The Suspension of Seriousness: On the Phenomenology of Jorge Portilla, with a Translation of Fenomenología del Relajo

The Suspension of Seriousness: On the Phenomenology of Jorge Portilla, with a Translation of Fenomenología del Relajo

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Author/Editor: Sanchez, Carlos Alberto
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Date: 2013
Binding: Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 227 p. Contains: Unspecified. SUNY Series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture. Audience: General/trade.
Condition: USED - Fine. An excellent, unmarked copy with no obvious signs of wear.

The Suspension of Seriousness engages the Mexican philosopher Jorge Portilla (1919-1963), taking note of Portilla's philosophical methodology, insights, and contributions to our understanding of value, being, and subjectivity. Portilla lived a short, troubled life and never held a teaching appointment, but his works, though few in number, were nevertheless philosophically penetrating. He is a legendary character in the Mexican popular imagination of the 1940s and '50s, but little has been written about him or his philosophy. His posthumously published Fenomenología del relajo is a phenomenological analysis of what Portilla calls "relajo" or the state we assume when we do not want to do what is seriously being asked of us--what is demanded of us. It is, Portilla says, "the suspension of seriousness." Carlos Alberto Sánchez uses Portilla's Fenomenología del relajo as a point of departure to consider the dangers both of our uncritical adherence to values as well as our urge to reject values altogether. He argues that Portilla provides a framework in which to situate the modern condition, ourselves, and our future. The first authorized English translation of Portilla's Fenomenología del relajo is included.