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Showing posts from December, 2016

2016 or 1964?

Asking people around here in Brazil what was worse for the country, 1964 or 2016. Folks who were alive and grown enough around 1964 are mostly depressed and discouraged - most of them say that 2016 was worse. Of course, these are people I know, and of course are mostly commies or otherwise anarchists or lefties. But this is what matters in my question which can be formulated like this: for those who were utterly aghast and outraged by 1964, how does 2016 feel. One of the reasons why 2016 was worse is that in 1964 there were right-wingers against the coup. In 16 we had none of that. Such polarization left the country without common principles around which to fight and no institutional common denominators. To be sure, it is too soon to make a comparison. But it does feel pretty bleak around here now.

The future of the left in plantationscene viewed from the neo-plantation

Brazil is quickly turning back into a plantation. The open scars of Latin America carry on being wide open and infected. It has always been also a lab for other endeavors of power elsewhere - it will continue like this. What is the way out? I've been taken by Pasolini last texts (at around 1974/5). In his last text, a discourse that was meant for a Radical Party convention, he distinguishes between communism and extremism. The latter is the goal of expanding the form of life of the white (male, heterossexual) borgeoisie to the subaltern classes because the privileged know better, live better, plan better, feel better and think better. As Pasolini says in his Unhappy Youngsters , the idea is that poverty (and deprivation of bougi goods) are the worse of all possible evils. Since his death, as he feared, the left became more and more extremist (cultural wars, political correctness in language) and with extremism the left discourse and gesture became tamed. Everyone was invited (or

Presenting BUG in the Logic in the Plane group in Brasilia

The hand-out of my presentation: Algumas observações sobre a metafísica da contingência O problema de Xandoca: Pode haver a metafísica tratar da contingência? Ou esta seria apenas uma metafísica negativa no sentido de que ela não trataria da contingência (a contingência é o que é deixado de lado pela metafísica)? Um tratamento metafísico da contingência não a tornaria não-contingente? O problema da metafísica com a contingência: 1. (Aristoteles) A metafísica procura encontrar conexões necessárias no concreto (no sensível). O conhecimento (metafísico) é conhecimento do necessário (e do permanente). 2. (Heráclito/Platão/Hume) Pode ser que não haja conexões necessárias no concreto (ou não haja conexões necessárias que possam ser detectadas, ou nenhuma conexão necessária dê forma ao concreto). Uma conclusão: (Kant) A metafísica deve procurar conexões necessárias em algum outro lugar (por exemplo, entre normas transcendentais ou regras semânticas). Outra conclusão: A metafísica dev

Substance, substratum, substantive

A lot of the metaphysical development since Descartes can be expressed in terms of the Aristotelian notion of substance. Descartes showed that substances could be conceived without ousia prote , without substratum - nothing is beyond the predication associated to it. So, the thinking substance is nothing beyond thought. Leibniz drawn on that to postulate infinite substratum-free substances and proposing what became known as the law of Leibniz. Each simple substance is just its predicates, nothing beyond it, no underlying substratum that would hold together all the predications. If we take (some) developments in process philosophy to be neo-monadological in the sense that Leibniz is a key influence, we can see how, for example, Whitehead's actual entities (which are not substances) are also substratum-free: they are individuated and identified by their relations, perceptions and concrescence - roughly by their predications. (In contrast, we can posit substance-less substrata that wo

The idea of a universal metaphysics

In his Mathematical Review piece on my paper with Alexandre and Edelcio on galaxies that appeared in Studies in Universal Logic in 2015 , Andrzej Indrzejczac briefly analyses the content of the paper and diagnoses it as "no more than a manifesto". I guess the paper is a manifesto and we need then whenever new directions are possible or required. We sensed that the research in universal logic was unknown to those doing metaphysics in a (broadly Lewisian) framework of possible worlds and that state of affairs could and should be remedied. Our paper intends to set the stage for a possible metaphysics that considers possible worlds together with logical diversity. It offers a programme and start implementing it. The idea that a logic can be given by pointing at a set of possible worlds - which is proposed but not developed - is itself a glance in the power of diversity in logical systems. In that first paper we wanted to present the idea: that a metaphysics could be informed by u

The right of hospitality

Thinking about communities like those of Cádiz or Saint Josse in Brussels and many others that cannot exercise hospitality because of national borders. They right as communities (and as households) are severed if they cannot decide about their guests. They become like confined and controlled societies within their national borders - they cannot decide who they are going to host. They are confined because they are under surveillance, forced to have a lower intensity agency.

No time for accelerationism

Three years after this post and the discussion on Optimaes I realize how much I changed my views on the topic. I do tend to believe in agents although they ought to be infinitely responsible. I still believe erosion is the way to go but suspect capitalism has always been reactionary. I now tend to grant more force to the second alternative among the three I sketched. Still, there are many things I still agree. In the meantime (and I guess ever since the crisis of 2008) the devastating, totalitarian, conformist and hypocritical nature of capitalism has been more disclosed. Here is the 2013 response to Phil in Optimaes: Interesting way of putting things. Now, Phil and I in conversation considered responses to the (pro-capitalist, maybe libertarian) challenge that can be expressed like this: “to be against capitalism is to be a conservative”. This challenge can responded in three different ways that we can sketch like this: Bite the bullet and embrace a conservative discourse (tryin

The law of hospitality and familism

I was wondering, in my thinking about co-existence and hospitality, of how much the idea of a family works as ersatz self-sufficiency. In other words, how the crucial link between an existent and its co-existents is replaced by a pre-figured circle of co-existence in such a way that such a circle (such a sphere) replaces the individual existent becoming a unity of co-existence. Familism is the idea that infinite responsibility for the other can be confined to a sphere - so, for instance, familism but also Tardean societies that make molecules or microbes respond almost only to social groups of their own. Familism is the assumption of a sort of a co-ontological short circuit where the family and the larger group (including the community, societies and the species as providing a sense of belonging) can be somehow like an individual of greater size. In terms of Simondon, we can think of familism as the drive for fixed individuals, for ready-made units indifferent to the processes of indiv

BUG: The Granada Presentation

Yesterday I presented Being Up For Grabs in the University of Granada, in Spanish. Because I had troubles translating a lot of expressions, the hand out (below) was in English. Discussions revolved around the varieties of ontologies of doubt and the notion of fragment and whether it points at a genuinely different mode of existence within the monadology of fragments. The problem: 1. Metaphysics aims at finding necessary connections among concreta. Metaphysical knowledge is knowledge of the necessary (and the permanent). 2. There are no necessary connections among concreta (or no necessary connections that can be detected there, or no necessary connection shape up the concreta). One conclusion: Metaphysics should look for necessary connections and necessity in general somewhere else (for example, in transcendental norms, or in semantic rules). Another conclusion: Metaphysics should look at concreta even if there are no necessary connections there. Trouble for the latter: Can the