Monday, March 09, 2015

Part 8: (Whose Project; Does the Individual Exist?): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

We continue with the discussion among Flora Sapio Larry Catá Backer, Paul Van Fleet and Betita Horn Pepulim.

 Contents: HERE.

(BHP) "Larry Catá Backer, peço desculpas mas precisei enviar uma resposta para a pergunta da Flora Sapio Imperatrix Maris para o seu mail. Não sabia o que fazer para não incomodar. Acho que vou falar menos! rsrsrs Abraços!!!"

(LCB) But of course, my own interventions will follow shortly.

(FS) Betita Horn Pepulim no worries, take your time - I am the slowest writer in this world and I am still preparing a response to your post. Happiness is indeed a state of mind, and it cannot be won...but it is often a matter of creating the internal and external conditions that can facilitate this state of mind.

(BHP) You're right Flora Sapio Imperatrix Maris. Create conditions is a term that sums it up. Beautiful intuition!Create conditions is a compound term important to this discussion.

(LCB) I appreciate your connections between an interpreted state of being (happiness) and the individual who is taught to first realize that an autonomous feeling is indeed being "felt" and then interpreted within an emotional-moral matrix which she has been taught to recognize and whose taxonomy has been produced as a result of a lifetime of stimulus from both within her and between here and others (society, the Church, social media, family, etc.). But I wonder whether, indeed, the search for such feelings, or the need to capture them, assuming they exist and have value beyond their "taught" value, is an effective means of liberation. And thus my qualms about the issue of project and individual within a context that prejudges what either the character of the project or the nature of the individual may be. It seems that we merely cover old ground in new ways by conceding the value of a moral-autonomy construct within which individuals, and the collectives they construct, have sought to develop endless variations. We re-enter that endless loop of phiosophizing that quickly either turns metaphysical, or ethical or quantitative (in which we are abstracted away entirely).

(BHP) Cara Flora, eu não acredito que exista uma educação correta. Foi por esta razão que quando eu escrevi a expressão: uma educação correta, eu coloquei a palavra correta entre aspas. Cada cultura tem os seus valores. É partir desses valores que os seus integrantes são educados( aqui, nesta frase não estou me referindo a educação formal) . Quando falo que a educação gera conhecimento eu não me refiro a cursos superiores. Este tipo de educação, assim como a educação continuada é para uma minoria de pessoas.

Quando eu defendo que a educação traz conhecimento e que a educação é libertadora, estou me referindo a educação mínima para conferir dignidade a uma pessoa. Estou me referindo a saber ler e escrever. Saber ler e escrever oferece as pessoas a oportunidade de obter o conhecimento que elas querem e necessitam. De acordo com informações do 11° Relatório de Monitoramento Global de Educação para Todos divulgado, em janeiro de 2014, pela Unesco o mundo hoje tem 743 milhões de adultos analfabetos.

Penso que é um dever daqueles que puderam completar seus estudos, tentar formar e informar o maior número de pessoas para que tenham um comportamento ético e caridoso. Para que estas pessoas tenham discernimento para compreender a importância do respeito pelo próximo. E para que a partir deste entendimento elas contribuam, também, para diminuir esta desigualdade de oportunidades. Afinal ninguém vai trabalhar em favor de alguma coisa que não conhece.
Flora, eu morei em Moçambique quando eu era bem jovem. Minha família perdeu tudo o que tinha financeira e materialmente, na revolução em 1975. Isto sem falar no emocional. Meu pai também morreu lá. Minha família veio para o Brasil sem nada. Eu precisei trabalhar para ajudar com as despesas da minha casa desde que eu tinha 15 anos. Casei muito jovem e tive minha primeira filha aos 18 anos. Na minha primeira graduação não obtive ensino gratuito, eu paguei pelos meus estudos com o dinheiro que ganhei com o meu trabalho. Até hoje nunca parei de trabalhar e nunca parei de estudar. E também nunca deixei de cuidar da minha família. Além disso, sempre trabalhei como voluntária com populações de baixa renda. Então quando digo que a educação liberta não é por que eu li sobre o assunto em algum lugar. A razão de eu dizer isto é por que vivi e vivo esta realidade. Estou sempre em contato com pessoas que dariam qualquer coisa pela oportunidade de aprender a ler e escrever. Eu mesma ensinei senhoras a ler. E ver estas pessoas começarem a construir “links”, é maravilhoso!

Estou falando sobre educação, sobre obter conhecimento, sobre cidadania e sobre poder fazer escolhas. Por isto dei meu exemplo pessoal. A educação me motivou. Acho que é impossível conjeturar sobre o indivíduo no século XXI e não falar em como propiciar a ele ferramentas para que ele possa ser um indivíduo pleno.

Dear Flora, i do not believe there is a correct education. It was for this reason that when i wrote the words: proper education, i put the correct word in quotes. Every culture has its values. It is from these values that its members are educated (here, this sentence i am not referring to formal education). When I say that education generates knowledge i do not mean to higher education. This type of education, and continuing education is for a minority of people. When I argue that education brings knowledge and that education is liberating, I am referring to the minimum education to give dignity to a person. I'm referring to reading and writing. Reading and writing offers people the opportunity to gain the knowledge they want and need. According to information of the 11th Global Monitoring Report on Education for All released in january 2014 by Unesco the world today has 743 million illiterate adults. I think it is a duty of those who were able to complete their studies, try to form and inform the largest number of people to have an ethical and charitable behavior. For these people have discernment to understand the importance of respect for others. And so from this understanding they contribute also to reduce this inequality of opportunity. After all no one will work for something you do not know.

Flora, i lived in Mozambique when I was very young. My family lost everything he had financially and materially, in the revolution in 1975. Not to mention the emotional. My father also died there. My family came to Brazil with nothing. I had to work to help with the expenses of my house since i was 15 years old. I married very young and had my first child at 18. In my first graduation did not get free education, i paid for my studies with the money i earned with my work. To this day I never stopped working and never stopped studying. And also never failed to take care of my family. Also, always worked as a volunteer with low-income populations. So when I say that education liberates is not why I read about it somewhere. The reason I say this is why I lived and live this reality. I am always in contact with people who would give anything for the opportunity to learn to read and write. I myself taught women to read. And see these people begin to build "links", is wonderful!

I'm talking about education, about getting knowledge about citizenship and about being able to make choices. For this i have given my personal example. Education motivated me. I find it impossible to conjecture about the individual in the twenty-first century and not talk about how to provide the tools it so it can be a full individual.

(LCB) Betita raises the bedrock issues that follow from the premises of organized society. But I would like to skip backwards to that point before we start following. The values are sound and necessary in the world in which we find ourselves. And indeed, the tools society offers are potent--for succeeding within the structures offered by society. That has been the classic deal between the collective and the individual. It is the stuff of ethics and political theory. But it is not the stuff of the individual. It posits only that we are passive within the meta structures of societal realities and that our object as individuals is to maximize whatever it is we choose to maximize within that structure. But this is the choice moral and political philosophy --theology--has always offered. And it is unsatisfying, except as politics. I will consider how we project (a different way of thinking of the project) individual liberation even within (or beyond) these structures may may not be avoided.

1 comment:

Betita Horn Pepulim said...

You have Larry reason, but we can not forget that the deepest place of individuality is the universal equality, be it based on the nature noting that, with respect universal equality based on nature, the more people (us) rely on your self free of constraints and commitments, the more they are inserted in the universal positivity, be universal equality based on the universality of "reason" (Kant and Fichte believe that the root of our self, is the universal equality based on the universality of reason), or, finally, the universal equality based on "humanity". Be nature, reason or humanity, there will always be a share where the individual is when he finds his own freedom and their own uniqueness. Certainly, it was never possible to completely eliminate the shadows of the freedom of individuals. This was not possible in so far as equality, means by which freedom is justified, it has always been expressed in a very imperfect manner.