36] H. Rogers Jr., Theory of Recursive Functions and Effective Computability, MacGraw-
Hill (1967).
[37] D. Ruelle and F. Takens, Commun. Math. Phys. 20, 167 (1971).
[38] O. Spengler, Der Untergang des Abendlandes, Verlag C. H. Beck (1969).
[39] 1. Stewart, Nature 352, 664 (1991).
[40] P. Suppes, Set-Theoretical Structures in Science, mimeo., Stanford University (1967).
[41] P. Suppes, Scientific Structures and their Representation, preliminary version, Stanford
University (1988).
[42] S. Wolfram, Commun. Math. Phys. 96, 15 (1984).



To the extent that it is possible to make a forecast without falling into a naive
prophesizing, the present and future of humanity depend on the development
of technics. But technical work as it shows itself today, namely as an
activity aimed at the mastery of otherness in general - does not have in our
day an unequivocal meaning, or a single and exclusive functioning mode,
unanimously accepted by all.
Insofar as a human activity, technical activity is eminently historical. As
such it is liable to suffer or provoke the transformation which man himself
promotes through the products of his freedom. This determines that its
direction and its goals are bound together to the changes experienced by the
epistemology and ontology of its time. Conscious of such a fact, the main
thesis of this book sets out to show that we live a decisive moment in the
historical evolution of ratio technical, the features of which will have a
parallel influence over the present and the future of humanity. In that regard,
and without exaggerating the importance of the most recent developments, it
is possible to discern that we find ourselves in an exceptional juncture, where
such a transition is taking place. We, the men and women of this time, are
protagonists and witnesses of a revolution that we are still unable to
understand or predict in all its complexity and transcendence.
Indeed, placed before the mode of technics that has prevailed until now-
i.e., anthropomorphic, anthropocentric and geocentric in style and limits - a
new project and model of technics begins to suggest itself in our own days.
Its logos seeks to transfonn and go beyond those limits - modifying eo ipso
the style of technical activity with the aim of increasing the amount of
power available to man beyond the boundaries set by his innate psycho-
somatic constitution and the cognitive capacity which it sustains.
But it is not easy to notice, and much less to explain, not just the details,
but also even the contours and the general sense of this struggle. My perhaps

Guttoml Fl¢istad (ed.), Philosophy of Latin America, 285-294.

© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

overly ambitious attempt has been to approach it from its very foundations.
To that effect, I have attempted to sketch the trans-formation and trans-
mutation which is exerted by that logos - which I call meta-technical
because of its mode and limits - upon the innate constitution of the two great
sensorials that order otherness, by tracing the principles that make possible
its appearance and development.
Without intending to anticipate in this essay the results that we may have
obtained - a task which, because of its complexity, requires a thorough and
careful analysis - we have deemed it convenient, nonetheless, to choose the
example of space in order to familiarize him with the general nature of the
work. My aim is to show how, when the technical and/or meta-technical
logos affects the spatiomorphic otherness, radical differences are projected
which cause parallel variations in the corresponding notions of space. This
affects eo ipso all human (linguistic, ontological, ethical, political, etc.)
institutions where the very process of in-stituting is based on a spatiomorphic
matter or content.
Nevertheless, what I will present here has only the above-mentioned
purpose. Although there are preeminent and fundamental reasons for the
choice of space as an illustrative example - given the essential importance it
has as a constituting element of the optical-luminic logos insofar as it is itself
a privileged representative of the technical logos - what is said about it
should be parallely applied to time (and therefore, to the corresponding
chronomorphic otherness). Indeed the modifying action of the meta-technical
logos is exercised with equal intensity and with similar projections through
all its intelligibilizing action upon otherness.

One of the fundamental features that distinguish the ratio technica - as it
manifests itself in our time and in contrast to that which was made possible
by the original technical model that prevailed until not long ago - is the
radical change introduced by its action and its products in the notion or
concept of space. Indeed: insofar as that space is visualized, organized and
constructed on the basis of the category of function (in sharp opposition to its
ordering by means of the category of substance and the array of criteria based
on it), it is not only possible to detect a basic innovation in its conceptual
meaning, but also a concomitant variation that is reflected in the concrete and
real spatiality of the phenomena where this notion is exhibited and
Thus, instead of being represented as an aggregate of juxtaposed or
contiguous points, elements or atoms, today space is conceived and handled
as a functional or systemic structure, that forms a field or dynamic whole, the

synergy of which determines its eventual forms and limits. Lacking all
foundation or substantial residue, the characteristics possessed by spatiality
in our time are radically different - and sometimes even opposed - to those
exhibited by space when it was thought or established on the basis of its
previous (substantialist) basis.
But the transformation undergone by the notion of space is not reducible to
this simple change of categories. On a deeper and more decisive level, what
has begun to change in our days is the very nature of the intelligibilizing and
ordering logos which underlies the spacing made possible by technics. In this
way, parallel and radical modifications and transmutations are introduced in
the epistemic and onto logic structure of its traditional notion.
One of the most peculiar features of meta-technics, in that sense, is found
in its attempt to create or produce a mode of non human - trans-human,
meta-human - logos or thought. Its forms, laws and principles, are neither
identical nor similar to those which inform and sustain human discourse. In
order to achieve that end, it has recourse not just to the variation,
modification or alteration of the innate constitution and functioning of man's
cognitive sensorials, but also to their substitution with instruments or
equipments, in the mechanisms of which such sensorials can be eliminated
(or replaced by others). Thus is produced a logos or meta-human thought-
not anthropomorphic, or anthropocentric or geocentric - the correlates of
which shape a trans-human and trans-finite otherness.
Such otherness, for that very reason, instead of being ordered according to
the spatio-temporal standards of the human logos (metrical extension)
embodies and expresses a trans-reality in which the spatio-temporal (optical
and metric) characteristics projected upon otherness by the innate human
sensorials may be substituted or abolished. In that trans-reality, the ordering
imposed by a de-anthropomorphized instrument or equipment that replaces
the classical "subject" of the traditional epistemological scheme acts as its
constitutive logos.
Instead of such characteristics - substituting, modifying, transforming
them - there then appear on the profile of otherness, other aspects, stemming
from tactile, olphactory, auditory, etc., ordering sources that are not
necessarily anthropomorphic. At the same time that thcy broaden the
traditional epistemic spectrum, they introduce radical changes in the texture
and meaning of otherness.
What we express in this way is not just a fancy or a mere science-fiction
dream but the simple description of the meta-technical conquests which man
already employs in some of the instruments constructed to broaden and
deepen his control over otherness. Indeed, instead of the classic microscopes
and telescopes - designed to make use of light waves and enhance the

constitution and functioning of the human eye by means of the employment

of mirrors and crystals - today man "sees" with the aid of sound waves or
waves that are invisible to the human eye. This is illustrated by the use of the
sonar or of the instruments that employ ultrasound, X-rays, or other rays
from the electromagnetic spectrum, to achieve in similar manner a more
perfect "vision" than that provided by merely anthropomorphic artefacts.
The same happens - to cite only well known examples - in the case of
missiles that pursue and locate their objectives using thermic devices (that is
to say, a thermical, not an optical, ordering or organizing of spatiality) ... as
is the case, by the way, amongst some reptiles. Nothing prevents, therefore,
that in a parallel manner, and once the limits of anthropomorphism and
anthropocentrism have been surpassed, such spatiality be ordered odorifically
(as it is the case with some insects); or through unsuspected modes of a trans-
human and trans-finite logos, capable of instituting otherness in general in
the form of a super-nature that does not respond to the innate
anthropomorphic, anthropocentric or geocentric patterns that have prevailed
until now in the epistemic exchange between man and his con-natural
As a complement, there is also another aspect of great importance with
regards to that super-nature which is constructed and designed by meta-
technics. fudeed, while it was the case that original technics employed in its
instruments of knowledge and control only the forces or innate energies
made available to it by nature (as enclosed within the limits of our planet),
meta-technics can resort to a type of energy or force - made possible by that
very super-nature built by man - which is not bound to the limits of the
strictly innate and terrestrial energies.
Simply put, this implies two distinct but interconnected issues, namely: 1)
that with the creation of super-nature man attempts to break the original (and
limiting) structure which the innate nature (or its inborn energies) displays in
our planet; 2) that he attempts, at the same time, to create new structures and
reorderings of matter to gain, by their means, control over the whole of
nature, that is to say, in a strictly galactic sense ofthe term.

It is easy to see that everything we have said above follows from the
transformation and overcoming of the optical (and therefore metric)
foundation that prevails until now in the spatiomorphic ordering and
organization of otherness. Its modification or substitution by a meta-
technical spatiality means, eo ipso, a radical change in the meaning and
scope of the epistemological and ontological determinations of such

But the consequences that follow from this are neither harmless nor trivial.
Indeed, if we attempt to systematically revise those human institutions where
such a revolution is reflected, it is necessary to acknowledge that its imprint
affects and must be exercised, first of all in a primary way, upon the very
etymology, structure and syntax of language. Through this language, and
almost automatically, its influence reaches and modifies the fundamental
ontological concepts as much as the foundations of epistemology. It
subsequently projects itself upon the categorical systems that sustain the
diverse (although compatible) cultures with shared spatio-optical base.
Whatever these cultures may be, the modification of their surreptitious
spatiomorphic foundations extends and equally affects their moral, political
and juridical institutions, at the same time as the practices, customs and
everyday commerce, which are sustained by an optical interpretation of
To say this in the simplest and most direct manner possible, the
transformation of the optical and spatial basis of otherness involves a parallel
and radical change in its doxic support base. This change makes it urgently
necessary to coin a repertoire of categories and principles (absolutely
different from the current ones) with which to face, gain access to, and
interpret this new and virgin world that unfolds before us.
Given the purposely limited aims and scope of this essay, it is not possible
to even attempt to illustrate here the vast panorama of problems that I have
suggested. As this work will make obvious, each one of these themes - in
order to be elucidated - requires complex and extensive research as well as
subtle linguistic and conceptual analyses to illustrate convincingly what has
been merely suggested here. With the sole purpose of providing some of the
most notable aspects which have served as stimuli and clues to reach the
main insight that grounds my thesis, I would like to point out the following:
1) With regards to language as such, it is possible to note and to prove
easily that, from a semantical point of view, the majority of the linguistic
meanings - as much in ordinary as in techno-scientific and even
metaphysical language - stem from optical and spatial (or, derivatively,
temporal) determinations which are later only tacitly referred to.
Furthermore, the syntactic rules that language have as their logical and
ideal horizon, as their rational foundation, a ratio or logos which is itself
nurtured by a conception of space and time that is presupposed and taken as
evident. In fact, all logico-syntactical principles have as their horizon of
meaning, support and intelligibility, the substantialist conception of the
spatio-temporal otherness found in Aristotle.
Think, for instance, of the meaning of affirmation and negation. These are
- as Husserl calls them - positions ("Setzungen", "Positionen"). Now, every

posltlOn requires a space (place, site, location), in which to pose itself,

support itself, situate itself. The movement or intention (also spatiomorphic)
that defines the contrasted spatial scheme of negation and affirmation is
confirmed within that spatial realm. Thus, in fact, by means of a very brief
semantical and etymological marginal note the following becomes evident:
1a) Negation and/or the act of negation (in Greek ano<pcxats, in German
Ablehnung) means - at least in its judicative or prepositional level - to
separate, to draw apart something from something else (efr. Aristotle, De
Interp, 17-26). Such an act of separating - in which, as is obvious, a space is
presupposed - is performed by means of a drawing apart, rejecting, not
admitting, that is to say, ex-eluding from a certain place or sphere that which
negated. The Greek prefix ano, as much as the German particle Ab, denote
for this reason a clear spatiomorphic sense, which is translated exactly in the
separating and drawing apart contained in the original Aristotelian meaning;
1b) The same occurs - although in the opposite direction - in the case of
affirmation and/or the act of affirming. An affirmation - which is expressed
in Greek by the term Kcx,a<pcxats and, in German, by Zustimmung - instead
of separating, according to Aristotle, joins two terms (cfr. De Interp., 17-25),
which, as is obvious, shows a spatial meaning. Indeed, to unite means to re-
unite: to position (co-Iocar) a proposition next to another, to verify its ad-
mission or in-elusion with a certain place or sphere. The prefix Kcx,a has, in
this regard, a clear spatiomorphic sense. It means, as a preposition, from top
to bottom or simply towards. This points to the spatial direction in which the
union or reunion of the propositions takes place in the affirmation. The
German term Zu has a similar spatiomorphic sense, signaling a movement of
co-incidence (Zu-stimmung) in a certain point or place, which is obviously a
spatial notion.
Now, what becomes of affirmation and negation if one divests them from
the spatiomorphic sense - of exclusively optical and substantialist base - that
nurtures and sustains their meanings? What does a language become when it
does not have any more at its disposal the traditional values or sense of
negation and affirmation?
2) What is suggested with regard to language and its syntactical norms
here, is fully verified and confirmed when we analyze the basic concepts of
the ontology and the corresponding epistemological determinations that serve
it as its ground.
It is no coincidence in this sense, that one of the oldest and most venerable
onto-logical formulations of Western Philosophy - namely Parmenides' -
begins with a full and definite identification of Being and Thought, where the
latter is understood under a term whose lineage, although undeniably

connected with what is intelligible in knowledge, has also connections with

the activity proper to sensible seeing and/or perceiving 'to yap edna voeiv
eon v 'te Kat el vat ("For to think and to be is one and the same thing")
reads the third fragment of the famous Parmenidean poem (H. Diels - W.
Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, I Bd., p. 231). Throughout that
poem, wherever we find the term voeiv, it is found in indissoluble
connection with AOyO<; and i:6v (elvat), as well as with voo<;. VOrll..1a, and
eXA118euw. But likewise it cannot seem strange that, given the sensible
meaning of voetV, Parmenides should compare Being to a sphere (a<patpa),
the attributes of which - perfectly homogeneous and well balanced within its
visual boundaries (nepa<;) - evidently attest to the intended overcoming of
the finite im-perfections of seeing and/or perceiving as such.
2a) But this presence of optical elements that one finds in the Parmenidean
conception of Being (whose transformed traces are not difficult to track
down in later thinkers) is reiterated and confirmed - even more clearly - in a
different though parallel area to the preceding.
In effect, whether we take the concept of Being in a predicative sense
(and, consequently, examining the doctrinary procedures by which the
meaning of the copula is established), or in an existential sense (and, as a
result, analyzing its characteristics, forms, modes and moments), it is
possible to find in both cases without exception, clear spatio-optical elements
underlying each of its etymologies and meanings.
We can see this, for example, if we examine, etymologically, the very
designations by means of which the above-mentioned procedures that
interpret the copular meaning are distinguished. In this sense, the doctrine of
inherence is based on in-herence (in-esse, imapxnv); that of supposition or
sup-pose (sup-positio, imo8eat<;); and that of relation on com-pose (com-
positio, ouv8eot<;), the spatiomorphic elements of which are evident.
We find the same results if we briefly scrutinize and analyze the features
that are attributed to Being as the result of the elimination of its sensible
boundaries (nepa<;), or what is expressed and revealed by its forms (such as,
e.g., "in itself', "outside itself', and "for itself'); or its modes (for example,
the possible and the necessary which are both derived in Greek as well as in
Latin from roots endowed with and eminently spatio-optical meaning); or,
lastly, its moments, if we understand by that term its determination as
existence (from the latin ex-sto) and as accident (from ac-cido), the
spatiomorphic ingredients of which are also manifest.
2b) No less significantly than in the concept of Being as such, it is also
possible to find traces of similar elements - of obvious optical-Iuminical
genealogy - in the epistemological determinations at its base. In order to

abbreviate the examples I will mention only the famous opposition between
phenomenon and noumenon. Just as in the former the presence of the Greek
verb <pai vo - and, of course, the intervention of light (<pwe;;) as the agent that
brings forth the visible - is evident, the term noumenon originates from voDe;;
and the latter from VOe1.V, upon which we have commented above.
Referring to this last term - as an expression of seeing in general - it was
Husser!, in our own time, who vindicated its supreme condition as that which
bears and legitimizes all rational affirmations. It is thus asserted in Ideen (1,
19): "Das unmittelbare 'Sehen' (voeiv), nicht bloss das sinnliche Sehen,
sondem das Sehen iiberhaupt als originar gebendes Bewusstsein welcher Art
immer, ist die letzte Rechquelle aller vemiinftigen Behauptungen".
3) If the spatio-optical elements vitiate the highest ontological and
epistemological concepts of philosophical work, it is easy to infer that their
influence must be present not just in the design of the social (political,
juridical, and cultural) man-made institutions, but also in the very values that
sustain them.
3a) This is indeed what occurs. Be it in the etymological roots that define
the phenomenon of possession and/or property in legal terms (possideo is
synonym of occupo and this is derived from capia to seize, to hold, to keep
something inside the closed space of a fist); or in the territorial notion of
sovereignty insofar as spatial basis of the State; or in the common space of
meeting and reunion of the faithful that is announced in the term eKKATJoia
or ecclesia (contionis locus); even the physical presence of the claustrum - in
the sense of an occluded or closed space - which reflects not merely the
monastic lifestyle but also determines the epistemic architectonics of the
institution of the University, by dividing knowledge into spheres or parcels
which are, presumably, autonomous and isolated from each another. No
matter where we look, we will always find the trace or imprint that reveals
and attests to the presence of such spatio-optical elements in the design of
3b) But even beyond the simple design and profile of institutions, the
preeminence of the spatio-optical projects itself over the very values which -
tacitly or explicitly - act as normative support for them. If we want to link
such inheritance in any way to the founding of values - we must mention in
that regard the Platonic Doctrine, as its origin or primitive source. According
to its standards, values were ideas (daoe;;, iOta) and the ideas were the
correlates of seeing (lOtW): aspects, images, or visible torsos (species) of
them made available to the sense of sight.
This explains why when Plato refers to the Good - the highest of all values
- he compares it with the sun ... whose light, aiding the eye, allows the

seeing organ to realize and fulfill its primordial purpose. In similar manner,
the Good, whose light is necessary for the soul to know the intelligible, is
that which illuminates the realm where the ideas dwell, making them bright
and visible.
It is due to the Good (co')'ro 1:0 <xya8ov) - understood under the simile of
this intelligible and illuminating light - that the remaining values are
glimpsed and visualized: the Beautiful (1:0 KaA,Ov), the Just (1:0 otKawv),
and even the True (1:0 <XA,T)8e<;) ... since it is precisely the Good "which
imparts truth to the known and power of knowing to the knower". (1:oiho
1:o(vuv 1:0 1:ilv <XA,1)8etav napexov 1:01<; yt YVWOKof.LeVOt<; Kat 1:W
ytYVWOKovn 1:ilv ODVaf.Ltv <xnootOOV 1:ilv 1:0U <xya80u toeav <p&8t
dvat). Plato, Republic, book VI, 508 e.
It would be almost impossible to find in the whole history of philosophy,
more revealing passages than those cited to illustrate and verify the
preeminence of the optical-luminical ingredients in the constitution of
metaphysical thinking. From such preeminence, as is natural, follows
likewise the spatiomorphic texture that permeates the meaning and sense of
its foundations, principle and concepts, as well as of everything which,
mediately or immediately, is based upon them.
Now, on the basis of what has been said, which already goes beyond the
natural limits of an essay, one may simply ask one question. Indeed, what
destiny awaits such form of thought - and, on its basis, language and the
human institutions and values themselves - if such spatio-optical elements
are questioned and surpassed by the progress of the meta-technical logos?

Our time lives and struggles in such a crossroad. It is my belief that the
present and the future of humanity depend on the course that we take in the
face of this. We are embarked upon a period of deep and unexpected changes
whose significance and scope - as is natural - cannot yet be apprehended
with total and clear awareness.
Moreover, we find ourselves in a similar situation to that of the sailors
who, at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries, had not yet
perceived the significance of their own 'discoveries'. Uncertain and confused
they believed that the new territories they were visiting were part of their
known world, without realizing that their presence embodied an emerging
reality which would decree the inevitable breakdown of their own vision and
conception of the world.
It happens this way with meta-technics. It is not just a matter of a new
stage of technics that can be inserted normally into its own development as

fruit of a gradual evolution. It implies, on the contrary, together with the

change and overcoming of the traditional anthropomorphic, anthropocentric
and geocentric characteristics prevailing up to the present day, a radical
substitution of all epistemological and ontological foundations that sustained
human institutional inventiveness, as exponents of rationality. It implies, in
other words, the substitution of technics itself.
It has been the noetic root of such a rationality - and, therefore, that of its
proper and preeminent institutional inventiveness - which has been disrupted
by the creation of its highest prodigy: the design and creation of a meta-
technical logos that denies and overcomes - at the same time - the innate
finitude of that very rationality.
This means already - as we will see more clearly in the times to come -
the slow but inexorable implementation of new modes, horizons and limits,
in the display of human and trans-human rationality ... and, of course, in the
syntax of its projects and achievements. It is in something as apparently
simple as this that, I believe, lie the seeds of our approaching future. Perhaps
what is sketched in this essay is not unimportant if we are to keep a sharp
lookout for its inevitable arrival.

philosophical analysis, 11,61,62,

A ANGELELLI Ignacio, 82, 83
ABELLAN Jose Luis, 50 ANQufN Nimio de, 24, 25, 30, 53, 54,
Abjection, 179 57,93,137
Absolute, 6 ANTEZANA Dario, 9,172,173,174,
Absolutisme, 104 178,179,180,181,183,184
ACEVEDO Jorge, 160, 165 Anthropocentrism, 288
ADENAUER,25 Anthropologie philosophique, 101,
Aesthetics, 19,22 127,133
AFT' ALION Enrique, 129 Anthropologism,149
AGASSI J., 268 Anthropomorphism, 288
AGAZZI E., 271, 272 Aparapitas, 181, 182, 183, 184
Agnosticisme, 120 APEL Karl-Otto, 7, 27, 47, 48, 56,131,
AGOGLIA Rodolfo, 129,217,218,225, 134,189,190,191,192,193,195,
226 196,197,198,199,200,201,202,
AGOSTI Hector P., 139 203
AGUERO, 117 ARBEA Antonio, 160
AGUIRRE Manuel AugustIn, 206 ARCINIEGAS G., 102, 108
AGUSTIN (san), 53 ARDAO Arturo, 17, 18, 19,29,37,52,
ALASL.,104 53,55,57,93,108,141
ALBERDI Juan Bautista, 34, 57, 93, ARDILA R., 262, 271
117,119,123 ARDILES OsvaIdo, 17, 46, 55
ALBERINI Coriolano, 21, 51, 57,116, Argumentation, 20, 73, 74, 76, 83,191,
117,124,125,135,139,140 193,194,197,199,200,201,203,
ALBERT Hans, 191 233
ALBEVERIO S., 283 argumentation theory, 67
ALBO Xavier, 176 ARICO Jose, 25, 33, 54,141
ALCHOURRON Carlos, 4, 10,64,65, ARISTOFANES,204
84, 136 ARISTOPHANE, 199
ALCORTA, 117 ARISTOTE, 134, 164
ALLENDE Salvador, 33 Aristotelian silogistics, 76
ALT AM IRA R., 104 ARISTOTLE, 28, 30, 45, 71, 251, 289,
ALTHUSSER, 118, 130 290
Althusserianism, 17, 33, 34 Arithmetic
ALVAREZ AgustIn, 123, 139 philosophy of arithmetic, 11, 74
AMEGHINO Florentino, 120,247 ARNOL'D, 277, 283
AMIRAN Eyal, 183 ARROW, 280
AMOROSO LIMA A., 30, 54, 57, 93, ARRUBA CAMPOS Fernando, 54
108 Art
Analysis, 71,76,79 philosophie de I'art, 133
conceptual analysis, 62, 70, 75, 76, philosophy of art, 8
79,80 ASSMANN Hugo, 47, 58
logical analysis, 10 ASTI VERA Armando, 131
phenomenological analysis, 70 ASTORQUIZA PIZARRO Fernando,

ASTRADA Carlos, 3, 4,16,23,24,25, Parmenidean conception of being,

26,33,53,54,57,58,93,128 291
ATIYAH,282 BELAUNDE Victor A., 30
Aufldarung,25,117 BELGRANO, 117
AUGUSTINE (saint), 20 BELL J.L., 259, 283
AUSTIN, 67, 73, 191 BELLO Andres, 83
Axiologie, 107, 125, 134 BENITEZ VINUEZA Leopoldo, 226
Axiology, 4, 27, 40, 77 BENJAMIN Walter, 46
Axiom BENSE Max, 160
axioms of Zermelo-Fraenkel set BENTHAM Jeremy, 5, 143
theory, 274 BERESTOVOY Susana, 81
Euclid's axioms, 273 BERGADA Marfa Mercedes, 137
set-theoretic axioms, 274 BERGHEL H., 271
AYALA Enrique, 226 BERGSON Henri, 3,15,19,20,21,22,
A YER Alfred, 6, 62, 160 31,53,84,105,124,247
AZARETTO Marfa Isabel, 64 BERKELEY, 247
BERM ANN Gregorio, 139
BERNENGO Roberto, 64
B BERRA Francisco, 121
BACON Francis, 216 BERTOMEU Marfa Julia, 137
BACQUE Jorge A., 64 BETANCUR C., 93,145,154
BAEZ Rene, 226 BETANCURT William, 153
BAGGINI Hugo, 50 BEVERLEY John, 171
BAGU Sergio, 33, 54, 58, 139 BEVILACQUA C., 89, 90, 109
BAIER, 80 Bezerra A., 109
BALMES, 143 BEZIAU J.Y., 281
BALZER Carmen, 137 BHABHA Homi, 175
BANZER,46 BIAGINI Hugo, 38, 51,135,139
Barbarism, 172 BINDRA Dalbir, 261
BARBOSA E., 101, 108, 110 Biology, 260, 262
BARBOSA FILHO Balthazar, 71 BLACK Max, 63, 273, 274, 283
BARCEL6 LARRAIN Joaquin, 52,155, BLANCO Guillermo, 137
156,160,162,164 BLANCO Julio Enrique, 144
Barretto V., 109 BLITZ D., 255, 268
BARRETTO V., 104 BLONDEL Maurice, 30, 56, 124, 127
BARROS R.M. de, 97,102,103,109 BOFF K., 109
BASA VE A., 105, 109 BOFFL.,102
BATTISTELLA Ernesto, 72 BOHM David, 247, 259
BAUDRILLARD, 131, 195 BOHR Niels, 245
Beautiful, 293 BOLlV AR Simon, 108
BECK Guido, 245, 246 BOLTZMANN, 247
Being, 6,147,150,152,291 BOLZAN Juan, 137
being and thought, 290 BONDY. Voir SALAZAR BONDY
being-in-the-world, 150 Augusto
Bonheur, 103

BONILLA Alcira, 137 CARRASQUILLA Rafael Marfa, 29, 57

BOOLE George, 131 CARRERA ANDRADE Jorge, 226
BORDA Fals, 34, 46 CARRILLO NARVAEz A., 141
BORGES Jorge Luis, 156 CARRILLO Rafael, 141, 145, 154
BOTERO Juan Manuel, 153 CARRI6 Genario, 64, 65, 84
BOUDON R., 266 CARRION Benjamin, 226
BOYLE, 251 CASALLA Mario, 47,141
BRAUER Daniel, 133 CASARES Tomas, 29, 137
BRAVO BETANCOURT Ignacio, 30 CASAS Gonzalo, 30, 137
BRENTANO, 77, 80,123,124 CASAUB6N J.A., 137
BRZEZINSKI J., 271 CASO Antonio, 21, 30, 32, 53, 57, 62,
BUENO O.c., 281 76,84,93,110,226
BULYGIN Eugenio, 4, 10,64, 65, 84, CASSANI A.G., 102, 109
86,136 CASSANI Juan, 130
BUNGE Carlos Octavio, 122, 123 CASSIRER Ernst, 24, 123, 149
BUNGE Mario, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 17,37, CASTANEDA Hector Neri, 11,40,55,
38,39,40,55,57,58,59,62,63,64, 58,64,74,77,82,85
67,82,84,131,160,229,235,243, CASTELLANOS Juan, 139
245,259,266,268,269,270,272 CASTELLO BRANCO, 46
BURGOS Rafael, 72 CAST! John, 282, 284
BUSTAMANTE Jose Rafael, 226 CASTRO Fidel, 32, 196
CATALDO Gustavo, 160
c Category
ontological categories, 235, 254
CABRERA, 229 CATURELLI Alberto, 25, 29, 30, 51,
CABRERA Isabel, 243 53,137,140
CAGELMACHER V. M6nica, 159 Causality, 82, 246, 254
CAICEO ESCUDERO Jaime, 159 CEREZO Emilio, 218
CALCAGNO Alfredo, 130 CERIOTTO Carlos, 27
CALDER6N Fernando, 184 CERUTTI Horacio, 38, 48, 56, 217
CAMPOS R., 103, 109 CESAR C.M., 101, 109
CANAL FEIJ60 Bernardo, 139, 156 CEVALLOS GARCIA Gabriel, 226
CANTOS OVIEDO Galo, 221 Ch'aUas,l77
CAORSI E., 67, 68, 84 CHANADY Amaryll, 16
Capitalism, 18, 24, 30, 32, 33, 176, 177, chaos, 177, 179, 180, 183,275,276
266 Chaos, 8, 9,11
Capitalisme, 194, 196, 198 chaos theory, 273,275,276
CARACCIOLO Ricardo, 64 chaotic systems, 276
CARB6 Alejandro, 121 CHATEAUBRIAND Oswaldo, 71
CARDENAL E., 102, 109 CHAvEZ Jaime, 226
CARDENAS Lazaro, 25 CHEDID Saad, 65
CARNAP Rudolf, 62, 63, 190, 257,259 Cholaje, 172, 177
CARNEIRO LE.A.O Emmanuel, 27 Cholo,9, 172, 174, 175, 176, 177,178,
CARO Miguel Antonio, 143 179,180,181,183,184
CARPIO Adolfo P., 132 CHOMSKY Noam, 261

Christianism, 28 CRESPO L.F., 102, 109

Christianisme, 105 Criollo, 25, 175
Christianity, 2, 30, 145 CRIPPA A., 99,100,101,109
CHUA QUI Rolando, 68, 283 CROCE Benedetto, 19,20
CHURCH A., 66, 248 CRUZ COSTA 1., 93
Ciencia, 85, 86, 87, 88,129,131,161, CRUZ VELEZ Dani10, 26, 53, 57, 58,
203,206,209,213,215,221,224, 93,145,149, 150, 151, 154
247,264,265 Cuban revolution, 4, 17,32,37
CIRIGLIANO Gustavo F., 136 CUEV A AgustIn, 226
CIUDAD Mario, 159, 160 CUEVA Mariano de la, 51
Civilization, 172 CUEVA Tamariz, 226
Classicism, 259 CULLEN Carlos, 47, 56, 58, 141
COELHO A., 281 Culturalism, 149
COFFA Alberto, 66, 82 Culture
COHEN, 123,274 philosophy of culture, 10, 69
COHEN R.S., 268
COLACILLI de MURO Julio, 132
Colonialism, vii, 1,2,3,4,7,28,33,41,
58,175,176 DA COSTA Newton C.A., 10,71,273,
Colonialisme, 90, 94, 188 281,283
COMESANA Manuel, 132 DA SILVA V.F., 2, 27, 38, 57, 58, 93,
Communisme, 168, 201 97,99,100,101,108,109,112,113
COMTE Auguste, 3, 62,105,120,121, DALLA CHIARA M.L., 281
123 DARWIN, 120
CONIGLIONE F., 271 DASCAL Marcelo, 71, 85
Connaissance, 189, 190 Dasein,150
Conscience, 189 DAVID H.E., 50
paradigme de la conscience, 189 DAVIDSON Donald, 6, 160, 256
philosophie de la conscience, 189 DA VIS M., 274,