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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

The wisdom of pure thoughts

01 Oct

Simplicist is naive thinking, while simplicity is pure thinking, pure noesis.

It is not in the capacity for theoretical elaboration, in the bookish culture that resists wisdom, it unites simplicity (which is not simplistic) and complexity in the sense of putting everything under the cloak of nature and the universe and understanding that there is original knowledge that is not simplistic, but they were elaborated in real contact with nature, so I reject the idea of naturalization.

Culturalization is what has taken over the natural and perverted it, said philosopher, writer and indigenous leader Ailton Krenak of the current pandemic crisis: “Earth is speaking to humanity: ‘silence.’ This is also the meaning of withdrawal.”

Much of Western culture is in crisis, because it has brutally seized nature and does not want to understand it and has difficulty understanding visible and clear signs, this crisis comes from before the current technological revolution, many philosophers at the beginning of the century XX pointed to her, and the silence asked by Krenak can also be what Theodor Adorno identifies as true contemplation: “The bliss of contemplation consists in disenchanted enchantment.” Theodor Adorno, I remember that this philosopher is neither mystic nor religious.

Ailton Krenak wrote “Ideas to postpone the end of the world” (Cia. da Letras, s/a), within an indigenous cosmovision, but aware that this is a planetary problem, he said in an interview with Daily Estado de Minas (03 /04/2020): “I don’t understand where there is something other than nature. Everything is nature. The cosmos is nature. All I can think of is nature”, denouncing that the way we live is artificial and not in keeping with human nature.

Interpreting the book by Davi Kapenawa, another indigenous leader, Viveiro de Castro and Danowski also see that our “cultured” and Western thinking is concentrated in the world of merchandise, and Kapenawa says: “white people dream a lot, but they only dream of themselves”, that is, with its own culture without being able to contemplate a wider world, where everyone is present.

These worldviews may seem naive, but they mean that we must always think beyond our culture, also the Christian worldview calls for this effort, and after teaching his apostles what the master himself should go through, and they still don’t understand, Jesus will make use of of a new metaphor for them to think in a purer and less culturalized way.

In chapter 10 of the Gospel of Mark, seeing that they wanted to keep the children away from him, He says (Mk 10:14-15): “Let the children come to me. Do not forbid them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like them. Truly I say to you: whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a child will not enter it”.

The world to come, in different worldviews, even if they seem childish, shows the crisis and exhaustion of cultural thought in our time, and the exhaustion of natural means.

 

The human purpose and its finitude

24 Sep

Unlike the machine that has the environment as its purpose(see previous post), the human purpose is to reaffirm existence through the perpetuation of life, and also everything that is alive can and should defend this existence, as explained by Edgar Morin:

“The impositions that inhibit enzymes, genes, and even cells, do not diminish a freedom that does not exist at this level, as freedom only emerges at a level of individual complexity where there are possibilities of choice; they inhibit qualities, possibilities of action or expression” (MORIN, 1977, 110), machines are not without purpose, but whatever they are, they are means.

But this freedom when it is at the human level, and it is “only at the level of individuals who have possibilities of choice, decision and complex development that impositions can be destructive of freedom, that is, become oppressive” (idem) .

It is the development of human culture that can develop these potentialities, as Morin says: “It is certainly culture that allows the development of the potentials of the human spirit” (ibid.), it depends, therefore, on the development of a culture of peace, solidarity and of preserving life within the human spirit.

Morin will say in the chapter of his conclusion on the “complexity of Nature”, that in the so-called “animistic” universe, or mythological in the case of the Greeks, “human beings were conceived in a cosmomorphic way, that is, made of the same fabric as the universe.” (MORIN, 1977, p. 333).

This presence of what Morin calls “generativity”, the animated and animating beings, all existing within the universe, implied a communication between the spheres: the physis, life and anthroposocial, if we extend these concepts to Sloterdijk’s spherology: anthropotechnic.

But as we reasoned a few posts ago, the separation of physis into nature (animate) and physics (inanimate) not only “disenchanted the universe, but also desolated it.”

He completes his reasoning with a sentence that shows our multiple crises and nights: “There are no more geniuses, nor spirits, nor souls, nor soul; there are no more gods; there is a God, strictly speaking, but elsewhere (the emphasis is on the author); there are no longer existing beings, with the exception of living beings, which certainly inhabit the physical universe, but come from another” (idem).

Thus he concludes that nature was returned to poets and physis to the Greeks, and so the universe of techniques (which are means) dominated life (which is purpose) and so “science and technique generate and manage, like gods, a world of objects” (MORIN, 1977, p. 334).

It does not let finalism (or fatalism) be the last word: “it is from the crisis of this science that new data and notions that allow us to reconstruct a new universe come out” (idem), quantum physics, from the third included (the quantum between two quanta) and entropy/neguentropy are renewed.

Every universe is “anima”, the theologian Teilhard Chardin also agrees with this thesis, and also that life is the complexification of the universe, in which the human phenomenon is its apex.

In addition to the animist or mythological interpretation for these purposes of life, which is death and life in life in death, a Heraclitian principle also cited by Morin, the Christian reflection on the passages already cited above about who Jesus is (Mk 8,27 and Mc 9,31), and He must suffer greatly.

It is complemented by the question about abandoning what is the transitory purpose of life (therefore only means) and if it is not useful for the ultimate purpose (and therefore, they are only means and should be relativized) if your hand, your foot or your eye leads you to sin (forget the ultimate end of human life which is the eternity of life) it is better to lose them to have the living purpose.

But his last word is to accept those who see this reality differently, if they are not against us, it is in our favor (Mk 8, 40) and (Mk 8,41) and “whoever gives you a drink of water , because ye are of Christ, he will not remain without receiving his reward”, so many can cooperate with the growth of the human anima, with the life and living Nature on which we all depend.

MORIN, E. (1977) The nature of NATURE. Lisbon PUBLICATIONS EUROPA-AMERICA, LDA.

 

 

The finality of beings and machines

23 Sep

Edgar Morin says that “we are therefore in the prehistory of finality”, using the Hegelian discourse he will say “the whole ‘itself’ becomes almost a for-itself” (Morin, 1977, p. 242), and so the machine living (to differentiate from artificial ones) from soft cells to the most complex living organisms “are almost specialized in function of quasi-programmed tasks that aim to achieve ends, and all these ends are united in the global end: to live” (idem).

It can be said then, in the author’s expression, that “this living being that self-finalizes is the product is the finished product of the reproductive act that originated it” (ibid.), and “retracing” this to the origin of life, the question remains “how is the purpose born of the non-purpose?” (MORIN, 1977, P. 243).

You will then ask what kind of “information” is capable of reproducing and controlling proteins with which they were not yet associated? The idea of ​​information, and therefore of program, and therefore of purpose, cannot be prior to the constitution of a first protocellular ring” (idem), it will conclude from there that “the idea of ​​a final process before the appearance of the life”, perhaps here we separate artificial machines from living beings, its beginning.

He will say in a categorical and essential way that “the biological, and evidently anthropo-sociological, purpose is immersed in a recurrent process of self-generation of which it is a part. It is the immersed and informational face of this generation-of-itself” (ibidem), for those who believe, I say that this is what I think is “God’s image and likeness”, being in an original vital process.

Living and artificial machines will have in common, according to the author, “purposes of the origins of life have repercussions and are reflected in the global purposes of living machines, and even of artificial machines” (MORIN, 1977, p. 243).

It will further differentiate the artificial machine from the live, quoting Paul Valéry: “Artificial means that it tends towards a defined end and, therefore, it opposes live”, for example, the purpose “of a manufacturing is to manufacture cars, whose purpose it is displacement, which serves for constructive activities of the individual’s life in society and of society in the individual” (Morin, 1977, p. 244).

So while the machine has an extrinsic purpose of life, and this purpose should have the intrinsic purpose of biological life, these “complementary purposes can become concurrent and antagonistic, as happens with the purposes of individual existence and reproduction…” (Morin , 1977, p. 245), if they become antagonistic, they can lead to the exclusion of one purpose for the other.

And so, concludes this topic Edgar Morin> “in Homo sapiens, gastronomic pleasures and erotic enjoyments become ends to the detriment of feeding and reproductive purposes; knowledge, a means of surviving in an environment, becomes, in the thinker turned thinker, to which his own existence subordinates” (MORIN, 1977, pp. 245-246).

Thus ends shift, degenerate and become uncertain, like the future of civilization.

MORIN, E. (1977). A natureza da NATUREZA. Lisboa PUBLICAÇÕES EUROPA-AMÉRICA, LDA.

 

 

 

Reification, objects and subjects

22 Sep

If on the one hand it is true that there is in the dominant idealist/enlightenment mentality a complete reification of life (the life that projects itself on the thing, res-thing), on the other hand the separation of subject and objects creates a dualism in which nature and objects that are part of life are ignored.

The so-called subject-object dualism is explained by Edgar Morin as follows: “the concept of system can only be constructed in the object/subject transaction and not in the elimination of one by the other.” (MORIN, 1977, p. 136).

Morin will explain that both “naive realism” and “naive nominalism” (antagonistic currents since the medieval period) eliminate the subject, in nominalism the ideal system is one that does not have the subject, and in realism the ideal object is the system .

But the object “whether ‘real’ or ideal, is also an object that depends on a subject” (Morin, idem), and through the systemic way “the observer, excluded from classical science, the subject, stripped and thrown into the cans of garbage of metaphysics, they return to the fulcrum of the physis” (MORIN, ibidem).

Morin observes that the observer and the physis (Nature, with N) are confined in terms of a system, and proposes a new systemic totality “is constituted by associating the observer-system and the observer-system can, from there, become a metasystem in relation to one and the other, if it is possible to find the metapoint of view, which allows the observation of the whole constituted by the observer and his observation” (MORIN, 1977, p. 137).

He explains that one can, in a maximal simplifying view, reduce both the importance of the observer and the physis, “creating a supersystem, whose theory reveals the autonomous phenomenal systems”, it is good to clarify here that it is not a question of phenomenology but of a ” suprasystem” which has the characteristic of an autonomous phenomenon, is not the eidetic reduction.

The second meaning of the metapoint of view, “the ideological, cultural and social character of the theoretical system (the theory of systems) in which the conception of a physical system is inscribed” is emphasized (idem).

We cannot escape from this elaboration of the key epistemological problem: “the systemic articulation established between the anthroposocial universe and the physical universe, via the concept of system, suggests to us that an organizational character is fundamentally common to all systems” (MORIN, 1977 , p. 137).

Although there is talk of life linked to objects, in philosophy of the reification (or reification) of life, the dualistic mentality of separation between subjects and objects crystallizes and enlivens this in everyday life.

MORIN, E. (1977) The nature of NATURE. Lisbon PUBLICATIONS EUROPA-AMERICA, LDA.

 

The complexity and its genesis

21 Sep

As we penetrate into the increasingly studied man-machine relationship, it is necessary to understand what has been theorized about nature so far, which means forming a model for nature, and in turn, making human and non-human collectives and individuals, composed in a culture, or in a tradition, or in a more general scope, what is articulated and what is only configured.

That is, the model may be subject to error or failure according to the areas implemented and can be determined by them, but by re-articulated it within its own history of creation, not naturalization but the culturalization of concepts, we understand the model that we have a priri, and that it is not always nature itself.

The one who penetrated deeper into this idea was Edgar Morin and from there conceived his method and developed complexity, conceiving nature requires ultimately preserving the network from which he conceptually emerged and correcting where the concepts were separated, identifying a network.

So it’s about identifying the culture that developed around nature, Morin puts it in lowercase to differentiate it from Nature itself in capital letters which is all that was said here and so the complex develops, which means what was “fabric together”.

What we then say about nature is the culture that developed around the idea that we could dominate it, but one of Francis Bacon’s maxims is that “we can’t dominate it if we don’t understand”, modern quantum physics, Modern astrophysics have shown how naive the models of Newton, Galileo and Copernicus were, but they were woven together to arrive at the new models proposed today.

Edgar Morin explains the “disorder of order” starting with two quotes to say that the order: “simplified laws invented by the wise” (Brillouin, 1959, p. 190), abstractions taken by the concrete (Whitehead, 1926)” (MORIN, 1977 , p. 76).

It is now, according to Morin, squeezed “between microphysical chaos and the diaspora”, and it matters to know how it was born: “How did it develop from scratch? How to conceive of it despite, with and in disorder? How can she appear to us as the sole sovereign of the universe if it is now so difficult to justify her existence? (idem).

What is the genesis? “the concept of order, in classical physics, was Ptolemaic. As in Ptolemy’s system, where suns and planets revolved around the Earth, everything revolved around an order”. (MORIN, 1977, p. 82).The Copernican revolution, however, was not the final word: “Hubble took away the entire astral or galactic center. And here is the great Meta-Copernican and Meta-Newtonian revolution, which went underground from Carnot and Boltzmann to Planck, Bohr, Einstein and Hubble. There is no longer a center of the world, whether it is the Earth, the sun, the galaxy or a group of galaxies” (idem)

And he continues: ”There is no longer an unmistakable axis of time, but an antagonistic double process that emerged from the same and single process. The universe is, therefore, simultaneously polycentric, centered, decentered, disseminated, diasporizing…” (ibid.).

MORIN, E. (1977) The nature of NATURE. Lisbon PUBLICATIONS EUROPA-AMERICA, LDA.

 

What is natural and the possibility of knowing

16 Sep

The problem of knowing the world (natural and not cultural, this is what we have) must start from a premise of clearing our minds of cultural convictions, most of them idealistic, that blind us to the possibility of understanding that we do not dominate nature as proposed the Enlightenment, and worse, we run the risk of destroying it and putting civilization in check.

Quoting Edgar Morin in the epigraph of his first chapter of the book “The Nature of Nature”, I write the second in capital letters even to deify it in the sense that it is still unknown to us, and contains mystery that affects us, as proved by the current Pandemic that still challenges us.

Edgar Morin, opening the first chapter: “The Spirit of the Valley”, quotes Karl Popper: “Personally I think there is at least one problem… that interests all thinking men: the problem of understanding the world, ourselves and our knowledge as part of the world”, so this knowledge is neither definitive nor eternal, as everything evolves and is perishable.

To introduce these convictions, he makes a second quote by Jacob Bronowski: “The concept of science is neither absolute nor eternal”, and he will make a third, which is for the next post.

He begins with 5 convictions that made him start this book and where is his “cogito” his suspension of judgment of everything he thought before, his first conviction of these problems states that he: “holds us to the present, they demand that we let go of it to consider them in depth” (Morin, 1973, pg. 13), and professes his second conviction: “the principles of knowledge hide what, henceforth, it is vital to know” (idem) thus detaches himself from his previous ideas.

His third conviction is the strongest, increasingly convinced that the relationship science Ʌ politics, Ʌ ideology when it is not invisible, continues to be treated in an indigent way, through the reabsorption of two of its terms in one of them that has become dominant” (idem) , gives you food for thought.

His fourth conviction is that “that the concepts we use to conceive our society — the whole society — are mutilated and lead to inevitably mutilating actions” (idem).

Finally, his fifth conviction is: “that anthroposocial science must be articulated in the science of nature, and that this articulation requires a reorganization of the structure of knowledge itself” (Idem), so the knowledge we have needs to be modified to from its bases.

He knew that his task was really encyclopedic and vast, that’s why he even isolated himself in a castle (I don’t have the precise data) because his task: “I myself needed exceptional circumstances and conditions’ to move from conviction to action, that is, to work” (idem).

And it is from there that he wrote his complex method with three initial questions: “What does the radical self of self-organization mean? • What is the organization? • What is the complexity?” (page 14).

MORIN, E. The nature of NATURE. Lisbon PUBLICATIONS EUROPA-AMERICA, LDA., 1973.

 

 

Between the natural and the Supernatural

10 Sep

The soul (anima in its original Greco-Latin version) was studied by almost all ancient philosophers, it can be summarized from the Latin “anima mundi” (soul of the world) as a cosmological concept of a ruling force of the universe by which the divine becomes manifested in laws that affect matter, or in the hypothesis of an immaterial force, as something inseparable from matter, is in Plato in the books The Republic and Timaeus.

Marsilio Vicino, Renaissance humanist, who wrote a Platonic Theology, defined it as “The soul can be called the center of nature, the intermediary of all things, the current of the world, the essence of everything, the knot and union of the world” , whatever the concept, it is a part of the natural that may have manifestations unknown to current science, and that is why it is supernatural.

But the natural that man seemed to dominate from the Enlightenment, revealed to the few more mysterious than imagined, at the beginning of the century the uncertainty principle gave rise to quantum physics and a tiny virus challenges us, and we have not overcome it, the relaxation can provoke a new crisis, like a poorly cured patient who wants to do activities that the disease does not allow.

In his book The Nature of Nature, not by chance his first book on his method of complexity, Edgar Morin will describe the Dasein of nature (from physis) as: “All systems, even those we abstractly and arbitrarily isolate from sets of which they are part (like the atom, which is moreover a partially ideal object, or like the molecule), they are necessarily rooted in the physis” (Morin, 1977, p. 133), and quoting Lupasco (creator of the idea of the included third party, state between being and non-being of matter): “A system can only be energetic” (idem).

Energy, complexity and mystery is therefore a characteristic of nature, and we have discovered over the last century that uncertainty must not only be part of a truly scientific method, its absence can lead to dogma and obscurantism.

How the supernatural manifests itself then depends on the cosmovision of each culture, without being confused with it, as it has a unique meaning within the eschatology that sees it, the beginning and end of everything, of the universe and its enigmas.

In Christian culture, the supernatural is present in the human revelation of a God who makes himself small, and the human condition is reduced to take him to the coming of eternity. Jesus forbade the apostles to speak openly about his divinity, but he questioned them (Mk 8.27-29):

“Who do men say that I am?”. They replied, “some say you are John the Baptist, some say you are Elijah, some say you are one of the prophets.” Then he asked: “And you, who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.”

He talked separately with the disciples and was going to explain the kind of death he was going to die.

MORIN, E. THE METHOD 1. A natureza da NATUREZA (The nature of NATURE). Portugal: Europe-America Editions, 1977.

 

 

The natural and the cultural

09 Sep

The word naturalization is widely used at this time in history, and so this idea of ​​the natural that permeates Western culture since classical antiquity is explained here, which actually exists is a dichotomy between culture and the natural.

The renaissance was a great movement of transformation in Western culture, the universe became infinite, new lands and new peoples entered the history of the Old World and this climate put everything in discussion, Italian humanism was one of these stages of historical movements, we quote Pico della Mirandola and Marsilio Vicino and their works, but Dante Aligheri is more cited.

Dante’s Ulysses will cross the Pillars of Hercules of scientific knowledge, philosophy, technique, mathematics, arts and letters, challenging previous dogmas, but physics and the domain of nature are placed on opposite sides, although the Copernican Revolution is the great symbol of this turn, it will be the domain of nature that will develop in the next moment.

The idea of limitlessness, predictability, and certainties accompanied the philosophy of modernity until the advent of quantum physics, while science sought the domain of the natural, and we now see the consequences of this domain on the planet in ecological crisis, point physics The beginning of the Copernican revolution continued to move towards the mystery of particles to atomic subparticles, from harmonic universe to chaos with black holes, with worm paths that contradict absolute time.

The uncertainties reached science, and Edgar Morin recalls that one of the consequences of the current pandemic in an interview stated: “We do not know the political, economic, national and planetary consequences of the restrictions caused by the confinements. We don’t know whether to expect the worst, the best, or both mixed up: we are heading towards new uncertainties”, and this is the future.

The naturalization of historical contexts (race, ethnicity and sexism, for example), is actually a culturalization (although the term does not exist), and the so-called scientific epistemologies were important for this, mainly from a historical point of view, where they were transformed into culture because they were not natural and not even real, but versions of history.

The planet, society and civilization are asking for a truce, and we do not know if it will be possible to deliver it, the climate is increasingly tense, and a consequence that we did not expect from the pandemic (which should push us towards solidarity) is that we are more divided than before, the truce will be difficult.

 

 

Humanism and the natural

08 Sep

We have difficulty in understanding what is really natural and what is cultural, the naturalist view of pre-Socratic philosophy already anticipated a web of laws and interpretations of the material world, not exactly giving the configuration of what Being was, it was in this space that it developed the idea of ​​the subject as dual of the object, so subjectivity is not seen as cultural, but natural.

Heraclitus’ scarce references, what remains of him are just a few maxims as you cannot cross the same river twice, the idea of ​​becoming and fire as a primordial element in nature, hide a search for human identity with a prevailing objectivist tone , was the path opened by Socrates to themes as important today as interiority and conscience.

Moral conscience was only resumed within the scope of Christianity, leaving aside Plato and Aristotle, who elaborated the idea of ​​the immobile engine (the principle of the whole universe and thus of nature) but separated from the world of ideas, where “naturalistic” ideas developed , did not postulate a regnum hominis, a kingdom of man, of course there will be other readings from this period.

What encouraged me was Karl Popper’s description of The World of Parmenides as a period of the genesis of the Enlightenment, the Greek physis is nothing but nature, so it can be said as more property that physicalist naturalism begins there. , an extension of the perception that the human subject has its interiority linked to the living environment, and therefore cultural, an understanding of the individual or collective macrocosm (of cultural groups) is then linked to the idea of ​​nature without a broader cosmovision being contemplated.

To this question there is another one, about the emergence of the subject canceling the Being, which is freedom, subject is only as action, that is, as a function of the object, interiority is then a problematic part of an individual or collective subjectivism, and not a freedom of choice over which it manifests itself.

If man in his universe can only submit to the laws, to his destiny, he is not free, there is no place for autonomy, and in a broader sense he is subject to fatalism, in Aristotle a one-dimensional concept of freedom is traced. It, as a free being, is one who has himself as an end and who is not subject to menial work, is defined, therefore, around the polis, and its laws.

If the anthropocentric concept is revisited today, it is important to understand its Greek roots.

The Renaissance philosophy will develop a humanism, as the man at the center of all speculation, being a creature of the world he enjoys, however, a unique and very exceptional situation, I highlight Nicolau de Cusa, Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola.

Ficino is the least known, born in Figlini Valdarno (1433) and the greatest representative of Renaissance Fiorentine humanism, and revisits the works of Plato, Plotinus, Porphyry and Proclus.

Perhaps the reason for being little known may be due to the fact that he became a priest and wrote the Theologia Platonica (1482), a work that makes a dialogue with Plato’s conception of religion and the Neoplatonists.