Academic Rebels in Chile
The Role of Philosophy in Higher Education and Politics
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Many philosophers have been appointed to top-level political positions during Chile's modern history. What makes Chilean philosophers unique in the context of Latin America and beyond, is that they have developed a sophisticated rationale for both their participation and withdrawal from politics. All along, philosophers have grappled with fundamental problems such as the role of religion and politics in society. They have also played a fundamental role in defining the nature and aims of higher education. The philosophers' production constitutes a substantial, albeit largely unknown, portion of the intellectual history of Chile and Latin America.
This book describes in detail the evolution of philosophical work in Chile, and pays close attention to the relationship between philosophical activity and contemporary social and political events. Various Chilean philosophical sources are discussed for the first time in the literature on Chilean ideas. The work of such intellectuals as Andres Bello, Valentin Letelier, Enrique Molina, Jorge Millas, Juan Rivano, Juan de Dios Vial Larrain, and many others is examined in relation to the principal political and educational issues of their time. The book also develops a distinction between the two main currents of Chilean philosophy, namely, a "professionalist" current that seeks the independence of the field from social and political involvements, and a "critical" current that seeks to relate philosophical activity to national realities.
Iván Jaksicå is Program Coordinator and Graduate Advisor at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.
"This is the first detailed and complete account in English of the development of philosophic thought in Chile from the time of independence to the present. " — Fred Gillete Sturm, University of New Mexico
"Professor Jaksicå's work is unique as a history of academic philosophy in Latin America set in proper historical context. It is particularly interesting because it uncovers the unusual richness of Chile's philosophical tradition. " — Charles A. Hale, University of Iowa
"This is an original work that contributes significantly to our knowledge in several areas including the history of higher education and the relationship of philosophy to multifaceted aspects of development. The author deftly uses his careful research on a fascinating national case to explore issues and dilemmas that transcend that case. The documentation is solid, the conclusions drawn judicious, and the style highly readable. " — Daniel C. Levy, State University of New York at Albany