Por que pensamento e não teoria?: a imaginação político-social brasileira e o fantasma da condição periférica (1880-1970)






Why Thought and not Theory? The Brazilian Political and Social Imagination and the Spectrum of Peripheral Condition (1880-1970) Why do we refer to Brazilian political reflection as Thought rather than theory? The hypothesis I intend to explore here is that in Brazil, themain reason for the term "thought" to refer to the country's intellectual products lies in the fact that the elites have always considered such products more or less inferior to those developed in Europe and the United States, due to their own more general perception of Brazil's peripheral status. To frame this question, I will discuss the terminological issue of "theory" and "thought" in the field of political science. Next, I will examine how some leading Brazilian scholars assess the country's place in the world and the quality of its intellectual products, especially those of a social and political nature. This analysis will be divided into two periods, the first pertaining to the predominance of the cosmopolitan cultural paradigm fromthe late 19th century to the 1920s, and the second with the nationalist cultural paradigm, lasting nearly until the late 20th century.

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