Stateless


 I was born, against my will, in the city of Cordoba, Argentina, a long, long time ago. I was naturalized Brazilian, also against my will, but I am intellectually stateless, perhaps the ideal condition for a philosopher.

I studied at the University of Cordoba, founded in 1613. Ever since my college years, the errors of logic and malicious conducts of human beings deeply bothered me (my unbearable classmates, my placid teachers, and my family); therefore, it was not by chance that I became interested in the logical and ethical issues.

The passion for cinema and literature followed me throughout my adolescence and youth, though I never separated my philosophical reflections from adventures, romances and dramas which I watched on the screen of cinemas from Cordoba or read on the pages of novels. In the genealogy of my reflective sensibilities, cinema and literature came, therefore, before the university philosophy (although I felt that philosophy had always been present in cinema and literature).

Once the dark years of the so-called "General Culture" had been overcome, I could finally dedicate myself at the University to what really interested me: the philosophies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, theories of argumentation and philosophies of existence, all in an instinctive and incipient manner. Still in Cordoba, the great formal logician Andrés Raggio (a kind of Primordial Father, capable of re-writing my Oedipus in logical characters), insensibly led me to analytical philosophy. My existential monsters would be buried for a long time.

In this context, in the late sixties, I wrote an undergraduate thesis on aesthetics and philosophy of language, defended before three astonished teachers. A few years later, in the seventies, I did a doctoral thesis in the same paths, which induced a comment from the great Thomist metaphysician Nimio De Anquin (1896-1979): "This young man is too smart to be an analytical philosopher."

In the late seventies, I moved to Buenos Aires. There, the SADAF group (Argentine Society for Philosophical Analysis) consolidated me as an analytical philosopher who makes fun of Heidegger and Psychoanalysis. In 1979, Brazil adopted me: the Federal University of Santa Maria (Rio Grande do Sul) hired me as a visitor professor to give a course on modal logic in the master degree course; later I joined the permanent staff of teachers. I spent almost a decade in Santa Maria, totally immersed in the spirit of Brazil, less and less from Argentina, but paradoxically no less from Cordoba (I turned into a kind of Cordoba citizen from Rio Grande do Sul). I especially remember of my short weekends in Porto Alegre to see hundreds of films banned in Argentina. Brazil (despite its philosophical academy so little tropical) encouraged me to dig out my old existential ghosts.

The eighties marked my discovery of psychoanalysis, existentialism, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, but I realized that I had no reason to give up my previous logical-analytical studies because of this. Instead, I realized how my thoughts always oscillated between analysis and existence, between lexical logical forms and invalidity of human life as different aspects of the same world view.

It was also in the eighties that I published my first books: Textos de Filosofia subjetiva (1985), in collaboration with a student named Robson Reis, A Lógica condenada (1987) and the Projeto de Ética Negativa (1989) (See I WRITE). Throughout this decade, I made many trips in Brazil, moving through conferences, meetings and symposia in which I increasingly believed less. In the late eighties and early nineties, I made two trips to Europe (France and Spain), studying with Gilles Granger, an epistemologist who left me comfortable to think against epistemology, and Fernando Savater, a hedonist to whom I tried to show that pleasure does not exist.

At the end of the eighties, I transferred to the University of Brasilia, and during the nineties, I experienced intense intellectual activity around an ambitious project of logic and argumentation, consisting of two books, one of them destructive (Open Logic, Lógica Abierta), and another constructive (Lexical Inferences and interpretation of networks of predicates, Inferências lexicais e interpretação de redes de predicados) and numerous notes on history of logic. In 1996 I publishedCritique of Affirmative Morals, Crítica de la Moral Afirmativa (with a sarcastic - but nothing hedonistic - foreword by Fernando Savater), and 1999, my Cinema book (Cinema: one hundred years of philosophy, Cine: 100 años de Filosofía), both by Gedisa, from Barcelona. In the latter book, I try to join in an incestuous way my two primal instincts, imagistic and reflective, the matinees in Cordoba with the university studies. (See I WRITE again).

I admit I have published articles in several countries (Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, USA, Mexico, Spain, Netherlands, Venezuela, Colombia), but I promise to do it, from now on, only whenever necessary.

In 2002, I had a controversy with Enrique Dussel in Mexico, published by the Dianoia journal. In my book Margins of the philosophies of language, Margens das filosofias da linguagem (2003, reprinted in 2009) I settle accounts with the analytic philosophy of language. Currently, students and colleagues write articles and essays on my ethical and cine-philosophical work in Brazil and abroad. I was mentioned in books and run the risk of turning dictionary entry. Although it is best to avoid disciples (who, like sons are the greatest threat) pleases me greatly to be read and commented. I remain fundamentally pessimistic; this saves me from falling into depression, privilege of optimists and affirmative people. Philosophy (as I understand it, mingled with literature and cinema) is my air, my oxygen, and what I have the best to offer.

In other sectors of this page (COMPLETE WORKS and COURSES) you will find the list of my verbal and written works. In all of them I appear briefly as Hitchcock appeared in his films. You will see that I wrote a book called Diário de um filósofo no Brasil, where I try to apologize for having done what the Brazilian Academy of Philosophy does not forgive: trying to be a philosopher. Not a great philosopher, of course, but simply a philosopher.
 
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