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Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas

Print version ISSN 1981-8122


BHERING, Marcos Jungmann  and  MAIO, Marcos Chor. Between Science and Politics: the Positivism of Paulo Carneiro in the Secretary of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce of Pernambuco (1935). Bol. Mus. Para. Emílio Goeldi. Ciênc. hum. [online]. 2010, vol.5, n.2, pp.435-452. ISSN 1981-8122.

The article analyses the performance of the positivist scientist Paulo Estevão Berredo Carneiro (1901-1982) in the Secretary of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce of Pernambuco (SAICP) in 1935. His career was built in the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce (MAIC) during the 1920s and early 1930s, holding positions in scientific institutions and governmental agencies. Around 1930s Carneiro was invited by Lima Cavalcanti, Governor of Pernambuco State, to lead the SAICP. During his administration, he sought to implement policies for the rural areas based on a scientistic perspective. The analysis of Carneiro's performance in Pernambuco State distance ourselves of part of the literature about the history of positivism in Brazil, that conceives it as an ideology in decline since decade of 1910. The positivism creed, which credited to science and technique an important role for social progress was at once in several scientific and political spaces in 1920s and 1930s and gave the keynote to the policies implemented by Carneiro in the SAICP. Identifying himself as a technician who would have the task of leading reformists projects, his performance aroused criticism of local elites in a context of political radicalization and advance of authoritarianism of Getúlio Vargas government. Positivism and its premises persisted in 1930s as a key to understand the social reformism of the period.

Keywords : Positivism; Paulo Estevão Berredo Carneiro; Pernambuco.

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