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Arquivo para a ‘Information Science’ Categoria

Still love in Saint Augustine

22 Oct

What made Hannah Arendt conclude that a Civilization of Love was not possible, in addition to her personal experience as a Jew who would not return to her “home” in Israel, she still had to make plans for this, is the misunderstanding of Caritas Agápico , the true love.

Philosopher Julia Kristeva released a reserved report by advisor Karl Jaspers about her advisor Hannah Arendt, it seemed to her that her student that her student at the time “[…] was able to underline the essentials, but that she simply did not meet everything Augustine said about love. […] Some errors appear in the quotes. […] The method exerts some violence on the text. […] The author wants, through a philosophical work of ideas, to justify her freedom in relation to Christian possibilities, which, however, attract her. […] Unfortunately, it does not deserve the highest mention [cum laude]. Indeed, Arendt seems to favor, in Augustine, the philosopher, to the detriment of the theologian. ” (KRISTEVA, 2002, p. 41).

Philosopher Kristeva points out the essential point by going deeper into Augustine’s thought, and asks what kind of love the philosopher referred to and whether there was more than one type of love, in addition to the already known filia, agape and Eros: “Numerous terms decline the concept of love in Augustine: love, desire (with its two variants, appetitus and libido), charity, lust, forming a true ‘constellation of love’ (…) ”. (KRISTEVA, 2002, p. 42).

What was revolutionary about Augustine’s strong Christian message, in addition to his intellectual and theological capacity, was the notion of liberation from ancient laws, which some incorrectly call legalism (these are not “human” laws), centering on love the basis of religion was possible to overcome Augustine’s previous affiliation with Manichaean dualism, to which a good part of theology and philosophy are still attached, the latter but more linked to current rational-idealism.

It will be impossible to think of a civilization that overcomes hatred, violence and the dualistic division of society without true charity, one that extends to all, one that admits diversity, and one that seeks justice, as Augustine thought: “where there is no charity there can be no justice ”, and thus the greatest desire for justice must be based on charity, even if it seems too altruistic, or mushy, just look at what hatred has built but wars and violence.

The set of volumes of Julia Kristeva’s “Female Genius” (1941-) is to analyze and pay tribute to three thinkers of the 20th century, perhaps the best known Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), Melanie Klein (1882-1960) and Colette (1873-1954).

Julia Kristeva is considered a structuralist (or post), along with Gérard Genette, Lévi Strauss, Jacques: Marie Lacan, Michel Foucault and Althusser, she also has an important work on semiotics. as a mosaic of quotations ”(Kristeva, 2005, p. 68) and also:“ The text does not name or determine an exterior ”(KRISTEVA, 2005, p. 12), thus stating that literature does not account for the real.

 

KRISTEVA, Julia (2002). O genio feminino. The female genius: life, madness and words. Rio de Janeiro: Rocco.

KRISTEVA, Julia (2005) Introdução à semanálise. Introduction to semanysis. Translation by Lúcia Helena França Ferraz. 2nd ed. São Paulo: Perspectiva.

 

 

 

Love in Saint Augustine

20 Oct

This was Hannah Arendt’s doctoral thesis with direct influences from Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, initially his supervisor, who later passed the guidance to Karl Jaspers due to his personal involvement with Arendt, so some understanding of phenomenology and existential ontology is needed.

We ended last week with a reflection on politics and religion precisely from the compilation of Posthumous Works by Arendt herself, and what we want to point out is the possibility of a civilization based on the principles of Love, in the sense of charity (theological virtue) and as Augustine saw it.

Far from being an apology for this elevated form of Love, it sees contradictions and will develop the question of love for God, love for one’s neighbor and oneself, and uses phenomenology to deepen this theme, but it is a hasty conclusion to say that phenomenology opposes or even favors these feelings, which in themselves are rather contradictory, for example, love for one’s neighbor and oneself has different nuances for the vast majority of people.

His conclusion is that it is not possible to form a human society based only on charitable love (always remembering that it is a theological virtue and not simple generosity) and the central point is to analyze Augustine only from a philosophical point of view, since Arendt he had no interest in the theological aspects.

Arendt for dividing his dissertation into three parts is due to a desire to do justice to Augustinian thoughts and theories that run in parallel. Thus, each part “will serve to show three conceptual contexts in which the problem of love plays a decisive role” (this quote is taken from an English translation that Hannah Arendt herself works with and differs from Portuguese).

The first part Arendt will analyze “What do I love, when I love my God?” (Confessions X, 7, 11 apud Arendt p. 25), in the second part she discusses the relationship between the creature and the creator, she titled the chapter “Creature and Creator: the remembered past”, and in the third part she discusses social charity.

In the first part, the author discovers that God is the quintessence of his inner self, God is the essence of his existence, and when he finds God in himself, man finds what he lacked: his eternal essence. Here, love for God can relate to self-love, for man can love himself in the right way by loving his own essence.

In the end, the second part will discuss the relationship with others, how to love them as God’s creation: “[…] man loves the world as God’s creation; in the world the creature loves the world as God loves. This is the realization of a self-denial in which everyone, including yourself, simultaneously regains its God-given importance. This achievement is love of neighbor. ”

In the third part of the dissertation, entitled “Social Life”, which Arendt dedicates to what she calls “social caritas”, the relevance of the neighbor, and the love for neighbor gain new justification, will discuss the adamic principle of sin and will say that this is the principle that will link us to Christ, who comes to redeem us from this sin.

Here the contradiction with Augustine appears: “It is because all men share this past that they must love each other:“ the reason why one must love one’s neighbor is because their neighbor is fundamentally their equal and both share the same sinful past ”, so it is not the foundation of Love, but of sin that makes us equal to others nearby. ”

By choice, man must deny the world and found a new society in Christ. “This defense is the foundation of the new city, the city of God. […] This new social life, which is based on Christ, is defined by mutual love (diligire invicem) ”, there is a work by Augustine dedicated to this:“ city of God ”, and the thesis that is only so philosophical it focuses only on the mundane (or human, as you wish) relationship, it does not see man as having a divine origin and made for Love.

For Arendt what makes us brothers and I can love them in caritas, in true love, and this is expressed in Augustine, according to Arendt, reconciles the isolation generated by the commandment to love God with the commandment that says to love your neighbor, ending the dissertation.

According to Kurt Blumenfeld, a friend of Arendt who had great importance in his involvement with Judaism and politics, the answer to the question was Zionism and a return to Palestine, but emigration there was never part of Arendt’s plans. vita socialis your answer about Love, did not understand caritas.

Arendt, Hannah. (1929) On the concept of love in the thought of Saint Augustine: Attempt at a philosophical interpretation(PDF) (Doctoral thesis, Department of Philosophy, University of Heidelberg) (in German). Berlin: Springer. 

 

What is politics?

13 Oct

Politics has become an absolute imperative, even in pandemic times when health and sanitary issues should occupy the top of the concerns, they do not subside, and the polarization that has been serious for a few years becomes even more dramatic, polarizing even topics that should be unanimous, such as health.

Hannan Arendt has a thought-provoking essay, published as posthumous works, and organized and compiled by Ursula Lutz, and dating from 1950, had a publication in Brazil in 1998.

Concerned with the dramas of its time, two wars, it also seems to point to our current scenario: “the positive sense of the” political thing “starts from two basic experiences of our century, which overshadowed this sense and transformed it into its opposite: the emergence of totalitarian systems in the form of Nazism and Communism, and the fact that today politics has technical means, in the form of the atomic bomb, to exterminate Humanity and, with it, all kinds of politics ”, described the preface Kurt Sontheimer, from the German version of 1992.

Arendt in Fragment 1, elaborates seven assumptions and discusses them: 1. The policy is based on the plurality of men, 2. The policy deals with the coexistence between different, 3. When one sees more than participation in the family, that is , active participation in plurality, you start to play God, that is, to act as if you could leave, in a natural way, the principle of diversity. Rather than generating a man, we try to create man in the image of himself (I stretched this on purpose), 4. Man, as philosophy and theology know him, exists – or is realized – in politics only with regard to the equal rights that the most different guarantee themselves.

I would say that these are almost proto-principles, but it is in the following 3 that he bases his thinking on philosophy.

The fifth will have subtopics. Philosophy has two good reasons for not limiting itself to just finding the place where politics arises. The first is: a) Zoon politikon: * as if in man there was something political that belonged to his essence, in this the author disputes Aristotle saying that politics is “among men”, b) The monotheistic conception of God, in whose image man must have been created.

The sixth: it is difficult to understand that we must actually be free in a field, that is, neither moved by ourselves nor dependent on the given material. Freedom exists only within the particular scope of the intra-political concept. We are saved from this freedom just in the “necessity” of history. An abominable absurdity.

The seventh: It may be that the task of politics is to build a world as transparent to the truth as God’s creation. In the sense of the Judeo-Christian myth, this would mean: man, created in the image of God, was given the genetic capacity to organize men in the image of divine creation. Probably absurd – but it would be the only possible demonstration and justification for the idea of ​​the law of Nature.

It is only from there that the author begins her introduction on the question of what is politics, in times of polarization the theme is urgent.

 

Arendt, Hannah, (1998) “O que é política” (1950), obras póstumas 1992, compiladas por Ursula Ludz. Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil.

 

 

The party and the guests

09 Oct

Babette’s party is an allegory to a divine party, and the mysterious cook who humbly works for a long time in a house until she can announce and hold the party, although suspicious guests accept and feel their lives renewed.

What we live in pandemic times is the absence of the party, but the real party to which we have all been invited is that of fraternity for all and a greater balance in the distribution of incomes, in the treatment of different cultures and respect for human dignity. far from being a party.

Who were the guests, primarily those who claim to have these principles and who are not always practiced, that is, they participate more in the parties of wealth, power and their benefits than promote the party that everyone could participate.

The pandemic should be an awareness, deprived of the party, we should think about those who have always been deprived, and not try to promote even in the pandemic our private party where friends participate.

The biblical parable (Mt, 22,1-14) of the wedding feast in which a king calls the guests and they make excuses for not attending, is a good explanation for what happens to those who were invited and who were not and the excluded who are called to the party and they go, we would say one last awareness.

The guests, we would say in biblical terms the elect, were not, so the king sends his servants to go to the squares, at the crossroads of the paths and call as many as they find for the party, but at the party he still notices someone who is not wearing the right clothes (picture is engraved of Jan Luyken).

The biblical allegory is to say that among those who are not invited there are also those who are not worthy to participate in the divine feast

 

Babette’s feast

08 Oct

Babette´s feast is one of Karen Blixen’s most celebrated tales (1885–1962), tells the story of two puritanical ladies, daughters of a Protestant pastor, who live a very oppressive life until her father dies, the tale became famous after being filmed by the Danish director, being the first Blixen film to be filmed by the Danish Film Institute , and the first to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The script was adapted by Just Betzer, Bo Christensen and Benni Korzen, in it Filippa (Bodil Kjer) and Martine (Birgitte Federspiel) are daughters of the strict Lutheran shepherd, who after his death, appears in the village Babette (Stéphane Audran), a Parisian who offers to be the cook and cleaning lady of the family.

Many years after working in the house, she receives the news that she won a big lottery prize and offers to prepare a French gala dinner in celebration of the pastor’s 100th birthday, the parishioners initially fearful, accept babette’s banquet.

The symbolism of the film is strong, the shades of blue slightly contrasted, are on the border between heaven and earth is almost imperceptible, amid the gray landscape of Denmark, a first image foreshadows a different communion in a place between earthly and heavenly things.

Another aspect of symbology is the fish, very influential in early Christianity, but it is the table that was able to re-connect those people with a true self, and awaken them again a sense for the life they had lost some time ago.

The dance of the participants around the people (photo), also a religious symbology, is a high point of this resumption of meaning of the lives of those people.

What Babette’s art, the food made with love and art, was to create on the table a “kind of loving involvement”, but “in a loving involvement of that noble and romantic category in which the person no longer distinguishes between appetite or satiety, bodily and spiritual!”, as the author of the original play herself describes, Blixen thus expresses the deepest of his expression in this tale.

 

 

Eça de Queirós and the eating table

06 Oct

Being in Portugal in 2018, and the Uab (Universidade Aberta) being very close to Confeitaria Cister, where Eça de Queiroz attended, there is even a drawing of the song he liked to stay and write there (photo), I remember the Portuguese table remembering this corner of Lisbon, and Eça’s writings on the dining table.

One of the most common texts on the subject is an article known as “Archaeological cuisine”, published in 1893, in Gazeta de Notícias, Lisbon, Portugal. In it Eça stated: “the table has always been one of the strongest, if not the strongest foundation of human societies” and also “the character of a race can be deduced simply from its method of roasting the meat” (III, p. 1226)

Eça anticipated the reflections of historians such as Jean François-Revel (1996) and Massimo Montanari (2004), for whom the values ​​of the food system are the result of the representation of cultural processes and relationships develop according to economic, nutritional and symbolic criteria.

The author not only proposed observations of cuisine in classical societies, but also considered that gastronomy has an arché, a basic element of the representations of Portuguese society, which was noticed by several of its readers and critics, the food awoke, for example, Machado de Assis’s attention as early as 1878.

The Brazilian fashion, Machado de Assis saw there in Eça an unnecessary abundance, the argument about this type of excess is opposed to the gastronomic coherence that is constituted throughout the work, the food is related to the excess of this literary school, if Eça had not continued to be careful with this theme, care should increase both in quantity and in quality in the following works and versions, reinforcing for example that the author of “Os Maias” may have found in the kitchen the fundamental elements of his project of represent Portugal through its most characteristic features.

What is certain is that the table expands to cultural and social values, as well as literary schools,  the times of development of societies and cultures reflect them.

ASSIS, Machado. Eça de Queirós: O Primo Basílio. In: Obra Completa. V. III. Rio de Janeiro: Aguillar, 1997.

 

Plato’s banquet

06 Oct

At banquets, tables and food sharing celebrate many things, including dialogue on essential topics.

Occurring around 380 BC it is a dialogue, and there are some who prefer the translation of Greek as Symposium (in ancient Greek sympotein means “to drink together”), and the central theme is Love, between eros and agape, and the central character as in most of his dialogues are Socrates.

Also in the dialogue Aristophanes and Ágaton (or Agatão), in his house there had been a previous banquet in celebration of the literary prize he had won, in this banquet Socrates and other participants spoke about “love”, Apolodoro and Glaucon, Aristodemo and Agaton himself.

Glaucon considers Apolodoro as crazy because he despises the material, Ágaton means “good” in Greek, good things and love lead to the practice of good and beautiful, and if we knew the practice of love the good it does, men would make an army of lovers, reminiscent of the army of banos, whose front was Pelopidas and Epaminondas in 371 BC

Phaedrus’ speech is that the love worshiped by men reveals them to be more virtuous and happier during life and after death, but it is in cosmogony that the speeches will oppose, while Phaedrus sees the origin of Eros as a very ancient god, without mention of parents, he was born next to Geia (land) after Chaos.

Pausanias the second to speak, contrary to Phaedrus, there are several Eros, he was the son of Aphrodite, and two Aphrodites, a daughter of Uranus and another of Zeus, that of Zeus generates vulgar eros and that of Uranus a heavenly Eros.

Eriximaco approves the distinction of Pausânias on the duplicity of Love and, universalist, extends it to every cosmos: “great and admirable, and it extends to everything, both in the order of human and divine things”, being a doctor says that the love and concord provide harmony, combining opposites (the healthy and the morbid) that extend throughout the universe: “one must keep one love and the other…”.

Aristophanes will insist on the power that love has over historical nature, using the myth of the androgens, legitimizing homo-affection and the unbridled search for what we now call “soul mates”, which is a search for perfectionism and in a way narcissism . Socrates praises the fact that Agaton began to show nature and what are the works of Love, but then follows his classic Question method: “Is Love such that it is Love of something or nothing?”, Ágaton confirms that Love is Love of something. Which “something” is Love from and continues with the question: “Does Love, what it is love, does it want it or not?” and the banquet follows the fashion of the Greek classics.

The banquet, the table at which everyone sits is the important part of this dialogue, seems so classic and so present, but we would add a question and Francisco de Assis, remembered these days, he said with conviction: “Love is not loved”, so before to be an instrument as stated by Agaton is itself something to be used as an instrument, at a time of so much pain in humanity, or else the Socratic way of asking: “Is Love loved?”

Plato, (2003). The Symposium, trans. by Christopher Gill. London: Penguin.

 

 

 

The importance of weak links

29 Sep

In network theory, weak links are important, not in network media like facebook, instagram or other media, networks are forms of interpersonal relationships linked to certain interests and groups (hubs) that are important and could be more if they were understood dirty features and operating modes.

The weak link of a network, someone who is on the periphery of it and with little contact with the central group (the hubs) are in fact the great potential of these networks, in social life, in science and even in politics they were people with little connection with the power groups that made a difference.

Li from Alan Turing, creator of the modern digital computer model, who are “the times of people that nobody expects anything to do things that nobody can imagine”, he participated in a secret project at Bell Laboratories that unveiled the secret of the Enigma machine, of codification of messages of the Nazis during the 2nd. World War.

Einstein went to several schools, and it is not true that he was a poor student, he hated them all. his parents and teachers thought he had mental limitations, when in fact the school did not inspire him at all, he considered them weak.

Stevie Jobs, too, took little interest in his studies and was an easygoing student in the classroom, in a primary classroom when a teacher asked if they understood the universe, heard his reply that he did not understand “it is because we were so broke”.

Many are the simple people who point to a period of great difficulties, only media thinkers, networks of interests with audiences who want to hear certain responses to the current situation that are successful, in general they say that the pandemic is nothing, that when it passes let’s be happy, so it’s not just politicians looking at a complex reality with simplistic and poorly elaborated responses.

At the end of last week we said that “the last ones will be the first”, now we say something more than that, they are the ones that can make a difference, especially in the context of social and health severity that we are entering, in the “social network theory” Mark Granovetter, who studied the subject, explains that because they are distant, it is these weak ties that are able to take the message to be “shared” with people and groups from other circles, expanding the network.

GRANOVETTER, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. In: American Journal of Sociology, University.

 

 

 

So the last ones will be the first ones

25 Sep

It doesn’t matter that you show that you do things well, that you keep up appearances, that you are always in a prominent place, even in politics and in religious services and celebrations, the real conscience is that the intention is linked, and the intentionality is the consciousness directed to “something”, says phenomenology.

So that the new normality, not that of the post-pandemic, but that of the post-civilization crisis and everything indicates that it is on its way, can reverse the logic of the wickedness of the powerful, the oppressors and the Pharisees, only true solidarity will count, only it will be able to sustain the new course, which may not come from a new normality, because it was already distant before the pandemic, just read the serious literature that is not that of the media.

The fragile and the defenseless have become even more fragile in the pandemic, but the logic of power will be inverted by an aortic phenomenology, that which comes from the inorganic over the organic, comes from nature to the human, and from the cosmos to the planet, as stated Morin in his “introduction to complexity” the whole is in the part, the cosmos and nature in each individual, as the part is in the whole, we are responsible for everything that happens in Nature.

It is in cosmology and not in the systemic view, it is in aorganic holism and not in Cartesian holism, it is in mystique and not in pharisaism or ideology linked to religion, which is another type of religion without asceticism, the change comes from a long night of humanity, but you can concentrate on a visible night.

The poet Hölderling stated “where there is fear there is salvation”, and the moment of apprehension of humanity waiting for a vaccine must think of a vaccine that will remove the blindfold from the blindness of thought, Edgar Morin advocated this evening, and Peter Sloterdijk stated that it is not a favorable time for the exercise of thought, we are petrified in systemic and doctrinal logic that does not allow us to perceive a new one over the horizon.

That is why the last will be the first, simple people have the intuition of this possible change, the true sages want it, not as the powerful want it, but as the fragments of the social pandemic, irrational doctrine and closed in their bubble´s dream .

Those who blaspheme against religions affirm as the prophet Ezekiel said in the old testament (Ezek. 18,25): “You are saying: the Lord’s conduct is not correct. Hear, you of the house of Israel. Is it my conduct that is not correct, or is it your conduct that is not correct? “, the humbles can understand.

This is how the last will be the first, and the workers of the last hour will be, as the biblical parable says, those who called at the end of the day went to work and received the same payment as those who arrived at the beginning of the day, had not just gone because they had not been called (Mt 21: 28-32).

 

The unexpected and the action

23 Sep

Among many thoughts that impacted me on the almost centenary Edgar Morin, his relationship with the unexpected is the most interesting and wise, he said this relationship “makes us prudent”, and he said this referring to science.

The virus took us by surprise, but the arrogance of many media people did not fail to analyze the pre-pandemic, the pandemic itself and the post-pandemic, there are no mysteries in life for them, but what we see is still very mysterious.

Morin says, “as much as it is known that everything that happened and important in world history or in our life was totally unexpected, it continues to act as if nothing unexpected has happened from now on”, and it is very likely that more things unexpected happen if we know some laws of complexity or chaos theory.

It is true indicates the thinker, “complexity needs some strategy”, we would like to have “segments programmed for sequences where the random does not intervene”, but this is a situation that automatic pilotage is not recommended, says the thinker: “simple thinking solves simple problems without thought ”, is not the case.

The complex thought is “to give each one a memo, a brand, to remember: don’t forget that the new can come and, in any case, it will come”, I found what I wanted because my intuition says this, something new is going to happen .

It is at this starting point that Morin points to “a richer, less mutilating action”, which would be, says “the less a thought is mutilating, the less it will mutilate humans”, but many do not think, ignore the future.

Abnormal and simplifying would be if after an absolutely abnormal year in the history of mankind, everything went back to everyday life or the “triviality” that some mutilating thoughts insist on saying, and the term “new normality” is also mutilating, because the question is whether there will be normality after this year.

The possible action that should be thought of by each one in particular, but by everyone as a society is how to minimize losses, how to reorganize life, how to overcome pain or at least bear it, and help those who cannot bear it.

It will take an abnormal fraternity, one that only a few have ever lived, and those who preach them live for real.

MORIN, Edgar. (2008) Preparar-se para o inesperado (prepare for the unexpected). In: MORIN, Edgar. Introdução ao pensamento complexo. Tradução de Dulce Matos. Lisboa: Instituto Piaget, pp.120-122.