Søren Kierkegaard was one of the most prolific writers in the history of Western philosophy. He published many of his works under pseudonyms. Some were academic in nature, analyzing concepts central to his worldview, such as irony, anxiety, despair, and faith. Others were literary. Some were meant to be “uplifting”, closer to self-help guides for spiritual development. Kierkegaard stashed much of what he had to say in journals, notebooks, and newspaper articles. In short, there are many Kierkegaards and even more ways of approaching the life and thought of SK, so we have to be selective. The aim of this course, then, is to examine a handful of SK’s texts and draw out essential elements of his critique of modern life and philosophy. Why did SK say that Socrates was the only model he had before him? What was SK’s critique of Hegelian philosophy, as well as modern philosophy, German Romanticism, and “the present age”? What is the relation between irony, anxiety, despair, and faith?
“Mexico” is a modern construction. Of course, the territory now enclosed by the northern and southern borders of Mexico, as well as the inhabitants of this territory, have been there for long before modern history. But the idea of “Mexico” as an independent nation, not a territory or colony of Spain, as well as the idea of mexicanidad, is both new and constantly evolving. The purpose of this course is to reconstruct the role of philosophy in the development of Mexican identity, beginning with the first Mexican Revolution—i.e., the fight for independence. There is much philosophy that was produced in the territory of Mexico that, lamentably, we won’t have time to consider, such as early Mesoamerican philosophies, contemporary indigenous philosophies, the philosophy of Sor Juana and other colonial contributions to Mexican history and letters. There is no good reason to pass over these and other philosophical contributions; however, my excuse is that, through our selection, we will focus on an aspect of philosophy in Mexico that enables us—students of philosophy and the humanities in the US in the 21st century—the internal relation between philosophy and cultural identity.