The metaphor and the ineffable

11 Jun

The epistemological challenge is pointed out by Paul Ricoeur of accepting the discovery model, since to reject it “or to reduce it to a provisional experience, which replaces, in the absence of a better one, direct deduction, is to reduce the very logic of discovery to a deductive procedure” (p. 369).

In this context, we highlight the function of the parable that creates a scene that bridges the ineffable and the reality it re-describes, it introduces a plot that produces something beyond the everyday, the parabolic utterance is also metaphorical in this sense.

Like describing a future reality that hasn’t happened yet, the logic has been to re-describe reality using rhetoric, which explores only present reality and denies utopia and fiction.

Ricoeur thus defines the parable as the conjunction of a narrative form and a metaphorical process and also means the narrative of a short fictional story with the aim of interpreting something else that according to the narrator is preferable, in order to interpret it well, to leave it in the sense of the metaphorical.

Future realities that cannot thus simply be described or deduced because they did not actually happen, what will our post-pandemic reality be, what will the human future be like.

Many authors try to unravel this ineffable reality, but it is not deductible, it is a “bridge”.

When explaining the divine realities in the Bible, because Jesus said it was ineffable, he compares it to different situations using a parable, he says in Chapter 4 of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 4:26-27: “Jesus told the crowd: “The Kingdom of God is like when someone scatters the seed on the earth. He goes to sleep and wakes up, night and day, and the seed goes on germinating and growing, but he doesn’t know how it happens…”, compares with the harvest and a tiny seed that is the mustard.

Thus to describe these realities only by logic and deduction is to ignore both the discovery of reality itself and to falsify, for a scientific path, as the divine realities, a tiny seed becomes a beautiful and leafy tree, and this also happens in history



Metaphor-statement and other figures of speech

10 Jun

Paul Ricoeur makes a deep analysis of what he calls the “Rhétorique generale” as one that reserves only to metalogisms that which incorporates discourses, beyond which there are metasememas, which is a type of figure of speech that modifies the meaning of a word .

Just to give an example within the philosophy of metasemema, the word eidos from Greek culture translated as idea, became in modernity something else that it was for the Greeks.

The importance of this metaphor-statement is said by Ricoeur himself: “the most apt to show the deep kinship, in terms of statements, between metaphor, allegory, parable and fable and, for the same reason, it allows us to open this entire set of figures – metasememas and metalogisms” (Ricoeur, 205, p. 265), while a good part of the discourses (Ricoeur cites Retórique Generale) are reserved only for metalogisms.

The metalogisms are the logics that are beyond the figures of languages, for example an allegory, so Ricoeur creates for the first the concept of a trope, where the meaning of words only changes while the second conflicts with reality itself.

For this, he uses the figure of the “drunken boat” by Rimbaud, who used the expression “the drunken boat joined the great solitary sailboat” (p. 264), which “are allegories of Malraux and Gaulle, as these are neither boats or sailboats”, explains Ricoeur: “the tension is not in the proposition, but in the context”.

The impact of this analysis, as Ricoeur himself points out, is that the “deviation” of the word carried out by the metasememe, the metaphorical utterance “re-establishes the meaning” (p. 265).

This semantic impact “which concerns the entire utterance, so it is necessary to name the entire utterance as a metaphor with its new meaning, and not only the paradigm shift that focuses on one word the mutation of the meaning of the entire utterance” (p. 265) the clearest explanation of his metaphor-statement.

The long analysis made by Ricoeur, by authors known as the classics (Aristotle and Plato), Kant, Hegel and Heidegger, and reasonably known as J. Dubois, F. Edeline, and others little known as Le Guern and Jean Cohen, makes it his own complex but very important work.

The great merit and importance of the deep and hermeneutic analysis of metaphor as the center of the question about current narratives, which involve the linguistic use of various figures of languages such as allegories, parables and metonyms, is shown on page 275, illustrated above, and beyond this discourse to establish a high goal as the one that penetrates the “ineffable”.

RICOEUR, P. Metáfora Viva. Living Metaphor. Brazil, São Paulo, trans. Dion David Macedo. 2nd ed., Ed. Loyola. 2005.


Living metaphor and narrative

09 Jun

Both are themes of Paul Ricoeur, but establishing a clear connection between these two concepts is no simple task, the author himself will not say between metaphor and narrative, there is such a concept.

This is because, as we have already found in a previous post, it is almost a refoundation of eidos (what was an idea for the Greeks), giving it (the metaphor) an “ideology of the ineffable”, which is nevertheless attainable since it is in the consciousness as an unspoken.

Also in this post we emphasize that living metaphor starts where linguistics ends, and narrative is in close connection with linguistics, but it would be bold to say that narrative is not also a form of metaphor, so in this unexpected intersection between narrative where metaphor lives .

Metaphor in the reading of the Greeks, in Aristotle’s poetics and rhetoric, the word or name are basic units between poetics and rhetoric, while the second is more focused on mimesis.

The idea that language has a function other than the conventional one, was defended by Heidegger saying that it has this other function is poetics, and it refers us both to metaphor and other figures of speech that are beyond the so-called “poetic license”, for it has a rhetorical function.

It is found in the current definition of metaphor as that figure of speech in which an implicit comparison is verified, but what is the relationship between a comparison and metaphor?

Ricoeur clarifies that at the core of this relationship, there is “a small enigma” in the Aristotelian discourse, at the origin of this question, “because this treatise (of Rhetoric), which claims to add nothing to the definition of metaphor given by Poetics, in chapter IV draws a parallel no counterpart in this last treatise, between metaphor and comparison?” (Ricoeur, 2005, p. 42).

Ricoeur’s first response is that it depends “within the Aristotelian corpus” (p. 42), but he will object to the purpose that is not explicit, “Aristotle points out the subordination of comparison to metaphor”, so “it is not to explain here metaphor through comparison, but rather comparison through metaphor” (p. 43).

This enigma becomes the theory of metaphor-statement in Paul Ricoeur, more than a rich figure of speech, it is broken down into two parts: “under the name of ‘parabole’, it is linked to the theory of ‘proof’ (Book I of Rhetoric), which consists of illustration by example, which subdivides, in turn, into historical or fictitious example; the other, under the name of eikon, is linked to the theory of lexis and placed in the domain of metaphor” (p. 44).

The resources and arguments of living metaphor allow us not only to understand the narratives, but also to penetrate their constitutive elements as resources of language and knowledge.

RICOEUR, P. Metáfora Viva. Living Metaphor. Brazil, São Paulo, trans. Dion David Macedo. 2nd ed., Ed. Loyola. 2005.



The narrative and its contexts

08 Jun

The emergence of studies for analysis in non-positivist and interpretive methodologies in the human sciences has given rise to a crisis of knowledge (episteme) in the cultural panorama of our time that has attracted several scholars to the subject, including: “the forms and genres of narrative, especially, they have attracted attention (Bamberg 1997; LP Hinchman & SK Hinchman 1997; Polkinghorne 1987).

Bamber explores the three decades of narrative analysis, Hinchman and Hinchman organize a collection to discuss problems of identity and memory in communities, and Polkinghorne studies knowledge as narrative in the human sciences. from the most general to the most specific.

However, from a historical point of view, the theme is very old and can be analyzed in Aristotle’s Rhetoric, and more contemporarily there is a long tradition of these studies in literary theory and linguistics.

There is a recognized difficulty in defining the narrative, firstly because of the forms and styles that are quite varied, and thus its cultural phenomenology is not only diverse but open, and, secondly, there are structural elements in the narratives that are present in other types of discourses with legal, scientific, historical or religious texts.

I highlight the studies of Paul Ricoeur, in his classic Time and Historical Narrative (1981-1983), where the philosophical reflection is precisely in the relationship between “time lived” and “narrative”, which, more profoundly said, means “experience” and “consciousness ” which makes the concept in closer contact with the contemporary philosophy where time, experience are in connection.

It confronts the concept of structuralizing historiography since 1945 and the mid-1970s, and displaces the historian’s discourse to belong above all to the order of narratives, albeit a special type of narrative that is not analytical.

His analysis makes a dialogue with the work Confessions by Augustine and Poetics by Aristotle.

His phrase “all history is narrative”, is not just contempt for the mere relation to the factual, or the biographical, not even the agitated situation of political history, his intention is to give meaning to the lived, sensitivity and human action to a historiography that seems to abstract from man.

What Paul Ricoeur highlights in his “narrative” as “Master History of Life”, which is beyond the great statesmen and politicians, and available to the human being whose daily experience challenges him.


Bamberg, M. (Org.) (1997). Oral versions of personal experience: Three decades of narrative analysis. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7, 1-4.

Hinchman, L. P. & Hinchman, S. K. (Orgs.) (1997). Memory, identity, community: The idea of narrative in the human sciences Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Polkinghorne, D. (1987). Narrative knowing and the human sciences Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

RICOEUR, Paul. (1994)  Tempo e Narrativa Tomo I. Campinas. Papirus.




The third wave is attenuated in Brazil

07 Jun

We posted here that it was possible to reach figures close vaccines to 50% by the end of June and that the first week was decisive, the data indicate a reversal of the curve, but it is necessary not to hesitate and continue the vaccination, Brazil received new doses from Pfizer (more than 500,000) and AstraZeneca’s vaccination continues to do well, and the forecast is for another 40 million doses by the end of the month.

It can be said that at this moment there is an attenuation, the number of deaths on Friday is 1689 while infection is above 66,000, figures that show the importance of vaccination as the number of infections is still very high and without vaccination the of deaths would remain high.

The deceleration of vaccination is pointed out in some media, but it is not clear whether it is the distribution or application, it can still be a third thing, operationalization, which would be very regrettable since the INSS and the health departments have a good structure and distribution.

In percentages the number of vaccines distributed, the government speaks of a number above 100 million and the states say they have received 90 million, and there are vaccines in stock, in percentage would be 52 million from AstraZeneca/Oxford/Fiocruz, 47.1 million from Coronavac and 3.5 million from the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine, this variation is interesting due to its efficacy for different ages.

The distribution carried out so far already allows the application of doses, at least the first dose, in 18 of the 28 priority groups of the PNO (National Plan for the Operationalization of Vaccination against COVID-19), which was defined by social vulnerability and greater risks of comorbidities.

The current stage is beginning to prioritize comorbidities in different age groups and health professionals, but the trade that would be extremely important is not included in the plan.

The numbers in the world are still worrying, see the graph, there are still countries with the possibility of a third wave and a definite lesson from the Pandemic is that we must worry about everyone.



God-Homo and the possibility of eternity

04 Jun

The human pretension of reaching heaven is older than one thinks, Homo God is the well-written and well-done update of this story of the man in search of “heaven” here on earth, paradise lost has already given several essays and books, the idea of ​​a close God cherishes many people.

Says Harari, the most dignified update of this narrative that empires, corporations, accumulation and wealth since the deification of the Pharaohs and Roman emperors, are the narratives that in writing: “writing also made it easier for humans to believe in existence of these fictional entities because it has inhabited people to experience reality through meditation and abstract symbols” (Harari, p. 171).

While he believes that religions have cooperated ethically, he claims that “religions have the irritating tendency to turn factual statements into ethical judgments, thereby creating a great deal of confusion and obscuring what should be very simple debates.” (p. 202).

The interpretations of Morin, Sloterdijk and Chul Han go in the opposite direction, Morin starts from the complexity: “The world becomes more and more a whole. Each part of the world is, more and more, part of the world and the world as a whole”, Sloterdijk will explore in “Critique of cynical reason” the ideology as “false conscience”, as a distorted view, and therefore, false , of reality, and for this reason criticizes contemporary humanism.

Chul Han penetrates the human soul by diagnosing the lack of completion, the search for efficiency and the inability to die, in a figurative sense, but which is also the search for eternity, for what remains and that each postponed conclusion would lead to it.

The divine fantasy of making man also eternal was in the expression of Jesus, divine human and divine man, the Deus-homo that Harari, as a good Jew, finds it difficult to believe.

In the passage where Jesus begins to “open the verb” in Mk 3:20 they said that “He is possessed by an evil spirit” and that even his family was rebuking him, He will answer that they are his family (his friends ) those who hear the word of God and live them, to say that they are only capable of living the ethics and human conduct of Love for the Other are in fact his family.

God-Homo invites us to live this reality already here on earth, without ceasing to have problems.

HARARI,  Yuval  Noah. (2016) Homo  Deus: uma  breve  história  do  amanhã. Trad. Paulo Geiger. Brazil, São Paulo: Companhia das Letras.



Close your eyes

03 Jun

It could be the other way around, but the reality is so frightening that it will only be possible to see the one who has concluded the courage to do what seems insane right now, look inside and see how much he collaborates with this very harsh reality.

The diagnosis came to me unexpectedly while I asked what is eternity and where I want humanity to go, I had the intuition that everything should change starting with me, and knowing the new book by Byung Chul Han some answers were there, I received the book in two days and I can already comment on it.

The intuition was based on what many already know: the great utopias and the great speeches collapsed and the obvious question was then where will we go.

Chul Han’s clues are inspiring, without the book’s subtitle: “Please close your eyes: in search of another time”, edition now from 2021 by the publisher Vos, the essay is from 2013.

One might think that we live in a time of acceleration, but Chul Han points out that “narratives do not allow themselves to be arbitrarily accelerated, acceleration destroys their own structures of meaning and time, the disturbing thing about the experience of current time is not the acceleration as such, but the conclusion of the missing beat”, that is, the lack of rhythm and beat.

The completion of things from the practice of new lives, the rites that cause things to be done with rhythm and pace to get things done well and reach their conclusion.

The acceleration has its cause in the universal incapacity to close, time keeps rushing forward, because it doesn’t reach the closure anywhere.” (p. 20)

That’s how I inverted my diagnosis, the end of utopias and great ideals (in the sense of eidos and not idealism), did not happen not for lack of speech or “good intentions” but for lack of conclusion.

But it is important, consistent with Chul Han’s speech, to review the impact on people, on their internal integrity of doing an experiment to the end, and Chul Han will touch on another term.

It will touch on a taboo theme of death, present now during a pandemic, “and in a world in which the conclusion and closure give way to an endless and directionless advance, it is not possible to die because dying also means presupposing the ability to end the life” (p. 29-30), understand that life is a cycle.

He also speaks of the performance subject, the one who seeks the maximum “the performance subject is incapable of reaching a conclusion”, and this leads to overcharging themselves and not concluding.

Understand that we are at the end of a cycle and if we don’t understand this well, “it has to end [ver-enden] at an inopportune time [Unzeit]” (p. 30), for this not to happen it is necessary to close your eyes and see yourself.

Han, Byung-Chul (2021). Favor fechar os olhos: em busca de um outro tem


Action without reflection, the “active” life

02 Jun

When criticizing the “Society of tiredness”, the efficientism that Byung Chul Han takes up in his last book, in the following post we will comment, both point the finger at activism, or the word that Sloterdijk likes: “agitationism”.

The notion of praxis that Sloterdijk defends is not the notion of praxis as an act that considers the central myth of modernity – “agitationism”, which is, at bottom, just an inversion of poesis and theory – but as a “letting go -flow”, a type of active contemplation.

To demystify this notion of praxis as a necessary correlate of action-reason, practical philosophy would have to become aware that it allowed itself to be deluded by the myth of action and that its alliance with constructivism and activism prevented it from realizing that the The highest concept of behavior is not action, but letting it happen, being able to let go of the things that pass you by and act through you, in order to be more faithful to the author’s words.

To understand what he means by Critique of Cynic Reason, one of his most hermetic works, he differentiates classical from modern cynicism, which comes from the origin of the guild term “kŷőn”, from modern cynicism that has become an “enlightened false consciousness”.

The Enlightenment assumed that one lived in darkness where evil was practiced, but that this evil would be the result of ignorance, so its attempt to illuminate those lacking the light of reason, but this created a “false consciousness”, a distorted view of reality,

The Enlightenment presupposed darkness where evil was practiced, which was seen as the fruit of ignorance. Criticism tried to illuminate the dens devoid of the light of reason. Hence the basic concept of ideology as “false consciousness”, as a distorted and therefore false view of reality, and so that you don’t think that this is just philosophy, the “engaged” thinker Slovoj Zizek will also say that it is inscribed in the things themselves.

In a different way, Husserl, from whom all the affiliation of modern phenomenology is heir, also proposed, to return to consciousness of the things themselves.

Modern cynicism has also become a form of ideology in which a mask continues to turn into action, building grand theories that both “figuratively” and “in the literal sense act as if they don’t know or don’t know reality, everything is narrative only to use the current word.

Hence the critique of cynical reason defending a critical-ideological-classical procedure that has become obsolete, and this critique now contrasts a lightness of humor with the excess of theory.

The author will say: “[…] The great thought of antiquity has its roots in the experience of enthusiastic serenity, when, at the height of having thought, the thinker sets aside, letting himself be penetrated by the ‘revelation’ of the truth” , is very close to the distance proposed by some “active” authors, but with the differences of “enthusiastic” serenity and the view of “Being”.

This view of the cosmos in antiquity, says the author: “it is based for the Ancients on “cosmic passivity” and on the observation that radical thinking can recover its inevitable backwardness in relation to the given world, in by virtue of its experience of being, it reaches the same level as the “whole.”

SLOTERIJK, P. (2012) Critica da Razão Cínica (Critique of Cynic Reason), trans. Marco Casanova. BR, São Paulo: Estação Liberdade.



The whole and the part

01 Jun

The part and whole is separated in ocidental culture.

“The world becomes more and more a whole. Each part of the world is, more and more, part of the world and the world, as a whole, is increasingly present in each of its parts. This is true not only for nations and peoples, but for individuals. Just as each point of the hologram contains the information of the whole of which it is a part, also, henceforth, each individual receives or consumes information and substances from the entire universe” (MORIN, 2006, p. 67).

This is to understand what in the complex thought of Edgar Morin calls the hologrammatic principle, this was also the starting point of the thought of Werner Heisenberg to start the quantum thinking and that has a book with this name backwards, “The part and the whole”.

Also Gregório de Matos Guerra (1639-1696), one of the representatives of the Brazilian Baroque, wrote a poem called “Eucharist”, in which he says: “God is all in every sacrament”, and how important it would be for those who believe to understand this, to understand what live the word.

Modern atomic physics has shed new light on problems ranging from ethical and political to philosophical and religious, in Heisenberg’s book in the preface which is almost a biography written in a sui generis way, he talks about dialogues with Einstein, Plank, Bohr, Dirac, Fermi , Pauli, Sommerfeld, Rutherford and several other colleagues.

The part and the whole are subtitled: “meetings and conversations about physics, philosophy, religion and politics”, which also makes him the initiator of a “complex and hologrammatic thought” as proposed many years later by Edgar Morin.

Understanding the complex civilizing situation we live in is not possible without this understanding.

MORIN, Edgar (2006)r. Introdução ao pensamento complexo. Brazil, Porto Alegre: Sulina.


Third wave, new strain and new medicines

31 May

While we are looking ahead to a possible third wave in June in Brazil, the numbers are still around 2,000 deaths, as we posted last week if falling could mean contention (a high rate of 78,000 cases, but deaths below 2 thousand) and if it reaches above 3 thousand the third wave has arrived and a new isolation protocol will be necessary (see the graphic).

Regardless of the third wave, there are already several cases of the Indian virus, the new strain, which arrived in Brazil without a strict isolation protocol, it will spread and this is almost hopeless.

The news of an Australian antiviral and an Israeli remedy, the latter MesenCure uses mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) isolated from adipose tissue from healthy donors, relieve respiratory symptoms in infected patients and reduce inflammation.

The Australian drug made by scientists at Griffith University, in collaboration with the American City of Hope Research Center, uses a technology that involves gene silencing RNA (siRNA) that directly attacks the virus’s genome and prevents its replication, the test so far it has been done on rats.

We have to keep trying to create protocols as the vaccination does not progress (21.5%).

The state of Rio de Janeiro tries to do a massive vaccination, despite not having enough medicines, the idea is to open the vaccination for the rest of the population, until now only people over 60 and some special classes like nurses, bus drivers and cops.

The state of São Paulo will test, but in two small municipalities Taquaritinga and Batatis, providing RT-aPCR tests and rapid antigen tests, starting with a vertical isolation strategy so criticized at the beginning of the Pandemic, Butantan will make a home visit in 2 thousand homes dividing each municipality into 11 regions called “clusters”, the idea of ​​networks.

It is, therefore, a test by sampling and the population that is not drawn can make a self-assessment through an application called Taina/GHM and answer quick questions.