Carlos Alberto Sánchez, a professor of philosophy and San Jose State University alumnus, ’98 Advertising, ’00 MA Philosophy, will present a talk on his latest research at the final University Scholar Series event of the semester on Nov. 14, from noon to 1 p.m., in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Room 225/229.
His current research focuses on the philosophy of violence, specifically the distinction between “violence” and “brutality.” His talk, “The Philosophy of Brutality: A Preface in Three Parts,” will highlight the difference between violence and brutality within the context of Mexican narco-culture, a socio-political and historico-cultural phenomenon that challenges the conception of violence, personhood and culture itself.
Sánchez is the editor of the American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy, chair of the Inter-American Relations for the Society of the Advancement of American Philosophy and a founding member of the Society for Mexican American Philosophy.
“The reason I focus on Mexican philosophy is because it is my responsibility to make sure that philosophy belongs to everyone—that all viewpoints are counted,” Sánchez said. “Through my work, I am inserting myself into the philosophical conversation. Being recognized in this way lets me know that SJSU continues to be a place that values the humanities and, most importantly, the sort of scholarly diversity that my work represents.”
Since returning to his alma mater to teach in 2006, Sánchez has published five books, 25 articles and many conference papers. While writing his first book, The Suspension of Seriousness: On the Phenomenology of Jorge Portilla, the first authorized English translation of Portilla’s work, he visited libraries in Mexico City and presented at conferences all over North America. By translating and analyzing the work of Mexican philosophers, Sánchez is effectively democratizing access to critical thought. His prolific scholarship earned him the title of SJSU’s 2018 President’s Scholar.
“What I love most about teaching and working at SJSU is the people,” he says. “I’ve been here for almost 12 years and I’ve yet to meet someone who is not committed to the well-being of our students, our colleagues and our university.”
Julia Halprin-Jackson contributed to this story.