Mario Bunge in China:
Lectures at the Tsinghua University and the Peking University
Today we have the pleasure of publishing a guest post.
Mario Bunge (* 1919, Buenos Aires, Argentina), long-time Frothingham Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at McGill University in Montreal, sent me his Beijing travel report a few days ago.
He and his wife Marta - emeritus professor of mathematics - had been invited to Beijing for guest lectures in China.
From October 10 to 22, 2011, the 92-year-old Bunge gave a series of lectures, which he took as an opportunity to challenge Chinese state ideology in a friendly but open manner and to systematically criticize it.
He describes how he fared in detail in the report, which we are allowed to reproduce here in the original.
For our publication, Mario Bunge entrusted us with some photos that we can use for illustration.
A few details about Bunge's work
For those who are not familiar with Mario Bunge's work, a little background:
Argentinian Mario Bunge is an internationally renowned intellectual. Bunge's performance is unique: it offers a systematic and comprehensive philosophy, familiar with all modern sciences - from the current natural sciences to the pressing questions of today's social sciences. Here he deals with the fundamental problems of ontology, epistemology, semantics, ethics and logic.
Some who begin to occupy themselves with their work may be disturbed by their rigorism, if they are too delicate.
However, we think of him as a philosophical freedom fighter who sheds light on the fundamental questions, not just scientific work and progress. Ultimately, his thinking is aimed at a realistic concept of contemporary humanity based on the values of freedom and democracy.
Someone wrote, "Mario Bunge doesn't take prisoners."
Correctly so: He names charlatans by their names and accuses academics who are concerned with their scholasticism rather than with reality.
There is hardly another intellectual who comes anywhere near the depth and breadth of thought that Bunge has achieved in his long life in science and philosophy. It is a great enrichment and pleasure to be in contact with him and to be able to follow his work.