A Música Experimental


Prescrições e Descobertas


Participo hoje no painel sobre cinema do XIII Colóquio de Outono do Centro de Estudos Humanísticos da Universidade do Minho, em Braga. Participam também neste painel, Jinhee Choi (King’s College Londres) com “An Uncomfortable Marriage of Film and Philosophy?” e Murray Smith (Universidade de Kent) com “Transparency and Reflexivity in Film”. Estou grato ao Vítor Moura, director do Departmento de Filosofia e Cultura, pelo convite. Partilho ainda a moderação do painel com ele.

A minha comunicação chama-se “Descobertas e Prescrições: A Especificidade do Meio Cinemático Segundo Berys Gaut”:

Em A Philosophy of Cinematic Art,[1] Berys Baut reavalia a questão da especificidade do meio (medium) na arte, entre outros tópicos. Contra Nöel Carroll, Gaut defende três afirmações a favor de tal especificidade como verdadeiras e por isso aplicáveis ao cinema. Vou concentra-me apenas na última, que ele articula da seguinte forma: para que um meio constitua uma forma de arte deve instanciar propriedades artísticas que são distintas daquelas que são instanciadas por outros meios. Depois do esclarecimento dos termos utilizados (meio, forma de arte, propriedades artísticas, instanciação), que o filósofo apenas parcialmente faz, esta comunicação defende que os argumentos que ele apresenta para que aceitemos a afirmação como verdadeira não são persuasivos. Como alternativa, proponho uma outra via de resgatar a especificidade do cinema que é descritiva em vez de prescritiva e que está aberta a inesperadas descobertas sobre os seus meios.


[1] Berys Baut, A Philosophy of Cinematic Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Conferências “Cinema e Filosofia”


O Aberto de Giorgio Agamben


Brincar a Pensar


Mais informações sobre este livro co-escrito por uma das minhas colegas do Instituto de Filosofia da Linguagem, Dina Mendonça, aqui.

Thoughts from Charles Taylor


To know who I am is a species of knowing where I stand. My identity is defined by the commitments and identifications which provide the frame or horizon within which I can try to determine from case to case what is good, or valuable, or what ought to be done, or what I endorse or oppose. In other words, it is the horizon within which I am capable of taking a stand.

Sources of the Self

There is a certain way of being human that is my way. I am called upon to live my life in this way, and not in imitation of anyone else’s life. But this notion gives a new importance to being true to myself. If I am not, I miss the point of my life; I miss what being human is for me. [...] Each of our voices has something unique to say. Not only should I not mold my life to the demands of external conformity; I can’t even find the model by which to live outside myself. I can only find it within.


We define our identity always in dialogue with, sometimes in struggle against, the things our significant others want to see in us. Even after we outgrow some of these others — our parents, for instance — and they disappear from our lives, the conversation with them continues within us as long as we live.


This crucial feature of human life is its fundamentally dialogical character. We become full human agents, capable of understanding ourselves, and hence of defining our identity, through our acquisition of rich human languages of expression.


In the light of the ideal of authenticity, it would seem that having merely instrumental relationships is to act in a self-stultifying way. The notion that one can pursue one’s fulfilment in this way seems illusory, in somewhat the same way as the idea that one can choose oneself without recognizing a horizon of significance beyond choice.

The Ethics of Authenticity

A Filosofia Primeira na Ontologia e na Estética


The Equation of Art


Today we say all art is political. But I would say all art has to do with ethics. Which after all really comes to the same thing.


O Dulcis Virgo


On Skepticism


If Descartes “discovered for philosophy that to confront the threat of or temptation to skepticism is to risk madness”, then (Cavell thinks) Wittgenstein’s work “confronts this temptation and finds its victory exactly in never claiming a final philosophical victory over (the temptation to) skepticism” — for that (Cavell maintains) “would mean a victory over the human”.

FERGUS KERR, OP, Theology After Wittgenstein

II Congresso Regional de Educação Artística




ver não é habitar
o espanto de as coisas serem?

não é a assombrosa revelação
da nossa cumplicidade
com o lume?




There is a new, unclassifiable journal. The name says it all or it says all that may be said: Lumen. The preface by Edwin Mak and Matthew Flanagan puts it like this:

We have named this journal Lumen as it appeals by metaphor to the notion of discovery, or inspiration: a gesture of clarity in turning toward illumination, just as physicists measure units of luminous flux by the same name. Our interest is in ideas and the care of their crafting — at times, in admiration of such efforts in themselves — transversal to aesthetic disciplines and historical origins.

The first volume is dedicated to forests. Go here.



Nothing about our lives is more comic than the distance at which we think about them.

STANLEY CAVELL, Pursuits of Happiness

No Place Like




When Ludwig Wittgenstein writes that “[a]mbition is the death of thought,”[1] what is he referring to? In English, “ambition” has two meanings. The first is the strong desire to do something, typically requiring resoluteness and hard work. The second is the wish and determination to achieve success. Therefore ambition may be taken either as a drive or as an aspiration. Ambition in the latter sense is a goal that reduces thinking to a means to reach a kind of triumph, which may call for a striving to please. In contrast, the life of thought must be one of dedication, openness, availability, and humbleness.


[1] Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value, revised edn., ed. G. H. Von Wright (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998) 88e.

The Artist as Philosopher


William Shakespeare puts these words in Hamlet’s mouth: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” There is always something else to imagine and to think — something else to create and to dream.