On Poetry and Authentic Philosophical Reflection:The American Philosophy of Octavio Paz: Sobre Poesia e Autêntica Reflexão Filosófica: A Filosofia Americana de Octavio Paz

Cognitio 8 (2) (2007)
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Octavio Paz conceives of authentic philosophical reflection as ‘thinking a la intemperie’. This conception involves his idea that our contemporary historical and philosophical situation is one of intemperie espiritual. Based on the dual sense of the term intemperie for Paz, I propose that ‘thinking a la intemperie’ means: (i) Exposing our beliefs to the weathering effects of our vital, concrete experience; and (ii) apprehending reality in communion with others through poetic experience of the ever-flowing present. That is, authentic philosophical reflection means making our home thinking and living without rigid, stifling ideological systems, in communion with our neighbors and with our places, here and now, in the unity of present place and present time that we create together. This mode of reflection belongs within a broad American tradition of philosophizing and, for Paz, responds to concerns compatible with those of the pragmatists.


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