Error, Illusion, Madness
Error, Illusion, Madness
Translated by Marco Oliveira, Rodrigo Nunes

This book makes available in English the work of one of the most important Brazilian philosophers and intellectuals of the twentieth century. First published in 2004, Error, Illusion, Madness is an original contribution to the debate about the nature and role of the subject and its forms of expression. In a context where the category of the subject was being at once dismissed by structuralist and post-structuralist thinkers and sidelined by the intersubjective turn of critical theory, Bento Prado Jr.’s book represented a unique intellectual intervention. He mobilized authors as diverse as Wittgenstein and Deleuze to formulate a notion of the subject as both a critique of identity and an affirmation of difference, a notion that dismantled the foundational character usually associated with this category. In this way Bento Prado Jr. opened up a new and distinctive kind of critical thinking that emphasized subjectivity while avoiding both foundationalism and relativism.

This important book will be of great interest to those working in philosophy, critical theory, cultural theory, and Latin American studies.

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  • May 2021
  • 240 pages
  • 138 x 214 mm / 5 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509537044
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509537051
  • Open eBook $18.00
  • 9781509537068
Table of Contents
Publisher’s Note

Foreword – Vladimir Safatle


1.   Error, Illusion Madness

Commentary by Arley Ramos Moreno: “Error, Illusion, Madness”

2.   Descartes and the Last Wittgenstein: The Dream Argument Revisited

3.   Wittgenstein: Culture and Value

4.   Plane of Immanence and Life

Commentary by Arley Ramos Moreno: ‘Values and Plane of Immanence’

5.   Relativism as a Counterpoint

Commentary by Sérgio Cardoso: ‘Bento Prado Jr.’s Lecture on Relativism’

Commentary by Paulo Eduardo Arantes:‘Neither Apel, Nor Rorty’

6.   On Deleuze: An Interview

7.   Bergson, 110 Years Later



About the Author
Bento Prado Jr. was an influential Brazilian philosopher who taught at the University of São Paulo and the Federal University of São Carlos.
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“Bento Prado Jr. brings to bear the magnitude of his thought and the range of his cultural understanding, which were already discernible in his previous work, on the philosophy that he develops in this book and that is as original as it is profound, situating the author at the interface between the continental and the analytical traditions. With Error, Illusion, Madness, Prado Jr. emerges as the greatest Brazilian philosopher of the twentieth century.”
Renaud Barbaras, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

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