“I have many problems to solve, I have no time to die,” said Mario Bunge in an interview with the SINC agency in 2014. He was successful, as many times, the prolific philosopher of Argentine science. Bunge took his time to reach the end. The physicist and humanist died last night at 100 years of age in Montreal (Canada), where he resided and occupied a prestigious chair. He received the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities in 1982. [Aquí puedes leer una Tribuna abierta que escribió en 1989 en ABC sobre la bondad y la maldad humanas].
Mario Augusto Bunge (Buenos Aires, 1919) came from a German family related to Spaniards from the Basque Country and Asturias. He received a humanistic and philosophical training, based on the reading of authors such as Hegel, Marx, Freud and Rusell, from whom he would later distance himself critically.
He studied physics and mathematics at the National University of La Plata and received a doctorate in Physics and Mathematics Sciences in 1952. Interested in the new physics, he specialized in fundamentals of physics and epistemology. Co-founder in 1944 of the prestigious Argentine Physical Association, he saw his university career truncated because of his ethical and political commitments. At the fall of Perón, he was reinstated at the University of Buenos Aires and appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics and Philosophy of Science. He left his country in 1963 and went through American and German universities. In 1966 he joined the McGill University of Montreal, where he held the Frothingham Chair. He was also a visiting professor at other prestigious universities around the world.
His interest in philosophy was early and capitalized. He broke into author in 1959 in the field of the Theory of Science with his work “Causality: The Place of the Causal Principle in Modern Science”, translated into seven languages, and in which he defends an expanded principle of determinism in modern science . He also wrote the treatise on the theory of science “Scientific research” (1969), whose repercussion among scholars of the philosophy of science has been notorious.
His works in Spanish also include “Theory and reality, Philosophy of physics”, “Epistemology, Materialism and science”, “The mind-brain problem”, “Economics and philosophy”, “Philosophy of psychology” (in collaboration with R. Ardila) and “Mind and society”, etc.
Rejection of pseudosciences
Between 1969 and 1989 Bunge worked on the construction of a philosophical system that encompasses ontology, semantics, knowledge theory, philosophy of science and technology, values theory and ethics. System that he has exhibited in “Treatise on Basic Philosophy”, consisting of eight volumes (1974-1989). Apart from his enormous written work, Bunge has also participated in congresses, colloquiums and seminars throughout the world. He founded the Society for Exact Philosophy (1971) and the Mexican Association of Epistemology (1976).
Distinguished with about twenty honorary doctorates, in 2009 he received the Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2014 the Ludwig von Bertalanffy Prize.
Father of four children, Bunge was a defender of scientific realism and exact philosophy. He was known for publicly expressing his rejection of pseudosciences, including psychoanalysis, praxeology, or homeopathy, in addition to his criticisms of philosophical currents such as existentialism (especially, Martin Heidegger’s work), phenomenology, postmodernism, hermeneutics and philosophical feminism. .