The Cultural Significance of Physics and Evolution in Francoist Spain: Continuity and Development in the Autarchic Period

Título traducido de la contribución: El significado cultural de la física y la evolución en la España franquista: Continuidad y desarrollo en el periodo autárquico

Clara Florensa, Xavier Roqué

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Resumen

Science took on several distinct uses and meanings under Francoism. It was exhibited as a token of intellectual prowess, deployed as a mighty diplomatic tool, applied as a resource for industry, and invoked in support of National Catholicism. However, in order to successfully fulfill all these roles, science had first to be cleansed and purified, for it was historically bound to materialism, atheism, and positivism. Physics had developed a mechanical worldview that precluded spiritual agency, and the theory of evolution had deprived man of his privileged place in nature. Could these developments be reversed? Classical physics would not easily serve the needs of the new National Catholic state, but modern physics might do, acting as a model and a tool for biological reasoning. In this paper we describe the various attempts by Spanish scientists, philosophers, and intellectuals to enlist modern physics and a revised version of evolution in the construction of the new regime. They strove to show their spiritual value, to sever them from a soul-less modernity, and to reinstate them within a grand universal Catholic tradition. We discuss the import of their arguments for the simultaneous debates about time, space, matter, life, and evolution, exploring the affinities and tensions between the inert and the living world.

Título traducido de la contribuciónEl significado cultural de la física y la evolución en la España franquista: Continuidad y desarrollo en el periodo autárquico
Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoe003
PublicaciónCulture and History Digital Journal
Volumen10
N.º1
DOI
EstadoPublicada - abr 2021

Palabras clave

  • Darwinism
  • Evolutionism
  • History of Biology
  • History of Physics
  • Physics and Philosophy
  • Science and Francoism
  • Science and Ideology
  • Science and Religion

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