Mario Bunge

Mario Augusto Bunge
Born (1919-09-21) September 21, 1919
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Alma mater National University of La Plata (Ph.D., 1952)
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Analytic philosophy
Main interests
Philosophy of science
Philosophy of physics
Emergentism · Realism

Mario Augusto Bunge (Spanish: [ˈbuŋxe]; born September 21, 1919) is an Argentine philosopher, philosopher of science and physicist mainly active in Canada.


Bunge began his studies at the National University of La Plata, graduating with a Ph.D. in physico-mathematical sciences in 1952. He was professor of theoretical physics and philosophy, 19561966, first at La Plata then at University of Buenos Aires. He was, until his recent retirement at age 90, the Frothingham Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at McGill University in Montreal, where he had been since 1966.[2][3]

Mario Bunge has been distinguished with sixteen honorary doctorates and four honorary professorships by universities from both the Americas and Europe. Bunge is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1984– ) and of the Royal Society of Canada (1992– ). In 1982 he was awarded the Premio Príncipe de Asturias (Prince of Asturias Award), in 2009 the Guggenheim Fellowship,[3][4] and in 2014 the Ludwig von Bertalanffy Award in Complexity Thinking.[5]


Bunge is a prolific intellectual, having written more than 400 papers and 80 books, notably his monumental Treatise on Basic Philosophy in 8 volumes (1974–1989), a comprehensive and rigorous study of those philosophical aspects Bunge takes to be the core of modern philosophy: semantics, ontology, epistemology, philosophy of science and ethics.[3] Here, Bunge develops a comprehensive scientific outlook which he then applies to the various natural and social sciences.

His thinking embodies global systemism, emergentism, rationalism, scientific realism, materialism and consequentialism. Bunge has repeatedly and explicitly denied being a logical positivist, and has written on metaphysics. In the political arena, Bunge has defined himself as a "left-wing liberal" and democratic socialist, in the tradition of John Stuart Mill and José Ingenieros.

Popularly, he is known for his remarks considering psychoanalysis as an example of pseudoscience.[6]

Impact on Culture

Bunge is also influential in art culture. Today there are bands that pay tribute to him.[7][8][9]


See also


  1. Bunge relates that he "taught [hisself] philosophy between 1936 and 1956" while he was a regular physics student (between 1938 and 1944), studying nuclear physics under Guido Beck (see: Mario Bunge, "Philosophy of Science and Technology: A Personal Report", Contemporary Philosophy, Volume 8: Philosophy of Latin America, pp. 245-272, edited by Guttorm Fløistad Kluwer).
  2. Spitzberg, Daniel. "Mario Bunge: Philosophy in flux". McGill Reporter. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 "Mario A. Bunge". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  4. "- BIOGRAPHY - Mario Bunge, PhD, FRSC". University of Ottawa. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  6. RealClearScience - "Is Psychoanalysis Science or Pseudoscience?" Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  10. Bunge's Treatise on Basic Philosophy stands as his major achievement. It encompasses a quadrivium which he considers "the nucleus of contemporary philosophy", namely, semantics (theories of meaning and truth), ontology (general theories of the world), epistemology (theories of knowledge), and ethics (theories of value and right action). For approximately two decades, Bunge engaged in writing his magnum opus in order to investigate and synthesize contemporary philosophy in a single grand system that is compatible with the advancement of modern human knowledge both scientifically and philosophically. A - Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Semantics (I & II), Ontology (III-IV), Epistemology and Methodology (V-VII) Axiology and Ethics (VIII). All of these 8 volumes in 9 parts are currently in print, available under the Springer-Verlag imprint.

Further reading

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