Arquivo para a ‘Método e Verdade Científica’ Categoria

Asceticism and the dualism between body and soul

18 May

Already in Greek philosophy, self-discipline and self-control of body and mind (or soul) accompanied asceticism as well as the search for truth.

This quest and its corresponding asceticism is present throughout philosophy and even in literature, it is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet “there are more things between heaven and earth than vain philosophy supposes”, but it is from the same play “To be or not to be, this is the question” that refers to ontology.

Freud also said that the main task of an existence is to understand the mind, in contemporary philosophy there is the classic dilemma of separating body and mind (or soul), even Marx proposed to reverse Hegel’s path “from earth to heaven” , clear Hegelian sky.

What is certain is that the civilizing process depends on asceticism, on men as a community and on individual men, because otherwise they will not have anything to bring to the community if it does not have its own asceticism, they will take away the human misery and decadence that they experience.

The body and mind dualism is the one that separates the phenomena of the mind (which would be just mental, in the case of the soul, just spiritual) and the body that are physical and, therefore, are largely separable, there is also today a cheap philosophy that states that what I think will come true, I do not cite the books so as not to give greater popularity to this one without any theoretical or practical basis.

Husserl’s phenomenology will penetrate the ontological category of “intentionality” to remove this obstacle “the peculiarity by virtue of which experiences are experiences of something” (HUSSERL, 2010), and in § 14 of Cartesian Meditations (1931), repeats it o again, but in a more complete way: “The word intentionality does not mean anything other than that fundamental and general particularity of consciousness of being conscious of something, of carrying, in its quality of cogito, its cogitatum in itself” (HUSSERL, 2010).

Husserl and his teacher Franz Brentano recovered Aquinas’s category of intentionality for which the exterior in nature (esse naturale) is how things exist, the forms being distinct from existing in thought (esse intentionale), thereby supporting the mode of existence, in which things exist in the intellect (in intellectu) as “things thought”, but Husserl removes from intentionality the empirical basis and immanent objectivity.

In the previous post, we showed this separation between Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy of Spirit as divergent and even opposite, by admitting that in a certain way there is in consciousness some form of awareness of something that is the basis for phenomenology and then in ontology and existentialism, there is in the consciousness a definite and transcendental form of what is external, but part of the intentionality of consciousness.

The transcendent is present in the mind (or soul) through intentionality, while the transcendental is of a higher order and only becomes knowledge if it can be understood within the transcendental mystery of existence, or we return to nothingness.

Husserl, E. (2010) Meditações Cartesianas. Conferencias de Paris. Phainomenon –Clássicos de Fenomenologia .  Portugal, Lisbon: CFUO.



Controversies of spiritual and philosophical asceticism

17 May

To deny asceticism, one resorts to the idea that it would be impregnated with “Christian exegesis”, however, the literature itself shows that this is a contradiction, since both idealist philosophy tries to remake a vision of what is spiritual in the “Phenomenology of the Spirit” and also more modernly Foucault ( ) will say that the Greeks in the Hellenistic and Roman times would be far from understanding the term we call ascesis. “Our notion of asceticism is, in fact, more or less modeled and impregnated by the Christian conception”. (FOUCAULT, 2004, p.399).

In Michel Inwood’s Hegelian dictionary, we find the concept of Spirit (geist): “Geist includes the most intellectual aspects of the psyche, from intuition to thought and will, but excluding and contrasting with the soul, feeling, etc.”, however Spirit in Hegelian usage has a meaning that is both similar and different from that used in everyday life (in the sense of the soul) and in philosophy, since there is also a “Trinitarian” meaning there.

As in all idealist philosophy, Hegel is a post-Kantian it is good to say, there is a search for overcoming the subject and object duality, for Hegel it is found in the Absolute Spirit, said in such a way as to propitiate an encounter between the subject and the object, forming an identity that takes place within the mutual relationship between subjectivity and objectivity.

While in Kant transcendence is what makes the Subject go to the object, in Hegel it is the Absolute that marks a meeting between the subject and the object, forming an identity that takes place within the mutual relationship between subjectivity and objectivity, but in both there is no Being in transcendence.

It is important to understand this relationship because in it what Hegel treats as an essential intellectual activity takes place, for the intellective apprehension both about the object (which is precisely the moment of alienation as a “going out of the Self”) and about the subject itself (the return to subjectivity after the experience with the object, that is, the Other as he sees it), thus different from the ontology of Husserl, Heidegger and others, who see in this an ontological relationship with Being.

For this, one must penetrate the Hegelian categories: in-itself, of-itself and for-itself, said in the Philosophy of Right as: “In effect, the in-itself is consciousness, but it is also that for which it is a Other (the in-itself): it is for consciousness that the object’s in-itself and its being-for-an-other are the same. The I is the content of the relationship and the relationship itself; it confronts an Other and at the same time surpasses it; and this Other, for him, is only himself” (HEGEL, 2003);

Many contemporary philosophers will see the Other, as something beyond the Self, and a for-itself something beyond the Self and the Other, a “for” beyond.

Although there are controversies both in Hegelian idealism and in his “Trinitarian” dialectical conception, it is important to note that for him the members of a community should always have among the principles the one that “has objectivity, truth and morality” (HEGEL, 2003, §258).


Foucault, Michel. (2004) A hermenêutica do sujeito. Transl. Márcio Alves da Fonseca; Salma Tannus Muchail. Brazil, São Paulo: Martins Fontes.

Hegel, G.W.F. (2003) Princípios da Filosofia do Direito. Transl. Orlando Vitorino. Brazil, São Paulo: Martins Fontes.

Inwood, M. J. (1997) Hegel. Dicionário Hegel. Transl. Álvaro Cabral. Brazil, Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor.


Asceticism as human and spiritual elevation

16 May

It is not specific to a religion and is also defined in philosophy, from the Greek áskesis, “spiritual exercise”, derived from ἀσκέω, “to exercise”, consisting of a practice or more practices that promote spiritual development, the simple idea of ​​renouncing pleasure or the primary needs, must be seen within certain contexts or periods, therefore it is not normal in general and also its opposite does not mean just sinning, but deteriorating, weakening when failing to do certain exercises.

Peter Sloterdijk, an agnostic, speaks of this despiritualized asceticism, in the sense that we are a society of exercises, but that they do not provide either a human or spiritual elevation, a clear example of this is the number of academies that grow in the country and in many places of the world. world, another example is the demonstrations of virility as a human elevation, of course it is important to take care of health, but sometimes excessive exercise and medication do the opposite.

From the human point of view, what we experience is a decadence that goes from the moral to the religious, subjects so clear until recently, today they are seen as having almost absurd controversies to the point of the immoral being considered “normal” and “human” and the religious being identified with atrocities.

The series of humanitarian crises could not fail to affect the economy, these are not simple market crises, they are at the epicenter of wars and economic fallacies, it is not necessary to be an economist to see that simplistic formulas do not work at either extreme: the wild capitalism and socialism without freedom and without human quality.

It seems difficult to recognize what a true spirituality would be then, even with the principle of asceticism, which means human elevation in social relations and in the inherent dignity of every human being, in respect for nature and in the preservation of its benefits, in short, in the love of life .

Even for the concept of peace we go back in history, the pax Roman seems to be the principle for many wars, whatever the one that subdued “enemy” territories to declare peace, not even the eternal peace of contemporary idealism is claimed, although it also have limitations.

It is a harbinger of great tragedies, including war, what is hoped is that somehow forces that still have a human and spiritual background can interpose this contemporary reality and revert the dangerous situation that we all face and few work for its reversal (photo about Pulitzer Prize in 2023).


The Other, the Infinite and the Truth

12 May

The development of the question of Being in modern philosophy is not separated from the religious question, Gadamer recalls the example of the gods in works of art from the Greek world (Gadamer, 1997, p. 18),

The other is treated in different areas of ontology, becoming almost an essential category.

Another important point on the path to Truth, states that it is necessary to recognize: “The finitude of understanding itself is the way in which and where reality, resistance, the absurd, and incomprehensible reaches validity.” (Gadamer, 1997, p.24), and expands this history to the historical one, where he criticizes Dilthey’s romantic historicism and emphasizes that it is not ahistorical.

Thus, the path (or the method) to the Truth is traced the development of the hermeneutic circle as a new and revolutionary method for the Truth, listening to the text (or the Other) and performing a fusion of horizons, where it is possible to see and rethink more clearly the Truth.

The simple elaboration of narratives that justify the power of certain truths is nothing more than a return to the obscurity and opportunism of the modern sophist discourse, now using as a resource the limits and specialties of certain sciences, for example, law and economics that seen in their restricted fields are nothing but sophisms that justify each other.

When analyzing the possibility of the end of metaphysics, Gadamer points out: “If science rises to total technocracy, and thereby covers the sky with the “night of the world” of “forgetfulness of being”, the nihilism predicted by Nietzsche, may if then you keep looking behind the last glint of the sun that went down […]” (GADAMER, 1997, p.27), that is, science is not part of this question.

A true humanism must look to the infinite, not just the one that is now visible through the James Webb megatelescope (which raises many questions as well), it cannot fail to ignore the infinite, the mystery and the religious phenomenon.

For Christians, this truth was revealed humanly and visibly in Jesus, last week we remember the disciples saying “Show us the Father” (Jn 14:8), now on another front Jesus reveals himself more fully to those who follow him (Jn 14:8). 14, 16-17): “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, that he may abide with you always: the Spirit of Truth, which the world is not able to receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him” .

This is not an arrogant Truth, it can and must dialogue with the cultures of our time.

Gadamer, H.G. (1997) Verdade e método. Transl. Flávio Paulo Meurer.  Brazil: Petrópolis, RJ: ed. Vozes.


The fundamental question of the method

11 May

The historical question could not be missing, in fact before the book “The truth and method”, it was a lecture by Gadamer that started this work, called “The question of historical conscience”, the book was corrected and translated into English after publication of the masterpiece, and from this version came the Portuguese version.

Thus the author states: “Because, only with the failure of the naive historicism of the historical century, it becomes evident that the opposition that exists between a-historical-dogmatic and historical, between tradition and historical science, between ancient and modern, is not absolute.” (GADAMER, 1997, p.22).

So it is in the face of this finitude of knowledge that one must depart: “The finitude of understanding itself is the way in which and where reality, resistance, the absurd, and the incomprehensible reaches validity. Anyone who takes this finitude seriously must also take the reality of history seriously” (Gadamer, 1997, p.24), and from there he resumes and reorganizes the hermeneutic circle.

Thus, what he calls effectual history starts from the understanding of “what makes the experience of you so decisive for all self-understanding” (idem), it will be from there that he will elaborate his philosophical hermeneutics, which seems paradoxical, he states: “precisely Heidegger’s critique to transcendental questioning and his thought of the “turn” (Kehre) serves as a basis for the development of the universal hermeneutic problem, which I undertake” (Gadamer, 1997, p.25), and thus for him “language does not arise in the consciousness of those who speaks” and has nothing to do with subjectivity, since the subject’s experience has nothing “mystical” or “mystifying”.

He clarifies that his methodology goes beyond a purely metaphysical view, and says about the method of idealism: “I think that Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is binding, and that propositions that do nothing more than add, by thought, and dialectically, the infinite to the finite, the being in itself to what is humanly experienced, the eternal to the temporal, I consider them as mere extreme determinations, from which, by the strength of philosophy, no knowledge of our own will be able to develop. (GADAMER, 1997, p.26).

With regard to metaphysics, he clarifies that even the Hegelian tradition, which does not abandon the idea of infinity, has: “the tradition of metaphysics and especially its last great formulation, Hegel’s speculative dialectic, contains a constant proximity.” (idem).

And he resumes Heidegger’s question of the oblivion of being: “What does the end of metaphysics mean, as a science? What does it mean to finish in science? If science rises to total technocracy, and thereby covers the sky with the “night of the world” of the “oblivion of being”, the nihilism predicted by Nietzsche, then one can look behind the last glint of the sun that has set […]” (GADAMER, 1997, p.27).

The opening to the Other opens up a perspective of merging the horizons of the Being, which applies a new meaning to the text (or discourse) and allows one to question oneself about the truth and reach it, this is the hermeneutic circle.

Gadamer, H.G. (1997) Verdade e método. Transl. Flávio Paulo Meurer.  Brazil: Petrópolis, RJ: ed. Vozes.




Truth and Hermeneutics

10 May

It was Hans-Georg Gadamer who developed and founded a deeper criterion for making a correct interpretation of method and truth (the name of his two-volume book) in the human sciences, and it is not about opposing the natural sciences, but giving the sciences social a soul and a “spirit”, even the one understood strictly in non-religious thought, but that actually seeks the truth and not the syllogism, pure logic or even sophistry.

Gadamer clarifies right at the beginning of his masterpiece: “The fact that I used the expression “hermeneutics”, weighing an old tradition on my shoulders, certainly led to misunderstandings” (GADAMER, 1997, p. 14) .

Returning to the question of the natural sciences, the author clarifies the misunderstanding “the famous Kantian distinction between the questionio juries and the questionio facti” (Gadamer, 1997, . 16), it was not a question of a court of reason, but “.It posed a philosophical question, that is, he asked about the conditions of our knowledge, through which modern science becomes possible, and what is the scope of science” (idem).

Thus his philosophical behavior in response to the question: “what is knowledge” was developing the temporal analysis of existence: “which Heidegger developed, I think, convincingly showed that understanding is not a way of being, among other modes of behavior of the subject, but the way of being of the pre-sence itself (Dasein)” (ibidem).

Before entering the question of history, he seeks its origins by stating: “However, where is the world and the afterworld really separated? How does the vital significance of the originary pass into the reflective experience of the significance of formation?” (GADAMER, 1997, p. 17).

Humanism had not been separated from the religious phenomenon: “One should recognize and admit that an ancient image of gods, for example, which was not represented in the temple as a work of art for the aesthetic enjoyment of reflection, and which today has its representation in the modern museum, contains within itself the universe of religious experience.” (GADAMER, 1997, p. 18).

Thus, before reflecting on history, Gadamer will reflect on art, and does not fall into the dualism of subjectivism, he exposes his conviction that: “Thus, no one will convince me, objecting to me that the reproduction of a musical work of art is interpretation in a different sense than, for example, the achievement of understanding in reading poetry or looking at an image.” (GADAMER, 1997, p. 19).

The artistic experience in its “method” and “truth” is not exclusive, but it is the one that allows greater breadth in its conception of what really leads us to the “method” that guides the “truth”.

Gadamer, H.G. (1997) Verdade e método. transl. Flávio Paulo Meurer.  Brazil: Petrópolis, RJ: ed. Vozes.


Understand, see and believe

05 May

Not being able to have a category for itself that contemplates the Whole, beyond the universe and its mysteries, the Being that precedes everything and everyone, Hegel’s category for itself returns to be the one that Sartre sees with the return to being- purely human in itself and finds nothingness instead of everything.

Yes, it is a mystery, how the universe itself reveals itself, even penetrating the depths of our Being we will only find both the being-in-itself revealed as designo (in the sense of divine designer) if we truly find the for-itself, and in this case as there is an infinite mystery, it is necessary to believe.

But it is not a blind belief, or pure fanaticism, not even an act of elevated altruism, it must be an encounter with our own Being, there we sit in a comfortable armchair and understand that we were born to build, grow and love, without these premises , the opposite will be dangerous and when taken to the whole society, hatred, intolerance and in the end: war prevails.

It is not the threat of a divine Being who created us for perfection, it is the threat of those who deny more than the need for a supreme Being and Knowledge (Plato called it the Supreme Good), which cannot be realized except in the fullness of a pure Being that is Being-in, Being-for-Itself and being-from-above that humanity becomes.

Hegel came close to a trinitarian concept, but idealism prevented him, since there is an intrinsic dualism in him, which divides objectivity (of being-in-itself) from subjectivity (of being-for-itself).

This difficulty was striking in Thomas who wanted to see and touch the marks on the body of the Risen Jesus, also in another passage (a little forgotten) Philip asks Jesus to “show the father”*, to which Jesus replies: whoever sees me, sees the Father .

The historical Jesus cannot be denied, he is not a myth, nor a symbolic fact, there was a man in himself, a God-for-himself and a man/God-of-himself in relation to humanity.

* The specific passage of the Bible is in John 14, 8-9: Philip said: “Lord, show us the Father, that is enough for us!” Jesus answered: “Have I been with you so long, and you don’t know me, Philip? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”



Being immanent and transcendent

03 May

These philosophy concepts are difficult to understand if we don’t put them into everyday life, rather rudely let’s think like this: what we have inside and defines us as your “I” is internal and immanent to me, what I have external and defines as the beyond me is “transcendent”, the Other and for those who have some belief in the Divine.

Of course, these concepts are not quite like that, the immanent is here that is inseparably present in a being or object in nature, it is inseparable from it and the being cannot be thought without it, for Kantianism, it concerns the concept and precepts of cognitive content.

The transcendent, on the other hand, is that which transcends the physical nature of being and things, corroborating with the immanent of Kantianism, this current defines it as that which is present in the object and outside the subject, something that is external to it and can only be known by “transcendence”, see the cognitive aspect present again.

Returning to the previous post, the categories in-itself, of-itself and for-itself can and are present in this type of immanence/transcendence based on idealism (Kant and later Hegel), which states “in the beginning, self-consciousness is pure for-itself”, thus it is absolute independence, it affirms that its transcendence in relation to everything that is for-Other, thus being is trapped in this binary Without-in-itself and for-itself, as Sartre will detect in his book “Being and Nothingness”.

Thus there is no alter, there is no Other purely outside and beyond being-in-itself, this stops in the sense of the Greek para (as paramedic, parameter, etc.) but a return to in-itself, thus self-consciousness it is linked to the ego and not to any cosmological or divine possibility.

Hegel states: “Self-consciousness is in itself and for itself when and because it is in itself and for itself for an Other; I mean, it’s just like something recognized. (…)” (Hegel, 1992, p. 126)

However, it is possible to define a relationship between immanence and transcendence without dualisms, so the being-in-itself, the one that defines itself internally and with its properties, can have a relationship with everything that is outside, the objects and the Other (which is in a sense plural form).

There is a transcendence outside, which is beyond knowledge, which one can have through the use of language, human relations and contemplative intuition, it is the Being-for-itself that completes and defines being-in-itself (gives it a transcendent identity), establishes a self-relationship with nature and with the Other and finds in divine contemplation a Being for-itself that is an origin of everything and beyond ex-sistence (ex – outside, sistence – strong, eternal ), which is essence for the previous definitions, as it is pure Being.


Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (2018) [1807]. The phenomenology of spirit. Cambridge Hegel Translations. Translated by Pinkard, Terry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Being, Nothingness and the Other

02 May

In 2023, the 80th anniversary of the publication of Being and Nothingness: an essay on phenomenological ontology (1943) by Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980), under the strong influence of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time, will complete a path different from others. existentialists who see in the Other a special meaning that Sartre does not.

It was not by chance that he said “Hell is other people!”, Sartre saw before human consciousness a “condemnation” to freedom, thus he sees in consciousness a self-centered definition: “Man is nothing more than what he makes of himself”.

It is so self-centered that her romance with Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), after Sartre’s death she wrote “The Farewell Ceremony” in 1981, and when she died she was buried in the same tomb of Sartre, in the Montparnasse Cemetery. , never lived in the same house, she who in her time already shouted feminist themes (The Second Sex, 1949) and he in his self-centered conception.

They always read each other’s works, and the existentialist influence is clear in Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and De Beauvoir’s The Guest, but recent scholars show that the writer has other influences besides Sartre, such as Hegel and Leibniz.

It is important, in the categories treated by Sartre, to analyze Hegel’s in-itself, of-itself and for-itself.

De Beauvoir’s analysis of the Other, comes from this influence of Hegel, where the social construction of woman as a quintessence of “Other”, indicates that the capital “O” of Others indicates “all others”, and this indicates both women , as Other in other religions, cultures and ethnicities.

Due to this distinct position on the Other (his hell), and an agnostic par excellence, Sartre goes on to say that in the human case (and only in the human case) existence precedes essence, thus man first exists and then defines himself, so if there is no human preset, there is no God.

At least one Other was always present in his life, his companion and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, who, not by chance, did not fail to address the subject directly.

Sartre, Jean-Paul.(1984) Being and Nothingness. Trans. Hazel E. Barnes. New York: Washington Square Press.



Two utopias in conflict

27 Apr

There is no room for poetry, for enchantment, for contemplation, the society of efficiency and performance transforms thought in the sensual, commercial and lucrative sense, pure living within the inefficient and empty egocentrism, the Being empties itself and desperately seeks the aroma and taste where there is not only a deified nothingness.

There is no room even for deified thought, loose phrases draw sighs, “the cow does not give milk” says a good Brazilian philosopher, but what is work and does it make sense to laborans (see the previous post) to produce modified milk that arrives modified on the shelves and now very expensive.

Another asks for teachers and says that “being crazy is the only possibility of being healthy in this sick world”, but what disease is he talking about, if there weren’t healthy and serene people in whom simple people can be inspired, it is necessary to be sane in order to be able to talk about the wholesome and the praiseworthy.

There is no ethics without ethical beings, it is true that the great metanarratives have failed, but the polarization forces the new sophists to justify themselves in historically outdated and outdated narratives, none of them was able to avoid war, and which science is capable of avoiding it ?

I read a sentence by Morin, and I already posted here that the idea of peace requires a certain utopia, in an interview in 2000 with Rede Cultura (in Brazil, below), he speaks of two utopias: a negative one that promises a perfect world, in which everyone is reconciled and there is a perfect harmony, this one is impossible (and I would say a liar) and the other positive thing is to realize the most perfect world, it is not “The brave new world” by Aldous Huxley (not by chance, chatGTP chose it as one of the 10 greatest films) , she says something is impossible but it can be achieved: a world of peace and a world without hunger, are achievable.

Without freedom and fraternity, human utopia does not come true, authoritarianism is a negative utopia.

Trying to reduce inequalities, increase tolerance between different cultures, respect the rights of peoples, races and genders, what is missing, says Edgar Morin, is to increase “the state of consciousness and thought that allows realization”

He knows that there are extremely negative forces that, when helping a country that suffers from starvation, aid is diverted by bureaucracy and corruption, he explains that fraternity must come from citizens and would say that surveillance too, if we justify corruption and bureaucracy we do not help to solve problems essential to human life.

There are possible utopian solutions, as stated by Morin, who calls them positive.