Revista Eletrônica de Filosofia
Philosophy Eletronic Journal
ISSN 1809-8428

São Paulo: Centro de Estudos de Pragmatismo
Programa de Estudos Pós-Graduados em Filosofia
Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo
Disponível em <>

Vol. 18, nº. 1, January-June, 2021

DOI: 10.23925/1809-8428.2021v18i1pAII


Dear reader,

Those who follow Cognitio-Estudos are witnesses of the many contributions that this journal has made to the philosophical understanding of classical pragmatism, of its developments and, also, of many other ideas that are either tangential or explicitly in dialogue with pragmatism. The ones who realize these plans of the periodical are the authors who have become part of it, and this issue is rich in this sense, as can be seen in this brief presentation of the paths taken by each of them.

I begin with the last text of the list, Reflections on Art, by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), which is the result of the periodical's stimulus to publish translations of works whose importance has been or is becoming recognized. The text was first published in The Dial, in 1841, and later, with minor revisions and under the title "Art", in the book "Society and Solitude" of 1870. The translation we have published here, by Laura Elizia Haubert, adopts the first version and enables us to access the philosopher's thoughts on the notion of Art as spiritual and voluntary action and its relation to the omnipresence of Nature, a universal mind to which the individual's acts must submit, whether for the purposes of the useful arts or the fine arts. This is a must-read in this issue!

The first text of the list also follows in the wake of art to describe the origins of semiotics in Brazil. Cultural Anthropophagy Today: a Semiotic Approach to Oswald de Andrade's Theory of Culture, by Daniel Cerqueira Baiardi, as this author himself acknowledged, is born inspired by the upcoming centennial of the Week of Modern Art, to consider the contributions of the poetic and political notion of Cultural Anthropophagy - referenced in the philosophical semiotics of C. S. Peirce and in cultural semiotics - to the awakening of a kind of "semiotic consciousness" in Brazil. The author argues that this notion has situated semiotics " not just worked as the poetic motto of Brazilian Modernists but also as a key concept to an original metacultural theory and a strong factor to the development of sign studies at universities in the State of São Paulo".

In Brazil today, the field for the application of Peircean semiotics extends to several areas, and Vinicius Romanini and Rebeka Figueiredo da Guarda have here offered us the study of a contemporary phenomenon with dimensions equal to the extension of our digital networks, in the text The Self in the Digital Environment: a Study of the Representation of Human Subjectivity from Peirce's Semiotics. The symbolic character of the self guides the authors' gaze toward its semiosis, allowing them to show how the digital environment imposes restrictions, which are felt in the structure of the digital self and, consequently, in the types of conduct that stem from it.

The origins of Peircian semiotics in Brazil, to which Baiardi refers, are also those of his philosophy, now widely studied and put in relation with writings from other philosophers, as Caique Marra de Melo does in The Interpretive Quarrel of John Locke's Theory of Abstraction and Charles S. Peirce's Eye on George Berkeley's Anti-Abstractionism. The text presents the "interpretative quarrel of the commentators on Locke's work about the way in which the British philosopher understands the universality of ideas", adopting for this purpose the distinction between the intrinsic and extrinsic theories of abstraction and highlighting the Berkeleyan agency resulting in a reductio ad absurdum of Locke's perspective on the capacity for human abstraction, ratifying, according to the father of Pragmatism, the cunning character found in George Berkeley's rebuttal movement - self- styled 'coup de grâce' - at last exposed".

Dewey's writings on consciousness, mind, thought, and language are presented here in two texts. Caio César Cabral's Conscience according to Dewey revisits the writings of this representative of classical pragmatism in Experience and Nature (1925), in which consciousness appears as "the starting point of a transformative action," as "the significance that objects possess when they are subjected to an intentional change of disposition or organization by means of organic activity, "is closely linked to reality, to the practical difficulties of life, and therefore it has an important adaptive role", also, being connected to the opening of the path for the human acquisition of knowledge. Jorge Francisco da Silva and Karl Heinz Efken, in Linguistic Pragmatism in Dewey: A Unified Conception of Mind, Thought and Language, focus on Dewey's theory of language, "that brings together the concepts of thought and language and explores the body as the origin of meaning". They deal with his conceptions of communicative action, the role of language in the development of his theory of inquiry, and the connections between the concept of warranted assertibility, social responsibility, and the ethical implications of discourse.

The theme of the mind, now in the context of contemporary philosophy of the mind, is further addressed by César Fernando Meurer, in Objectbound Physicalism: Presentation, Objections and Scope, which proposes that the recent development in the field of the metaphysics of the mind around Objectbound Physicalism - OP, challenges us to look at the theoretical fertility of quantum mechanics and a potential alignment of classical conceptions of object, time and experience with contemporary physics. Beyond signifying an opposition to cerebralism, the author asks whether OP might find other affinities with non-cerebralist philosophies of the mind that promote productive developments.

Truth, a theme dear to pragmatism, is tackled by two authors in this issue. In From Inconvenient to Sufficient Truth: Cosmopolitics of the Anthropocene, Alyne de Castro Costa, recognizing that we are sometimes faced with the need to respect the "truths of others" - the particular and non-scientific way in which certain cultures define reality - and other times faced with clear limits beyond which certain statements given as true should not be recognized - as in the case of climate deniers -, defends the idea of a "sufficient truth", inspired by the pragmatism of William James. The dynamic character of truth is also detected in Pragmatic Aspects of a Semantic Conception: reflections about the Consequences of a Normative Account of Semantics, by Lucas Ribeiro Vollet, who argues about the limitations of a non-prescriptive and purely extensional semantics to then address the advantages of an intensional and prescriptive theory "for regulating the prediction of new truths and their adaptation to the old ones".

Two articles bring distinct questions in the field of ethics. The Tragedy and the Tragic of Action in Paul Ricoeur's Hermeneutic Ethics, by José Vanderlei Carneiro and Aluizio Oliveira de Souza, asks "how Ricoeur treated the notions of the tragic and tragedy in some writings and how these concepts arrived at and were developed in his hermeneutic ethics". The approach involves other thinkers who have developed positions, arguments and theories about tragedy and the tragic, as well as bringing to the discussion concepts such as "divine", "theology", "conflict" and "transcendence", always focusing on their connection with ethics. Richard Rorty's Neopragmatist Interpretation of Michel Foucault's Political Thought: An Unfinished Liberal Ironist, by Heraldo Aparecido Silva and Bruno Araújo Alencar, focuses on how Foucault's philosophical and political interpretation is seen as giving more importance to private desires (ironist) than to liberal ones, which would be a flaw in Foucauldian thought regarding the ideals of human solidarity, as defended by the American philosopher based on the figure of the liberal ironist.

With deep respect to all these studies offered to us, I thank, on behalf of the Cognitio-Estudos team and the Center for Studies in Pragmatism of PUC-SP, each one of the authors for accepting the journal's challenge to put philosophical thought in course, and I invite you, readers, to allow yourselves the pleasure of entering into these writings!

Eluiza Bortolotto Ghizzi
Graduate Program in Language Studies - UFMS