Thoughts on the philosophy of the future


By Antonio Valverde*

The public intellectual – erudite, bohemian, free thinker – was gradually replaced by the proletarian university professor of the digital age, adapted to the fragmented form of work of the toyotist administrative line

“Men know the things that happen. […]. / Of future things, the wise perceive those that approach. His hearing /sometimes, during hours of serious study, / is disturbed. The mysterious clamor / comes to them from approaching events. /

And, respectfully, keep an eye on him.” (Konstantinos Kavafis).[I]


Descending into the hells of the philosophical tradition (and back) to inaugurate the new Philosophy, from the zero degree of writing and fighting the “most vain fight” with terms, languages, concepts, lineages, at the break of dawn, and, at the same , to invent the guiding problem that explains the need to shed light on the future – beyond the accumulated lottery of the history of philosophy, with results more or less announced, demarcated. Here is the challenge, the probable challenge of inventing a new Enlightenment, assimilated and superseded by the previous one, that of the XNUMXth century watershed, begun in the XNUMXth.

If Eurydice, woven into the myth, could not return from Hades, descending to the hells of philosophical tradition, in a movement of overcoming while conserving, corresponds to the motility of the quiz logos to bring back to the imaginary the first invention of the Greek physiologists, the inaugural ontological question, “what is it?” Therefore, no more questioning about what has been.

- Un coup de des!


Hell was humanity's worst imaginative/ideological invention, as humanity is unable to rebuild the Paradise of mythical beginnings. However, it has built, under “fog”, the noisy material hell of the present time, fictionally mirrored in techno-scientific dystopias of totalitarian regimes.   


the morbid Zeitgeist of the beginning of the XNUMXst century appears to be materialized in the image of a “spectrum circling globalized civilization due to the structural-managed combination – between financial capital, toyotism, technoscience, neoliberalism/authoritarianism/totalitarianism[ii] and calculated psychic suffering, the result of the brutal exploitation of work[iii] and unemployment –, which, practically, penetrates all the porosities of social life and nature, of time and space, on a planetary scale never mentally represented. Along with a spectacular and mercantile type of religiosity, guided, in no way contradictory, by the disenchantment of the world, as observed by Weber. In addition to growing pauperism, under the galloping ruin of civil rights.

However, if “thinking means transposing”, it will be possible to imagine and project a philosophy of the future, which is not an alternation of problems and sub-problems derived from philosophical lineages, extracted from the contemporary polyphonic circuit, which, roughly speaking, are practically in the process of exhaustion, drawn, in part, from their initial strength? What ways will be possible and reasonable to devise a philosophy of the future, – in the Era of the fourth industrial revolution – beyond the dead ends of the Grande Hotel abyss?

– Under dense fog.


In a first consideration about the philosophy of the future, there is the public figure of the intellectual.[iv] Invented at the time of Enlightenment, along with the force of scientific knowledge of Newton and Gauss, and the bourgeois revolutionary fervor, under the contagion of the possibility of the French Revolution. However, the public intellectual – erudite, bohemian, free thinker – was gradually replaced by the proletarianized university professor of the digital age, transferred from the Fordist assembly line to the fragmented form of work of the Toyotist administrative line. The serial production of papers academics expresses toyotism in a regime of introspection, which took a seat and fixed a captive chair in university departments.[v]

Without dispensing with Hegel, in the wave of Enlightenment, as much as they were critical of the Enlightenment and contaminated by the revolutionary virus, however, without yielding to any mechanical application of the original spirit of the need to change instituted thought, intellectuals, not yet overshadowed by obsolescence, such as Darwin (1809-1882), Marx (1818-1883), Nietzsche (1844-1900), Freud (1856-1939), Einstein (1879-1955), did not flourish by chance, but under the context of exemplary disarming of past models of knowledge, aimed at the front inventions of new interpretative keys of biology, the development of productive forces, the uses of reason by Western civilization, conscious/unconscious nexuses and the general theory of relativity.[vi]


To circumscribe the theme,[vii] it is necessary to remember Kant as a precursor of an essay about the time of the philosophy of the future, Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen Metaphysik die als Wissenschaft wird auftreten können (Prolegomena to all future metaphysics that presents itself as a science), from 1783. Kant defended: “These Prolegomena they are not for use by beginners, but by future teachers, and they should also not be used to organize the exposition of an existing science, but, above all, to invent that same science. […] the search for it will not disappear, because the interest of universal reason is too intimately involved in it, he will recognize that a complete reform, or rather a new birth of metaphysics, according to a plan entirely unknown until now, will inevitably take place, despite of the resistances that, for some time, may oppose it”.

Feuerbach was the pioneer to name the philosophy of the future, the one that fulfilled the need to reform philosophy, or rather, theophilosophy, with the conspicuous purpose of supplanting German idealism, above all, Hegelianism, registered in Grundsätze der Philosophie de Zukunft (Principles of the philosophy of the future), of 1843.[viii]

Feuerbach's philosophy ended up corroborating finely the critical dismantling of modernity, through its innovative anthropological conception and the consequent critique of religion. For, “Feuerbach had called for a return from pure ideas to sensorial contemplation, from spirit to man, including nature as a new basis. […] this very 'humanist' rejection of Hegel (having man as the central idea, nature as prius instead of the spirit) had a very strong influence on the young Marx” (Ernst Bloch, 2005, I, 19, p. 247).

Imbued with Feuerbachian philosophy, Marx, since Kreuznach, during the summer of 1843, had first-hand warned: “In Germany, the critique of religion is, in essence, finished; and the criticism of religion is the presupposition of all criticism. […] The suppression [repeal] of religion as happiness illusory of the people is the demand for their real happiness” (Karl Marx, 2010, p. 145). Thus anticipating what would become the demolishing conceptualization of ideology.

However, in the Economic-philosophical manuscripts, Marx had surpassed Feuerbach. Us manuscripts, “the relationship 'of man with man' does not remain an anthropological-abstract relationship of a general nature, as in Feuerbach, on the contrary, the critique of human alienation in relation to itself (transposed from religion to the State) penetrates [...] at the economic core of the alienation process. […] In place of Feuerbach's generic man, with his abstract and invariable naturalness, a historically alternating set of social relations and, above all, antagonistic regarding social class emerged” (Ernst Bloch, 2005, I, 19, pp. 248-249) . It began by exposing the (first) overcoming and fracture of post-Idealism German philosophy and, by extension, of German (misery) reality, as gaps for a “philosophy of the future”.


Nietzsche, in Jenseits von Gut und Böse. Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft (Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future), asks and replies, apparently, with a fine irony of himself: “A new species of philosophers is emerging: I dare to baptize them with a name that is not exempt from dangers. As I perceive them, as they allow themselves to be perceived – because it is their nature to want continue to be enigmas at some point - these philosophers of the future could well, or even hardly, be called tempting (experimenters). This name itself is, after all, just an attempt and, if you like, a temptation” (Nietzsche, 2005, § 42).


From a distance, the philosopher seems to be gesturing to give materiality to the philosopher hypothesis of the future: “With the same right they could be called critics; and no doubt they will be experimenters. Through the name with which I dared to baptize them, I have already clearly underlined experimentation and pleasure in the experimental: is it because, body and soul critics, they love to use experiment in a new, perhaps broader, perhaps more dangerous sense? […] – There is no doubt: these future ones will in no way be able to dispense with the serious and far from harmless qualities that distinguish the critic from the sceptic, that is, security in the measures of value, the conscious handling of a unit of method, open courage, being alone and answering for yourself; yes, they do not deny, in itself, one pleasure in saying no and dismembering, and a certain reflected curiosity, who knows how to handle the knife safely and delicately, even if the heart bleeds. […] These philosophers of the future will not only demand of themselves critical discipline and every habit that leads to rigor and cleanliness in matters of the spirit; they may well display them as their own kind of ornament – ​​and yet they do not wish to be called critics” (Nietzsche, 2005, § 210).


The German doubles the bet: “Will these future philosophers be new friends of 'truth'? Very likely: for hitherto all philosophers have loved their truths. But they certainly won't be dogmatic. […] it will be as it is and has always been: the great things remain for the great, the abysses for the profound, the softness and tremors for the subtle and, in short, the rare things for the rare”. To which he adds: “they will be free spirits, very free, these philosophers of the future - which will not be just free spirits either, but something more, greater, higher, radically other, which does not want to be misunderstood and confused? But in saying this I feel – towards them no less than towards us, their heralds and forerunners, we free spirits! - The obligation of sweeping away from us, together, an old, foolish misconception and prejudice, which it has long obscured, like a mist, the concept of 'free spirit'. […] insofar as we are the natural, sworn and jealous friends of loneliness, of our deepest, sunniest and most nocturnal solitude – such a kind of man are we, we free spirits! and also you would it be something like that, you who appear? You, new philosophers?” (Nietzsche, 2005, § 43, § 44).[ix]


Soon, under a Nietzschean hue, Gilles Deleuze, in Dialogues with Claire Parnet, answering a seemingly prosaic question, “A conversation, what is it, what is it for?”, takes up the question of the future, in the form of becoming, becomings. For Deleuze, “becomings are geography, they are orientations, entrances and exits”. Thus, “there is a becoming-philosopher that has nothing to do with the history of philosophy and passes, rather, through those that the history of philosophy cannot classify”.

Therefore, “becoming is never imitating, nor acting like, nor adjusting to a model, be it justice or truth”. On the contrary, it is the result of a solitary act of capturing and joining at random, like a throw of the dice, with a zigzag movement, without a previous method to guide the action, “nothing but a long preparation”, in the form of solitary asceticism, the deal with the accumulated repertoire and no moved destination a priori to the emergence of the new. By breaking the stacked representation of philosophy, fossilized by the history of philosophy, as an other, perhaps the great Other, to be recognized by language – by new terms set in motion –, identified by the invention of new critical conceptual weapons to demolish the fixity of the philosophical reserve army, in the interim of the accidental, in the innovative style as a leap in the dark of possibility.

Certainly, based on the discoveries and porosities that each era manages to produce, as Sartre's porosity meant for Deleuze the breeze of pure wind to the massacre of Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger. A refuge, a bewilderment out of order, at the same time a promise against the systematic repressor, the obsessor of anti-thought to be derailed from the formality of the history of philosophy, with no strings attached. From the possibility of neglected beginnings in the history of philosophy (references taken from Deleuze, 1998, pp. 2-16), such as the Giambattista Vico glare, which (in this context) may sound like an (im)probable anachronism. Which is not the case of the Ernst Bloch glare, given the fog generated by the ongoing dissonant clashes of philosophical polyphony.


The world of academic-scientific research still owes, save for a better judgment, to the inventions of those pioneers, whose theories are unfolded in academic pieces of understanding of the present time. They are still the greatest creditors of theoretical explanations, in progress. At the combined pace of the fact that the idea of ​​revolution carried out by the bourgeoisie, has gradually lost its original force, and derives the revolutionary task into the hands of workers organized for the social struggle.

However, the proletarian struggle diluted after the end of the Second World War, to the resounding sound of the installation of the Social Welfare State. And the spirit of revolution gave way to counterrevolution and revolt (Marcuse, 1973), taking with it the utopian ideals. Anticipated by the eerie verses of pop music, the dream is over ou this dream is overfrom the 1960's. Following May 68, a political event that registered the outcome of the Social Welfare State, the production and consumption of philosophical texts entered the scene of the society of the spectacle, without the corresponding ruminating along Nietzschean lines.

At nineteen, Marx, between romantic and ironic, ruminated: “Every giant, […], leaves behind him a dwarf; every genius, a stupid philistine; all agitation in the sea, the mud; and, as soon as the former retire, the latter present themselves, taking a seat at the table and stretching their long legs without restraint. […] The former are too big for this world; therefore they are cast out. The latter, however, take root and remain, as the facts show us, because champagne leaves a persevering and repulsive aftertaste; the heroic Caesar leaves behind him the actor Octavian; Emperor Napoleon, bourgeois King Louis Philippe; the philosopher Kant, the knight Krug; the poet Schiller, the court councilor Raupach; the celestial Leibniz, the apprentice Wolff” (Marx, 2018, pp. 38 and 40). Marx, the forerunner Feuerbach...

Thinking about a philosophy of the future or pointing to an existing philosophy with characteristics of a coming philosophy proves to be, in many ways, problematic, serious and, at the limit, to be demarcated beyond good and bad humor.


There are those who suggest the phenomenon of the “silence of the intellectuals” in the face of contemporary drama. However, the finding clashes with the imposing question: which intellectuals? In the same movement of affirmation of the spirit of negation of the recent past, against the grain, there were artists in general, in the figures of painters, poets, novelists – highlighting the realists –, composers, sculptors, dancers, architects, who made an effort to break with the conventional and conservative order, in an effort to project other ways of seeing and perceiving the socio-political crisis.

If the spirit of the revolution has shrunk, if the authentic intellectuals have disappeared and their critiques have weakened, it may be that, under the most extreme alienation in view of the development of the material base, artistic creativity continues to anticipate the critique of the social order, even if the artists of that time do not reach previously reached heights, as observed by Schiller and, later, Marcuse. Today, the arts seem to describe time, fragmentarily. In the sixties of the last century, the Situationist International (IS), around Guy Debord, launched the avant-garde political-aesthetic formula: the artistic creation of future “situations”.

The philosophical task – of a philosophy of the future – could begin with the transformation of the terrifying Zeitgeist of the present in concept, in order to illuminate philosophy itself, the knowledge of technoscience, art and religion, and, at the limit, practical knowledge, ethics, politics and economics.

– Did Toyotism penetrate the universe of the arts?


No resentment. The time of intellectuals, let's say, of fiber, with the necessary scale to synthesize all the contradictions in motion, exposed and understood about the current stage of History, to the point of explaining them in an enlightening analysis key, capable of launching lights for the present and the future? The intellectual, who moved critical thinking and invented horizons of denial of order, practically disappeared.

The surface question to be posed is whether there will be a relevant future for philosophy itself, if produced by the proletarianized university academic type, in action. Of course, philosophy can continue to exist as long as it exists. the logos questioner. But, the future, in the sense of the intellectual height reached by those who, in the recent past, broke the servitude to silent truths, of lasting transit, seems to have been left for the calends. At least momentarily.

If the names were few, their scope is immeasurable, unavoidable, since the matrices of innovative theories illuminated and continue to illuminate contemporary thought. Counterfeit coin changers, mere market phenomena, do not count, as they cannot be considered intellectuals or scholars in the original and strong senses of the terms. If real intellectuals were on the scene, certainly, the journey of going headlong in search of the unattainable theoretical explanation of what is happening would be avoided and, above all, about the pressing question: what é the gift? What does the present owe to the past? And, by extension, the future? 


According to Lukács, “as soon as history is thrust into the present – ​​and this is inevitable to really understand the present – ​​this 'harmful space', in Bloch's words, becomes evident. As a result of the inability to understand history, the contemplative attitude of the bourgeoisie polarizes into two extremes: the 'great individuals' as sovereign creators of history and the 'natural laws' of the historical milieu. Both are equally impotent – ​​whether separated or reunited – when challenged to produce an interpretation of the present in all its radical novelty” (Lukács, 2012, pp. 323-324).

Enzo Traverso, in Left melancholy: Marxism, history and memory, analyses, in detail, the interest in the present, from the “melancholy” and the deconstruction of working-class “memory”, marked by the end of utopias, in particular the socialist one, during the XNUMXth century, anchored in Benjamin, Bloch, Bensaïd. In the end, Traverso ventures: “The XNUMXth century was an era of sudden, unexpected, fulminating ruptures, which escaped any deterministic causality: it created many 'now-times' (Jetztzeit), in which the present met the past and reactivated it. Its end came in the form of a condensation of memories in which wounds reopened and history found its lived experience” (Traverso, 2018, p. 456).

The collapse of utopia, from images traveling through time, was pointed out by Benjamin, in 1935: “The form of the new means of production, which at the beginning is still dominated by that of the old (Marx), corresponds in the collective consciousness to images in which the new and the old intertwine. These images in which one seeks both to overcome and to transfigure the imperfections of the social product, as well as the deficiencies of the social order of production. At the same time, in these images of desire, the expressed desire to distance oneself from what has become antiquated – that is to say, from the more recent past – emerges. These trends refer imagery fantasy, driven by the new, back to the most remote past. In the dream, in which the following era appears before the eyes of each era in images, it appears associated with elements of primeval history, that is, of a classless society. The experiences of this society, which are deposited in the unconscious of the collective, generate, in interaction with the new, the utopia that has left its trace in a thousand configurations of life, from lasting constructions to passing fads” (Benjamin, 2006, p. 41 ).


As a hypothesis, it will be necessary for a supposed Philosophy of the Future to begin, in some way – certainly through a dialectical procedure, of interrogation and verification of answers –, by unraveling the subliminal contradictions of the silent truths, in circulation, that imposed themselves on the path of construction of the History of Philosophy, paralyzing its criticism, paralyzing the Logos questioner. In order to (re)introduce the understanding and debate about “substantiated universals in concreteness” mobilized by capital thinking, as Marcuse recalled, in The Unidimensional Man.

And to regain the proper use of objective reason, which is the critical form distanced from what happens in the world, from everyday life, to interrogate what it is, in reality, to ascend to universalizing categories, above everyday life itself. In a movement to gradually disarm the resilience of instrumental reason, operated in view of the means, and only for intermediate, minor purposes. Not intended for the ethical, aesthetic and political ends that humanity swore to pursue and achieve after the Enlightenment.

For, only objective reason, being critical, manages to formulate and, at the limit, align the possibility of philosophical realization, of managing to arrange such ends as a transcendent horizon – in the proper sense – of the apparent sink of values ​​in everyday life. But, since it is in everyday life that everything human comes to the case, it is necessary to interpenetrate the critical position of objective reason with the prosaic contents of such a measure of time.

Perhaps in part, this is a task of the philosophy of the future: its (re)invention from the question of “what is it?” as the early Greeks did when they invented ontology. And, at the same pace, with exemplary historical courage, to rehearse the abandonment of the house of cards of concepts generated from situations to the domain of the conjugation capital-toyotism-technoscience-neoliberalism/totalitarianism. To generate a new front. A situation for which current philosophies seem to offer no reasonable understanding, much less a plausible and complete critique. Except, for a bet, the philosophy of Ernst Bloch.


The genuine spirit of maximum critical sharpness in the face of circulating philosophies, guided by the necessary understanding of the present, under a new ontological basis, is presented as a fundamental requirement for the proper projection of a philosophy and its corresponding praxis, – life transformers. So that the first refers to the second and vice versa, rethought as they were in their original conceptions, linked together from the categories of the History of the present. However, most of the philosophies in circulation, imbued with an uncritical accent, still operate at the level of the ideological field, without considering the dynamism of the material-technological base of current society, shaping common thinking in line with the expansion of social control, below from the finding of the Frankfurtians.

About dynamism and expansion, philosophy must theorize and raise criticism to universal categories. Once the ideology changed its “habits” and materialized, overcoming the barrier of distinction and its causal links between infrastructure and superstructure, within the scope of the polyvalent and kaleidoscopic society of the spectacle, as Debord had unveiled.

After all, everything is ideology. Although, roughly, ideology seems – to the unwary – to continue reflecting, in an inverted and idealized way, the material basis for the development of the current mode of production, since the convergence between the ideological ceiling and the material base. For Debord, “ideology is the basis of the thought of a class society, in the conflicting course of history. Ideological facts were never simple chimeras, but the deformed consciousness of realities, and, as such, real factors that exercise a real deforming action; all the more so as the materialization of ideology provoked by the concrete success of autonomous economic production, in the form of a spectacle, practically confuses with social reality an ideology that managed to cut out all of reality according to its model” (Debord, § 212, 1997).

– Debord to the head! The contravention of philosophy around the purgative effects of May 68.


Appropriating and critically overcoming the ideological level seems to be one of the projective challenges of contemporary philosophy of passage towards (a) Philosophy of the Future, under strong fog. With the conspicuous purpose of thinking about the real movement of society, in the sense that effective criticism of materialized ideology can become part of philosophy.

Se in fact, the suppression of the victory of positivism, marked by analytical philosophy, technoscience, technobiology, the behaviorism (becoming experimental psychology) and, in a complementary way, by neuroscience, although apparently not part of the positivist framework of scientific or pseudoscientific knowledge.

Without forgetting, at the limit, neoliberalism and toyotism. In order to resume the genuine spirit of the dialectic invented by Plato, reinvented by Hegel, finalized (in the open) by Marx, in the form of the inaugural question about “what is”, as the foundation of ontology. The direct question tool can provide an alternative, from the horizon of fog, to blur the understanding of what is happening in the face of the accumulation of dead work, scientific research and its technological applicability, along with the appropriation and destruction of nature at the same time. irreversibility limit. Beyond the monstrosity of universalized surplus value.

– It can be seen that this is an ethical-political problem, and politics precedes being.


Rehearsing. What is the ethical problem of planetary material domination through the economic factor, under the neoliberal tide? What does it mean to enter and destroy the more or less traditional forms of organization of social life and, in addition, to destroy nature, in view of the production and consumption of superfluous goods, which in a significant part are expendable for the very maintenance of life , biological and social? Why do all the invaded porosities appear as inevitable requirements of the expanded and limitless order of the economic order? What contemporary philosophies have offered in the form of a radical critical analysis, in order to point to the line of the practical (in)feasibility of overcoming the problems generated by the economic system, thus reinforcing part of the ongoing human alienation, as if it were the human destiny to be fulfilled?

- Sisyphus, the absurd hero of the work, metamorphosed, seems indistinguishable from the stone that pushes him up the hill.


At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, some Marxian-inspired philosophers focused on the theoretical and practical difficulty of criticizing the capitalist mode of production and the political urgency of expanding the socialist regime, considered the relevant political-philosophical invention of the XNUMXth century. Thus, among the philosophies in circulation – in the winds of a presumably new historical wind –, perhaps the most outstanding for a future horizon is that of Ernst Bloch. By recomposing the possibility of philosophy overcoming its own superego, under the renewed spirit of concrete utopia, amalgamated with the ontology of “not-yet-being” or “not-yet-consciousness”. In order to go beyond the tradition consolidated by the accumulation of wisdom, projected and fulfilled from the History of Philosophy form and its multiplied plans: ethics, aesthetics, knowledge, logic, language, method, politics, philosophy of science, metaphysics, ontology, philosophy of religion, philosophy of human sciences and (the misguided) philosophy of education. On the move to leap forward into a new front.[X]

It must be agreed that the edifice of labyrinths of planes was built on solid foundations: the finest mythical mortar and the mineral hardness of the rationality features recorded in the Homeric poems, particularly in the Odyssey, before the “official” advent of the critical power of reason, Philosophy, around the XNUMXth century BC. C. Thus, Philosophy, borne under so much weight and glory, the result of capillary expansion, given the porosity of the knowledge of its content, along with Christian theology, art and science, will be able, after all, by hypothesis to carry out if? – If that's still the case.

This is the possible challenge to be launched to contemporary philosophy, anticipated as it was by the invention of Hegel, to the breath of projection and effectiveness of the Absolute Spirit, at the end of the projection of its complete historical-philosophical turn. Marx thought about the future of philosophy, betting: “Just as philosophy finds its material weapons in the proletariat, the proletariat finds its spiritual weapons in philosophy. […] the head of this emancipation is philosophy, the proletariat is its heart. Philosophy cannot become effective without the superassumption [repeal] of the proletariat, the proletariat cannot be suppressed without the realization of philosophy” (Marx, 2010, pp. 155-156).

– However, the skillful architectonics of putting philosophy into effect through the link with the proletariat seem to be postponed or suspended.


In a critical step, immediately after Hegel, the challenge was made explicit by Marx from the ontological understanding of historical materiality, synthesized by the premise: “You cannot suppress philosophy without realizing it”(MARX, 2010, p. 150). Afterwards, it was clarified by the 11th thesis ad Feuerbach: “Philosophers to this day interpreted the world, differently, remains turn it”, in adapted translation.[xi] Imbued with such a perspective, in the middle of the second half of the last century, under the political impact of the Russian Revolution, the notion of a “replacement” of philosophy circulated across Europe, with weak echoes outside it, – in the face of the claims of science and science. technology, which, in the process of metamorphosis, would become metaphilosophy.

Roland Corbisier (1914-2005), one of the founders of the Hegelian-inspired ISEB, for the entry “Philosophy”, recorded: “On the threshold of the greatest revolution of all times, the social and technological revolution, would be philosophy in crisis, on the verge of undergoing a metamorphosis or being replaced by other forms of reflection and knowledge? The question is legitimate, and philosophers like Henry Lefebvre maintain that philosophy in crisis will be overcome and replaced by metaphilosophy. Others, like Heidegger, believe that, with the reconversion of metaphysics, operated by Marx, (sic), philosophy has reached its extreme possibility, entering the terminal phase. (Thus), the 'becoming philosophy of the world' would also be 'a becoming world of philosophy'” (Corbisier, 1974, p. 71).

– Notion, apparently, disappeared from the philosophical radar. Or not?


However, which philosophy can offer the opportunity to break with circumstantial and non-circumstantial ties, generated by philosophical production itself, in scale, and project a new philosophical dawn, of the many that have not yet dawned? If admitted the various lights turned on by reason in History, from ancient Greek philosophy, assimilated and expanded by the light of Christian revelation, during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. In turn, the Enlightenment, which denied Christian enlightenment, only partially fulfilled its purpose, that of human emancipation. in totum et totaliter, whose denunciation of non-effectiveness came from the precision of Marxian philosophy, which seems to be the last new light to problematize the previous ones, without having yet obtained real effectiveness, if by chance it comes to fruition.

Since Nietzschean philosophy offered a profound critical balance of the use of reason in the West and the critique of bourgeois decadence, that is all. perhaps among the Marxian lineages, above all that of the so-called “western” Marxism, as a hypothesis, the philosophy of Ernst Bloch can at least present the essay of a new front, to replace the aforementioned challenge, with reason, in a new key: that of docta spes, “understood hope”, fantasy name of the “not-yet-being” or “not-yet-conscious” ontology. For, the “philosophy of understood hope is situated, [...], per definitionen on the front of the process of the world, that is, in the most advanced stretch, very little reflected of the being, of matter moved utopianally open” (Bloch, I, 16, p. 198).


Konstantinos Kavafis: “Men know the things that occur. [...] Of things to come, the wise perceive / the ones that approach". The theme of the future, certainly, had less relevance in Antiquity compared to the present time. By the way, “Varro, in his first attempt to produce a Latin grammar, forgot the future” (Bloch, I, “Preface”, 2005, p. 16). Today, the problem of the future points to the narrowing of the Way of the Cross from the Grand Hotel abyss of philosophy, under the arches of the obstinate confluence of financial capital, toyotism, neoliberalism / authoritarianism / totalitarianism, technoscience, destruction of nature, religious revenge, brutal visceral exploitation of work, precariousness of work, in the face of the only virtue that remains in modern Pandora's box: the docta spes, prospected by Ernst Bloch.

There will be a possibility of a new Enlightenment start from docta spes? Preferably, along with the ethics of responsibility, coined by Hans Jonas, which, like Bloch's philosophy, was conceived under full fog.[xii]

*Antonio Jose Romera Valverde is a professor at the Department of Philosophy at PUC-SP.

Published, originally in Peruzzo Jr., L. (org.). The future of philosophy, Curitiba, CRV, 2019.

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LUKÁCS, G., History and Class Consciousness: studies on Marxist dialectics, translation Rodnei Nascimento, São Paulo, Martins Fontes, 2012.

MARCUSE, H., “Nature and revolution”, In _______, Counterrevolution and Revolt, translation Álvaro Cabral, Rio de Janeiro, Zahar, 1973, pp. 63-80.  

_______, “The Combat of Liberalism in the Totalitarian Conception of the State”, In _______, Culture and Society, Vol. I, translation by Wolfgang Leo Maar, Rio de Janeiro, Paz e Terra, 1997, pp. 47-88).

MARX, K, “Theses against Feuerbach”, In ____, Marx, translation José Arthr Giannotti, São Paulo, Abril Cultural, 1978, pp. 49-53. (Collection “The Thinkers”). ____, “Ad Feuerbach (1845)”, In MARX, K.,; ENGELS, F., The German Ideology: critique of the most recent German philosophy in its representatives Feuerbach, B. Bauer and Stirner, and of German socialism in its different prophets, translation Rubens Enderle, Nélio Schneider, Luciano Cavini Martorano, São Paulo, Boitempo, 2007, pp. 533-535. 

____, “Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right – Introduction”, In ____, Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, 1843, translation by Rubens Enderle and Leonardo de Deus, São Paulo, Boitempo, 2010, pp. 145-157.

____, “Scorpio and Felix”, In ____, fictional writings, translation Cláudio Cardinali, Flávio Aguiar, Tércio Redondo, São Paulo, Boitempo, 2018, pp. 9-47.

NIETZSCHE, F., Beyond good and evil: prelude to a philosophy of the future, 2nd edition, translation Paulo César de Souza, São Paulo, Cia. of Letters, 2005. 

TRAVERSO, E., left melancholy: marxism, history and memory, translation André Bezamat, Belo Horizonte, Âyiné, 2018.

VIEIRA, A., History of the Future, organization and translation José Carlos Brandi Aleixo, Brasília, UnB, 2005.

[I] Konstantinos Kavafis (1863-1933), Greek-speaking poet, born and died in Alexandria, Egypt, inspired by a passage from Philostratus: “For the gods perceive things to come; men, those that occur; and the wise, those who approach (PHILOSTRATUS, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, VIII, 7), and under Epicurean asceticism, he wrote the poem “46. And the wise, those who draw near,” In KAVÁFIS, K., poems, translation Isis Borges B. da Fonseca, São Paulo, Odysseus, 2006, p. 135.

[ii] Marcuse had anticipated the question in the thirties of the last century, in the text “The Combat against Liberalism in the totalitarian conception of the State”, which reads: “There is a classic proof for the internal kinship between the liberal social theory and the totalitarian theory of the State … (MARCUSE, 1997, p. 53).”

[iii] Dardot and Laval, in The New Reason of the World: essay on neoliberal society, (2016), analyze, interdisciplinary, neoliberalism as a “rationality global,” not just ideology and economics, but the purpose of destroying democratic acquisitions and civil rights. With emphasis on the calculation of psychic suffering to be transformed into desire as a factor to increase the productive force of the worker. Leaving behind the proposals of classical liberalism and the utilitarians Bentham and Stuart Mill. 

[iv] “The great thinkers, from Galileo to Freud, were not content with solitary discoveries; they sought, and found, an audience. If they seem too distant, too high a standard, my yardstick is the latest generation of American intellectuals. They too addressed an audience, the next generation did not. […] The independent intellectuals, who wrote for the educated reader, are on the verge of extinction; […] An irony characterizes this investigation of an absent generation. Intellectuals absent from public life are mainly those who came of age in the 60s – a short name for the upheavals that lasted nearly fifteen years. […] They became radical sociologists, Marxist historians, feminist theorists, but not exactly intellectuals. public (JACOBY, 1990, pp. 19 and 21).” By the way, through the semiological key of analysis, Roland Barthes recorded: “Before the teacher, who is on the side of speech, let us call writer and to every language operator on the writing side; between the two, the intellectual: the one who prints and publishes his speech. There is no incompatibility between the language of the professor and that of the intellectual (they often coexist in the same individual); but the writer is alone, separate: writing begins where speech becomes impossible (BARTHES, 1975, pp. 25-26).”

[v] the award winning novel white noise, by Don De Lillo, from 1985, portrays the mediocre life of North American university professors, desperate to surf the toyotist wave of the production of papers. Academic chairs specialized in Elvis Presley and Hitler fulfill the role of innovating the research and obtaining the thanks from funding agencies. However, teachers are consoled for their loneliness by the superimposed consumption of goods, which fill false needs, in the antechamber of madness.

[vi] Marcuse broadened the image of the intellectual by pointing to the engineer, the technologist and the technician who, by engaging politically and critically, – since the contemporary drama is that of integration to the capitalist administered order - could put the functioning of administrative institutions in a tailspin, se develop a new non-instrumental technology. In addition to designing production agencies that did not wastefully exploit nature, and promoted the pacification of existence, under the tendency of Eros to dominate Thanatos, in a libidinal civilization for the near future.

Illustrating. “[…] man encounters nature as it is transformed by society, subject to a specific rationality that has become, to an ever greater degree, a technological and instrumentalist rationality, subjugated to the demands of capitalism. And this rationality also ended up influencing man's own nature, acting against his primordial impulses. To recall just two characteristics of contemporary forms of adaptation of primordial impulses to the needs of the established system: the social orientation of aggressiveness, by transferring the aggressive act to technical instruments, thus reducing the feeling of guilt; and the social orientation of sexuality, through the controlled desublimation, of the plastic beauty industry, which leads to a reduction of the feeling of guilt and promotes, therefore, a 'legitimate' satisfaction (MARCUSE, 1973, pp. 63-64).”

            “The liberation of nature is the recovery of the life-stimulating forces in nature, the sensuous aesthetic qualities that are alien to a life wasted in endless competitive performances; they suggest new qualities of freedom. […] Nature, when not left to itself and protected as 'reserve', is treated in an aggressively scientific way; it exists to be mastered; it is a matter free of value, a material. This notion of nature is a beforehand historical, pertinent to a specific form of society (MARCUSE, 1973, pp. 64-65).”

[vii] In the context of Luso-Brazilian civilization, the first and perhaps only major work to think about the future is the History of the Future, by the Jesuit Fr. Antônio Vieira (Lisbon, 1608-Salvador, 1697), which, in the words of the organizer of the work, had been “approved by the censors and with licenses from the Holy Office and the Palace, came to light, in Lisbon, in 1718, published by the workshop of Antonio Pedrozo Galram, the work of Fr. Antonio Vieira History of the Future: previous book. Prolegomena to all future history, in which the end is declared and the foundations of it are proved. Matter, truth and usefulness of the history of the future (VIEIRA, 2005, p. 19).” Vieira, who, according to Fernando Pessoa, is the “emperor of the Portuguese language”, anticipated the history of the future in the four volumes of The Key of the Prophets (Clavis Prophetarum), (VIEIRA, Loyola, 2014). In History of the Future there is a projection of Sebastianism and the Portuguese V Empire, based on the interpretation of the prophetic books, underlying the thesis: “Nothing can be promised to human nature more in line with its greatest appetite, nor more superior to all its capacity, than the news of future times and successes.” And the ideological ceiling of the Inquisition, whose arms ended up reaching Vieira, keeping him prisoner between 1665 and 1667, after which he was acquitted by Pope Clement X. And the future opened up.  

[viii] Os Principles of the Philosophy of the Future they were preceded by two texts, entitled “Necessity for a reform of Philosophy” and “Provisional Theses for the Reform of Philosophy”, from 1842 (FEUERBACH, 2002, pp. 13-18 and pp. 19-35, respectively).

[ix] It is not convenient to paraphrase Nietzsche.

[X] the military term front jumped into literature with the novel nothing new in the West (Nothing new in front), by World War I veteran Erich Maria Remarque, published in December 1928. In fact, Remarque's novel was opposed to a previous one, In Stalhelgemitter (The Steel Storm), by Ernst Jünger, from 1922, – a eulogy of war. Remarque's was intended to discourage young people from participating in wars.  

[xi] The “Theses ad Feuerbach”, written during the spring of 1845, were never developed into a book, as Marx intended, published posthumously as an addendum to Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy, by Engels, in 1888. Here are two translations of the “11th thesis": “Philosophers have confined themselves to interpret the world, differently, fits turn it (MARX, 1978, p. 53).” Another, “Philosophers only interpreted the world in different ways, what matters is to transform it (MARX, 2007, p. 535).” By the way, check the fine analysis, disassembly and assimilation of the Theses to the philosophy of hope, In BLOCH, “19. The transformation of the world or the eleven theses of Marx on Feuerbach (BLOCH, 2005, I, 19, pp. 246-282).”

[xii] “[…] the turn of the century coincided with the transition from the 'hope principle' to the 'responsibility principle'. […] The 'responsibility principle' emerged when the future became cloudy (TRAVERSO, 2018, p. 38).” – More cloudy.

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