Ideas filosóficas y conceptos categoriales para una crítica materialista de la Literatura

Idea y concepto de Cultura

Cualquier parecido con la realidad no es mera coincidencia. Un vistazo a los tiempos electorales en el cine mexicano (primera parte) | Cultura y vida cotidiana

Cualquier parecido con la realidad no es mera coincidencia. Un vistazo a los tiempos electorales en el cine mexicano (primera parte) | Cultura y vida cotidiana
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CITA DE NORBERTO BOBBIO : Es un destino del cual no se escapa, apenas se plantea el problema de qué cosa son los intelectuales. Quien se plantea este problema se convierte, por el solo hecho de planteárselo, en un intelectual, es decir en alguien que no hace cosas sino que reflexiona sobre las
cosas, alguien que no maneja objetos sino símbolos y cuyos instrumentos de trabajo no son las máquinas sino las ideas.(Cfr artículo en este enlace:


De-Briefing Academics: Unpaid Intelligence Informants
by James Petras / May 5th, 2018

Over the past half-century, I have been engaged in research, lectured and worked with social movements and leftist governments in Latin America. I interviewed US officials and think tanks in Washington and New York. I have written scores of books, hundreds of professional articles and presented numerous papers at professional meetings.

In the course, of my activity I have discovered that many academics frequently engage in what government officials dub ‘de-briefing’! Academics meet and discuss their field-work, data collection, research finding, observations and personal contacts over lunch at the Embassy with US government officials or in Washington with State Department officials.

US government officials look forward to these ‘debriefings”; the academic provided useful access to information which they otherwise could not obtain from paid, intelligence agents or local collaborators.

Not all academic informants are very well placed or competent investigators. However, many provide useful insights and information especially on leftist movements, parties and leaders who are real or potential anti-imperialist adversaries.

US empire builders whether engaged in political or military activities depend on information especially regarding who to back and who to subvert; who should receive diplomatic support and who to receive financial and to military resources.

De-briefed academics identify ‘moderate’ and ‘radical’ adversaries, as well as personal and political vulnerabilities. Officials frequently exploit health problems or family needs to ‘turn’ leftists into imperial stool pigeons.

US officials are especially interested in academic gate-keepers who exclude ‘anti-imperialist’ critics, activists , politicians and government officials.

At times, US State Department officials claim to be sympathetic ‘progressives’ who oppose ‘Neanderthals’ in their institution, in order to elicit inside information from leftist academic informants.

Debriefing is a widespread practice and involves numerous academics from major universities and research centers, as well as non-governmental ‘activists’ and editors of academic journals and publications.

Academic participates in debriefing frequently do not publicize their reporting to the government. Most likely they share their reports with other academic informers. All claim they are merely sharing research and diffusing information for ‘science’ and to further ‘humane values’.

Academic informers always justify their collaboration as providing a clear and more balanced picture to ‘our’ policymakers, ignoring the predictable destructive outcomes likely to ensue.

Academics in the Service of Empire

Academic informants never study, collect research and publicize reports on US covert, overt and clandestine policies in defense of multi-nationals and Latin American elite which collaborate with empire builders.

US officials have no interest in ‘debriefing’ academics conducting anti-imperialist research.

US officials are keen to know any and all reports on ‘movements from below’: who they are, how much influence they have, their susceptibility to bribes, blackmail and invitations to the State Department, Disneyland, or the Wilson Center in D.C.

US officials fund academic research on militant trade unions, agrarian social movements, feminist and ethnic minorities engaged in class struggle ,and anti-imperialist activists and leaders, as they all serve as targets for imperial repression.

The officials are also keen on academic reports on so-called ‘moderate’ collaborators who can be funded, advised and recruited to defend the empire, undermine the class struggle and split movements.

Academic informants are especially useful in providing personal and political information on Latin American left-wing intellectuals, academics, journalists, writers and critics which allows US officials to isolate, slander and boycott anti-imperialists, as well as those intellectuals who can be recruited and seduced with foundation grants and invitations to the Kennedy Center at Harvard.

When US officials have a difficult time understanding the intricacies and consequences of ideological debates and factional divisions within leftist parties or regimes, ex-leftist academic informers, who collect documents and interviews, provide detailed explanations and provide officials with a political roadmap to exploit and exacerbate divisions and to guide repressive policies, which undermine adversaries engaged in anti-imperialist and class struggle.

The State Department works hand and glove with research centers and foundations in promoting journals which eschew all mention of imperialism and ruling class exploitation; they promote ‘special issues’ on ‘class-less’ identity politics, post-modern theorizing and ethnic-racial conflicts and conciliation.

In a study of the two leading political science and sociological journals over a period of fifty year they published less than .01% on class struggle and US imperialism

Academic informants have never reported on US government links to narco-political rulers.

Academic informants do not research widespread long term Israeli collaboration with death squads in Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina and El Salvador, in cases because of their loyalties to Tel Aviv and in most cases because the State Department is not interested in debriefings which expose their allies and their joint complicity.

Academic Informants: What do they want and what do they get?

Academic informers engage in debriefing for various reasons. A few do so simply because they share the politics and ideology of the empire builders and feel it is their ‘duty’ to serve.

The great majority are established academics with ties to research centers who inform because it fattens their CV — which helps secure grants, prestigious appointments and awards.

Progressive academics who collaborates have a Janus face approach; they speak at Leftist public conferences, especially to students and in private they report to the State Department.

Many academics believe they can influence and change government policy. They seek to impress self-identified ‘progressive’ officials with their inside knowledge on how to ‘turn’ Latin critics into moderate collaborators. They invent innocuous academic categories and concepts to attract graduate students to further collaboration with imperial colleagues.

The Consequence of Academic Debriefing

Former leftist academic informers are frequently cited by the mass media as a reliable and knowledgeable ‘expert’ in order to slander anti-imperialist governments, academics, and critics.

Ex-leftist academics pressure rising scholars with a critical perspective to adopt ‘moderate’ reasonable critiques, to denounce and avoid anti-imperialist ‘extremists’ and to disparage them as ‘polemical ideologues’!

Academic informants in Chile helped the US Embassy identify neighborhood militants who were handed over to the secret police (DINA) during the Pinochet dictatorship.

US academic informants in Peru and Brazil provided the Embassy with research projects which identified nationalist military officials and leftist students who were subsequently purged, arrested and tortured.

In Colombia, US academic informers were active in providing reports on rural insurgent movements which led to massive repression. Academic collaborators provided detailed reports to the embassy in Venezuela on the grass roots movements and political divisions among Chavista government and military officials with command of troops.

The State Department financed academics working with NGO who identified and recruited middle class youth as street fighters, drug gangsters and the destitute to engage in violent struggles to overthrow the elected government by paralyzing the economy.

Academic reports on regime ‘violence’ and ‘authoritarianism’ served as propaganda fodder for the State Department to impose economic sanctions, impoverishing people, to foment a coup.US academic collaborators enlisted their Latin colleagues to sign petitions urging right-wing regimes in the region to boycott Venezuela.

When academic informers are confronted with the destructive consequences of imperial advances they argue that it was not their ‘intention’; that it was not their State Department contacts who carried out the regressive policies.The more cynical claim that the government was going to do their dirty work regardless of the debriefing.


What is clear in virtually all know experiences is that academic informers’ ‘de-briefings strengthened the empire-builders and complemented the deadly work of the paid professional operatives of the CIA, DEA, and the National Security Agency.

Semejanza entre la poesía y la literatura con la filosofía

Esta cuestión es ampliamente desarrollada en el vídeo de Jesús Maestro, quien fundamenta sus tesis en el sistema filosófico conocido como Materialismo Filosófico, que fue fundado por el filósofo español Gustavo Bueno ( 1924 – 2016 )

Se trata de un vídeo que consideramos , en introfilosofia, como esencial para comprender tanto la Literatura como la Filosofía de un modo lógico y racional , además de crítica, dialéctico, no idealista o metafísico

Poesía y Literatura semejanza y diferencia con la Filosofía desde el Materialismo Filosófico

Nuevas hipótesis sobre Teoría del Conocimiento

A continuación ponemos una reseña sobre novedosos modelos acerca de lo que muy genéricamente podemos denominar Teoría del Conocimiento

Desde el sistema del Materialismo Filosófico hablamos de dos cuestiones diferentes , a saber :

La gnoseología y la epistemología , y ambas han de ser colocadas en el marco de la ontología del MF ( Materialismo Filosófico)

Para estos conceptos remitimos al Diccionario Filosófico de Pelayo García en este enlace Gnoseología y epistemología de la Teoría del Cierre Categorial en el Materialismo Filosófico

Fuente de la reseña

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2017.11.17 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Stephen L. Reynolds, Knowledge as Acceptable Testimony, Cambridge University Press, 2017, 216pp., $99.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781107197756.

Reviewed by Martin Kusch, University of Vienna

This book fuses “knowledge-first epistemology” (KFE) with “function-first epistemology” (FFE). KFE rejects the traditional project of defining knowledge. Knowledge is too fundamental to be reduced. But knowledge can be used to define, or characterize, other epistemic concepts. For instance, (mere) belief is “botched knowledge” (Williamson 2000: 446).

FFE holds that key features of our epistemic concepts can best be explained in terms of their functions in our social life. Some FFEs are “genealogical”; they seek to identify these functions with the help of a quasi-historical thought experiment about a hypothetical “epistemic state of nature”. The thought experiment is used to answer the question: Why would a community, smaller and simpler than our own, have been motivated to introduce (recognizable predecessors of) our epistemic concepts? The most influential version of such genealogical FFE is Edward Craig’s Knowledge and the State of Nature (1990). Craig suggests that the original function of knowledge attributions is to “flag good informants”.

Stephen Reynolds’ study seeks to improve on Craig’s little classic. For instance, in his thought experiment concerning a tribe without knowledge, Craig mistakenly allows speakers knowledge-entailing concepts. Reynolds corrects this error. When members of the tribe say “I saw that p” or “I remember that p”, they are not claiming knowledge; they are merely relating appearances. Moreover, since Reynolds accepts KFE, his tribe constructs knowledge first, and belief second. Accordingly, the tribesmen and -women are initially restricted to attributing “sayings” (rather than beliefs) to one another. (34)

Reynolds’ central example concerns an “inquirer”, tribeswoman Hannah, who, in regular intervals, needs to find out whether there are wild onions in a location an hour’s walk from the tribe’s camp. In order to avoid the excursion when no onions are there, Hannah asks others for information: Have they been at the location? When was this? etc. As time goes by, Hannah notices that some informants are more useful than others. For instance, informants who visited the site recently are better than testifiers who were there months ago. As Craig would have it, Hannah might eventually bundle together the properties that make for useful testifiers, invent a label (“knowledge”) for this bundle, and use this label to “flag good informants”.

Reynolds demurs. Craig saddles inquirers with too much work; after all, Craig’s inquirers need to keep track of the performance of many potential testifiers. Reynolds’ alternative is to let potential testifiers themselves do the checking. Potential testifiers evaluate whether they are good informants (whether p) and testify only if they are. The criteria for such evaluations can be thought of as “testimonial rules”: “social rules” that govern the conditions under which one ought, or ought not, to offer information to others. Members of the tribe learn and internalize these rules in response to, and motivated by, the approval and disapproval coming from others. The process leads to the introduction of a label, “gnowledge”, denoting “the sorts of relations persons have to their sayings when those saying are likely to be helpful” (51-52). Of course, not everything offered as gnowledge fits the bill; this suggests the introduction of “gnelief” as “failed gnowledge” (58).

Ultimately Reynolds is not, of course, interested in gnowledge and gnelief, but in knowledge and belief. And thus, he aims to make plausible that the function served by the former pair — to wit, securing acceptable testimony — is also the function served by the latter two. In order to make his case, Reynolds argues that gnowledge fits with the characterization KFE offers for knowledge.

First, like knowledge, so also gnowledge normally requires belief. This is because belief that p is a defeasible sign for the testifier having (had) good evidence for p. (76)

Second, gnowledge is factive. Naturally, sometimes falsehoods can be helpful, too, and sometimes we want more detail than just a bare-bone true answer (like “yes”). And testimony is of course fallible (67).

Third, epistemic “justification is the appearance of gnowledge to the subject . . . ” (69). We cannot expect more of our informants than that they refrain from saying that p when it appears to them that they lack gnowledge whether p. According to Reynolds, one can have an appearance that p without having the concepts for thinking that p; thus, even a dog can have the appearance of knowing. This is because “an appearance of our own knowledge is typically the awareness of many things: beliefs, feelings of doubt, perceptual experiences, memories, logical and evidential relationships among beliefs, and so on.” (100) Reynolds’ account also has a diachronic dimension. It may appear to me now (in 2017) that I saw Donald Trump in Moscow in 2015; even though back in 2015 in Moscow, I had no appearance of seeing Mr. Trump. Hence, I am not now justified in my belief. (109-116) Furthermore, it is possible for us to attribute gnowledge that p to informants even when they do not have the appearance of such gnowledge. This is the basis for externalist intuitions about justification. (70, 115)

With this unique combination of FFE and KFE in place, Reynolds then turns to discussing issues in the epistemology of testimony, doxastic voluntarism and the value of knowledge.

Testimony first. Here the key idea is what Reynolds calls “the social norms justification for accepting testimony”. When we lack specific evidence concerning a testifier’s reliability with respect to a particular issue, we tacitly reason as follows:

S testifies that p. She has been trained to testify only what she knows. So she is (very likely) expressing knowledge that p, in the absence of indications that she doesn’t know whether p. There are no such indications. So (very likely) she knows that p. If S knows that p, then it is true that p. Therefore (very likely) p. (125)

Reynolds maintains that this account is superior to Tyler Burge’s (1993) and Richard Moran’s (2005) well-known non-reductionist accounts of testimonial justification. In this context Reynolds also offers a “knowledge norm for testimony” as an improvement on the “knowledge norm for assertion”. (151)

Doxastic voluntarism is generally thought to be mistaken. Reynolds worries that his account might appear to be committed to it; after all, does not his theory involve us in telling others what they ought to believe? Ought implies can. The gist of Reynolds’ response is that “epistemic ‘ought’ judgements typically function to encourage a change in something other than the beliefs of the person they are about.” This “something other” are assertions that fall foul of our epistemic rules for assertion. (190-192)

Finally, why should we prefer knowledge over true belief? The answer falls naturally out of Reynolds’ FFE: we prefer knowledge since it is the result of complying with social-testimonial norms of which we collectively approve (195): “The good of knowledge is, as it were, created by our practice of approving it.” (206)

This is an intriguing book and one of the most important contributions to genealogical FFE. Reynolds’ criticisms of Craig’s FFE seem fair and on target. Craig really does give the tribe knowledge-entailing concepts already prior to the introduction of knowledge, and he has little to say about the testimonial rules we want our testifiers to internalize. Moreover, some Craigean epistemologists have struggled to find a way to reconcile FFE with KFE; Reynolds does so in the most convincing fashion. Readers with sympathies for empirical and experimental philosophy, or the sociology of knowledge, will also welcome Reynolds’ suggestions according to which our testimonial norms are many and highly diverse; that epistemic norms are social norms; or that epistemology is not a priori. Epistemology at its best is “big-picture theorizing” in light of the empirical results of “empirical anthropology”, “social psychology”, taken-for-granted “ordinary empirical knowledge”, and some intuitions (held in check by experimental philosophy) (8, 119-121). Reynolds’ discussion of issues in the epistemology of testimony also deserves praise: it is original, surefooted, and clear.

I now turn to some objections. The main shortcoming of the book is that — with the exception of a couple of perfunctory footnotes (p. 7, p. 64) — Reynolds makes no use of the scholarly debate to which Craig’s book has given rise. Even Craig’s own later discussion of genealogy is absent (2007). This shortcoming matters. Reynolds’ argument would have been (even) more compelling if he had engaged with other forms of FFE (some of which are close to his own), or if he had addressed some of the criticisms that have been directed at Craig, but that — mutatis mutandis — also apply to this book.

First, Reynolds dedicates three pages (81-83) to the question how his theory relates to Hilary Kornblith’s thesis that knowledge is a natural kind, like water or aluminium (2002). Reynolds regards the two analyses as fully compatible. The tribe baptizes certain paradigmatic instances of helpful testimony as “knowledge”, and social processes (like the linguistic division of labour) secure the continued reference to this natural kind (83). Unfortunately, this quick rapprochement ignores Kornblith’s detailed criticism of Craig in his “Why Should We Care About the Concept of Knowledge?” (2011). This paper maintains that Craig goes wrong in treating knowledge as a social-artificial rather than a natural kind. For Kornblith, since knowledge is a natural kind, we must approach it with the tools of ethology, and abandon all forms of conceptual investigations into knowledge, including those of FFE. This is not compatible with Reynolds’ epistemology.

Second, responding to Craig, several authors have drawn attention to other functions of knowledge attributions:

– signalling that inquiry is at an end (Kappel 2010, Kelp 2011, Rysiew 2012);

– identifying propositions we can treat as reasons for acting (McGrath 2015);

– providing assurance (Austin 1946, Lawlor 2013);

– distinguishing between blameless and blameworthy behaviour (Beebe 2012); and

– honouring the subject of knowledge attributions (Kusch 2009).

Some of these authors intend their proposals to be alternative claims about the central role of knowledge attributions (Kappel, Kelp, Lawlor, Rysiew), while others intend them to be complementary (Beebe, Kusch, McGrath). Clearly, some of these suggestions are in the proximity of Reynolds’ theory, while others directly contradict it. It would have been helpful to see how Reynolds positions himself relative to these competitors.

Third, given Reynolds’ frequent insistence on a continuity between epistemology and the social sciences, it is odd that Bernard Williams’ Truth and Truthfulness (2002) is only briefly mentioned in a four-line footnote. Williams offers a genealogy of the social institution of testimony, focused centrally on the question how we can bring testifiers to develop the epistemic virtues of “accuracy” and “sincerity”. Williams emphasises that the institution of testimony is a collective good. Individuals who are rational in a purely self-interested way will try to “free-ride”: they will seek to obtain accurate and sincere testimony from others without offering anything in return. After all, collecting useful information usually involves costly “investigative investments” (2002: 88). How is the problem of collective action solved? The core of Williams’ answer is that accuracy and sincerity (and with them the institution itself) must come to be regarded by community members as shared intrinsic — rather than as merely instrumental — values (2002: 90). And to achieve this goal, Williams says, people must be “discouraged or encouraged, sanctioned, shamed, or rewarded”. In other words, the structure “of mutual respect and the capacity for shame in the face of oneself and others, is a traditional, indeed archaic, ethical resource, but it is still very necessary” (2002: 44, 121). All this seems to me far too close to Reynolds’ position for him to set it aside. Moreover, Williams is arguably one step ahead of Reynolds: Williams recognizes that a focus on social norms must involve bringing social institutions and collective goods into the analysis.

Fourth, and finally, what made Craig’s book appealing to many of his readers were his efforts to use FFE to explain the intuitions behind, and the partial truth of, a wide variety of epistemic positions, from reliabilism to modal epistemology, from contextualism to scepticism. Reynolds’ focus is much narrower insofar as his main goal is to vindicate KFE. Scepticism makes no appearance. And neither do the recent debates over whether a genealogical FFE supports a contextualist or a relativist semantics for knowledge attributions (Greco 2007, Hannon 2013, Henderson 2009, McKenna 2013, MacFarlane 2014: 311-19). Undoubtedly, Reynolds’ study would have considerably gained in interest had he reflected on which of these views best fit with Knowledge as Acceptable Testimony.

These objections should not overshadow the many merits of the book. It deserves to be read not just by philosophers interested in genealogies but all epistemologists.


For comments on a first draft I am indebted to Michael Hannon, Robin McKenna and Matthieu Queloz. I gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the ERC (AG #339382).


Austin, J.L. (1946), “Other Minds”, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes 20, 148-187.

Beebe, J. R. (2012), “Social Functions of Knowledge Attributions”, in M. Gerken and J. Brown (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions, Oxford University Press, 220-242.

Burge, T. (1993), “Content Preservation”, The Philosophical Review, 102(4), 457-88.

Craig, E. (1990), Knowledge and the State of Nature: An Essay in Conceptual Synthesis, Clarendon Press.

—  —  —  —  —  — (2007), “Genealogies and the State of Nature”, in A. Thomas (ed.), Bernard Williams, Cambridge University Press, 181-200.

Greco, J. (2007), “The Nature of Ability and the Purpose of Knowledge”, Philosophical Issues, 17 (1), 57 — 69.

Hannon, M. (2013), “The Practical Origins of Epistemic Contextualism”, Erkenntnis 78 (4), 899-919.

Henderson, D. (2008), “Motivated Contextualism”, Philosophical Studies 142 (1), 119-131.

Kappel, K. (2010), “On Saying that Someone Knows: Themes from Craig”, in A. Haddock, A. Millar, and D. Pritchard (eds.), Social Epistemology, Oxford University Press, 69-88.

Kelp, C. (2011), “What’s the Point of ‘Knowledge’ Anyway?”, Episteme 8, 53-66.

Kornblith, H. (2002), Knowledge and its Place in Nature, Clarendon Press.

—  —  —  —  —  — (2011), “Why Should We Care About the Concept of Knowledge?”, Episteme 8, 38-52.

Kusch, M. (2009), “Testimony and the Value of Knowledge”, in A. Haddock, A. Millar, and D. Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value, Oxford University Press, 60-94.

Lawlor, K. (2013), Assurance: An Austinian View of Knowledge and Knowledge Claims, Oxford University Press.

MacFarlane, J. (2014), Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and its Applications, Oxford University Press.

McGrath, M. (2015), “Two Purposes of Knowledge Attribution and the Contextualism Debate”, in D. Henderson & J. Greco (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology, Oxford University Press, 138-157.

McKenna, R. (2013), “‘Knowledge’ Ascriptions, Social Roles and Semantics”, Episteme 10 (4), 335-350.

Moran, R. (2005), “Getting Told and Being Believed”, Philosopher’s Imprint, 5(5), 1-29.

Rysiew, P. (2012), “Epistemic Scorekeeping”, in J. Brown & M. Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions, Oxford University Press, 270-294

Williams, B. (2002), Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy, Oxford University Press.

Williamson, T. (2000), Knowledge and Its Limits, Oxford University Press.

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Crítica y dialéctica frente al pensamiento débil y lo políticamente correcto . François Julliard ( con traducción española) plantea estos argumentos anti posmodernos

Críticas dialécticas sobre las culturas en tiempos de lo políticamente correcto y las ideologías posmodernas al uso

Definir el concepto de Ideología en tiempos posmodernos. Desde una Filosofía crítica y dialéctica

En el libro de Jesús González Maestro titulado Crítica de la Razón Literaria. El Materialismo Filosófico como Teoría, como crítica y como dialéctica de la Literatura, obra en tres volúmenes, se utiliza un concepto esencial para ejercer la Filosofía crítica, no idealista ni dogmática. Es el concepto de IDEOLOGIA, tantas veces utilizado y tan pocas veces tratado con el rigor analítico que es necesario y conveniente desde la actividad filosófica materialista.

En este enlace lo podemos encontrar.

DEFINICION DE IDEOLOGIA , crítica y dialécticamente planteada