Nation-Building through Education: Positivism and its Transformations in Mexico

In Jr Sanchez (ed.), Latin American and Latinx Philosophy: A Collaborative Introduction. Routledge (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In the second half of the nineteenth century, many Latin American intellectuals adapted the philosophy of positivism to address the pressing problems of nation-building and respond to the demands of their own social and political contexts, making positivism the second most influential tradition in the history of Latin American philosophy, after scholasticism. Since a comprehensive survey of positivism’s role across Latin American and Latinx philosophy would require multiple books, this chapter presents the history of positivism and its transformations in Mexican and Chicanx philosophies, proceeding chronologically and focusing on these representative thinkers: Auguste Comte (1798-1857), Gabino Barreda (1818-1881), Justo Sierra (1848-1912), José Vasconcelos (1882-1959), Antonio Caso (1883-1946), and Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-2004). We pay special attention to how positivism was used to build the Mexican nation and reconstruct Mexican identity through education, creating philosophical debates about the relationships among science, religion, morality, education, race, economic progress, and national development. These debates continue to resonate as we think critically about the respective roles of scientific education—then called “positive” education, now “STEM” education—and moral education in the curricula used to educate a country’s youth while reconstructing their ethnoracial and national identities.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Logical positivism and American education.Cornelius Leo Maloney - 1951 - Washington,: Catholic University of America Press.
Positivism in Mexico.Leopoldo Zea - 1974 - Austin,: University of Texas Press.
A Study in Recent Mexican Thought.Risieri Frondizi - 1955 - Review of Metaphysics 9 (1):112 - 116.
El positivismo en México.Leopoldo Zea - 1943 - [México]: El Colegio de México.
Latin American Philosophy.Alexander V. Stehn - 2014 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Latin American and Logical Positivism.Gregory D. Gilson - 2012 - In Gregory Gilson & Irving Levinson (eds.), Latin American Positivism: New Historical and Philosophic Essays. Lexington Books. pp. 13.
Apogeo y decadencia del positivismo en México.Leopoldo Zea - 1944 - [México]: El Colegio de México.
Why Positivism Failed Latin America1.Steve Calogero - 2012 - In Gregory Gilson & Irving Levinson (eds.), Latin American Positivism: New Historical and Philosophic Essays. Lexington Books. pp. 83.


Added to PP

422 (#47,083)

6 months
120 (#33,130)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Alexander V. Stehn
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references