CultureLab • Seminar

Is the Devil an idiot, Mr. Hegel? Commentaries on Vilém Flusser’s ontology

Wanderley Dias da Silva

For the standard reading, Vilém Flusser’s ‘Devil’ represents a determinant principle of confusion, doubt and negativity. Although such interpretation is not altogether mistaken, the most critical purpose of the character in Flusser’s writings is, in fact, a rather positive attribute that the author ascribed to the Devil: the Devil as time. Thus, the Devil is the unfolding or horizon of Being. The most appropriate way of grasping the radical character of Flusser’s ontology is, therefore, to focus on the positive, ontological function that the Czech-Brazilian philosopher assigns to the Devil. In confronting the standard reading, this presentation seeks to allow the audience a preliminary, proper understanding of Flusser’s ontology. In the process, to justify the title, the presentation will also explain what all of this has to do with Hegel.


Wanderley Dias da Silva is a doctoral fellow at the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Porto. After his graduate and undergraduate philosophy studies at the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven (Belgium, 2012), he had teaching positions in India and Brazil. He is currently part of the RG Roots and Horizons of Philosophy and Culture in Portugal, at FLUP-U Porto. His research and writings engage with the thought and work of Vilém Flusser, Fernando Pessoa, Eduardo Lourenço, Casais Monteiro, Hegel and Heidegger.