This category comprises works written from a variety of different perspectives that explore a wide range of problems and arguments through the eyes of Latin American philosophers. Many of these works raise questions that are closely related to the history of Latin American thought and culture, including the reflections of Hispanic philosophers on issues of race, values, and their own ethnic and cultural identity. On the other hand, some of the questions that puzzle Latin American philosophers are the same ones that have bedeviled philosophers in the Western tradition (the nature of mind, God, justice, etc.). In their attempts to answer questions of both sorts, Latin American philosophers have offered alternative perspectives that will be of interest to readers seeking to learn more about the history of philosophical ideas in the West, but also to those curious about some issues characteristic of Latin American thought.
A recurrent topic in Latin American philosophy is that of identity, understood in two different ways. One concerns the cultural, racial, and ethnic identity of Latin Americans and their descendants abroad, and on this subject an influential view is that proposed by Jorge Gracia in his “Is Being Hispanic an Identity?” (Garcia 2001). The other concerns the identity of Latin American philosophy as a distinctive kind of philosophy. On this topic, Susana Nuccetelli offers an overview of the main positions, together with her own proposal, in her “Is ‘Latin American Philosophy’ Philosophy?” (Nuccetelli 2003).
There are some current collections of original sources in Latin American philosophy offering historical and thematic selections (for example, Gracia & Millán-Zaibert 2004 and Nuccetelli & Seay 2003). In these collections the reader will also find introductions by the editors that will provide some guidance through the discipline for those unfamiliar with it. For overviews of the main topics and arguments in Latin American philosophy, see the Blackwell Companion to Latin American Philosophy (Nuccetelli et al 2009). On the foundations of Latin American philosophy, see the forthcoming entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy by Susana Nuccetelli.