Arquivo para a ‘Information ethics’ Categoria

Human dignity and unacceptable beliefs

02 Jun

The death by asphyxiation of African American George Floyd by white police officer Derek Chauvin shocked the world and triggered a series of violent demonstrations across the United States, including yesterday in the capital Washington, at the same time as in Brazil to accusations and demonstrations between groups for and against Bolsonaro grow.
In the Brazilian case, these are the president’s fearless words, and a meeting of ministers that became a public scandal due to the way in which serious state issues were dealt with, in a pandemic moment that should be a reason for unity, the political stage is heating up.
It was not the line of reasoning of this blog, but it cannot be omitted when one realizes the serious moment in the world and national scene, and two points must be considered, without forgetting that the pandemic should be our main focus, but gravity forces us to touch these points.
In the American case, Floyd’s own family through the autopsy clarified the death by asphyxiation and thus asked that it be considered manslaughter, when there is an intention to kill and not painful when there is no intention, Derek Chauvin the policeman who killed him already had 20 complaints and two letters of reprimand. In the Brazilian case, there are several manifestations in defense of democracy and the principles that govern the Brazilian constitutional charter.
I personally signed one that calls on all Democrats of different convictions to defend these principles. I want to point out that both in the American case, where Floyd’s brother thanked him for his support and asked for the acts to be peaceful, as in Brazil I also consider the fight against violence and respect for constitutional powers is fundamental.


Corona vírus plateau in Brazil

01 Jun

We defend the use of LockDown here, since last week it would be late, now what the curve shows is a plateau in 1 thousand deaths during 14 days, depending on when it will start to fall it is possible to evaluate the extension of the plateau and the prospect of a fall, as a week-long holiday was made, with a small result, some response is expected in a week.

The outlook will be as slow as the rise, counting only from March to make the projection easy (March, April and May) we will have the curve retraction only in August (June, July, August) which even coincides with the end of winter, so the “new normality”, because there is no way to predict what may happen afterwards even if there is a second wave of infection, only even in September.

Any plan that intends to open up more, with the collaboration and education of the population that has not happened until now, is an adventure, a plunge into the dark.

The sensible thing would be to allow the opening of trade with severe restrictions and punishments, the collaboration is at most half the population, which is insufficient to contain the contamination, and we still count on the disinformation sometimes aided by government officials.

We will come out of the pandemic more divided than before, with low morale because we were not led and we were not even able to unite, and looking for culprits will be worse than the pandemic itself because we will have to face a serious economic situation to follow.

Hoping that we will learn something from this, the thousands of doctors, nurses, assistants, drivers, rescuers and security guards who helped save lives, the solidarity of those who help the unemployed population and the institutions that struggle to maintain this aid.

It could be worse, if there were no social isolation and field hospitals that expanded the capacity of the health system, if there were no emergency aid for the unemployed and informal workers, in addition to the help of the family allowance (plan for poverty), but it is in the people the impression that a stronger decision for greater social isolation was lacking.

The pandemic has not passed, and the drop in the curve will depend on the population and surveillance.





What is Hegelians spirit and transcendence

27 May

We have already made several posts to explain that Kant’s transcendence is nothing more than the separation of subjects and objects, but Hegel completes and systematizes this whole philosophy in Phenomenology of the Spirit, a work that deeply influenced the philosophies of law, history, aesthetics and of religion, Marx himself and many currents that flow from it have not escaped this.

We have also made posts on the question of Gadamer’s historical conscience, criticizing Dilthey’s main ideas about history, now let’s analyze the “spirit” in Hegel.

First, as the name says, it is a phenomenology, therefore not a set of facts or even tangible realities, but a set of phenomena placed under a certain scheme.

Hegel understands history, art, religion and philosophy itself as an objective phenomenon, and as such (this is an object) is directed to the spirit for self-knowledge.

His capacity for synthesis will make his history of philosophy, with specific schemes and elements about transcendence and metaphysics in philosophy, give strength to his thinking, and the Phenomenology of the Spirit is central to his scheme.

To understand what he thought as a phenomenon, it is necessary to understand what he calls “natural conscience” which was what opened the way for philosophical knowledge, and it is through it that he will make a reading of the history of philosophy and thus elaborate what it is knowledge.

Just to make a counterpoint, Husserl will say instead that there is only awareness of “something”, while Hegel constructs this category as being “natural” and there is objectivity.

But Hegel’s “natural” is not only natural, but historical, therefore, its introduction to a system of philosophy, is built on the historical path of thought, it seems “natural” but it is not, its is philosophy of history.

What is hidden behind this scheme is what Nietzsche will call the genealogy of morals, but then other genealogies arose, the linguistic turn from Wittgenstein for example, he will see objects in relation to others: “we cannot think of no object outside the possibility of its connection with others” (Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 2.0121).

To understand what is Spirit in Hegel, and which profoundly influences the conceptions of arts, history and religion today, the forms are correlated to an idea of ​​absolute subjectivity, therefore “outside” the object, and related to it by a special type of essential logic that leads to the knowledge of reality, therefore it is not a phenomenological realism as Husserl sees it.

The spiritual and transcendent in Hegel is “the most interior, from which the whole construction of the spiritual world ascends”, it was what Marx called “heaven for earth” and that he (Marx) reversed, however, the separation of subject and object remains, so spiritual is a type of Absolute Spirit of Religion (see diagram).




Between the essence and the Being

21 May

Although dualism remains present, the essence is conceived by analogy to Being, and this was also the Thomist doctrine, it remained an onto-theology until the 20th century, it took a whole path of phenomenology to encounter the Other, the non – Being not as a contradiction, and the end of the dualism between Being and essence.

The long discussion of the medieval period between realists and nominalists was based on a term now unknown which was quididade, which means that thing is, from Greek hylé to modern models of Heidegger’s metaphysics, where the thing that can be material or not, and also what we think about it, in Husserl’s line there is only awareness of something, or of the thing.

But there was a philosopher in the Middle Ages, Duns Scotto (1266-1308) who did not distinguish between the thing that exists (si est) and what it is (quid est), and theologically it was complicated because the thesis of Santo Tomás de Aquino it was by analogy, that is, the meaning of similarity between things or facts (Houaiss dictionary, 2009, p. 117), and the religious were always in a hurry because in the 20th century Duns Scotto was accepted within the Catholic Christian doctrine, becoming blessed (John Paul II declared it).

His theory of knowledge used the two known distinctions distinctio realis (real distinction) and exists between two beings of nature, and the distinction rationalis (distinction of reason) that occurs between two beings, but in the mind of the subject who knows, but breaks dualism in creating a third possibility to distinctio formalis (formal distinction) that occurs in the perceived entity and is neither real nor in the mind.

So in addition to his disciple William de Ockham, famous for the simplification principle called Ockham’s Razor, but in a way Descartes, Leibniz, Hobbes and Kant had their influence.

However, the recovery of Duns Scotto is essential to overcome the dualism of nominalism / realism and the overcoming of pure realism by philosophical hermeneutics, and thus also the modern correspondent of nominalism, which is the linguistic turn, makes sense and opens up dialogue.



The truth, the method and the life

19 May

The contemporary concept of truth, although quite attached to logicism and idealism, arises from Socrates’ maieutics, a technique for valuing dialogue for the parturition (in sense of childbirth) of ideas that are consolidated according to the concrete conditions of knowledge (it is said material, but the Greek hilé is something different from matter today) where it is questioned what is unshakable and absolute.

Among modern truths strongly influenced by Hegel, there is a high dose of subjectivism, said in the following way in Phenomenology of the Spirit: “… everything comes from understanding and expressing the true not as a substance, but also, precisely, as a subject. At the same time, it should be noted that substantiality includes in itself not only the universal or the immediacy of knowledge itself, but also that immediacy which is being, or the immediacy of knowledge. […] “, so it seems to refer to Being and Spirit, but it is subjective and fluid.

What resulted from Hegelianism was the formulation of the idea of ​​Power exercised by the State and from it it will derive a large part of modern formulations, until reaching general relativism, that is, in rough terms “each one has his truth”, we return to the Greek doxa, mere opinion.

It is therefore necessary to discuss the method, but also modern methodologies are permeated with dogmatism, the mere repetition of abstract concepts, the logical-theoretical construction of formal theories, empiricism, according to Popper, the greatest modern danger, and idealistic rhetoric.

Hermeneutics initially and later the hermeneutic circle starting from Heidegger and consolidated in Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Truth and Method, reconstructs a modern maieutics, where not only the dialogue becomes viable, but also the possibility of a fusion of horizons becomes possible, including in dialogue with classical ontology and modern historicity.

The hermeneutic method has a profound relationship with life, Husserl’s lebenswelt, is effective for dialogue with different world views, thus it favors the relationship between people who express different cultures, and thus it is crucial for the interpretation of texts in the fields of law , theology and literature, without fundamentalism and false orthodoxy that hides error and doxa.

Hermeneutics in a pandemic relationship makes people act together even with a different visions about political, medical and social reading, it is it that helps distant discourses to show solidarity for life, the common good and in the near future outlines plans for the recovery new horizons of post-traumatic society.





Pandemic and power

15 May

A catastrophe situation is faced with solidarity, compassion with those who suffer it directly, support for those who must face it head on, and especially with all the support of those who can and must give conditions to face the catastrophe.

It is also a new situation, which requires everyone to review actions, concepts and the lifestyle itself can and must change, those who behave trying to avoid the new routine, hinder the coping of the catastrophe and worsen it personally and socially.

All of this involves power, central powers and micro-powers, the philosopher Foucault developed the concept of biopower, that is, the control of collective phenomena from the processes of birth, longevity, mortality and fertility, already in recent philosophy Byung Chul Han created the concept of psychopower, one that through the media and communication controls the social environment.

The pandemic seems to have combined the two, and even more deeply human anthropology on its return home, uses both the issue of mortality control and communication, especially digital, for tasks, shopping and work at home, as well as the control by power.

State institutions are mobilized as soon as the Modern State enters the scene, to sympathize or to open its contradictions to the social environment, hospitals, educational institutions and mass media are all mobilized by the forces of power.

The more fraternal and more hostile faces of the idealistic model appear, in an eagerness to replace the health and power of the family’s intrinsically fraternal solidarity, spirituality and the common good. It may point to a way out or put the whole of life in check. .

Religious power is also in check, with the temples closed or they give serious and concentrated responses or they stay in the spiritual subjectivism of known phrases and buzzwords that do not explain or solve anything, the subjectivism / objectivism dualism collapses and asks for a transcendent.

In the Christian reading of John (Jn 15,15) you can read: “I no longer call you servants, but friends because the servant does not know what his Lord is doing”, and this is fundamental in a pandemic, and generates solidarity.

And for those who go beyond friendship and generate brotherly love, there is a divine promise that consoles and strengthens us at this moment (Jn 14,21): “Now whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and I will manifest myself to him ”, and they will have inner peace to face the external war that the pandemic generated.



How to react to fear and the evolution of the pandemic

07 May

Pointing out our weaknesses and anxieties is a way of self-control, but I say what fear is and how we can control it in a pandemic in which we all find ourselves fragile can be thought of in 7 essential aspects.
A reflection of what causes these feelings in us is important and the first attitude, a little meditation and silence and ask us what awareness we have of the dangers and the attitudes towards them is fundamental, so in addition to bodily health attitudes there are mental ones and / or spiritual, without which we are to blame outside ourselves.
The second already pointed out in the first is awareness, remembering that awareness is always, says phenomenology, awareness of something (or the thing) that means what causes us fear, what is its origin, the phobias of the past, lost ones, relationships social, etc.
The third is to understand that there is a “thing” in the relationship between you and the other that is on the frontier of your fear, attributing it to the other is escapism, I study what causes fear and do not anticipate perceptions, it is what is called in epoché´s phenomenology, in this case, put it in parentheses.
Fears and phobias lead to anxieties, and if it is already present as a result of fear, control of emotions and not making them chaotic and irrational is fundamental, take a step back, note if the relationship with others is not going this way.
Share the fear with the other, but with meekness and clarity, this does not give me security or it is not what I think (it is not your conscience about the thing), but respecting the Other’s vision.
Finally, of course, a specialist can help, I do not know how much they are inserted in the health system, but at the peak of the pandemic these sensations can surface and it may be the case to ask for help from specialists.


Between the passage and the door

01 May

Every passage is about some danger: a precipice, a narrow path with ferocious animals around, at Easter, death and resurrection, in the current pandemic: deaths and deprivations of liberty, and an uncertain future, but which should open a fusion of “ new horizons ”, but because the dialogue must be between cultures and civilizations with different worldviews and not in closed groups.
The door and the “path” (one can think of science as a method) through which we can and must pass to enter a new reality, which may well be the common home, the harmony between men and these with nature and going further away with the cosmos, which we know has laws even less known to us.
The complexity that this future will involve must have a basic assumption, or we emerge from a sad crisis together, or we deepen it and we will have an even tougher reality in the next worldwide virus (it may be a new crisis or not), the passage must have a door and we opened it together.
We will be poorer at first, this is absolutely true, conspiracy theories that this or that will do better is mere speculation, even for the wealthy, the bags plummet, I saw an owner of a chain of Brazilian stores raging, even the doors of churches then closed, so whoever will pass through the door is the one who learned solidarity.
We will only make the transition after the end of the pandemic if we continue to dream and seek a door. The truth and the complexity of the existence of God are many biblical passages, the prophets before the coming of Jesus had mysterious revelations in dreams, Isaiah predicted the captivity in Babylon, in Babylon Daniel unveiled the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, among several others until Joseph when he heard that Mary was pregnant he fled and in a dream the angel warned him of the truth.
Historical truth (in Gadamer´s sense) precedes mystical truth, John the Baptist was the last and greatest of the prophets, and Jesus repeatedly pronounced “in truth, in truth I tell you” usually when he told a parable, in one of the passages he says he is the “door” and states (Jn 10, 10): “The thief only comes to steal, kill and destroy. I came so that everyone can have life and have it in abundance ”, but is imperative the door truth.
May this time of harsh test of the pandemic serve us to open our souls and recreate a more fraternal world, where life is full for all citizens, but this will have to be built.


The eidetic variation, method and phonesis

30 Apr

The philosophy that tried to overcome Kant, but was still somehow linked to its logical tradition, is called continental philosophy, Frege is a bit of a departure because it moves towards what was called analytical philosophy, with serious consequences even today, but the subject it’s deep. Thus, the hermeneutics from Scheiermacher to Dilthey is still the one that, due to a certain “logical construction”, we arrive at interpretations of the texts in a “correct” or “objective” way.
Paul Ricoeur and Hans Georg Gadamer will free us from this, outline an ontology where there is a recognition of the pre-concept (the way of writing is ours) and the final understanding can have openings and “merging horizons” where the temporal context affects the ontology of the interpreter.
This “opening” is coherent with the models of physics, where the observer is part of what is observed, and his worldview directly interferes with his interpretation, so it has a temporal aspect that is what Heidegger reveals in the “Being and time ”(1927), but the description of the hermeneutic circle in a systematic way only appears in Gadamer’s “Truth and Method ”(1960) and Ricoeur’s“ Time and Narrative ”(1983), a term that is widely used and little known.
Before understanding the fusion of horizons, using Kantian subjectivity, we can say that there is an intersubjectivity, after a text is published it ceases to have the authorial intention and is subject to interpretation and there is not a single “correct” reading, however it does not mean relativism.
An impactful text provokes the readers’ experiences, Gadamer’s method of finding the truth is one that everyone could join in the dialogue, accepting the real world experience, said by the author as follows:
“The understanding and interpretation of texts is not merely a concern of science, but it obviously belongs to the human experience of the world in general ” (True and Method, 1960).
This is what goes beyond the merely theoretical attitude (even from those who claim the practice and hide its methods) adhering to what the Greeks called phronesis (practical wisdom), and gives us the possibility to converge, and makes the dialogue useful and useful, the opposite is proselytism.
The process by which the coronavirus vaccine must pass, in addition to complying with a protocol, must through successive interactions with the real world, testing on animals, observing reactions until human use undergoes successive analyzes beyond experimentation, is a type of phonesis .


The pandemic in Brazil and a hope

27 Apr

We started the week with a scenario not only of suffering, it has been happening since the beginning of the world pandemic, but of political turbulence and misinformation about the pandemic.
Through graphics and hard numbers we tried to show, even to a lay audience and except for those who are in health, we are all a little lay, we showed the rise of the curve and that showed no signs of easing (which would be starting a less steep climb) nor of cooling.
The information and intervention policy of the Minister of Health that came out was encouraging, but the current policy, in addition to showing a cold´s numbers and “betting” on an easing of the curve, there is still no clear intervention in the disease, which is treated as a fatality.
We continue to defend #LockDown for Brazil, but the policy is to bet that the peak will be in May, without any convincing analysis for this.
There are signs in Europe that the peak has passed, the leader of Brexit (leaving England from the European community), British Prime Minister Boris Johnson infected with invite-19 thanked two foreign doctors who, in his own words, “saved my life” .
The pandemic has already changed the way and culture of how we think, media leaders and thinkers do not change, they are defending their establishment discourse that yield expensive lectures and the cultural and social misinformation we live in, I have already mentioned two thinkers, Edgar Morin who he told L´Obs that our “toxic” way of life is changing, and Byung Chul Han (in daily El Pais), who showed why the oriental culture that is disciplining (do not confuse with the authoritarian) favors the fight against the pandemic.
We must always have hope, and the greatest thing we can have in these pandemic times is what humanity has always dreamed of, a homeland for all, care for the “common home” and the gathering of religious leaders: Muslims, Christians, Druze and Jews in Jerusalem (photo above) is a sign that there is something changing and that the change deepens.