In an essay published in German in Staden-Jahrbuch (“Brasilianische Philosophie” [Brazilian Philosophy], 1970), Vilém Flusser analyzes Brazilian philosophy. First, he subsumes the subject of Brazilian philosophy under his original question as to the relevance of geopolitical criteria for philosophy, and acknowledges that it is possible for philosophizing to absorb influences from the geopolitical environment. In this way, Flusser points to the Brazilian influences on universal thought.
Flusser assigns first place to Oswald de Andrade as the most important Brazilian philosopher of the twentieth century. De Andrade’s thought revolves around the idea of “game,” on the one hand, and the dialectical pairing of “revolution” and “dogma,” on the other. These ideas pervade de Andrade’s entire oeuvre – plays, novels, poetry, and particularly his book A Crise da Filosoa Messiânica [The Crisis of Messianic Philosophy] (1950). Thus the ideas are not only articulated in the discursive language of academic philosophy, but also in his games with words, images, concepts, and actions (de Andrade was an unremitting performer, both in his life and his art). He was a central figure in the art movements of 1922 (Semana de Arte Moderna, the “Modern Art Week”) and 1928 (Anthropophagic Movement). His “Cannibal Manifesto,” Manifesto Antropófago (1928), includes a program for a free society, without classes and based on matriarchy. De Andrade applied for the chair of philosophy at the University of São Paulo, but was rejected. Thanks to the path marked out by Oswald de Andrade, a second generation emerged, in which Flusser included himself, along with Vicente Ferreira da Silva, Leônidas Hegenberg, and Miguel Reale. In addition, Flusser also talks about a “new generation,” which includes some of his students. However, he does not mention them by name; he only refers to some of their approaches. For instance, he mentions the change of priority: away from anthropology and toward a focus on the void (Bodenlosigkeit, having no rm ground) or ethical, aesthetic, and ontological aspects of the apparatus.