Arquivo para a ‘Information Science’ Categoria

Resistance of the spirit: overcoming anguish

15 May

Despite being written well before the current crisis, Byung-Chul’s reading of Heidegger shows an extraordinary knowledge of current affairs and proves that in fact this crisis was born from a profound crisis of thought, the central chapter on “Heidegger’s Heart” points out for anguish and terror, speaking in advance of the current polycrisis.

It starts with what is the current central focus: “a basic principle of the economy is security” (pg. 257), and as it should be, it goes to the heart of current thought, which is idealism and its poly-ideological ideologue Hegel, quoting Bataille: “Hegel, I imagine, reached the extreme. He was still young and thought he was going crazy. I even imagine that he invented the system to escape. […] Finally, Hegel returns to the seen abyss to annul it. The system is cancellation” (Bataille, apud Han, pg. 258).

“The Hegelian subject longs for the position of power of the conscious author, who is troubled by no uncertainty, nor threatened by any destiny” (pg. 260), the idea of ​​hope and spiritual resistance (his spirit is the taste for power), “it is not bowed by the rigid and indeclinable presence”, “negativity is welcome as a leaven of truth” (pg. 261) and thus it is more about destroying it than affirming it as hope and vision of the future.

In it, the negative is articulated as the “feeling of violence” (Han citing Hegel), which drags consciousness from one death to another (Han, 261), and war is inevitable.

It was not the owners of power and its imperial articulation who created feelings of war, the idea of ​​violence is inherent to idealist thought, in it the “subjective interiority, which suggests absolute knowledge” (pg. 260), Hegel finds salvation in system, “kills” the “insistent plea” and becomes “modern man” (pg. 261).

Apparently the “subject is not afraid”, “the enigma gives way to the rule” so there is no place for mystery, for the divine and for eternal life, being in the world means being under the rules of violence, indifference and death.

The resistance of hope is being in coexistence with idealistic reality, having a true asceticism that longs for true joy.

Heidegger, M. (2023) Coração de Heidegger: sobre o conceito de tonalidade afetiva em Martin Heidegger (Heidegger’s heart: on the concept of affective tonality in Martin Heidegger). Transl.Rafael Rodrigues Garcia, Milton Camargo Mota. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.


Asceticism and social ascension

14 May

The idea of ​​ascension is linked to growth on the social scale, but this type of ascension does not refer to asceticism, that which morally and virtually (in terms of virtue) someone elevates.

The idea of ​​access to social goods and public visibility is also not linked to asceticism, we live in a time in which social notoriety through modern digital media resources, advertising and the cultural industry have existed since the beginning of the last century, does not indicate a spiritual and moral asceticism, often being exactly the opposite (in the photo Philosopher in Meditation by Rembrandt, 1632).

The times of education for sociability, empathy and the common good are distant, now there is a confusing scenario where public visibility is mixed with sociability, empathy with modern mythology, there is no space for depth of thinking, or for astonishment. If faced with dark facts, everything seems to become a meme and reason for bad politics and bad social practices of polarization often justified only by “us against them”.

It is almost impossible to talk about asceticism in such a strange and exotic universe, not to say something more serious, it is not a question of returning to children’s stories with moral lessons or fantasy stories of kindness and innocence in a difficult and competitive world, this is also harmless However, if we do not rise spiritually we become worse and less humanized every day. An asceticism that takes us to a higher level of civilization is not only desirable but also makes the civilizing process possible and more fruitful for everyone.

When talking about a despiritualized asceticism, Peter Sloterdijk highlights the “exercise society” that is more destined for tension and competition than for leisure and human and social progress for all, also Edgar Morin when talking about resistance of the spirit, talks about a stance of hope contrary to the social polycrisis we are experiencing.

The reading we are doing of Heidegger read by Byung-Chul Han, penetrates this spirit: “Modern man”, the consumer of beings, staggers because of his “drunkenness of experiences” (pg. 243) from one unusual thing to another , it lacks the ascetic look of “astonishment” (pg. 244), that is, not acquiring anything unusual as fact.

This look of amazement that comes from Aristotle’s philosophy, capable of capturing our attention in the “untrodden space between” (pg. 246) that is capable of reviewing the “middle”.

There is a “suffering” in this that is an imprisonment of “not knowing how to get in or out” (pg. 247) and in such suffering there is a correspondence with what must be captured, what must be learned where “thinking is a capturing that suffers” worked by Heidegger to allow man to think between beings, which takes the affective tone.

When also criticizing the child’s astonishment, which he calls the first beginning, he emphasizes that he is not in this first house: “sustained breathing can mean the trans-epochal a priori of thinking”, (pg. 249).

Byung-Chul remembers that Lévinas dedicates his “main work” (as he considers it): autrement qu’etre or au-delà de essence (beyond being or beyond essence) to astonishment, which frees the imprisonment of the self to the in-itself (a category dear to Hegel), which places the self in “a passivity that is more passive than the passivity of matter” (pg. 250, citing Lévinas).

Although he recognizes that there is this astonishment in postmodernism, Lyotard reminds us (Das inhumane, pg. 163) quoting Boileau in “The sublime and the avant-garde”, the “sublime is, strictly speaking, nothing that can be proven or shown, but something wonderful that grabs, that shakes and that moves with sensitivity”.

He concludes this chapter, which he called “The Sustained Breath”, that “astonishment imposes silence on the subject and his work of synthesis”, and concludes: “It is a breath of thought that perseveres before synthesis, without stopping thinking” ( p. 252).

Heidegger, M. (2023) Coração de Heidegger: sobre o conceito de tonalidade afetiva em Martin Heidegger (Heidegger’s heart: on the concept of affective tonality in Martin Heidegger). Transl.Rafael Rodrigues Garcia, Milton Camargo Mota. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.


Affective tone and asceticism

09 May

After a digression on Being-there, objectivity and subjectivity in authors other than Heidegger (it is typical of idealism), Byung-Chul Han returns to the “affective tone” on page 28 in the Brazilian edition, the “how it is”, “it is not an inner landscape of the soul that closes behind the skin and never emerges into “objective” space. Its site is “further out than an object can ever be” (pg. 58), which could be anticipated if it weren’t for the dialogue.

To understand this different form of ascesis, contrary to the distance from the object that idealism proposes, the affective tonality “possesses an a priori anteriority that is not, however, attributable to the transcendental capacity of the subject, a pre-vision that sees before the object be outlined” (page 58).

Understanding objects as “beings”, “letting entities be, which is an attunement, penetrates and precedes all behavior that remains open and develops” and “the opening of entities in their totality does not coincide with the sum of currently known entities” (pg. 58), so any rationalist analysis is fragmentary and does not “see” the entities.

And furthermore, the “in the midst of beings in totality” is not verified by any reflection, so the thematization itself, “which always proposes an original scenario” is already an interpretation (pg. 59).

The affective tonality opens the space of there, according to Han, “which floods consciousness and which must be given in advance so that it can begin its thematizing work and discourse, and concludes with a quote from Heidegger: “Consciousness is only possible on the foundation of there as a derivative mode of it”.

Thus “the a priori event already presupposes an interpretation, and this temporal difference, which is placed before the interval of countable time, remains constitutive for the difference between being and being” (pg. 59), which is why ontologically the difference exists and not the idealistic separation as idealism supposes.

Thus, true ascesis is not a separation of the world (objective and subjective), but in the world through the difference between being and being, only a divided ascension (through death) can definitively separate being from being, thus we are in the relationship of an “affective tone ”.

Heidegger, M. (2023) Coração de Heidegger: sobre o conceito de tonalidade afetiva em Martin Heidegger (Heidegger’s heart: on the concept of affective tonality in Martin Heidegger). Transl.Rafael Rodrigues Garcia, Milton Camargo Mota. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.


Plurality, polyphony and tonality

08 May

Although Byung Chul Han in his reading of Heidegger and his affective tonality, describes plural democracy only in passing, when commenting on “polyphony” that Derrida opposing “totality does not exclude tonality. The juxtaposition of notes would be equivalent to the monotony of a disturbed heart, which would certainly be distinct from the atonal heart” (Han, 2023, pg. 16).

To better develop the question of the state and its plurality, Heidegger approaches the “art of living… limited where the world begins to be populated with the hearts of others, where we no longer find ourselves in proximity to the aesthetic” (page 17 ).

It will explore Hegel’s conflict of hearts that he intended to resolve dialectically and does not appear in Heidegger (pg. 18), his “poetics” is not identified “with the politics of the heart” (idem).

After the failure of the subject of Faustian pleasure (Hegel quotes Goethe’s Faust), Hegel, when opposing the particular with the universal, does not find himself again in the “universal order”, this immediate opening of the heart to the universal, the universalization of the heart makes self-consciousness “go crazy” and cause a head-on collision between the universal and the particular that splits consciousness (pg. 18).

Generating this “singularity of consciousness, which wants to be immediately universal” results in schizophrenia (pgs. 18-19), is a fundamental excerpt from Byung-Chul Han capable of explaining even the great wars and the global war moment.

She shows what happens to hearts with the “pulse of the heart” towards the universal, which turns into “the fury of a wild presumption”, postulates “the madness of the world order” (pg. 19), the effective heart is repressive , is effective by repressing other hearts.

The circumcision of the heart of the particular by the “spirit” (claimed by Hegel), suppresses the particular in favor of the universal, “knowing the law of the heart as the law of all hearts, and the consciousness of the Self as the recognized universal order” (Han quoting Hegel, pg.20).

Heidegger opposes the law of the house (oikos), of the domestic fire beyond the dialectical economy, it “must not step on the stage of speeches” (Han, pg. 21), this “dispute without war” (in Hegel’s view) does not bears no family resemblance to the conflict of speeches (pg. 21).

“Hegel’s heart, which in the third part of the Encyclopedia becomes the seat of sensations, lacks all objectivity and universality” (Han, pg. 22), in it Hegel’s “blind heart only knows how to express something “singularized, contingent, unilaterally subjective” … “it is a merely subjective reaction to external sensation” (pg. 22), and Han gives the antidote, calling it a gift.

The Being with a gift is the “singular par excellence, which, in its singularity, is solely the uniquely unifying one, before all number”, the impossibility of number nullifies the economy of exchange (pg. 25).

What must be taken back must be given as a gift, it is necessary to keep this gift away from the economy of exchange, to release it from the economic circle of exchange”, this is the principle of affect.

Heidegger, M. (2023) Coração de Heidegger: sobre o conceito de tonalidade afetiva em Martin Heidegger (Heidegger’s heart: on the concept of affective tonality in Martin Heidegger). Transl.Rafael Rodrigues Garcia, Milton Camargo Mota. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.


Ontology and affective tone

07 May

Like a good Oriental man, although based in Germany, Byung-Chul Han starts his analysis not from the objectivist, materialist and substantialist´s perspective of the classic authors of Western philosophy, but from the perspective of what he will call “affective tone” in Heidegger.

His book, different from others that I consider essays, analyzes “Heidegger’s heart: on the concept of affective tonality in Martin Heidegger” (Ed. Vozes, 2023), with this new, human and I would even say spiritual analysis of the core of philosophy western.

Part of a concept dear to Judeo-Christian civilization, which is that of circumcision, but circumcision of the heart and not of the failed organ (the skin attached to the beginning of the penis), it is necessary to remember that although it is a male organ, it is an emblem of power, of authority and desire, was culturally a warlike culture.

Apart from his religious vision, he has a spiritual sense for the whole society, contrary to what Han will develop, which is the circumcision of the heart, that which modulates and governs affection.

It begins with what is the root of Eurocentric culture, starting with Kant’s hypochondria, which he confesses in his text “Conflict of the Faculties”: “because of a flat and narrow half-chest, which leaves little space for the movement of the heart and lungs, I I have a natural predisposition to hypochondria, which in previous years bordered on the boredom of life” (Han, 2023, pg. 8), and then develops “yearning expands the heart, makes it define and exhausts the strength” (pg. 9 ).

This longing, you will say, is not also painless for Heidegger, but according to this author (it was Han’s doctoral thesis), the longing is the “pain of the proximity of distance”, the spell of the “always-the-same”, but in a movement of leaving the in-itself there is a “seam” with the Other (for example, rescue in natural disaster in south Brazil, foto).

Thus, Han will say, Heidegger’s “seamstress (Näherin), “works in proximity”, is also a circumciser of the heart (pg. 10), developing it by converting it “into a heteroauditory eardrum” (pg. 10) , “the heart of being-there” throbs in the transcendental horizon, thus according to Han in the late Heidegger, “the constriction penetrates more deeply” and being-there separates itself from the being of there: Da-Sein (Han, pg. 11 ).

Thus, “this circumcision frees the heart from subjective interiority” (Han, Idem), and there is a surprising preliminary conclusion in Heidegger: “Heidegger’s coercion, on the other hand [confronts with Derridá], listens to one voice, follows the tonality and gravity of the “one, the only one that unifies”, for him it is an “ear of his heart” but there is something strong spiritual in this.

Spiritually there is an inner voice that speaks to our hearts if they are circumcised.


Heidegger, M. (2023) Coração de Heidegger: sobre o conceito de tonalidade afetiva em Martin Heidegger (Heidegger’s heart: on the concept of affective tonality in Martin Heidegger). Transl.Rafael Rodrigues Garcia, Milton Camargo Mota. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.



The world-man and the provincial

03 May

It is possible for someone to have a feeling capable of embracing humanity in its differences and contradictions, if they are capable of embracing the illnesses and wounds of others.

He who is capable of understanding the world as a whole, understanding the complexity of different cultures, feelings and cultural systems, is capable of embracing and sympathizing with the pains of humanity, this is a man-of-the-world.

The provincial is not able to see beyond his village, one can even praise the spirit of apparent peace and delight of those who live in a small world, or in a bubble, but it is from there that the worst prejudices, the worst xenophobia and the inability to see beyond.

If Honoré de Balzac said: in the provinces we live in public, now in the global village we all live in public, each citizen carries a camera that can record everything.

To be a sign of hope in the world, in an increasingly conflictive time, it is necessary to go beyond our own concepts (which are pre-concepts) and understand that the logic of social life has been changing since we started living in a global village, culture enters through TV, radio and social media, and there is no going back, they are here to stay.

The sins and misunderstandings that they gave rise to are not new, they have just become more visible now and we are faced with a society that has difficulty seeing others with respect and understanding.

Those who want freedom are quick to limit it, those who proclaim love do not want the same love outside their bubbles, we do not resolve our difficulties and wounds and at the same time we increase the climate of misunderstanding in humanity.

The great contemporary empires work culturally on these difficulties, hatred of those who are different, intolerance to the culture of others, and thus we feed in microcosm the policy of a growing warmongering that threatens to take over all of humanity.

It has never been so urgent to love one another, there are even those who proclaim it, but for their small village or their provincial bubble.



Medieval empires and the sunset

02 May

Roman civilization already existed, but as an empire it began in 27 BC when the Senate and People of Rome proclaimed Octavian prince, which in the original meaning is “first citizen”, and as such should be venerated and the conquest of different territories.

The Roman Empire lasted until 476 BC, when Romulus Augustus was dethroned by the Heruli, who were the Germans, but who came from further north and, according to some historians, originated in Scandinavia.

A little-known historical fact is that it was after the death and crucifixion that Rome finally dominated and subjected the Jewish people, the troops of General Titus took the city of Jerusalem on September 8, 70, the Temple that had been built by Solomon (970 BC) is set on fire and the inhabitants are deported as slaves.

In the underground of the Roman Empire there lived several people who, despite being subjected, maintained their culture and spirit, and among these people were the Christians who grew in number and the apostles were esteemed by the entire community.

What connects the people and their own cultures, was the solidarity and the spirit of love that existed between them, unlike what happens today where there is division between the people themselves, the unity between the communities was strong, and the idea of ​​states also grew from the republican vision of Plato and Aristotle, but the imperial vision and wars remained.

If these empires and wars can really be thought of as a dark time, in the monasteries and small agrarian communities where life continued to flourish, both the civilizing process and the preservation of their original cultures, it is also from the end of this period that the Turkish-Ottoman empire , in addition to being one of the longest in history, from 1299 to 1923, a period that included other empires in Europe such as the Carolingian from 800 to 888.

They all suffered decline due to their internal contradictions, the always oppressive and warlike spirit that may seem to be the driving force of history, but it is precisely the opposite, cultures survived despite these desires for submission and oppression of different peoples.

There is always hope and life for those who remain towards human civilization.



Modern empires and work

01 May

The beginning of modernity marked a rupture between the practical world, objective of reason, called objective by idealism, and a sensitive world, of love, hope and balanced life, where human nature can express itself and develop, called in an incorrect way of subjectivity (which would be typical of the subject).

There were many authors who from the beginning of the 20th century began to question this division of man into vita activa and vita contemplativa, Hannah Arendt and currently Byung Chul Han are the most remembered, however the idea of ​​contemplation comes from antiquity, from Stoics and of some mystics studied in Patristics, such as Gregory of Nazianzus, (329-390) one of the masters of contemplation being cited by Chul Han.

The word work comes from tripalhium, it arises from medieval tortures that allude to removing the “guts” from the continuous effort without rest that will mark the beginning of the industrial revolution until the achievement of the limit of working hours and some minimum laws of respect for life human.

In the Middle Ages, it was in monasteries that the first crafts, cooking techniques (such as sausages made to preserve meat) were born, and also libraries and copyists who began contemplative human work (it is not subjective), such as motto among Benedictine monks: ora et labora (meditate and work).

It is good to remember that the heavy work until the emergence of monasteries was done by “free” men and that many monks had noble origins and went to the monastery to learn how to work and also to read and write because a large part of humanity at that time was illiterate, and the prevention of myopia and hyperopia must also be remembered, as glasses and lenses date back to the end of the middle ages.

After the conception of modern industry and the state, which is also the boss of state-owned companies, monopolies in socialist countries, which are no different in demanding efficiency and maximum effort, imprisoning man in the “vita activa” with no space to be and develop their full life, with space for meditation and leisure.

Already in the English industrial revolution, Gin (which is the pinga in Brazil) moved the maximum capacity of modern industrial slaves deprived of domestic life, leisure and culture.

What the post-industrial, post-modernist society will be is still unknown. For now, the empires want a monopoly on the productive forces to guarantee power over the workforce and not give freedom for full human development, full life is postponed.

The great divine gift that is life and living it in abundance will depend on great changes, empires fight to ensure that this does not happen, although they say it is for freedom.


The great empires in antiquity

30 Apr

There is always a historical and a biblical narrative, the dates coincide, but the battles do not.

One of the great empires of antiquity was Assyria, from the 7th century BC (approximately 721 BC until the 630th century BC. the beginning of its fall, they dominated a large part of Arabia, conquering the Babylonian lands, which dominated the Hebrew people and the Chaldeans, Egypt, the Medes and Elamites.

The biblical narrative focuses mainly on the period of Sargon and Sennacherib (745-661 BC) and it is from this time that the prophet Isaiah narrates the words of Sennacherib to Hezekiah: “this is what you will say to Hezekiah: Thus speaks the great king, the king from Assyria where so much Confidence comes from, the king mocks him for the alliance he had with Egypt and will also conquer that people.

In Isaiah 37, there is the following narrative about the years of suffering, followed by victory, “this year they eat stubble; next year, what is born alone; But in the third year I will plant and you will reap; you will plant vineyards and eat their fruit” and then further on he narrates a battle in which “the angel of the Lord appeared in the Assyrian camp and struck down eighty-five thousand men”, even today a very high number.

What is certain is that in the year 630 BC the Assyrians retreat from Egypt and then from Babylon, which will also dominate the Hebrew lands in Isaiah 39, initially the king of Babylon, Merodach-Baladan, sends messages and gifts to King Hezekiah, who was ill. , but then the prophet Isaiah warns King Hezekiah: “Listen to the word of the Lord of hosts! The time is approaching when everything that is in your palace, everything that your fathers have accumulated until this day, will be taken to Babylon”, and so it happened during the 50 years of the Babylonian exile.]

Who freed the Jews. It was King Darius, who ruled the Persian Empire and who was an enemy of Babylon, through the prophet Daniel, whom he venerated for his prophecies, granted the Jewish people to rebuild their temple and return to their land.

The Persian empire lasted until 330 BC and is well known in official historiography because of the “medical” wars between the Greeks and the Persians, but see that historically the Medes were a people to the east of Assyria, while the Greeks to the west and already on the European continent, it turns out that they were simultaneous in the period from 500 to 448 BC for more than 50 years.

Between wars and challenges, oracles and prophets helped the people to walk through these periods.

The possible historical lesson is that great empires fell due to their pride and oppression, the spiritual lesson is do not let your heart be intimidated, evil dies by its own evil.







Pre-occupation and pre-concepts

25 Apr

It’s not about playing with words, they have a clear meaning without the hyphen, issues that occupy our mind and become challenging, and prejudices when socially and structurally stimulated put people, individuals, ethnicities and peoples into discredit.

However, there is another meaning for those who care about mental health and social health, where it is possible to live with difference, with the Other and with the contradictory, this is spiritual health, in the sense of making the spirit resist a hostile environment.

The objective of leaving a person in discredit through prejudice cannot be confused with the intolerance and lack of love of the pre-concept present in the structure of dualistic thought: subject x object, natural x cultural, body x mind, in which resides a good part of the resistance to dialogue and openness to the different Other.

Some authors consider that prejudice as discrimination (Erving Goffman for example) is more relevant than the stereotype made about certain individuals, but these authors also understand that there are anti-dogmatic characteristics that can articulate the relationship between prejudice, stigma and discrimination (Goffman himself does this).

From the perspective that the pre-concept is interesting to man and his perception of truth (Gadamer, 1997), the way of conceiving and understanding reality regarding a given phenomenon must first go through a pre-understanding or pre- concept of this same phenomenon, that is, we hardly go to reality without any concept about it, for this we need a phenomenological epoché, says good phenomenology.

I say this before pre-occupation, because in general a large part of natural and existential phenomena pass through a prejudiced filter, in the sense of pre-understanding, and thus the knot and veil over reality is established, an attitude is needed to go forward, letting the occupation (and not its pre-establishment) acquire the right place in due time.

Hope (and for those who believe it is faith) enters this vacuum between the two stages, the pre-occupation that may be surrounded by preconceptions of reality, and the truth established by the phenomenon itself, some will think the fact, but the phenomenon or the thing in itself, is its own and the fact always depends on a narrative subject to preconception.

In short, don’t worry too soon, let the phenomenon and reality speak for itself at the exact time of your “occupation” or in ontological terms of your “presence”, your da-sein.

GADAMER, H.G. (1997) Verdade e método. Tradução Flávio Paulo Meurer. 3ª. ed. Petrópolis, Brazil (RJ): Vozes.