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Hispanic philosophy: its beginning and golden age.

HISPANIC PHILOSOPHY. The notion of Hispanic philosophy is a useful one for trying to understand certain historical phenomena related to the philosophy developed in the Iberian peninsula, the Iberian colonies in the New World, and the countries that those colonies eventually came to form.(1) It is useful for two reasons. First, it focuses attention on the close relations among the philosophers in these geographical areas; and second, other historical denominations and categorizations do not do justice to such relations. This becomes clear when one examines the standard general categorizations according to which the philosophical thought of the mentioned geographical areas is divided and studied: Spanish philosophy, Portuguese philosophy, Catalan philosophy, Latin American philosophy, Spanish-American philosophy, and Ibero-American philosophy.

The category "Spanish philosophy" usually includes only the philosophy that has taken place in the territory occupied by the modern Spanish state, whether before or after the state was constituted in the fifteenth century as a result of the efforts of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Thus, most histories of Spanish philosophy discuss the thought of Roman, Islamic, and Jewish philosophers who worked in that territory, as well as of medieval and subsequent authors who did likewise. In some cases, these accounts concentrate on Castillian-speaking philosophers, and at other times they also include those that speak Catalan and Portuguese. They generally ignore, however, the work of Latin American authors and seldom explore the close ties of those authors to philosphers working in the Iberian peninsula.(2) Something similar can be said about other peninsular histories of philosophy, with the added disadvantage that they, like those histories of Spanish philosophy that deal exclusively with Castillian-speaking philosophers, tend to ignore the developments in the Iberian peninsula that take place in linguistic and cultural contexts other than their own.(3) The reasons for these sometimes conscious oversights are rooted in nationalistic feelings dating back to historical conflicts and antagonisms which have little to do with philosophical, historical reality but which nonetheless affect historical accounts of that reality.

New World histories of philosophy concerned with Latin America suffer similar shortcomings, although in this case their neglect concerns the thought of Iberian authors and their close relations with, and impact they have had on, Latin American philosophers.(4) Histories of Latin American or Ibero-American philosophy and thought tend to concentrate on developments in the New World, ignoring the strong relations that tie such developments to the thought from Spanish and Portuguese sources.(5) In the case of histories dealing specifically with Spanish American philosophy, the situation is even worse, insofar as they tend to ignore the Portuguese side of Latin America and the cultural and intellectual ties that relate it to the rest of the area.(6)

General histories of philosophy seldom, if ever, do justice not only to the historical relations between Iberian and Latin American philosophers, but also to the philosophy of Spain, Catalonia, Portugal, and Latin America.(7) Indeed, it is particularly rare to find any reference to Latin American contributions to philosophy.(8) This becomes quite evident when one turns to particular periods of the history of philosophy, such as the period which will especially occupy us: the sixteenth century and part of the seventeenth century. This period is studied under such labels as "Renaissance philosophy," "Counter-Reformation philosophy," "Late Scholasticism," "Late Medieval Philosophy," "Second Scholastic," and "Silver Age of Scholasticism," to mention just the most frequently used. Some historians may want to argue that there is justification for this oversight in some cases. Indeed, one could argue that the impact of the Renaissance in Latin America came too late to be incorporated into a general history of the Renaissance, and also that the vector of influence went only one way, from Europe to Latin America, and not vice versa.(9) It is not true, however, that the impact of European Renaissance thought on Latin America came too late to be considered in histories of Renaissance thought; humanism influenced Latin American thought via Iberian thought beginning in the first half of the sixteenth century. Although it is true that Latin American humanism did not influence European humanism, it does nonetheless present some interesting characteristics which should not be ignored in an overall history of Renaissance philosophy.(10) Moreover, just like histories and studies of Renaissance thought, histories of the Counter-Reformation, late Scholastic philosophy, and so on generally neglect Latin America. They often fail to represent the particularly vibrant tone of the intellectual life of the Iberian peninsula during this time, even though they do make reference to Iberian contributions to philosophy.(11)

The general neglect of Iberian and Latin American thought outside Iberian and Latin American countries makes no historical sense. What is particularly distressing is to see the failure to take into account the close relations between the philosophy of Latin America and the countries of the Iberian peninsula, even in studies produced in Latin America and the Iberian peninsula; for texts dislodged from the tradition which produced them are silent, and many of the texts produced by Latin American and Iberian philosophers are the product of close relations between Latin America and the Iberian peninsula. This is especially clear in the case of Latin American scholastics, because their link to the authors of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries they emulated was mediated by Iberian scholastics. Alfonso de la Vera Cruz and Alonso Briceno cannot properly be understood when one does not take into account the work of Iberian Thomists and Scotists on whom they partly relied or through whom they approached the work of Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus.(12) But this problem is not restricted to this period. The work of Latin Americans in the twentieth century who looked at Hartmann and Scheler as intellectual mentors, for example, is incomprehensible unless one keeps in mind that they first learned about them through Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955). There is an Orteguean "color" to the Germanism of Samuel Ramos (1897-1959) and others who relied on Hartmann and Scheler for many of their ideas.(13) Although this color fades somewhat as Latin Americans learn German and become directly acquainted with German texts, it never quite disappears, for the patterns of interpretation and emphasis established at the beginning left discernible traces.(14)

The same can be said about studying Iberian philosophy apart from Latin American philosophy, for even in cases in which the philosophy of Latin America did not explicitly influence Iberian philosophers, the Latin American reality did. Consider the case of Iberian philosophers from the sixteenth century, like Francisco de Vitoria (1492/3-1546). Can we ignore the fact that much of what they thought about philosophically was prompted by the new reality they confronted as a result of the discovery?(15) Did they not see that new reality through the eyes of those who lived and travelled to the colonies? It was Latin Americans, whether adopted or native, who provided Iberian philosophers of the sixteenth century with many of the issues and themes they were to explore. Again, this need not be restricted to that age. The most distinguished group of Spanish philosophers in the twentieth century, the transterrados (fugitives from the Spanish Civil War), moved to Latin America and were influenced by the philosophers they found or helped develop there as much as they influenced them.(16)

For all these reasons it should be clear that we need a general category to bring out the philosophical reality encompassed by the Iberian peninsula and Latin America. The category of Hispanic philosophy responds to this need, focusing attention on historical relations and phenomena which are generally ignored in histories which use other categories and divisions. I have not considered the national histories of philosophy of individual Latin American countries, for it should be obvious that they are even more restrictive than the sorts of histories I have mentioned.(17) Moreover, they are sometimes marred by nationalistic concerns which distort the historical record, although one must grant that, like most historical accounts, they have their uses.

Having noted the advantages of using the category of Hispanic philosophy in the historical account of the development of philosophy in the Iberian peninsula and Latin America, I must warn that use of such a category does not imply that there is something peculiar, some idiosyncratic feature or features, which characterize such philosophy throughout its history.[18] Much Spanish and Latin American thought of the last one hundred years has devoted itself to the search for the unique features which characterize Spanish, Latin American, and national philosophies, distinguishing them from each other and from the philosophies of other countries and cultures.[19] This effort, however, has been to a great extent fruitless, for it has been difficult to identify even one feature that can serve to characterize any of these philosophies, let alone characterize what I have referred to here as Hispanic philosophy. There are no doubt certain concerns, certain approaches, and certain methods in philosophy that characterize one or more periods of the history of Hispanic philosophy, a fact which is well established by numerous studies.[20] But there is no definitive evidence that indicates this may be true for all the philosophy included under the epithet "Hispanic."

The category of Hispanic philosophy needs to be understood differently. I propose to understand it as the philosophy produced by a group of philosophers who span diverse political, territorial, linguistic, and ethnic and racial boundaries, but who are closely tied historically. It is not language that ties these philosophers, for some of them write in Latin, while others write in Catalan, Spanish, or Portuguese. Nor do they come from the same country. Some of them were born in Spain or Catalonia, but others were born in Portugal and the various Spanish and Portuguese colonies and countries of Latin America. Indeed, in many cases they taught and wrote in lands other than their native countries. Finally, they cannot be regarded as having the same ethnic or racial background, since their origins differ, some being European, others being descendants of American Indians or Africans, and still others representing a mixture of various races and ethnic groups. What these philosophers have in common is not language, country, race, or ethnic background, but rather a history. It is the events of that history, the historical reality they share, that provides the unity which brings them together.

Naturally, historical ties tend to generate common characteristics, but those characteristics may not extend beyond certain periods of time or geographical areas. There can be continuity without commonality. A may follow B, and B may follow C, and C may follow D, thus implying a connection between A and D even though A may have nothing in common with D. This is the kind of unity that Hispanic philosophy has. It is not a unity of common elements. Francisco Suarez (1548-1617) may not have anything in common with Francisco Romero, but both Suarez and Romero are tied by a series of events which places them together and separates them from Descartes, Hume, and Kant. It is not necessary, then, to find characteristics common to all Hispanic philosophers for them to be justifiably categorized as Hispanic. What unites them is the same sort of thing that unites a family, as Wittgenstein would say.[21] There may not be common features among all of them, but they belong together because somehow they are all historically related, as a father is to a son, an aunt to a niece, and grandparents to grandchildren. The Wittgenstenian metaphor of the family is particularly appropriate in this case, for a history of philosophy is always the history of the philosophical thought of a community. Beginning in the sixteenth century, the Hispanic community includes not only the inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula but also those of Latin America.

Still, one may question the need or benefit of using the category of Hispanic philosophy to study the philosophers from the Iberian peninsula and Latin America. If there are no characteristics common to all Hispanic philosophers, what can an account of Hispanic philosophy add to accounts of periods or countries which more clearly have characteristics in common? In short, what do we gain from the study of Hispanic philosophy that we do not already know and know better from the study of, say, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and Latin American philosophy? My claim is that we gain a greater understanding of the historical reality of a particular area of the history of philosophy which is otherwise missed.

A history of philosophy is an account of how ideas developed and thus involves an account of how philosophers influenced each other. For an account to be historical it must pay careful attention to the events and figures which played roles in history, avoiding the introduction of artificial divisions among them. My claim is that the notion of a Hispanic philosophy more than any other notion reflects the historical reality of the philosophy produced in Spain, Catalonia, Portugal, and Latin America, for it recognizes that there are no fast boundaries among the philosophers of these territories. Consider Francisco Suarez, who was born in Spain but taught in Portugal for many years; and consider Antonio Rubio (1548-1615), who worked in Mexico but whose Logic became a textbook in Spain.[22] More recently, the case of Ortega y Gasset stands out, for his influence in Latin America was perhaps greater than in Spain.[23] These are just a few examples of the many that reveal the historical unity of Hispanic philosophy. To parcel out Hispanic philosophy into various compartments according to political, territorial, racial, or linguistic groups is to miss many of the historical ties which bind the diverse elements which make up the philosophy of Spain, Catalonia, Portugal, and Latin America.

There are still two other objections that may be raised against the use of the term "Hispanic" to characterize the philosophy of the countries of the Iberian peninsula and Latin America. One may wish to object, for example, that the term "Hispanic" is not only Eurocentric but in fact indicates the relation of dominator-dominated which for several centuries characterized the relations between the countries in the peninsula and their colonies in America. Would not the use of this term, then, tend to perpetuate a spirit of domination which would stand in the way of the intellectual liberation of Latin America?

Notice that this objection does not challenge the accuracy or usefulness of this term for describing the actual historical reality of Latin America. The objection challenges its use because the term is seen as dangerous insofar as it can be used to perpetuate a situation which is morally wrong and thus intolerable. Could the use of the expression "Hispanic philosophy" promote the dominance of Iberian philosophy, thus leading to further intellectual enslavement in Latin America?

My response to this objection is twofold. First I would like to respond as a historian. Even if it were the case that the term "Hispanic" carried with it the kind of baggage which could stand in the way of the intellectual liberation of Latin America, still the use of the term would be justified as long as it were applied to a historical period where it served to characterize accurately the historical situation. The historian is not concerned with what should have been but with what actually was the case. My claim is precisely that the history of Iberian and Latin American philosophy up to the present, and particularly in the period that concerns us, supports the use of such a term, bringing to the fore historical connections which otherwise would remain hidden.

Second, although the term may at some point have been used in a way which gave support to the objection, I do not believe that this is any longer the case. As it is generally used today, I believe the term simply refers to anything that has to do with Spain, the Spanish language, Latin America, or the Iberian peninsula.[24] Thus, I do not think its use can result in the perpetuation of a relation of dominator-dominated in a way that would promote the continuance of a subservient role for Latin America.

The second objection is that the use of this term is misleading because it suggests that Latin American philosophy depended throughout its history on the thought of the Iberian peninsula, whereas in fact this is not so. Indeed, so the argument goes, after the colonial period Latin America turned toward France, England, and Germany for philosophical inspiration, ignoring what went on in the peninsula.

In response I must first agree that at least since around 1750, Latin America has been heavily influenced by the thought of philosophers from France, England, and Germany. But this does not militate against the notion of a Hispanic philosophy for two reasons. First, the term "Hispanic philosophy" used here is not meant to convey a sense of the philosophical dependence of Latin America on the peninsula. My point in using the term does not concern philosophical dependence, but historical relations in general. Second, it is not only in Latin America that the influence of France, England, and Germany has been felt, but also in the Iberian peninsula itself.[25] In this sense, there is much that looks the same in Latin America and in the Iberian peninsula. Finally, much of the influence of the thought of French, English, and German authors, whether we Latin Americans like it or not, did come through Iberia. The case of Ortega's introduction of German thought into Argentina and elsewhere, and the influence of the transterrados in Mexico and other countries, should suffice as illustrations.

In short, the category of Hispanic philosophy is a useful one for the description and understanding of the history of the philosophical thought of Latin America and the countries of the Iberian peninsula. Whether it will continue to be so is, of course, a matter to be determined by the future. For the present it serves well the purpose of those who wish to understand the thought of the world created by the European discovery of America.


The Beginning and Golden Age. Having clarified the notion of Hispanic philosophy, I must turn now to the part of it which concerns us in particular. The period in question covers, like the Siglo de Oro of Spanish letters, more than a century: from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the middle of the seventeenth. Its first notable figure is Juan de Zumarraga (1468?-1548) and its last is Juan de Santo Tomas (Jean Poinsot) (1589-1644). In between are Bartolome de las Casas (1484-1566), Vasco de Quiroga (1487?-1568), Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540), Francisco de Vitoria (1492/3-1546), Domingo de Soto (1494-1560), Alonso de Castro (1495-1558), Alonso de la Vera Cruz (1504?-1584), Francisco de Salazar (1505-1575), Melchior Cano (1509-1560), Pedro da Fonseca (1528-1599), Domingo Banez (1528-1604), Tomas de Mercado (1530?-1575), Francisco Toletus (1532-1596), Luis de Molina (1535-1600), Benito Pereira (1535?-1610), Juan de Mariana (1536-1624), Antonio Rubio (1548-1615), Francisco Suarez (1548-1617), Gabriel Vazquez (1549-1604), Antonio Arias (1564-1603), and Alfonso Briceno (1587?-1669?), among many others. Territorially, it covers the Iberian peninsula and the Iberian colonies in the New World. In the Iberian peninsula certain universities stand out, such as Salamanca and Coimbra, but others, like Valladolid, Segovia, Alcala, and Evora, follow closely. In the New World, the most important centers of activity are found in Mexico and Peru, particularly in the capital cities of Mexico City and Lima, although there are also developments in other areas.

It is important to note both that this period deserves to be regarded as the golden age of Hispanic philosophy because of the number and brilliance of its members and the influence they exerted on others, and that it is also the first period of philosophical development that properly merits being called Hispanic. It merits the name for two reasons. First, this is the first time that a new intellectual unity that can be distinguished from European philosophy is formed by the Iberian peninsula and the Latin American colonies. There is for the first time in history a political unity of the kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula and thus of the colonies of those kingdoms. There is also religious unity after the expulsion of the Muslims and the Jews. In addition, there is a strong sense of mission which permeates the activities and thinking at the time. This is the period in which the international medieval intellectual union which had characterized Europe for over a thousand years breaks up under the stresses of humanism, the Reformation, and the political pressures exerted by modern European states. Moreover, the Iberian world, in spite of its strong political and ideological interests in Europe, gradually directs its attention toward the colonies of the New World, the extraordinary opportunities they make available, and the enormous demands those colonies exert on the peninsula. Iberia, then, not only becomes unified in various ways but at the same time becomes increasingly separated from the rest of Europe and closer to the New World. This is reflected in the intellectual life of both the peninsula and the territories and thus justifies for the first time the category "Hispanic."

Previous to this time it makes no sense to employ this category in historical accounts. The Roman philosophers of Iberian origin, such as Seneca, belonged culturally and intellectually to a unit that was centered elsewhere and extended well beyond Iberia. Likewise, Islamic philosophers of Iberian origin, such as Averroes, belonged to a world which gravitated toward a different axis. Something similar can be said of Maimonides and other Jewish philosopher-theologians of the medieval period, for their history grouped them in ways which had little to do with the Iberian peninsula. Likewise, medieval scholastics from the peninsula were part of the greater unit represented by European Scholasticism. They were at home in that philosophy and their historical and intellectual relations were not so much to each other as to the common heritage of the age. Indeed, the agenda that moves them is centered primarily in Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, and Rome. All this changes in the sixteenth century. Although the Iberian and Latin American philosophers of the time continue to address issues of general concern to Europeans and to be influenced by sources which originate outside the peninsula and Latin America, there is a strong surge of interest in problems and issues which arise from the historically unique situation posed by the discovery, colonization, and evangelization of the New World. Moreover, there is also, in part as a result of common interests, but also as a result of other factors, a tightening of the relations among philosophers of these Hispanic lands, who exchange ideas and dispute among themselves in ways which were not enacted before. Indeed, recent studies show a strong predilection in the Hispanic authors of this period for their Hispanic contemporaries.(26)

This leads me to the second reason that this is the first historical period for which the term "Hispanic philosophy" is justified. The philosophy produced in the Iberian countries and their colonies between 1500 and 1650 springs forth to a great extent as the response of a well-established Iberian scholastic tradition to the issues that confront Iberian and Latin American intellectuals at the time and that result from the discovery and colonization of the New World. It is a philosophy, then, grounded in an Iberian tradition and in the consideration of issues and problems of which Iberian and Latin American philosophers had first-hand experience in most cases. This lends to their philosophy an autochthonous character which is missing in most subsequent Iberian and Latin American thought. Indeed, many Iberian and Latin American philosophers have complained repeatedly about the derivative nature of more recent Iberian and Latin American philosophical thought. They charge, often with reason, that philosophical thought in these areas has resulted from uncritical borrowing from non-Hispanic, European, and Anglo-American sources, thus making it lack originality and authenticity.(27) The reasons for this lack of originality and authenticity are to be found precisely in the fact that Iberian and Latin American philosophers have forgotten their roots and that philosophy must begin in human experience. It does not pay to talk about what others say if we have no first-hand experience of what gave rise to what they say. This is, of course, what makes the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries different. For the thinkers of that period were not only well-grounded historically in their intellectual traditions, but concerned themselves with what they knew best. That is why they can be accurately regarded as Hispanic philosophers and why they were able to excel to the degree they did.

The development in the sixteenth century of the kind of intellectual unity which I have used to justify the category of Hispanic philosophy can be understood if one considers the four challenges faced by the period in question: the discovery of the New World, the rise of Renaissance humanism, the spread of the Reformation, and the growth of skepticism. The discovery of the New World had a profound and lasting impact on the thinking of Europeans. It posed for Iberians in particular a set of problems which were new and which required an immediate solution. They were confronted with hitherto unknown peoples with different cultures and religious beliefs who nonetheless possessed enormous riches and who quickly became subject to them. What are the rights of these people? Should Christianity be imposed on them? Should they be treated as slaves? Who is the rightful owner of the riches which hitherto had belonged to them? What should the conquerors make of the natives' laws and traditions? Questions such as these were raised and had to be answered concerning most aspects of the lives of the conquered peoples, from general aspects of the relations among peoples considered as nations, to particular aspects of daily living. Issues ranged from international mercantile laws to the validity of pre-Columbian marriages.(28)

Obviously, the discovery of America represented an enormous challenge to intellectuals in the Iberian peninsula, forcing them to raise and deal with issues that they had not confronted before. This oriented their thinking toward new issues, away from traditionally travelled European areas and into new territories. The impact of the discovery on philosophy was an awakening to the need to deal with legal and ethical issues which were new to the times and which tended both to form a core of concerns which tied Iberian and Latin American thinkers together and at the same time to distance them from their European counterparts who had other concerns and agendas.(29)

The other three challenges faced by Iberian and Latin American philosophers and theologians at this time had similar effect of strengthening the ties among them and distancing them from the rest of Europe, supporting their historical interrelations and thus the development of a Hispanic philosophical universe. But this effect was not accomplished in the same way as the discovery of the New World. The challenges of humanism, the Reformation, and skepticism did not open the exploration of new themes that would draw Iberian and Latin American philosophers closer together. What these challenges did was to alert them to the need to come together in order to collect their forces and repel those whom most of them perceived as enemies. The need to defend what they considered to be the true Faith, to purge it from contamination by unorthodox or dangerous doctrines, and to vanquish those who threatened it, had not happened prior to this time.(30)

The impact of humanism on the Iberian peninsula and its colonies was felt quite early and, although several Iberian and Latin American intellectuals were receptive to humanism, the movement was generally perceived by ecclesiastical and governmental authorities as a threat to the orthodox Faith.(31) The discovery of new literary, philosophical, and artistic works from the ancient world had given rise not only to a renewed interest in pagan ideas, but to a change of attitude in the intellectual community that was taken by many to pose a threat to the integrity of Christianity. Humanism was considered a threat, then, because it looked to pagan antiquity as an ideal era whose values had to be emulated. The Christian Middle Ages and Scholasticism in particular also had looked to antiquity for enlightenment, but the attitude of the humanists was broader and less cautious. Scholastics borrowed from the past selectively, filtering what they borrowed through the sieve of Christian doctrine, and accepting only what they thought could be harmonized with that doctrine.(32) In spite of the borrowing en masse that took place in the thirteenth century, a suspicious attitude concerning pagan antiquity was never absent, as the repeated condemnations of heretical and pagan doctrines illustrate.(33) The humanists, by contrast, were attracted to the ancients and emulated less discriminatingly the forms and values of the period as displayed in art and literature. Their concern with beauty, the human body, ancient rites, literary style, and pagan religious ideas was a source of concern to ecclesiastical authorities. Although some humanists were devoted Christians and used their textual and linguistic skills in the service of the Faith, many were interested in the recovery of classical knowledge and art for their own sake, and not for the sake of enriching the Christian faith. This was certainly different from the attitude of medieval Scholastics and, moreover, appeared potentially dangerous to those in the Iberian peninsula and its colonies who wished to preserve the medieval worldview.(34)

Another challenge, the Reformation, had an effect on Iberian and Latin American philosophers and theologians similar to that of humanism. Indeed, it posed an even greater threat to the Church than humanism, for it was a challenge within the Church's own ranks and involved theology, the Church's conceptual foundation. Moreover, this rebellion against institutionalized Christianity gained considerable political support in some parts of Europe. There had been heretical challenges to the Church from within its ranks during the Middle Ages. Large revolts had occurred in southern France, as happened with the Albingensians, for example. There had also been serious threats to Christianity from without, primarily from Islam. But the Reformation was a different sort of movement for various reasons, three of which stand out: first, it was a challenge based on criticisms concerning the corruption prevalent at the papal court; second, it had strong political overtones, which lent it power that some of the earlier reform movements had lacked; third, it was a theological challenge arising from within the Church itself. These factors combined to make the Reformation a most powerful threat and one that endangered the stability and future of the Church.

The final challenge which helped to draw Iberians and Latin Americans together is less defined than the others, but not for that reason less effective. This was the rise of skepticism. Skepticism had not been strong in the Middle Ages. It was known primarily through Augustine, who had argued against it in Contra academicos in particular. In fact, skepticism had a bad name among Scholastics, who used it to accuse and condemn their opponents.(35) Yet there were many Scholastics who adopted a skeptical or somewhat skeptical stance in order to defend those tenets of the faith that they thought could not be defended if reason were held to be the ultimate arbiter of belief. Thus, there was a background to the skepticism that developed in the sixteenth century with authors like Montaigne, and which was to affect so decisively the course of early modern philosophy. The skepticism of Montaigne, however, went far beyond that adopted by some Scholastics and did not aim to support the Faith. Montaigne's question, Que sais-je? combined with a tolerance of what ecclesiastical authorities considered an easy morality, was regarded as an unwelcomed development by those who considered themselves champions of the Christian faith.(36)

The response of the Church to humanism, the Reformation, and skepticism was swift. First, there was a movement toward reform led by members of the Church hierarchy which aimed to stamp out corruption and also to regularize Christian doctrine, rites, and laws. The most effective instruments used to achieve these aims were the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and the Inquisition. The Council took care of doctrinal matters, whereas the Inquisition was charged with the task of enforcing the new standards. Second, the movement of renewal affected also the rank and file members of the Church. Among grassroots efforts the most successful was the founding of the Society of Jesus by Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). This religious order became the symbol of reformed Roman Catholicism and one of the most effective instruments of the Counter-Reformation.

In the Iberian peninsula and the Iberian colonies, the reaction to the use of humanistic, skeptical, and Reformation ideas by the ecclesiastical establishment was also quick. Humanists, reformers, and skeptics were portrayed as mixtures of grammarians and heretics whose influence had to be eradicated.(37) This was achieved in various ways, including the exercise of strict controls on the publication and distribution of books and the general discouraging of book learning.(38)

The intellectual climate at the time in which the Iberian thought of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries flourished, therefore, was a defensive one. The Church was under siege and felt it had to fight its assailants. The result among Roman Catholic intellectuals was a great effort to rethink and defend traditional Christian theology. Thus we find an abundance of literature dealing with doctrinal controversies cast in both apologetic and theological modes. Both modes are amply documented in the history of the Church prior to this time, but in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there was a renewed interest in them. Moreover, the polemical and defensive tone of some of these writings stands in contrast to the tone of many earlier Scholastics. The Iberian and Latin American thought of the period mirrors these polemical characteristics. The effect of humanism, the Reformation, and skepticism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, then, was to make Iberian and Latin American philosophers and theologians close ranks so that they might overcome these challenges to the established Church.

As noted, the attitude developed by the Roman Church in response to the challenges of humanism, the Reformation, and skepticism was not peculiar to the Iberian countries and their colonies, but the leadership of the Church's movement fell largely to the Iberians--to the government of the peninsula where arms were required, and to its philosophers and theologians where intellectual weapons were in order. Latin Americans, of course, did not participate as actively in this affair, but their activities were regulated to a great extent by what was taking place in the peninsula, making them dependent on the peninsula. Nowhere is this more evident, for example, than in the controlling of reading materials allowed into the colonies. Although there have been some exaggerated claims concerning the control exercised by peninsular authorities over the circulation of books in the New World, it is evident that efforts were made in this direction and thus that to a certain extent the peninsula established the intellectual parameters within which intellectuals from the New World were supposed to work.(39) This, naturally, tended to separate the New World from intellectual developments occurring beyond the Pyrenees, and to tie it closely to peninsular concerns and news.

Apart from the four challenges discussed, there are two other factors that need to be mentioned because they also helped shape the course of Iberian and Latin American thought and thus the development of Hispanic philosophy. These two factors are the relatively late emergence of Iberian Scholasticism and the close relations between Church and State that developed in the Iberian peninsula.

The relatively late emergence of Iberian Scholasticism meant that this movement was influenced by well-established traditions associated with various religious orders. From the thirteenth century onward, religious orders, particularly the powerful Franciscans and Dominicans, had appropriated certain ideas and authors, and they promoted them with extraordinary zeal. The Franciscans devoted themselves to the study and dissemination of the thought of Augustine and Duns Scotus, whereas the Dominicans worked under the spiritual tutelage of Thomas Aquinas and, through him, Aristotle. This commitment to a certain set of ideas and to certain authors became accentuated in some writers as time went on, lending the later Middle Ages an overall ideological tone. There was, however, a reprieve on this feeling of partisanship in the early sixteenth century, perhaps as a result of the influence of humanism and of to overall rebellion against the excessive technicism that characterized the practice of philosophy in most European universities, and particularly in Paris, at the time.(40) But this reprieve ended quickly after the rise of the Jesuits and the subsequent growth of rivalry between them and the Dominicans.

The respect for well-established conceptual traditions, together with the large literature inherited from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, helped develop, moreover, an encyclopedic attitude in which recovery and exposition became central to the Scholastic enterprise. Not that this attitude had been lacking in earlier stages of Scholasticism. From the very beginning the Middle Ages displayed a concern with the recovery and preservation of the past. Thus we find throughout the period many encyclopedias of knowledge. The earliest successful attempts in this direction were the De institutione divinarum litterarum of Cassiodorus, and the Etymologiae of Isidore of Seville. Both of these authors owed debts to earlier classical sources--as in the case of Isidore and Suetonius Pratum, for example--and both works were greatly successful, the first owing to its elegant and easy style, and the second because of the mass of material it contained.(41) This kind of effort went on, as is clear from the Speculum majus of Vincent of Beauvais, produced in the thirteenth century, and the Crestia, undertaken by Francesc Eiximenis at the end of the fourteenth century.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the encyclopedic emphasis on gathering all available information surrounding a topic became more pronounced. So much had been produced, and it was of such high quality, that it was natural for late Scholastics to feel they had to preserve it and at least take it into account in their own thinking. For this reason we find during the period much that is primarily expository, and many works whose character is informative. This attitude is displayed even in the work of the most original Iberian Scholastics, such as Francisco Suarez. In many ways, and in spite of their originality in many areas, Suarez's Disputationes metaphysicae (1597) constitute an encyclopedia of metaphysics in which every topic, every author of importance, and every relevant argument is carefully presented, examined, and evaluated.(42) Unfortunately, this emphasis on the past sometimes obscures the brilliant contributions of the period and has led some historians mistakenly to characterize the period as sterile.

The second factor that played a major role in shaping the Hispanic thought of the period was the close relationship that developed between the Roman Church and the Iberian states, particularly the Spanish state. In the fifteenth century the Roman Church became the state church in Spain and the Pope granted the Spanish kings the right to appoint the highest members of the hierarchy in the country. This extraordinary development made Spain a de facto theocracy in which the interests of the state and the interests of the Church were identified. It is easy to understand the reasons for this situation. First, Spain had become the main defender of the Faith against the threat of Islam. Having successfully expelled the Moors from Iberian soil after a seven hundred year struggle, Spain was in a favorable position to continue the defense of Christianity throughout the Mediterranean. Moreover, Spain was poised to become, and in fact did become, the first and most powerful European modern nation. Its kings, who became also emperors of the Holy Roman Empire for a time, controlled not only the Iberian peninsula but also territories in Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Germany, and thus exercised extraordinary power.

Second, the Spanish struggle against Islam had been both national and religious; the Spanish kings had fought in the name of the Cross both for territory and the spread of Christianity. Therefore, it made sense to extend this political, military, and religious struggle against the reformers.

Third, Spain had recently discovered America and this provided an unusual opportunity for both colonization and missionary work. Since the Church had no means to organize the indoctrination of the newly discovered lands, it was natural that the Spanish crown be entrusted with the task, enforcing once more the bonds that united Church and state in the peninsula.

Fourth, the preoccupation with the Reconquista had to some extent kept Spain away from the intellectual developments associated with the early Renaissance, making it an ideal place of operations for the defense against humanists, reformers, and skeptics. A militant faith was needed to defeat the challenges faced by the Church, and Spain certainly had such a faith. Spain had the faith, the power, and the means to conduct the struggle, and so it was to Spain that the task fell. Consequently, philosophical thought in the Iberian peninsula became subject to political influence and functioned in many instances as a tool of the Spanish government.

As a result of the two factors identified (see page 494 above), and the four challenges it faced (see page 489 above), the philosophy of this period in Iberia and its colonies not only developed close ties between Iberia and its colonies, which separated it from the rest of Europe and made it chart a course on its own, but it also developed some characteristic features which tended to distinguish it from prior and subsequent European thought. It was, for example, more encyclopedic, expository, and eclectic; it had a defensive, apologetic, and theological emphasis; it had the state and its power behind it and thus was partly influenced by political considerations that affected the state; and it developed a set of new issues dealing with international law and human rights.


Hispanic Philosophy and European Philosophy. For our purposes, the most significant aspect of all this is the separation of Hispanic philosophy from the mainstream of European thought: for in spite of their considerable popularity at the time, most of the Hispanic philosophers of this period have been largely forgotten. Suarez, Vitoria, Molina, and some of the other authors listed earlier were common names in the philosophical controversies of the time. Suarez's Disputationes metaphysicae, for example, was printed in more than seventeen editions outside the Iberian peninsula between 1597 and 1636, while Descartes' Meditations were edited only nine times between 1641 and 1700.(43) Yet Descartes is considered a major figure in the history of philosophy, while Suarez is hardly known. Indeed, if we were to ask the more than eleven thousand philosophers who teach in the United States today to tell us a few facts about Suarez, I am sure only a couple hundred, if that many, would be able to reply. Yet Suarez is without a doubt the most important and well-known Hispanic philosopher of the period. Only a dozen American philosophers have ever heard of Fonseca or Vazquez.

We may ask, then, two questions: first, Why have these philosophers been forgotten? Second, How can their thought constitute a golden age, as I have claimed?

The answer to the first question is to be found in the very points I have been making concerning the development of Hispanic philosophy. For the reasons given, the philosophy of the Iberian peninsula and its Latin American colonies became increasingly isolated from European philosophy, thus losing the historical ties it had had with it. Hispanic philosophy turned in upon itself, concerned about the peculiar and pressing problems faced by Hispanic society. In fear of European developments that threatened political and religious stability, it looked for support in the past. Thus it not only became isolated from the mainstream philosophical developments in the West, but consciously rejected these developments in favor of the West's medieval foundations. The result was to be expected. European philosophy continued on its own way and came to regard the philosophy practiced in the Iberian peninsula and its colonies as marginal and regressive. For a while, the political and military power of Spain insured that Iberian voices were taken seriously outside the peninsula, but the decline in Spanish political and military power in the seventeeth century contributed to the view that Iberian philosophy was stagnant and retrograde. This view was slowly extended to all Hispanic philosophy and thought, leading to the general perception that there was little of importance to be found in it.(44) Thus were forgotten the original and extraordinary contributions to philosophy of the Hispanic authors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

This brings me to the answer to the second question asked earlier, namely, How can the thought of the Hispanic philosophers of this period constitute a golden age? Hispanic philosophy in the period we have been exploring stands out not only in the history of Hispanic philosophy as a whole, but also in the complete history of Western philosophy. It is true that Hispanic philosophy has its roots in medieval philosophy, and that its scholastic language and theological concerns make it look as if it belonged in an earlier age from which it is but a derivative development. But these characteristics are in many ways deceiving, for the philosophy of this period makes possible much that was to come in early modern philosophy and breaks with medieval thought in significant ways. I will mention only three of the many areas in which this is evident.

First, as is clear from what was said earlier, the philosophy of this period formulated and tried to address many philosophical issues which were new to the history of Western philosophy. These issues had to do with the discovery and colonization of the New World and later came to form a permanent part of the concerns that Western philosophy has addressed. Authors like Las Casas and Vitoria were pioneers who opened up new areas of investigation in philosophy. Not only that, but their views formed the basis for the kind of humane and liberal thinking that was to become mainstream in European philosophy. Second, Hispanic philosophers from this period often went beyond the limits of what had been achieved in Scholastic thought prior to this century, deepening their analyses and extending the parameters established by earlier Scholastics. This is evident in most of the authors of the period. Mariana's notorious doctrine of tyrannicide and Molina's much discussed view of middle knowledge are just two dramatic examples of how far the thinking of these authors exceeded anything taught in the previous ages.

Finally, and most importantly perhaps, these Hispanic philosophers, in spite of a deep faith and a desire to preserve and support traditional Christian teaching, took bold and conscious steps to keep philosophy separate from theology. Perhaps the most stark example of this phenomenon is to be found in Suarez, who not only was a devout Christian, but also saw his primary role to be the understanding and defense of Christian doctrine. In spite of this, he consciously separated metaphysics from theology. Suarez's contribution in this regard can be seen in both the stated intention of his Disputations metaphysicae and the method that he employs in it. The fact that he calls himself a philosopher, that he avoids arguments based on faith in philosophy, and that he apologizes for dealing, even incidentally, with theological matters in a work of philosophy, should be sufficient to make the point.(45) Although many of the masters who taught liberal arts in the Middle Ages were not theologians, and taught subjects independently of theology, the most famous Scholastics of the age considered themselves theologians, and their philosophical views were generally presented within theological works. Moreover, even though many Scholastics distinguished between theology and philosophy, none of them would have apologized for the introduction of theological matter in a philosophical context, and most of them used both faith and reason to argue for both philosophical and theological views. But such a procedure is abandoned in Suarez's Disputationes. Occasionally he does bring up a theological point, but in such cases the aim is to show the reader how to apply metaphysical principles to theology rather than to use theology to prove philosophy. This secular emphasis in metaphysics both sets Suarez apart from his medieval predecessors and situates him at the beginning of the modern tradition.(46)

What has been said about Suarez's views concerning the relation of philosophy and theology, together with Hispanic philosophy's formulation of new issues in philosophy and the development of original views mentioned earlier, illustrates the importance of Hispanic philosophy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for the development of European philosophy. Indeed, the influence of Hispanic philosophy on European philosophy at this time was substantial.(47) Early modern philosophers from Locke and Descartes to Wolff and Leibniz are full of the language used, and sometimes introduced, by Hispanic philosophers of this period, and they often explicitly refer to the Hispanic philosophers.

As to this period's enduring philosophical importance, I believe that time will vindicate it. In my own experience, I have dealt with no philosophical issue for which I have not found much help in the writings of these philosophers. Consider the problem of individuation, to which I have devoted considerable time in recent years. I have yet to find a treatment of this issue in the history of philosophy before the twentieth century that, measured by philosophical sophistication and comprehensiveness, even approaches Suarez's discussion of it in his Disputation 5.(48) This is but one example. In areas of contemporary interest, such as semiotics, the philosophy of language, and logic, the work of Hispanic philosophers in the golden age holds vast reservoirs of interesting, original, and valuable materials.(49) Most of these materials, however, are not easily accessible; they are available only in old and difficult to find editions. And of course, the materials are in Latin, a language with which very few philosophers are familiar today. Thus, the job of those who wish to bring to light the contributions of this period to the history of philosophy is not easy, but I believe the enterprise should nonetheless deliver ample rewards. I finish, then, with a call to renew the effort to recover the contributions of Hispanic philosophy in its golden age.(50)

(1) The term "Hispanic" is a derivative from Hispania, the name used by Romans for the Iberian peninsula. Its use was popularized by the members of the Generation of 1898, a Spanish group of intellectuals who flourished at the turn of the century and who can be considered the progenitors of modern Iberian thought. In philosophy, the term "Hispanic" has been used Eduardo Nicol to refer to the philosophy of Spain and Spanish America. See Eduardo Nicol, El problema de la filosofia hispanica (Madrid: Editorial Tecnos, 1961).

(2) Cf. Alain Guy, Histoire de la philosophie espagnole, 12th ed. (Toulouse: Universite de Toulouse-Le Mirail, 1985); Marcial Solana, Historia de la filosofia espanola: Epoca del Renacimiento (siglo XVI), 3 vols. (Madrid: Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Fisicas y Naturales, 1941); and Jose Luis Abellan, Historia critica del pensamiento espanol, 7 vols. (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1979-91).

(3) There are occasional attempts, however, at establishing the influence of some peninsular authors on Latin America. See, for example, Maria del Carmen Rovira, Eclecticos portugueses del siglo XVIII y algunas de sus influencias en America (Mexico: Colegio de Mexico, 1958). These attempts, however, are usually specialized and do not seem to influence general histories of philosophy of peninsular nations.

(4) I am conscious that my use of the term "New World" to refer to North and South America is Eurocentric, but there is no other adequate term available. "America" which works in Spanish and Portuguese, does not work in English because it has been appropriated by the United States; moreover, "America" is as Eurocentric as "New World."

(5) Cf. Harold E. Davis, Latin American Thought: A Historical Introduction (New York: The Free Press, 1974); Manfredo Kempff Mercado, Historia de la filosofia en Latinoamerica (Santiago: Zig Zag, 1958); and Francisco Larroyo and Edmundo Escobar, Historia de las doctrinas filosoficas en Latinoamerica (Mexico: Editorial Porrua, 1968).

(6) Cf. Ramon Insua Rodriguez, Historia de la filosofia en Hispanoamerica (Guayaquil, Ecuador: Universidad de Guayaquil, 1945). The tendency to isolate Spanish America from Portuguese America is present in many authors of very different persuasions. See, for example, Jose Mariategui, Obras, ed. Francisco Baeza, vol. 2 (Havana: Casa de las Americas, 1982), 250.

(7) For example, Wilhelm Windelband's influential A History of Philosophy, 2 vols. (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1958), which covers the sixteenth century in some detail, makes no reference to Francisco de Vitoria and only two passing references to Francisco Suarez (see vol. 2). W.T. Jones' extensive A History of Western Philosophy, 4 vols. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1970) does not have a single reference to Iberian or Latin American philosophers.

(8) Even in histories of Western philosophy which take into account Iberian developments this is true. See, for example, Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy (New York: Image Books, 1950). It is only recently and sporadically that general dictionaries and encyclopedias of philosophy include references to Latin American philosophy. Only general histories of philosophy produced by Latin American philosophers contain materials on Latin American thought. See, for example, Jose Vasconcelos, Historia del pensamiento filosofico (Mexico: Imprenta Universitaria, 1937).

(9) Among histories and studies of Renaissance thought that ignore Latin America, see, for example, Paul Oskar Kristeller, Renaissance Thought and Its Sources (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979); Paul Oskar Kristeller, Renaissance Thought: The Classic, Scholastic, and Humanistic Strains (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1961); The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy, ed. Charles B. Schmitt, et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988).

(10) Cf. Jose M. Gallegos Rocafull, El pensamiento mexicano en los siglos XVI y XVII, 2nd ed. (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1974); Guillermo Furlong, Nacimiento y desarrollo de la filosofia en el Rio de La Plata, 1536-1810 (Buenos Aires: Guillermo Kraft, 1952); Alain Guy, Panorama de la philosophie Ibero-Americaine du XVIe siecle a nos jours (Geneva: Patino, 1989); Mauricio Beuchot, La filosofia en el Mexico colonial Guy, "La influencia del Renacimiento en la Colonia," in Estudios de historia y filosofia en el Mexico colonial (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1991), 73-106; and Gabriel Mendez Plancarte, Humanismo mexicano del siglo XVI (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1946). It should also be noted that, as we shall see later, the nonhumanistic thought of the period in Latin America did influence European thought.

(11) Carlo Giacon, La seconda scolastica, 2 vols. (Milan: Fratelli Bocca, 1946), and The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy pay considerable attention to Iberian philosophy (see in particular the chapters by Charles H. Lohr and E.J. Ashworth in the latter). Other histories which cover the period do not do so. Cf. The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy, ed. Norman Kretzman, et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).

(12) See, for example, Mauricio Beuchot, "Panorama de la historia de la filosofia novohispana," in Estudios de historia y filosofia, 22-36. Concerning Alonso de la Vera Cruz and his relations to Iberian thought, see in particular Walter Redmond and Mauricio Beuchot, Pensamiento y realidad en Alonso de la Vera Cruz (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1987). Concerning Briceno, see Walter Hannisch Espindola, En torno a la filosofia en Chile 1594-1810 (Santiago: Universidad Catolica de Chile, 1963), 24-30.

(13) Cf. Samuel Ramos, Hacia un nuevo humanismo: Programa de una antropologia filosofica (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1962).

(14) Cf. Francsco Romero, Theory of Man, trans. William Cooper (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1964); and Risieri Frondizi, What Is Value? An Introduction to Axiology, trans. Solomon Lipp (La Salle: Open Court, 1963).

(15) In the case of Vitoria the discovery seemed to be a important concern, as is evident in his Relectio de indis (1538) and Relectio de iure belli (1539). In fact, there is substantial evidence that colonial Latin American thinkers influenced not only Iberian authors but also European philosophers such as Descartes. See Mauricio Beuchot, "Aportaciones de pensadores novohispanos a la filosofia europea y universal," in Estudios de historia y filosofia, 43-51.

(16) On the transterrados, see Jose Luis Abellan, Filosofia espanola en America (1936-1966) (Madrid: Ediciones Guadarrama, 1967). The concern of Jose Gaos, Eduardo Nicol, and other transterrados with the relation of Latin American thought to Iberian thought is evident in their writings and can be explained only by the influence that Latin Americans and the Latin American reality had on them. Gaos's Historia del pensamiento de lengua espanola en la edad contemporanea (1744-1944) (Mexico: Seneca, 1945) and Nicol's El problema de la filosofia hispanica make no sense plucked from the Latin American experience.

(17) A couple of examples will serve as illustrations: Samuel Ramos, Historia de la filosofia en Mexico (Mexico: Imprenta Universitaria, 1943); and Guillermo Francovich, La filosofia en Bolivia (La Paz: Juventud, 1966).

(18) In this I must differ with Nicol and those who have tried to see some element common to all Hispanic philosophy. See Eduardo Nicol, "Meditacion del propio ser: La hispanidad," in Filosofia e identidad cultural en America latina, ed. Jorge E. Gracia and Ivan Jaksic (Caracas: Monte Avila, 1988), 231-63.

(19) Ivan Jaksic and I have gathered the most important texts of this controversy concerning Latin American philosophy in the collection cited in the previous note. The controversy was fueled in part by the peninsular quest for a cultural ethos, so evident in the Generation of 1898 and in subsequent authors, and received philosophical justification through Ortega y Gasset's perspectivism. It was explicitly formulated as the problem of Latin American philosophical identity by Leopoldo Zea in 1945, and although it found immediate detractors, such as Risieri Frondizi, the controversy still survives in various forms. For Frondizi's objections, see Risieri Frondizi, "Hay una filosofia iberoamericana?" Realidad 3 (1948): 158-70. Zea's original article, "En torno a una filosofia americana," and Frondizi's article are reproduced in Filosofia e identidad cultural, 187-207 and 211-27 respectively. Ofelia Schutte explores the issue of cultural identity in Latin America in her Cultural Identity and Social Liberation in Latin American Thought (Albany: SUNY Press, 1993).

(20) See, for example, La filosofia en America: Trabajos presentados en el IX Congreso Interamericano de Filosofia, 2 vols. (Caracas: Sociedad Venezolana de Filosofia, 1979); Ideas en torno de Latinoamerica, 2 vols. (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1986); Latin American Philosophy in the Twentieth Century, ed. Jorge J.E. Gracia (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1986); and America Latina: Historia y destino, 2 vols. (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1992).

(21) Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, (New York: Macmillan, 1953), secs. 66-7.

(22) Concerning Suarez, see Raoul Scorraille, Francois Suarez de la Compagnie de Josus, 2 vols. (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1912). Concerning Rubio, see Gallegos Rocafull, El pensamiento mexicano en los siglos XVI y XVII, 262-78; and Walter Redmond and Mauricio Beuchot, La logica mexicana en el siglo de oro (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1985).

(23) Any good history of Latin American philosophy will refer to this influence, but there are also more specialized studies. See, for example, Abellan, Filosofia espanola en America (1936-1966), 103-92; and Jose Gaos, Sobre Ortega y Gasset (Mexico: Imprenta Universitaria, 1952).

(24) In Latin America adn Spain, the term is frequently used to refer to things Spanish, thus excluding the Portuguese or Brazilian; see note 6 above. There are some subgroups of the Hispanic community in the United States, however, which object to the use of the term to refer to themselves. Whether they are justified or not is irrelevant for the historiographical thesis of this paper. Nonetheless, it should be noted that most of the arguments adduced in this direction are based on limited knowledge of the history of the Iberian peninsula or of Latin America. See "Chicanos, not Hispanics," (anonymous paper from the Third World Forum, Montreal, 14 March 1990); Earl Shorris, "Lation Si. Hispanic, No," New York Times, 28 October 1992; David Gonzalez, "What's the Problem with 'Hispanic'," New York Times, 15 November 1992.

(25) See Abellan's monumental history of Spanish thought (see note 2 above), where such influences are recorded in detail.

(26) See, for example, Hannisch Espindola, En torno a la filosofia en Chile (1594-1810) (Santiago: Universidad Catolica de Chile, 1963), 36-7.

(27) The most eloquent articulation of this criticism is provided by Augusto Salazar Bondy in his I Existe una filosofia de nuestra America? (Mexico: Siglo XXI, 1968); and his Sentido y problema del pensamiento hispano-americano, with English translation by Arthur Berdtson (Lawrence: University of Kansas Center for Latin American Studies, 1969).

(28) The rest of this discussion follows in part a section of my "Scholasticism: A Bridge between Classical Antiquity and Colonial Latin American Thought," in The Classical Tradition and the Americas, ed. W. Haase et al. vol. 2, forthcoming.

(29) There is much literature on this topic. Among the more recent publications which give an idea of the issues in question is Luciano Perena, The Rights and Obligations of Indians and Spaniards in the New World (Salamanca: Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca and Catholic University of America, 1992). The issues in question were not only moral and legal, but extended to matters of commerce and economics. See, for example, M. Grice-Hutchinson, The School of Salamanca. Readings in Spanish Monetary Theory, 1544-1605 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952); and R. Sierra Bravo, El pensamiento social y economico de la escolastica desde sus origenes al comienzo del catolicismo social (Madrid: CSIC, 1975).

(30) Cf. Luis Gil Fernandez, Estudios de humanismo y tradicion clasica (Madrid: Editorial Complutense, 1984), 15-94.

(31) See J. Fuster, Rebeldes y heterodoxos (Barcelona: Edicions Ariel, 1972), 72.

(32) Bonaventure, Collationes in Hexaemeron 19, in Opera omnia (Ad Claras Aquas: Collegium S. Bonaventurae, 1882-1902), vol. 5, p. 422.

(33) The most important of these condemnations took place in Paris, in 1277. See Etienne Gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages (New York: Random House, 1954), 402-10.

(34) The conduct of Renaissance popes such as Leo X did not help to assuage the fears of such people. For a readable account of Leo X and other Renaissance popes, see E. R. Chamberlin, The Bad Popes (New York: Dorset Press, 1969).

(35) See John Duns Scotus's charge that Henry of Ghent is a skeptic: Opus oxoniense I, dist. 3, q. 4, a. 1, in Duns Scotus, Philosophical Writings, ed. Allan Wolter (London: Nelson, 1963), 103-6. For discussions of skepticism in the Middle Ages, see K. Michalski, La philosophie au XIVe siecle. Six etudes (Frankfurt: Minerva, 1969); and Mauricio Beuchot, "Escepticismo en la edad media: El caso de Nicolas de Autrecourt," Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 15 (1989): 307-19.

(36) For a treatment of the growth of the skeptical movement in the sixteenth century and the beginning of the reaction to it, see Richard Popkin, The History of Scepticism from Erasmus to Descartes (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1964).

(37) See notes 30 and 31 above.

(38) See M. de la Pinta Llorente, La Inquisicion espanola y los problemas de la cultura y de la intolerancia (Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispanica, 1953-58); M. Defourneaux, Inquisicion y censura de libros en la Espana del siglo XVIII (Madrid: Taurus, 1973); and Vicente G. Quesada, La vida intelectual en la America espanola durante los siglos XVI, XVII, y XVIII (Buenos Aires: Arnoldo Moen y Hermano, 1910), 3-33.

(39) See note 38 above.

(40) For the technical character of the philosophy of this period, see Carlos Norena, Studies in Spanish Renaissance Thought (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1975); R. Garcia Villoslada, La Universidad de Paris durante los estudios de Francisco de Vitoria, O.P. (1507-1522) (Rome: Universitas Gregoriana, 1938); V. Munoz Delgado, La logica nominalista en la universidad de Salamanca (1510-1530); V. Munoz Delgado, "La logica en Salamanca durante la primera mitad del siglo XVI," Salmanticensis 14 (1967): 171-207; V. Munoz Delgado, "La obra logica de los espanoles en Paris (1500-1525)," Estudios 26 (1970): 209-80; V. Munoz Delgado, "Logica hispano-portuguesa hasta 1600 (notas bibliografico-doctrinales)," Repertorio de historia de las ciencias eclesiasticas en Espana 4 (1972): 9-122; and E. J. Ashwoth, Language and Logic in the Post-Medieval Period (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1974). There were some good reasons for criticizing humanists such as Luis Vives and others.

(41) See Peter L. Schmidt, "Suetons 'Pratum' seit Wessner (1917)," in The Classical Tradition and the Americas, vol. 2. See also Gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages, 107.

(42) Other examples are the Cursus Conimbricensis, and Juan de Santo Tomas's Cursus philosophicus. See John Trentman, "Scholasticism in the Seventeenth Century," in The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy, 835-7.

(43) See J. Iriarte, "La proyeccion sobre Europa de una gran metafisica, o Suarez en la filosofia en los dias del Barroco," Razon y Fe, numero extraordinario (1948): 236.

(44) Indeed, Hispanic philosophers themselves are relentless in their repetition of this view. Cf. E. Villanueva, "Philosophical Analysis in Mexico," in Philosophical Analysis in Latin America, ed. Jorge J. E. Gracia, et al. (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1984), 170.

(45) I have dealt with these points in more detail in my "Francisco Suarez: The Man in History," American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 65 (1991): 262-5; and in my "Suarez and Later Scholasticism," The Routledge History of Medieval Philosophy, ed. John Marenbon, forthcoming.

(46) For further discussion of the relation of Suarez's metaphysics to early modern philosophy, see my "Suarez's Conception of Metaphysics: A Step in the Direction of Mentalism?" American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 65 (1991): 287-310; Jean-Francois Courtine, "Le project Suarezien de la metaphysique," Archives de Philosophie 42 (1979): 236; and Charles Lohr, "Metaphysics," in The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy, 611ff.

(47) See notes 15 and 43 above; and William A. Wallace, "The Early Jesuits and the Heritage of Domingo de Soto," History and Technology 4 (1987), 301-20. There was also influence outside of philosophy. See William A. Wallace, Galileo and His Sources (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984).

(48) See my "Francisco Suarez," in Individuation in Scholasticism: The Later Middle Ages and the Counter Reformation (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, forthcoming); and my Suarez on Individuation (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1982).

(49) See, for example, Tractatus de signis: The Semiotic of John Poinsot, translated and presented in bilingual format by John Deely in consultation with Ralph A. Powell (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985).

(50) A shorter version of this paper was read at the conference "Hispanic Philosophy in the Age of Discovery," The Catholic University of America, October 1992. I am grateful to Edward Mahoney and William Irwin for offering some useful criticisms.
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Author:Gracia, Jorge J.E.
Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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