Arquivo para a ‘Information Philosophy’ Categoria

Power and domination

21 Feb

We’ve written in our previous essays about the difference between power and domination, and while it can be wielded with wisdom and discernment, most of the time it devolves into the purest form of domination: control of opinions and narratives and the exercise of force for this, so it’s very easy to become pure domination.

Byung Chul Han in his book “The swarm” that talks about “psychopolitical” domination discusses the use of media and its control for this, current trends in the use of AI make this more dangerous.

We wrote in a previous post here, long before this war tension looms over our civilization:

“Symmetry, reciprocity, the understanding of human diversity and respect for it are almost always ignored in the models of the beginning of the 20th century, returning to them is nothing but a harbinger of a greater tragedy: the civilizational crisis with deeper roots than the previous ones”, we wrote this well before the beginning of the war in Eastern Europe.

Understanding that this is part of models of political domination of opinions and power narratives, Byung Chul Han’s analysis in his book: “What is power” shows the efficiency of using new media as an efficient and directing form of control even of our “freedoms”.

Among his analyses, we find among several discussions around modern and contemporary philosophy and the routine practices of postmodernity one that is particularly important and that escapes many analyses: gamification.

The game that, in general, motivates participants with its reward system that produces immediate sensations of success is also an exploration tool in psychopolitics. Social communication manifests itself in the grammatical lack of Twitter, in the affective appeal of the like and in the alienation promoted by influencers.

Thus, wanting, which is manageable according to our possibilities and the Other’s reactions, is trained in electronic games as a compulsive wanting, the desire is to “kill” the enemy, and the increasingly compulsive rhythm is being dictated by battles and speed in battles. answers.

Even if you can find advantages in gamification or think of it in educational terms: building a house, a farm or making knowledge games, there is a strong predominance of “battles” and domains of territories.

Han, Byung-Chul. (2018) What is power?. NY; Wiley. 



The idealist crisis and the ontological recovery

01 Feb

The evolution of the Enlightenment in both politics and economics culminated in Hegelianism, after passing through Kant’s critique of reason, it is the last great theory that seeks to realize an “integrated” totality, subject to “dialectical” contradictions (it is different from the dialectic of classical antiquity) and, according to his model, the ultimate aim would be to reach the full spiritual essence, which has little or nothing to do with religiosity.

It was thus the dialectical materialist asceticism that ended in an enormous void and in the “forgetfulness of being”, a term used by Heidegger to contradict the theories that since Descartes have emptied and criticized the metaphysical reading of reality, in the etymology of the word meta-physis, in this case the Greek, since its origin is from there, according to Aristotle it was the first science, it gave solid knowledge about things, and the study is confused with ontology, the “being as being”.

For Kant this study is confused with that of customs, it is a non-empirical or rational knowledge, his study on morality and “subjectivity” will start from this relationship with cultural customs and here there is already a strong dose of relativism, and deepens the dualism between Subject x Object, forgetting the “Being”.

So that which is subjective, theoretical or metaphysical is falling into disrepute and theories of objectivity, practicality and empirical realism grow, this will not be done without contradiction, but the very definition of idealist dialectic is this, the development of this concept from from yourself.

Plato defined dialectics as the art of thinking, questioning and organizing ideas (Greek eidos – image, we already posted something), so neither theory is out of the question (idealism is also a theory, by the way, not very practical) , neither metaphysics nor “being”.

The theo-ontology of the end of the measured age will establish the relations between the entity and the being, according to Thomas Aquinas he “is infinite. Therefore, if it becomes finite, it must be limited by something, which has the capacity to receive it, that is, by the essence”, present in his thesis “The entity and the essence”.

Amidst the crisis of idealist thought, see the previous post, a new current emerges from Franz-Brentano in the mid-nineteenth century, which resumes phenomenology and ontology working on the intentionality of human consciousness, which was a specific study in Thomas Aquinas, to try to describe, understand and interpret the phenomena as they appear to perception.

Brentano was Husserl’s teacher, who rereads Descartes and Kant, and elaborates phenomenology with a different meaning given by his teacher Brentano, seeks to separate what is empirical, so the phenomenon of the mental act is not something that appears instantly in the mind, but depends on the memory and elaborates from there the concepts of protension and retension, the discussion about what is consciousness today reaches the objects of Artificial Intelligence.

Heidegger was a student of Husserl, and from him one can consider both the linguistic turn (not all authors agree) and the ontological resumption.


Human consciousness and machinic sentience

27 Jan

Consciousness involves human spiritual aspects (in the idealist philosophy called subjectivity) and that which makes man have a true ascesis that elevates his character, his attitudes and his morals in a progressive learning scale, where the error is admitted, but corrected in a humane way .

Sentience is the fact that we have a conscious perception of our feelings, it is the ability of beings (humans, because we do not believe that even a sophisticated machine can have this asceticism), and in beings it begins to feel sensations and feelings consciously.

The less we manage to be aware of our feelings, the less we have sentience and the less ability to understand our feelings, the attempt to translate sensations (types of laughter, happiness, sadness, etc. to the machine), will always be subject to algorithms, even that are very sophisticated, and that is why I call it machinic sentience, since machinic consciousness is described in different ways by different authors.

The picture representation in XVII century, um dos primeiros estudos foi do matemático inglês Robert Fludd (1574–1637).

True human consciousness is thus that which allows us to reach levels of asceticism in different ways: altruism, putting ourselves in the other’s shoes, living a just life and appreciating justice, in short, a true spirituality that elevates us as humans, and is also that which is within reach of those who suffer from human injustice and barbarism.

For Christians, what makes us achieve true asceticism is described in the so-called beatitudes (Mt 5,1-12) which speak of the poor, the afflicted, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for justice, those who have the capacity of forgiving and deceitful with the clarity of the desire for peace: “Blessed are those who promote peace, for they will be called children of God”, so in all circumstances that one lives in dark days, it is necessary to promote peace.

The contours of intolerance and violence, not only in the war in Ukraine, but in almost the entire planet should worry those who defend peace.



Path and method

22 Jun

Every path requires a path, a path traced and directed to a scientific object is a method, there are more complex definitions, but in general they are already linked to a methodology.

A widely used definition is “scientific method refers to an agglomeration of ground rules of procedures that produce scientific knowledge, whether new knowledge or a correction or an increase in the given area”.

This type of general rule can fall either into logical positivism, a determinism about the sciences, or into an empiricist reductionism that sees the object under certain parameters.

Both Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn would argue against this view of method, Popper sees it as provisional knowledge, with successive falsifications, whereas Thomas Kuhn elaborated the idea of ​​changing paradigms that he calls scientific revolutions, either by one or the other science must have theories that evolve over time.

Just as the path itself can lead to falsifications or new discoveries, we prefer the term path, but in order not to fall into sophistry (theories that deny an episteme) it is necessary both to focus on the investigated object and to be open to the new, as in philosophy not it must begin with a hypothesis, but with a question that one seeks to resolve.

Looking at an object imagining something similar to the Other helps, but it does not solve the problem, it is necessary to investigate its variants and its pitfalls, in short, always questioning.

Both ontology and phenomenology, both are philosophically interconnected, and both admit metaphysics, have this reference in relation to the method and its object, as well as reject any methodological and theoretical dogmatism about the investigated object.

Also the historical path is not deterministic, in this respect Hans Georg Gadamer wrote questioning Wilhem Dilthey’s romantic historicism and retracing Heidegger’s hermeneutic circle, thus changing Dilthey’s methodological hermeneutics to which hermeneutics leads the interpretation of cultural changes within a historical context,

Both Gadamer, Antony Giddens and Boaventura de Souza Santos are concerned theorists concerned with developing a methodological approach to verify the fundamental conditions under which paradigm shifts occur.

For this, one must observe the “path”, understand the path and be open to a new horizon.


GADAMER, H-G. (1998) Verdade e método: traços fundamentais de uma hermenêutica filosófica. Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes, Brazil.

GIDDENS, Anthony. (1984) Structuration theory, empirical research and social critique. In: _____. The constitution of society. Cambridge: Polity Press.

SANTOS, Boaventura de Souza. (1989) Introdução a uma Ciência Pós-Moderna. Rio de Janeiro: Graal.



Spirituality and Asceticism

26 May

Not coincidentally, Peter Sloterdijk apprehends modernity as a form of secularization and collectivization of the life of the exercise, displacing the asceticism transmitted since antiquity from their respective spiritual contexts and dissolving them in the frothy fluid of the current biopolitical (or psycopolytics) communities dedicated to the training and entrepreneurship of the subjectivity.
It is not by chance that a current philosopher sees modernity as a way of secularizing and collecting exercise life, displacing the asceticism transmitted from antiquity, in different cultures, to the current contexts is dedicated to training and marketing from the daily practice of exercises through memes, rhetoric and a collective training of ideas (of the idealism).
Based on his ascetology, it is possible to perceive how education from childhood to adults is in a historical chain of training through selective immunological and anthropotechnical procedures, which announced by Sloterdijk a long time ago became wide open with the Pandemic, aimed at ripping the subject out. of your community.
In this way, “state athletes” or “domestic companies” are created in the direction of these exercises, what he calls spherological drama, and where childhood has to pay a price for the absence of protesting layers, that is, when the magic circles, the soap bubbles blown by the children’s ecstatic eyes, what he (Sloterdijk) writes in the Sphere I: Bubbles.
This kind of asceticism has nothing of spirituality or a true ascension (where the ascetic root comes from) so soap bubbles are the metaphor of this ephemeral universe, whose exercise reinforces habitus, but does not build a true spiritual asceticism.
The author does not develop it, he only denounces it as a de-spiritualized asceticism, as he himself does not believe in a higher reality, of true ascension, as described in Byung Chul Han’s book in his “Society of Bournot”, where he sees the active life and the contemplative life as two poles of Being, and he turns to the monk St. Gregory.
His term spirituality comes from Foucault’s analysis of the radical forms of dominant governments of “childhood government” which he interposes: “interposes between experience and the language that constitutes history and forms the spirit”, it is thus only a subjectivity.
Byung Chul Han, probably due to his oriental influence, takes another path of an effective contemplative life, which is more clearly expressed in his work: “The branch of time” ( ), where he states: “The greatest happiness comes from contemplative lingering in beauty, formerly called theoria. Its temporal meaning is duration. It concerns itself with eternal and immutable things, which rest in themselves. Neither virtue nor wisdom, only contemplative surrender to truth brings man closer to the gods” (HAN , 2016).
In Chul Han’s work it is possible to understand a spiritualized asceticism in a divine ascension.

HAN, B.-C. (2016) The scent of time. A philosophical essay on the art of delay (in portuguese, Lisbon: ed. Relógio d´água).


The pains, the soul and the Being

14 Apr

In one of the most striking passages, at least for those who imagine a world beyond the corporeal, Byung Chul Han introduces narrative as part of the cure: “Senseless pain is possible only in a bare life emptied of meaning that no longer narrates” (Han , 2021, p. 46).

He claims and even includes [Walter] Benjamin in “Images of Thought” that speaks of unusual hands that convey the impression that it would be like “telling a story” (idem).

He also cites mothers who, with the “healing force”, sit next to the child and tell him a story, and after explaining the narrative flow with a dam for pain, he concludes: “it is the pain that first puts in [their] path”. (HAN, 20221, p. 47).

We live today in a post-narrative time, says the author, it is not the narrative but the counting that determines life, “the narrative is the capacity of the spirit to overcome the contingency of the body” (Han, 2021, p. 48), a body without a spirit is a body that ignores its own soul.

In her, “the disciplined body that has to repel many pains that come from outside, is poor in sensitivity” (page 49), a totally different intentionality characterizes it, it is not concerned with itself, but with something that comes from outside, and it is this “algophobia” that dominates us.

“This narcissistic, hypochondriacal introspection is certainly co-responsible for our hypersensitivity (to pain), he calls it the “pea-princess-syndrome” recalling an Andersen tale where the presence of a pea on the mattress of the future princess it causes so much pain that she can’t sleep at night, and it’s this kind of illness that happens to many people.

This kind of paradox of postmodernity is to feel more and more pain, with less and less, to the point that pain is not understandable, has no place in life and seems not to be part of existence and this is a form of positivity of Being. , where there is no negativity, and makes Being incomprehensible, or less meaningless.

As the author says, “if the painful pea disappears, then people begin to suffer from soft mattresses” and concludes: “It is precisely the very and persistent absence of meaning in life that hurts” (HAN, 2021, p. 51). ).

What to think, then, of the atrocious pains of war, of innocent victims, of growing political and ideological hatred, everything seems to collapse in a meaningless universe, when pain understood would return to the balance of Being, and the fullness of our existence, distant today, but possible in the near future..


HAN, Byung-Chul. (2021) A sociedade paliativa: a dor hoje (The palliative society: pain today). trans. Lucas Machado. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.


The meekness in times of polarization

02 Nov

Meekness is a fundamental virtue for resolving conflicts, establishing new spaces for dialogue where it ended and opening new horizons where they seem impossible.

John Calvin has a very noble phrase: “It will be useless to teach meekness unless we have started with humility”, in fact the great reason why some seem right and others unreasonable. on the sides (the opposite of humility) and within these parameters, no dialogue will be possible, or what we prefer, no “new horizon” will be drawn that establishes a future point where conflicting points may enter into a process of convergence.

Polarization is inevitable may be the arguments of some, yes if reaching a certain point of conflict this is valid, but we must know that the actual way out of a conflict will have to have the flag of peace at some point and it cannot be the The flag of submission of the vanquished, the pax Romana, after Rome conquers its territories, it is submission to an authoritarian concept that at a certain point will return to war.

Power is always asymmetrical, this is true, but meekness can lead to it being exercised with modesty and justice.

Polarization is logic may be the argument to justify it, but remember that fuzzy logic, paraconsistent logic and other logics are not binary, yes or no, and that there are never only two sides, this is an idealistic position that it induces duality, there can be multiple sides, so the really fair logic admits a third hypothesis.

These will never be winners and will always be by the wayside may be another thought, as paradoxical as the divine teaching may seem, in many religions, is that meekness and humility lead people to high, one of the biblical beatitudes says (Mt 5, 5): “Blessed are the meek, for they will possess the land” and so where is their power, the conquest through perennial values can only lead to plenitude and perenniality itself, the problem is to yield to values tricky and unfair.

The construction of a perennial reality, a time of peace and justice, as we begin to emerge from a pandemic, is fundamental, even if it seems distant.



The ineffable and the metaphor

20 Jul

The linguistic turn is one of the hypotheses of interpretation of post-modernity, not the only one, but something beyond idealistic modernity was already emerging in the crisis of the beginning of the last century: the crisis of thought, of society (two world wars), the cold war and now polarization.

We have already posted about the link between metaphor and the ineffable in Paul Ricoeur and for him metaphor is a reagent (réactif) that reveals the symbolic in language, which leads us to think because of its excess of meaning and thus is a way of understanding available to the hermeneutician.

But there is something beyond the possibility of a hypothesis, how many scientific questions need to resort to metaphor before a final explanation, in John Searle’s work on Expression and Meaning asks an important question about what it means when we say S is P and we mean To be? And that actually the listener between S is P.

His question at heart is to know “how metaphorical emissions work, that is, how is it possible for speakers to communicate something to listeners speaking metaphorically, since they do not say what they mean? And why do some metaphors work and others not? (SEARLE, 2002, p.112).

According to the author, when thinking we should not dispense with different ways of understanding (myth, allegory, metaphor, analogy) and even less different methods to interpret them: exegesis, history, psychoanalysis, anthropology, linguistics and others, in my view, it seems like a principle more the universal because it is not confined in some methodological field and subject to its “vices”.

But the ineffable is an inherent part of the progress of human knowledge, and it means to be beyond the logical and the physical, being in that field whose most appropriate name is the ineffable.

The way in which this understanding can be reached is called the “short track”, and it was based on the hermeneutics proposed by Martin Heidegger, it consists of the way he intends to base his hermeneutics by deviating from what he calls the “short track”, proposed by Martin Heidegger, he consists in not seeking the methods or conditions of understanding, but from the being of man, his Dasein, whose existence consists in understanding, if something is ineffable there is always limitation


Answering Searle’s question, it doesn’t matter if the listener understood exactly S is P or S is R, because if S is P and this was what a source said, the recipient understood it exactly or not, it is due to its existence as a being that understands, your worldview, which may be limited.

Admitting the ineffable, which at a certain moment can only be said metaphorically, analogously or even exegetically, is to admit the coexistence of different worldviews, and this may be more palpable than the understanding of that phenomenon at a certain moment is only possible through metaphor.


What is understanding

24 Jun

Understanding has become in the Western analytic structure a vicious circle that tends only to repeat what it considers to be true starting from some historical aphorism, what Gadamer calls romantic historicism in his criticism of Dilthey.

The forgetting of being ignores that the hermeneutic circle that goes from interpretation to a new understanding is the very structure of a new sense, a sense of existence, which is in Being.

Thus, the circularity of understanding is not primarily a logical requirement, based on an A or B method, but the ontological unfolding itself: “Heidegger’s hermeneutic reflection has its high point not in the fact that it demonstrates that a circle is present here, but a circle this has a positive ontological meaning” (GADAMER, 2013, p. 355).

Heidegger (2014), in his magna work Ser e Tempo, elaborated a hermeneutics of facticity based on the temporal analysis of human existence (Dasein), here facticity is the way of being in his Dasein that finds, in temporal existence, the possibility of revelation, of clearing:

“The structure of temporality appears as well as the ontological determination of subjectivity. But she was more than that. Heidegger’s thesis was that being itself is time” (Gadamer, 203, p. 345), here is the deepest essence of Heidegger’s work, which points to the hermeneutic circle:

“The decisive thing is not to leave the circle, but to enter it correctly. This circle of understanding is not an ordinary circle, in which any mode of knowledge moves, but it is the expression of the existential structure-of-previousness of Dasein itself. The circle must not be degraded into vitiosum nor be tolerated either. It shelters a positive possibility of the most original knowledge, a possibility that can only be truly realized in an authentic way, if the interpretation understands that its first, constant and last task consists in not letting the previous, the previous seeing and the preconception is given to it by occurrences and popular concepts” (Heidegger, 2014, p.433), but to address the same things.

Understanding seen in this way may seem too philosophical or a theorization about thinking, it is not, because, even in the oblivion of Being, the current frail structure of thought, this is the learning process that involves since the learning of language by a child even the most elaborate methods of discovery and innovation, or are just repetition of something already done, and thus without facticity, as it is mere repetition.

GADAMER, H-G. (2013) Truth and method Flávio Paulo Meurer, revision of the translation by Enio Paulo Giachini. 13. ed. Petropolis: Vozes; Bragança Paulista: São Francisco University Publisher, 2013.

HEIDEGGER, M. (2014) Ser e tempo Translation, organization, previous note, attachments and notes by Fausto Castilho. Campinas, SP: Publisher of Unicamp; Petrópolis, RJ: Editora Vozes, 2014.



An oriental philosopher reads the “clearing”

19 May

Byung Chul-Han is a Korean-German philosopher who migrated to the West and does an odd reading of Western literature, in particular the context of networks and new media, studied in his doctorate Heidegger and with this his “clearing”.

He explains what the clearing is in a simple way: “Heidegger’s ‘truth’ loves to hide. It is not simply available. It must first be ‘taken off’ from its ‘veiling’. The negativity of ´veiling´ actually inhabits as its ´heart´ ”(Han, 2018, p. 74) and in this excerpt he quotes Heidegger´s work:“ On the question of thinking ”.

It penetrates what information means, the great input of the current veiled Being, “the information is lacking, on the other hand, the interior space, the interiority that would allow to withdraw or to be veiled. It doesn’t beat, Heidegger would say, no heart ”(Han, 2018, p. 74).

This absence of counterpart, is what Chul Han calls negativity, it is good to explain it well, “a pure positivity, a pure exteriority characterizes the information”, so is the reflection.

As the information of negativity would then be, in the sense of reflection, it is the “selective and additive information, while the truth is exclusive and selective. Unlike information, it does not produce any pile [Haufen] ”(Han, 2018, p. 74).

Thus, there are no “masses of truth” but “masses of information”, it is the “massification of the positive” (Han, 2018, p. 75), so information is distinguished from knowledge, and this is not “simply available”, I would say neither simply because it is complex nor available because it is hidden.

However, the philosopher confuses it with life experience, when he affirms: “not infrequently, a long experience precedes it” (page 75), and affirms only one side of the information: “the information is explicit, while knowledge often takes a implicitly.”.

Clarifying these two confused points, first the question of experience, the philosopher Plato was the first to announce that wisdom, as knowledge of the truth is not the result of age, if it were only in old age people would deserve to be heard, the other question is about tacit information, it exists as tacit knowledge, Michael Polanyi (1958), was one of the first theory, and Collins in the seventies returned to the concept in the scope of scientific communication. For this tacit information, Chul Han also points this out, “silence” is needed.

The deepest clearing the philosopher describes quoting Michel Butor, who gave an interview to Die Ziet on 07/12/2012, which points to the real cause: “The cause [of this] is a communication crisis. The new means of communication are worthy of admiration, but they cause a hellish noise ”(Butor apud Han, 2018, p. 42).


POLANYI, M. (1958) Personal knowledge – towards a post-critical Philosophy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

COLLINS, H. M. (1974) The TEA set: tacit knowledge and scientific networks. Science Studies, v.4, p.165-186.

HAN, B. C. (2018) No enxame: perspectivas do digital. No Enxame: perspectivas do digital (in portuguese). Trad. Lucas Machado. São Paulo: Editora Vozes.