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Adorno, Juan Nepomuceno

Entry updated 29 September 2020. Tagged: Author.

(1807-circa 1880) Mexican engineer, inventor and philosopher. He combined his fields of knowledge to write a short story – included in a long nonfiction work as described below – in which he reflected on the influence of Enlightenment philosophy, Utopian socialism, mainly from the writings of Charles Fourier and, to a lesser extent, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and Romanticism. Adorno lived in Europe for two periods of his life, 1848-1859 and 1873-1875, in both cases in a Mexican government commission to develop some of his Inventions, believing they could revitalize the national industry, although none of them was completed. He published in London Introduction to the Harmony of the Universe; or Principles of Physico-Harmonic Geometry (1851), being the first draft of his main philosophical work, and presented some of his inventions at the Paris World Fair of 1855. Even when some of them were really novel, like a player piano that worked from an original musical notation, the majority were turned down for their naivety. When he returned to Mexico he published in two separate volumes La Armonía del Universo: Ensayo filosófico en busca de la Verdad, la Unidad y la Felicidad ("The Harmony of the Universe: Philosophical Essay in search of Truth, Unity, and Happiness") (1862, 1882 2vols). In one of its chapters, titled "El remoto porvenir" ["The Distant Future"], he offered a fictional outlook of what the world may become if the principles of what he called his "providential philosophy", which was also an attempt to reconcile science and Religion, turned into reality: an Utopian Earth where all differences among human beings have vanished, even between men and women, there exists only one race which has mastered nature thanks to the advances of science and Technology, and there are no governments or laws because everybody lives in harmony and peace. [MAFD]

Juan Nepomuceno Adorno

born 1807

died circa 1880


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