Mario Bunge: biography of this Argentinian philosopher

Mario Bunge (1919-2020) was an intellectual, a key figure of the twentieth and twenty-first century, belonging to the field of science and philosophy.

This Argentinian philosopher, physicist and epistemologist, recently deceased at the age of one hundred, has devoted his entire life to spreading science and fighting pseudoscience.

In this article, we will dive into the life of this philosopher through a biography of Mario Bunge in summary form, and we will explain what have been his most relevant contributions in the scientific and philosophical world. Finally, we will mention some of his famous phrases.

    Short biography of Mario Bunge

    Mario Bunge (1919-2020) was an exceptional Argentine intellectual and philosopher, in addition to a physicist and an epistemologist. Bunge was born September 21, 1919 in western Florida (Buenos Aires, Argentina), and recently died; on February 24, 2020, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at the age of one hundred.

    Origin and personal life

    His father, August Bunge, was a doctor and Socialist deputy; her mother, Maria Muser, was a nurse of German descent, Who emigrated to Argentina just before the start of World War I (IGM).

    As for his personal life, Mario Bunge has married twice; with the first wife he had two children and with the second (Marta Carvallo, Italian mathematician) he had two more. Interestingly, all of her children have been university professors. In addition, she also had grandchildren (a total of 10), as well as a few great-grandchildren.

    Studies and trajectory

    Mario Bunge completed his compulsory secondary education at the National School in his hometown, Buenos Aires. Later, he obtained his doctorate from the Universidad Nacional de la Plata, in physics and mathematics.

    He started working as a professor in 1956 at the University of La Plata, where he taught theoretical physics and philosophy. Later it exerted like educator in the University of Buenos Aires; between the two universities, it was a total of seven years, until 1963.

    Bunge has worked as a professor of philosophy, logic and metaphysics in a multitude of countries (He was fluent in English, French and German), such as: Denmark, Switzerland, Australia, Mexico, Uruguay, Mexico, USA, Germany and, well sure, Argentina. He also held a chair in logic and metaphysics, called the Frothingham Chair, at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

    However, where Bunge spent most of his time as a teacher was at McGill University (Montreal), where he taught from 1966 until the date of his death.

    As a highlight of the philosopher, mention that in 1938 Mario Bunge founded and directed the Argentine Labor University (Under twenty); this university has come to have more than three thousand students. Unfortunately, it was closed by Peronism (Argentine political movement) in 1943.


      Mario bunge he considered himself a defender of scientific realism. He set out to promote the exact, current philosophy of which he himself was the origin. On the other hand, in terms of thought and orientation, he was also considered a scientist, systemist and materialist.

      In addition, Bunge was opposed to pseudoscientific currentsIn other words, those practices or currents of thought presented as scientific, but which in fact do not have a solid scientific basis to support them or a scientific method to support them.

      Bunge, throughout his career, fought pseudoscience; according to him, these are: homeopathy, praxeology (the study of the logical structure of human action a priori) and psychoanalysis, among others.

      As for the more philosophical side, Bunge rejected and criticized currents such as phenomenology, existentialism, philosophical feminism and hermeneutics, Others.

      Economics and politics

      In the field of economics and politics, Mario Bunge he advocated a cooperative socialism; this current or this thought, brought together a series of reformist theories which defended the interests of the petty bourgeoisie.

      In this sense, he also rejected socialism and Soviet-type populism.

      Relevant contributions and work

      Mario Bunge has made many contributions in the field of science and philosophy. His contributions have mainly focused on scientific and philosophical dissemination at different levels.

      It should be noted that Bunge founded the philosophy magazine Platen press (1944-45) and co-founded the River Plate Association of Logic and Scientific Philosophy (1956) (of which, in addition, he was president).

      On the other hand, Bunge’s first work was Causality: The Place of the Causal Principle in Modern Science (1959), which was a great success and was translated into seven languages. In this work, he defends determinism in modern science.

      Another of his great remarkable works is his treatise on the theory of science, titled Scientific Research (1967), which can be found in Spanish, and which also had a great impact, especially among scholars of philosophy. and science.

      In addition, in Spanish we also find the following relevant works by Mario Bunge (these are just a few):

      • Science, its method and its philosophy (1960)
      • Philosophy of Physics (1962)
      • Theory and Reality (1981)
      • Economics and Philosophy (1982)
      • The Mind-Brain Problem (2011)

      Construction of a philosophical system

      On the other hand, one of Bunge’s big projects, in which he was fully involved, was the construction of a philosophical system covering different fields of knowledge, Such as: semantics, ontology, philosophy of science or ethics, among others. This project was developed between 1969 and 1989.


      Mario Bunge’s accolades are numerous: to begin with, receive up to 21 honorary doctorates – four honorary chairs from different universities (Europe and America).

      Bunge also received the Prince of Asturias Prize in 1982, and in 1986 he received the Konex Prize (in the discipline “Logic and Theory of Science”), among other awards. Its last prize dates back to 2016 and consisted of the second Konex prize (in this case, in the discipline “Logic and Philosophy of Science”).

      On the other hand, when it comes to promoting science and knowledge, note that Bunge since 1984 he has been a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has also been a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 1992.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Bunge, M. (2002). Dictionary of Philosophy (2nd edition). Mexico: 21st century. p. 75.
      • Fernández, M. (2009). Contemporary social thinkers (1st edition). Buenos Aires: editions of the sign.
      • Fernández, P. (2020). Mario Bunge, one of the most cited Spanish-speaking scientists in history, dies. The country.
      • La Vanguardia. (2020). “Mario Bunge: Argentinian philosopher dies at the age of one hundred.”

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