Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that second group. Charles Darwin recognized the small number of traits that made domestic species different from their wild ancestors, he was the first to recognize the difference between conscious selective breeding in which humans directly select for desirable traits, unconscious selection where traits evolve as a by-product of natural selection or from selection on other traits. There is a genetic difference between wild populations. There is such a difference between the domestication traits that researchers believe to have been essential at the early stages of domestication, the improvement traits that have appeared since the split between wild and domestic populations. Domestication traits are fixed within all domesticates, were selected during the initial episode of domestication of that animal or plant, whereas improvement traits are present only in a proportion of domesticates, though they may be fixed in individual breeds or regional populations.
The dog was the first domesticated vertebrate, was established across Eurasia before the end of the Late Pleistocene era, well before cultivation and before the domestication of other animals. The archaeological and genetic data suggest that long-term bidirectional gene flow between wild and domestic stocks – including donkeys, horses and Old World camelids, goats and pigs – was common. Given its importance to humans and its value as a model of evolutionary and demographic change, domestication has attracted scientists from archaeology, anthropology, zoology and the environmental sciences. Among birds, the major domestic species today is the chicken, important for meat and eggs, though economically valuable poultry include the turkey and numerous other species. Birds are widely kept as cagebirds, from songbirds to parrots; the longest established invertebrate domesticates are the silkworm. Terrestrial snails are raised for food, while species from several phyla are kept for research, others are bred for biological control.
The domestication of plants began at least 12,000 years ago with cereals in the Middle East, the bottle gourd in Asia. Agriculture developed in at least 11 different centres around the world, domesticating different crops and animals. Domestication, from the Latin domesticus,'belonging to the house', is "a sustained multi-generational, mutualistic relationship in which one organism assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another organism in order to secure a more predictable supply of a resource of interest, through which the partner organism gains advantage over individuals that remain outside this relationship, thereby benefitting and increasing the fitness of both the domesticator and the target domesticate." This definition recognizes both the biological and the cultural components of the domestication process and the impacts on both humans and the domesticated animals and plants. All past definitions of domestication have included a relationship between humans with plants and animals, but their differences lay in, considered as the lead partner in the relationship.
This new definition recognizes a mutualistic relationship. Domestication has vastly enhanced the reproductive output of crop plants and pets far beyond that of their wild progenitors. Domesticates have provided humans with resources that they could more predictably and securely control and redistribute, the advantage that had fueled a population explosion of the agro-pastoralists and their spread to all corners of the planet. Houseplants and ornamentals are plants domesticated for aesthetic enjoyment in and around the home, while those domesticated for large-scale food production are called crops. Domesticated plants deliberately altered or selected for special desirable characteristics are cultigens. Animals domesticated for home companionship are called pets, while those domesticated for food or work are known as livestock; this biological mutualism is not restricted to humans with domestic crops and livestock but is well-documented in nonhuman species among a number of social insect domesticators and their plant and animal domesticates, for example the ant–fungus mutualism that exists between leafcutter ants and certain fungi.
Domestication syndrome is the suite of phenotypic traits arising during domestication that distinguish crops from their wild ancestors. The term is applied to vertebrate animals, includes increased docility and tameness, coat color changes, reductions in tooth size, changes in craniofacial morphology, alterations in ear and tail form, more frequent and nonseasonal estrus cycles, alterations in adrenocorticotropic hormone levels, changed concentrations of several neurotransmitters, prolongations in juvenile behavior, reductions in both total brain size and of particular brain regions; the domestication of animals and plants began with the wolf at least 15,000 years before present, which led to a rapid shift in the evolution and demography of both humans and numerous species of animals and plants. The sudden appearance of the domestic dog in the archaeological record was followed by livestock and crop domestication, the transition of humans from foraging to farming in different places and times across the planet.
Around 10,000 YBP, a new way of life emerged for humans through the management and exploitation of plant and an
Political colours are colours used to represent a political party, either or unofficially. Parties in different countries with similar ideologies sometimes use similar colours. For example, the colour red symbolises left-wing ideologies in many countries while the colour orange symbolizes Christian democratic political ideology. However, the political associations of a given colour vary from country to country: red is the colour associated with the conservative Republican Party in the United States. Politicians making public appearances will identify themselves by wearing rosettes, flowers or ties in the colour of their political party. Black is associated with anarchism and jihadism. Anti-clerical parties in the late 19th and early 20th centuries sometimes used the colour black in reference to the officials of the Catholic Church because the cassock is black. In Germany and Austria, black is the colour associated with Christian democratic parties, such as the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and the Austrian People's Party.
In Greece, black is the colour of a far-right political party. In Italy, black is the colour of fascism because it was the official colour of the National Fascist Party; as a result, modern Italian parties would not use black as their political colour. In the Islamic world, black flags are sometimes used by jihadist groups. Black was the colour of the Abbasid caliphate, it is commonly used by Shia Muslims, as it is associated with mourning the death of Hussein ibn Ali. It is now known as the flag colour of the Islamic State of the Levant. In Russia, black represented monarchism and nationalist movements such as the Black Hundreds before their defeat at the hands of the communists. In India, black represents protest. In Tamil Nadu, black represents atheistic human rights rebels. Blue is associated with centre-right or conservative parties, originating from its use by the Tory party in the United Kingdom; the field of the flag of the United Nations is light blue, chosen to represent hope. It has given rise to the term "bluewashing".
In Austria and Germany, blue is the colour of the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria and AfD, respectively. It is the colour the Bavarian conservative party CSU and its predecessors. In Australia, blue is the colour of the Liberal Party-led Coalition, socially conservative and economically liberal in its policies and politics. In Belize, blue is the color of social democratic People's United Party. In Belgium, blue is associated with liberalism, used both by the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats as the Reformist Movement. In Brazil, blue is associated with liberal parties. Blue and red are the colors of Progressive Party, as well as the National Democratic Union the Party of the Republic and its predecessor, the Liberal Party. Blue and yellow are the colors of Christian Democracy and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, a former centre-left, now economic liberal party. Blue and green are the colors of the Democrats, the main liberal conservative party in Brazil in the current republic.
Blue was the color of Brazilian Integralist Action, the first far-right movement in Brazil, inspired by National Catholicism. The Brazilian Republican Party and the conservative liberal Social Democratic Party use a blue banner with green and white, the other three colors of Brazilian Flag, with less prominence. In Bolivia, blue is the color of the left-wing Movement for Socialism. In Canada, in federal-level politics the official colour for the Conservative Party of Canada is blue, while in the province of Québec light blue is associated with nationalist and secessionist movements. In Costa Rica, blue is the color associated with the Social Christian Unity Party, alongside red. In Ethiopia, blue is the colour of Semayawi Party Ethiopia, it represents Peace. Semayawi is an Amharic word meaning blue. In Finland, blue is the colour of centre-right parties National Coalition Blue Reform. In India, blue is associated with the Dalit Ambedkarite movement. In Ireland, blue is associated with the conservative Fine Gael party, known colloquially as "The Blueshirts" in reference to their roots in the right-wing National Guard of the 1930s.
Two parties in Japan use blue. Democratic socialist Social Democratic Party and social liberal Democratic Party; the colour blue of a lighter shade, is of prime significance in Judaism. The flag of Israel features a blue Star of David. See tekhelet and Zionism; the colour is strongly identified with the right wing Likud party. In Lebanon, blue is the colour for the Future Movement. In Malta, blue is colour of the Nationalist Party. In Paraguay, blue is the colour of the Radical Liberal Party, one of the country's historical parties. In Romania, blue is associated with centre-right or right-wing parties and a number of such parties use the colour such the National Liberal Party, the People's Movement Party, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, the National Democratic Party, the New Republic, M10, as well as the now-defunct Conservative Party. In South Africa, blue is associated with liberal political parties, the most popular being the Democr
Contemporary philosophy is the present period in the history of Western philosophy beginning at the early 20th century with the increasing professionalization of the discipline and the rise of analytic and continental philosophy. The phrase "contemporary philosophy" is a piece of technical terminology in philosophy that refers to a specific period in the history of Western philosophy. However, the phrase is confused with modern philosophy, postmodern philosophy, with a non-technical use of the phrase referring to any recent philosophic work. Professionalization is the social process by which any trade or occupation establishes the group norms of conduct, acceptable qualifications for membership of the profession, a professional body or association to oversee the conduct of members of the profession, some degree of demarcation of the qualified from unqualified amateurs; the transformation into a profession brings about many subtle changes to a field of inquiry, but one more identifiable component of professionalization is the increasing irrelevance of "the book" to the field: "research communiqués will begin to change in ways whose modern end products are obvious to all and oppressive to many.
No longer will researches be embodied in books addressed to anyone who might be interested in the subject matter of the field. Instead they will appear as brief articles addressed only to professional colleagues, the men whose knowledge of a shared paradigm can be assumed and who prove to be the only one able to read the papers addressed to them." Philosophy underwent this process toward the end of the 19th century, it is one of the key distinguishing features of the contemporary philosophy era in Western philosophy. Germany was the first country to professionalize philosophy. At the end of 1817, Hegel was the first philosopher to be appointed professor by the State, namely by the Prussian Minister of Education, as an effect of Napoleonic reform in Prussia. In the United States, the professionalisation grew out of reforms to the American higher-education system based on the German model. James Campbell describes the professionalisation of philosophy in America as follows: The list of specific changes is brief, but the resultant shift is total.
No longer could the professor function as a defender of the faith or an expounder of Truth. The new philosopher had to be a publicizer of results; this shift was made obvious when certified philosophy Ph. D.'s replaced theology graduates and ministers in the philosophy classroom. The period between the time when no one had a Ph. D. to when everyone did was brief. The doctorate, was more than a license to teach: it was a certificate that the prospective philosophy instructor was well, if narrowly and ready to undertake independent work in the now specializing and restricted field of academic philosophy; these new philosophers functioned in independent departments of philosophy They were making real gains in their research, creating a body of philosophic work that remains central to our study now. These new philosophers set their own standards for success, publishing in the recognized organs of philosophy that were being founded at the time: The Monist, The International Journal of Ethics, The Philosophical Review, The Journal of Philosophy and Scientific Methods.
And, of course, these philosophers were banding together into societies – the American Psychological Association, the Western Philosophical Association, the American Philosophical Association – to consolidate their academic positions and advance their philosophic work. Professionalization in England was tied to developments in higher-education. In his work on T. H. Green, Denys Leighton discusses these changes in British philosophy and Green's claim to the title of Britain's first professional academic philosopher: Henry Sidgwick, in a generous gesture, identified Green as Britain's first professional academic philosopher. Sidgwick's opinion can be questioned: William Hamilton, J. F. Ferrier and Sidgwick himself are among the contenders for that honour, yet there can be no doubt that between the death of Mill and the publication of G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica, the British philosophical profession was transformed, that Green was responsible for the transformation. Bentham, the Mills, Coleridge, Spencer, as well as many other serious philosophical thinkers of the nineteenth century were men of letters, active politicians, clergy with livings, but not academics.
Green helped separate the study of philosophical from that of historical texts. When Green began his academic career much of the serious writing on philosophical topic was published in journals of opinion devoted to a broad range of, he helped professionalize philosophical writing by encouraging specialized periodicals, such as'Academy' and'Mind', which were to serve as venues for the results of scholarly research. The end result of professionalization for philosophy has meant that work being done in the field is now exclusively done by university professors holding a doctorate in the field publishing in technical, peer-reviewed journals. While
Theodor W. Adorno
Theodor W. Adorno was a German philosopher, sociologist and composer known for his critical theory of society, he was a leading member of the Frankfurt School of critical theory, whose work has come to be associated with thinkers such as Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, for whom the works of Freud and Hegel were essential to a critique of modern society. He is regarded as one of the 20th century's foremost thinkers on aesthetics and philosophy, as well as one of its preeminent essayists; as a critic of both fascism and what he called the culture industry, his writings—such as Dialectic of Enlightenment, Minima Moralia and Negative Dialectics —strongly influenced the European New Left. Amidst the vogue enjoyed by existentialism and positivism in early 20th-century Europe, Adorno advanced a dialectical conception of natural history that critiqued the twin temptations of ontology and empiricism through studies of Kierkegaard and Husserl; as a classically trained pianist whose sympathies with the twelve-tone technique of Arnold Schoenberg resulted in his studying composition with Alban Berg of the Second Viennese School, Adorno's commitment to avant-garde music formed the backdrop of his subsequent writings and led to his collaboration with Thomas Mann on the latter's novel Doctor Faustus, while the two men lived in California as exiles during the Second World War.
The reputation of his work on music, has declined over time. Working for the newly relocated Institute for Social Research, Adorno collaborated on influential studies of authoritarianism and propaganda that would serve as models for sociological studies the Institute carried out in post-war Germany. Upon his return to Frankfurt, Adorno was involved with the reconstitution of German intellectual life through debates with Karl Popper on the limitations of positivist science, critiques of Heidegger's language of authenticity, writings on German responsibility for the Holocaust, continued interventions into matters of public policy; as a writer of polemics in the tradition of Nietzsche and Karl Kraus, Adorno delivered scathing critiques of contemporary Western culture. Adorno's posthumously published Aesthetic Theory, which he planned to dedicate to Samuel Beckett, is the culmination of a lifelong commitment to modern art which attempts to revoke the "fatal separation" of feeling and understanding long demanded by the history of philosophy and explode the privilege aesthetics accords to content over form and contemplation over immersion.
Theodor W. Adorno was born as Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund in Frankfurt am Main on September 11, 1903, the only child of Oscar Alexander Wiesengrund and Maria Calvelli-Adorno della Piana, his mother, a devout Catholic from Corsica, was once a professional singer, while his father, an assimilated Jew who had converted to Protestantism, ran a successful wine-export business. Proud of her origins, Maria wanted her son's paternal surname to be supplemented by the addition of her own name: Adorno, thus his earliest publications carried the name Theodor Wiesengrund-Adorno. His childhood was marked by the musical life provided by his mother and aunt: Maria was a singer who could boast of having performed in Vienna at the Imperial Court, while her sister, who lived with them, had made a name for herself as both a singer and pianist, he was not only a precocious child but, as he recalled in life, a child prodigy who could play pieces by Beethoven on the piano by the time he was twelve. At the age of six, he attended the Deutschherren middle school before transferring to the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gymnasium, where he studied from 1913 to 1921.
Prior to his graduation at the top of his class, Adorno was swept up by the revolutionary mood of the time, as is evidenced by his reading of Georg Lukács's The Theory of the Novel that year, as well as by his fascination with Ernst Bloch's The Spirit of Utopia, of which he would write: Bloch's was a philosophy that could hold its head high before the most advanced literature. I took this motif so much as my own that I do not believe I have written anything without reference to it, either implicit or explicit, yet Adorno's intellectual nonconformism was no less shaped by the repugnance he felt towards the nationalism which swept through the Reich during the First World War. Along with future collaborators like Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, Ernst Bloch, Adorno was profoundly disillusioned by the ease with which Germany's intellectual and spiritual leaders—among them Max Weber, Max Scheler, Georg Simmel, as well as his friend Siegfried Kracauer—came out in support of the war; the younger generation's distrust for traditional knowledge arose from the way in which this tradition had discredited itself.
Over time, Oscar Wiesengrund's firm established close professional and personal ties with the factory of Karplus & Herzberger in Berlin. The eldest daughter of the Karplus family, Margarete, or Gretel, moved in the intellectual circles of Berlin, where she was acquainted with Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht and Ernst Bloch, each of whom Adorno would become familiar with during the mid-1920s. At the end of his schooldays, Adorno not only benefited from the rich concert offerings of Frankfurt—where one could hear performances of works by Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Bartók, Busoni and Hindemith—but began studying music composition a
Direct action originated as a political activist term for economical and political acts in which the actors use their power to directly reach certain goals of interest, in contrast to those actions that appeal to others by, for instance, revealing an existing problem, highlighting an alternative, or demonstrating a possible solution. Both direct action and actions appealing to others can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the action participants. Examples of nonviolent direct action can include sit-ins, workplace occupations, street blockades or hacktivism, while violent direct action may include political violence or assaults. Tactics such as sabotage and property destruction are sometimes considered violent. By contrast, electoral politics, negotiation and arbitration are not described as direct action, as they are politically mediated. Non-violent actions are sometimes a form of civil disobedience, may involve a degree of intentional law-breaking where persons place themselves in arrestable situations in order to make a political statement but other actions may not violate criminal law.
The aim of direct action is to either obstruct another political agent or political organization from performing some practice to which the activists object, or to solve perceived problems which traditional societal institutions are not addressing to the satisfaction of the direct action participants. Non-violent direct action has been an assertive regular feature of the tactics employed by social movements, including Mahatma Gandhi's Indian Independence Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. Direct action tactics have been around for as long as conflicts have existed but it is not known when the term first appeared; the radical union the Industrial Workers of the World first mentioned the term "direct action" in a publication in reference to a Chicago strike conducted in 1910. Other noted historical practitioners of direct action include the American Civil Rights Movement, the Global Justice Movement, the Suffragettes, revolutionary Che Guevara, certain environmental advocacy groups. American anarchist Voltairine de Cleyre wrote an essay called "Direct Action" in 1912, cited today.
In this essay, de Cleyre points to historical examples such as the Boston Tea Party and the American anti-slavery movement, noting that "direct action has always been used, has the historical sanction of the people now reprobating it."In his 1920 book, Direct Action, William Mellor placed direct action in the struggle between worker and employer for control "over the economic life of society." Mellor defined direct action "as the use of some form of economic power for securing of ends desired by those who possess that power." Mellor considered direct action a tool of both owners and workers and for this reason, he included within his definition lockouts and cartels, as well as strikes and sabotage. However, by this time the US anarchist and feminist Voltairine de Cleyre had given a strong defense of direct action, linking it with struggles for civil rights:...the Salvation Army, started by a gentleman named William Booth was vigorously practising direct action in the maintenance of the freedom of its members to speak and pray.
Over and over they were arrested and imprisoned... till they compelled their persecutors to let them alone. Martin Luther King felt that non-violent direct action's goal was to "create such a crisis and foster such a tension" as to demand a response; the rhetoric of Martin Luther King, James Bevel, Mohandas Gandhi promoted non-violent revolutionary direct action as a means to social change. Gandhi and Bevel had been influenced by Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You, considered a classic text that ideologically promotes passive resistance. By the middle of the 20th century, the sphere of direct action had undoubtedly expanded, though the meaning of the term had contracted. Many campaigns for social change—such as those seeking suffrage, improved working conditions, civil rights, abortion rights or an end to abortion, an end to gentrification, environmental protection—claim to employ at least some types of violent or nonviolent direct action; some sections of the anti-nuclear movement used direct action during the 1980s.
Groups opposing the introduction of cruise missiles into the United Kingdom employed tactics such as breaking into and occupying United States air bases, blocking roads to prevent the movement of military convoys and disrupt military projects. In the US, mass protests opposed nuclear energy and military intervention throughout the decade, resulting in thousands of arrests. Many groups set up semi-permanent "peace camps" outside air bases such as Molesworth and Greenham Common, at the Nevada Test Site. Environmental movement organizations such as Greenpeace have used direct action to pressure governments and companies to change environmental policies for years. On April 28, 2009, Greenpeace activists, including Phil Radford, scaled a crane across the street from the Department of State, calling on world leaders to address climate change. Soon thereafter, Greenpeace activists dropped a banner off of Mt. Rushmore, placing President Obama's face next to other historic presidents, which read "History Honors Leaders.
Overall, more than 2,600 people were arrested while protesting energy policy and associated health issues under the Barack Obama Administration. In 2009
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, philosopher, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor and historian. A leading transcendentalist, Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, his essay "Civil Disobedience", an argument for disobedience to an unjust state. Thoreau's books, essays and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, in which he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism, his literary style interweaves close observation of nature, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, historical lore, while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, Yankee attention to practical detail. He was deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, natural decay, he was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending the abolitionist John Brown.
Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience influenced the political thoughts and actions of such notable figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. Thoreau is sometimes referred to as an anarchist. Though "Civil Disobedience" seems to call for improving rather than abolishing government—"I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government"—the direction of this improvement contrarily points toward anarchism: "'That government is best which governs not at all. Amos Bronson Alcott and Thoreau's aunt each wrote that "Thoreau" is pronounced like the word thorough. Edward Waldo Emerson wrote that the name should be pronounced "Thó-row", with the h sounded and stress on the first syllable. Among modern-day American English speakers, it is more pronounced thə-ROH—with stress on the second syllable. Thoreau had a distinctive appearance, with a nose that he called his "most prominent feature". Of his appearance and disposition, Ellery Channing wrote: His face, once seen, could not be forgotten.
The features were quite marked: the nose aquiline or Roman, like one of the portraits of Caesar. Henry David Thoreau was born David Henry Thoreau in Concord, into the "modest New England family" of John Thoreau, a pencil maker, Cynthia Dunbar, his paternal grandfather had been born on the UK crown dependency island of Jersey. His maternal grandfather, Asa Dunbar, led Harvard's 1766 student "Butter Rebellion", the first recorded student protest in the American colonies. David Henry was named after his deceased paternal uncle, David Thoreau, he began to call himself Henry David. He had two older siblings and John Jr. and a younger sister, Sophia. Thoreau's birthplace still exists on Virginia Road in Concord; the house has been restored by the Thoreau Farm Trust, a nonprofit organization, is now open to the public. He studied at Harvard College between 1833 and 1837, he lived in Hollis Hall and took courses in rhetoric, philosophy and science. He was a member of the Institute of 1770. According to legend, Thoreau refused to pay the five-dollar fee for a Harvard diploma.
In fact, the master's degree he declined to purchase had no academic merit: Harvard College offered it to graduates "who proved their physical worth by being alive three years after graduating, their saving, earning, or inheriting quality or condition by having Five Dollars to give the college". He commented, "Let every sheep keep its own skin", a reference to the tradition of using sheepskin vellum for diplomas; the traditional professions open to college graduates—law, the church, medicine—did not interest Thoreau, so in 1835 he took a leave of absence from Harvard, during which he taught school in Canton, Massachusetts. After he graduated in 1837, he joined the faculty of the Concord public school, but he resigned after a few weeks rather than administer corporal punishment, he and his brother John opened the Concord Academy, a grammar school in Concord, in 1838. They introduced several progressive concepts, including nature walks and visits to local shops and businesses; the school closed when John became fatally ill from tetanus in 1842 after cutting himself while shaving.
He died in Henry's arms. Upon graduation Thoreau returned home to Concord, where he met Ralph Waldo Emerson through a mutual friend. Emerson, 14 years his senior, took a paternal and at times patron-like interest in Thoreau, advising the young man and introducing him to a circle of local writers and thinkers, including Ellery Channing, Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and his son Julian Hawthorne
Ivan Illich was a Croatian-Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest, critic of the institutions of modern Western culture, who addressed contemporary practices in education, work, energy use and economic development. The book that brought Ivan Illich to public attention was Deschooling Society published in 1971, it was a groundbreaking critique of compulsory mass education. He argued that the oppressive structure of the school system could not be reformed but must be dismantled in order to free humanity from the crippling effects of lifelong institutionalization. Illich was born in Vienna to a Croatian Catholic father, engineer Ivan Peter Illich, a Sephardic Jewish mother, Ellen née Regenstreif-Ortlieb, his maternal grandmother was from Texas. Illich spoke Italian, Spanish and German fluently, he learned Croatian, the language of his grandfathers Ancient Greek and Latin, in addition to Portuguese, Hindi and other languages. He studied histology and crystallography at the University of Florence as well as theology and philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, medieval history in Salzburg.
He wrote a dissertation focusing on the historian Arnold J. Toynbee and would return to that subject in his years. In 1951, he "signed up to become a parish priest in one of New York's poorest neighborhoods—Washington Heights, on the northern tip of Manhattan, at that time a barrio of newly-arrived Puerto Rican immigrants." In 1956, at the age of 30, he was appointed vice rector of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, "a position he managed to keep for several years before getting thrown out—Illich was just a little too loud in his criticism of the Vatican's pronouncements on birth control and comparatively demure silence about the bomb." It was in Puerto Rico that Illich met Everett Reimer and the two began to analyze their own functions as "educational" leaders. In 1959, he traveled throughout South America by bus; the end of Illich's tenure at the university came in 1960 as the result of a controversy involving Bishops James Edward McManus and James Peter Davis, who had denounced Governor Luis Muñoz Marín and his Popular Democratic Party for their positions in favor of birth control and divorce.
The bishops started their own rival Catholic party. Illich summarized his opposition thusly: As a historian, I saw that it violated the American tradition of Church and State separation; as a politician, I predicted that there wasn't enough strength in Catholic ranks to create a meaningful platform and that failure of McManus's party would be disastrous on the frail prestige of the Puerto Rican Church. As a theologian, I believe that the Church must always condemn injustice in the light of the Gospel, but never has the right to speak in favor of a specific political party. After Illich disobeyed a direct order from McManus forbidding all priests from dining with Governor Muñoz, the bishop ordered Illich to leave his post at the university, referring to his presence as "dangerous to the Diocese of Ponce and its institutions."Despite this display of insubordination and an order from Paul Francis Tanner general secretary of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, forbidding Illich from any official role in the organization's Latin American bureau, Illich maintained the support of the influential priest John J. Considine, who continued to push for Illich to have a role in training the Church's missionaries funding trips to Mexico in order for Illich to scout locations.
In 1961, Illich founded the Centro Intercultural de Documentación at Cuernavaca in Mexico, ostensibly a research center offering language courses to missionaries from North America and volunteers of the Alliance for Progress program initiated by John F. Kennedy, his real intent was to document the participation of the Vatican in the "modern development" of the so-called Third World. Illich looked askance at the liberal pity or conservative imperiousness that motivated the rising tide of global industrial development, he viewed such emissaries as a form of industrial hegemony and, as such, an act of "war on subsistence". He sought to teach missionaries dispatched by the Church not to impose their own cultural values. "Throughout the late'60s and early'70s, CIDOC was part language school and part free university for intellectuals from all over the Americas."At the CIDOC, "Illich was able to develop his potent and influential critique of Third World development schemes and their fresh-faced agents: Kennedy's Alliance for Progress, the Peace Corps, countless other missionary efforts bankrolled and organized by wealthy nations and religious groups."
After ten years, critical analysis from the CIDOC of the institutional actions by the Church brought the organization into conflict with the Vatican. Unpopular with the local chapter of Opus Dei, Illich was called to Rome for questioning, due in part to a CIA report. In 1976, Illich concerned by the influx of formal academics and the potential side effects of its own "institutionalization", shut the center down with consent from the other members of the CIDOC. Several of the members subsequently continued language schools in Cuernavaca, of which some still exist. Illich himself resigned from the active priesthood in the late-1960s, but continued to identify as a priest and performed private masses. In the 1970s, Illich was popular among leftist intellectuals in France, his thesis having been discussed in particular by André Gorz. However, his influence declined after the 1981 election of François Mitterrand as Illich was considered too pessimistic at a time