Carlos Moya Valgañón


  • Carlos Moya Valgañón was born in Córdoba on June 10, 1936. The son of retaliated republican teachers, his childhood was spent between the different towns (Sajazarra in La Rioja, Albacete, Valencia) to which the family group moved. After graduating in Law from the University of Valencia in 1957, he received a pre-doctoral scholarship from the Oriol y Urquijo Foundation to further his studies at the University of Cologne, in Germany. He remained in Cologne for three years, from 1958 to 1961, integrated into the Department of Sociology directed at that time by Rene König, one of the most relevant figures in post-war German and European sociology. There he definitively reoriented his academic vocation towards sociology, to which from then on he would dedicate his research, publications and teaching activity.
  • Upon his return from Germany, in November 1963, at the Faculty of Law of the University of Valencia, he defended his doctoral thesis on "Fundamental problems of sociological theory: from Marx to Durkheim and structural-functionalism." As a result of his years of study in Germany, the thesis takes an ambitious tour of the plural roots that nourish the new self-awareness of modernity that is reflected in Sociology.
  • In 1964 he joined the Complutense University of Madrid as assistant professor of the Chair of Philosophy of Law, whose owner is Joaquín Ruiz-Giménez. At this juncture, along with other young university professors and intellectuals, he joined the circle of opposition to the dictatorship led by Professor Tierno Galván. In this context, he will be co-founder and professor of CEISA (Center for Studies and Research SA), the Critical School of Social Sciences which, designed, organized and managed thanks to the efforts of José Vidal Beneyto, will give a decisive boost to the development of contemporary sociology. in Spain and which the Franco authorities ordered to close in 1968.
  • In charge in 1967 of teaching Philosophy of Social Science at the Faculty of Political and Economic Sciences of the Complutense University, four years later he won the Chair of Sociology at the University of Bilbao, to whose Faculty of Sarrico he moved in September 1971. In In 1974 he moved again to Madrid to direct the UNED Institute of Educational Sciences and launch its Department of Social Sciences. From these years are his books Sociologists and sociology (1970) and Sociological theory: a critical introduction (1971); The first brings together a set of studies in which it proceeds to a novel and illuminating review of some of the milestones of the sociological tradition; The second delves into the analysis, systematization and interpretation of contemporary sociological theory at the end of the era of the reign of functionalism. Also from the early '70s is his monograph Bureaucracy and Industrial Society (1972), focused on the study of the Spanish case, in light of the tradition of sociological analysis of the State that comes from German sociology and especially from Max Weber -a whose sociology of bureaucracy dedicates a revealing chapter. In connection with his study of public bureaucracy, but within the framework of a historical sociology of the process of socio-economic change in Spain that began with the civil war, in 1975 El poder economic en España: 1939-1972 appeared, a book connected with the work on "economic elites and Spanish development", published in the volume "La Sociedad", within the collective work The Spain of the 70s.
  • In September 1977 he took over the chair of Social Change at the Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology of the Complutense University of Madrid, of which he was Dean from 1980 to 1982, in addition to directing the Department of Sociology I in the remaining years. During this period he published Of the city and its reason. From political logos to sociological reason (1977), a wide-ranging study of difficult academic classification on the historical genealogy of Western rationality and its conversion into sociological reason. Also worth highlighting at this time is the book Contemporary Sociological Theory (1978), co-directed with José Jiménez Blanco, which includes collaborations from numerous Spanish sociologists who address and debate the central themes of sociology at the end of the '70s. The period culminates with the publication in 1984 of Signs of Leviathan: National State and Industrial Society in Spain, 1936-1980, a book that brings together multiple studies published in previous years and in which works of empirical-historical orientation are combined with others of an theoretical-hermeneutic. That same year he also published the article "Collective identity: a scientific research program" in the REIS, a work in which an analytical-hermeneutic proposal is brought to light for the expansion and eventual overcoming of the narrow limits of dominant sociology.
  • In 1989 he left the Complutense University to join the Department of Sociology I of the UNED, which he directed for some years and of which he is currently Professor Emeritus. In the 1994-1995 academic year he moved, for a sabbatical year, to the University of California, San Diego; There he began an ambitious investigation into monotheistic religions and their pre-modern and modern political variants, which he continues to work on today. As a result of this line of research, his book Muhammad, Dar-el-Islam and Maimonides: two essays on Semitic monotheism (2008) has recently appeared.
National Prize for Sociology and Political Science 2010

The intellectual figure of Carlos Moya goes beyond any possible academic classification and his consequent location in the closed preserves of specialties. A person of insatiable intellectual curiosity and encyclopedic culture, his sociological works have always tended to be situated at the crossroads where the best modern traditions of the social sciences and humanities meet. His sociology has always been open to interdisciplinary dialogue and the questioning of sterile academic boundaries, attentive, therefore, to incorporating new points of view that come from philosophy, history, psychology, anthropology, science. politics - or even from the most distant intellectual line of the hard sciences. Product of the heterodox and hybrid matrix of his thought and his brilliant originality, his approaches to empirical or theoretical-analytical themes always manage to surprise by the novelty of the point of view from which he observes and analyzes, his ability to recognize in the smallest folds of experience emerging realities barely thought of and its refusal to linger on what is already trite and sterile.

His center of interest and attention has always been the great tradition of social thought. A tradition that he has analyzed starting from its beginning in Hobbes, the first and main thinker of the socio-political order of modernity, and that, passing through the refoundations that Saint-Simon and his disciple Comte carried out in the first third of the 19th century, reaches to its full institutionalization in Germany and France in the times of Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, to emerge in the American university after the Second World War, dominated by the struggle between the structural-functionalism of Parsons and the committed and alternative sociology of Charles Wright Mills. It is this matrix, which unfolds over several centuries of modernity, that has constituted the central object of his reflections, research and writings. Moya has brilliantly shown how it unfolds and gains in complexity, how it becomes the backbone of modern thought, how it thinks about us and what we can do to renew the messages it has provided us over time. His studies on Hobbes, Saint-Simon, Durkheim and Weber show their strategic role in the history of modernity and their stubborn relevance, as thinkers who continue to help us think about the world in which we live. They are works fully recognized as reference studies by our academic community.

However, Carlos Moya has not limited himself to shining in the space of theoretical reflection. He has always stood out as an intelligent and subtle observer of current events. His analyzes of the drift of contemporary globalized society are full of original proposals in dialogue with the most common diagnoses of contemporary sociology. On the other hand, and following the lines of classical sociology, his works on the social world have gone beyond the purely current or contemporary, opening up to high-flying historical investigations in which sociology and history are combined as disciplines. inseparable.

A sociable person, open to everyone and always willing to encourage the research of the many who, with very different intellectual backgrounds and interests, have approached him over the decades, Carlos Moya is recognized by all as an intellectual committed to the era he He has lived, a wise man and a teacher, of whom the academic community values his crucial role in the institutionalization of sociology in Spain and, especially, his innovative and original contributions in the field of sociological theory and socio-philosophy. policy.