Arquivo para a ‘Neurociência’ Categoria

Gratitude, the question of science and common sense

22 Jan

A person may be grateful without understanding the goals of gratitude, but they will not understand the goals if they do not know the true motivations of gratitude, that is, remaining in gratitude can be free of knowledge, but have gratitude (make it a habit healthy) requires going beyond the simple gratuitous act, knowing it and cultivating it to work in society.
Thus, it is necessary to separate appreciable common sense from objective knowledge, which is to dissect the object of knowledge that can be done both inductively and intuitively, both paths are valid, so it is not necessary conventional but intentional science.
To talk about science we need to talk about Karl Popper, he also speculated about being things, said about common sense is valid, but upholding the truths of it is something bigger. But objective knowledge, he said, was an eternal pursuit of his life, in his words: “The essays in this book break with a tradition that can be traced back to Aristotle – the tradition of this common sense theory of knowledge.
I am a great admirer of common sense, which I claim is essentially self-critical ”, But to uphold it as truth requires more: “… if I am willing to uphold to the end the essential truth of common sense realism, I regard the common sense theory of knowledge as a subjectivist blunder.
This blunder has dominated Western philosophy, ”as understood by feelings, passions, and even sustaining nonobjective questions.
He goes on: “I have been trying to eradicate it and replace it with an objective theory of knowledge, essentially conjectural. This may be a bold claim, but I do not apologize for it ” (Popper, 1975, p. 07).
Popper’s division into three worlds shows a weakness in his theory by separating knowledge into three worlds: P1 the world of nature (or physical in the sense of physis), the world of minds (World 2) and the world of ideas (World 3), prioritizes the latter.
In a solution to a problem, people can attack or accept the solution found, but not the person who presented it, so it gives a greater value than the world of ideas (World 3) has to Popper, rather than the World of minds (World 2) who developed them.
Gratitude is just the opposite, because the minds that develop solutions to the problem (World 2) are more important than the ideas that drive them (World 3), although subjectivism, which is proper to the subject, may also have weaknesses.
What embraces these three distinct aspects: Nature, Knowledge and Ideas, are ontological aspects, for the three are proper to Being, gratitude is one of these aspects.

In times of a pandemic vaccine, it is good to remember Popper because he said that what can be refuted is scientific, and what we today is an “affirmation” or “denial” about vaccine, both is anti-scientific, the longer tests is need. 

Popper, K. (1975) Conhecimento objetivo (Objective Knowledge). Brazil, São Paulo: Editora da Universidade de São Paulo.


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. 


Quantum physics: origin, paradox and spirituality

16 Aug

Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) was the pioneer physicist responsible for creating a quantum model for the atom, his studies were essential for the evolution of the area of quantum mechanics with theories related to atoms, cosmic rays and subatomic particles.
In 1927 Heisenberg proposed the “Principle of Uncertainty,” also called the “Heisenberg Principle,” with which he said that it was impossible to measure the speed and precision of the position of a particle. In 1932 Heisenberg received the Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of quantum mechanics.
Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961) was an Austrian physicist who created an equation that became known as Schrödinger’s equation, from which he can perceive the changes of the quantum states in a physical system, made it wider than just subparticles.
Famous is his imaginary experiment called Schrodinger’s Cat, a cat is placed in a box with a poison pot together. By quantum physics, he would be alive and dead at the same time.
In 1933, Erwin Schrodinger received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his findings on atomic theory.
Deepak Chopra is an Indian physician who, an ayurveda professor, who does an alternative medicine relating body and mind, Amit Goswami, Indian physicist, parapsychology scholar, has a line of thought called “quantum mysticism”, and the Austrian physicist Tritjof Capra is known for his work “The Tao of Physics”.
But I would add three thinkers who have their thinking related to quantum physics and who I think are more solid in the quantum physics and spirituality relationship: Basarab Nicolescu (1942-), theoretical physicist who has a book Transdisciplinarity: theory and practice (2008), Thomas Francis Banchoff 1938) who had a long dialogue with Salvador Dali about his mystical intuitions, especially about his picture Christus Hypercubus, and, far from the idea of the Cosmic Christ of Teilhard Chardin, which unites theology, anthropology, physics and communication.


The mind and body, the relationship with mentalism

12 Jul

We have already posed here on structuralism, and what we consider late effects of modernity in what he called structuralism or deconstruction, which before Derridá are already present in the thought of Alun Munslow, and this in turn has a “deconstructionist” perspective linked to thought by Hayden White and Keith Jenkins, which can be read in Rethinking History.

But the aim here is to make a reading, even if it is almost impossible, of the angle of vision of the mind, there is an aphasia called Wernicke, which is precisely the change in oral and written language, which makes communication without precision because of of some neurological injury.

This is particularly interesting because it means that it is possible, under restricted circumstances, to link the mind to an anthropological process of its development, and to make the “mentalist” process linked in some way to the historical.

Thus the relation of the cerebellum is linked to the muscular and coordination functions, while the brainstem regulates the bodily functions (heart beat, body temperature, etc.) and the temporal lobe: understanding, language, listening, memory learning, but curiously it is there that is linked to the area of ​​oral and written language, called Wernicke. In the areas of superiority are the areas of human development historically posterior, especially in the Frontal Lobe: morality, reasoning, personality and others.

Nagel touches on the dilemma of body and mind, we already speak of the mind of the other, starting from the premise that admits that the other is conscious, and if one does not agree with skepticism, it is known that the relation of consciousness with the mind can only be that which “depends on the body,” or on reality. In order to explain his thinking, he makes the experience of eating a chocolate and asks if with instruments that could measure the sensations inside the brain: “But could you find the taste of chocolate?” (Page 31).

“But people think that believing in a soul is something outdated and unscientific. Everything else in the world is made of physical matter – combinations of different chemical elements? “(Page 32),” scientists have discovered what light is, how plants grow, how they move their muscles – it’s just a matter of until they discover the biological nature of the mind. This is how the physicalists think. “(P.33)

In the realm of the mind, mentalists have been called here. The author explains that an “advanced theory of physicalism [mentalism] is that the mental nature of their mental states consists in relations to the things that cause them and things they cause” (page 36), a return to chance, which contemporary physics itself tried to deny, Heisenberg enunciated and particle physics and astrophysics proved.

The subject is complex, but Nagel’s book is a good introduction to the body-mind problem.

Nagel, Thomas. What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy, UK: Oxford University Press, 1987.



Nagel, physicalism and the being

11 Jul

All modern physicalism, the Greek physis is something else, is essentially reductionist, for “every reductionist has his favorite analogy, drawn from modern science” (Nagel, 1974).

Although Nagel does not define what is physical for him, he says verbatim in footnote, he states that “beyond interesting, a phenomenology that is objective in this sense may allow questions about the physical basis of experience to take on a more intelligible form “(Nagel, 1974).

Although Aristotle called the pre-Socratics “physikoi“, this has nothing to do with the modern conception, just as physis can not simply be translated by nature.

Two authors who spoke about this Greek concept, for Jaeger: “the word also includes the original source of things, that from which they develop and by which their development is constantly renewed; in other words, the reality underlying the things of our experience, “while Burnet, in turn, states that” in the Greek philosophical language, physis always designates what is primary, fundamental, and persistent, as opposed to secondary, derivative, and transitional”.

It is these conceptions that most closely approximate Nagel, but it can be said that his concept is almost ontological: “But fundamentally an organism has conscious mental states if and only if there is something that is to be that organism – something that is to be for the organism. ”

But the important and definitive concept of Nagel is that it may make sense to ask what it is like to be a bat, but it is not conceivable to ask what it is like to be a toaster, physics has limits and if you can go deeper, here about Terrence Deacon’s “Incomplete Nature: the mind emerged to matter”.

Nagel, Thomas (1974). “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”. The Philosophical Review. 83 (4): 435–450.


It s it possible to simplify philosophy?

10 Jul

Yes and no, as we posted last week, there is complexity in simplification and not everything that is simple can be correct, most of the times it is a reductionism. But someone who got it, at least in part, was Thomas Nagel, proposed to address such themes as: the world beyond minds, beyond other minds, the old paradox body and mind, how language is possible, there is the free will, which inequalities are unjust, the nature of death, and the meaning of life.

Without saying authors and names is addressing central problems of philosophy, will also use practical examples, didactic and begins with a question on things that is at the core of the question of much of the philosophy: “Would things look different if fact existed only in his mind … what if it was just a giant dream? … (Nagel, 1987). “It is even possible that you do not have a body or a brain – since your beliefs about it come solely from the data of your senses” (NAGEL,1987).

He then begins to divide the currents of philosophy, “the most radical conclusion to draw from here would be that your mind is the only thing that exists”, this is the solipsistic current.

The second position is whether or not an outer world exists, and if it exists, it may or may not be completely different from the way it seems to you – is there no way to know it? “, this is the position of skepticism . “If you can not be sure that the world is out of your mind, there is now yourself, how can you be sure that you existed before ?, and this refers to the problem of time, memory, information, language and being.

In the end, the author states that it is “impossible to seriously believe that all things in the world around you may not exist in reality” (p.20), this may be so evident that we do not need to substantiate, but there would still be three serious questions :

1) Does it make sense that the inner world is all that exists, but that the outside world guarantees that it is not different from what it thinks?

2) If any of these hypotheses are possible, is there any way to prove to yourself that this hypothesis is not really true?

3) If you can not prove that there is anything outside of your own mind, is it right to continue to believe in the existence of an outside world?

If the external world exists, the problem is whether everything moves as a clock, ie, is predetermined, so-called determinism, or if there is free will and things can be chosen, the author speaks of the choice of people between eat a nice piece of cake or a fruit, and the fact that the sun can not choose not to rise at the beginning of the day, but even in nature the physics of the particles show that there is an indeterminism in nature.

Approach this in chapter 6 hence the question of logic will come in chapter 7. If you think that there are both, you must think that there are other minds as well, and these minds will have experiences and vision of things different from yours, is there a way of seeing that the two are right or the wrong two, right or wrong?

He will approach this in chapter 7, and right and wrong before righteousness, will approach this in chapter 8, and death what is, chapter 9 and the meaning of life, chapter 10.

Nagel, Thomas. What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy, UK: Oxford University Press, 1987.



Can a butterfly wing strike cause a tornado?

13 Jun

The so-called butterfly effect, arose from an article by E. Lorenz in 1975 in an atmospheric forecasting journal and for this reason was a long time concealed as a “phenomenon”.
The first question is this, there is even this article, because it is so little mentioned even more in Brazil since the name of the country appears in the title: “Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set off the Tornado in Texas? “, yes the article does exist.
The other two questions posed by Lorenz himself are: if a single butterfly could generate a tornado, the earlier or subsequent wing beats could also cause the millions of other butterflies as well, and if they could cause they could also avoid them.
What Lorenz proposed in general terms + and that minuscule perturbations do not increase or decrease the frequency of events like tornados, the question he puts in his article is that the immediate influence of a single butterfly can make the presence of a tornado evolve in two different situations, being able in some very early instance to decide its presence or not.
This small event can be fundamental, linked to others, able to modify the regime of the winds and the temperature in a vast region, would spend hours and the meeting of the masses of air can provoke a heavy rain in areas that before was determined sun.
Hence Poincare enunciated in 1908 as “sensitivity of the initial conditions,” but it must be said that the formulation of Lorenz’s chaotic systems distanced itself much from what is called nonlinear systems in mathematics, from the idea that linear is the most common, while unstable or chaotic are unconventional.
Most systems are unstable, and this is fundamental, Heisenberg of whom we spoke in our previous post, said: “quantum physics has defeated the causality and certainty that stable and predictable systems offer us, its phrase is famous:” Physics quantum provided the definitive refutation of the principle of causality. ”
Small actions, in human systems, can also cause huge differences and lead human systems to stability or not


The dualism of Kant

06 Jun

Although Kant made a critique of Descartes, he did not penetrate the question body and consciousness (or mind as many want), but in what he considered the core of Cartesian thought to be the “representation” of things (phenomena):
“All our intuition is no more than the representation of a phenomenon; the things we perceive are not in themselves as we perceive them, nor the relations between them are in themselves as they appear to us;
It is by what he calls a “thing” that can be confused as the phenomenon, but it is the thesis that the human being has a kind of software in his head that interprets the world: the brain is not a container to where they are ” tossed “the objects of the world, he” naturally “processes the culture of the world and sees it in a certain way.
If I lived in our time I would say that it is a painting, not a photograph, and yet I would say that the two are “representations” because it is not possible to conceive the objective reality, only subjective, that is, in the subject’s mind, dualistic
Its kind of dualism is the opposition between the concepts of “derived intuition” on the one hand, and “original intuition”, on the other hand, not an original culture but intuition.
Already the “derived intuition” is, according to Kant, the “sensible intuition” of the human being; and “original intuition” is the “intellectual intuition” that Kant says is divine and not cultural.
Do not be happy the religious, although most understand this as “transcendence” and gave in the “vague” religiosity of today, which states that any intuition is of the “Holy Spirit”, without relation to objectivity, here is the Pure Kant.
The great Kantian problem that will reflect in philosophy, that which Marx said of the old Hegelians, where Man and God are in totally separate realities and without some possibility of ontological interaction, is the “dead” God.
The Kantian thought that I consider the most essential is that:
“And if we take from the center our subject, or even the subjective constitution of the sensibility in general, the whole constitution, all relations of objects in space and time, as well as space and time, would disappear because, as phenomena, they can not exist in themselves, but only in us. ”
When modern physics discovers that space and time are not absolute, Kant’s center of gravity is “swayed” and objectivity is questioned because the subject becomes part of the phenomenon, so it is not only representation, but “ontological” part.