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Julio Cabrera is an Argentine philosopher living in Brazil.

Contents

Negative ethicsEdit

  • If freedom, according to traditional morality itself, is a fundamental ethical value, the very basis of ethics, one must be aware that the creation of a child may be the first huge disrespect of the freedom of the human person. The issue of freedom suffers here from the same problem as the issue of pain: it is a matter of ethical value that the traditional affirmative ethics is unable to radicalize.
  • Matar alguém e dar nascimento a alguém são duas ações violentas através das quais, magicamente, o homem tenta colocar-se no lugar de Deus. A vítima de um homicídio é sempre indefesa, porém jamais tão indefesa quanto a vítima de um nascimento. Um parto tem tanto sangue inocente quanto um homicídio. Se procriar é uma opção livre, então a vida é a dor inútil fundamental.
    • Killing someone and giving birth to someone are two violent actions through which, magically, man tries to put himself in God’s place. The victim of a homicide is always helpless, but never as helpless as the victim of a birth. Childbirth spills innocent blood equal to homicide. If procreation is a free choice, then life is fundamentally unnecessary pain.
    • Projeto de Ética Negativa, back cover
  • In the light of natural ontology, it is not correct the argument that we do not know anything about our possible offsprings, for example, about the capacity they will have to overcome structural pain; because even we do not know, for example, whether they will enjoy traveling, working or studying classical languages, we do know they will be indigent, decadent, vacating beings who will start dying since birth, who will face and be characterized by systematic dysfunctions, who will have to constitute their own beings as beings-against-the-others – in the sense of dealing with aggressiveness and having to discharge it over others – who will lose those they love and be lost by those who love them, and time will take everything they manage to build.
  • We undoubtedly would not morally justify the behavior of someone who sent a colleague to a dangerous situation by saying: "I sent him there because I know he is strong and he will manage well". The "strengths" of the newborn do not relieve in anything the moral responsibility of the procreator. Anyone would answer: "This is irrelevant. Your role in the matter consisted of sending people to a situation you know was difficult and painful and you could avoid it. Your predictions about their reacting manners do not decrease in anything your responsibility". In the case of procreation, the reasoning could be the same, and in a notorious emphatic way, since in any intra-worldly situation with already existing people in which we send someone to a position known as painful, the other one could always run away from pain to the extent his being is already in the world and he could predict danger and try to avoid being exposed to a disregarding and manipulative maneuver. In the case of the one who is being born, by contrast, this is not possible at all because it is precisely his very being that is being manufactured and used. Concerning birth, therefore, manipulation seems to be total.
  • Thus, whoever has said to procreate for love, as others kill for hate, might have said a truth, but, no doubt, this person has not given any moral justification for procreation. Saying you have had a child "for love" is a manner of saying you have had him or her compulsively, according to the wild rhythms of life. In a similar way, we might intensely love our parents and, at the same time, consider fatherhood ethically-rationally problematic, and visualize we have been manipulated by them. I may continue to love after having detected immorality, there is nothing contradictory on that. Neither would morally justify a homicide saying we have done it for hate, nor a suicide saying we have done it "for hate against ourselves". Something can continue to be ethically problematic even when guided by love.
  • People proclaim that "the experience of parenthood is extraordinary" and recommend it to all (and denigrate those who have not gone through it). But I wonder: "extraordinary for whom?". It is certainly extraordinary for the parents. When they say that not only will they be happy and fulfilled with the experience but also their children, they do not realize the unfathomable asymmetry and mismatch between these two experiences, the experience of generating and of being generated. The generated is obliged to accept the experience, to make it good and interesting (and even extraordinary); What other option would they have? This obligation is not present in the parents, where the "extraordinary" character of the experience is part of an immersive and unilateral project. The situations of both parties are incomparable. Thus, when some reply: "There is no sense in you wanting to show that life is bad; You cannot decide for your child; Maybe they like to live", what does that mean? Of course! In a sense, they are obligated to like! But this “liking” will always be a desperate acceptance. The generated is not in a position of really liking. They could like if they had really chosen. Faced with the fait accompli, they are forced to cling desperately to life. Either they "like" or are destroyed (by a nervous illness, or by the hostility of others).
  • The essence of human life is to have arisen as a force contrary to the internal terminality of being: the human being decays, languishes and dies in the sense of doing all this in an opposing, reactive, fugitive way, as if the being given to them could not be lived in its positivity, but always negatively, reactively, creatively. But the terminality of being will eventually occupy all the creative space, swallowing the "mortal-being" that decays, languishes and dies. In its place will appear the hole that constituted it from the beginning and that only now became evident.
  • Um agente genuinamente racional escolheria nascer? Pode-se reler a minha argumentação contra R. M. Hare, na Crítica da Moral Afirmativa (...). Ali eu sugiro que, no experimento segundo o qual o não- ser é magicamente consultado acerca de seu possível nascimento, Hare está errado ao supor acriticamente que "ele" escolheria, sem dúvida, nascer. (Esta é a tendência afirmativa habitual). Pois supomos que ele seja humano, ou seja, uma criatura racional capaz de ponderar razões. A informação que se fornece a esse ser possível, no experimento de Hare, é incompleta e tendenciosa. Deveríamos também dizer a ele que, se nascer, não terá qualquer garantia de nascer sem problemas; que se conseguir nascer sem problemas, sofrerá, quase seguramente, de muitos males intramundanos; que se conseguir se livrar deles (e isto é intramundanamente possível, mesmo que difícil), não poderemos dar-lhe qualquer garantia acerca do seu tempo de vida, nem do tipo de morte que vai ter, além de ter de sofrer a morte dos que chegar a amar e de ter sua morte sofrida pelos que lhe amem (se tiver sorte de amar alguém e de ser amado por alguém, o que tampouco está garantido). Haverá que lhe dizer que, se se livrar de alguma morte acidental violenta, decairá em um número bastante escasso de anos (assim como as pessoas que ama e com as quais se importa), e que ele tem altas chances de transformar-se num doente terminal que pode sofrer terrivelmente até a hora de extinguir-se. Se for possível ainda ao não-ser, após ter assimilado toda esta informação, escolher nascer, não poderíamos alimentar dúvidas bastante bem fundadas acerca de sua qualidade como "agente racional"?
    • Would a genuinely rational agent choose to be born? My argument against R. M. Hare can be reread in the "Critique of Affirmative Morality" (...). There I suggest that in the experiment where the non-being is magically consulted about their possible birth, Hare is mistaken in assuming uncritically that "they" would undoubtedly choose to be born. (This is the usual affirmative trend). For let’s suppose that they are human, that is, a rational creature capable of pondering reasons. The information that is given to this possible being in Hare's experiment is incomplete and biased. We should also tell them that if they are born, they will have no guarantee of being born without problems; that if they manage to be born problem-free, they will almost surely suffer from many intra-wordly evils; that if they manage to get rid of them (and this is possible in the intra-world, even if difficult), we cannot give them any reassurance about their life span, nor about the kind of death they will have, besides having to suffer the death of those they come to love and having their death suffered by those who love them (if they are lucky enough to love someone and to be loved by someone, which is also not guaranteed). They must be told that if they avoid some violent accidental death, they will deteriorate in a few years (just as the people they love and care about), and that they have a high chance of becoming a terminally ill patient who could suffer terribly until the time of their demise. If it is still possible for the non-being, after having assimilated all this information, to choose to be born, could we not nourish well-founded doubts about its quality as a "rational agent"?
    • Porque te amo, não nascerás! Nascituri te salutant, 2009, pp. 70-71
  • Philosophers have always spoken of life as a "preparation for death", and of philosophy as a "learning to die". But there is a wisdom before this: to learn to abstain. To not put anyone in the situation of having to learn to die.
  • MV says that the rejection of life appears in later states, but that at the time of birth, and already before, everything is acceptance of life. But, is this so?? What can be said of the outcry with which children are born, of the primordial cry, of the first traumatic contact (studied by Freud) with the world? Isn't the child’s outcry already his first philosophical opinion of the world? Why is he not born laughing, or at least calm? When the baby is dumped in the world at the time of childbirth, his first reaction is pessimistic, a protest against disregard and disturbance, an initial outcry that he did not have to learn, as he will have to learn to laugh in the first few weeks or even months of life (which already marks, in the very inaugural act of being, the pessimistic asymmetry: the baby learns to laugh, but is born crying); the baby is born, forced by foreign desires, in an initial desperation, in a cry of deep and abysmal helplessness, in a primordial terror that, immediately, through movements, caresses, cares, etc, adults will try to soften; movements that will be repeated throughout his life: initial despair followed by protective cares; but the cares are posterior to the despair; the despair comes first, and the cares are the reactions. They are not on the same level. Asymmetry!
  • What is meant by "ethics" in this initial context of reflection cannot be anything too complicated or strongly committed to particular ethical theories, but rather quite a basic concept that could be accepted by them all. I propose to speak of a "Fundamental Ethical Articulation" (FEA from now on) to refer to the following concept: In decisions and actions, we must take also into account the moral and sensitive interests of others and not only our own, trying not to give systematic primacy to the latter just because they are our interests.
  • The best would have been not to be born. Not being born is, in a negative ethics, the absolute good; but it is, precisely, the good that cannot be sought. (Attention: the situation is more radical than in the case of goods that can be sought but never achieved; not being born cannot even be sought).
  • People talk about the "wonderful experience of parenthood". Have you ever wondered why it is so wonderful? It may be wonderful because it is very manipulative; manipulating gives a lot of pleasure, because you have a person in your hands. When the child is small you wear it as you want, comb as you want, cut the hair, put on the table, as I have frequently seen it. The adults play with the child, people who would have no subject of conversation or interaction, when their empty, insignificant gray lives would come to light, the child saves them.
  • The moral tradition says: we have many natural tendencies, but as ethical human beings we have to try to overcome natural impulses. For example, we are naturally violent; human beings are naturally very selfish, trying to focus their decisions on themselves, but ethics is always saying: you have to fight against these natural tendencies. You cannot be all the violent that nature commands, you cannot be everything selfish that nature asks for. So if you tell me that procreation is natural, being natural does not show it to be moral. On the contrary, forgotten Brazilian philosophers like Tobias Barreto put exactly the opposite. Tobias Barreto thought that when something is natural it is bad, and we have to fight it. (The enslavement of one people over others is natural, but it is cultural that slavery must not exist.) So do not tell me that procreation is natural and so we have to do it. All human morality is unnatural; all human morality is artificial, just as our feeding systems in our sophisticated restaurants are also artificial and unnatural. What is the animal that eats the way we eat? Even our sexuality is artificial; it is not purely instinctual, but largely symbolic. If you had that argument in your sleeve, you would still have to show that what comes from nature is moral, because there are many arguments showing that what comes from nature can be opposite of morality.
  • When someone (including philosophers) defends the pretentious beauty of "having children", they refer to the pleasure of "seeing them grow", first children, then adolescents, then graduated and independent adults (this happens not only in wealthy classes but also, in part, in more modest ones). However, it is strange that they, when speaking of children, inexplicably stop at this point and never refer to their decline, their aging, their decadence, perhaps because they think they will not be there to contemplate this decline. The parents prefer not to see the end of this process, as if the child dissolved in the air. The residual aspect of parenthood is omitted; the child is only visualized as flourishing. The death of the child-residue is denied any visibility. The consummation of the processes is concealed as something dirty and indecent, not worthy to be shown.
    • Mal-Estar e Moralidade. Situação Humana, Ética e Procriação Responsável, 2018, p. 306
  • It is very curious that it is sometimes considered cruel or inhumane to raise the issue of the ethics of procreation, as if this showed a rejection of the unborn children, a kind of hatred for their lives. This is a total deformation of the intentions of an ethical reflection on procreation. On the contrary, this reflection is motivated by a deep concern for the possible children, due to the risk of their emergence being the consequence of a thoughtless, constraining and aggressive act towards small defenseless beings, on whom one thinks to have full right to plan everything about their lives to our full desire and satisfaction. A great part of the revolt that awakens in the adult world due the simple placement of this issue indicates that the parents obtain a great pleasure in the procreative act, and react – sometimes angrily – against those who question this powerful source of pleasure, and consequently the immense power over the one who is going to be born. This total power over another life is intensely seductive and no one wants to give it up. But in the ethical reflection, whatever the subject matter is, it is never an issue of evaluating only the satisfaction we get from our actions, but of pondering whether what we do is right or not, whether the power we can accumulate over more defenseless beings is or not ethically justified.
    • Mal-Estar e Moralidade. Situação Humana, Ética e Procriação Responsável, 2018, p. 463
  • The many lives that end up catastrophically seem a very high price to morally justify the "bet" of procreation, even the one done in the most serious way possible by the "responsible procreator." (Do numerous catastrophes "compensate" for some "successful" lives? Can we make "gains" and "losses" calculations with possible human lives, more than we do with real human lives?). But what is important is that even if none of these calamitous situations were presented, the vital "triumph" of the child, the fact that it has achieved that "equilibrium" (always morally costly, by the impediment thesis) between the invention of values ​​and the terminal structure of being, does not exempt the parents from the responsibility of having put them at risk of falling into some of those catastrophes. Moreover, even if the child has "won" the bet, their "triumph" will forever and indefinitely remain tied to the unilaterality of the procreative act: the child will have won the bet, but it will never have been their bet. They can at most win it, but they could never have chosen to compete.
    • Mal-Estar e Moralidade. Situação Humana, Ética e Procriação Responsável, 2018, p. 508

Philosophy of language and logicEdit

  • What we notice, for example, when we get involved in ethical discussions on procreation, abortion or death penalty or in logical debates on analyticity, non-classic logics or lexical connections, is that the opposite positions are perfectly tenable, although they are not the positions that we ourselves prefer to take. We understand that our position about, for example, abortion, comes from a set of previous assumptions, preferences, dislikes, past experiences, education and so on, all elements and circumstances that oriented our choice of categories, concepts and modes of reasoning that certainly should greatly differ from the set of arguments of our interlocutors in a dialogue about the matter. Anything we can present about controversial topics like these would be normally opposed or refused by the other party through all kinds of objections. Opposition is not an anomaly, but the current form in which philosophy develops. Two human beings engaging in a discussion about philosophical questions are going naturally and per force to differ in substance and method in almost any topic at issue. What is the point in trying to impose one's own perspective?
  • Despite Singer's proud affirmative statement that he has finally discovered the definitive solution to the problem of abortion and can finally settle the issue, his "proof" depends on many possible sub-arguments (which he prefers not to "see"). His pro-abortion argument can only be established if we accept some kind of utilitarian ethics according to which the well-being of concrete human beings is above any abstract or metaphysical idea of the "human person" (something that would make them "intrinsically valuable"). It also depends on the idea that what is ethically relevant is that humans do not suffer useless pain, and on the thesis that a human being can be defined by a set of well-defined relevant properties (the famous "indicators of humanity"). It also depends on a very specific definition of the terms "homicide" and "innocent" in the expression "innocent human being", and on the deactivation of the idea of "potentiality", in the sense that potential of become someone in a time t + 1, give to this someone rights in t. It is a large number of assumptions without which the "objective" and "definitive" conclusion would not follow. Any debater who does not accept at least one of these assumptions will not accept Singer's "indisputable results". And contrary to what he says, those who do not accept them are not "simply wrong", but they assume other perfectly plausible, sustainable and rational assumptions and Gestalten within the network of arguments. Singer drastically ignores all the questions and obstacles in his line of argument (eg, the controversy over "indicators of humanity"), and it is only in this way that he can still feed the illusion of having "solved" the problem of abortion.
  • I start from the perspective that all that philosophers thought and developed in terms of reflection on language, whatever their perspective and methodology of access (analytic, hermeneutics, phenomenology, transcendental philosophy, critique of ideologies, psychoanalysis) should be considered as "philosophy of language" (...) My idea is that these issues are best viewed not from a single perspective, but from the confluence of several of them.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasilia, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 14.
  • To paraphrase what Norberto Bobbio (...) once said about Marxism, "one of my favorite phrases is that today one cannot be a good Marxist being only a Marxist. But the Marxist has an irresistible tendency to be just... Marxist, "one could say that today one cannot be a good analytic philosopher being only analytical. But the analytic has an irresistible tendency to be just... analytical.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 15.
  • It could be said (...) that language is of interest to philosophy insofar as the former is understood not only as a "vehicle" of concepts, but as a framework in which concepts are constituted, concepts that allow the articulation of the world with the intention of making it meaningful to us. In this way, concepts and meaning go together. This "meaning" will be understood in very different ways by the different philosophies of language, and consequently the constitution of concepts will also be variously understood. I call this conception, in contrast to the vehicular theory, the constitutional conception of language.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 17.
  • Theory of knowledge, ethics and aesthetics are not only three academic disciplines, but three major human accesses to the world (...) Making the world meaningful is an epistemological-ethical-aesthetic undertaking (...) Different philosophies of language will accentuate one or other of these functions. (...) Knowing the world is not all that man does with it, and many thinkers (Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud) have already doubted that knowing it should be considered as the most basic and profound relation that man can establish with the world.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 21.
  • (...) my approach to these possibilities of the constitution of signification will be largely negative, following the point of view that characterizes my general philosophical perspective on the world. Such a negative approach in the field of the philosophy of language will be manifested in the fact that here we focus not so much on the successful generation of signification, which (according to my perspective) seldom or never happens, but precisely on the regular obstacles to its establishment. (...) But my approach is negative in a radical sense (...) Each of the philosophies of language constitutes itself as the negation of the enlightening project of the others, each constituting itself as the formulation of the inadequacies of the others.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 22.
  • (...) "meanings", besides having objective dimensions, are also hermeneutic and temporal-historical instances, precisely those that the analytical philosophize cannot grasp, because they are situated beyond their limits of understanding. "Meanings" are instances that can only be fully studied by other philosophies of language, capable of incorporating these experiential elements.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 55.
  • Wittgenstein is a philosopher rich enough (or sufficiently vague and imprecise enough) to the point of multiple interpretations. Analytical, hermeneutic-transcendental, phenomenological, and Marxian-dialectical interpretations of Wittgenstein's philosophy are examined (...) as an expository resource to better characterize various types and styles of twentieth-century language philosophies. The assumed pluralism (...) makes all such interpretations as viable, so that none of them dismiss the others as "false", claiming to have presented "the true Wittgenstein." This presupposes a conception of what philosophy is and a way of producing and developing it. In each of the interpretations different aspects of the same thought are accentuated, as in a Gestalt experiment.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 66-67.
  • Heidegger's text [On the Essence of Language] will not be indicative of an object already made, but will consist of clues about how to live an experience with speech, an experience that is not "narrated" in the text, but elicited by him. The text will try to put the reader in a kind of scope or "environment" that gives opportunity to this experience.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 144.
  • Let us think, for example, of the experience of speaking a foreign language and what happens when one speaks "perfectly and without error", when one speaks German "as a German", and in what happens, on the contrary, when one speaks imperfectly, when, through the babble of one who "does not master a language", a vital dimension is shown that is hidden in the perfectly "dominated" language.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 145.
  • As Wittgenstein would point out, the word "poor" does not have an absolute reference, but acquires its meaning in reference to specific language games, in which it acquires its reference to the world dynamically. The poverty to which Marx referred does not necessarily diminish by extending the benefits to the workers within the alienated society. A well-paid slave remains a slave and therefore alienated and poor in the Marxian sense. (...) the worker did not enter into a state of "non-poverty" in the relative sense of Marx (and Wittgenstein), but he remains alienated, living with the minimum (relative to the society that alienates him).
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 196-97
  • Psychoanalysis is not science. But very few things are science. Nor is Kant's ethics a science, but it is a high-level reflection about the human being in his relation with the world, as is Freud's reflection. What seems curious is the scarce insistence about the fact that Kantian ethics is not science, while everyone seems so preoccupied with stressing the non-scientificity of psychoanalysis.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 224.
  • Psychoanalysis's interest in discursive breakdown is not merely theoretical, but also because it is regularly marked by suffering, by some kind of emotional involvement (...) Suffering is not an external "accompaniment" to linguistic anomalies, but a constituent part of them. The discursive break is the manifestation of a psychic break. The generation of language anomalies and discontinuities is linked to the attempt to avoid displeasure. The actual compactness of the linguistic chain, that is, the correct filling of it through authentic signs would generate unbearable suffering.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 230.
  • (...) why is it illegitimate to eliminate philosophies? Here, logical-epistemic motives and ethical motives are joined. (...) what was thought creates a way of life of thought, one of its reflective possibilities. When a worldview is established, it is indestructible as a possible form of thought, as a direction of reflection; the fact of having thought is inextinguishable, and the only thing to be done with this view is to accept it, complement it or even exclude it, but these three attitudes already imply its non-elimination: the philosophical exclusion of a philosophy by part of another presupposes the recognition of its existence, only counterexamples of its laws are presented (...) We cannot eliminate other philosophies for a motive similar to that by which we cannot eliminate people.
    • Margens das filosofias da linguagem, Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2009 (1st reprint), p. 276.
  • The study of "lexical inferences" (if they exist) should be something that oscillates (...) between ML [Mathematical Logic] and informal logic. In historical terms, we like to say that this is a wittgensteinean undertaking of the intermediate period (...) something that has already passed beyond the deception of the one-dimensional semantics of the Tractatus, but which has not yet fallen into the dense multidimensionality of Philosophical Investigations (...)
    • Inferências lexicais e Interpretação de redes de predicados. Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2007 (co-authored by Olavo da Silva Filho), p. 15.
  • We call "divergent" (...) all the systems of ML of the last century that challenge some aspect of the "classical" ML (hence its proper name "non-classical") (...) Rather, we call here as "hyperdivergent" those logical projects that present logic in a way that is incompatible, or very difficult to assimilate, with its presentation in logic systems, in such a way that it is difficult, or perhaps impossible, to define this logic in relation to classical systems of ML and, consequently, their own divergence as even a divergence. Historically, logical projects such as those presented by Hegel, Husserl and Dewey, for example, are of this nature.
    • Inferências lexicais e Interpretação de redes de predicados. Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2007 (co-authored by Olavo da Silva Filho), p. 272.
  • Perhaps the lexical connections ultimately rest on the will to live, on the will to power, on pain, on mortality or sexuality, and not on pure logical structures. If our lexical logics were still considered to be linked to the "dispositional" and the technology of thought (in a Hegelian-Heideggerian line) there would be nothing to do; then it would seem that we went beyond the limits of all that could be called "logic" (...). For a convinced Heideggerian, little will have been gained by moving from the usual logic to [lexical logic]. Notwithstanding this, we feel that there is an intermediate sensitivity to be harnessed and cultivated, which would be between rigid analytical logical forms and wild "continental" existentialism, a sort of existential sensibility of logical forms.
    • Inferências lexicais e Interpretação de redes de predicados. Editora da UnB, Brasília, 2007 (co-authored by Olavo da Silva Filho), p. 276-277.

Cinema and PhilosophyEdit

  • The current professionalized philosophy has been openly understood as "apathetic," without pathos, exclusively driven by the intellect and leaving aside emotions and sentimental impacts. Only a few philosophers of the last two centuries (Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud, Kierkegaard, Heidegger) have resisted this tradition by questioning the hegemony of intellectualist reason and the systematic exclusion of the emotional component in the task of grasping the world. In this sense, we can call these thinkers of the European tradition "cinematographic". ** Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015 (2nd edition), p. 9.
  • Wouldn't much of what Heidegger, for example, tries to say, almost without success, forcing the German language, forcing it to generate difficultly intelligible phrases, or Hegel's attempts to think the work of the concept "temporarily" putting it "on movement" wouldn't be much better exposed through the images arising from the calm and thoughtful displacement of a cinematic camera?
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015 (2nd edition), p. 19.
  • Cinema does not eliminate the requirement of truth and universality, but (...) redefines them within the logopathic phenomenon (...) the universality of cinema is peculiar, it belongs more to the order of possibility than to necessity. Cinema is universal, not in the sense of "necessarily happens to everyone", but in the sense of "could happen to anyone"
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015 (2nd edition), p. 25.
  • (...) A good movie is precisely the one in which the camera disappears, when we are no longer aware of watching a movie, while an avant-garde film tries to turn the camera to itself and show the hidden device. A jocular way of understanding this would be to compare the reaction of a human and that of a cat when we point to an object with the finger; while the human looks beyond the finger trying to discover the object to which the finger points, the cat stares at the finger; in this sense, the cat is avant-garde, it is more interested in the medium (the finger, the camera) than the object pointed.
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015 (2nd edition), p. 30-31.
  • (...) the cinematographic image cannot show without questioning, without destructuring, repositioning, twisting, distorting. Cinema cannot be the pure "record of the real" that the photographic conception of cinema usually formulates (and which currents like Italian neorealism have tried to take advantage of).
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015 (2nd edition), p. 43.
  • By exerting this effect of shock, visual violence, assault on sensibility, aggressiveness in the show, it is possible for the viewer to acquire acute awareness of a moral or epistemological problem as may not happen to him by reading a treatise on the subject. This "sensitization of concepts" may even question some of the traditional solutions of philosophical questions offered by the concept written throughout the history of philosophy (...)
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015(2nd edition), p. 47.
  • By exerting this effect of shock, visual violence, assault on sensibility, aggressiveness in the activity of showing, it is possible for the viewer to acquire acute awareness of a moral or epistemological problem as may not happen to him by reading a treatise on the subject. This "sensitization of concepts" may even question some of the traditional solutions of philosophical questions offered by the concept written throughout the history of philosophy (...)
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015 (2nd edition), p. 47.
  • Films do not "have" a meaning that has to be interpreted, but they establish with the viewer an interrelationship from which an unintended meaning arises which was nowhere waiting to be found.
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015, (2nd edition), p. 54.
  • Blow-up [Antonioni] shows what Descartes says: our senses deceive us. However, there is no cogito in the images of this film that helps to overcome the unbearable state of doubt provoked by the ambiguity of the facts. Thomas [the young photographer of this film] cannot protect himself in any cozy subjectivity; on the contrary, it is his subjectivity that is stolen by the mysterious force of things.
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015, (2nd edition), p. 171.
  • Pessimism seems to have an existential density that optimism - even non-naive optimism - does not have. In Bernardo Bertolucci's famous Last Tango in Paris (1972), the unknown (Marlon Brando) whose wife has just committed suicide, wanders around Paris and casually meets Jeanne (Maria Schneider), with whom he has a rich and violent physical and existential relationship, in an unfurnished apartment, where conventions and the name of things or people do not matter (...) But the moment he can get out of the pit and get back into life, dress well and resume the exercise of usual conventions, knowing her name, marrying and being happy, it becomes a conventional caricature and his relationship with Jeanne abruptly ends (...).
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015 (2nd edition), p. 294.
  • A "quiet" movie in which "nothing happens", where people are shown looking through the windows, walking the streets, living in completely banal situations, or simply looking at each other without saying anything, does not satisfy the spectator eager for novelty ( ...) this type of spectator usually says, after watching an ontological film, that he did not like it because in it "nothing happens": precisely the kind of attitude that Heidegger intends to provoke in his writings, making the absence of pressing entities put us in touch with the being.
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015 (2nd edition), p. 366.
  • (...) Paradoxically, the silent cinema inaugurates the act of saying, and the audio cinema the act of silencing. Saying does not need words, but silencing does. The lack of sound was not a "limitation" for silent movies, but rather the lack of silence. And this does not seem to be a strictly Wittgensteinian type of limit.
    • Cine: 100 años de Filosofía. Gedisa, Barcelona, 2015 (2nd edition), p. 426.
  • (...) an abstract conception of cinema opposes a photographic conception, marked by technology; because of this I do not like it when photography is talked about as a precursor or pioneer of cinema; photography is related to cinema only mechanically; the poetic predecessor of the cinema, its thinking pioneer, is literature much more than photography; there is nothing intrinsically photographic in the cinema, cinema is as abstract as literature, and so opaque; nor is photography concrete; nothing human is concrete, or transparent, every human is predicative, it shows by hiding, includes by excluding , understands by ignoring, thinks by dispensing (...)
    • Diálogo-Cinema. Edições SENAC, São Paulo, 2013 (in collaboration with Márcia Tiburi), p. 94.

Latin American philosophyEdit

  • When a European philosophizes, all his problems are of essence, there is no doubt about the existence of his thought. When a Latin American philosophizes (and this could be extended, for example, to Africans and other marginalized thoughts) he has to prove that his philosophy exists, that he has the right to reflect. (...) I call this a requirement of "insurgency" of Latin American philosophizing: to come into being, the activity of philosophizing from Latin America must insurge against intellectual exclusion (...) not strictly because it "wants" to insurge but because it is not allowed to "arise" in another way (...) Philosophizing from Latin America is reactive and insurgent or it isn't; it is an imperative need for survival.
    • Diário de um filósofo no Brasil. Editora Unijuí, Ijuí, 2013 (2nd edition), p. 13.
  • Helplessness is hidden or camouflaged under the professionalised forms of philosophizing, both in analytical philosophy and in the studies of the "experts on Nietzsche". The fragility intrinsic to all philosophizing (all living) is disguised as an apparently firm, secure and technical way of "mastering subjects" and constructing arguments. But even there, philosophizing cannot hide its original helplessness.
    • Diário de um filósofo no Brasil. Editora Unijuí, Ijuí, 2013 (2nd edition), p. 22.
  • I do not try to define philosophy here, but to deprive it of any fixed definition, to make it as free as possible for itself to find its most appropriate, provisional definitions (...). Just as I want to see it free from any "critical", "theoretical" or "deep" obligation, I would like to live it without the stigma of the edifying affirmativism that has pursued it throughout the arduous times as a struggle against rhetoric, relativism, skepticism, pessimism and nihilism. I believe that philosophy has no duty to seek conceptual edification, salvation by ideas, or the construction of a just society. The fewer "tasks" it has, the better.
    • Diário de um filósofo no Brasil. Editora Unijuí, Ijuí, 2013 (2nd edition), p. 25.
  • (...) "institutional philosophy" has transformed philosophical activity into a series of automatic and lifeless movements; in an enormous apparatus where teachers and students appear submitted to static and meaningless routines. (...) students often write their work far from what they would really like to do, works that will be read absentmindedly (and then shelved in large thesis banks that nobody consults) by professors increasingly busy with administrative and political tasks, and who also offer, absentmindedly, the classes that their students will listen for by obligation.
    • Diário de um filósofo no Brasil. Editora Unijuí, Ijuí, 2013 (2nd edition), p. 80.
  • In universities, no one is expected to develop a philosophy, and if one tried to do so, they would be evaluated poorly, and considered irresponsible. (...) There is no explicit censorship against this, that is, no one who forbids doing more personal works or essays on national authors, but someone who dares to do so would be heard by a few, or worse, viewed with distanced irony, and the author considered a dilettante or a "weak philosopher". The "community" itself plays the role of censorship here, dismissing it as an external authoritarian mechanism. Authoritarianism was incorporated into the community.
    • Diário de um filósofo no Brasil. Editora Unijuí, Ijuí, 2013 (2nd edition), p. 81-82
  • In the still dominant paradigm, it seems that the possibility of being a "great philosopher" is ab initio discarded. So if this paradigm is accepted, the real alternative would seem to be: would you rather be a great commentator on philosophy or a small philosopher? A genuine philosopher never thinks while foreseeing that they will make great or small philosophy; for he simply thinks, compulsively, his own "things", his points, his obsessions, and can do nothing but think them. (...) What has to be evaluated is whether, at worst, being a small philosopher is more important than turning into a brilliant commentator or a great expert on someone.
    • Diário de um filósofo no Brasil. Publisher Unijuí, Ijuí, 2013 (2nd edition), p.87.
  • At least two different ways of receiving the European legacy could be clearly formulated: (1) Continue to expose and spread the thought generated in Europe; or: (2) Try to receive this legacy in order to assume the same creative attitude that the Europeans have taken to build, value and spread their own philosophy. In option (1), Europe bequeathed us an object of study; in the alternative (2), Europe bequeaths us an attitude. Assuming the first alternative, we present the contents of European philosophy; assuming the second, we try to make philosophy as the Europeans did theirs.
    • Diário de um filósofo no Brasil. Editora Unijuí, Ijuí, 2013 (2nd edition), p. 219-220.
  • One of the most curious questions that I hear in discussions about philosophy in Brazil is that my approach is "markedly political," as if I were introducing politics into the aseptic and uncontaminated body of "pure philosophy" (... ) I want to say from the outset that the ideas that European philosophy is a universal philosophy, and that thoughts born in Latin America or Africa are national, are end-to-end policies; they are part of a policy that, having been instituted and enforced in a hegemonic way, hides its own ideological traits by presenting itself as if it were merely the absolute and objective truth.
    • Europeu não significa universal, brasileiro não significa nacional. Revista Nabuco, Year 1, number 2, December 2014-January 2015, p. 15.
  • It may be accepted that philosophical thoughts are universal in the sense of being of interest to humans from anywhere on the planet (...) However, if we do not want to formulate this universality in metaphysical or transcendental terms, we will have to conceive it as the result of a historical process, with a provenance, a circumstance and a perspective, which does not damage the universality of the thought (...) but situates it. What is denied is the idea that philosophical thoughts can arise directly from human reason, from a vision of nowhere. The universality of thoughts does not exempt them from having an origin (...)
    • Europeu não significa universal, brasileiro não significa nacional. Revista Nabuco, Year 1, number 2, December 2014-January 2015, p. 18.
  • The place of birth as an organizing center is part of the circumstances of thought, but does not exhaust them. The "from Brazil" is not only a national reference, but an existential-historical circumstance, linked to the particular configuration of the world that we make when we see it from South America and not from Ethiopia or Canada. Names like "Brazil," "Israel," or "Paris," do not allude to nations, but to organizational prospects of the world. While it makes some sense to state that in a globalized world the narrow idea of nation is diluted, it may be fallacious to say that globalization suppresses perspectives and circumstances from which this globalization is to be lived and thought.
    • Europeu não significa universal, brasileiro não significa nacional. Revista Nabuco, Year 1, number 2, December 2014-January 2015, p. 33.
  • Students are taught to do philosophy only in one way, in a single style and supported in a single tradition, by studying thoughts from only four or five countries on the planet. Latin American problems and authors (...) seem relevant to the future of young students of philosophy, by posing critical questions to them rather than simply inserting them as workers and consumers of philosophy within a supposedly objective system. Instead of deciding for the student in a paternalistic way, we should find a space for information and discussion where all ways of doing philosophy are presented, discussed and eventually excluded, because even to exclude philosophies they must appear.
    • Europeu não significa universal, brasileiro não significa nacional. Revista Nabuco, Year 1, number 2, December 2014-January 2015, p. 46.

External linksEdit