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An idea of a philosophical pragmatics

Grant number: 06/04548-7
Support Opportunities:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: March 01, 2007 - February 28, 2011
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Arley Ramos Moreno
Grantee:Arley Ramos Moreno
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The conception of Philosophical Pragmatics that I set forth here is the outcome of reflections on epistemological issues raised by certain philosophers. These are issues relating to the fundaments of knowledge, in general, and, in particular, to the possibility of applying concepts to experience as well as to the role played by linguistic symbolism in the organization of the contents of experience in conceptual forms. The conception I shall try to present consists in suggesting that a philosophical interpretation of the linking between the empirical and, particularly, linguistic symbolism must involve the application of concepts of a pragmatic nature, without which this interpretation will risk falling into dogmatism – realist as well as idealist. 2 – Part of the roots of this conception of Pragmatics is to be found on the domain of the discussion on analytic necessity and synthetic necessity: how are these two forms of necessity in our knowledge to be interpreted? In both cases, we recognize the presence of necessity, but invested, in each one of them, with quite distinct characteristics: in the first case, we make explicit an aspect of the definition, whereas in the second case we bring about a new aspect of the concept which won’t be liable to refutation by experience. With logical empiricism, the kantian interpretation, which consists in indicating elements of a transcendental nature on;in the form of a priori principles of perception in general, is replaced by the idea of elements of a logical nature, relations and properties, that allow to organize a priori the experience, but with no intervention of apprehensive forms provided by a pre-linguistical epistemic subject: it is the logical form, under any of its variants, that ultimately explains the necessity present in the analytical liaisons ;links, and no longer the pure principles present in the epistemic subject – there being no more place for a synthetic necessity. In this context, I wish to pinpoint, exclusively, that the displacement of the idea of the transcendental from the forms of the epistemic subject to the logical form leads to a new conception of object, or better, of objectivity as a property ascribed, in general, by thought to the fragments of experience. 3 – Other element present in the conception of Pragmatic developed here is to be found in what we could call “formal empiricism” of Gilles-Gaston Granger. From this modality of empiricism, I wish to retain some features. First, its conception of the transcendental. Beginning from Kant, the point is to enlarge and change the focus of the transcendental function. On the one hand, the a priori determination of a field of possibilities to operations in general is no longer definitive and fixed, thus assimilating the historical dimension:it shall now be a field still determined a priori, but, provisionally, subject to the internal changes and transformations that can take place in the different fields of knowledge. Hence,on the other hand,the inadequacy of tables of a priori principles and of categories which, as general as these may be, will never fail to correspond to more or less precise theoretical or philosophical viewpoints, subjects;subject, as these are, to the inevitable stylistic and historical marks of their expression; the life and transformations of concepts are thus to indicate, here, in an a priori fashion the provisional fields of possibility for the cognitive operations. Second, I wish also to retain the conception of meaning proposed by Granger. This concept allows him to introduce the concept of style through the idea of the use of symbolism: the style is the result of a systematic work on the whole of elements which are always explicitly excluded from the making of a structure. In the level of the symbolical relation, meaning corresponds to the different uses which can be made of the original link between the sign and its object of remission. It is the idea of use, with strong wittgen. (AU)

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