University of Costa Rica professor delivers annual philosophy lecture


by Laura Wiersema, News Editor

Though the skies were stormy, Mario Solis, professor of philosophy at the University of Costa Rica, illuminated minds during the annual philosophy lecture last week.

Solis’s lecture focused mainly on philosophical issues in Latin America, a subject which is taught by Allison Wolf, associate professor of philosophy.

According to Solis, an end to normativity, or stereotyping, is essential for social cohesion and becoming a more community-based society.

“There is no need to account for the good when your demand is fundamentally a rejection of the bad. There’s no need for such clear-cut positive normative claims. It suffices with the rejection of the bad inflicted upon (Latin Americans),” Solis said.

The premise of this statement is the manner in which privileged classes have a tendency to believe they can fix the damage they’ve done to those they’ve oppressed.

Solis believes simply ending the oppression is enough.

Another idea Solis shared was that philosophy isn’t restricted to philosophers in the the traditional sense. Anyone can have a philosophy.

Justin Queener, a philosophy major, attended the lecture and said he found Solis’ words to be insightful.

“What I got out of it was philosophy needs to be more practical, more community-based, and utopia is impossible,” Queener said. “It’s a goal but you’re never going to get there. It’s like tomorrow.”

Often philosophy doesn’t appeal to college students because it’s such an abstract concept. In Queener’s view, this should change because this generation is the future of the country and the world.

“It’s us that needs to take this project, as he calls it, into our own hands because we are the ones who are going to be breaking the boundaries, and we are the ones who are going to be setting tomorrow’s rules and creating tomorrow’s laws,” he said. “If we are to end normativity, it needs to start here, now, today.”