Mexico City. One hundred years. The long life of Pablo González Casanova has given all possible tributes, honorary degrees en bloc and, above all, the recognition of the peoples with whom he has shown solidarity and the legions of researchers who have formed under his leadership.
This Wednesday’s table concerned a specific point: the contributions of the former rector of UNAM to the social sciences. The participants, students of González Casanova who are now renowned researchers.
Guadalupe Valencia stated that González Casanova does not discuss what is and what is not “interdisciplinary”, although he himself is an “example of open, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and complex intelligence, which rather shows interdisciplinary as a set of reasoning resources that they have great potential for analysis… Knowledge will never be exhausted because it will always be reformulated and updated on the basis of practical objectives ”.
González Casanova, he said, builds bridges between specialized and common knowledge. Far from any theoretical or political naivety, González Casanova promises a complete renewal of critical thinking based on its limited affinities with the sciences and complexity.
As an example of interdisciplinarity, Valencia proposed the theoretical development of a concept, an academic text in which he develops the concept of community.
González Casanova “considers interdiscipline as a horizon of thought and action that leads to a reference that, more than obligatory, can be seen as suggestive, stimulating”.
To the cognitive character of the community category, says Valencia, quoting the centenary researcher, “is added the willful one, of the motor myth: the individual is not without the community, the deceased continues to belong to the community, a precious Benjaminian idea.”
Jorge Cadena Roa toured González Casanova’s role as a great promoter of collaborative spaces between academics from different institutions and as a promoter of editorial projects that marked an era. He stopped, on that flight, in the history of the Mexican Council of Social Sciences, founded in 1977, and in a collection of a kind of state monographs that has forged many well-known researchers and continues to be a reference for scholars.
For his part, Ricardo Pozas Horcasitas referred to the “watershed” that the publication, in 1965, of La Democracia en México meant. From that moment on there was “a before and an after”: “the political and social essay that was the dominant intellectual genre for interpreting reality began to be replaced by social science texts”.
Pozas made a tour of fundamental books of Mexican thought, as well as taking stock of the country’s situation in the year of publication (the repression of the medical movement, the guerrilla attack on the Madera barracks in Chihuahua). He went from The Great National Problems, by Andrés Molina Enríquez, to The Labyrinth of Solitude, by Octavio Paz, up to the work of González Casanova, “the first contemporary sociological version of the Mexican social system and political regime”.
Miguel Armando López Leyva, as moderator, asked a timid question about the current situation of Democracy in Mexico, one of the most important works of the former rector. Pozas Horcasistas responded with the academic orthodoxy typical of yesteryear: “The very structure of vertical and authoritarian authoritarianism reinforces the rhetoric and reinforces the way rulers lie to each other and ask to be deceived … It is the essential principle of anti-democracy … I don’t know I have answered your question. “