Arquivo para May, 2017

Epistemology and the humanities

31 May

From the middle of the nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth CienciaNaturalcentury, the human sciences lived a real transformation in the search for an alternative to the epistemological foundations of scientific knowledge, since the old “positivist” and “naturalist” models were in check.
Dilthey, Schleiermacher’s successor who proposed the hermeneutic method, sought philosophical foundations for an epistemology of scientific knowledge, thus said: “The sciences that have the socio-historical reality as their object of study seek, more intensely than before, the systematic relations between They and their foundations.” (DILTHEY 1989, p.59).

Gadamer will differentiate parity with the natural sciences with the human sciences (Geistewissenchaften), proposing that what occurs with an artistic interpretation, is different from reading, because “Reading, distinct from a ‘recital’, does not stand for itself Same; It is not an autonomous update of a thought pattern but remains subordinate to the text restored by the reading process. “(GADAMER, 2012, p.11).

The ideal model is romantic, as called by Gadamer, and deals with consequences for epistemology, for “Its ideal is to decode the Book of History. This is the method by which Dilthey hopes can justify self-understanding of the interpretive sciences and their scientific objectivity. “(Idem)

Just as texts have a “pure sense,” so history would have it, in Gadamer’s analysis, however, “their self-understanding of the sciences is not” truly consonant with their fundamental position in terms of Lebesphilosophie.” (Life) (GADAMER, 2012, p.12).
It clarifies that it is always “in the connection between ‘life’, which always implies consciousness and reflexivity (Besinung), and ‘science’, which develops from life as one of its possibilities” (idem).

Thus, the clear epistemological implication: “The human sciences thus acquire a ” ethical ” valence that could not remain without consequences for their methodological self-understanding.” (Idem)
Thus the human sciences “are closer to human self-understanding than the natural sciences. The objectivity of the latter is no longer an ideal of unequivocal and binding knowledge. “(Idem).
He will seek in Nicomachus ‘Ethics the lost foundations, when in the sixth book Aristotle distinguishes: “From theoretical and technical knowledge the mode of practical knowledge he expresses, in my view, one of the greatest truths that allow Greek thought to bring to light the’ Mystification ‘of modern society in which specialization reigns. “(GADAMER, 2012, page 13).

DILTHEY, W. Introduction to the Human Sciences. Ed. By R. A. Makkreel & F. Rodi; Trad. Michael Neville. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1989.
GADAMER, H.G. The problem of historical consciousness, (Brazilian edition) 3rd. Edition, 3rd. Reprint, Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Getúlio Vargas, 2012.




Science and Epistemology

30 May

In a broad and philosophical episteme is a concept of what is real and true,Episteme so of scientific character, which opposes foolish and baseless opinions, comes from Greek philosophy, and especially from Platonism.
For a more or less consensual definition, in the scientific field, epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies the origin, structure, methods, and validity of knowledge (hence also the philosophy of knowledge).
One can not fail to link it to metaphysics, logic to psychology
However this concept has varied forms, for example, according to Foucault (1926-1984) is a paradigm (therefore something to be investigated) according to which are structured, at a given time, multiple scientific knowledge, according to the specificities of their objects.
Another important methodological current that founds a modern spectrology of phenomenology, it gives importance to the phenomena of the conscience, which must be studied in themselves – all that we can know of the world sums up to these phenomena, these ideal objects that exist in the Each one designated by a word that represents its essence, its “meaning”.
One of the founders of phenomenology is Edmund Husserl (1985-9-1938), philosopher, logician and mathematician, who coined the word Lebeswelt (logic of life), from which he tried to reconcile the dualism between historicism and psychologism, though still attached to metaphysical concepts .
Father of social psychology, his volume of the Prolegomena, or “Logical Investigations” is a critique of psychologism, when affirming that an associative system can associate and dissociate at the same time, one can not think that A is “A” and at the same time think That A is “not A,” for it does not refer to the possibility of thinking, but to the truth of what is thought.
He will also criticize historicism, in his article Philosophy as a “rigorous science,” from 1910-11, which will later be taken up by Gadamer in his “The Question of Historical Consciousness.”


Hermeneutics and fanaticism

29 May

From the Platonic philosophy, which was an overcoming of the discourse of theComunicaçãoNãoViolenta sophists that served only the rhetoric of power, the dualism of knowledge between the Doxa that is the opinion and the Episteme that would be the true knowledge, but some authors see Doxa as first knowledge.

All discourse and Socratic logic, which Plato uses abundantly, is nothing but the dialogue between knowledge as presented and its elaboration through questions.

The fact that we fall into a labyrinth of doubts and crises in modernity, even with systematized knowledge is nothing but the return to what is in fact the episteme, how life changes, the logic of life would also be expected, must change and so Changes the method of investigating it.

I call this requirement of our time “epistemological openness,” allowing new systems and new ways of thinking to be possible and amenable to analysis, so “doxa” or simple opinion may not be just a modern form of sophistry, but a “Unveiling”.

Fanaticism is generally the refusal to an “epistemological opening,” is the closure in a scheme “that worked” for a period, but may no longer serve the logic of life today.
Of course there are several levels of fanaticism, but in essence it is a closure to the discourse of the Other, to the hermeneutic circle where some form of fusion of horizons is possible, as the philosopher Gadamer calls it.

So to speak is the communication that another discourse different from that of my epistemic circle is not accepted, it is not tolerable and should be banished, hence to get violent forms of communication is not a step, but it is an almost inevitable path.

It is not an epistemic closure, a help is Marshall Rosenberg’s book “Nonviolent Communication” ranges from self-help to freedom from conditioning and negative experiences, to philosophical schemes and problems of political positioning so common in all spheres of our Life today


There is no contradiction between happiness and well-being.

26 May

The idea that we always have an alternative between Power, with a capital P to indicateHappiness Power or Will to Power as some philosophers want, not only Nietzsche, but before him almost all the Enlightenment and some Utilitarians, is an idea apparently convincing, but that To put in contact with the idea of ​​Happiness, its consistency is not so solid.
There is a power between the meek, the silent and those who know how to listen and engage in a dialogical process, the power for them is different from potency because every agapic act, a form of “happy” love, is also an act of power that does not makes the Manichean game.
In biblical terms in the same passage Jesus says to the disciples that “all authority has been dating him between heaven and earth” (Mt 18:28), he also guarantees that he will be with them immediately in the sequence, “to the end of time” meaning peace an agapic form, that brings comfort and happiness; But should not be confused with unconsciousness.
It is precisely this that deals with the hermeneutics of Gadamer, and his book and main work Truth and Method, does nothing other than the construction of true historical consciousness within a dialogic process and hermeneutic synthesis, is his method and can very well Interact with other logic systems, provided they are open, but it is not a Systems Theory.
What is happiness then? In hermeneutical logic the relationship with others, openness to assistance proposes the empowerment of Amartya Sen, and the construction of the common good as people in good faith want.
Of course it is not the happiness of consumerism and power as men understand it should not be confused with this agapic happiness, after all it is not good to mix power and religion, says the popular wisdom, then it is the power to be always free, can be happy if within a social structure that favors their empowerment for social life.


The will to Power

25 May

Power is the logic for many peoples, happiness no. VontadeDePoder

Power Will or Power (“Der Wille zur Macht”) is a concept of Nietzsche’s philosophy that is used as the basis in the construction of all his thought, for he is in everything in life, not only in organic life, Ranging from chemical reactions to the human psyche.

Teilhard Chardin gave another name that was the idea of ​​vitalization, that is to say, the life more and more complex, and the man is the maximum of the complexification of the life, occurs by a process of cerebralización, and that means that we are in “evolution”, but not necessarily in power.

Thomas Aquinas, spoke of act and power and potency and what “virtually” is contained in the act, for example, we planted a seed and it is virtually a tree. Our contemporary problem, reflected in every Western civilization in particular, but on the whole planet, is whether our present process of empowerment in the sense of development is corresponding to a general happiness, that is, are we happy?

Certainly all humanity would say no, one of the contemporary diseases was stress, it became the panic syndrome, and depression gives signs of growth as frightening as other physical illnesses such as cancer and AIDS.

But Nietszche’s hypothesis contrasts with modern quantum physics, since his first assumption is that the total force that exists in the universe is determined, not infinite, while astrophysics is confronted with an expanding universe with forces not yet measured due to black holes.

But from Nietzsche’s theory it is reduced that the number of situations, and the combinations of these forces are measurable, that is, also determinate and finite, as is supposed in the Laplacian universe, and it is not the same universe as Einstein and Heisenberg.

In Nietzsche’s terminology the Will to Power is an original law, without exception or transgression.

Thus in the philosopher’s words the Will to Power is not something created, or depends on special conditions, as in religion or previous theories, but it comes from the very reality of things, so it is necessary, as presupposes Husserl’s phenomenology to Things themselves, to determine what they really.

NIETZSCHE, Friedrich. The will to power. Tradutor to Walter Kaufmann e R. I. Hollingdale.  Nova York: Vintage Books. , 1968.





What is empowering in a society?

24 May

The reconstruction of Adam Smith’s argument in his “The theory of Moral Sentiments”,Capacitar which applied economics, made Amartya Sen (1988) develop some critical aspects of what would be the enduring principles of conventional economic theory to create a theory that could- It would be called a sustainable economic theory, which at the same time guarantees freedom does not allow some citizens to remain outside the process.

This view made Amartya Sen developing what is called the “capacity-building approach” (1880 with later developments  in 1985, 1992 and 1999) and with related works like that of Martha Nussbaum (1986, 2000), placing it at the center of the question of the distribution of income and also the valuation of people without any deprivation of liberty.

The principle that moves self-interest is that described by Sen (1988a, p. 11): “The enhancement of living conditions must be clearly an essential – if not the essential – object of the entire economic exercise and that enhancement is an integral Part of the concept of development “(SEN, 1988a, p.11). “In this perspective, the search for social welfare is a privileged goal, the only one capable of giving full meaning to the social choices involved in development strategies”, so the so-called capabilities approach, placing development as having a set

Of expanding people’s capacities to do what they value without eliminating the freedoms that allow their choices and opportunities to engage in activities as empowered economic agents?
The idea is that each agent has “doings” and “existences” (“beings”), generically called “functions” (functions), each of which is important for assessing the nature of development and freedom of choice (SEN, 1988a).
The idea of ​​empowerment, presented in the work of Sen (1982 [1980]), is precisely a reflection of the freedom to perform functions that have value, and in this sense are characteristics where each individual in the real situation has “to be” “do”.


NUSSBAUM, M. C. The fragility of goodness: Luck and ethics in Greek tragedy and philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

SEN, A. K. Equality of What ? In: SEN, A. K. Choice, Welfare and Measurement. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1982. ch. 16. 25, 1980.

____. The Concept of Development. In: Handbook of Development Economics, vol. 1. Amsterdam: North Holland, 1988 (1988a). p. 10-26.

____. On Ethics and Economics. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988 (1988b).


The Goodness and the Capabilities

23 May

To look at the question of the capacity of Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen, we begin CapacityModel with the view of Aristotle’s “political distribution” that used it extensively in the analysis of the “good of human beings,” where this good is connected with the examination of ” Man “and” life in the sense of activity “, that is, the function as human empowerment for an activity.
Thinking about life as “activities and ways of being” and why they are so valuable, the assessment of the quality of life takes the form of an evaluation of these effectives and the ability to do them, that is, taking into account only the goods Or the incomes that aid in the performance of those activities and the acquisition of those capacities, as in most of the theories of value, which come from Adam Smith and Marx, we end up having a confusion of means and ends, and in this agree Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum.
Returning to the Aristotelian theory, it is possible that life “is lived under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not what we seek, for wealth is merely useful in the attainment of other goods.”
So our task is to evaluate the various effects in human life, surpassing what, in a different but related context, what Marx called “commodity fetishism,” the consumption of commodities can only be examined by the capacity of the person of Must be appropriately assessed not quantitatively, but as a combination of effectiveness.
Sen and Nussbaum point out as the first fundamental point the ambiguities and relevance in the conceptual framework of the capacity approach, Without states: “The nature of human life and the content of human freedom are problematic concepts. I do not intend to sweep these difficulties under the rug. ”
The second points are quality of life and needs: “There is a wide literature on economic development that deals with the evaluation of the quality of life, the fulfillment of basic needs and related issues,” Sen says, quoting Lipton (1968).
The third points are primary goods and freedoms, where Rawls’s work must be analyzed, since the “focus on the commodities and the means of personal fulfillment in this work contrasted with the capacity approach is also influential in modern moral philosophy,” says Amartya Sen.

Sen, Amartya. Development as capacity expansion. (see the Link).
Sen, Amartya. “Development as Capability Expansion”, Jounal of Development Planning, no. 19, 1989 (special insert on “Human development from the eighties”) Regis Castro Andrade (see the Links))


There are just institutions

22 May

The corrosion of most Western institutions, but also most of the Eastern ones,IdeaOfJustice is the ferment in which fanaticism and fundamentalism grow. What is seen is a large number of opportunist candidates in elections in so-called “central” countries.
In his work, Amartya Sen shows that thinking about institutions is already very old, and separates them into two main currents of thought: “transcendental institutionalism” (Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant and Rawls) and “comparison-based realization” ( Karl Marx, Jeremy Bentham, Mary Wollstonecraft and John Stuart Mill).
As we have already pointed out here on a number of topics, the basis of idealistic thought, which is assumed in transcendental institutionalists, unfortunately includes much of contemporary religious thought, and as Sen emphasizes two characteristics are common: it is the focus on a perfect society and To look upon perfect and just institutions, in this ideal sense, an almost Platonic ideal and which supposes, if not just, the least evil.
Another eminent author who makes inroads into the Theory of Empowerment is Martha Nussbaum, who makes the following distinction about Sen’s work: “Amartya Sen is concerned with comparisons about the standard of living of individuals, whether it would be connected to the debate about” how “… can provide a basis for central constitutional principles in which citizens have the right to make demands on their governments,” so one can see that it does not separate from idealistic institutionalism, although its work The “empowerment” of Sen’s work.
Amartya Sen’s work, more than 30 years ago, has sketched what is a true Theory of Justice, in a very broad sense, with the objective of clarifying what we can think of in terms of overcoming injustices, instead of offering resolutions of How to deal with perfect justice, “as Sen writes in a recent paper.
The approach we want, should respect each person as a purpose and a source of agency and value in their own right, if we can say so, an ontological justice.
It is not by chance that Paul Ricoeur’s work on the Just (2008) begins with a critique of Rawls, although in a different sense from that of Nussbaum and Amarthya Sem, he also defines it as
In upholding the importance of bringing happiness to people, Amarthya Sen’s sentence in Theory of Empowerment is deadly: “Empowerment is a kind of power. Happiness, no. “

Nussbaum, Martha. Non-Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach, 1990. In NUSSBAUM, Martha and SEN, Amartya (Eds.), The quality of life. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993.
Ricoeur, Paul. Fair 1: justice as a moral rule and institution. BENEDETTI, Ivone G. [Trad.]. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2008, vol. I.
Sen, Amartya. The idea of ​​justice. SP: Cia das Letras, 2011


The spirit of true

19 May

In the hermeneutic process it springs from the dialogue and action of people whoEspiritoVerdade not only desire Truth and Justice but are able to dialogue according to historical consciousness.

Teilhard Chardin established in his Noosphere how this process of interaction takes place within the Noosphere, a sphere of the spirit according to which the set of the vectors of Life, Chardin was besides priest a palaeontologist, that already operates from the beginning of the Universe, but inside Of which a branch of life, which he calls “a stain of the anthropoids”, a living organisms branch that has consciousness and we can within this consciousness determine a historical consciousness now enlarged by Chardin’s Noosphere as historical consciousness in the arrow of the evolution of the universe.

Of course, this historical “factual” point is precise and determined, but if we see it throughout the history of the universe and a wider cosmogony we can understand that we are part of a genesis of this Universe and an eschatology from which we can not escape. Spirits are connected within a Noosphere in which we evolve or deteriorate.

This Spirit in biblical eschatology is described in John 14: 15-17: “If ye love me, ye shall keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another advocate, that he may abide always with you: the Spirit of truth , Which the world is not able to receive, because it does not see or know it. “

Far from a fundamentalist interpretation, which in itself would never be part of a true hermeneutics, solidarity with the whole of humanity, the interpretation of its paths in an apparently confused moment of history, it is possible to shed light on the utilitarian and idealistic pragmatism that prevails In contemporary thought, some light that springs from a Universal Wisdom, where the very history of living beings can be contacted.

A Spirit of Truth means the clarity of principles, values and above all, a behavior that is always right in the small things of everyday life, in solidarity and attentive to the unhappy, respectful of the different and generous with the most humble; There is no mistaking, only the defender has those who cooperate concretely to advance the “arrow” of life, in a constructive and broad sense, always open to those who are diferente.



Noosphere: a sphere of the spirit

18 May

Teilhard de Chardin was born in 1881 into a provincial religious family of France, entered Noosferathe religious order Company of Jesus (Jesuits) where he studied geology and paleontology, developed studies of paleontology and using a Vernadsky theory, according to which the Earth developed in three Phases the geosphere (inanimate matter), the biosphere (the biological matter) and the noosphere (intelligent life on the planet).

Paleontology is the branch of science that studies the development of life on the planet.
Without going into detail in the development of the Geosphere, which is undoubtedly also fascinating to study the formation and cooling of the planet, the formation of continent and oceans, rivers and plains until the emergence of life, but not the central focus of their work .

It develops this in detail and a long course of the development of the Biosphere from single-celled and multicellular organisms, developing a process of vitalization, ranging from the filing to what is called complexity and cerebralization, where an “antropoid spot” gives rise to man Which would be the maximum point of this complexity.
Chardin makes an important comparison in equine development with humans, but regrets that there are few equine fossils since they lived longer in fields and caves and caves are fossil-rich deposits because of conservation possibilities.

When the cerebralization of equidae is similar to that of men, it must have occurred in the same era, in the Lower Eocene (rapid temperature elevation favored the formation of flowers, woods and herbivorous animals), but the fact that the erect man made a difference In the use of the hands, and in the brain’s ability to be aware, to reflect.

Chardin seems to be confused with the question of the origin of life and asks: “But where do you want to put your strength?” (Chardin, 43), and raises three possible intellectual attitudes: a) a Natural selection of Matter, in the statistical game of hypotheses, in an ever-increasing complexity, b) the spiritualist way, an “expansion of consciousness,” having consciousness as being a “prepared complexity,” does not say, but a demiurge god as in Plato’s cosmogony where this god gives form to a disorganized matter imitating the eternal essences, having the inferior gods, created by him, as a task the production of the mortal beings, for this he sees the reflection as essential in the process of hominization, that is, Man become a reflective being as he is.

However, it is in the noosphere, the space of interaction between the various human reflections, my definition, that the process of humanization happens, Chardin defines: “Man, emerged as a simple species, but gradually raised, better than a Kingdom, nor More or less than a “sphere” – the Noosphere (or thinking sphere) over-imposed coextensively (but more connected and homogeneous) to the Biosphere. “(P.102).

Chardin, T. The place of man in nature, Lisbon: Instituto Piaget, s / d. (1959 is original in french).