Julio Cabrera

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Julio Cabrera is an Argentine philosopher living in Brazil.

Negative ethics[edit]

  • Se a liberdade, de acordo com a própria moralidade tradicional, é um valor ético fundamental, o próprio funda­mento da eticidade, deve conscientizar-se de que a geração de um filho poderá ser o primeiro grande desrespeito pela liberdade da pessoa humana. A questão da liberdade sofre aqui do mesmo processo que a questão da dor: trata-se de um valor ético que a Ética tradicional afirmativa não está em condições de radicalizar.
    • 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.
    • Projeto de Ética Negativa, p. 28
  • 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 as much innocent blood as a 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.
  • As pessoas proclamam que a “experiência da paternidade (e maternidade) é extraordinária” e a recomendam a todos (e denigrem aqueles que não passaram por ela). Mas eu me pergunto: “extraordinária para quem?”. É certamente extraordinária para os genitores. Quando estes dizem que não apenas eles serão felizes e realizados com a experiência, mas também seus filhos, eles não percebem a insondável assimetria e descompasso entre essas duas experiências, a experiência de gerar e a de ser gerado. O gerado está obrigado a aceitar a experiência, a torná-la boa e interessante (e inclusive extraordinária); qual outra saída teria? Esta obrigação não está presente nos genitores, onde o caráter “extraordinário” da experiência é parte de um projeto envolvente e unilateral. As situações de ambas as partes são incomparáveis. Assim, quando alguns replicam: "Não tem sentido você querer mostrar que a vida é má; você não pode decidir pelo seu filho; talvez ele goste de viver", o que isso quer dizer? Claro! Em certo sentido, ele é obrigado a gostar! Mas esse “gostar” será sempre já um desesperado aceitar. O gerado não está em condições de, realmente, gostar. Poderia gostar se tivesse realmente escolhido. Diante do fato consumado, ele é obrigado a agarrar-se desesperadamente à vida. Ou "gosta" ou é destruído (por uma doença nervosa, ou pela sevícia dos outros).
    • People proclaim that "the experience of parenthood is extraordinary" and recommend it to all (and denigrate those who have not gone through it). But we can wonder: "Extraordinary for whom?" It is certainly extraordinary for the parents. When they say that not only they will be happy and satisfied with the experience but also their children, they do not realize the immense asymmetry and mismatch between these two experiences, the experience of creating and of being created. The created child is compelled 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" nature of the experience is part of an engaging and unilateral project. The situations of both parties are not comparable. 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 will like to live," what does that mean? Of course, in a sense, they are compelled to like life! But this "liking" will always be a desperate acceptance. The created child is not in a position of really liking life. They could like it if they had really chosen to come into being. Faced with the fait accompli, they are forced to cling desperately to life. Either they "like it" or they will be destroyed (by a mental illness, or by the hostility of others).
    • Porque te amo, não nascerás! Nascituri te salutant, 2009, pp. 25–26
  • O ser da vida humana é ter surgido como uma força contrária a terminalidade interna do ser: o ser humano decai, definha e falece no sentido de fazer tudo isso de maneira opositiva, reativa, fugitiva, como se o ser que lhe foi dado não pudesse ser vivido em sua positividade, mas sempre negativamente, reativamente, criativamente. Mas a terminalidade do ser acabará ocupando todo o espaço criativo, engolindo o “ser-mortal” que decai, definha e falece. Em seu lugar aparecerá então o buraco que o constituía desde sempre, e que só agora se tornou evidente.
    • The being of human life is to have arisen as a force contrary to the internal terminality of being: the human being decays, deteriorates and dies in the sense of doing all this in an oppositional, reactive, escaping manner, as if the being given to humans 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, deteriorates and dies. In its place will appear the hole that constituted it from the very beginning and that only now became totally evident.
    • Porque te amo, não nascerás! Nascituri te salutant, 2009, p. 34
  • 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.) Let us suppose that we are talking about a human being, 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 without problems, they will almost surely suffer from many intra-worldly evils; that if they manage to avoid them (and this is possible in the intra-world, even if difficult), we cannot give them any guarantee about the length of their life nor about the kind of death they will have, and they will also have to suffer the death of those they come to love and their death will be 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 manage to avoid a violent accidental death, they will decay 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 harbor well-founded doubts about their quality as a "rational agent"?
    • Porque te amo, não nascerás! Nascituri te salutant, 2009, pp. 70–71
  • Os filósofos falaram sempre da vida como uma “preparação para a morte”, e da filosofia como um “aprender a morrer”. Mas há uma sabedoria anterior a esta: aprender a abster-se. Não colocar ninguém na situação de ter de aprender a morrer.
    • Philosophers have always spoken of life as a "preparation for death", and of philosophy as a "learning to die". But there is a wisdom prior to that: learning to abstain; not putting anyone in the situation of having to learn to die.
    • Porque te amo, não nascerás! Nascituri te salutant, 2009, p. 79
  • MV diz que a rejeição da vida aparece em estados posteriores, mas que na hora de nascer, e já antes, tudo é aceitação da vida. Mas, é isso assim?? O que dizer do alarido com que as crianças nascem, do choro primordial, do primeiro contato traumático (estudado por Freud) com o mundo? Não é o alarido da criança já a sua primeira opinião filosófica sobre o mundo? Por que ele não nasce rindo, ou, pelo menos, calmo? Quando o bebê é despejado no mundo no momento do parto, a sua primeira reação é pessimista, um protesto pela desconsideração e o incômodo, um alarido inicial que ele não teve que apreender, como sim terá que apreender a rir, nas primeiras semanas ou até meses de vida (o que já marca, no próprio ato inaugural de ser, a assimetria pessimista: o bebê aprende a rir, mas nasce chorando); o bebê nasce, trazido à força por desejos alheios, num inicial desespero, num grito de profundo e abissal desamparo, num terror primordial que, logo de imediato, a través de movimentos, caricias, cuidados, etc, os adultos tentarão suavizar; movimentos que se repetirão ao longo de toda a sua vida: desespero inicial seguido de cuidados protetores; mas os cuidados são posteriores ao desespero; é o desespero o primeiro, e os cuidados as reações. Não estão no mesmo nível. Assimetria!
    • 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? Is the child’s outcry not already his first philosophical opinion about the world? Why is he not born laughing, or at least calm? When the baby is dumped into 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 the desires of others, in an initial desperation, in a cry of deep and abysmal helplessness, in a primordial terror that, immediately, through movements, caresses, comforts, etc., adults will try to soften; movements that will be repeated throughout his life: initial despair followed by protective comforts; but the comforts are posterior to the despair; the despair comes first, and the comforts are the reactions. They are not on the same level. Asymmetry!
    • Acerca da superioridade intelectual e existencial do pessimismo sobre o otimismo (replica a Marcus Valério), 2010, p. 24-25
  • As crianças pequenas continuam chorando muito, durante vários anos; choram e choram permanentemente; podem incomodar-nos, muitas vezes, mas elas estão certas e temos que aceitar, comovidos, seus choros como uma reação perfeitamente justa ao que foi feito com elas; algumas choram até bem avançada idade, até encontrar outras formas de protesto e manifestação do sofrimento; mesmo adultos, continuamos chorando das mais variadas formas.
  • O progenitor sabe perfeitamente que está dando um produto de qualidade duvidosa só para sua própria realização e felicidade; ao admitir que a pessoa pode querer devolvê-la, ele mesmo compreende perfeitamente o caráter dúbio da dádiva.
  • 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.
  • Of course, the possibility of the newborn not having the strength to endure the life struggle is just a possibility, not a necessity. However, the point is that its mere possibility is enough for moral imputation. There are no strong causal relations between methods of education and raising of children to shape their destinies in life. As they say, a child is "a lottery". The precautions that progenitors take to avoid certain risks for their children could be precisely the ones that expose them to greater danger. The many human lives that end catastrophically seem to illustrate the very high price to be paid in an attempt to ethically justify the "gamble" of procreation, even if made in the most serious way by the sensitive procreator. However, it is important that even when none of these catastrophes occurs, the success of the newborn in life does not exempt the progenitors from the moral responsibility of having put him at risk of falling victim to one of these calamities. Moreover, even for the child who has "won" the gamble, his "success" will remain forever and indefinitely connected to the unilateral nature of the procreative act. The gamble will have been won, but this will never be the child's own bet. The newborn may get lucky and "win the gamble", but he was never in a position to refuse to enter into the competition.
    • Discomfort and Moral Impediment: The Human Situation, Radical Bioethics and Procreation, 2018, p. 151
  • It is shocking to see how children's desperate tears, during and after birth, are not taken seriously by adults. Quite the contrary, the baby is surrounded with immense joy, euphoria and celebration. The baby's helplessness is drowned amidst commemorations, gifts, toasts and laughter; the cheerfulness of parents, grandparents and friends totally muffles the unattended agony of the fragile and helpless baby, literally stunned by frightening and overblown attentions, cries and gestures. It is a very stark contrast indeed: the crying child surrounded by the laughter of exalted adults. How is it possible that no painted, no photographer, no cinematographer has ever focused on this moment of severe disparity of attitudes, such asymmetry of emotions and reactions?
    • Discomfort and Moral Impediment: The Human Situation, Radical Bioethics and Procreation, 2018, p. 162.
  • Quando alguém (inclusive os filósofos) defende a pretensa beleza de "ter filhos", eles referem-se ao prazer de "vê-los crescer", primeiro crianças, depois adolescentes, depois adultos formados e bem encaminhados (isso acontece nas classes sociais mais abastadas, mas também, em parte, nas mais modestas). Entretanto, é estranho que eles, quando falam em filhos, param inexplicavelmente nesse ponto e nunca se referem a seu declínio, seu envelhecimento, sua decadência, talvez porque pensam que não vão estar ali para contemplar esse declínio. Os progenitores preferem não ver o final desse processo, como se o filho dissolvesse no ar. O aspecto residual da paternidade é omitido; se visualiza o filho apenas como florescimento. A morte do filho-resíduo se recusa a qualquer visibilidade. O acabamento dos processos é escamoteado como algo sujo e indecente, não digno de ser mostrado.
    • 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, when they speak about children, they inexplicably stop at this point and never refer to their decline, their aging, their decay, 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 vanished into thin 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
  • O nosso "amor pela vida" é sempre, de alguma forma, amor não correspondido (...) A vida não se importa conosco, nem sabe que andamos por aí. Contrariamente ao que se diz, ela não dá nada de graça, tudo o que conseguimos é arrebatado. A vida não precisa de nós, nós a perseguimos, nos humilhamos, suplicamos, aceitamos tudo dela, os maiores sofrimentos. Muitos são capazes das piores atitudes morais apenas para conservá-la mais um pouco (...) Aos que perguntem "Mas, não amas a vida?", deveríamos responder, num viés mais poético: "É claro que a amo; sempre a amei. Eu sempre quis viver, mas é a vida que não me deixa viver, que me limita, machuca, me faz adoecer e me destrói. Não sou eu quem não quer viver, pois a vida é tudo o que eu queria. Eu quis construir e a vida derrubou tudo o que eu ergui; quis amar e a vida matou tudo o que eu amei. Não me digam que não amo a vida; é ela que não me ama, que não ama ninguém.
    • Our "love for life" is always, in some way, unrequited love (...) Life does not care about us, it does not even know of our whereabouts. Contrary to what is said, it gives nothing for free, everything we manage to obtain is snatched away from us. Life does not need us, we chase after it, we humiliate ourselves, we beg, we accept everything it makes us go through, the biggest sufferings. Many are capable of the worst moral acts just to preserve it a bit more (...) To those who ask "But, do you not love life?" we should answer, in a poetic way: "Of course I love life; I always did. I always wanted to live, but it is life that does not let me live, that limits me, that hurts me, that makes me ill and destroys me. It is not me who does not want to live, because life is everything I always wanted. I wanted to build and life tore down everything I built; I wanted to love and life killed everything I loved. Do not say that I do not love life; it is life that does not love me, that does not love anybody."
    • Mal-Estar e Moralidade. Situação Humana, Ética e Procriação Responsável, 2018, p. 350-351
  • É muito curioso que, às vezes, seja considerado cruel ou desumano o fato de colocar a questão da ética da procriação, como se isso mostrasse uma rejeição das crianças que estão para nascer, uma espécie de ódio pelas suas vidas. Isso é uma total deformação das intenções de uma reflexão ética sobre procriação. Pelo contrário, essa reflexão está motivada por uma profunda preocupação pelas crianças possíveis, pelo risco de seu surgir ser consequência de um ato impensado, constrangedor e agressivo para pequenos seres indefesos, sobre os quais se pensa ter pleno direito de planejar tudo sobre suas vidas à nossa inteira vontade e satisfação. Grande parte da revolta que desperta no mundo adulto a simples colocação dessa questão indica que os progenitores obtêm um prazer muito grande no ato procriador, e reagem — às vezes iradamente — contra quem comove essa poderosa fonte de prazer, e consequentemente o imenso poder sobre aquele que vai nascer. Esse poder total sobre outra vida é intensamente sedutor e ninguém quer abrir mão dele. Mas na reflexão ética, qualquer que seja o tema tratado, nunca se trata de avaliar apenas a satisfação que obtemos de nossos atos, mas de ponderar se aquilo que fazemos é correto ou não, se o poder que conseguimos acumular sobre seres mais indefesos está ou não eticamente legitimado.
    • 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 to the simple mention 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 is not ethically justified.
    • Mal-Estar e Moralidade. Situação Humana, Ética e Procriação Responsável, 2018, p. 463
  • O mais curioso é que costuma ser o habitante das classes mais pobres quem cultiva uma adoração sem limites pela mãe, por tê-los criado com enormes sacrifícios. Sofrem todo tipo de miséria, pobreza extrema, doenças, delinquência, discriminação, exclusão e tortura, sem jamais dar-se conta de que foram seus pais os que os colocaram naquela situação para seu próprio prazer ou por descuido irresponsável. E quando o filho comete algum ato prejudicial levado pelo desespero no qual foi colocado, ainda as pessoas se compadecem da "pobre mãe" pelo fato de ter um filho "tão pouco agradecido". Toda a miséria herdada passa magicamente a ser responsabilidade do filho! Aqui é utilizado o mesmo esquema argumentativo das Teodiceias: o Pai puro que fez seus filhos com amor, dando-lhes algo de muito valioso, e também os fez "livres"; os filhos pecaram, pois, livremente, se comportando mal e estragando algo de muito precioso que lhes fora dado, provocando desgostos a seus pobres pais. Esse esquema é quase tragicômico porque é exatamente o inverso o que parece verdadeiro: nossos pais nos deram de maneira interesseira, para seu próprio prazer e benefício, algo de muito duvidoso valor que nós agora, dentro da sujeição e da necessidade — ou seja, muito longe de qualquer genuína "liberdade" — temos que tentar melhorar com muito esforço. Enquanto não invertermos essa valoração predominante em nossas sociedades, as questões éticas nem poderão começar a ser pensadas seriamente, pois a relação da mãe com os filhos, visceralmente egocêntrica e manipuladora, continuará sendo considerada como paradigma de moralidade ética, o que parece, no mínimo, um erro crucial de apreciação, uma gravíssima mitologia, uma colossal mistificação.
    • What is most curious is that humans of poorer classes are usually the ones who cultivate an unlimited adoration for their mother for having raised them with so many sacrifices. They suffer all kinds of misery, extreme poverty, disease, delinquency, discrimination, exclusion and torture, never realizing that it was their parents who put them in that situation for their own pleasure or due to irresponsible carelessness. And when the child commits some harmful act driven by the despair in which they were placed, people still sympathize with the "poor mother" for having a child that is "so ungrateful". All inherited misery magically becomes the child's responsibility! The same argumentative scheme which is applied here, is also applied in the theodicies: the impeccable Parent created their child out of love, gave them something very valuable, and also made them "free", while the child, being free, sinned, thus behaved wrongly and defiled this very valuable thing which was given to them, causing dissatisfaction for their unfortunate parent. It is an almost tragicomic scheme, because it seems to be exactly the opposite: our parents gave us, for their own pleasure and benefit, something of very dubious value which we, as a result of subjection and necessity – that is, very far from any real "freedom" – have to try to improve with a lot of our effort. As long as we do not reverse this prevailing valuation in our societies, ethical issues cannot even begin to be seriously considered, because the mother's viscerally egocentric and manipulative relationship with their children will continue to be regarded as a paradigm of ethical morality, which seems, at least, to be a crucial error of appreciation, a very serious mythology, a colossal mystification.
    • Mal-Estar e Moralidade. Situação Humana, Ética e Procriação Responsável, 2018, pp. 538-539
  • O "agradecimento eterno" não fica apenas no plano dos inícios da vida, mas ao longo de toda a longa dependência dos filhos a respeito dos progenitores durante os primeiros dez anos de vida — nos quais eles são inclusive objetos de exibição — e no duro período da adolescência, em que os filhos são tratados permanentemente como "mal-agradecidos", como se nunca acabassem de pagar a sua imensa dívida; tudo o que é comprado para eles, para seu futuro, seus estudos, todas aquelas coisas que jamais foram pedidas pelo filho, que fazem parte de um investimento afetivo e econômico dos progenitores, fica sendo permanentemente e durante longos e duros anos, apresentado como prova de sacrifício e amor, como objeto de eterna gratidão, nunca totalmente retribuída pelos filhos mal agradecidos. A questão da paternidade configura um poderoso mecanismo de poder no qual mesmo a violência física de castigos e punições é justificada em prol da formação, nunca pedida, daquele ser jogado no mundo, tentando construir anteparos para não ser destruído pela imensa dádiva recebida.
    • The "eternal gratitude" is present not only in the early stages of life, but throughout the children's long dependence upon their parents during the first ten years of life — in which they are even objects of exhibition — and in the harsh period of adolescence, in which children are endlessly treated as "ungrateful", as if they were never able to repay their immense debt; everything that is bought for them, for their future, their studies, all those things that the child never asked for, which are part of an affective and economic investment of the parents, is endlessly and for long and hard years, presented as proof of sacrifice and love, as an object of eternal gratitude, never fully repaid by the ungrateful children. The topic of parenthood constitutes a powerful mechanism of power in which even the physical violence of punishments and beatings is justified in favor of the never-requested raising of that being thrown into the world, trying to build protections so they are not destroyed by the immense gift received.
    • Mal-estar e moralidade: situação humana, ética e procriação responsável, 2018, pp. 539-540

Philosophy of language and logic[edit]

  • 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 Philosophy[edit]

  • 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 philosophy[edit]

  • 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.

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