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Philosophy SeminarHabits of the heart

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  • Date: 17/03/2009
  • Presenter:
    • Javier Gomá Lanzón

The expression "habits of the heart" was originally used by Alexis de Tocqueville in is work  Democracy in America, where through the penetrating sight of the French scholar he described the traditions, affections, and trends of the North American populations in correlation with the historical, social, economic and religious factors, all of which are part of what could be called the warm assumptions of reality. The exploration of the correlations between, for example, the economic factors, or the grade of technological development, and the formation of human affections, is not only a requirement to establish a high comprehension of the cultural history of the human affection, but is needed, above all, to understand the modifications, narrowing or expansions, of what we understand as "real" or "rational", and the (inter)subjectivity synthesis of both, which we normally design as expressions of "sanity" and "good judgement" or "sense of reality". The study of some of these habits of the heart, exposed as great topics of the Western culture, will not only make us realize that such habits of the heart are configured as theoretical sanity, or as much as the organ of the sense of reality, but also that the possible objectivity in philosophical terms does not require the expected lack of assumptions as much as the comprehensive exhibition of these assumptions. 

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