Mexican Philosophy in the 20th Century

Edited by Carlos Alberto Sánchez and Robert Eli Sanchez, Jr.

Sánchez and Sanchez have selected, edited, translated, and introduced some of the most influential texts in Mexican philosophy, which constitute a unique and robust tradition that will challenge and complicate traditional conceptions of philosophy. The texts collected here are organized chronologically and represent a period of Mexican thought and culture that emerged from the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and which culminated in la filosofía de lo mexicano (the philosophy of Mexicanness). Though the selections reflect on a variety of philosophical questions, collectively they represent a growing tendency to take seriously the question of Mexican national identity as a philosophical question–especially given the complexities of Mexico’s indigenous and European ancestries, a history of colonialism, and a growing dependency on foreign money and culture. More than an attempt to describe the national character, however, the texts gathered here represent an optimistic period in Mexican philosophy that aimed to affirm Mexican culture and philosophy as a valuable, if not urgent, contribution to universal culture.

Table of Contents


Chapter 01: Gabino Barreda and Contemporary Ideas (1910) by José Vasconcelos
Chapter 02: Discourse at the Inauguration of the National University (1910) by Justo Sierra
Chapter 03: Existence as Economy and as Charity (1916) by Antonio Caso
Chapter 04: Neither Irrationalism nor Rationalism but Critical Philosophy (1928) by José Romano Muñoz
Chapter 05: 20 Years of Education in Mexico (1941) by Samuel Ramos
Chapter 06: History of Philosophy in Mexico (1943) by Samuel Ramos
Chapter 07: The University Debate Between Antonio Caso and Vicente Lombardo Toledano (1933)
Chapter 08: Two Ideas of Philosophy (1940) by Francisco Larroyo and José Gaos
Chapter 09: My Two Cents: “American” Philosophy? (1942) by José Gaos
Chapter 10: Philosophy as Commitment (1952) by Leopoldo Zea
Chapter 11: Solitude and Communion (1948) by Luis Villoro
Chapter 12: The Major Moments of Indigenism in Mexico (1950) by Luis Villoro
Chapter 13: Essay on an Ontology of the Mexican (1951) by Emilio Uranga
Chapter 14: Community, Greatness, and Misery in Mexican Life (1949) by Jorge Portilla
Chapter 15: Art or Monstrosity (1960) by Edmundo O’ Gorman
Chapter 16: On Feminine Culture (1950) by Rosario Castellanos
Chapter 17: Possibilities and Limitations of the Mexican (1958) by José Revueltas
Chapter 18: The X on the Brow: Some Reflections on Mexico (1952) by Alfonso Reyes
Chapter 19: The Problem of Truth (1960) by Abelardo Villegas


About the Editors

Robert Eli Sanchez, Jr. received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California, Riverside in 2012. He is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, and is a member of the APA Committee on Hispanics.

Carlos Sánchez received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of New Mexico in 2006. He is the Editor of the American Philosophical Association’s Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy.

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