Enrique Ghersi during his dissertation at the UFM.

With a long standing ovation from students, professors, directors and administrative personnel of Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Enrique Ghersi concluded his inaugural lesson titled The Limits of Language and The Defense of Freedom.

The same one was celebrated last January 18th of 2007 at the Juan Bautista Gutiérrez Auditorium  of this house of studies.

“Passion in the defense of freedom is a form of reason to fight and conquer one more triumph: to recover human knowledge, for ourselves, is to defend humanism which is the supreme form of freedom”, said Ghersi at the end of the inaugural lesson.

“The importance of the Viquian [of Gianbattista Vico] thought is that it is a reaction to Descartes; and when dividing the ages of men [divine, heroic and human] in forms of expression, Vico’s exposition is, and here lies its importance to liberal thought, a totally different view from the Cartesian view that traditionally floods scientific knowledge and the way of thinking and studying such as we know it contemporarily. For Descartes knowledge and ideas had to be clear and accurate; for Vico, however, you could only know what man did, the knowledge was only knowledge per cause.  The verum and factum, the truth and facts, were convertible.   What did Vico meant with this deeply anticartesian gnoseologic exposition? Vico maintains that men do everything without deliberating.  An essential antecedent of the idea that was developed later by great liberal philosophers, particularly Hayek, spontaneous order, mainly on the non deliberate knowledge processes in the extended order”, explained the lecturer.  

“Vico sustained that not only scientific knowledge is knowledge; but that other forms of human expression, are also knowledge.  For Vico, poetry is knowledge; the development of a hero, is knowledge”, added Ghersi.  

In his conference, Ghersi, talked about the value of words and their perversion.  How enemies of freedom took control of words and then “sucked” the meaning out of them, in the same way a weasel sucks an egg, in reference to  As you like it, by William Shakespeare.  Ghersi recommended poetry, the creation of mythical monsters, the fact that we are moved by songs, that paintings say something to us and a novel entertains us. We will never succeed if we incur in the error of defending freedom in a Cartesian way based on formulas, syllogisms and numbers!  We will only prevail if we understand that the defense of freedom is constructed from arguments, figures, discussions, debates and the use of metaphors and myths that nest in each one of us”, he emphasized.  

The thesis of Enrique Ghersi, sustained at the Catholic University of Peru, is titled Economic Analysis of Legal Access to Property: The Case of Housing in Lima.  He has been an editor at the newspaper La Prensa, journalist for Reason magazine, host of the show Economy of the day, investigator at the Freedom and Democracy Institute, and Law professor at the University of Lima.  He is a visiting professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquín.

In the afternoon of January 18th, Enrique Ghersi lectured a conference on underground property, at the UFM’s Milton Friedman Auditorium.

More photos,
here.