Alcorta, Diego (1801–1842)

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Alcorta, Diego (1801–1842)

Diego Alcorta (b. November 1801; d. 7 January 1842), Argentine philosopher, physician, and politician. Born in Buenos Aires and educated there at the Colegio de la Unión del Sur and the University (1823–1827), Alcorta was more successful as an educator than as a politician. He was a founder of the Sociedad Elemental de Medicina in 1824 and became one of the pioneering surgeons of the Hospital de Hombres in 1828, a year after completing his medical studies. Also named principal professor of philosophy at the university that year, he dominated the philosophy department for fourteen years. An entire generation of writers and intellectuals had their first brush with European liberal writings under Alcorta's tutelage. His favorite texts came from the French Enlightenment, a reflection of the vogue for rationalism and utilitarianism in Buenos Aires in the 1820s. Among his students were Juan Bautista Alberdi, Juan María Gutiérrez, José Mármol, Felix Frías, and Vincente Fidel López, the shining lights of the Generation of 1837. As a deputy in the Chamber of Representatives, Alcorta voted in 1832 against the reinstatement of the caudillo Juan Manuel de Rosas as governor of Buenos Aires. In 1833 he became vice rector of the University of Buenos Aires, but was ousted by Rosas supporters a year later. This did not prevent him from helping to write a blueprint constitution, which was dismissed in the emerging caudillo order as too liberal. Alcorta died in Buenos Aires.

See alsoColegio Nacional de Buenos Aires .


Carlos I. Salas, Apuntes biográficos del Dr. Diego Alcorta (1889).

Juan Maria Gutiérrez, Origen y dessarrollo de la enseñanza pública superior en Buenos Aires (1915).

                                          Jeremy Adelman

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Alcorta, Diego (1801–1842)

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