Call for contributions for No. 5, third series, Biblos. Revista da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra
Falsification implies reproduction of the original. Information, a situation, an object can be reproduced through several different possible means. The intent to make others believe something falsified is original constitutes fraud. However, a practice of ancestral roots, such as alchemy, aims at higher purposes by deliberately falsifying gold through the transformation of common metals.
Counterfeiting and plagiarism are malicious acts that subvert ethical, moral, and civic principles, infringe legislative determinations and violate copyright and trademark registrations, damaging third parties. Therefore, the illusory imitation of commercial products, informative content, works of art, a signature, an idea or a text are punishable by justice.
In a seemingly paradoxical way, the commercial profitability of counterfeiting is often worth the forensic penalty and condemnation of public opinion. Certain false news triggers the prosperity of the markets and outweigh by far the effects that might be achieve by actual information. At the same time, in the art market there are false works which price far exceeds that of the original. In this case, however, it is no longer a matter of a fake authenticity, but of an authentic fakeness, deliberately promoted and openly assumed.
After all, the prospect of falsification is inherent to all semiotic systems. Since humans are the only beings that dominate verbal language, such a possibility is at the heart of our communication system. The representative functioning of a code includes the possibility of lying. Without a doubt, the linguistic system, like so many other systems of communication, establishes a relationship between signum and signatum. This relationship can be more or less intentional, yet it is supported by a deferred cultural and anthropological association. Language exists to tell the truth as much as to forge it.
The existence of the being in time and space limits our human capacity to measure and scale experiences, making it possible solely through memory, which inevitably works by retemporization and relocation, based on a present time that is never faithful. In fact, the psyche comprises mechanisms which description exposes not only a mental need for falsification, as a support of the subject’s consistency, but also a chain of impulses to falsify fakes.
In any case, for the purposes of procedural and forensic investigation, historical inquiry or mental assessment, the collation between an original and its substitute is established as a decisive instrument of certification. In the field of scientific investigation, experimental verification is an absolute condition of validity, and there is a solid line of contemporary epistemological thought founded on "falsification". It is the centre of the methodology which regards a theory as true until an experimental proof is presented which falsifies it, which denies it.
The association between falsification and ethical, civic or scientific realms, within the diversity of their valences, presupposes the existence of conditions of truth within a system that accepts transcendence. Assuming such presupposition, is the acceptance of forms of intervention that construct universes and truths that could not exist previously. This is the case of artistic creation, by relocating falsification in the realm of fiction. Its truth is inherent to the system which creates it, therefore it does not allow verification that can be used to assess its delusory nature. However, at this point, the transcendent truth is discarded, perhaps falsified.
The next edition of the journal Biblos, number 5 of the 3rd series, will be dedicated to the topic, Falsifications, which will be considered in the light of a number of disciplinary perspectives, under several historical perceptions.
Article proposals should be sent by email to the Journal’s guest editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submission is September 30, 2018.
All proposals must conform to the Journal’s guidelines (Guidelines for Authors http://www.uc.pt/fluc/investigacao/biblos/english/guidelines_authors/index) and will be peer reviewed by an experts committee.
Editorial activities will comply with the Code of Ethics. Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors of the University of Coimbra (Editorial policies http://www.uc.pt/fluc/investigacao/biblos/english/editorial_policies/index).