Posts Tagged ‘ontologia’

Crisis of thought and cynical reason

17 Aug

Modern thought is still strongly linked to idealism, there are several points to question Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, two points that I consider central: the subject and object dualism (called the infernal dichotomy by Bruno Latour) and the transformation of eidos Greek in an abstract idea, almost all contemporary Western philosophy is heir to Kant.

The crisis of Greek “democracy” (questionable because slaves and women did not participate) happened amidst the crisis of sophistic thinking, founded on relativism and the justification of power, the art of rhetoric and oratory and the power of argumentation was worth more than the truth.

There, too, another infernal dichotomy is born: between nature (phýsis) and culture (nómos), after all, what is nature and what we mean by culture when we distance it from experience and techné.

Sloteridjk is one of the rare Western philosophers who will question without losing the rationalist and progressive slant, both the classic current models of argumentation and Adorno and Horkheimer, Sartre and Foucault, neither escapes nor Heidegger, who in a way is also heir, by questioning his Charter on Humanism, and thinking about what humanism actually is today.

What you call culture, for example, can show the contradiction, giving the example of China where you can eat dog meat and in India you can’t eat beef, which is a sacred animal.

The point that I consider most central is the explanation of modern relativism, since this was also the foundation of the Greek sophists, there everything that referred to practical life could be changed, so both religion and politics were considered cultural factors and could be modified is convergent, according to Sloterdijk with modern thought, according to his analysis of the concepts of cynicism and kynisms, its founder Antisthenes of Athens (445-365 BC) preached a simple life as a wild life (in nature, the word kynós means dog), the figure of Diogenes in his barrel is the most emblematic (in the painting above, Jean Leon Gerome).

Although a disciple of Socrates, unlike Plato, he opted only for the stereotype of the master, as opposed to educating and organizing an “episteme”, he will make everything simple and relative.

The context of these sophists was the city-state and the democracy of Athens which was in crisis.

The second part of Sloterdijk’s book is a critique of applied cynicism, structured in four parts: physiognomic, phenomenological, logical and historical.

Sloterdijk, P. Critique of Cynic Reason, trans. Marco Casanova et al., Brazil, SP: Estação Liberdade, 2012.


The agnostic version of heaven’s bread

06 Aug

Ignoring poetic language is not just ignoring metaphor, analogies do have a metaphysical limitation, but metaphor goes beyond analogy and there are assumptions in it that have yet to be verified by science as truth.

Paul Ricoeur clarifies: “what remains remarkable for us who come after the Kantian critique of this type of ontology is the way in which the thinker behaves in relation to the difficulties internal to his own solution…. of the categorical problem is resumed in its broad lines” (Ricoeur, 2005, p. 419).

This is not only linked to the idea of ​​the analogy that was re-elaborated by Thomism, but the main source of all the difficulties “is due to the need to support the analogical predication by an ontology of participation” (p. 420), this analogy is in the level of names and predicates, thus “it is of the conceptual order” (p. 421).

The attack on metaphor and metaphysics reached modernity, he stated “Thought looks listening and listens while looking” (Heidegger apud Ricoeur, 2005, p. 436), and Jean Greisch says that this “leap” places language in “the ´there is´ es gibt [has], there is no possible transition” and this would be the deviation.

Ricoeur himself replies that what makes this enunciation as a metaphor is the harmony (einklang) between ist and Grund in the “nothing is without reason”, it is necessary to understand the metaphor-statement.

Remember the biblical passage about Pharisaism unable to understand the divine transcendence (Jn 6:42), “Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph? Don’t we know your father and mother? How then can you say that you came down from heaven?”, and that is why they cannot understand the bread of heaven, the divine food, because they are trapped in material food alone.

There is indeed a metaphor-statement that links material food to divine food, but harmony is not being tied to one by submitting it to another, as explained in the previous post, this was the great Thomist argument to overcome the Aristotelian analogy: science divine is to God, what human science is to the created” (Ricoeur, 2005, p. 423), quoting Aquino’s De Veritate.

Of course, the problem of metaphor and poetics is not limited to divine knowledge, but it does not prevent it.



From metaphysics to ontology

05 Aug

There is no dishonorable resource of using metaphor toaffirm metaphysics, as Ricoeur asked, the Thomist resource “did not stop at the solution closest to the Platonic exemplary adopted in the commentary on Book I of the Sentences, still under the influence of Alberto the Great” (Ricoeur, 2005, p . 421).

Aquinas, when working on being, potency and act (his great categories), conceives an order of descent “in the series being, substance and accident” observes Ricoeur, “according to which one receives the other esse et rationem”, and thus establishes another analogy as described in Distintio XXXV (q. 1, ar. 4):

“There is another analogy [besides the order of priority] when a term imitates another as much as it can, but does not match it perfectly, and this analogy is found between God and creatures” (Aquino apud Ricoeur, 2005, p. 421), and explains Ricoeur it is necessary to understand this feature of a common term between God and creatures, and this can be explained thus:

“Between God and creatures there is no similarity through something common, but through imitation, from which it is said that the creature is similar to God, but not the other way around, as Pseudo-Dionysius says” (idem).

This participation by similarity means that “it is God himself who communicates his likeness: the diminished image ensures an imperfect and inadequate representation of the divine exemplar” (Ricoeur, 2005, p. 422), and this has a weakness: “the total disjunction between attribution of names and categorical attribution” (idem), thus the theological discourse “loses all support in the categorical discourse of being”.

The resource already pointed out above being as an act and power, direct similarity is still close to univocity, so Aquino observes that exemplary causality, due to its formal character, must be subordinated to efficient causality, the only one that founds the communication of underlying being analog assignment. The discovery of being as an act then becomes the ontological foundation of the theory of analogy” (RICOEUR, 2005, p. 422).

The discourse is too philosophical, and I simplify it here: God is pure being in act and potency, the creature is being in act and can be in potency, so Thomas Aquinas develops this.

Aquinate in De Veritate distinguishes two types of analogy, one proportional (proportio), for example a number and its double, and another one of proportional relation (proportionalitas) which is a similarity of relation, in numbers, for example, 6 is to 3 as 4 is to 2.

Of course this is not just mathematics, Ricoeur does this as a didactic resource, the infinite and the finite are disproportionate, but it can be said (divine science is for God, what human science is for the created” (Ricoeur, 2005, p. 423) and which is a quotation from Thomas Aquinas’ De veritate.

Ricoeur, P. (2005) Metáfora viva. trad. Dion David Macedo. BR, São Paulo: Edições Loyola.



Metaphor and Metaphysics

04 Aug

The peak and decline of Aristotle’s metaphysics, in Paul Ricoeur’s analysis, is “in the non-scientific characteristics of analogy, taken without its terminal meaning, regroup in his eyes in an argument against analogy” (Ricoeur, 2005, p. 414), and as the analogy was linked to the question of being, ontological questions are submerged with it.

However, Ricoeur clarifies, “it is because the ‘investigation’ of a non-generic connection of being remains a task for thought, even after the failure of Aristotle, that the problem of the ‘conducting thread’ will continue to be presented even in modern philosophy. ” (RICOEUR, 2005, p. 415).

For the author, while “the first gesture continues to be the conquest of a difference between transcendental analogy and poetic similarity” (Ricoeur, 2005, p. 416), which he explains and will not be extended here, the second “counter- example” of the “discontinuity of speculative discourse and poetic discourse” is much more serious, and it ranges from Kant’s discourse to Heidegger.

He explains that this was done in a mixed discourse that the doctrine of analogy entis reached in its full development and that was called ontotheology, due to the pretension of linking divine transcendence to Being, but ignoring the Thomistic discourse, which is “an inestimable testimony”.

What Aquinas does is “establish theological discourse at the level of a science and thus completely subtract it from the poetic forms of religious discourse, even at the price of a rupture between the science of God and biblical hermeneutics” (p. 417) .

However, the problem is more complex “than that of the regulated diversity of the categories of being of Aristotle”, “to speak rationally of the creator God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The bet is to be able to extend to the question of divine names the problematic of the analogy raised by the equivocal notion of being” (p. 417), remember here the battle between nominalists and medieval realists.

Explaining that the doctrine of the analogy of being was born “from this ambition to involve in a single doctrine the horizontal relation of categories to substance and the vertical relation of created things to the creator” (p. 419), now this was exactly the project of an ontotheology .

Thus, the Thomistic discourse “rediscovers a similar alternative: to invoke a discourse common to God and creatures would be to ruin divine transcendence, to assume a total incommunicability of the meanings from one plane to the other would be, in compensation, to condemn oneself to the most complete agnosticism” (p. 418), he takes up the categorical problem “in its broad lines” and “it is the very concept of analogy that must be constantly re-elaborated” (p. 420).

A question remains to be answered, wouldn’t this be a “return from metaphysics to poetry, through a dishonorable recourse to metaphor, according to the argument that Aristotle opposed to Platonism?” (p. 421).


Metaphor and speculation

03 Aug

There is nothing in philosophical discourse (or in well-structured thinking) that is free from presuppositions.

In the living metaphor, Paul Ricoeur clarifies that this is “for the simple reason that the work of thought by which a region of the thinkable is thematized brings into play operational concepts that cannot, at the same time, be thematized” (Ricoeur, 2005, p. 391).

These postulates are fundamental to understanding discourse, rhetoric and mere speculation.

Paul Ricoeur makes this study around the questions: “Which philosophy is involved in the movement that leads the investigation from rhetoric to semantics and from meaning to reference? “(idem).

It will be in the answer to these questions, and “without reaching the conception suggested by Wittgenstein of a radical heterogeneity of language games” (Ricoeur, 2005, p. 392) it is possible to recognize: “in its principle, the discontinuity that ensures the speculative discourse its autonomy” (idem).

Not explained by Ricoeur, but Edgar Morin talks about two roots of modern discourse that lead speculative discourse to a modern form of obscurantism: the closure in areas of overly specialized knowledge, which he calls hyperspecialization.

Here, metaphor can be confused with mere speculation and philosophy would be “induced by the metaphorical functioning, if it could show that it only reproduces, on the speculative level, the semantic functioning of poetic discourse” (idem).

He clarifies that the touchstone of this misunderstanding is “the Aristotelian doctrine of the analogical unity of the multiple meanings of being, ancestor of the medieval doctrine of the analogy of being” (idem) which we will return to in the next post to understand the metaphysical limitations of Aristotelian ontology.

The second, more fundamental clarification is the categorical discourse, where “there is no transition between poetic metaphor and transcendental equivocality” which is the conjunction between theology and philosophy “in a mixed discourse” that creates confusion between analogy and metaphor” (Ricoeur , 2005, p. 393), and would this imply “a sub-reption, to return a Kantian expression?” (idem), for this reason it is necessary to return to the metaphysical question and in it the ontological question.

He quotes as an epigraph Heidegger’s statement that “the metaphorical only exists within metaphysics”, this is the heart of this work by Ricoeur, and he calls it a “second navigation”, an allusion to Jacques Derridá’s “Mytologie blanche”, passing from living metaphor to dead metaphor.

Ricoeur, P. (2005) Metáfora viva. trad. Dion David Macedo. Brazil, SP: Ed. Loyola.


Topology of Violence

14 Jul

The book Topology of violence (original: Topologie der Gewalt), can be considered a continuation of the analysis of Sociedade do Cansaço, in which it shows why society is on the brink of collapse, and shows that at the same time a general thesis about its disappearance, a war trend that now gives way to the other, changing its way of operating.

His ideas about violence are innovative and out of common sense, which always thinks of the modern conception of society in freedom, individuality and personal fulfillment, goes in search of the dark side of the subject, where he begins.

This violence is the one that tends to eliminate the other, anonymous, “subjective” and systemic, which is not revealed as it accepts the antagonist’s freedom.

His concept of violence is then that which he defines as functioning in a free individuality, motivated by the activity of persevering and not failing, and with the ambience of efficiency he renounces even making sacrifices at the same time, but entering a whirlpool of limitation, self-exploration and collapse.

All this has a relationship with seduction, which he explained in an interview with El Pais newspaper that seduction cannot be confused with buying: ““I think that not only Greece, but also Spain, are in a state of shock after the crisis financial . The same happened in Korea after the Asian crisis. The neoliberal regime radically implements this state of shock. And here comes the devil, which is called liberalism or the International Monetary Fund, and gives money or credit in exchange for human souls.”

All this to increase credit and give greater incentive to supposed efficiency, and he explains that in the end: “We are all exhausted and depressed. The fatigue society in South Korea is now in a deadly stage,” revealing the little-known side of the country he came from and who speaks property.

And it’s not a happier society, he explains, “the invisible doesn’t exist, so everything is delivered naked, without secret, to be devoured immediately, as Baudrillard said”, he explains that everything should have a veil, however thin, an interiority.


Arroyo, Francesc. Aviso de derrumbe (Crash warning). interview by Byung Chul Han to the daily El País, Spain.



Dialogue is the essential

09 Jul

The essential is far from modern society because it is required of every human being, even those who have some physical limitation or social difference, the maximum performance, Byung-Chul Han in his book Society of Tiredness (Brazil, Vozes, 2015), defines also as a performance society.

It projects us out of the essential, unlike an “immunological epoch” it is a “neuronal epoch”, the division between “inside and outside, friend and enemy or between self and stranger”, is defined as “attack and defense ” (HAN, 2015, p. 8) that is why it tends towards confrontation and not peace.

Peace requires dialogue, and the essential requires inner choices that move us to the outer essential.

This exhaustion of performance is what “disables us to do anything” (Han, 2015, p. 76) and dialogue becomes difficult, proselytizing or even mere rhetoric, but only it can lead to peace. Edgar Morin, who turned 100 (see previous post), established as a dialogical operator that capable of operator: reason and emotion, the sensitive and the intelligible, the real and the imaginary, reason and myths, and, science and art.

It can be seen that polarization is always on one side, it does not articulate “inside and outside” as proposed by Chul Han, so dialogizing is to admit the connection between these poles and not their mutual exclusion.

Due to the identity issue, strong in our times involving cultures, religions and nationalities, the pole between reason and myths becomes exacerbated where dialogue is difficult.

It is necessary to respect the different when dialoguing, also allowing the word and not excluding it with only rational arguments, there are ontological, historical, cultural, and social reasons for their arguments, and if we are not “disarmed” the dialogue does not take place.

When sending the disciples to bring the “good news”, the instructions given to the apostles are interesting, in Mk 6:8-10 he asks them not to take anything, not even purses or bags, and when they enter a house they wish for peace, and stay there until your departure, and the reading says that you cured the sick and cast out demons, the essentials and dialogue have this potential.

The unbalanced performance, tiredness and frivolity lead society to exhaustion and the difficulty of dialogue, because we are also full of convictions and reasons.

HAN, B.-C. (2015) Sociedade do Cansaço (Society of Burnout). Translation by Enio Paulo Giachini. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.


Being aware of Being and living with the essential

07 Jul

Philosopher Socrates’ phrase “the life that is not examined is not worth living” would not be a great success today, frivolity has given rise to what is not essential as a false need for happiness and an environment of pain and resilience clashes with this mindset.

One must examine in this context what consciousness is, and as hermeneutics asks, there is no consciousness, other than the consciousness of something, the phenomenological consciousness there is no dualism between subject and object, Being is seeking to examine the consciousness of something, whether it is concrete or abstract.

Social life requires some form of mutualism, being well and the Being does not deny its sociability, personal life requires examination of the Being, balance with nature, also with its own implies health, balance and this is not separate from interiority and capacity for personal reflection.

Pure exteriority leads to the unessential, performance, public image and personal self-worth are forms of exteriority that can lead to consumerism and exaggerated individualism.

Life and “examined the life” is complex, but living in essential change to simple style.

The essentials to live require few things: modest clothing, food and possessions can lead to a balanced and happy life, the opposite can lead to an excess of worry and stress.

At the other extreme, not having the essential can also lead to despair, there are the biggest and most unfair social situations, a society that does not care about this is out of balance and leads everyone to imbalance, even those who accumulate and become selfish and consumerist.

The consciousness of Being in the Hegelian view would be linked to Being-in-itself and for-itself is only in the form of perception, it is in the imagination, the intentionality of phenomena that denies other objects (external) or of itself (internal) and so this type of  awareness is related to nothingness.

Consciousness cannot be achieved without identifying itself with any being-in-itself (something in phenomenology) it is in it that it approaches in relation to another consciousness, this is because an action or choice as consciousness perceives in this relation the contingency and gratuitousness of existence.

Thus, this awareness leads to reciprocity, mutualism and an existence that is worthwhile, in the words of the philosopher Socrates “because it examines itself” and this vivifies it and moves towards fullness.

Pure exteriority is voluntarism and pure interiority is false essentiality and can be an escape.



The whole, the part and the Being

02 Jul

It was from this theorization of the whole that Werner Heisenberg started the quantum principle, when he formulated his theory there was no answer from scientific experience, which in itself already contests empiricism, and it was a “theory” which in itself contests that reality is practical, but it was the first attempt, happy because later Physics and Science would come to their rescue, starting from the whole and not from the parts, as proposed by the Cartesian method.

The truth of physics, however, changes over time, new discoveries about new discoveries of subparticles (among them the Higgs boson), the 7 states of matter (it joins the three widely known, the plasma (light liquid), Bose-Einstein states, fermionic gas and polarations superfluid, and there may be an eighth, so there is already a paraphysics.

But there is already, and there always was, metaphysics (later physics), modernity wanted to reduce it to subjectivity (something proper to the subject, but only stuck in his mind), the current ontology, the result of hermeneutics and phenomenology, it recovers by questioning the “veiling” of being, and proposes a clearing, the crisis of humanism is nothing other than this crisis.

The philosophical question about everything is “because there is everything and not nothing” and this supposes ex-sistence, as the question about the whole could be, it is not asked philosophically but only theologically, if there is “everything” which it is the intention that justifies the ex-sistence of everything ?.

Phenomenology recovers intentionality, a subcategory of consciousness in medieval philosophy, with a sense of being directed at something, or of being about something, thus ontological.

Husserl recovered it by directing it to an object, an essential category in modern idealism, but directing it to something that can be imaginary or real, thus including metaphysics and Being.

So the fantastic thing about the existence of everything is not just its existence, but the intention for the Whole.

What is the whole and if it exists is Being, so only He can Be beyond the whole universe that is locus, since in modern physics time is an abstraction, says Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli, who is among the most respected.

F or Christians, the entrance of God into the physis happens with Jesus, says the passage that Jesus asks who they say is “the son of man” (He thus speaks of one of his two natures: divine and human), and he goes to ask the apostles the who they say He is.

The apostles respond (Mt 16:14-16), they replied: “Some say it is John the Baptist; others that it is Elijah; still others, that it is Jeremiah or one of the prophets”. Then Jesus asked them, “And you, who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and Jesus says he is happy because it was God who revealed him.



Between Being, Nothing and interiority

01 Jul

The first ontological sensation, faced with rationality, was an attempt to confine Being in its subjectivity (which comes from the subject) in order to make the relationship with the Being an “objectivity” that exists outside of Being (for modernity outside the subject).

As both deny ex-sistence, here it means ex “to leave” and the verb sistere, “to be placed”, so to exist is what is placed outside the being, more than subjectivity is the very essence of Being, beyond of the imaginary and the symbolic, of the imaginary because it is unrepresentable and the symbolic because it means the non-meaning, but there are all essence and existence of Being.

The conception of denying the existence of being, which has to deny even the reason that conceives it, comes from Gorgias (485-380 BC), a sophist whom Plato refuted in a book, for him there was no truth and it can be said that it is the distant principle for relativism.

The existence and reality of Being, although veiled, lies in the possibility of a clearing, on which depends the opening of Dasein, its relationship with the physis (nature in the general sense of the Greeks) and for which the veil that covers the being, and so the relationship with being and interiority.

If we see ourselves only as we see in a mirror, we see the image of our being, if we see as we are, it means that we are able to see beyond it our interiority, our complexity and from them how we relate to the whole of which we are part.

The projection on the exteriority and denial of interiority is part of the emptying of Being in modernity, we are what we do and it doesn’t really matter what we actually are interiorly.

From this emptying, nihilism (nihil – nothing) was born, solipsism (the I and my sensations) and, in a way, subjectivism (considerations only about what is personal, an empty interiority) and a good part of theorizations values in ​​the infernal dichotomies (subject x object) and (nature x culture).

In a more current interpretation, in the Society of Tiredness Byung Chul Han speaks of interiority, in another book The Society of Transparency he states: “today the world is not a theater in which actions and feelings are represented and read, but a market where they are exposed , sells and consumes intimacies” (HAN, 2017, p. 80).

Han, Byung-Chul (2017). Transparency Society. Enio Paulo Giachini. Brazil: Petrópolis, Vozes, 2017.