New Directions and Old Ways in the Humanities and Spanish Literature: The Spanish Alternative to Reason

By Katrine Helene Andersen.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

When Husserl declared the crisis of European sciences, philosophy and the humanities were forced to redefine themselves and seek new ways to learn about the world. This meant the beginning of phenomenology and hermeneutics. Nevertheless, looking back in history we find some earlier protests against the dictatorship of reason in the history of philosophy, especially in Italy and Spain. This paper will study the evolution of a different philosophical tradition within the history of Spanish literature. I will argue that the philosophical tradition in Spain is the predecessor of some of the later European traditions. Dating back to Baltasar Gracián (17th century) the philosophical tradition in Spain has evolved in close proximity with literature which has allowed it to become artistic and creative. I will rely on three examples from the Spanish history of literature (Baltasar Gracián, Diego de Torres Villarroel and Miguel de Unamuno) in my definition of a Spanish philosophical tradition which evolves as an artistic and imaginary discipline rather than as a rational one.

Keywords: Spanish Thinking, Literature, Hermeneutics, History of Philosophy

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 12, pp.21-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 781.257KB).

Dr. Katrine Helene Andersen

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

I achieved my MA in Spanish and Philosophy from the University of Aarhus and my Ph.D. (Doctor Europeus) from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Department of Hermeneutics and History of Philosophy). My doctoral thesis was an interdisciplinary study on the relation between literary and philosophical discourse in Spanish literature focusing on the works of Baltasar Gracián and Miguel de Unamuno. Currently I hold a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Copenhagen (Department of English, Germanic and Romance studies) where I am working on a project about Spanish thinking and the philosophy of personhood in Spanish literature. I am interested in how the vision of man has evolved though out the history of literature in Spain from the 17th century until the 20th century and in the proximity between philosophy and literature, especially hermeneutics and reception theory.


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