Civilizing evil, beyond the symbolic

21 Jul

We have already commented in a post on “Symbolic Evil”, a work by Paul Ricoeur that should be read together with “Evil: a challenge to philosophy and theology and“, symbolic evil exists and can become structural, but in a good reading of philosophy means becoming a personal or social addiction, as well as virtue.

Philosopher Aristotle says that virtue is acquired through habit, practiced again and again, until it becomes a natural or social attitude if many people practice it, when social and human values ​​are confused, evil spreads, and thus a society or civilization falls into disrepair.

To return to the virtues is to return to our roots as human beings, that is why it is not a question of Manichaeism, a perennial struggle between good and evil, but if symbolic evil is installed, we must return to our deepest root as human beings, that almost all contemporary philosophy recognizes a civilization malaise, in psychology Freud (Freud, 1969) and Jung (JUNG, 1988), even contemporaries like Sloterdijk and Byung Chull Han, almost everyone also in this pandemic warns of attitudes in a civilization crisis.

In a quick reading of Freud, with the possibility of being somewhat superficial, the malaise of civilization is equal to that of culture, says the author that there is a dichotomy between the instinctual impulses and civilization, that is, individuals and society, thus the good of civilization the individual manifests in drives and experiences a malaise.

Jung, on the other hand, points to the massification of Western man, crushed by the State, and to the defense that each one seeks through their own personality or religious attitude.

Morin’s work since the 70’s is all linked to the idea of ​​a new humanism, and this specific text on the subject, he deepens what he considers an ethics necessary for this return to humanism, his work essentially points to the lost foundations, the institution of the complex method and a vision of planetary citizenship, in this text about the personal responsibility of each one.

FREUD, S. O mal-Estar na civilização (Edição Standard Brasileira das Obras Psicológicas Completas de Sigmund Freud, Vol. 21). Rio de Janeiro: Imago, 1996.

JUNG, C.G. Presente e futuro. Petrópolis, Vozes, 1988 (tradução Márcia Cavalcanti).

MORIN, E. “A ética do sujeito responsável”. In: Ética, solidariedade e complexidade. São Paulo, Palas Athena, 1998.


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