Diaz, Kim (2012-07). Radical Democracy in the thought and work of Paulo Freire and Luis Villoro. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • This project explores democracy as a way of life (radical democracy) by drawing from both North and Latin American philosophers. I work with ideas from Paulo Freire (Brazil) and Luis Villoro (Mexico) to develop (a) a criticism of mainstream liberal assumptions regarding freedom, tolerance and the nature of the relationship between the individual and the community as well as (b) a criticism of liberal democracy as a political system, and (c) a formulation of democracy as a way of life. This is relevant because the experiences in Freire's and Villoro?s historical background (colonialism, feudalism, dictatorships) have been neglected from the Western liberal approach which emphasizes property rights, individual rights and community obligations towards the individual. Working with philosophers whose theories have been informed by the liberal tradition but whose work was developed in response to living in environments of dehumanizing oppression and corruption provides us with relevant criticisms of the Western liberal tradition as well as its assumptions regarding central concepts such as freedom, tolerance and community.

publication date

  • May 2012