Why study Leopoldo Zea?

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© Obras Escogidas I, Universidad Autónoma de México

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) published Selected Works of Leopoldo Zea (Obras Escogidas de Leopoldo Zea) to commemorate the centenary of the illustrious, Mexican intellectual’s birth (June 30, 2012) and the tenth anniversary of his death (June 8, 2014).

Currently, the two tomes that make up his selected works are…

  • Selected Works of Leopoldo Zea I: America in Europe’s Consciousness [Conscience] (1955, 2015)
  • Selected Works of Leopoldo Zea II: Philosophy of American History (1978, 2015)

To my knowledge, these titles have not been translated into English. The titles in Spanish are…

  • Obras Escogidas de Leopoldo Zea I: América en la conciencia de Europa (1955, 2015)
  • Obras Escogidas de Leopoldo Zea II: Filosofía de la historia americana (1978, 2015)

In the Presentation of Selected Works of Leopoldo Zea, included in America in Europe’s Consciousness [Conscience] (1955, 2015), Adalberto Santana highlights that Zea is “recognized worldwide as the most distinguished Latin American philosopher.” He continues by explaining that Zea’s work is essential. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Santana identifies Zea as “one of the most distinguished academics of UNAM in the 20th Century” and the dawn of the 21st.

The purpose for publishing Selected Works of Leopoldo Zea is praiseworthy. Adalberto Santana writes that “the specific purpose” is to “put the new generations of university students and those interested in contact” with Zea’s lucid ideas and arguments.

Leopoldo Zea’s ideas and philosophy have a fundamental importance in the sphere of things Mexican and Latin American in general; however, I believe them to be further reaching and necessary for the Hispanic populations residing throughout North America, the Caribbean, and the world.

–Luis S. González Acevedo