Philosophy of Latin America

From its beginnings it exhibits a unique perspective on many of the important issues in politics, ethics, humanism, imagination and the human relationship to the natural world. We trace its origins from the Pre-Columbian Indians and Post-Columbian Spanish occupation, through revolution and independence, to the present. Literature has played a significant part in Latin American thought. Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American author to win a Nobel Prize in 1951, her poems and essays are philosophical in tone and humanistic in intent.


Many more followed: Pablo Neruda (Nobel Prize 1971), Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Nobel Prize 1982 for One Hundred Years of Solitude) and of course the much-loved poems and fantasy works of Jorge Luis Borges: One of the most internationally influential writers of the 20th c, he created a wonderful world of dreams, labyrinths and mythologies; his imagination is both Latin American and universal. We will consider these authors and others alongside the works of philosophers and the developments in Latin American thought.


This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Introduction to Latin American philosophical history: The influence of Spanish philosophers; The Colonial period; The impact of Positivism; The philosophy of liberation, race and social identity; Marxism; Contemporary Issues.
  • Introduction to the Literary Tradition: Mistral, Neruda, Marquez, Borges and others.
  • The Pre-Columbian Indians: We will do an overview of the themes and ideologies prior to European influences.
  • The Colonial Period: Broadly the period from the 17th to 19th c. One remarkable example here is Sor Juana Ines de Cruz (1651-1695) She was one of the first to construct a theory of Hispanic identity and question the status of women in Latin American society.
  • Positivism and its Others: One of the most powerful figures in this group is Francisco Romero (1891-1962) Argentinian Positivist who was influential in the movement to make philosophy a ‘normal’ part of Hispanic culture. He also did original work in anthropology and wrote The Theory of Man (1952) The ‘others’ are the Existentialists and Phenomenologists.
  • Gabriela Mistral: Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American author to win a Nobel Prize in 1951, her work is both lyrical and incisive. We will do an analysis of her poems and her philosophical essays.
  • Jorge Luis Borges: One of the most internationally loved writers of the 20th c, he created a wonderful world of dreams, labyrinths and mythologies; his imagination is both Latin American and universal.
  • Luis Villoro (1922-2014) and Pablo Neruda: Villoro was a Mexican Philosopher who explored the metaphysical concept of ‘otherness’; the limits of reason; as well as the link between knowledge and power. We will compare his philosophy to the poetic socialism of Neruda.
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Marquez won a Nobel Prize 1982 for One Hundred Years of Solitude which is considered a work of literary philosophy, we will do this work in some depth.
  • The Contemporary Field: We will look at some of the issues which are of concern to contemporary philosophy.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the main features of Latin American philosophy.
  2. Discuss the philosophical ideas of Latin American philosophy.
  3. Identify the different kinds of literary movements in Latin American poetry and novels.
  4. Discuss the implications of these ideas for our own world.
$270 Limited / $243

<p>From its beginnings it exhibits a unique perspective on many of the important issues in politics, ethics, humanism, imagination and the human relationship to the natural world. We trace its origins

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09 Oct

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