This paper intends to validate the hermeneutic relevance of three core theses: José Matias (i) is
demonstrably an “open work”, (ii) it constitutes a philosophical short story and (iii) it illustrates the failure of panlogism. With regard to the first thesis, it is necessary to concede up
front that this interpretation of José Matias does not purport to be unique nor does it encompass the richness of the work’s content. Yet, given the second thesis, the paper intends to defy
the common notion among critics that the philosophical references that pervade the Queirozian text fulfill a merely rhetorical function, in the pejorative sense of this expression. Finally,
the third thesis seeks to bring the reader to realize that after all, in this narrative, we have a
subtle literary incarnation of the nineteenth-century crisis of reason, of which ‘scientism’, far
from a cure, was nothing but a symptom.