So now that we are on the topic of academic, intellectual and scholarly developments in Latin America, I though that the involvement of Latin America in philosophy would be an interesting topic to share. If you have studied some philosophy most of us think of Kant, or maybe Confucius but very few of us think of George Santayana, José Carlos Mariátegui or the study of Logosophy that was created by Carlos Bernardo González Pecotche. Their has been a number of Latin American Scholars that have dedicated themselves to the study of ancient philosophers and philosophical institutions such as the International Plato Society (Whose president is Francisco Bravo, Venezuelan scholar) has looked towards Latin American thinkers to lead symposiums of philosophical thought and research.
Below is a report written by Thomas M. Robinson the Ex-president of the IPS, about a conference in 2009 held in Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Uberlândia. If you would like to know more about the IPS please click here.
X Simpósio Internacional da Sociedade Brasileira de Platonistas and VI Seminário Internacional Archai:
With support from – among other sources – The International Plato Society, a combined conference comprising the Tenth International Symposium of the Brazilian Plato Society and the Sixth International Seminar ‘Archai’ took place at the Santa Monica campus of the Federal University of Uberlandia, Uberlandia, Brazil, from August 25 to 28, 2009. The theme of the conference was ‘The Republic of Plato’.
It was the first time that I personally had attended a meeting of either Society, and I was much impressed with the intellectual vitality that marked the occasion. Twenty eight scholars, from Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Italy, Peru and Venezuela were present (the number from Italy, it must be said,
was remarkable), and care was taken to avoid concurrent sessions, so that each and every paper had a chance of being heard and commented on by every scholar present at the conference who wished to hear it. Reasonable time was also made available for discussion of each paper.
The meeting followed the example of the IPS in its expectation that – within obvious limits – the language of one’s choice be used in both the lectures and the discussion. This meant in practice that Portuguese, Italian and Spanish were used at all times as the natural languages of communication.
Days were organized such that four papers were read, and commented on, each morning, and five more in the late afternoon. This allowed time, in the middle of the afternoon, for the many students present at the conference to read papers too, which they did with enthusiasm – some forty eight of them! Of course this meant that, given the constraints of time, sessions were on this occasion concurrent. But it was a memorable thing to see students attending a conference in such numbers, and so engaged with ideas; and one came away with high expectations for the future of Greek philosophy studies in Brazil if a significant number of those of them present at this conference finish up playing a part in them.
The same thing, indeed, can reasonably be said about the current status of Greek philosophy studies in Brazil, if this particular meeting is any indication of the way things are, as I am myself convinced it is. At all times one felt the dynamic leadership of the current president of the Brazilian Plato Society, Professor Gabriele Cornelli, and the calm and competent guiding hand of the conference organizer, Dr. Dennys Garcia Xavier, and one looks to both of them to make very strong contributions to Greek Philosophy studies in Brazil over the next many years.
Thomas M. Robinson
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, The University of Toronto Ex-President, The International Plato Society