Arquivo para a ‘Neurociência’ Categoria

transcendent and consciousness

20 May

We generally think that transcendent is what is linked to God or some aspect of religiosity, but the term actually comes from philosophy and can be used in Theology.
In general, in philosophy and in everyday life, transcendence is opposed to the immanent, with the idea of something belonging to another nature, simply to the Other, or even that which is of a higher order, the transcendental is of this order and is not the even if transcendent.
Transcendent in philosophy is what is beyond, a way of thinking the opposite is the immanent, which is connected to thing-in-itself, but in Kant’s transcendental idealism its opposite is dogmatic idealism, for example, thought by George Berkeley.
In idealist epistemology, transcendence is applied to the phenomena of objective reality, because they are incapable of showing themselves to men exactly as they are (our subjective capacity), they do not appear as things-in-themselves, but as subjective representations constructed by human cognitive capacities.
From the intentionality of Franz Brentano, the student of some classes Franz Brentano, he investigated a new path to philosophy, overcoming the modern modern idea that conceived of consciousness as a closed receptivity in itself, opening it to immanence to consciousness, reflecting the “enigma of transcendence”.
Husserl does not immediately break with idealistic transcendentalism, one must travel the path he has made, even return to Brentano’s intentionality which still has an empirical trait that breaks down to construct immanent objectivity.
When Husserl begins to walk the path of an idealistic transcendentalism, the criticism of his closest disciples will make him choose to be isolated in a position that seems to be overcome or to establish a new turn to phenomenological research. Hence, it is often difficult to understand Husserlian thinking.
His vast work has to be traversed at every stage, there is a philosophical course, where each moment of thought has its own questions, to the period of the intention to that of Logical Investigations (Logische Untersuchungen, first edition in 1900-1901), after elaborating some concepts- which led him to state that, in order to study the structure of consciousness, he distinguished between the act of consciousness and the phenomenon to which it is directed (the object-in-itself, transcendent to consciousness).
The idea of the mind as what occurs within it, the so-called physicalism still persists and with strong influence on neuroscience, one of the exponents is the Portuguese Antonio Damásio, his TED has 2M of views:


Philosophy or thought, human essence

15 May

If we investigate the origin of the term philosophy we find “friend” (philos) of wisdom (sophia), but modernity has confined it in the field of all other specialties, that is, queen of the sciences has become a specialty for some without value.
The basis of any specialty, area or field (I prefer this denomination because it is less watertight) has an organized form of thought, thus having a philosophy.
Socrates (469-399 BC) was so important that he divided classical thinking into two epochs, the pre-Socratics and the period of thought formation, Plato (428-348), which is in fact the only reference to Socrates, and the work The republic of Plato has undeniable influence to this day.
Aristotle (384-322 BC) a disciple of Plato, and together with him organized the idea of Polis, from which comes the word Politics, and the city-state, embryonic form of the modern state, from which comes the word “citizen.”
The thought “being is and not being is not,” besides logical principle A or not A, is also an ontological principle, although contemporary thought (or philosophy) also means the contradiction A and Not A as a possibility, breaking with classical thinking.
Augustine of Hippo (354-430) is important to understand the overcoming of Manichaeism, still present in political and religious thought until today, the abandonment of this theory (good and evil, Manicheanism) was the beginning of his conversion.
The medieval period had Boethius (480-524), which gave rise to the “quarrel of universals”, if we can think of universal and particular concepts today, was the fruit of a long medieval discussion between realists and nominalists.
Realist of this period is Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), with his thesis on the Ens (being) and the Essence, lost in the beginning of modernity, but taken up again by Franz Brentano and Edmund Husserl through the question of intentionality, which we described in previous posts.
The renaissance was nothing more than the resumption of the ideas of classical antiquity, without the subsequent period of contractualists Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, we would not have the formation of the modern state.

Descartes’ rationalism and Kant’s idealism, as well as Locke’s empiricism, have built the science of modernity, although today criticized by positivism and the question of neutrality, the thinking of Heisenberg and Einstein helped to question it.

But modernity also went into crisis, the Vienna Circle in the prewar period brought to light a neologicism and the question of intelligent systems through Kurt Gödel, and a new thinking in law through Hans Kelsen .

The Frankfurt school, critical thinking, ontology and hermeneutics compose the framework of current thinking in the midst of a paradigmatic crisis in the West, where we will go. There will be no answer without thought, without philosophy.

The video below presents a thinker of the technological issue seen from a non-Manichean prism, without technophobia and constructive with ethics and social responsibility:


Husserl and the intentionality

14 May

We have already put some initial ideas of phenomenology, as well as the set of ideas (photo), now we analyze one of its foundations: intentionality. 

From the intentionality of his master Brentano, Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) preserves the aspect of the experience of “being aware of something”, but will modify the empirical phenomenology, to make it transcendental, not in the still spiritual sense, but of living experiences cognitive (this is for example Paul Ricoeur’s interpretation of Ideas I).

To be faithful to his thought, Husserl states in Ideas of the Phenomenology: “that:” Experiences of knowledge possess, this belongs to its essence, an intentio, aim something, report in such a way or an objectivity, “but leaves the idea of ​​the empirical. Husserl retains the basic idea that intentionality is the peculiarity of the experience of being aware of something.

Husserl will maintain, throughout his course of approaching the Aristotelian-Thomist concept, an “immanent objectivity”. Husserl’s epoché, his suspension of judgment in relation to the facticity of the world, will make from the phenomenological reduction, a leap from the domain to that which is transcendent (in the sense of not being self-evident) to the domain of an authentic immanence absolute clarity, of self-giving), the pure phenomenon reveals itself to a sense-giving consciousness.

The sense of experience in Husserl is fundamental, must be understood by her everything that she finds in the flow of what is lived in general, intentional vivid:

[…] not only the intentional vividness, the actual and potential cogitationes taken in its full realization, but all the real moments (reellen is different of echt) that can be discovered in this stream and in its concrete parts. (Husserl.), this book first published in 1913.

In a series of lectures held at the Descartes Amphitheater at the famous Sorbonne in Paris between February 23 and 25, 1929, Husserl and his assistant Eugene Fink expanded the text of the initial lessons, which was published in French in 1931, the title is due only to references to Descartes, but may well introduce the thought of Husserl.

The fact that he never published the meditations in German generated doubts if he would not be satisfied with the text, the Husserl of maturity will publish the Crisis of the European sciences, his densest book.

Here are some ideas from his studies, in more academic view:





A forgotten connection with medieval philosophy

13 May

Concepts such as essence, being, ontology, and especially intentionality, fell into obscurity in the Renaissance until they were abandoned in modernity, until being reinvented by Franz Brentano (1838-1917) in 1874 in a work entitled Psychology from the empirical point of view, where he wants to understand the extent to which phenomena are physical or mental, in relation to objects.
In this book in the first chapter of Book II, he states: “All the data of consciousness are divided into two great classes: the class of the physical phenomenon and the class of the mental phenomenon” (Brentano, 1973), where it retrieves the idea of relation intentional relationship between mental acts and their objects, which comes from the work of Thomas Aquinas Quaestiones disputatae de veritate
Brentano characterizes this relationship from a reprint of the Aristotelian-Thomist conception of an “intentional in-existence” of an object, it is not a matter of not existing, but of existing in which it suggests a mode of immanence relationship between the intentional act and its object.
This is important because it recovers the subject and object relationship, lost by rational / idealism.
Phenomenology will use the concept of the suspension of judgment, the epoché that transforms into a place between parentheses, in this case is to suspend the facticity of the world has the judgment suspended by the phenomenological reduction, now that is transcendent (which is not self-evident) to the domain of an authentic immanence (the absolute clarification, of giving oneself, giving meaning).
This is fundamental in a post-truth world where facticity can hide the phenomenon in itself, and it is necessary to return to what Husserl will propose to return things themselves.
These are some applications of Dale Jacquette’s work on intentionality in Brentano:

BRENTANO, F. Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973.


Thought, meditation and life

10 May

If thinking is difficult in contemporary society, meditation is almost impossible, even in spaces dedicated to it, it is pure exoterism that meditates, deepens a thought or a situation, that would lead us to do the activities with greater tranquility.

The Greeks called the stage in which we withdraw our judgments and pre-occupations from our head the “epoché”, the absence of judgment on things to initiate a thought.

The philosopher Husserl took up this concept to create his phenomenology and affirmed that this was one of the principles of the current crisis of science, beyond its logicist and positivist structure, it was necessary to return the thing itself, and affirmed that consciousness is “consciousness of something” .

Byung-Chul Han in the Society of Fatigue warns us that active life needs a complement that is the meditation life, without which we immerse ourselves in tiredness and can be led to Bournot syndrome, in which we live in eternal confusion.

This is not new of course, but the acceleration of society due to new technologies, haste and the lack of environments and situations of deep meditation has led to an emptying of life.

To take it back is urgent, it will give us consciousness of Being, it will allow us to face problems that exist for all people and in almost every situation, and it will give us a better life.

Sloterdijk in “you can change your life,” while ironizing the false spiritual exercises of our day, called them as unsprayed ascesis, just exercise. It is not an escape from reality, and developoment antropotechnic concept. 

In Christian spirituality it means to find the humanity of the historical and divine Jesus, for when his disciples ask to see God he has the answer: “he who sees me, sees the Father”, in general terms, is in the reality, it is necessary to clarify and see. The lecture Andy Peddicombe says that 10 minutes are enough to regain consciousness:


World of life and deviations

02 May

It seems obvious what the world of life would be, but it is not because simply this world is populated by theories and misconceptions trying to put life as some form of acting, of making functionalist or even of thinking in restricted forms that do not behave life.
It is not by chance that this was later developed by Heidegger and Gadamer, since all life refers to the Being, and closes itself in this and not from its relation with the objects, but with the vision it has of the relation with these objects which are part of the world of life.
Separating them into ontological and ontological, though distinct, means that there is something beyond the life of being, not in the mystical sense, but of the transcendental realizations (the apriori) of consciousness.
Thus the work of Hans Georg Gadamer “Truth and Method” is nothing other than to oppose a vision of historical consciousness other than that of something, the basic presupposition of the hermeneutics, there is therefore no clear relation to life, beings, objects and culture of concrete beings within a concrete reality.
The original meaning of the “world of life” (Lebenswelt) is embodied in Heidegger’s work of Being and Time, used in part by Sartre, Gadamer problematized it, and Schultz made it central to his phenomenological sociology.
Phenomenology brought from Franz Brentano the notion of intentionality, which according to Sokoloski, intention means the relation of consciousness that we have with an object, then refers in the last analysis to what we call consciousness.
The notion of intentionality is the one that contrasts most strongly with positivism, when reconsidering the subject and object relationship, in a perspective of inseparability, offers an opposition to its objectivism and neutrality.
By fully recovering the subject in relation to objects, phenomenology is a resumption of the humanization of science, a restorative view of Being and of existence.
The work of Alfred Schutz (1899 to 1959) incorporating phenomenology into Max Weber’s sociology, regains the importance of the concept of Verstehen (understanding) and distinguishes it from Erklaren (common-sense knowledge, or methods of modern social sciences).
Hans Georg Gadamer clarifies that Verstehen is close to the understanding of the Other, in which the relation of knowing is thus humanized.
SOKOLOWSKI, Robert. Introduction to phenomenology (in portuguese). São Paulo: Loyola, 2004.
The concept of intentionality is central to phenomenology and this vídeo clarifies the term:


Change in physical thinking

24 Apr

The great upheaval of science at the beginning of the last century was the loss of the conviction of scientific determinism along with the idea that the observer is neutral to the phenomenon.
The so-called scientific neutrality, was based on the thought that independent of the observer a repeated phenomenon always produced the same results, the indeterminism announced by Heisenberg, changed the vision that we had of the atomic phenomena.
Newton’s physics, on which deterministic science is based, was good to see science roughly, but in the field of particles this regularity and determination does not exist.
Granularity means that there are finite packets of energy, which for quantum physics were the “quanta” (the theory of relativity is a little different), and this gave rise to studies of the so-called Physics of Particles, which as a complete theory is relationship between phenomena gives rise to events, and is as important as things (the principle of granularity remains), and this explains even more profoundly, and strange to empiricism, the way a body moves, and the effects of gravity, light and energy can also be thought of as relation.
So for example for the existence of the attraction between celestial bodies exists besides a gravitational energy, also gravitons, that is, particles, but this we return tomorrow.
What is essential is that these three principles, besides changing our view of science, begin to change what we think about the human brain, and may change the concept of consciousness, but without exoteric haste that wants to affirm things that are not true.


The cure of the blind from birth

26 Oct

In his Essay on Blindness (in brazilian edition of the Companhia das Letras, 2002), José Saramago gives a very simple lesson on ontology: “Within us there is something that has no name, this is what we are”, social interaction, culture and politics reveals us gradually to others.
In a way we all see a little and we all have “blind spots” and we need the Other.
Among all the biblical miracles, certainly many consider the resurrection of Lazarus as something extraordinary, but I remember many cases of people who have been in a coma for years and come back to life, I consider the case of the most fantastic birth blind (John 9: 6- 7), why?
A person who has never seen does not have the functional cognitive part prepared to discern the worlds, until the 2 years are the sensations of distance and obstacles that are stimulated attached to the movements, until the child walks, until the age of the symbolic constructions where each object of the complex universe of things is identified.
Therefore to cure blindness, is ultimately to reconfigure the symbolic system of a blind, in a democracy means to grope from the “infantile” universe until reaching a symbolic universe of values ​​that must be present in a mature democracy: respect, tolerance and discussions the symbolic universe.
We would say that democracy in Brazil has matured, it has had little space in history to develop, it is at the end of the critical age of adolescence, energetic parents seem to solve problems, but at the same time they distance youth from dialogue.
But there is another passage that is that of the blind Timaeus, who wants to be cured of blindness, is the case of some in Brazilian democracy, and asks Jesus: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mk 10,49 ) and Jesus heals him and says, “Thy faith hath saved thee.”
The vow of those who have true faith and who want to cure true blindness can decide an election, if we want peace, justice and a country that will make us proud, we can reflect on our own blindness, the difficulty of seeing everything clearly and ask for healing


Heidegger and the Power

18 Oct

Although speculation can be made on the question of power in the concept of pre-existence which is a response of Heidegger to rationalism, the being-for-the-end “does not originate first from a posture that sometimes happens, but belongs, in an essential way, to the presence of the presence, which in the disposition (of humor) is revealed in this or that way “(Heidegger, 2015, 327).
It is the idea that this being launched, the presence “exists for its end” (idem), the for it is highlighted because it is in the relation with the concept para-si of Hegel, and through this it would be possible to make the speculation of what is in fact the relation Heidegger sees with power, from the presence.
The path we are going to take is more direct, because Heidegger directly analyzed this question, studying the question of the Will to Power in Nietzsche, and the eternal return that indirectly made the analysis in the eternal state and we want to deepen the concept
The affirmation that in our instincts are always present the ideas of will to power, eternal return (in German Ewige Wiederkehr) and superman (in German übermensch), and the last two are driven by the will to power, therefore its main category.
The entity for Nietzsche is not thought as being, but as wanting inherent to the will, so the being that always wants itself in an unstable and insatiable way is what makes it, a metaphysical entity of wanting and not necessarily of Being.
In Nietzsche it is a “makes who you are” worth and not the Socratic principle “know thyself” which is closer to the ontological being, and Heidegger will propose the “confrontation” which is the revision of the original reasoning of thought Western world, around the essence and its necessity, described as follows: “If a more original consideration of being must become necessary from a historical urgency of Western man, then such thinking can only happen in confrontation with the first beginning of Western thought.
This confrontation takes place fully, “it remains closed in its essence and necessity, while the greatness, that is, the simplicity and purity of the fundamental affective tone of thought and the power of proper saying, refuse for us “(Heidegger, 2015). , pp. 479).
It is not by chance that the Nietzschean Brazilian Oswaldo Giacóia Jr wrote “Urgent Heidegger: an introduction to a new thinking” (GIACÓIA Jr, 2013), which is a very precise guide for reading Heidegger, clarifies that Heidegger intends to resume an even more ” originating from that which was experienced in Greece … “(Giacóia Jr, 2013, p. 46), to correspond to the truth of Being as unveiling (alétheia) would still say a return to its essence.
In this context the Being, in a new poesis (the creative and infinite way of thinking the Being), owes above all the will to power that is present in the messianism and mythology of all contemporary thought, source of the authoritarian bases of doing politics and of society.
The eternal return is the most fragile concept, there is no question of historical consciousness or of time, which profoundly differentiates Heidegger’s hermeneutic circle.

GIACOIA JÚNIOR. Oswaldo. Heidegger urgente (Heidegger urgent – Introduction to a new thinking). Brazil, S.P. Três Estrelas, 2013. HEIDEGGER, M. Ser e tempo, 10a. edição, Trad. Revisada de Marcia Sá Cavalcante, Bragança Paulista, SP: Editora Universitária São Francisco, 2015.


Truths, tautologies and beliefs

05 Sep

I was astonished that Noam Chomsky said: “people do not believe in facts anymore,” the crises (not unique, because there are political, ideological and even humanitarian crises) although all with an economic outline, the deep root of them is for a rejection of own culture.

Some will say identity, although it should not be left aside, the discourses I see in this line border on psychologism, the correct philosophical concept must be seen with the question of relation, while psychology sees as personality problems, behaviors and mental functions, then for me it’s something else. In the sociological case it has in the idea of ​​self-conception, aspects of social representation as a single person, or in quantitative terms what differs it from others in cultural, gender, nationality, now online identity or something that is formative of one’s own identity.

Although culture comes as a sociological aspect, it is reductive because culture is more comprehensive than aspects of identity and nationalities, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn have found at least 167 different definitions for the term “culture”, which shows the breadth of the term . We have a narrow definition, but incorporate essential elements: all that complex that includes knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, law, customs and all other habits and capacities acquired by man as a member of society ” Edward B. Tylor, for our theme as it involves knowledge, beliefs and truth.

Systems that ignore beliefs are not true, but tautological, even admitting an intersection between beliefs and knowledge, because they ignore that there is knowledge linked to beliefs (figure below).

Systems that admit that in every culture there are beliefs, can differentiate the knowledge present in different cultures and that have a core of distinct knowledge, but in both there may be truth, it is a dialogical and relational knowledge.

The art, morality, and customs that are within these cultures may have no relation to truth, but each has a different nucleus of knowledge (x and y in the figure) that relates to truth, facts and attitudes help to maintain this true relationships.