Philosophical Analysis in Brazil

  • Marcelo Dascal
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 172)


Traditionally, the teaching of philosophy in Brazil has been associated with law and theology. Scholastic philosophy is taught to this day in many universities, both public and private (especially religious), throughout the country. In such institutions, all turns around Thorn ism, and philosophy is conceived mainly as the history of philosophy. To be sure, logic is taught too, but mainly Aristotelian logic—with the help of such textbooks as Maritain’s Logica minor, which had its fourth Portuguese edition published in 1962. When not purely historical and scholastic, the interest of philosophy teachers used to be mainly addressed to moral and political philosophy, with eventual incursions into metaphysics, following the vagaries of its development in Europe. Epistemological questions were rarely dealt with, and when they were, only insofar as they were considered relevant to other problems. Institutionally, the most prominent Brazilian philosophers of the past were faculty members of the best law schools in the country, at Fortaleza, Recife, Sao Paulo, etc. To this day, the “Brazilian Institute of Philosophy”, which publishes the Revista Brasileira de Filosofia, has its seat at the law school of the University of Sao Paulo. Lawyers and professors of law have always been very active in national politics. Hence, it was natural that they should attempt to employ the philosophical ideas that were fashionable in Europe in order to justify one or another political ideology. For instance, the issue of the theoretical justification of a republic as opposed to a monarchy, as well as the connected issues of the nature of liberty, of the relationship between individuals and society, of the foundations of a legal system, etc., monopolized philosophical attention for many decades, and occupies the majority of the pages of many books and journals.


Philosophical Analysis Editorial Policy Brazilian Institute Philosophical Idea Epistemological Question 
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© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

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  • Marcelo Dascal

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