Tamara Caraus

Praxis-CFUL / University of Lisbon

Marx’s Radical Cosmopolitics

27 October 2020, 18h00 (Lisbon Time – GMT+0)

Due to the current health restrictions, this session will take place entirely via Zoom Follow this link

Meeting ID: 884 7169 1230

Password: 746274



“The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country” says the Communist Manifesto, the same text which states that “The working men have no country” and ends with the famous call “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!”. The ‘bourgeois cosmopolitanism’ was the object of critique in different texts authored by Marx (and Engels). Thus, Marx underlined that “political economy displays a cosmopolitan, universal energy which overthrows every restriction and bond, but comes out in its complete cynicism” (Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844) and that “free competition and world trade gave birth to hypocritical cosmopolitanism and the notion of man”(German Ideology). However, Marx’s critique of ‘bourgeois cosmopolitanism’ was not formulated from a local or national perspective, but from the perspective of a  radical cosmopolitics whose main elements, as this presentation argues, could be detected in (i) the immanent critique of “bourgeois cosmopolitanism” or of globalised capitalism, (ii) in the ‘ruthless criticism of everything existing’ or in the emancipatory and transformational role of Marx’s radical  critique, (iii) in the proletariat as a cosmopolitical agency from below, (iv) in the missing theory of state in Marx’s oeuvre, (v) in the stake on the transformation of consciousness and self-emancipation, and (vi) in Marx’s unavoidable  humanism. In this radical cosmopolitics, cosmopolitan and communist horizons tend to become one, and the radical cosmo-communist politics appears as the real stake of struggle against global injustice, both in Marx’s time and now.



Musical Contagion and the Metaphorical Mind: What Music Teaches Us About Emotion
Federico Lauria (LanCog, University of Lisbon)

23 October 2020, 16:00 | The talk will be given in a mixed presence regime

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & live-streamed

Abstract: Music can infect us. For instance, listeners may feel sad because they perceive an Irish lament as sad. Contagion is central to musical experience and emotion regulation. What is it? What does it teach us about emotion? Many argue that contagion teaches us that the main theory of emotions as cognitive evaluations (cognitivism) is flawed. When feeling sad in response to sad music, we do not evaluate the music as unfortunate; nothing bad happened. According to the dominant picture, music contaminates us through mimicry independently of value appraisal (non-cognitivism). Against this trend, this paper proposes to rescue cognitivism from the musical challenge by offering a new account in terms of metaphor cognition: the value metaphor view. The main claim is that contagion is experiencing the music as a metaphor for emotions and for values, such as unfortunate things. Music “sounds like” emotions and values. This view can rebut the musical challenge to cognitivism. I motivate this account by arguing that non-cognitivism is poorly motivated and by making extensive use of empirical findings. As philosophers have neglected the ample empirical literature on this topic, this project fills an important gap.

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: https://cful.letras.ulisboa.pt/lancog/registration/

What is Moving Right Now?
Elton Marques (LanCog, University of Lisbon)

16 October 2020, 16:00 | The talk will be given in a mixed presence regime

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia) & live-streamed

Abstract: In this talk, I put forth an answer to a scarcely discussed question concerning a particular view in the metaphysics of time, namely the Moving Spotlight Theory (MST). The main advantage of this theory lies in the fact that it introduces a clear view of the kind of nature that might correspond to the ‘moving spotlight’ responsible for the passage of time. More specifically, the account I shall defend in this talk clearly indicates what the spotlight model refers to. The main goal of the talk is not the defense of the moving spotlight theory in itself, but rather an approach for understanding the metaphor at the core of this theory. To achieve this purpose, I will promote the union of two components: a) the idea that the present is the awareness of our mental states, and b) the idea that the flow of such an awareness of our mental states should correspond to the passage of time and to the spotlight itself. I purport to show what is required to satisfy the concept of the ‘spotlight’ in an illuminating way and address anticipated difficulties.

Free Attendance, but preregistration required: https://cful.letras.ulisboa.pt/lancog/registration/

Reading Group within the Praxis-CFUL activities

Working language: English

Convener: Tamara Caraus (tcaraus@letras.ulisboa.pt)


Argument: Currently, visibility and the fact of being visible acquire an unprecedented importance: ‘views’ on social media are becoming a source of self-esteem and self-respect for the users, the increasing number of ‘views’ acquires economic value, and the notions such as ‘economy of attention’ are being advanced to capture the new reality of economics. Apart from social media, the proliferation of reality shows display a need to be seen of ‘ordinary’ persons, as though striving to have the ‘15 minutes of fame’ (anticipated by Andy Warhol). Concomitantly, the main political stake of political actions now is to make the injustice visible. In the logic of protest movements and ‘occupations’, if we are to register and respond rightly to conditions of suffering and injustice, these conditions must be visible. The different needs of being visible generate some puzzling questions concerning ethics and politics of visibility: Is the fact of being visible a kind of ontological guarantee of person’s being?  If we inhabit a world in which visibility is shaped by structures of domination, and in which individuals’ capacities for ethical perception and judgment are often substantially compromised by the existent power, do those who are less visible have less ‘being’? Is the contemporary situation a tragicomic reversal of the Benthamic-Orwellian notion of the panopticon society in which we are (potentially) observed all the time and have no place to hide from the omnipresent gaze of the Power, since today anxiety arises from the prospect of not being seen?  Can the maxim ‘I think, therefore I am’ be replaced by “I am looked at, therefore I am?’, etc. In order to answer these questions, the proposed Reading Group aims to go back to the authors who (attempted to) identify Being with appearing (Heidegger and Arendt), examined the ‘dialectics’ of visible and invisible (Merleau-Ponty), described the need for the Other’s gaze serving as the guarantee of the subject’s being (Lacan), defined politics as re-distribution of the sensible and the visible (Ranciere) and offered a critique of the ‘pornographic age’ (Badiou).



Meetings& Readings:

Session I – 27 February 2020: Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, Yale University Press (translation by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt), Chapter 4, pp. 98 – 210.

Session II –  15 October 2020: Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind, Harcourt, New York and London, 1978 (volume 1 and 2 combined), Vol. 1 Chapter I “Appearances” and Chapter II “Mental Activities in a World of Appearances”, pp. 19-129.

Session III – 29 October 2020:  Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible (Edited by Claude Lefort, translated By Alphonso L. Ngis) Northwestern University Press, 1968; Michel Henry, Seeing The Invisible.(Translated by Scott Davidson), Continuum 2009, p. 5-12.

Session IV – 12 November 2020: Jacques Lacan, “Of The Gaze As Objet Petit a” In The Seminars of Jacques Lacan, Book XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, translated by Alan Sheridan) Norton, 1981, pp. 67 – 123.

Session V – 26 November 2020: Jacques Ranciere, Disagreement (translation by Julie Rose), University of Minnesota Press, 1999.

Session VI – 10 December 2020: Alain Badiou, The Pornographic Age (translated by A. J. Bartlett, J. Clemens) Bloomsbury Academic, 2020.

Session VII:  14 January 2021: Round-Up meeting: Is an Ethics and Politics of Visibility Possible?  Visibility versus Recognition?


Some other readings of these and other authors may be added, according to the development of the theme from the suggested titles.


Steven Gouveia

University of Minho

Altruísmo eficaz: Uma análise crítica

20 October 2020, 18h00

Update: The session will take place entirely via Zoom. Here the link

ID Meeting: 820 4735 9419

Password: 424573



Imagine a seguinte situação: está a passear tranquilamente por Lisboa e decide apanhar o metro. Aguardando que o mesmo chegue, repara que uma senhora idosa que por ali passava tinha acabado de cair na linha do metro. Pior que isso, o metro vai chegar em um minuto. Salvar a senhora é possível, mas terá de sair do seu conforto para a salvar de ser atropelada. Dado que é não é uma pessoa moralmente repreensível, percebe que o correcto a fazer é socorrer a senhora e decide, assim, levantar-se para a auxiliar a subir para a plataforma do metro e garantir a sua segurança. E se soubesse que pode salvar muito mais pessoas do que apenas nesta situação particular, sem perder nada de moralmente significativo, mas somente alterando algumas atitudes da sua vida? Nesta palestra, iremos discutir um conjunto de ideias com a denominação de “Altruísmo Eficaz”, uma abordagem baseada no pensamento de Peter Singer, um dos intelectuais mais influentes da actualidade. Analisaremos os principiais pressupostos, as suas variadas aplicações (e.g. pobreza, ética animal, caridade) assim como as suas principias críticas e objeções, concluindo que estas parecem mais promissoras se aplicadas a uma versão “forte” do Altruísmo Eficaz, acabando por defender que uma defesa “fraca” do mesmo poderá ser pragmaticamente mais viável.


Knowledge-first account of group knowledge
Domingos Faria (LanCog, University of Lisbon)

9 October 2020, 16:00 | The talk will be given in a mixed presence regime

Abstract: In this talk, we want to relate two trending topics in contemporary epistemology: the discussion of group knowledge and the discussion of knowledge-first approach. In social epistemology of group knowledge no one has yet seriously applied and developed Williamson (2000)’s theory of knowledge-first approach. For example, explanations for group knowledge, as presented by Tuomela (2004), Corlett (2007), Gilbert (2014), and Lackey (2020), assume that knowledge is analyzed in terms of more basic concepts, such as group belief, group justification, and so on. However, if Williamson (2000)’s theory is correct, these are not good explanations for understanding group knowledge. Thus, we want to analyze what consequences Williamson (2000)’s theory has for social epistemology, namely for an understanding of group knowledge. We argue that a consequence of knowledge-first approach for understanding group knowledge is to account for factive mental states at collective level (in ways that are not reducible at individual level). So it is necessary to provide and develop a plausible understanding of collective minds and collective mental states in a non-reductionist way.

Why Sensory Consciousness Can’t be Essentially Representational
David Papineau (KCL/CUNY)

25 September 2020, 16:00 | The talk will be given via the virtual platform Zoom

Abstract: Representationalism about sensory experience might be intuitive, but it faces the metaphysical challenge of explaining why conscious character (what-it’s-likeness) and representational content (correctness conditions) should be metaphysically intertwined. I shall argue that representationalism lacks the resources to do this. Attempts to defend representationalism by appealing to “transparency” only deepen the difficulties. In truth, representational content is metaphysically incommensurate with conscious character.

Da Restituição: Sobre a Propriedade e a Origem do Poder Civil

Direcção: Pedro Calafate, Ricardo Ventura
Coordenação: José Carlos Lopes de Miranda, Ricardo Ventura


Este volume traz pela primeira vez à estampa um acervo de manuscritos latinos de professores das Universidades de Salamanca, Coimbra e Évora do período renascentista sobre o tema da restituição como ato da justiça, em atenção à centralidade das vítimas.
Incidem privilegiadamente sobre a construção de princípios universais de direito natural e de jus gentium, definindo direitos humanos universais e solidificando a ideia de justiça como condição da construção dos impérios ultramarinos de Portugal e Espanha, ao mesmo tempo que permitem sublinhar a perenidade do seu legado pela afirmação de que a reparação das vítimas não constitui uma obrigação secundária que vem depois da violação do direito internacional. Violação e restituição/reparação, no plano da relação entre indivíduos e povos, caminhavam a par e formavam um todo indissolúvel, porque já então lidávamos com direitos inerentes à pessoa humana anteriores e superiores ao Estado emergente, que não dependiam da vontade dos soberanos.
Por seu turno, a natureza específica do conceito de restituição colocava como condição prévia a análise do conceito de domínio, dividido em duas espécies: o domínio de jurisdição (poder civil) e o domínio de propriedade, alargando-se também à candente questão da escravatura legal, na medida em que configurava uma relação de domínio de um homem sobre outro homem.
Assim, os textos em apreço incidem sobre a restituição do domínio de jurisdição, do domínio de propriedade e da liberdade natural dos homens, desde que usurpados, congregando o direito natural e o direito das gentes.



Data de edição: 2020

Editora: Almedina


De acordo com as classificações atribuídas, o júri deliberou, por unanimidade, a seguinte seriação:

1. Francisca Silva
2. João C. Miranda
3. Inês Sousa Marques
4. Bernardo Santos
5. André Ferreira
6. Susana dos Reis
7. João M. Miranda
8. Vinicius Barreto


A Acta n.º 2 com a verificação e aplicação do método de selecção de candidatos e apresentação do projecto de lista de ordenação (*) pode ser consultada em https://www.letras.ulisboa.pt/pt/investigacao/bolsas-flul

(*) Da Proposta de Ordenação Final podem os/as candidatos/as reclamar no prazo de 10 dias úteis contados a partir da sua publicação (04 a 17 de Setembro 2020)


De acordo com as classificações atribuídas, o júri deliberou, por unanimidade, a seguinte seriação:

1. Hugo Luzio
2. Raoul Marian
3. Inês Sousa Marques
4. Bernardo Santos
5. Susana dos Reis
6. David Amaral
7. Miguel Correia
8. Paula Faria
9. Vinicius Barreto
10. João Rochate da Palma
11. Fernando Schneider

A Acta n.º 2 com a verificação e aplicação do método de selecção de candidatos e apresentação do projecto de lista de ordenação (*) pode ser consultada em https://www.letras.ulisboa.pt/pt/investigacao/bolsas-flul

(*) Da Proposta de Ordenação Final podem os/as candidatos/as reclamar no prazo de 10 dias úteis contados a partir da sua publicação (04 a 17 de Setembro 2020)