domingo, 27 de janeiro de 2013

A morte de Aaron Swartz

Os filósofos Peter Singer e Agata Sagan escreveram um artigo para a NY Review of Books sobre o suicídio de Aaron Swartz, ativista norte-americano que após ser condenado a 30 anos de prisão e a uma multa de 1 milhão de dólares, enforcou-se em seu apartamento em 11 de janeiro. Swartz era acusado de disponibilizar gratuitamente cerca de 4,8 milhões de artigos da base de dados JSTOR. O ativista alegava que, além de pagar apenas aos editores dos periódicos científicos - e não seus autores - o JSTOR restringia o acesso público ao conhecimento científico.

Aaron Swartz

                           Aaron Swartz by Selfagency

The Death of Aaron Swartz

by Peter Singer & Agata Sagan
Since the sad death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, there has been a lot of discussion of the extent to which the criminal prosecution hanging over him contributed to his suicide. Some have pointed their fingers at MIT, suggesting that, by failing to waive its complaint against him for using its network to download files, the university bears some responsibility for his suicide. MIT has now set up an internal investigation. The prospect of a felony conviction and aprison sentence would be enough to make anyone think that his or her life is effectively over. For a young and exceptionally talented person who acted from noble motives, the idea of going to prison must have been even more shattering, and the depression from which he suffered would have magnified its impact in ways that those of us fortunate enough not to have experienced that condition cannot fully imagine.
The fact that JSTOR has made millions of documents freely available, after Swartz had downloaded them, shows that his actions have had what many people—perhaps to some extent even JSTOR, which after all is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to scholarly publications—believe to be a public benefit. Thousands of researchers are currently putting all of their downloaded PDF files online, often in breach of copyright, as a tribute to Swartz.
There is no doubt that we should improve access to scientific resources, and the Internet makes it almost inevitable that this will happen. The only question is when. As Lawrence Lessig argues, this is knowledge paid for in large part by our taxes. More important still, in the long run, will be raising the level of general access to information throughout the world. The price now asked for a single journal article is equivalent to a month’s earnings in many countries. The Internet makes the ancient dream of a universal library possible. Why should not everyone, anywhere in the world, be able to use, without charge, all the available knowledge that humans have created?

sexta-feira, 25 de janeiro de 2013

Democracia na América Latina

Na edição de janeiro da Boston Review, quatro pesquisadores da América Latina discutem os rumos da democracia na região. Entre os autores, Roberto Gargarella sobre a história do constitucionalismo latino-americano e Leonardo Avritzer sobre a democracia participativa no Brasil. 

- Roberto Gargarella: "Keeping the Promise"

Keeping the Promise
by Roberto Gargarella

Latin American nations have been at the forefront of social-rights constitutionalism.
The Mexican revolution that began in 1910 produced one remarkable outcome: the 1917 constitution.
A result of working-class mobilization against growing inequality and authoritarianism, the constitution declared a long and robust list of rights. Unlike other constitutions at the time, it was strongly committed to social rights, including rights to food and education. In fact, the Mexican Constitution pioneered the development of a moresocial constitutionalism. The idea was that a constitution should not simply define the organization of the government and describe its limits. It should also insist on the entitlement of all citizens to basic goods and services.
According to Article 27 of the 1917 Constitution, for example, ownership of the lands and waters within the boundaries of the national territory was “vested originally in the Nation.” This meant that the nation had ultimate authority over all resources within its borders, which were to be used for the people. Article 123 incorporated broad protections for workers, recognized the role of trade unions, protected rights to strike and association, and provided detailed regulation of labor relations, anticipating later developments in labor law. This clause made reference, for example, to the maximum duration of work; child labor; the rights of pregnant women; minimum wages; and rights to vacation, equal wages, and comfortable and hygienic working conditions.
Most countries in the region followed the Mexican example, building similar lists of social rights into their constitutions: Brazil in 1937; Bolivia in 1938; Cuba in 1940; Uruguay in 1942; Ecuador and Guatemala in 1945; Argentina and Costa Rica in 1949. Latin American constitutions thus reflected and reinforced the emergence of the working class as a key political and economic actor in the first half of the twentieth century.
In spite of these new basic laws enacted on behalf of average citizens, Latin America experienced a terrible period of authoritarian rule in the 1970s and ’80s. This period was a sharp setback for the earlier expansion of constitutional rights. But with the end of authoritarianism in the late 1980s came a new wave of constitutional reforms, which once more made central the rights of all citizens. In an effort to create universal political and economic inclusion, reformers pushed through a range of positive constitutional rights—to food, decent education, health care.
While Latin American nations have been at the forefront, again and again, of the model of social constitutionalism, the impact on people’s lives has always been mixed. One important reason is that, for all their extraordinary innovation when it comes to social rights, reformers have consistently preserved old-fashioned notions of politics. They have accepted a Latin American constitutional tradition that emphasizes centralized authority and presidential power. Unlike more liberal constitutions, such as the U.S. Constitution, Latin American constitutions empower the president to declare a state of siege, to appoint or remove ministers at will, and to legislate. The concentration of power in the executive ensures that constitutional promises remain more aspirational than real.

segunda-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2013

Chamada de artigos: Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy

Abertas as inscrições para o workshop de preparação para o primeiro número da Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. O prazo para o envio dos resumos é 15 de maio. Durante o evento (em Tucson Arizona) os organizadores escolheram artigos para o primeiro número da Oxford Studies. 

Call for abstracts: Workshop for Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy

This is a call for abstracts for the first annual Workshop for Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy to be held Oct. 17-20, 2013 in Tucson, AZ at the Westward Look Hotel and Resort. Abstracts in all areas of Political Philosophy are welcome.
The web page for the workshop is here:
To submit an abstract, you must first go to the above web page and register. Once your registration is accepted, you will be able to login at that page and upload an abstract. Abstracts should not be e-mailed to the editors. Abstracts of between 250-500 words are due no later than April 15th . Submission of an abstract will be taken to imply that the paper is not under submission for publication elsewhere as well as implying an agreement to include the paper in the resulting volume of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, if accepted. There is a limit of one submission per person. We expect to be able to inform those whose papers have been accepted no later than May 15th, 2013.
The authors of all accepted abstracts will be expected to provide drafts of their essays for distribution to the workshop’s attendees three weeks prior to the workshop, present their ideas at the workshop, and submit the paper for possible inclusion into the inaugural volume of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy by January 15th, 2014. It is important to note, however, that acceptance of an abstract for the workshop in no way guarantees that the paper will be accepted for publication.
The workshop is free and open to the public. We regret that we are unable to provide any financial support for those whose abstracts are accepted.
The keynote speakers for the 2013 Workshop are:
  • Charles Larmore, Brown University
  • Philip Pettit, Princeton University
  • A. John Simmons, University of Virginia
Hope to see you in Tucson,
David Sobel, Peter Vallentyne, and Steve Wall (editors)

domingo, 20 de janeiro de 2013

Martin Jay e a Escola de Frankfurt

O historiador Martin Jay (Berkeley) ministrou as conferências George L. Mosses na Universidade Hebraica de Jerusalém: "After the Eclipse: The Light of Reason in the Late Critical Theory".  Jay parte das pretensões originais do projeto crítico de Adorno e Horkheimer para interpretar como o projeto comunicativo de Habermas ofereceu novas possibilidades de emancipação e reforma social. As três conferências e os resumos encontram-se abaixo:

Lecture 1: “Reason Eclipsed: The First Generation of the Frankfurt School"

During the 1940’s, the Frankfurt School lost its confidence in a substantive or emphatic concept of reason, which might survive its degeneration into instrumental, subjective and formal rationality and serve as a vehicle of social emancipation. Attempts were made by Herbert Marcuse to generate an expanded notion of reason by including an “erotic” component and Theodor W. Adorno by combining it with the moment of mimesis in works of art. But the first generation of Critical Theorists was hard pressed to salvage a plausible way to rescue the stronger concept of reason Max Horkheimer had lamented as “eclipsed” in the modern world.

quinta-feira, 17 de janeiro de 2013

Jeremy Waldron sobre Tolerância, Direitos Humanos, Cidadania e Majoritarismo

Quatro novos artigos do filósofo Jeremy Waldron (NYU) estão disponíveis na SSRN:

- Toleration: Is there a Paradox?

Philosophers (Bernard Williams, for example) often talk of a paradox of toleration. They say that we can only be said to tolerate that which is acknowledged to be bad or wrong; but, thye continue, if something is acknowledged to be bad or wrong, the proper response is to suppress it or act against it. I think this appearance of paradox can very easily be dissolved. If something is bad or wrong, then the person who judges it so commits himself to avoiding it in his own actions and choices; but he does not by any logical implication of "bad" or "wrong," commit himself to acting coercively against it. Acting coercively is quite a distinctive response and it requires a myriad of reasons which are not generated by a simple moral condemnation. Practices of toleration flourish in the gap that this opens up. I also pursue a second line of argument which goes as follows: despite the philosophers' definitional announcement, it is not the case that we can only be said to tolerate that which we judge to be bad or wrong. The idea of toleration is much broader thnaa that. Philosophers tend to confine it stipulatively to the narrower sense in order to generate the alleged paradox. But since the paradox doesn't arisse anyway, there is no justification for the narrower definition.

- Is Dignity the Foudation of Human Right?

The paper will consider the common claim that human rights are based on human dignity as a foundational value. I will make some criticisms of that idea, arguing instead that dignity is a status that comprises fundamental human rights rather than being a value that functions as a major premise of rights claims.

- Citizenship and Dignity

Theories of dignity have to navigate between two conceptions: the egalitarian idea of human dignity and the old idea of dignitas, connected with hierarchy, rank, and office. One possible way of bridging the gap between the two is to talk of the dignity of the citizen. In modern republics and democracies, the dignity of the citizen extends to a large sector of the population and connotes something about the general quality of the relation between the government and the governed. This chapter first explores Immanuel Kant’s account of the dignity of the citizen, and then it pursues the implications of the dignity of the citizen for modern society and modern theories of human dignity. Though the dignity of the citizen and human dignity are not the same concept, they are congruent in many respects and the former casts considerable light on the latter — in particular on the connection between dignity and responsibility and dignity and transparency in social and political relations.

- Five to Four: Why Majorities Rules on Courts

Courts, like the US Supreme Court, make important decisions about rights by voting and often the decision is determined by a bare majority. But the principle of majority-decision (MD) for courts has not been much reflected on. What justifies judges' reliance on MD? In democratic contexts, MD is usually defended either as (i) a way of reaching the objectively best decision or (ii) as a way of respecting the principle of political equality. Howerver, it is difficult to see how either of these arguments works for the judicial case. The only other argument is one of convenience, but that seems an odd basis for majoritarian authority on a court, given the momentousness of their decsiions and given that the role of courts is to check popular majorities. The paper reflects on these and other matters and concludes that, at the very least, defenders of judicial authority should be more tentative in their denunciatiions of democratic majoritarianism.

terça-feira, 15 de janeiro de 2013

IPSA Summer School 2013

O cronograma da quarta edição da "Summer School" em métodos de pesquisa já está disponível no site da IPSA. O evento, promovido pelo Departamento de Ciência Política da USP, terá início dia 29 de janeiro.

Além dos cursos semanais, serão ministrados seminários sobre os rumos da área e workshops sobre as perspectivas profissionais na  ciência política (veja abaixo)

sábado, 12 de janeiro de 2013

Concurso de Ciência Política (UFSC)

Estão abertas 02 vagas para o cargo de professor adjunto no departamento de Sociologia e Ciência Política da UFSC.  As inscrições ocorrem até o dia 31/01 através do site

Departamento de Sociologia e Ciência Política (UFSC)

Área: Ciência Política
Processo: 23080.013235/2012-66
Número de vagas: 02 (duas)
Classe: Adjunto 1
Regime de Trabalho: Dedicação Exclusiva/DE
Requisitos para provimento no cargo: Título de Doutor

Clique aqui para ver o edital completo

quarta-feira, 9 de janeiro de 2013

Rainer Forst: "Toleration in Conflict"

A Cambridge Press publicou a tradução inglesa de Toleranz im Konflikt , livro de 2003 no qual o filósofo de frankfurtiano Rainer Forst investiga a constituição histórica e conceitual das concepções de tolerância no pensamento moderno. 

Forst- "Toleration" [verbete escrito pelo autor para a SEP]


Introduction  [excerto]

Part I. Between Power and Morality: The Historical Discourse of Toleration
1. Toleration: Concept and Conceptions
2. More Than a Prehistory: Antiquity and the Middle Age
3. Reconciliation, Schism, Peace: Humanism and the Reformation
4. Toleration and Sovereignty: Political and Individual
5. Natural Law, Toleration and Revolution
6. The Enlightenment – For and Against Toleration
7. Toleration in the Modern Era
8. Routes to Toleration

Part II. A Theory of Toleration:
9. The Justification of Toleration
10. The Finitude of Reason
11. The Virtue of Tolerance
12. The Tolerant Society. 


This raises a series of questions to be answered in the present study: What kind of conflicts call for or permit toleration? Who are the subjects and who or what are the objects of tolerance? What kinds of reasons are there for objecting to what is tolerated and how should the opposed reasons for acceptance be understood? What are the limits of toleration in different cases? 

Any philosophy which seeks to understand social reality must come to terms with this concept. For conflicts which prove to be irresoluble are clearly as much a part of human existence as is the desire that they should not exist. The problem of toleration was familiar even before the concept acquired its enduring, post-Reformation form, if one thinks, for example, of Herodotus’ description of differences among cultures; to put it somewhat grandly, toleration is a general human concern and is not confined to any particular epoch or culture. For as long as there has been religion, the problem of people of different beliefs and the problems of heretics and of nonbelievers have existed. Even more generally, wherever convictions concerning values have taken shape among human beings, the confrontation with others who have opposing convictions presents a challenge which may not admit of a straightforward responsein terms of the valuesin question. If this challenge is to lead to the development of a tolerant attitude, therefore, people first have to perform a complex form of labour on their own convictions. Hence, the struggle against what at a certain point came to be called ‘intolerance’ has a long history; it seems to be the more original phenomenon and it calls for a pacifying, conciliatory or moral response.

segunda-feira, 7 de janeiro de 2013

sexta-feira, 4 de janeiro de 2013

Financiamento de Campanha ao Redor do Mundo

Um grupo de jornalistas da Folha de S. Paulo realizou um levantamento do financiamento de campanha em diversos países do mundo.

Do blog O Custo do Voto

O Panorama Mundial
por Marcelo Soares

A Folha verificou como funciona a regulamentação do financiamento de campanhas em 12 países do mundo.

Nenhum desses países adota o financiamento exclusivamente público de campanhas, proposta favorita dos congressistas brasileiros para uma reforma eleitoral. Questionados sobre o assunto, alguns entrevistados mencionaram a Alemanha como país que tem financiamento completamente público. Não é o caso, como se pode ver nas reportagens abaixo.

1. Financiamento misto

EUA - Doações a grupos ‘independentes’ patrocinam ataques
A estrutura de regulação do financiamento de campanhas nos Estados Unidos ficou mais rigorosa após o escândalo de Watergate, na década de 1970. A maior parte do financiamento é privada, mas existem subsídios públicos a candidatos independentes. Nos últimos anos, porém, grupos de doadores privados vêm  questionando na Justiça os limites às doações que podem fazer. Isso criou grupos como os Super PACs, desvinculados de partidos políticos mas que na prática financiam a veiculação de ataques na TV. Como não há horário eleitoral gratuito, os anúncios são a maior fatia dos gastos de campanha.

Alemanha - País tenta equilibrar fundos públicos e privados
Cidadãos e empresas da União Europeia podem doar para campanhas. Há várias formas de subsídio às atividades dos partidos, mas campanhas só recebem subsídio público direto quando o candidato não tem partido. Os partidos são estimulados a captar doações privadas para evitar hiperdependência do Estado.

França - Limites a doações motivam escândalos
Pessoas jurídicas não podem doar; pessoas físicas, só até 4,6 mil euros aos candidatos e 7,5 mil euros aos partidos. Os doadores recebem benefícios fiscais. O governo reembolsa gastos de campanhas de quem tiver mais de 5% dos votos. Partidos recebem dinheiro conforme a região e a sua representação no Congresso. Existe espaço para campanha na mídia.

Noruega - Monarquia banca dois terços da verba dos partidos
Pessoas físicas e jurídicas podem doar, e não há limites explícitos nem às doações e nem aos gastos. Não há horário eleitoral gratuito, mas os partidos políticos recebem subsídios do Estado.

quarta-feira, 2 de janeiro de 2013

Filósofos cidadãos

Todo final de ano a Boston Review seleciona uma retrospectiva dos 10 melhores artigos e ensaios publicados na revista ao longo do ano ( The Best of 2012 ). Entre os artigos de 2012 encontra-se a matéria escrita por Carlos Fraenkel sobre a obrigatoriedade do ensino de filosofia no Brasil - e a oposição uspiana! Possuir uma formação básica em filosofia é um prerrequisito para o exercício da cidadania? 

Citizen Philosophers: Teaching Justice in Brazil
by Carlos Fraenkel
Getting out of the cave and seeing things as they really are: that’s what philosophy is about, according to Almira Ribeiro. Ribeiro teaches the subject in a high school in Itapuã, a beautiful, poor, violent neighborhood on the periphery of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia in Brazil’s northeast. She is the most philosophically passionate person I’ve ever met.
Most of the four million slaves shipped from Africa to Brazil were sold in Salvador, the first residence of Portugal’s colonial rulers. It’s still Brazil’s blackest city. In Ribeiro’s neighborhood, children play football or do capoeira, pray in Pentecostal Churches or worship African gods. Many are involved with drugs; “every year we lose students to crack,” she tells me. And they study philosophy two hours each week because of a 2008 law that mandates philosophy instruction in all Brazilian high schools. Nine million teenagers now take philosophy classes for three years.
“But seeing things as they really are isn’t enough,” Ribeiro insists. As in Plato’s parable in The Republic, the students must go back to the cave and apply what they’ve learned. Their lives give them rich opportunities for such application. The contrast between the new luxury hotels along the beach and Itapuã’s overcrowded streets gives rise to questions about equality and justice. Children kicking around a can introduce a discussion about democracy: football is one of the few truly democratic practices here; success depends on merit, not class privilege. Moving between philosophy and practice, the students can revise their views in light of what Plato, Hobbes, or Locke had to say about equality, justice, and democracy and discuss their own roles as political agents.
To foster that discussion, Ribeiro must take on a deeply rooted political defeatism. Voting in Brazil is obligatory, but many think it’s useless. In 2010, the largest number of votes for any member of congress went to Tiririca, a popular TV clown, who ran on the slogan, “I don’t know what a congressman does, but vote me in and I’ll tell you.” João Belmiro, another high school philosophy teacher, finds this outrageous. Philosophy, he hopes, will bring change before long.
“There are also other ways of political participation,” Ribeiro tells her students. She gives them the town hall’s phone number for complaints about infrastructure and asks them to find something in their street they want repaired. When one student calls, nothing happens. But when fifteen call, the city reacts. “You see that pothole?” she asks me. “It’s been closed. And that street lantern? It’s been fixed. Thanks to our philosophy class. . . . Politicians can’t afford disgruntled citizens who will vote them out of office.” In the same vein she’s now organizing an association of philosophy teachers. One urgent matter is the lack of qualified personnel. Another project is improving the relationship with the philosophy department at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), the region’s academic hub. Most teachers I meet complain that academic philosophers ignore them or look down on them.
That’s not surprising, considering that the 2008 law is above all a political project. In 1971 the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985 eliminated philosophy from high schools. Teachers, professors in departments of education, and political activists championed its return, while most academic philosophers were either indifferent or suspicious. The dictatorship seems to have understood philosophy’s potential to create engaged citizens; it replaced philosophy with a course on Moral and Civic Education and one on Brazil’s Social and Political Organization (“to inculcate good manners and patriotic values and to justify the political order of the generals,” one UFBA colleague recalls from his high school days).
The official rationale for the 2008 law is that philosophy “is necessary for the exercise of citizenship.” The law—the world’s largest-scale attempt to bring philosophy into the public sphere—thus represents an experiment in democracy. Among teachers at least, many share Ribeiro’s hope that philosophy will provide a path to greater civic participation and equality. Can it do even more? Can it teach students to question and challenge the foundations of society itself?