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Rafael Alvira, philosopher and Full Professor emeritus of the University, has passed away.

He was one of the driving forces behind the Institute business and Humanism of the academic center.


04 | 02 | 2024

Rafael Alvira (Madrid, 1942), Full Professor emeritus of Philosophy of the University of Navarra, has died in Madrid at the age of 81. Teacher of philosophers for more than four decades, he was Dean and Associate Dean of the School of Philosophy and Letters and one of the promoters of the Institute business and Humanism of the academic center.

Professor Alvira holds a degree in Philosophy and History from the University of Navarra and a PhD in Philosophy from the Complutense University of Madrid, with award Extraordinary. He defended the thesis at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and completed his training in Germany, Italy, Austria, France and the United States. 

He began his academic and research career in 1966, at the Complutense University of Madrid, where he was Senior Associate Professor of Fundamentals of Philosophy and Metaphysics and secretary of the section of Philosophy. In 1979, he obtained a Chair at the University of La Laguna (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and a year later, he joined the University of Navarra, where he practiced teaching until his retirement, in 2013.

In the academic center, he promoted the creation of the Institute business and Humanism, of which he was vice-president and director. Along with the former President Alejandro Llano, he was also one of the main organizers of the Philosophical Meetings held annually at the University of Navarra for more than 50 years. He also taught Theory of Society at School in Communication

honorary doctor by the Universidad Panamericana (Mexico) and the Universidad de Montevideo (Uruguay), was Extraordinary Professor of the universities of Mendoza (Argentina) and Montevideo (Uruguay), and Visiting Professor in various American institutions, among others, the University of Notre Dame (United States), or the Universidad de los Andes (Chile). He also taught teaching at the Diplomatic School of Madrid and at the Menéndez Pelayo International University of Santander.

Author of more than 15 works and nearly two hundred articles of his specialization program, he directed more than thirty-five doctoral thesis and more than thirty scientific memoirs. Professor Alvira was part of the committee publishing house of several journals of Philosophy and was a member of several national and international societies, including the International Society for Metaphysics; the Societé internationale pour l'étude de la Philosophie Médiévale; the Sociedad Española de programs of study Clásicos; and the Sociedad Española de Philosophy. He was also a founding member of the association for the Study of the Social Doctrine of the Church (AEDOS).

Julia Pavón, dean of the School of Philosophy and Letters, said that "with the departure of Rafael Alvira ends an important part of the history of the School, because both he and the team of professors of Philosophy and other areas established the instructions, not only of the University, but of what had to be the university style". He also emphasized "the affection and closeness with which he treated his colleagues, his disciples and his friends, always reflected in his gaze".

A memory shared by Professor Montserrat Herrero, professor at the University and disciple of Professor Alvira, who says that he was "above all, a servant of all, because whoever came to knock on his door found a listening ear and recognition". She also recalled that "writing in souls" was always his premise: "Consistent with this motto, he wasted his energies with kind generosity at the University of Navarra, in other Spanish universities and in those of other countries that came to his teaching, from the European, African, American and Asian continents. Behind Professor Alvira's intelligent gaze were hidden many hours of reading and reflection synthesized in an original philosophical proposal ".