La filosofía náhuatl Estudiada en sus fuentes

La filosofía náhuatl Estudiada en sus fuentes★ La filosofía náhuatl Estudiada en sus fuentes PDF / Epub ✈ Author Miguel León-Portilla – For at least two millennia before the advent of the Spaniards in , there was a flourishing civilization in central Mexico During that long span of time a cultural evolution took place which saw a high For at least two millennia before the advent náhuatl Estudiada PDF/EPUB æ of the Spaniards in , there was a flourishing civilization in central Mexico During that long span of time a cultural evolution took place which saw a high development of the arts and literature, the formulation of complex religious doctrines, systems of education, and diverse political and social organizationThe La filosofía PDF/EPUB or rich documentation concerning these people, commonly called Aztecs, includes, in addition to a few codices written before the Conquest, thousands of folios in the Nahuatl or Aztec language written by natives after the Conquest Adapting the Latin alphabet, which they had been taught by the missionary friars, to their native tongue, they recorded poems, chronicles, and traditionsThe fundamental filosofía náhuatl Estudiada Kindle Ð concepts of ancient Mexico presented and examined in this book have been taken from than ninety original Aztec documents They concern the origin of the universe and of life, conjectures on the mystery of God, the possibility of comprehending things beyond the realm of experience, life after death, and the meaning of education, history, and art The philosophy of the Nahuatl wise men, which probably stemmed from the ancient doctrines and traditions of the Teotihuacans and Toltecs, quite often reveals profound intuition and in some instances is remarkably “modern”This English edition is not a direct translation of the original Spanish, but an adaptation and rewriting of the text for the Englishspeaking reader.

El Colegio Nacional.

La filosofía náhuatl Estudiada en sus fuentes eBook
    La filosofía náhuatl Estudiada en sus fuentes eBook of the Nahuatl wise men, which probably stemmed from the ancient doctrines and traditions of the Teotihuacans and Toltecs, quite often reveals profound intuition and in some instances is remarkably “modern”This English edition is not a direct translation of the original Spanish, but an adaptation and rewriting of the text for the Englishspeaking reader."/>
  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • La filosofía náhuatl Estudiada en sus fuentes
  • Miguel León-Portilla
  • English
  • 01 May 2019
  • 9780806122953

10 thoughts on “La filosofía náhuatl Estudiada en sus fuentes

  1. Edward Butler says:

    Leon-Portilla successfully demonstrates that there was a class of professional intellectuals in Nahua society appropriately described as philosophers (the tlamatinime), and sketches in broad terms the parameters of their thought.

    I felt, however, that this book is in effect only half of the book that should have been written, because of the way Leon-Portilla undervalues Nahua theology. His monotheizing reduction of the Nahua pantheon means that he removes the content of Nahua thought and leaves only the form, if that. It does not seem to occur to him that theological structures can provide the basis for philosophical reflection; instead, he assumes that philosophy and theology must be in opposition. This is clearly a projection of philosophy's situation in the Christian and Muslim world, but Leon-Portilla offers no evidence that a similar tension existed in Nahua society. This inability to question his own presuppositions is a serious defect in an otherwise bold, important book.

  2. David says:

    A TOP SHELF review, originally published in The Monitor on May 2, 2013

    Discovering Aztec Philosophy

    In 1963 noted scholar Miguel León-Portilla published Aztec Thought and Culture: A Study of the Ancient Nahuatl Mind, an amplification (with assistance from translator Jack Emory Davis) of several previous works of his, including his ground-breaking doctoral thesis. The thrust of León-Portilla’s research is that the Nahuas, that group of Mesoamerican peoples called Aztecs in modern times, were not simply a polytheistic, warlike culture: they had developed a distinctive, refined philosophy on a level with that of the ancient Greeks.

    Drawing from diverse sources, including the corpus of Nahuatl poetry and the massive colonial ethnography known as the Florentine Codex, León-Portilla demonstrates the existence of a class of philosophers in the Aztec Triple Alliance known as tlamatinimeh or sages. Differently from the popular religion, in which a complex pantheon of deities controlled the natural world and human blood had to be spilled to ensure the sun’s survival, these sages reduced the divine to a single dual generative force and recognized life to be ephemeral, fragile, and uncertain. The vanity of humanity’s efforts, argues the author, and the impossibility of knowing the truth led these wise men to conclude that human existence on earth is essentially a dream. For some, that conclusion led to a hedonistic path, a lifestyle that encouraged an enjoyment of the flowers and friends of the moment. For others, however, belief in that primordial creative energy suggested a purpose: craftwork and artistic endeavors, none more important than the development of an īxtli, a face or persona that best reflected the soul. And the soul, León-Portilla proposes, was seen by the tlamatinimeh as a place for the divine to take up residence, drawn into the human heart by flower and song, a classic Nahuatl difrasismo (kenning) for poetry or song.

    Though this work is extremely important, it only scratches the surface of Nahua philosophy. León-Portilla largely ignores Nahua theology, so intent is he on demonstrating a supposed tension between the state religion and the emerging intellectual current. This is because he forces parallels with Greek, Roman and Christian philosophical trends. To my mind, Nahua thought more closely resembles the schools of thought in Hindui philosophy that similarly moved away from a polytheistic Weltanschauung to belief in a single ground to existence, a sacred force that unfolds into multiple forms in the physical universe. The root or balance of the cosmos the author sees in the Nahuatl term teōtl corresponds interestingly to Brahman, and as a result, the reduction by León-Portillo of this amorphous philosophical movement in pre-Colombian Mexico to a single “school” of thought that embraces Ometeōtl, the dual god, as the source of all strikes me as premature. Rather, I suspect that different schools may have considered one god or another as the most perfect mask of the divine source, perhaps embracing Tezcatlipoca, Huitzilopochtli, Quetzalcoatl or even Tonantzin as the supreme iteration (much like Krishna-, Vishnu- or Shiva-centered varieties of Hinduism).

    Research into Nahua philosophy is, of course, ongoing, and I want to stress León-Portilla's important role in promoting the field of study.

  3. Christine says:

    While I appreciate León-Portilla's attempt to justify the philosophic capacities of Nahuatl wise pre-European contact as well as his linguistic analyses, I was extremely put off throughout the book by his constant need to justify their philosophic abilities to that of the Greeks and his constant need to belittle the inherent philosophic natures of myths: For although myths and beliefs constitute the primary attempts to solve the mysteries of the universe, true philosophic development requires conscious and formal inquiry (3). This line sets the tone for the rest of the book. He equates myths to superstitions and magic contrasting them to the truth, which according to him can only be obtained through observation and experience. However, he fails to grasp that the many myths are the results of thousands of years of observation, experience, as well as conscious and formal inquiry. While I agree with his call to critically analyze myths, question them, and seek deeper meaning from them (especially in the light of the myth making style of the Aztec empire who by their own doing were also responsible for the burning of Indigenous writings and re-writing their mythological stories prior to the Spanish invasion); I cannot agree with his all together dismissal of myths as mere symbolism, metaphor, and superstition. Furthermore, he claims that the masses blindly followed these myths and it was only the professional wise men, tlamatinime, who were capable of analysis to seek deeper meaning of the symbols within the myths. Accordingly, to be TRUE healers HE must be not only be tlamatinime but also professional trained. The FALSE healers, or sorcerers, was a quacks whose training is only in magic, witchcraft.

  4. Julian Greene says:

    Over the last couple of years, as a Pagan, I have been considering the nature of sacrifice. After a series of synchronicities and an encounter with a Huichol weather worker, I began reading this upon recommendation from a friend. People have criticized León-Portilla's view as being overly romantic. I found his soft, nearly poetic narrative very engaging. Critics/Historians have also pooh-poohed some of his interpretations as being his own projections, but that, it seems to me, is the way of (and the world's reaction to) the mystic.

    It is a book I shall read many more times, and I believe any Pagan interested in the subject of sacrifice and offering would find something to take away here.

  5. Victor Ruiz says:

    Must read if you are interested in the intersection of philosophy and the aztec world. Great to understand the development of philosophical concepts out of the establishment of religious beliefs in developed non-western societies. The criticisms I have read in some reviews are, in my opinion, unfounded. The comparison to the greek world is obvious and necessary when one is developing such work in the context of modern western organization and classification of knowledge. I would, nevertheless, like to know if there is current archeological or documental evidence that the aztec pantheon of gods was not fully derived or developed from the duality principle represented in Ōmeteōtl.

  6. Claire says:

    This is my latest read. I have to say, it's very well done. Strong sourcing, thorough analysis, and a very intuitive presentation of the Nahuatl language's incredibly nuanced structure (and the influence of this structure on philosophical development in Aztec and other Nahua cultures).

    Aztec philosophy may be seen as a Venn diagram of sorts; aesthetics, epistemology, and metaphysics all overlap, with the core philosophy of teotl (balance) at the center of the diagram. What's truly fascinating is evidence of a push toward discrete philosophical contemplation of each of these themes in pre-conquest culture (said contemplation to be completed while maintaining balance, however). It is both tragic and endlessly diverting to theorize what direction the Nahua culture might've taken had it been allowed to continue down this path uninterrupted by steel-plated usurpers.

    I recommend this book highly (and also recommend you investigate the other works it references. The materials created during or after the arrival of the invading Spanish must be taken with the proverbial grain of salt due to the cultural imperialism of both conquistadors and friars, and their unfortunate tendency to dismiss as barbaric anything outside Christendom). Oh! And the book contains some excellent translations of the deeply profound work of Texcoco's favorite son, Nezahualcoyotl:

    Is it nelli [rooted, true, authentic] one really lives on the earth?
    Not forever on earth, only a little while here.
    Though it be jade it falls apart; though it be gold, it wears away; though it be a quetzal feather, it is torn asunder.
    Not forever on this earth, only a little while here.

  7. David says:

    Excellent book for grasping concepts and ideas about traditional aztec thought.

  8. A.H. Haar says:

    I read this book for a course I took on the history of ancient mesoamerica. And it. Was. Awesome.

  9. Javier Girona says:

    A really enjoyable book to read, bringing up ideas such as the Tlamatinime, a kind of philosopher, teacher, spiritual guide that Dr Leon-Portilla claimed it existed in the Toltec world, which precede the nahuatl-aztec world. The author entertains the reader with the divine pantheon and exalts the figure of Ometeotl, a primal being, source of life, the start, support and giver of life, not just to humans and the whole nature, but for all divine beings, through the four which with their struggle and competition for supremacy, originate the various cosmo-periods preceding the fifth age, Aztecs current age, the last of all before a cataclysm brings existence to its chaotic formless non-existence.

    The book reflects in nahuatl philosophy for the understanding of their concepts of hell, heaven, sacrifice, moon and sun cycles and its relationship to society, rituals, deities and son on. Even though he draws on mainly Spanish friars sources to explain their cosmology, he deeps into Nahuatl understanding of the world around them, the importance and organisation of their world, of the underworld, the meaning of life and death.

    There must have been lots of findings contradicting some of the concepts stated on this book but the beautiful journey of imagining the Nahuatl-Azted world in its efflorescence its like chocolate on your palate.

    Find an article related to this book on

    I really recommend this reading.

  10. James Millikan SJ says:

    León Portilla's text is a classic in the field. It covers topics ranging from Nahuatl religious, educational, and anthropological beliefs and thereby provides an authoritative account of Pre-Columbian culture. Both in terms of scope and depth, this text has no equal.

    My only major qualm with La filosofía náhuatl is its rather un-engaging style. Rather than using a more narrative or comparative methodology, León Portilla again and again opts for block-quotes followed by line-by-line exegesis. The scholarship is insightful, but the author's stylistic choices at times makes the reading process repetitive and obscures larger themes.

    Still, with attention and dedication, this is a rewarding and illuminating read that is well worth the effort. I finished the book with many ideas to consider for my master's thesis on Mexican ethics and philosophical anthropology, and for that I am indebted to the the late professor's scholarship.

    Recommended to students of Latin American studies, history, anthropology, as well as to philosophy students looking to buttress curricula built around the Western Canon with alternative voices.

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