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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 35, 2018

Philosophical Traditions in Latin America

Andres Bobenrieth
Pages 15-18

The Unreachable Task of Academic Philosophy in Latin America

Philosophy in Latin America is not to be identified with Latin-American philosophy, because the former can be understood in a much wider sense: it has to do with the philosophical work that is actually done in Latin America, independently of whether it is related or not to “Latin American issues”. There has been a huge discussion about the sense, meaning, identity, purpose, projection etc. of philosophy in Latin America, but, here, I want to concentrate on the task that the greater part of academic philosophy in Latin America has imposed itself in the last 40 or 60 years. My contention is that it is a task that cannot be achieved, not now and not in the near future, due to its inherent structure. The case of Latin America is not too different from what happens in other areas of the world, where philosophical work has very close connections to the philosophical work done in the leading places in North America and Northern and Central Europe in a never-ending process of “catching up”. As a general term we could use “peripheral philosophy”, and I think it is important to reflect on these phenomena from a global perspective about contemporary philosophy. So, it has to be a meta-philosophical reflection, and not only from a specific “tradition”. My conclusion will be that philosophy is not “globalized”, quite the opposite, yet we can globalize our reflection upon philosophy.

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