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  • Intellectual Autobiography
    Ignacio Gómez de Liaño

    The rich intellectual biography of Ignacio Gómez de Liaño, author of philosophical works, history of ideas, narrative, poetry and theater, is basically a "polyphonic" composition where the concepts and reasoning sing in harmony with the figures and the places where these live. This "polyphonic" condition explains the way that Gómez de Liaño has proposed the "refoundation" of philosophy in his three last books on the topic, Iluminaciones filosóficas (2001), Sobre el fundamento (2002) and Breviario de la filosofía práctica (2005). This refoundation deals with recovering the practical dimension of philosophy, and is based essentially in complementing rationality with imagination, the concepts with the affections, the "logical speech" with "menomonic course of time". It is only over this base that philosophy can contribute to the full training of a person.

    The interest in "practical philosophy" is also present in the books that Gómez de Liaño has devoted to the history of ideas: the two volumes of El círculo de la sabiduría (1998) (Diagramas del conocimiento en el mitraísmo, el gnosticismo, el cristianismo y el maniqueísmo, and Los mandalas del budismo tántrico), the volume which acts as introduction to both Filósofos griegos, videntes judíos (2000), and the other two that can be seen as a complements, El diagrama del Primer Evangelio (2003) y El idioma de la imaginación - Ensayos sobre la memoria, la imaginación y el tiempo (1983). Along more than two thousand pages, in all four works Liaño addresses the other face of philosophy, this is, the diagrammatic methodology used from ancient history to the Renaissance, such as the logic of discursiveness for configuring the psyche.

    The "practical" orientation of philosophy, as well as the "practical" orientation of Ignacio Gómez de Liaño's research, are very present in his three novels Arcadia (1981), Musapol (1999) and Extravíos (2007), where the key topic is traveling, basically a metaphor of life itself. The same is true in his "three tragedies of the spirit" Hipatia, Bruno, Villamediana (2008). In Los juegos del Sacromonte (1975), the author mixes philosophy, history and fiction, and goes back to the 1960's, a period in which he worked on the field of experimental poetry (visual, active, and public poetry), which led him to to rethink the power of imagination, the variations of speeches, and the incidence of language in life. As a proof of the intellectual activity of Gómez de Liaño during his younger years, we find his participation in Encuentros de Pamplona (1972) and his collaboration with the poet and dadaist painter Raoul Haussmann in the book La sensorialidad excéntrica. Rúblicas marginales (1975). After that, he published Nauta y estela (1981) among other poetry works.

    The philosophy of Ignacio Gómez de Liaño recasts the issue of knowledge, and above all, the relations between the ego and the world. The starting point are the objects and the states. The former are the terms of feel-understand, which can only be learned through objects, while the later are the terms of feeling-affection. This, and specially the states, have  vague identities when you compare them with the most exact objects of mathematical and logical nature. Globally, the world is seen as a gigantic architecture or composition of objects. The states refer to the "soul", whose most direct expression is the "flesh".

    After exploring the ontology of objects (space and time, among other) and states (pleasure/pain, desire, necessity), as well as the "passional compositions" that make the tapestry of the spiritual life, the author examines the way we think in the imagination and memory modes, and the understanding and rationality modes. Furthermore, he analyzes the essential components of people such as the "symbolic game" based in imitation or representation, which set the basis for the personality and sociability process. Language is made up of names of things and the links between the names, while there are two principal types of speech: the logic based in the principle of objective identity, and the poetic that is partially based on this principle too, but more particularly in the affective metamorphose due to the modifying actions that affection has over the objects perceived.

    The ego is highlighted in the world as a "link, or super-link, with feelings on objects and states" from the point of space and time designed by the body. This is why personality, a construction of the ego, is made of architectonic-musical compositions or formations, over which one can act applying methodologies of the refunded philosophy. In Sobre el fundamento, Liaño insists on the topic of unit vs multiplicity, truth and illusion, and concludes that the best fundaments for a person are those that harmonize the most extreme differences, and finds a way to put opposites to rest -a dynamic rest-.

    Other works of Ignacio Gómez de Liaño worth mentioning are: La mentira social - Imágenes, mitos y conducta (1989), Mi tiempo - Escritos de arte y literatura (1984), Paisajes del placer y de la culpa (1990), Dalí (1982), El camino de Dalí (Diario personal, 1978-1989) (2004), Athanasius Kircher. Itinerario del éxtasis o las imágenes de un saber universal (1986), and the volume devoted to the work of Giordano Bruno, Mundo, magia, memoria (1973).

    Since 1968 to 2007 he has been teaching in Spain in the Universidad Complutense and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, as well as in Osaka and Pekin.

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