philosophy

   Philosophy in the early years of the twentieth century was heavily influenced by two different traditions. On the one hand, there was the legacy of the Europeanizing movement known as Krausism, a kind of secular humanism with a religious tinge, which took its name from a minor German idealist, Karl Christian Friedrich Krause, who died in 1832. On the other, the soulsearching produced by the loss of the colonies in the war with the United States in 1898 would leave its imprint on a whole generation of writers, the so-called "Generation of 1898". One of the main representatives of Krausism, Francisco Giner de los Ríos, founded in 1876 the Institución Libre de Enseñanza (ILE— Free Institute of Education), which upheld the idea that the thorough reform of education was a precondition for changing Spanish society and its way of thinking. The ILE continued to exercise an influence on the educational and cultural policy of successive governments in the first third of the twentieth century, which earned it the increasing hostility of conservatives and Catholics.
   The Europeanizing tradition of the Krausists was carried on in the 1920s by the most prominent Spanish thinker of the time, José Ortega y Gasset. The notion of the individual immersed in his or her historical circumstances is the central idea of his philosophy. This "historicity" of the individual is complemented by a conception of social relations in which a select minority would rule the emergent masses, who had been acquiring greater prominence since the mid-nineteenth century. The "revolt of the masses" was, in Ortega's view, the greatest danger which faced western society in the 1930s. After spending the Civil War in exile, Ortega returned to Spain in 1945, where three years later he founded the Instituto de Humanidades (Institute of Humanities). Until Ortega's death in 1955, he continued to occupy a key position in contemporary philosophy within Spain, together with Xavier Zubiri, Manuel García Morente, Eugenio D'Ors, and Julian Marías, his pupil and the co-founder of the Instituto de Humanidades. Simultaneously, those exiled philosophers who were heirs of Ortega found their work greatly enriched by contact with the cultures of Spanish America, which gave a new dimension to their reflections on Spanish culture, Spanishness, and the problem of the "two Spains" (ie, liberal and conservative). These concerns are reflected in the work of Francisco Ayala, María Zambrano, Luis Recaséns Siches and especially José Gaos. The disastrous effects of the Civil War in causing an exodus of intellectuals can be measured if we add to this list the names of Américo Castro, Manuel García Pelayo, José Ferrater Mora, Juan David García Bacca, Adolfo Sánchez Vázquez, Luis Araquistain, Fernando de los Rios, José Antonio Balbotín, José Castillejo and Salvador de Madariaga.
   In the early years after the Civil War, most of the officially approved philosophy was scholastic in character. It was not until 1961 that the first post-war book on Marxism appeared, Introducción al pensamiento marxista (Introduction to Marxist Thought), which brought together a series of lectures given in the University of Santiago de Compostela in the autumn of 1958. From that date on, the process of rediscovery of Marxist thought was forwarded not only by philosophers but by scholars in various branches of the social sciences. This process was assisted by the rise of revolutionary movements in the Third World, and the growth of the New Left. This period also saw the rediscovery of Krausism and the thinking which inspired the ILE, a tradition to which the Franco regime had been implacably hostile. The earliest contribution to this development was the doctoral thesis of Eloy Bullón, La filosofía krausista en España (Krausist Philosophy in Spain) (1958), which was followed by Vicente Cacho Viu's La Institution Libre de Enseñanza (The Free Institute of Education) (1962), and Dolores Gómez Molleda's Los reforma-tions de la España Contemporánea (The Reformers of Contemporary Spain) (1966).
   In parallel with this, Marxist thought was reconceptualized as a "practical humanism", which could provide a basis for a truly democratic socialism and a genuine socialist democracy. At the same time, the evolution of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1960s facilitated a dialogue between Marxism and religion. The issue is treated in works such as Tomás Malagón's El marxismo y la "Populorum Progressio" (Marxism and the Papal Encyclical Populorum Progressio) (1967) or in the collective work Cristianos y Marxistas: Los problemas de un diálogo (Christians and Marxists: The Problems of Dialogue) (1969). All these elements: Krausism, the influence of the ILE, socialism, Marxism, and later anarchism, are aspects of the gradual rehabilitation of the philosophical traditions of the left, which had been rejected and ignored by the Franco regime.
   Further reading
   - Abellán, J.L. (1979–89) Historia crítica del pensamiento español, Madrid: Taurus, 5 vols (a very extensive and well-documented source).
   - Díaz, E. (1983) Pensamiento español en la era de Franco (1939-1975), Madrid: Tecnos (an indispensable classic study).
   - Díaz Díaz, G. (1980–95) Hombres y documentos de la Filosofía Española, Madrid: CSIC (a large multivolume work which has now reached its fifth volume, corresponding to the letter "Ñ").
   - Ferrater Mora, J. (1994) Diccionario de Filosofía, Barcelona: Ariel, 4 vols (an updated edition of a basic reference text).
   ALICIA ALTED

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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