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Serenity and the thinking that calculates

16 Mar

Heidegger’s book “Serenity” will divide contemporary thought into that which calculates and that which meditates, on which it calculates it states:

“The thinking that calculates (das rechnende Denken) makes calculations. It makes calculations with continually new possibilities, always with greater perspectives and at the same time more economical. The thought that calculates goes from opportunity to opportunity. The thinking that calculates never stops, never comes to meditate.” (p. 13).

He argues that this is not a “higher” meditation, every man thinks and thought can lead to meditation, just meditate on the here and now that is around us.

Heidegger reminds us that we should all think about our roots, said in a more contemporary way, not denying our origins and their influences in our world view, even if limited, he states: “the rooting (die Bodentändigkeit) of the current Man is threatened in his most intimate essence. More: the loss of rootedness is not provoked only by external circumstances and fatalities of destiny, nor is it the effect of the negligence and superficial way of Men. The loss of grounding comes from the spirit of the times into which we were all born” (p. 17).

This is what makes Heidegger and other current philosophers analyze the foundations of current thought, Edgar Morin also speaks of this need to overcome this thought, alerting to the contemporary view of education.

The most current and surprising vision of Heidegger, published in 1955, is the characteristic of our time where “the most tormenting is the atomic bomb”, he realizes that the thinking he calculates sees only the industrial possibilities and liberation of the energies of nature, however the philosopher meditates on what this domain means.

“The hidden power in contemporary technology determines Man’s relationship with what exists. Dominate the entire Earth. Man is already starting to leave the Earth towards cosmic space …” (p. 19), which, in addition to being incredibly current, also had an omen of the future.

But he did not fail to see the danger of these “great atomic energies”, and thus: “assures humanity that such colossal energies, suddenly, anywhere – even without warlike actions -, do not escape our control, and “take the brakes on us teeth” and annihilate everything?” (p.20).

We saw the accidents of Chernobyl and Fukushima, this loss of control, now we see a war that points to the warlike use of these forces, Heidegger is right to ask for serenity and meditation.


HEIDEGGER, M. Serenity. trans. Translation by Maria Madalena Andrade and Olga Santos. Lisbon: Instituto Piaget, s/d.



War becomes dangerous and can get out of hand

13 Mar

As the war scene advanced in Eastern Europe, several analyzes were made here showing an increasingly cybernetic war and with chances of being nuclear, now both international news (such as CNN for example) and the American intelligence services, point out this tragic evolution.

Officials of the US Senate Intelligence Committee spoke last Wednesday (08/03) of this scenario affirmed what is written in the report of the Office of National Intelligence: “degraded Moscow’s conventional land and air capabilities and increased its dependence on weapons nuclear weapons”, so a window for peace is becoming smaller and smaller.

The battle of Bakhmut, which could pave the way for a larger invasion of Ukrainian territory, is costing both sides dearly, but will intensify the war on Ukrainian soil, with losses and unpredictable scenarios.

While the Russians announce victory in Bakhmut, the Ukrainians say that each Ukrainian soldier killed cost the lives of 5 Russian soldiers, propaganda aside, Russia does pay an expensive cost for the dispute in the region and shows that it will be a war step by step and costing many lives, in addition to refugees and material destruction.

At the global level, NATO’s involvement grows as Russia seeks allies beyond China.

The involvement with weapons and even training of troops from Poland and Germany, as well as the already evident involvement of NATO since the beginning of the war, can extrapolate the limits of Russia and Poland and pass to the entire European continent, already a Russian “new Pearl Harbour”. , launching long-range missiles into American territory would start a global tragedy by the power of weapons.

Weapons are available and there is also tension in the East, now with South Korea and Japan approaching Western forces.

Peace is always possible, but it requires an environment of cooperation and understanding between nations.



War and the End of Winter

06 Mar

The Russian strategy was to “freeze” the Ukrainians and their allies in Europe in the winter, so not only did it limit the shipment of gas but it also bombed several energy sources in Ukraine, with Europe stocking gas before and knowing the Russian strategy, it went to get natural gas in other sources, such as Africa, and now we are at the end of winter there (and summer here in the southern hemisphere).

A possible war tactic now would be the use of biological weapons, there are already reports that this has occurred in Ukraine, they are prohibited by international agreements, but a direct confrontation with NATO would bring enormous wear and tear beyond the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe.

Brazil’s vote and intervention for peace had a negative reaction in Russia, which has already alerted Brazil to a confrontational position, Brazil was the only country to vote against Russian intervention in the last vote that increased the rejection of Russian intervention, there is no other name for the fact.

The end of winter brings a period of great flooding and shifting terrain and the advance of ground forces is not possible, the young people recruited for the war in Russia do not have skills for heavy weapons and aviation for the most part.

What is the path to peace at the moment, Brazil is trying to form a “neutral” bloc that dialogues with both sides, but NATO is a fundamental part of the war in Ukraine and therein lies the difficulty.

The German newspaper Der Spiegel stated that the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said that the time of peace is over in Europe, it is a serious statement, which came in response to Russian threats, also there is already a visible movement (I am aware of some cases) of services that can be done from home are moving outside Europe.

In the event of a biological war, of course we hope it never comes to this point, the evacuation of many services would be inevitable and a completely warlike climate would settle on the continent.

We hope and always believe in possible peace.



What’s beyond human

03 Mar

Certainly existing nature, the planets and the entire universe, when seen more by human devices: interplanetary travel and the James Webb megatelescope, more complex and challenging human intelligence.

But there is something in man in the human beyond that is in his conscience and in his feelings and affections, there is a complex divine spark, says the poet that makes him look outside for what is inside.

Imagining that this could be in a machine is just one of the aspects of control and the will to human power, whose theme we developed last week, the transhuman creates a fiction and a human fantasy that man himself would create something to overcome it, the great fantasy of the development of the resources of the current Artificial Intelligence, everything that is there the man who put it.

It is the human desire to be your own creator and who knows how to reach an earthly divinity, but contrary to what you seek, technology does not only have the purpose of destroying and also of helping, it can, by daydream, impel extra-human forces of destruction.

We were created because man has not always existed on earth, and even the hypothesis that we come from other celestial bodies, the fantasy of aliens, which may even exist, will be created by something that has an infinite consciousness and greater than ours, had to there is a celestial and ontological creative principle, with logic of being (onto).

This mystical fantasy makes sense, because any self-respecting science, philosophy, or theology will speculate about human creation, and any eschatology will wonder about our destiny.

There is a moment in Jesus’ earthly life, the historical figure is indisputable, in which he reveals himself as divine to his disciples, who are so amazed that they want to build three tents and stay there, the event called “Mount Tabor” (Photo), where they were with Jesus only three disciples.

(Mt 17,1-3): “Jesus took with him Peter, James and John, his brother, and led them to a place apart, on a high mountain. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. Then Moses and Elijah appeared to him, talking with Jesus.”



Wrath and Peace

17 Feb

It is true that the history of humanity is punctuated by wars, but what would happen if it were the other way around and men sought in all circumstances to find a more solidary and less dark path for their conflicts.

However, an international conflict at this moment would be a tragedy that could put the civilizing process itself in check and whose consequences would be unimaginable numbers of human lives lost, nature contaminated and material damage.

Meanwhile, the conflict in Eastern Europe is taking on an increasingly international outline, a Russian frigate loaded with unstoppable hypersonic missiles and with a range of a thousand kilometers is heading across the South Atlantic towards the American east coast.

The Stoic philosopher Seneca (4 BC–65 AD) who wrote a treatise on Anger, which unlike many others says that there is no wisdom in it, wrote in his work: “No man is made more courageous through anger, except one who, without anger, , would not have been courageous: anger, therefore, does not come to help courage, but to take its place” (I.13).

So war is not only a bad adviser, it takes the place of courage and true heroism, that which leads humanity to harmony, tolerance and true civility.

It may seem altruistic, but the true Christian teaching is present in many religions, remember Ghandi’s Hinduism, which intransigently defended peace, so says the attentive reading of the Bible: “You have heard what was said: An eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth! I, however, say to you: do not face those who are evil! On the contrary, if someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer him the left as well!” (Mt 5,38-39).

We can avoid a civilizing catastrophe, but not without forgiveness and concessions. There´s still time. 




Anger and social issues

16 Feb

One of the strongest arguments for anger is the social issue, before economic, now cultural and ethnic.

The book by the American John Steinbeck, caused a great malaise in society, was cited with a certain reverence when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 although the book is from 1929, the book was well received in Soviet Eastern Europe at the time and in the Scandinavian countries.

At the time, the book was burned in public squares and banned from schools, it was the beginning of the cold war and McCarthyism (persecution of communists in the USA), although the author never had an affiliation.

The book begins with Tom Joad, the central character of the book, asking for a ride after 7 years in prison which was his sentence for having murdered someone as a result of a bar fight, even though it was in his self-defense he ended up being declared guilty.

He finds nothing in his old house and ends up discovering that they had sold all the belongings and going to Uncle John’s house and getting there he realizes that everyone is ready to leave and discovers that the big companies and farms are closed and the farmers are leaving to California to look for work.

It is the period of the great American depression, and social issues are emerging, the book shows the conditions of work and exploration in the fields of fruit plantations in California, Steinbeck is from the Salinas region, where the novel takes place, which although fiction has a connection with the region.

The question is how far can the limits of this type of revolt go, is it just violence and ideological struggles when these conditions are present, what are the alternatives to the problems, is it likely that we will enter a new recession, in addition to the risk of war, the book by Steinbeck gives us a similar scenario (recession and war) and may point us not to a return to the past, but to a new possibility for the dark future that awaits us.

Steibeck, John. (1939). The grapes of wrath. First edition: New York Viking,  1939.




The Lights of Enlightenment

31 Jan

We still live under the aegis of the Enlightenment, the strong movement of 18th century Europe, its principles seemed to lead to a perfect society speaking of freedom and equality among human beings, wishing to abolish both the powers of realization and the influence of Christian religiosity, Voltaire and Diderot were the most radical thinkers, but you can’t help but feel the influences of Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, David Hume and Montesquieu.

Ernest Cassirer makes one of the important treatises on the Enlightenment, quotes Diderot: “The Author of nature, who will not reward me for having been a man of spirit, will not condemn me to eternal punishment for having been a fool” (apud Cassirer, 1992, p. 224), but the author corrects both the aspect of tolerance, it is necessary to remember the wars between Lutherans and Catholics involving different reigns and the peace of Westphalia, and the aspect now of a free religiosity that “is no longer a gift of a supernatural power, of divine grace; it must spring from the action itself and receive its essential determinations from the action” (Cassirer, p. 225).

The idea also developed by Cassirer of a “pure” intellectualism, on the one hand puts a primacy of thought over pure theoretical speculation and on the other hand seeks to found a religion “in the pure limits of simple reason”, of course without faith, without the mystery (which is part of nature) is no longer religion.

Cartesian insufficiency and reductionism, a strong argument of Cassirer to the Enlightenment, made several philosophers seek roots in Eastern philosophy, Cassirer reminds Leibniz that he had already “quoted Chinese civilization” and in the Persian Letters, Montesquieu makes a comparison between East and West, but it will be Schopenhauer (Upanishad) and Nietzsche (Zaratrusta) who, under these eastern influences, will break with Enlightenment philosophy.

Leibniz is not directly contested, but his disciple Wilhelm Wolff, who “celebrates Confucius as a prophet of great moral purity and places him on a par with Christ” (Cassirer, p.226), will be the target of Voltaire’s irony in his famous “Candido, or optimism” (1759), criticizes the idea of “the best of all possible worlds”.

In the economic aspect, it was important to overcome the philosophy of mercantilism and develop liberal theory (especially Ada, m Smith) on the concept of the economy of nations, but liberalism will develop more broadly with the idea of financial capital by David Ricardo (1772-1823).

The civilizational crisis that we pointed out in last week’s posts (and previous ones, of course), has its roots in the Enlightenment and its ideas of state, religion and freedom, but as Cassirer points out, it is important to “reject the literal meaning of the Bible every time it is mentioned. finds expressed the obligation of an act that contradicts the elementary principles of morality” (p. 228), but in his Treatise on Tolerance (1763), a law of the intellectual world is traced “that reason only exists and subsists if it is recreated day after day” (p. 229).

Cassirer’s development however is that “one cannot decide on their point value apart from their moral efficacy. This is Lessing’s meaning of the apologue of the ring: the ultimate and profound truth of religion is only proved from within” (p. 230).

For these philosophers, only objectivity (the relationship with the external object) is knowledge, and this is achieved in a “transcendence” of the subject in relation to the object, thus there is no sense or value in a moral asceticism, thus for them religion is religion. natural, although they do not have a good relationship with nature.

CASSIRER, Ernest.  (1992) A filosofia do Iluminismo (The Philosophy of the Enlightenment). Trans. Alvaro Cabral. Brazil, Campinas, SP: Editora da Unicamp.



The reduction of transcendence to subjectivity

17 Jan

The idea of an absolutizing and unique thought has pursued humanity since classical antiquity, the One will appear in almost all texts, but an almost hidden concept coming from Socrates (clearly through “All philosophy is just a footnote to Plato and Aristotle” phrase by Alfred Whitehead, in fact one could extend it to Socrates, in fact Dalrymple himself does not include Aristotle (see p. 67).

However, in addition to the problem of translation, few know Greek, and every translation is a betrayal, because we know that language is the expression of Being, and even for science we know that there is no formal truth and we have already posted using Darlymple’s texts , that there are two forms of relativism: the abstract and the empirical, so just to enter a new text, we depend on thought, although abstract dichotomies are also found in it, such as that of formal logic that is valid for mathematics and empirical logic that is valid for science of nature in general and with certain restrictions for social ones as well.

This way we can enter the text of Slavoj Zizek on “The year we think dangerously”, he is talking about 2011 both in the various occupation movements (in Europe in Wall Street) and in the Arab spring, which afterwards the absolutizing thoughts tried to reduce to misunderstandings and ironies, but there was something new and uncomfortable in those movements, and this introduces what Zizek thinks.

And without a doubt a reading more to the left than Dalrymple, but what is interesting is both the search for new paths, the fact that we return to Byzantine socialism and pre-colonial neoliberalism indicates that we are going in circles, and some thinkers look for the new in the midst to populism and polarization.

Zizek’s first important clarification to avoid footnote readings is a quote he makes from Hegel: “if reality does not correspond to the concept, worse for reality” (Zizek, 2012, p. 10), to say that all left-wing thought with Hegelian affiliation, and this includes the orthodox Marxists, are more attached to the theory of thinking, and although they wish to be heirs only to Aristotle who would be more “realistic”, there is also in Plato the idea of the sensible world separated from the world of ideas, but Careful, the eidos of antiquity has little or nothing to do with Kantian idealism, in a word eidos in Greek is image.

The divergence between Plato and Aristotle is in the representation of the real: in Plato the extromission (the image projected into us and which converges to the intelligible world) while in Aristotle coffee the intrusion, where the idea comes from the “world of contingent phenomena” and that emit copies of themselves into our interior, and are interpreted by an innate or acquired knowledge.

Differing from this original conception of Kantian principles, he points out his divergence with Frederic Jameson, and states that in Marx’s thought both the objective and subjective dimensions, not admitting the objective dimensions as ideological, “a description devoid of any subjective involvement” ( pg. 10), but both are not subject to any form of transcendence, what Zizek discusses with Kant and about what he considers “the public space of ‘world civil society’ designates the paradox of universal singularity, of a singular subject who, in a kind of short-[circuit, he bypasses the mediation of the particular and participates directly in the Universal” (pg 11), just as Kant and Hegel do not break away from the objectivity/subjectivity dichotomy to reach a truly universal transcendence.

The absence of an ascesis that reduces man to the merely human, or to use an “too human” philosophical expression, a book by Nietzsche that abandons transcendence, to try later to find it again in the eastern philosophy of Zarathustra, a path taken by many previous contemporary philosophers to the new types of transcendence that we have already mentioned from Theodore Dalrymple.

The analysis of 2011 and its revolts are important for the analysis that he makes of Hard and Negri “Crowd” and the analysis that he makes of the utopias of 2011 are important, if not the only ones, of dreams postponed, since the Prague spring, the revolts of Paris, the movements of the hippies and opposition to the Vietnam War in 1968, if the political consequences were not what was expected, they moved the cultural world for years, and we believe they can also move the scarce political ideas and universal theories about peace between peoples, with the springs of 2011, there is a lack of models of real emancipation, and realism has to do with ideas (eidos) and they are not just “practical” options because they themselves have their theoretical ideals, although rarely examined, Zizek does.

The return to the Greek Eidos, which are what we produce as images, whether from the inside to the outside (extromission) or from the outside to the inside (intromission), is important to review the ideas of our time, where did it get lost or perhaps find the treasure wanted.


ZIZEK, Slavoj (2012). O ano que sonhamos perigosamente (The Year We Dreamed Dangerously), trans. Rogerio Bettoni. Brazil, São Paulo: Boitempo.



Demographic concerns or cultural crisis

11 Jan

Chapter 2 of Dalrymple’s book analyzes the demographic question in Europe, the Europeans of origin are aging, while Africans and Muslims who have more children grow and also the question of religious and cultural background appears, late rates of 2004 (the book is from 2010 in the original) data are, of average growth:’

“Ireland (1.99), France (1.90), Norway (1.91), Sweden (1.75), United Kingdom (1.74), Netherlands (1.73), Germany (1.37), Italy (1.33), Spain (1.32), Greece (1.29)” (DALRYMPLE, 2016, p. 28)”, considering that each couple should have two children to replace the population, not positive growth but negative.

After doing an analysis on economic power and population growth, citing as examples Singapore and Hong Kong successful economies with small populations, Denmark to cite a European example and then compares with Great Britain that colonized them, and Nigeria with a large population and low development rates despite oil, but economic analysis is not its forte.

Then he analyzes the Muslim question, which is growing throughout Europe, but at the same time becoming secularized, although there are small groups of radical groups, which is no different in this respect from Christians, see the case of Ireland, just for example, after a long analysis of the woman question, from fundamentalism he finally lands on the philosophical question and the role of relativism.

However, it will focus on logicians, and in a certain nostalgia for the period of Descartes’ Reason, since this specific type of rationalism is already practically outdated and already in Kant, long before our period of certain new philosophical scarcity (let’s explore Sloterdijk and Zizek), had already written the “Critica da Razão Pure”, his golden work.

However, the initial analysis of relativism is good, the author wrote: “there are two origins of relativism: abstract and empirical” (p. 67), the author makes a reverse criticism since empiricism is a consequence of rationalism, dreams of returns to its purity (Return, Descartes, we need you, a subitem), and in the field of abstractionism it does not criticize logicism, among its citations are Alfred N. Whitehead (from Principia Mathematica, written together with Bertrand Russerl, another logician also present in your quotes.

However, he writes at the outset, a sentence by Whitehead according to which all Western philosophy is nothing but footnotes to Plato’s philosophy, but this is also valid for logicism, another truth also said also said

by Whitehead is “there are no whole truths: all truths are half truths”, however, logicism is based on the binary False and True.

If empiricism did not fully respond to pure rationalism, neither did abstractionism, and it can be said that pure abstractionism is exactly the logicist, since neologicism, for example by Kurt Gödel, admits its logical contradiction, expressed in its paradox that every axiomatic system (formal logic) is either complete or consistent, it cannot be both at the same time.

However, there are profound things in his analysis of rationalism, for example, when quoting Thomas Khun and stating that science had “epistemological” feet of clay, Kuhn appealed to the fact “to those intellectuals who felt vaguely guilty for not understanding anything about science …. , but on a deeper level he appealed to those intellectuals who deprecated the West in general, and Europe in particular, as the originator of science”…. And so: “The more meticulous the self-deprecation, the more generous, open and progressive a person would be” (p. 71) and this is even among those who idolize science.

So it is not the author’s conclusion, but ours, he tries to rebuild this moral field with “dissemination of doubt”, “the multiculturalism of everyday life” and the “choice of the greater good”, and whose apex is a love of freedom (yes it is important, but it has no moral asceticism in it), citing Shelley’s empirio-anarchism by Walter Bagehot in Estimations in Criticism: “the love of liberty is peculiarly natural to the mere impulsive mind [such as his]. He bristles at the idea of ​​a law; enjoys imagining that he doesn’t need it [….] The government seems absurd to him – a demon…” (Dalrymple, 2016, p. 81).

It is a youthful criticism of the state, and does not enter into the discussion of a strong, mediating or minimal state, but it is right to say at the end of chapter 5: this was exceptional in Shelley’s time (passage from the 16th century to the 17th century ) in which the thoughts of our time seem to be trapped (according to Dalrymple, almost a norm).

Dalrymple, Theodore (2016). A nova síndrome de Vicky: porque os intelectuais europeus se rendem ao barbarismo. Transl. Maurício G. Righi. Brazil, São Paulo: É realizações, original english 2010.




Among the corrupt, thieves and the blind

15 Nov

Blindness is not the privilege of a few, but birth blindness would be something almost incurable because the cognitive apparatus is not prepared to see, corruption is practically an addiction, a compulsion and difficult to reverse as a character, and finally, theft is a compulsion not only moved by hunger, but mainly by the desire of usurpation and envy of many.

There are in the Bible three rare and personal cases in which there is a complete reversal of these values, this to show the radicalism and strength of faith on paradigmatic cases, the rich and runt Zacchaeus who needs to climb a tree to see Jesus has a radical change of life , the man born blind is healed and the thief crucified next to Jesus, who tradition has called Dimas, is not only redeemed but is invited to go to paradise, said from the mouth of Jesus: “he will still be with me today”.

These examples are to understand why life and society require change and conversion not only in large social plans, but in the individual attitude, however small it may be of each person, a moral and personal conversion is necessary to reverse a situation of obscurity.

In Brazil, it’s Republic Day, and the republican spirit means treating it with the “res” public thing, and Plato’s classic work brings some important thoughts, which need to be updated, of course (photo Praça da República, São Paulo, Brazil)

An interesting universal thought in Plato’s work is: “and each of us does not seek to obtain a certain particular benefit not common to all”, in another passage: “the evil that is not discovered becomes worse still, while, when discovered and punished, the bestial element calms down and softens…”, in short, these are republican norms that must be respected.

Plato, who believed that the soul was immortal, not in the Christian sense, states that it is “capable of enduring all evils, as well as all good, we will always keep to the ascending road, and in any case we will practice justice and wisdom.” ”, which are essential.

Plato Republic. (Wikipedia).