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The genius' "labyrinth of solitude", or the paradoxes of El hombre mediocre

This article analyzes El hombre mediocre (1913) of José Ingenieros, paying attention to some ideological and epistemological paradoxes present in the essay. Specifically it considers how the text interpellates the mass audience. It points out the attempt to create in the reader an identification with the values of the small minority of the merit. In this way Ingenieros confirms the guideline role of the elite of talent in front of a new and massive readership and electorate (outcome of the electoral reform of 1912). This paper also informs about the way the essay tries to integrate "ethic philosophy" and science. This integration of two hegemonic discourses, in competition in the decade of 1910, is considered as a part of autolegitimation strategy (scientific, politic and philosophic) of the intellectual.

José Ingenieros; El hombre mediocre; elitism; mass culture

Pós-Graduação em História, Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais Av. Antônio Carlos, 6627 , Pampulha, Cidade Universitária, Caixa Postal 253 - CEP 31270-901, Tel./Fax: (55 31) 3409-5045, Belo Horizonte - MG, Brasil - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil