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Think with your own head

Upon examining his biography we found that he came from a home full of needs. The humble candy trade, accompanied by the service of ironing other people's clothes, alleviated the hardships of his house. She was never ashamed of it. He paid for his own training with sacrifice, overcoming the dilemma of “study or work.”

That, without forgetting that if he didn't work he didn't eat. His spirit of self-improvement was proverbial, without forgetting, as is often the case with some intellectuals in these parts, his modest origins and his fight on behalf of the exploited.

Its name alone is an appointment with universal thought. It is considered one of our pillars of calibrating ourselves with our own categories.

He was among the favorite students of the exiled José Gaos, jumping, on the recommendation of the wise Spanish man, from legal studies to philosophical analyses.

In 1943 Leopoldo Zea, whom we are talking about, obtained a master's degree, and the following year he received a doctorate in Philosophy, already as a scholarship-researcher from the prestigious College of Mexico. Likewise, he was a teacher at the National School of Teachers, between 1943 and 1944.

Zea achieved notoriety due to his doctoral thesis, titled Positivism in Mexico (1945), a work in which he examines this refracted worldliness in his native home, closing the XNUMXth century and beginning the XNUMXth.

Zea lived at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and promoted the Seminar on the History of Ideas in America in this house of higher studies, later founding the College of Latin American Studies. A true contribution by a critical trend that is becoming more pertinent every day.

Zea obtained many awards, various decorations and several honorary doctorates throughout his productive existence.

Likewise, his bibliography was very extensive, translated into several languages. Notable among his books are Around an American Philosophy (1947), Essays on the Philosophy of History (1947), Consciousness and Possibility of the Mexican (1952), Philosophy as Commitment (1952), America as Consciousness (1953), America in history (1957), Culture and man in our days (1959), Latin America and the world (1960), Essays on Mexico and Latin America (1960), Latin American thought (1965), Latin America.

Emancipation and neocolonialism (1971), Dependency and liberation in Latin American culture (1975), Dialectic of Latin American consciousness (1976), Philosophy of the history of America (1976), Simón Bolívar (1980), Latin America at the crossroads of history (1981), Philosophy of the American (1983) and Discourse on Marginalization and Barbarism (1988).

In his philosophical outlook, Zea agreed with the premise that hegemonic ideas are inseparable from historical phenomena, as products of concrete social realities.
In such a way that his great legacy was to contribute to the consolidation of a philosophy in tune with the American circumstance, with a situated and emancipatory thought. A true Our-American and anti-Eurocentric bet.

Leopoldo Zea died in Mexico City on June 8, 2004. He was born in this same capital on June 30, 1912.

Today we remember – two decades after his physical absence – the committed, Bolivarian intellectual, always ready to confront grim American interventionism.

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