On Mexistentialism

Key information

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Virtual Event
Event type

About this event

Carlos Alberto Sánchez, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Graduate Program, San Jose State University, California

Mexistentialism is short for Mexican existentialism or existentialism a la Mexicana. It is born in Mexico City from a reflection on French and German existentialism in the mid to late 1940s. Mexistentialism’s principal thesis is that Mexican existence is not reflective of abstract, universal human existence, but represents a situated, concrete, and historical existence that recognizes itself as accidental, insufficient, and other to other existences. Elsewhere I have called this (M)existentialism, with parenthesis on the M so as to highlight its otherness to European existentialist traditions. The parenthesis here also suggests a suppression, or marginalization, of the Mexican contributions to existentialism as a global tradition. At this time, I remove the parenthesis and signal the end of Mexican existentialism’s parenthetical existence.

Speaker's Bio:

Carlos Alberto Sánchez is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Graduate program at San Jose State University. He is also the Chair of the American Philosophical Association’s (APA) Committee on Hispanics/Latinx, Chair of Inter-American Relations for the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy (SAAP), Executive Editor of the Journal of Mexican Philosophy, Associate Editor of the Journal of World Philosophies, and founding member of the Society for Mexican American Philosophy. Carlos works primarily on the history of Mexican philosophy, the philosophy of violence, and the philosophy of immigration. He has published a number of articles and books on these issues, including The Suspension of Seriousness: On the Phenomenology of Jorge Portilla (SUNY 2012), Contingency and Commitment: Mexican Existentialism and the Place of Philosophy (SUNY 2016), A Sense of Brutality: Philosophy After Narco-Culture (Amherst 2020); co-edited Mexican Philosophy in the 20th Century: Essential Readings (OUP 2017); and co-written The Disintegration of Community: On the Social and Political Philosophy of Jorge Portilla (with Francisco Gallegos). He is currently working on a book on core concepts in Mexican philosophy, which is under contract with Bloomsbury Press and out of which this talk is an excerpt.

Organiser: Dr Elvis Imafidon

Contact email: ei4@soas.ac.uk