Ramos y Magaña, Samuel (1897–1959)

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Ramos y Magaña, Samuel (1897–1959)

Samuel Ramos y Magaña (b. 8 June 1897; d. 20 June 1959), Mexican intellectual and educator. A student of Antonio Caso and collaborator of José Vasconcelos and Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Samuel Ramos wrote a seminal work of Mexican philosophy and culture, Profile of Man and Culture in Mexico (1934), in the "lo mexicano" line of intellectual thought, continued by Octavio Paz in the 1960s. Although criticized for its lack of "empirical" evidence, this work continues to provoke significant discussion in the intellectual community.

Growing up in Michoacán, where he attended the Colegio de San Nicolás in Morelia, Ramos attended medical school before switching to philosophy his third year. He studied in Rome and in Paris, at the Sorbonne. He taught logic and the history of philosophy at the National Preparatory School and the National University. Ramos founded and edited Ulises, and managed José Vasconcelos's intellectual journal Antorcha. He entered public life briefly as oficial mayor of public education (1931–1932) under his friend Narciso Bassols, and in the 1940s represented Mexico at UNESCO. He was appointed a member of the National College in 1952.

See alsoCaso y Andrade, Antonio; Philosophy: Overview.


Samuel Ramos, Profile of Man and Culture in Mexico, translated by Peter G. Earle (1962).

Henry C. Schmidt, The Roots of Lo Mexicano: Self and Society in Mexican Thought, 1900–1934 (1978).

Juan Hernández Luna, Samuel Ramos: Etapas de su formación espiritual (1982).

Additional Bibliography

Arreola Cortés, Raúl. Samuel Ramos: La pasión por la cultura. Morelia, México: Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, 1997.

                                        Roderic Ai Camp