Xavier Zubiri

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Xavier Zubiri
Xavier Zubiri.jpg
Born(1898-12-04)4 December 1898
Died21 September 1983(1983-09-21) (aged 84)
Nationality Spanish
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
grave Tumba de Xavier Zubiri y Carmen Castro Madinaveitia, cementerio civil de Madrid.jpg

Xavier Zubiri (4 December 1898 – 21 September 1983) was a Spanish philosopher.

Spaniards people native to any part of Spain or that hold Spanish citizenship

Spaniards are a Romance nation and ethnic group native to Spain. Within Spain, there are a number of nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history and diverse culture. Although the official language of Spain is commonly known as "Spanish", it is only one of the national languages of Spain, and is less ambiguously known as Castilian, a standard language based on the medieval romance speech of the Kingdom of Castile in north and central Spain. Historically, the Spanish people's heritage includes the pre-Celts and Celts.

Philosopher person with an extensive knowledge of philosophy

A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term "philosopher" comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος (philosophos), meaning "lover of wisdom". The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.



Zubiri was a member of the School of Madrid, composed of philosophers José Ortega y Gasset, Julián Marías and Pedro Laín Entralgo, among others. [1] Zubiri's philosophy has been categorized as a "materialist open realism", [2] which "attempted to reformulate classical metaphysics, in a language that was entirely compatible with modern science". [3] This relates to Xavier Zubiri's educational background. Zubiri first received a philosophical and theological formation in Madrid and Rome. Later, he deepened his studies in philosophy through his graduate studies in Louvain, writing his dissertation on phenomenology. [4] In 1929, Zubiri's critical interest in this current of thought took him to Freiburg, when he already was a professor in Madrid. There, he studied with Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. In 1930, Zubiri moved to Berlin, where he studied physics, philology and biology. There, he was hosted in Harnack House, which enabled Zubiri to socialize with important minds of this great period of academic activity in the Weimar republic. For example, Albert Einstein (whom Zubiri had already met in Madrid, at Universidad Central, in 1923), [5] Max Planck, Werner Jaeger, Erwin Schrödinger, among others.

José Ortega y Gasset Spanish liberal philosopher and essayist

José Ortega y Gasset was a Spanish philosopher and essayist. He worked during the first half of the 20th century, while Spain oscillated between monarchy, republicanism, and dictatorship. His philosophy has been characterized as a "philosophy of life" that "comprised a long-hidden beginning in a pragmatist metaphysics inspired by William James, and with a general method from a realist phenomenology imitating Edmund Husserl, which served both his proto-existentialism and his realist historicism, which has been compared to both Wilhelm Dilthey and Benedetto Croce."

Julián Marías Spanish philosopher

Julián Marías Aguilera was a Spanish philosopher associated with the Generation of '36 movement. He was a pupil of the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset.

Pedro Laín Entralgo was a Spanish physician, historian, author and philosopher. He worked, fundamentally, on medical history and anthropology.

When civil war broke out in Spain in 1936, Zubiri moved to Paris. There, he continued having an intensive intellectual life, attending courses with Louis de Broglie, Frédéric Joliot, Irène Curie, Elie Joseph Cartan and Emile Benveniste, among others. In 1939, just before France declared war with Germany, Zubiri returned to Spain. [6] [7] Zubiri's philosophy is little known outside of Spain and Latin America, mostly because Zubiri was compelled to resign from formal academic positions in Spain, in 1942. This had to do with the lack of academic freedoms in Francisco Franco's regime. [8] However, it was possible for Zubiri to continue his work as an academic, through the sponsorship of family and friends. [9] Zubiri was a prolific author in the Spanish magazines Cruz y Raya (led by José Bergamín) and Revista de Occidente (led by José Ortega y Gasset) under the second Spanish republic. However, after his resignation from Spanish universities, Zubiri did not publish much in established peer reviewed journals. Nonetheless, he did publish a series of books and research articles. [10] Zubiri's work was initially not well received by established academic environments in Spain. This was mostly explained by the political context under Franco. [11] But Zubiri's relationship to scholars like Ignacio Ellacuría made Zubiri's work widely known in Latin America, where Zubiri's thought has been further developed. [12]

Louis de Broglie French physicist

Louis Victor Pierre Raymond de Broglie, 7th duc de Broglie was a French physicist who made groundbreaking contributions to quantum theory. In his 1924 PhD thesis, he postulated the wave nature of electrons and suggested that all matter has wave properties. This concept is known as the de Broglie hypothesis, an example of wave–particle duality, and forms a central part of the theory of quantum mechanics.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a European country located in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of Spanish territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Latin America Region of the Americas where Romance languages are primarily spoken

Latin America is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French are predominantly spoken; it is broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America. The term "Latin America" was first used in an 1856 conference with the title "Initiative of the Americas. Idea for a Federal Congress of the Republics", by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao. The term was used also by Napoleon III's French government in the 1860s as Amérique latine to consider French-speaking territories in the Americas, along with the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed, including the Spanish-speaking portions of the United States Today, areas of Canada and the United States where Spanish, Portuguese and French are predominant are typically not included in definitions of Latin America.

Recently, Spanish academics have begun to recognize the importance of Zubiri's life and philosophy. [13] [14] For the same reasons outlined above, Zubiri's contact with the formal academic environments of the English speaking world was limited. There is all but one recorded visit by Zubiri to the United States, specifically Princeton University, on October 2, 1946. In Princeton, Zubiri lectured in French on "The real and mathematics- A philosophical problem" ("Le reel et les mathematiques—Un probleme de philosophie"). [15] Some of Zubiri's work has been translated to English: "On Essence" (Caponigri, 1980), [16] "Sentient Intelligence" (Fowler, 1999), [17] "The Dynamic Structure of Reality" (Orringer, 2003) [18] and "The Fundamental problems of Western Metaphysics" (Redondo & Fowler 2009). [19] Despite his relative academic isolation at home in Spain, Zubiri has also been recognized in other countries. In 1979, the German government awarded Zubiri and Laín Entralgo the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Zubiri was awarded this distinction for his work in his books "Nature, History, God" (1954) and "On Essence" (1962). [20] Zubiri's work has also been translated to French, German, Italian and Portuguese. [21]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Princeton University University in Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, and renamed itself Princeton University in 1896.

Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Federal decoration of Germany

The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany is the only federal decoration of Germany. It was created by the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss, on 7 September 1951, and has been awarded to over 200,000 individuals in total, both Germans and foreigners. Since the 1990s the number of annual awards has declined from over 4,000, first to around 2,300–2,500 per year, and now under 2,000, with a low of 1752 in 2011. In recent years women have made up a steady 30–31% of recipients. Colloquially, the decorations of the different classes of the Order are also known as the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz).


This overview is taken from a more extensive list of articles and books by and about Xavier Zubiri. This list is continuously updated by "Fundación Xavier Zubiri". [22]

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  1. "La evolución de la escuela de Madrid (1939–1978): Zubiri, Marías y Laín Entralgo" (PDF), José Luis Cañas Fernández (in Spanish), 2012, retrieved 2013-10-15
  2. "Voluntad de Liberacion" (PDF), Hector Samour (in Spanish), 2003, retrieved 2013-10-15
  3. "La filosofía natural de Zubiri" (PDF), José Luis González Quirós (in Spanish), 1997, retrieved 2013-10-18
  4. "Le problème de l'objectivité d'après Ed. Husserl", Xavier Zubiri (in French), 1921–1922, retrieved 2013-10-15
  5. "Conología del viaje de Einstein a España" (PDF), Quark, Ciencia, Medicina, Comunicación y Cultura. Publicación del Observatorio de Comunicación Científica de la Universitat Pomeu Fabra (in Spanish), May–August 2005, retrieved 2013-10-18
  6. "Xavier Zubiri: La soledad sonora" (PDF), Jordi Corominas and Joan Vicens (in Spanish), 2006, retrieved 2013-10-18
  7. "Biografía de Xavier Zubiri", Jordi Corominas and Joan Vicens (in Spanish), 2006, retrieved 2013-10-19
  8. "Zubiri, vasco universal", Ignacio Ellacuría (in Spanish), 1980-10-10, retrieved 2013-10-19
  9. "Xavier Zubiri: La soledad sonora", Jordi Corominas and Joan Vicens (in Spanish), 2006, retrieved 2013-10-15
  10. "Xavier Zubiri: La soledad sonora, Chapter 14, 15 and 39 on "La República" (The Republic) (pp. 245–265), "Cruz y Raya" (the magazine) (pp. 265–287) and "El duro oficio de escribir" (The hard task of writing) (pp. 589–606), respectively", Jordi Corominas and Joan Vicens (in Spanish), 2006, retrieved 2014-12-12
  11. "Zubiri tras el problema de toma de posición tras el comienzo de la guerra civil", Javier Borrego Gutierrez (in Spanish), 2003, archived from the original on October 22, 2013, retrieved 2013-10-18
  12. "Actualidad de Zubiri en América Latina", Germán Marquínez Argote (in Spanish), 2006, retrieved 2013-10-18
  13. "Amigos y discípulos de Zubiri reivindican su gigantesca talla intelectual en su centenario", El País (in Spanish), 1998-12-02, retrieved 2013-10-18
  14. "Zubiri, hombre, filósofo y fenomenólogo" (PDF), Javier San Martin (in Spanish), 2006, retrieved 2013-10-18
  15. "Daily Princetonian, Volume 70, Number 105, 2 October 1946", Official Notices, 1946-10-02, retrieved 2013-10-18
  16. "On Essence", Xavier Zubiri, translated by A. Robert Caponigri, 1980, retrieved 2013-10-18
  17. "Sentient Intelligence" (PDF), Xavier Zubiri, translated by Thomas B. Fowler, Sc.D., 1999, retrieved 2013-10-18
  18. "The Dynamic Structure of Reality", Xavier Zubiri, translated by Nelson Orringer, 2003, retrieved 2013-10-18
  19. "The Fundamental Problems of Western Metaphysics", Xavier Zubiri, translated by Joaquín Redondo and Thomas Fowler, 2009, retrieved 2013-10-19
  20. El Gobierno alemán condecora a Zubiri y a Laín (in Spanish), 1979-12-04, retrieved 2013-10-18
  21. "Traducciones de las obras de Zubiri a otros idiomas", Funación Xavier Zubiri (in Spanish), retrieved 2013-10-18
  22. "Lista de las obras de Zubiri", Fundación Xavier Zubiri (in Spanish), retrieved 2013-10-19