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… amor… saber… potência… Maio 23, 2013

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in Uncategorized.


§ What is Philosophy? Gloss of a Sentence of Giorgio Agamben’s

“In its deepest intention, philosophy is a firm assertion of potentiality, the construction of an experience of the possible as such.”

in its deepest intention

Philosophy, it is said, begins in wonder. Wonder, however, is both a noun and a verb. Noun: “A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.” Verb: “The desire, or curiosity, to know something.”

philosophy is


In that light, philosophy is not so much—or not simply—‘the love of wisdom,’ but instead  marks the passage from wonder as a noun to  wonder as a verb. Philosophy is the love of  wisdom to the extent that it remains an  incitement to it.

a firm assertion

To philosophize has often been to argue. ‘Argument’ comes from the Latin arguere, to  make clear. To argue might then be said to mean to give an idea of, to clarify. In the very  divergence of the arguments used and the  positions held, what argument and the recourse  to it in philosophy testify to before all else— what they clarify—is, precisely, the nature of  the possible.

of potentiality

Potentiality and possibility alike concern ability or capacity: what may be. ‘A firm assertion of  potentiality,’ is, in the first place, an affirmation of the importance of what may be to what  is. What isis not what it is without what it may be, or may have been. Likewise, and after its own fashion, what may be is. Wonder enters the picture between potentiality and actuality, and philosophy affirms their articulation: Surprised admiration at what is gives place to what had not yet existed, the desire to know it.

the construction of


To construct is a transitive verb, which means that to construct is always to construct something. It is to take something that is given and to make of it something that was not, something it was not, something else. It is to take something as it is for something it may be.

an experience

Experience shares the same root as experiment.

of the possible as such

Neither this nor that possibility, but possibility in general, what makes the possible what it is:  What there is not, yet, beyond the desire, its  experience: what it might be to know.

(um pedaço deste pequeno livro delicioso que vale a pena ler. chama-se “What is Philosophy?”, escrito por Michael Munro, editado pela punctum books, e pode se ler todo aqui)

what is philo



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