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The influence of Kant's philosophy at the origin of the unpublished and published texts of Georges Canguilhem (with a hypothesis about the genesis of Gérard Lebrun's philosophy)

Grant number: 17/23137-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2018
Effective date (End): July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal researcher:Márcio Suzuki
Grantee:Emiliano Sfara
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/03066-9 - Action, thought and organism: from Kant to Canguilhem via Alain, BE.EP.PD   19/02726-5 - From the end of metaphysics to the conception of the organism: Kant, Lebrun and Canguilhem, BE.EP.PD


This project, which stems from the findings of our PhD researches in France, aims to shed light on the theoretical origins of the thought of the French philosopher Georges Canguilhem (1904-1995). Traditionally, Canguilhem is considered to be a disciple of Gaston Bachelard, due to the fact that the latter was his predecessor at the chair of Philosophy and History of Science at the Sorbonne. However, recent studies, conducted in particular by Camille Limoges and Xavier Roth, have pointed out: 1) that Canguilhem was not, from a purely theoretical point of view, a disciple of Bachelard; 2) that Canguilhem, from a theoretical and also biographical point of view, was instead a disciple of the philosopher Alain, exponent of the 'Ecole de l'activité', whose teaching consisted mainly in the transmission of the principles of Kantism. In particular, according to Roth, Canguilhem's work is heavily influenced by Kant until 1939, the year when the philosopher's thought undergoes a 'détour', i.e. a turning point towards theoretical autonomy. Although we don't want to deny the theoretical originality of Canugilhemian thought, our project aims to demonstrate the marked persistence of the aforementioned Kantian influence even after 1939, on the basis of published texts and of a large amount of unpublished material in our possession, which was analysed at the CAPHÉS of Paris during our PhD (manuscripts, course notes, private letters, etc.). Indeed, the French philosopher Gérard Lebrun, a disciple of Canguilhem and professor at USP for six years, showed some theoretical similarities that bind Kant and the post-1939 works of Canguilhem. By means of this project, which can take advantage of the collaboration of many international prominent academics, including the aforementioned Limoges and Roth, we would like to join the researchers of the USP Philosophy Department, who, thanks to their efforts on Kant and Kantism, are pursuing the ancient philosophical legacy of Lebrun and therefore, in our opinion, of Canguilhem. (AU)

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