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Essay about Biology, Pragmatism and Contradiction

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Biology, Pragmatism and the Question of Contradiction


ABSTRACT: In this article I present H. R. Maturana's work as an alternative that reinforces pragmatism in the task of thinking philosophy through the evolution of biological species. I try to demonstrate how Maturana's biology dilutes the principal argument against American Neo-pragmatism. This criticism uses the argument of performative contradiction as it has developed in the European Neo-Kantian philosophy. Thus, I begin by presenting Apel. s arguments which are contrary the perspective of the detranscendentalization of the Post-Nietzschenian philosophy. I conclude that analytical philosophy is a fecund point of contact between Maturana's biology and American Pragmatism, and that analytic arguments help convince others of our own theoretical preferences.

In his papers, books and conferences, Maturana frequently begins proposing that: Everything is said by an observer to another observer that could be him or herself.

In this paper I intend to analyze logically this proposition, trying to focus the question of contradiction.

In Maturana's work, we do not find more than traces or clues that could help us in this kind of philosophical investigation. However, if we take logic as the main philosophical method these clues would be sufficient.

According to Maturana, logical contradictions are not serious mistakes because they are supposed to be prompt and plentifully solved. In contrast, emotional contradictions would be really dangerous, because they occur as an opposition between our doing and our desire, generating suffering and immobility. Nevertheless, it seems that he accepts the logical method as a philosophical and argumentative method because he uses logic...


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...antiago: Editorial Universitaria, 1995.

MAYER, E. Evolution and diversity of Life. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1976.

MINGER, J. Sef-producing systems. Implications and spplications of autopoiesis. New York: Plenum Press, 1995. p. 85-116: Philosophical Implications.

RORTY, R. Solidarity or Objectivity? In: RAJCHMAN, J. & CORNEL, W. (Ed.) Post-analitic philosofy. New York: Colunbia University Press, 1984.

RORTY, R. Contingency, Irony and Solidarity. England: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

RORTY, R. Relativismo: encontrar e fabricar. Tradução de Eliana Sabino. In: CÍCERO, A. & WALY, S. (Org.). O Relativismo enquanto visão de mundo. Rio de Janeiro: Francisco Alves, 1994.

VARELA, F. The walking makes the trail. In: THOMPSON, W. (Org.) Gaia; a way of knowing. Political Implications of the New Biology. New York: Lindisfarne Press, 1987. p. 37-45.


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