The Anti-scientism



Science is and will always be an unfinished project. A project in constant improvement that will always have something to change, to be added

“Hey girl, go see in this almanac / how it all started […] / Tell me who built the first roof / That the project didn’t fall apart / Who was that bricklayer, that architect / And the brave first resident / Tell me, tell me says, a resident / Says who invented the illiterate / And taught the alphabet to the teacher / Tell me, tell me / Answer me please”
(Almanac – Chico Buarque).

The birth and evolution of philosophical and scientific knowledge

The word philosophy is a word of Greek origin being composed by the union of two other words. philo e sophia. Philo means friendship, brotherly love and sophia, in turn, wisdom. Thus, philosophy means friendship for wisdom and the philosopher would be the one who tries to nurture this friendship, who seeks, in the course of his existence, to always improve and learn.

As for its origin, although the word philosophy was used for the first time by Pythagoras, for most historians it was born in the city of Miletus, through Thales who, according to this understanding, would have been the first philosopher. It is important to clarify that, despite its western origin, it would have had a strong eastern influence at the time (CHAUÍ, 2019).

Having made these clarifications, let us now try to understand what philosophy consists of and how to differentiate it from other forms of knowledge. In Greece, philosophical knowledge was born in opposition to mythological knowledge. Myth comes from Greek myth, which derives from the verbs mytheyo e mytho, which mean singing, narrating, announcing, etc. Thus, for the Greeks, a myth would be a speech given to enunciate a truth, the authority of the one who pronounces it being the foundation of this truth. Such truths were uttered by the so-called rhapsode poets, people said to be chosen and inspired by the gods to reveal the origin of beings and things (CHAUÍ, 2019). In this context, philosophy is born in opposition to this idea, that is, as rational knowledge, which must be accepted by the logic of its foundation and not by the authority of those who uttered it. According to Socrates (apoud PLATO, 2001), everyone could have access to these truths, that is, it would not be a privilege of the chosen and/or inspired few[I]. Here authority does not come from the speaker, but from the fact that the proposition is rational, makes sense. Therefore, the central point of philosophical knowledge is rationality and not authority.

Greek philosophy is one of the foundations of all Western knowledge, and is undoubtedly one of the main pillars of Western culture. And from the pillars planted by philosophy, later, the so-called science will be born. Having Aristotelian philosophy as its cornerstone, especially with regard to its empiricist conception, science will also have the presence of reason as an intrinsic characteristic, but will have a more specific focus of study and, mainly from the modern conception of science , will have as an intrinsic characteristic the presence of a methodology. In modernity, scientific knowledge has become more and more a specific knowledge and it was realized that each area of ​​knowledge would need its own methodology, due to its specificities (DOMINGUES, 2010). In this context, the opposition of methodology employed by the exact sciences and the human sciences is perhaps the most evident that, due to the differences in their respective objects of study, they structured quite different methods. In addition, from the XNUMXth century onwards, specifically from the phenomenon of globalization, Western philosophy has again received great influence from Eastern philosophy, and Western science from Eastern wisdom. The process of globalization has increased the power of external influence in Western science, especially when it began, through the development of the means of communication, to give voice to a much wider range of actors from the most diverse cultures.

It is important to clarify that modern science was born more centered on empiricism and the so-called exact sciences and that, at least initially, the methodology used by the human sciences was strongly influenced by the methodology of the exact sciences. The empiricist conception of science (CHAUÍ, 2019), which goes until the end of the 2008th century, believes that science is solely and exclusively the interpretation of facts through experiments. It is important to realize that at that time there was a strong split between the so-called factual judgments and value judgments, the latter not being encompassed by the strict concept of rationality present until then (PUTNAM, XNUMX). However, mainly from the XNUMXth century onwards, we witnessed a great flourishing of scientific knowledge in general terms and, without a doubt, a sedimentation of the human sciences as an autonomous science that would need its own methodology.[ii].

In the 2010th century there was a breaking of several scientific barriers and, consequently, there was also an expansion of the concept of rationality. Even in physics, which would be a more orthodox area, we saw, with Einstein's relativity and with quantum mechanics, the overcoming of the more traditional Newtonian conceptions. As for the other changes that occurred during the course of the last century in the scope of scientific thought, Ivan Domingues (XNUMX) highlights the following points: changes in paradigms; methodological diversities; emergence of Multi, Inter and Transdisciplinary experiences; emergence of hyphenated sciences (biophysics, sociobiology, ethno-music, etc.); approximation of science, technology, art and philosophy; emergence of a new base of knowledge that, despite still having the disciplines as a focal unit and starting point, overcomes it through this multi, inter and transdisciplinarity.

At the same time, in the same period, there was a true explosion of scientific production, “it should be noted that there has never been a time when as much knowledge was produced as in the 2010th century” (DOMINGUES, 4, p. 2010). In contrast to what existed in antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the beginning of modern times, today it is no longer possible to speak of an encyclopedic mind, such as that of Aristotle, for example, who “dominated virtually all the knowledge of his time, accumulated in a few hundred books gathered in his library, which was the largest in antiquity” (DOMINGUES, 5, p. 2010). In the early Modern Age figures such as “Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz and Newton knew everything that was important and worthy of being known in their time, facilitated by the still small number of books” (DOMINGUES, 5, p. XNUMX). However, the reality today is drastically different:

Thus, comments Kanitz, if someone “reads three books a month, from 20 to 50 years old, there will be 1.000 books in a lifetime, which do not even come close to the 40.000 published every year in Brazil alone. Compared to the 40 million books cataloged around the world, plus 4 billion home pages on the Internet, doctoral theses, articles and documents scattered around, probably their knowledge is no more than 0,0000000000025% of the existing total”. That is: in the fraction house of 12 zeros 25% = 25 billionths % (DOMINGUES, 2010, p. 6 – emphasis added).

In summary, we can say that during the course of the 1th century there was a profound change in world science: 2) qualitative: paradigm shifts, emergence of new methodologies, expansion of the concept of rationality, etc. It is; XNUMX) quantitative: exponential increase in the amount of scientific knowledge production. In the midst of all these changes, in the midst of this great diversity of voices and places of speech that began to try to take the authority of science for themselves, the importance of an intersection zone between philosophy and science called epistemology of sciences grew a lot. . Epistemology is the most critical branch of scientific knowledge, it is the part of philosophy responsible for trying to understand the limits of human reason. How far is it possible for man to know? The epistemology of science is therefore the area of ​​scientific knowledge that will always question itself, its dogmas/assumptions and methods, in order to improve itself.

The problems arising from the expansion of scientific knowledge

We can safely say that in the last 100 years we have gone through a true technological revolution in terms of communication. The changes that took place in this field were big and fast. We started the XNUMXth century here in Brazil with the radio and ended it with the internet becoming more and more part of the daily life of us Brazilians. And this, the internet, deserves a special mention, as it was responsible for a true revolution in the process of transmitting information, which directly reflected in significant changes, even in the way people live.

And today, at the beginning of the XNUMXst century, through a small smartphone anyone with internet access can communicate with almost any part of the world and, if they wish, have access to the websites and parts of the collection of the main libraries. Something that would have been completely unthinkable less than a century ago.

To demonstrate how the register of knowledge has expanded since the invention of the press to the present day, pay attention to the following data presented by Professor Ivan Domingues:

[…] the scale of the collection of the world's great libraries jumped from a thousand to millions of volumes. At the end of the Middle Ages, in 1427, Cambridge in England had 122 books: today there are more than 7.000.000 items, distributed over 150 km of shelves. And more: the Library of Congress, headquartered in Washington (USA), which is the largest in the world, has 23 million; there are 16 million at the National Library of China, headquartered in Beijing; 14,5 million at the National Library of Canada, based in Ottawa; 14,4 million at the German Library, based in Frankfurt; 13 million at the British Library, based in London: 12 million (or more) at the National Library of France, based in Paris; and about 9 million volumes in the case of the National Library of Rio de Janeiro, the largest in Brazil (DOMINGUES, 2010, p. 5-6).

It is worth clarifying that these numbers refer only to libraries. Thus, if we add to them the data from the online storage made by scientific journals or through the database of large institutions linked to research, the values ​​are even greater.

There is no doubt that the expansion of philosophical and scientific thought has brought far more advantages than disadvantages to societies in general terms. However, we must not overlook the fact that managing all this information in a coordinated way is not easy. Especially during the course of the last century, knowledge has become increasingly specialized, and it is no longer possible for a single individual/scientist to alone hold all the knowledge that humanity possesses today, a fact that, as Domingues (2010) pointed out, made with which Multi, Inter and Transdisciplinary experiences emerged, to contain a little all this specialization.

Thus, the great centers of knowledge in the world multiplied a lot and became responsible for specific areas of knowledge. For example, not necessarily a university or research center that has great prestige in a certain area also has great prestige in others. At the same time, the number of universities grew a lot, making it more difficult to control the quality of education offered in each of them.

In addition, with the process of globalization connected to this context of broader access by the lay public to these new means of communication through the so-called social networks, there has emerged, through these new platforms, this new public sphere, an increase in a debate said public and completely unregulated of the most varied themes, which made the so-called fake news, or fake news (KLEIN; WUELLER, 2017). Note that the existence of fake news is not a contemporary privilege (LIMA, 2012), but it certainly was and is something that, due to all that has been mentioned, has been greatly enhanced through technological advances in the media.

Information (or access to information) has become popular (in the good and bad sense of the term) and, perhaps because of this, the great challenge facing universities today is no longer providing their students with access to the most accurate books and sources. of knowledge in general terms, perhaps, today, the greatest challenge for universities is, in the midst of this great ocean of information, to train people with the ability to know how to differentiate which are the most reliable sources of knowledge. We believe that, for the XNUMXst century, this is the great challenge for any and all educational institutions, to enable people to be able, by themselves, to walk through this great universe of information without getting lost.[iii].

Note that this process of expansion of knowledge, which occurred together with the process of expansion of rationality, as well as a necessary dialectical and epistemological critique, caused and still causes constant friction/clashes, not only between the sciences themselves, but also between the sciences. and the lay public in general who, faced with such specialized knowledge, often saw themselves so alien to everything that they became increasingly incapable of measuring their own ignorance about things, which has generated the so-called dunning-effect. kruger, phenomenon in which our lack of ability or knowledge about something generates an overestimation of our real abilities (ARAUJO, 2020).

Due to this, we are again witnessing a growth of the so-called anti-scientific movements, movements that, despite not being exclusive to the present times,[iv], are now gaining very specific contours. Within the so-called anti-scientificist movement we can find several strands. For example, there are those groups of people who sacralize everything that they would classify as natural, as if what comes from nature were not equally composed of chemical substances. And, by saying that, we don't want to belittle possible criticisms of the excessively capitalist logic of the pharmaceutical industry, that's not our point. We believe that popular wisdom can, sometimes, give some directions in the search for possible substances with medicinal effects, but this will not dispense with the necessary subsequent scientific proof of that wisdom. Furthermore, it is important for people to be aware that nature produces both what heals and what kills. There are natural poisons as efficient as the artificial ones, and it is not because something is said to be natural that it is necessarily healthy.

Another anti-scientific current that we consider to be a little more dangerous than the first one, due to the possible damage they can cause, are the so-called anti-vaccination movements. Anti-vaccination movements are a group of people who choose not to take a vaccine and not vaccinate their children, which can harm not only themselves, but society as a whole, by contributing to the proliferation of diseases that could be being eradicated.

Still by way of example (perhaps the most bizarre of them) are the so-called flat-earthers, people who in the middle of the XNUMXst century still believe that the earth is flat, something, at least, if we take into account the level of scientific advancement existing today, very sui generis.

Finally, due to the pandemic context that we are now experiencing in 2020, we cannot fail to mention the irresponsible way in which some people and even some leaders of State are dealing with COVID-19, disrespecting the guidelines coming from the most renowned bodies responsible for world health research.

And these are just a few examples of the so-called anti-scientific movements, and it is not the purpose of this present article to exhaustively enumerate all of them.

At the same time, and connected with the anti-scientificist movements, the so-called post-truths are now in vogue. But what would these post-truths be?

The Oxford Dictionary definition points out that the expression is related to “circumstances in which Objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion or personal belief” (McINTYRE, 2018, p. 34, our translation). This definition has a number of implications. The first is that it is important to understand, initially, what is the meaning of “post” in the expression, which “intends not so much to indicate the idea that we 'leave the truth behind' in a temporal sense (as in 'post-war') , but in the sense that the truth has been obfuscated: that it is irrelevant” (McINTYRE, 2018, p. 34, our translation). Therefore, post-truth relates to a disinterest in truth. In its relationship with information (when seeking information to make decisions, when sharing information to spread an idea or convince other people), the fact that this information is true or not has become irrelevant – even, in the current technological context, with very easy and the possibility of checking the veracity of the information from consultations of a few seconds on the internet. The expression is also related to a certain decline of reason, of rational attitudes, to the detriment of actions driven by the emotional or by beliefs, prejudices, preconceived and watertight worldviews. Such dimensions end up unfolding in other phenomena and aspects, having implications for the practice of democracy and tolerance, being related to issues such as populism, authoritarianism and the culture of hate (ARAÚJO, 2020, p. 3 – emphasis added).

So, in summary, to end this topic, we can say that all this growth in the production of human knowledge, as well as greater access to this knowledge, despite all the benefits[v], also generates obstacles that require a thorough analysis for a correct confrontation.

Some possible paths

In this topic we will try to propose some paths that current society, taking into account its level of evolution and complexity, could/should follow to try to mitigate these problems that have arisen in contemporary times due to the accumulation and popularization of knowledge.

To start our argument, we will bring a small proposition by Wilhelm Von Humboldt in chapter II of his book The Limits of State Action (1969):

Every human being, then, can act with only one dominant faculty at a time: or, better said, all of nature disposes us to select at any given moment a single form of spontaneous activity. It therefore seems to follow that man is inevitably destined for partial cultivation, since he only weakens his energies by directing them to a multitude of objects. But man has the power to avoid one-sidedness by trying to unite the faculties of his nature, by trying to unite the distinct and generally separately exercised faculties of his nature, by making them converge in spontaneous cooperation, in each period of his life, the agonizing sparks of an activity and those that the future will make erupt, and seeking to increase and diversify the faculties with which it works by harmoniously combining them, instead of seeking the mere variety of objects for their separate exercise. What is achieved in the case of the individual, by the union of the past and the future with the present, is produced in society by the mutual cooperation of its different members; because, at all stages of his life, each individual can attain only one of those perfections, which represent the possible features of human character. It is through the social union, therefore, based on the needs and inner capacities of its members, that each one is able to participate in the precious collective resources of all the others.[vi] (HUMBOLDT, 1969, p. 16-17 – emphasis added and our translation).

From this small excerpt from Humboldt, the political philosopher John Rawls (1993) realizes that a society, when well-ordered, would become the social union of social unions and that this society, when it works in a coordinated way, can contribute not only to the fulfillment of its general objectives as a society, but also to the fulfillment of the individual objectives of each citizen. As a concrete example of his proposition, he cites the case of an orchestra that, in order to function, all needed to be qualified for years in learning one or a few instruments, but that only in the coordinated activity of all that the individual good of each one and the good collective of all will indeed take place. His general idea is that collective activity, when carried out in a coordinated manner, has greater potential than individual activity carried out separately or an uncoordinated collective activity.

However, Rawls (1993 and 2001) goes beyond a mere coordinated activity. For Rawls, a democratic society must work not only in a coordinated way, but in a cooperative way, a society must be an equitable system of social cooperation, making it now necessary to clarify what this equitable system of social cooperation would be. Rawls lists three characteristics. First, to differentiate from merely coordinated activity, he states that it would allow for an order emanating from an absolute central authority that cooperative activity would not. For him, a cooperative activity would require public procedures accepted by those who cooperate. In second place, Rawls puts the idea of ​​fair terms of cooperation, that is, they would include the idea of ​​mutuality and reciprocity. Finally, he adds that social cooperation would require the idea of ​​advantage or rational good of each of the participants.

Note that what we are proposing here is that the most general idea of ​​a democratic society by political philosopher John Rawls be applied to the scientific community. As mentioned in the previous topics, in the last century the production of knowledge grew enormously, making it impossible, as it was until the modern age, for people with encyclopedic knowledge, as specialized knowledge became an inevitable condition. In this context, the Multi, Inter and Transdisciplinary experiences have already come, as we said, to try to mitigate the excesses of specializations by creating bridges between these areas of knowledge. However, it is necessary to go further, the democratic states and the international scientific community must try to structure themselves better, guaranteeing a more efficient cooperation, since, if this does not happen, if we cannot better coordinate our structure, due to its size and current mismatch, we will have a lot to lose.

Nevertheless, mainly due to the way in which anti-scientific movements and anti-democratic governments have gained strength in this second decade of the XNUMXst century, we find it appropriate to emphasize here a recommendation made by Socrates and reported by Plato in his work Apology of Socrates (2013). We began our analysis with Greek philosophy and will end with it.

In his defense speech before the Athenian citizens, Socrates highlights the importance of being aware of one's own ignorance, and this is exactly what we want to highlight. As we said above when dealing with the dunning-kruger effect, when someone has very little knowledge about something, he is not even aware of his own ignorance, which often leads him to believe that he knows something he does not know. And Socrates' apology to his peers is exactly a great and eloquent explanation of the importance of being aware of one's own ignorance. What from now on, we will try to detail a little more.

Among other issues, in his defense speech, Socrates narrates his saga after receiving information that the Pythoness of the Temple of Apollo had said that he, Socrates, would be the wisest person in all of Greece. When faced with such an assertion about him, Socrates is astonished and wonders what the god would be trying to say through this riddle, given that he did not consider himself a wise man “neither too much nor too little” (PLATO, 2013, p. 73). So, after reflecting on the statement for some time, he decided to go to those who appeared to be wise, since, if he actually found someone wiser, he could take him to the oracle to refute his assertion.

First, he addresses someone involved in politics and, when talking to this political figure, it seemed to him that he appeared “to be wise for many other men and especially for himself, but it wasn't (PLATO, 2013, p. 73). So, at the end of the conversation, he realized that he was wiser than that man in a simple point: Socrates was aware of his own ignorance, while that guy did not have such knowledge.

[…] leaving, I was then reasoning with myself – “I am wiser than that man; because at the risk of not knowing, neither of them, anything beautiful or good, but while he thinks know something, not knowing, me, as well as I don't know same too I don't think know... It is likely, therefore, that I am wiser than he in one small thing, precisely in this one: because what I do not know, I do not think I know either.” (PLATO, 2013, p. 73-74).

Thus, after dialoguing with some political figures, Socrates addresses the poets. These Socrates I inquired about their own poems, and in doing so they perceived great ignorance about matters which they themselves had written. What made him conclude that “it was not for wisdom that they poetized what they poetized, but for a certain nature and inspired, such as divine diviners and oracle speakers, for these say many beautiful things, but know nothing of what they say” (PLATO, 2013, p. 75). Socrates could also perceive that, because of his poetry, those men thought themselves “wiser than men also in other things – in which they were not!” (PLATO, 2013, p. 75). What made him conclude that he was also wiser than the poets for the same “simple” reason that he was wiser in relation to politicians, that is, unlike them, he was aware of his own ignorance.

After that he went to the technicians. As for these, the situation was a little different. He noticed that they did possess knowledge that he – Socrates – did not have. Notwithstanding this, it seemed to him that these also sinned in the same point as the poets, “by performing their art beautifully, each one also thought himself the wisest in other things (in the most important ones!), and this excess of them hid that wisdom ”. (PLATO, 2013, p. 76). Faced with this situation, Socrates proposed the following question: would he prefer to be as he is, “neither wise in their wisdom nor ignorant in ignorance, or possess these two things that they possess” (PLATO, 2013, p. 76)? Socrates realizes that his wisdom (awareness of his own ignorance) is more valuable than that of technicians.

So, he could conclude that perhaps the god, through the Oracle, had only used his figure as a model, that is, as if he were saying “Among you men, the wisest is anyone who, like Socrates, has recognized that, in the truth, in wisdom it is worth nothing” (PLATO, 2013, p. 76).

In more general terms, we can infer from this story narrated by Socrates that man, when he holds before society some power associated with a possible knowledge that he has, that is, when society, for whatever reason, reveres some element of knowledge that comes from of that subject, this subject, out of vanity, if we can use that term, may come to think that he also has knowledge in other domains that, in fact, he does not have. For example, a doctor who is very famous and respected by society and by his peers, both for the quality of his work and for the knowledge he has in his area of ​​knowledge, may become pretentious and end up deceiving himself, thinking that he also masters the knowledge from other areas, which can be a big mistake, since, as has been demonstrated, nowadays knowledge is very specialized and, for the scientific community to really work in a cooperative way, each area of ​​knowledge must respect the others.


Thus, by way of conclusion, we want to say that for this equitable system of social cooperation, as explained above, to really work, there must be a minimum of respect and trust regarding the good and correct execution of the part of the task that belongs to the other. In this sense, for example, it is good form that, in a joint research between scientists from different areas, the people involved in this collective project at least trust in the work of their partners. There must be harmony in the execution of this great collective task that contemporary science has become. Or, with regard to the anti-scientificist movement, it is important that there be, on the part of those who work outside the scope of research, a minimum of respect for the product of the craft of those who dedicate their lives to trying, with commitment and hard work, to put a one more brick in this great edifice of human knowledge. And, with that, we do not want to propose an absolute presumption of the veracity of technical knowledge in the face of popular wisdom, such as a reduction to absurdity of our argument could lead. It's not that. What we mean is that scientific society and society in general has reached such a level of complexity that, in order for it to function harmoniously, it is imperative that the organization divides tasks and makes everyone work in a coordinated way, or rather, cooperated, as we highlighted above. Only in this way will we be able, in the midst of this new millennium, to continue walking, expanding our ethical, philosophical and scientific knowledge more and more.

Science is and will always be an unfinished project. A project in constant improvement that will always have something to change, to be added. However, despite this, despite the possible criticisms that we will always make and should always make, we must respect it, respect what we have already acquired. Despite the fact that this respect should not prevent philosophers, scientists and researchers in general from always seeking, as stated by Socrates, to know their own limitations, questioning themselves and the dogmas that they may have accepted as certain, that is, with respect, question both their predecessors and themselves by being open to being questioned. It is from there that we will be able, through a collective effort, to continue moving towards, in a cooperative way, to improve human knowledge more and more. Thus, as stated by Popper (1972), although the truth is not evident, despite the hard way out of the Platonic cave, contrary to what some skeptics might propose, it is possible, and we must, with work and seriousness, do the part we this great collective project belongs to us.

*Robson Vitor Freitas Reis Master in Law from the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

Bibliographic references

ARAUJO, Carlos Alberto Ávila. The post-truth phenomenon and its implications for the research agenda in Information Science. Bibli Meetings: electronic journal of librarianship and information science, Florianópolis, v. 25, p. 1-17, May 2020. ISSN 1518-2924. Available in: . Accessed on: May 1518, 2924.2020. doi:

CHAUÌ, Marilena. Invitation to Philosophy. 14th Edition. 10th reprint. São Paulo: Editora Ática, 2019.

DOMINGUES, Ivan. On the frontiers of knowledge: expansion of experience and new forms of rationality. International Interdisciplinary Journal INTERthesis, Florianópolis, v. 7, no. 2, p. 1-18, Dec. 2010. ISSN 1807-1384. Available in: . Accessed on: May 1807, 1384.2010. doi: 

HUMBOLDT, Wilhelm von. Of the Individual Man, and the Highest Ends of His Existence. Chapter. Book: The Limits of State Action. Cambridge Studies in the History and Theory of Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969, p. 16–21. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781316036372.006.

KLEIN, David; WUELLER, Joshua. Fake News: the legal perspective. Journal of Internet Law. Vol. 20, no. 10, p. 5-13, 2017. Available at: . Accessed May 2958790, 18.

LIMA, Venício Arthur de. Freedom of Expression vs Freedom of the Press: right to communication and democracy. 2nd ed. rev. amp. São Paulo: Publisher Brazil, 2012.

PLATO. Apology of Socrates: preceded by Euthyphro (On ​​piety) and followed by Crito (On ​​duty). Porto Alegre, RS: L&PM, 2013, p. 63-110.

PLATO. Meno. Text established and annotated by John Burnet. Translation by Maura Iglésias. Rio de Janeiro: Publishers PUC-Rio and Loyola, 2001.

POPPER, Karl Raymund. Conjectures and Refutations. Translation by Sérgio Bath. 4th Edition. Brasilia: Publisher University of Brasilia, 1972. 

PUTNAM, Hilary. The Collapse of Truth: and other essays. Translation Pablo Rubén Mariconda and Sylvia Gemignari Garcia. Aparecida, SP: Ideas & Letters, 2008.

RAWLS, John. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1999.

RAWLS, John. Justice as Fairness: a restatement. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2001.

RAWLS, John. Political Liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.

[I] Socrates demonstrates this in Meno (PLATO, 2001) when, when questioning a slave using his maieutic method, he demonstrates that he can also have access to knowledge and philosophical truths.

[ii] This sedimentation began at the end of the XNUMXth century with Durkheim, Marx and Weber through the foundation of the so-called social sciences.

[iii] This interesting idea was presented to us in a reception lecture to students of the Faculty of Law of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, given by Professor Marcos Vinício Chein Feres, around the year 2004. 

[iv] Such reactionary movements were born together with science itself. That is, since a so-called scientific knowledge began to exist, there were those who, in a dialectical movement, began to deny this knowledge.

[v] That we undoubtedly believe to overcome the amount of problems.

[vi] In the original “Every human being, then, can act with only one dominant faculty at a time; or rather, our whole nature disposes us at any given time to some single form of spontaneous activity. It would therefore seem to follow from this, that man is inevitably destined to a partial cultivation, since he only enfeebles his energies from him by directing them to a multiplicity of objects. But man has it in his power to avoid this one-sidedness, by attempting to unite the distinct and generally separately exercised faculties of his nature, by bringing into spontaneous cooperation, at each period of his life, the dying sparks of one activity, and those which the future will kindle, and endeavoring to increase and diversify the powers with which he works, by harmoniously combining them, instead of looking for a mere variety of objects for their separate exercise. What is achieved, in the case of the individual, by the union of the past and future with the present, is produced in society by the mutual cooperation of its different members; for, in all the stages of his life, each individual can achieve only one of those perfections, which represent the possible features of human character. It is through a social union, therefore, based on the internal wants and capacities of its members, that each is enabled to participate in the rich collective resources of all the others”.

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  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives