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The hypothesis of insanity in the first Cartesian's Meditation under the light of the controversy between Foucault and Derrida.

Grant number: 12/04049-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2012
Effective date (End): May 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal researcher:Eneias Junior Forlin
Grantee:Dante Andrade Santos
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This project presents a research program whose goal is to explore the philosophical role of the hypothesis of insanity in the first Cartesian's Meditation under the light of the controversy engaged between Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. In the First Meditation, before introducing the dream argument, Descartes alludes to the thought of the insane. The question is understanding why, in the process of radicalization of the doubt, Descartes does not proceeds with the hypothesis of insanity in the same manner that proceeds with the dream argument. Would this passage characterize the exclusion of insanity from the order of knowledge? Or the insanity and the dream would merely be additional moments from a same stage on the argumentation without exclusion? Among those who address the theme, this passage raises controversy: Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida star in an important discussion on the matter. The first in "História da Loucura" criticizes the differential treatment that Descartes gives the insanity, stating that the program of Cartesian doubts is precisely their exclusion. The second on the other hand in "A Escritura e a Diferença" disagrees with this reading arguing that the Cartesian text would have been misunderstood by Foucault inasmuch as insanity and dream characterize only additional moments from a same stage on the argumentation without implying any exclusion. The topicality of the debate catches attention for the importance of revisiting The Meditations and poses us the question of thinking the philosophical role of the hypothesis of insanity in the Cartesian project of a foundationalism and reorganization of knowledge.

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