Arquivo para November, 2020

Vaccines under test and an economic dispute

30 Nov

Even recognizing flaws in the theses, Pfizer’s vaccines against covid-19 should be approved within a few days, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, so the United Kingdom becomes the first country in the west to have a vaccine, and vaccination can begin. on December 7, in Brazil, the race is for Coronavac, no matter which one is safer, behind the vaccines there are economic deals and investments made in the manner of betting and not really scientific criteria.

In Brazil the authorization is made by Anvisa, in Europe by the European Medicines Agency and the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, a final Brexit transition is for December 31, but the Regulatory Agency for Medicines and Health Products in the United Kingdom has the power to temporarily authorize the products, and there is an obvious interest in the UK even though it is in partnership with German BioNTech.

The process could be applied to the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford (Brazil participates in FioCruz), on Sunday, Friday (27) the government asked the regulator to review the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, thus showing the real interest .

Current data on the efficiency of Coronavac, a medical vaccine by the Chinese company Sinovac and which has a partnership with the Butantan Institute, should be announced in early December, and an approval in record time would be for January, however the effectiveness is different from the tests that verify side effects, contraindications and long-term efficiency, also a Pfizer was questioned recently due to the tests.

The long-term effects studies indicated that perhaps a single vaccine would not solve the pandemic problem, an article was published in October in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, which lit up a warning sign about vaccines, and said that he did not know until that time. data if vaccines were candidates were effective in severe forms of the disease, the warning sign remains on.

What defines an efficacious COVID-19 vaccine? A review of the challenges assessing the clinical efficacy of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 – The Lancet Infectious Diseases





Eschatology and Christmas

27 Nov

As an ontological synthesis of the eschatology that we developed this week, we return to Heidegger in his three eschatological concepts.

Be careful, Heidegger appropriates the Greek fable in which Jupiter and Care that is shaping clay fight over the name that will be given to the created figure, and called Saturn as a judge he says that Jupiter will belong to the spirit because he was the one who gave it the form , while Care will have the land, since it formed it, and Care will belong to the shape of the clay he created, so to care in the present moment.

Impersonality is one in which it breaks the relationship with the world, and makes the individual isolated, “out of relations of familiarity with the world” and thus almost always in the absence of the other. it breaks this relationship, and makes the isolated individual “fall out of familiarity with the world,” says Heidegger.

Silence is the final aspect of this eschatology, it is invoked when the individual has already discovered himself, and returns to the world now master of himself, so is the return of peace and the harmonious relationship with the world, even if he is in conflict, or in one of his deaths.

Christmas is not only celebrated by many Christians of different sects, although curiously it awaits the new coming, which is the parousia and it is also celebrated in the first weeks of Christmas, the time of advent, but this is the separation we speak of Being of life and being-for-death.

They are not disconnected, it is in it that death, the resurrection of life and the new coming, or a new time, or what happens after a small or great tragedy develops, I think it is true that we live in a time like this, but eschatology who intends to deny death is death itself.

The urgent need for changes in the human life of the planet, in respect for the planet itself, for the Other that is not our mirror, is not “our class”, it is more and more a demand for change, for the death of an old system and to be reborn in a new civilizing perspective.

And if that time comes, that eschatological end, which is the biblical recommendation for those who believe, is the one that is in Mark (Mark 13: 33-34): “33“ Watch out! Pay attention, because you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man who, when he left abroad, left his home under the responsibility of his employees, distributing his task to each one. And he told the porter to keep watch “, whether or not this time comes “watch”.

While for the Christian it must mean an eternal parousia, that is, waiting for a new coming, for non-Christians it must be aware of a new time, a resumption of social, ecological and human values ​​that are abandoned, in crisis or almost succumbed in a civilization in crisis.

A Christmas without big parties and consumerism should be a Christmas closer to its meaning, the Christmas of Care, Impersonality (respect for the Other) and Silence, is an almost perfect eschatology, as it would be if we could actually feel the return of a true time of salvation.


The eschatological infinity

26 Nov

Transcendence as an idea of ​​the Infinite can be understood in Lévinas’ philosophy as “The presence of a being that does not enter the sphere of the Same, a presence that exceeds it, fixes its’ status” of infinity, this is how the idea will appear in Lévinas of Foreigner and there he in his own eschatology.

The term Foreigner is typical of the biblical tradition from which Emmanuel Lévinas feeds, as many feed on Greek mythology, it is present in the fourfold prophet Isaiah, a prophet as in the mode of the celebrated Greek poets Homer and Hesiod, is curious because it can if Lévinas’s part sees a convergence between Hellenic and Semitic culture, contrary to all fury against Judeo-Christian culture.

The quadratics are as follows: the poor (who have no economic resources), the widow (who has no husband to support her), the orphan (who has no shelter to collect him), the foreigner (who has no country to step on) . they are the synthesis of what we now call and excluded in biblical times, and we can see in a new “philosophical” eschatology by Lévinas the idea of ​​an eschatological “end” not as the end of time, but the end of poverty, of female helplessness (today more serious is femicide), the organs of wars and foreigners who walk around the world and which Bauman comes to irony (amazement) and then a new apocalypse.

It is thus that the infinite and the being-for-death can also have an eschatological interpretation, without any prejudice or presumption to the religious sense that may at some point occur, and from which the planet is not exempt, after all an eschatological end present in many non-Christian religions is what the earth itself (the mother-earth) rebels against, again a convergence with biblical prophecies.

The big reason why this idea was almost abolished in modernity, Leibniz already claimed it, is said by Lévinas: “My life and history do not form totality. The common that allows us to speak of objectified society, and by which man resembles the thing and individualizes himself as a thing, is not first ”(in Ethics and Infinite), and Lévinas will define this process as“ infinity ”(perhaps a better translation would be infinitation, but they did not translate this way), an inversion of modern subjectivity, because the subject is subjecting himself to Other, and thus lives his personal “in process” eschatology, subject to the Infinite.

On the social scale it is the foreigner, the poor and the one who suffers some kind of prejudice (the racist, for example, but there are others including the religious) and with this we are heading towards an authentic eschatological end, an apocalypse of the current world without brake and without a safe direction for all humanity.


Infinity as an eschatological complement

25 Nov

Every eschatology has a beginning and an end, it is a mistake to imagine it only with what will happen at the end of time, the Christian apocalypse or al-dain of the Islamists, which is not in the Koran, but in the sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad,it must be thought of in the process.

In philosophy, the idea of ​​the infinite permeates the eschatology that I call complete because it admits an end like that which Lévinas wrote in Totality and Infinite as the metaphysical desire to tend towards something totally different, the absolutely other, note that it is not God, because it is not theology, but the change that is possible to another metaphysical state, after all the subtitle of the book is “Essai sur l´extériorité”, and exteriority has something essential there.

For Lévinas the idea of ​​the infinite is one that refers to the different and the distinct, says Enrique Dussel that Lévinas when saying different and distinct, affirms that the different occurs in the Totality and the distinct occurs in the Proximity, outside of this we remain in pure idealism of the transcendence of the Subject to the Object.

In the words of Lévinas: “Metaphysical desire tends towards something totally different, towards something else … On the basis of the commonly interpreted desire, there would be the need (bésoin): the desire would mark an indigent and incomplete or fallen being. its past greatness. It would coincide with the consciousness of what was lost”, Its eschatological end is this then, the fallen being of its past greatness and with awareness of what was lost.

This is also where his ethics lies, after all for Lévinas it is called metaphysics because it refers to the transcendence of others, which is not merely physical and the indicative of this transcendence is the idea of ​​the infinite, that which occurs in the face to face, which is therefore the distinct found in Proximity.

It is this proximity to the “face to face” that is primordial in Lévinas, it is the original experience of the inter-human, here I relate it with the cultural origin where there is the identity of the inter-human, that is, of a human a posteriori in function from an a priori, it is in this sense that I consider original cultures.

The original experience is that of someone’s ethical closeness, of a relationship without a mask, and thus anthropology and ontology meet, in Lévinas’s words (I know that the point of view is different) “morality is not a branch of philosophy, but the first philosophy ”, that would be a balanced civilization.

The relation with the being-to-death that I see with this infinite, is that one does not think from the finite, just like death not through the negation of life, this was for Kant for whom the notion of infinity is opposed as an ideal of reason, Hegel modified but placed the positivity of the infinite, excluding diversity.

The infinite is diverse because it starts from the Other, from the other thing, and also the totally other, so its eschatology is complete, the being-for-death and the infinite merge (of course neither Heidegger nor Lévinas say it) because they are in the beyond self and in the beyond life containing it entirely.






Eschatology and being-to-death

24 Nov

Where we came from and where we are going, each culture has its own eschatology, modernity and especially idealism is characterized by disregarding the idea of ​​the infinite, of mystery and consequently of death, seen as fatality or simple finitude of life.

From the philosophy of Lévinas (Totality and Infinite) to the poetry of Goethe (Faust), from the novel by Tolstoy (The death of Ivan Ilitch) to the ontology of Heidegger (Being and Time) death is more than a concept or a theme, it is the own questioning of being, in Lévinas the infinite is proper to the transcendent being as transcendent, the infinite is the absolutely other, so one cannot think of the infinite, the transcendent, the Foreigner (in Lévinas) as being an object, but as an Other that does not it is something other than Being.

Idealism, in wanting to always live above the real, wants to ignore or “transcend” death (in the false sense of an object) and for this reason is quibble about it, but in the face of the tragedies of a pandemic, of a crisis that can become civilizing, he is immobilized or part of psychology, in this field there is also an adequate phenomenological treatment, after all Franz Brentano father of social psychology reopened phenomenology in modern times, the psychiatrist Kübler-Ross (About death and dying, Martins Fontes, 2002) studied that stage of the disease in which the patient asks “Why me” and deepened the theme.

The analysis in Heidegger, in order not to be superficial, must address three related themes: Care, Impersonality and silence, otherwise it is the analysis that we call epistemology or incomplete eschatology, since they face only pessimism in the face of death, nor the good psychology sees it that way.

Before a clarification, the term ontological refers to questioning the fact of existing, Dasein (being-there) is not only, but has a perception that it is, for phenomenology, it is not thought of itself first and then in the world, because the two things are inseparable, and so is an ontological epistemology.

To help what this being-there is, we need to deepen what Heidegger calls overcoming the factual world, and as for the super the world of impersonality, he manages to free himself from a structured reason endowed with meaning, in a way already given the to exist and to be.

Safranski, an authorized biographer of Heidegger, interprets it this way: “Anguish does not tolerate another god besides itself, and isolates in two ways. It breaks the relationship with the other, and makes the isolated individual fall out of relations of familiarity with the world ”, she is felt by the“ fall ”, by the dark horizon.

Thus, in impersonality, the idea of ​​“everyone dies” is abandoned, which in life evades being-for-death, for its thinking about its solitary death, falls into that anguish described in Ivan Ilitch de Tolstoi.

Regarding Care, Heidegger appropriates the Greek fable in which Jupiter and Care that is shaping clay fight over the name that will be given to the created figure, and called Saturn as a judge he says that Jupiter will belong to the spirit because it was he who gave it the form, while Care will have the land, since it formed it, the German philosopher will use this sense, very ingenious, to say the being-for-death to find something beyond the finitude of the form.

Finally, the aspect of silence nad loneliness are invoked to discover the self, and then to return to the world already master of itself, and open to the relationship with others, which is no longer utilitarian ( so characteristic of idealists) or even by means of fixed guidelines (characteristic of incomplete eschatologies), there is thus a Being beyond the finite and open to the infinite, there is no pessimism, which says it is bad reading



Native culture networks and post-colonialism

23 Nov

Archaeological and paleontological research indicates that Africa is the probable continent that gave rise to the human species, fossils of hominids found in Africa (for example, in Tanzania and Kenya) indicate that the primitive species inhabited that region about five million years ago .

However. in historical literature, when speaking of originating cultures, there is talk mainly of ancient cultures such as the Maya in Mexico, the Incas in the Andean region, the indigenous people mainly from the Brazilian Amazon region, in Colombia the population is almost two million inhabitants, 4 , 4% that has the Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), which are organizing according to covid-19.

In the Amazon, the Sahu-Apé indigenous community is only 80 km from Manaus, and organizational data (such as Terra Viva) show that 65% of the indigenous population is in poverty and 30% in extreme poverty.

In Peru, a large number of indigenous cultures are returning to the mountains due to food scarcity and fear of covid-19, often only with the clothes of the body, in Chile and Bolivia the influence of indigenous culture is very strong to dominate the colonial.

Thus, these peoples form communication networks for the preservation of their culture and the self-defense of their cultural values, and it is necessary to think about sustainable development, not massacres, as savage colonialism did, not only with violence, but also with their cultural values.

Modern electronic networks, which are social media, do not eliminate or overlap existing cultural networks, it is necessary not to ignore them and respect their values ​​and culture.

The question of Being also involves the sociability and networking of native cultures, a good part of contemporary culture in crisis ignores or quibbles about the ontological values ​​that are at the root of many works around native cultures, it is necessary to think post- colonial that does not see the civilizing process only from the Eurocentric and colonial point of view.

See my interview in USP Radio, University of São Paulo, at 10 h (in New York) at link: .



An incomplete epistemology and eschatology

22 Nov

What phenomenology and ontological philosophy seeks is at the center of the scientific crisis and of the thought that the West is experiencing, and whose epicenter is European, in Peter Sloterdijk’s enlightened saying that Europe is no longer the center as in the colonial period (empire of the Center) and looks for other forms of colonialism to take idealism forward, what in literature has been called epistemicide. In denying the cultures originating from other peoples, he thinks he is finding his own diffusion between barbarism and classical antiquity, he tries a new renaissance exploring the Greek culture in a diffuse way.

At the religious level the disaster is greater, Slavov Zizek recently wrote about the religious concept in Hegel, and the latter of the thinkers who tried to revive classical Marxism, reworked the Hegelian religion, but which was already present in Feuerbach and Marx himself criticized, in the bottom is an atheistic theology, a dead eschatology.

Dead because this is in fact the great mistake of idealistic eschatology, there is no transcendence for it without the separation of subject and object, it needs to deny the substantiality to affirm its “subjectivity” where the subject must always be dead, it denies being-for-dead Heidegger’s motto, but affirms death in life (it isnt epoché).

Every form of original culture, it is obvious that it includes those non-Christian cultures, has an origin (the name says it), the eschatological life and end, which is not where it is going, and at this point this incomplete theology diverges on the that in fact is death, in times of a pandemic one could say the disease that can kill.

For this reason, even if the appeal to phenomenology will be incomplete, it will lead those who incorporate it to exhaustion, to contempt for life, which even in the religious sense is something deeply sacred, its “biós”, its substantiality, to be clear to idealists, its objectivity, fall into theoretical abstractionism.

The only substantiality of this incomplete eschatology is to deny religion in order to make it idealistic and to ask for what is inhuman, what in biblical terms he calls “putting heavy burdens on the shoulders of others” and which they themselves refuse to carry in times of pandemic neither enter nor let others in.

The final exam will be substantial: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink…” and you will not be asked whether you have developed a good epistemology or theology, the one that made colonialism the terror of original cultures.


Our conscience will one day be charged

20 Nov

It is not necessary to be religious to realize that one day, even in the face of death, we will think about what our life was like, how we treat the poor, all those close to us, nature and respect for the privacy of others, in short to everything that preserves life, and water is the origin of life, and there is no life if there is no Other who are not those who are so close, but also those who are distant or not from our circle.

Certainly we will have in mind someday about what we did and what we left as an inheritance for people who want us good or bad, it doesn’t matter, everyone will be facing their own conscience, and as phenomenology says conscience is awareness of something, what is this something in front of life. What are these essentials to life: hunger, thirst, homelessness and outrage to each person, it can be said that it is the invasion of privacy, the excess of public explosion, which Byung Chul Han calls narcissism, in addition to the various types of abuse, they are all a kind of nudity.

The lack of drinking water for around 500 million people, but also the lack of public policies on basic sanitation that affects another half billion people, makes the water problem a vital problem for many people on the planet.

Those who believe the final exam in which all will be charged before God are described by the evangelist Matthew as those who will be called to participate in the Kingdom of God (Mt 25: 35-39): “Because I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: because I was thirsty and you gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and you stayed with me: I was naked, and you dressed me, sick, and you visited me: in prison, and you went to see me. Then they will ask the righteous: Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and we gave you a drink? And when did we see you as a stranger and host you? Or naked and do we dress you? ”, and the answer will be everything we did to the little ones, you did to me.

The cruelty that remains even in pandemic times, when they do not even grow, makes the civilizing environment dangerous and worrying.



The problem of water and sanitation

19 Nov

Although the planet has plenty of water, the water problem is not negligible and what directly affects the planet, especially the poor and those who live in regions without basic sanitation, is the problem of drinking water, and therein lies the serious problem of contamination by agricultural activities.

Thus, it is necessary, together with the urgent problem of sustainable water management, to think about sustainable development in three dimensions: social, economic and environmental, even those who affirm public policies for this do not accept the reduction of profitable and polluting economic activities.

Studies show that the main causes, about 70%, are due to poor land use in agriculture (pesticides, river silting, intensive monoculture, etc.), followed by industry pollution 20%, domestic use 7% and losses 3% (see the figure above).

Because it was from biology and ecosystems that the ideas of complexity came, this is the sector most sensitive to small attitudes that can and should change the planet in the future, collect polluting waste, do selective collection and even reuse rainwater and using solar energy are attitudes that we can take individually and will be beneficial as a whole, see that complexity can involve simple ideas to be practiced.

The education of the new generations should therefore be the responsibility of everyone, the government, schools and families, small habits inserted in everyday life can transform a huge number of situations in scale, an effect known in complexity as the “butterfly effect”, the flapping of the butterfly wing can influence the climate, and deforestation and neglect of nature has a negative effect on the climate.

Research on planets where there may be life has as its first item the presence of water, and providing drinking water is therefore the first attitude in defense of life.



Eroticism in times of crisis

18 Nov

The subject is difficult when it does not deviate towards general liberalism, defense of the erotic at any price or “freedom of the body”, but what happens is that among the various civilizing crises, human love is also in crisis.

I find little literature exists about it that does not go to laisses faire or to unhealthy moralism, what happens is that, recognizes the philosopher Byung Chul Han, we live The agony of eros, the inability to love, and in the diagnosis of the Korean philosopher- German, we are destroying relationships based on the erosion of the Other, which affects all areas of life and goes hand in hand with a “sick narcissism” that invades our lives.

He writes his most profound diagnosis: “The fact that the other person disappears is a dramatic process, but it fatally advances, in a sneaky and barely noticeable way”, an indication is the number of selfies where people try to show their different faces, without choosing a situation and anywhere.

If we do not recognize the other person as an “other”, we become unable to love, and thus to reach a living and liberating experience of love, it is liberating even from ourselves, from our frustrations and inconsistencies, summarizes Han is the other who saves us from ourselves.

In times of crisis, love, affection and true interest in the Other is what can make the crisis less serious, if we are living the opposite, more selfishness, more narcissism and more competition (Han argues as the society of efficiency and appeal success) means more crisis and less eroticism.

There is no way to develop love and joy around these situations, even those who have a love relationship suffer the consequences of the violent environment and calls for attitudes contrary to love and affection, even friendly relationships that require empathy are at stake .

I also make a reflection beyond Han, because precisely the society that most exalts eroticism suffers from his agony, perhaps what we see as erotic goes beyond the limits of privacy, of some modesty and of respect for the limits of the Other and of the body itself.

The discourse of respect is not outdated, after all, what are the frightening numbers of domestic violence of all kinds, but the absence of respect, André Groz’s “Inside and Outside” (1929) image gives interesting outlines on the connection aspect of eroticism with a lack of sensitivity;