An Interview with Raymundo
CLÁUDIA PERRONE-MOISÉS: Can you talk a little about the importance of Hannah Arendt for your life and work? In particular, are there one or two ideas that have played a particularly important role in the evolution of your own thinking and subsequent career?
RAYMUNDO MAGLIANO FILHO: I was introduced to the ideas of Hannah Arendt in a class I took with Professor Tércio Sampaio Ferraz of the School of Law at the University of Sao Paulo. It came about this way. By the time I had finished my studies I was already working in my father’s brokerage business.1 One day, a philosophy professor, Professor João de Scatimburgo, who was a close friend of my father’s and who helped him in his brokerage firm, resolved a particularly difficult technical problem he was having in a very philosophical way. I was deeply impressed. I asked him if he could recommend some books and also a professor I could study with. He recommended Professor Tércio. For two years I studied The Human Condition with Professor Tércio, and in this literary way, I began to acquire the fundamental knowledge that I later applied to my personal and professional life. In my personal life, I would say there are three of Hannah Arendt’s ideas that have been of particular importance to me. First is her “theory of action”: that only humans have the capacity to start new things. Second is her belief in the “liberating power of forgiveness.” Third is the observation that “life contains the seeds of events you can never quite foresee, but that you must take into account in any further analysis.” For my professional life, I would say the idea that has been the most important is her observation that power can never be a single individual’s property; rather, it lies at the basis of, and derives its