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José Luis Peset

The controversy of Spanish science. Menéndez Pelayo against the Institución Libre de Enseñanza URL:
At the beginning of the canovist Restoration there is an energetic confrontation between Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo and some of the people in the Institución Libre de Enseñanza. It is in the moment when this institution is inaugurated and begins to disseminate in the Spanish society new culture and values. This is also the time when university is consolidated after many years of change during the reign of Isabel II, and sciences start to be considered a key component of our culture. The adversaries would consider that there was no Spanish scientific tradition, and that it was necessary to open up to foreign countries. On the contrary, Menéndez Pelayo wanted to prove that there had been an important cultivation of scientific knowledge among us. Thus, in the discussion two different points of view of the Spanish history were handled, as well as the cultural significance science has. Also, it is clear that the different individual and political actions needed to support Science in the canovist Spain were also in discussion. All Europe is becoming aware of this necessity, but the positions upon this need in our case is, if not antagonistic, at least are very specific to each of the groups participating in the discussion. This is very well observed in the position that is shown in the case of Vives and the Spanish humanist movement. Certainly, the role of the Inquisition with science and, in a wider and more interesting consideration, the relation of science and religion, are always very present along the controversy. A confrontation that precedes the ones happening later in the 20th century, and that we still experience today. 
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