Sunday, January 25, 2009


by Maria Odete Madeira

Philosophical arguments are not developed from answers but from questions. One thing is the authors of philosophy and the thinking and models of these authors, another thing is the philosophical thinking, itself.

To have philosophical thinking implies a very hard work and a development of capabilities to be able to unfold monadologically a locality in a non-locality, and for that it is necessary training, because it is not about the thinking of each one, but about the capability that each one has to access an eidos/logos, and to learn from that eidos/logos, to learn how to question about the things.

Each answer brings already, in the mechanism of unfolding of that answer, a new question. A philosopher is not whoever wants to be one, because it is not about the thinking of each one, it is about a capability to ascend to a non-local universal that is independent of each one, and in order to do that it is not enough to want to do so, it is necessary to learn, and to learn, and to learn, and… above all, it is necessary to learn how to question the things, themselves. It is not a matter of what we know, it is a matter of what we know not.

It is not about making algorithmic reductions, or logical deductions, or to affirm oneself as philosopher, it is not about dogmatic revelations.

As an exercise of questioning the things, one cannot be afraid or annoyed with the questions, it is necessary some humility.

Unfortunately, the fast-food teaching and the pragmatic application-oriented science, where it only matters the immediate answers that solve immediate problems, algorithmized for an easier consumption, does not allow nor favor an exercise of a fundamental thinking based on questioning; questions, beyond a certain point, become a nuisance.

One cannot give, in philosophy, a ready to consume answer. To address, philosophically, an issue is to address it with questions. A philosophical discussion starts with questions and does not end, but go on, indefinitely with more questions. Question to question, to question, to question,… (verb and process).

Within such an exercise of questioning, one cannot abruptly end the debate with a quick and superficial exit, and must follow the questions where they lead.

The questions cannot be placed in the most general form and only skim very lightly the real subject. In a philosophical debate all the cards have to be laid out on the table, since the questions have to be about the things themselves and not about the (often manipulated) shadows of the things.

Friday, January 16, 2009

On Derrida's Deconstruction

by Maria Odete Madeira

The postmodern deconstructionist movement inscribes itself in a skeptic referential frame, organized and structured, from methodological criteria based upon a fundamental relativistic principle that strived to demonstrate the fallibility of that which was considered to be dogmatic evidences.

It is in the limit zone, displaced by the exercise of conceptual oppositions that the mechanism of deconstruction, proposed by Derrida, as a methodological criterion, is applied.

Questioning the unity of the concept of end, Derrida strives to question the discourse, the sense, the individual and collective values, with the objective of determining the strategic theoretical/practical borders between Philosophy and Literature.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Beyond the essences: the pathos

by Maria Odete Madeira

The term pathos can mean: event, experience, suffering, emotion, attribute.

In general terms it means: something that happens, that can have by reference that which is the cause, or that which is the effect of that which happens.

In Aristotle, the pathos is the logos of the contingence, it is the logos of the event, it is the logos of the attributes acquired by the subjects, it is the logos beyond the essences.

Pathos is the place of the difference subtracted to the identity, the mark of the asymmetry that prevails in the proposition and that determines it, as such.

Destined to be surpassed in the identity and by the identity of the subject, the pathos is, simultaneously, all that the subject is not, and all that the subject sees.

Rotatively displaced by a fundamental ambiguity, the pathos trajects and projects a (co)condition of constitutive irreducibility that, simultaneously, imposes that a subject cannot be its attribute and that its attribute cannot be a substance.

In Aristotle, the identity of the logical subject supports itself in the pathos, resending towards the origin of a propositional order whose contradictory character allows the unveiling of a presence of an identity inscribed in an order of permanent reason that has in itself an active principle of becoming, as an active principle of the being, itself, as potency, that makes it come to the presence, from itself, as eksistente dasein (Heidegger), or act.