Varona y Pera, Enrique José

Varona y Pera, Enrique José ānrēˈkā hōsāˈ värōˈnä ē pāˈrä [key], 1849–1933, Cuban philosopher and vice president of Cuba (1913–17). Varona was a professor at the Univ. of Havana and was a dominant intellectual influence in Cuba for 50 years. Varona's interests lay in the philosophy of logic, psychology, and ethics. His orientation was toward empiricism and positivism. In logic, he analyzed the ways man thinks and learns, using John Stuart Mill's work on induction as a base. His psychological approach was physiological and deterministic, although he felt that man could avoid automaton status, since through intelligence man can learn to understand and direct laws of causal determination, which is “tantamount to overcoming them.” In ethics, Varona wrote that the proper approach is genetic, i.e., man is moral by virtue of being social, and society is a consequence of evolutionary development.

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