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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 03 | volume I | June-July, 1998



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 03June-July, 1998

Rhetoric and Perspectivism

p. 1
Manuel Maria Carrilho


My aim is to propose an approach, an understanding of perspectivism which, on one hand, has its roots in the valorization of its rhetorical basis, and, on the other hand, aims at the evaluation of the consequences of this fact. This approach is divided into three moments: in the first place, I will very briefly try to outline the philosophical background in which it appears; secondly, I will try to characterize perspectivism not only in its, shall we say, inaugural Nietzchean configuration, but also, in the way perspectivism today provides new possibilities of thinking; finally I will highlight some of the main aspects of the strategical and thematic affinity that, in my point of view, allow us to, nowadays, refer to a perspectivic rhetoric.
    1. There are three aspects of the contemporary philosophical picture that I would like to highlight. They can present, in a brief and schematic way, what the 80's were like.
    1.1. In the first place, I am referring to the postmodern thematic. In fact, it was in the 80's that postmodernity became, philosophically speaking, a central theme. The theses by J.F. Lyotard, contributed to this fact; in 1979 he published The Postmodern Condition in which he predicted, not only the end of modernity, with the dawning of a new era, in a transition influenced by the progressive abandon of the legitimating narratives that, as from the 18th century had been the basis for men's thinking and action, thus opening the way to a period of intense debate on the sense and value of modernity, as well as on its most recent transformations. Nevertheless, one of the main objectives, despite being one of the most obscure of this debate was to give philosophy a new image retracing its history, reformulating its functions, trying out new articulations.
    The works, for example, of G. Vattimo, J. Habermas or R. Rorty are, no doubt, different in their ambition and intention, mainly in expressing that search of the theoretical adaptation to the new times, which are always, for philosophy, the times in which it is expressed in a language in which it no longer recognizes itself. It was a space mined by this distance that philosophy went through in the early 80's, and, in a sense, in many ways opposite to what it had gone through in the previous decade, abandoning the dramatization of the initial diagnoses on modernity through its historical reason (Habermas)

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