Pamplona, España, 1961

Santiago Beruete is an anthropologist with a doctorate in Philosophy who combines his teaching and research activities with literary creation and gardening. He has written several books of poems, short stories, and novels that have been awarded various national and international prizes. His essays Gardenosophy. A Philosophical History of Gardens (2016) and Greenodolatry. Nature teaches how to be human (2018) have been translated into several languages. 

  • "In the wild 21st century, nature appears as the last physical and mental refuge." Álvaro Soto
  • "Somewhere in our brain, we long for the forest." Santiago Beruete

Bibliography

Our innate desire to learn defines us as a species.

What we should teach the new generations is an ongoing daily debate in many quarters, though it is rarely related to the life and society we long for. We all know, but we often forget that a philosophical approach and a critical spirit are perennial requisites for the future, however unpredictable the latter may be.

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Non-fiction

Our innate desire to learn defines us as a species.

What we should teach the new generations is an ongoing daily debate in many quarters, though it is rarely related to the life and society we long for. We all know, but we often forget that a philosophical approach and a critical spirit are perennial requisites for the future, however unpredictable the latter may be.

 The thoughts brought together in this book reflect the experience of a secondary school philosophy teacher, but are inspired by lessons from a great master: nature. 

 “Whoever educates carries a gardener within himself, he sows the seeds of curiosity that enable his pupils to flower within themselves.”

  

 

A new take on the expression “to live in harmony with nature,” based on another way of understanding our humanity.

Plants can help us understand human contradictions, and inspire us in what Montaigne called “the arduous science of knowing how to live well.”

Verdolatría is organised around four essential philosophical questions: What can I know? How should I act? What can I expect? What does it mean to be human? It draws on ecological thought, lessons from the art of gardening, and botanical science to change our understanding of life on the planet and our place in it.

"In the 21st century, nature appears as the last physical and mental refuge". Álvaro Soto

"A fantastic essay by a philosopher who is not afraid to get into the garden and who explores the relationships between the organization of nature and human thought." Patricia Soley, La Vanguardia

From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the ecological vegetable patches planted by urban guerrillas, the garden has been a reflection of society. Anyone fortunate enough to have a bit of green space around their house faces a complicated decision: Shall I fence it in and grow cabbage? Decorate it with a line of perfectly trimmed hedges? Install some swings and a fountain? Sit there and gaze at the horizon while pondering the immensity of the cosmos? Similar questions were formulated by Pre-Socratic philosophers, decadent Frenchmen at Versailles, and the first misanthrope who ran off to live in the woods. How we use the “domesticated nature” that is our garden evolves along with the world, and with each person. This book tells that story through the gardens of history’s great thinkers, artists, and architects. It’s a story of happiness, the good life, and the use of time and space, in a unique book that mostly speaks of pleasure.

"Throughout the pages, the poet, philosopher and anthropologist places the garden at the center of thought, offering through it a broad panorama of the evolution of our conception of the good life, that is, a happy and fulfilled life". L'amour des Livres 

"Sucede en el amor como en el ajedrez. No siempre se juega para ganar. Los adversarios se sienten menos atraídos por la victoria que por la belleza de las estrategias desplegadas, la voluptuosidad del duelo mental o incluso, el placer de la derrota."

Partiendo de una sutil analogía con el ajedrez, el Libro del ajedrez amoroso traza la historia de una de las instituciones culturales más relevantes y definitorias de nuestra tradición: el amor. De los trabajos de Tristán e Isolda al donjuanismo burlador; de la herencia platónica a la comprensión fisiológica del orgasmo, asistimos al proceso evolutivo de un fenómeno que, lejos de expresar una tendencia natural, asimila un gran número de discursos que con frecuencia quedan ocultos bajo el peso terrible e inmediato de la pasión. 

En el Libro del ajedrez amoroso se encuentran y dialogan Aristóteles y Bataille, Emma Bovary y Denis de Rougemont, Chrêtien de Troyes y Freud. Y gracias a la inteligencia y perspicacia de Santiago Beruete, consiguen desentrañar qué es el amor o, cuando menos, qué se ha pensado que era a lo largo de la historia.

Prizes

  • 1989 -  Premio Constitución de Ensayo por Libro del ajedrez amoroso