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Raffoul (2020) – O princípio da razão tem uma razão?

terça-feira 12 de março de 2024, por Cardoso de Castro


[…] como Heidegger demonstra no seu curso de 1955-1956, O Princípio da Razão, o princípio da razão auto-desconstrói-se porque não pode aplicar a si próprio os seus próprios requisitos sem se autodestruir a si próprio: se o princípio da razão afirma que tudo o que acontece tem de ter uma razão, então qual é a razão do princípio da razão? O princípio da razão tem uma razão? "De fato, o princípio da razão, enquanto princípio, não é nada. O princípio é ele próprio alguma coisa. Portanto, de acordo com o que o próprio princípio nos diz, é o tipo de coisa que deve ter uma razão. Qual é a razão do princípio da razão?" (GA:10). O princípio da razão tem uma razão? Nada poderia ser menos certo. "Nihil   est sine ratione. Nada é sem razão, diz o princípio de razão. Nada — o que significa que nem mesmo este princípio de razão, muito menos ele. Pode então acontecer que o princípio da razão, aquilo de que fala, e esse falar em si, não pertençam à jurisdição do princípio da razão. Pensar isto é um grande fardo. Em suma, significa que o princípio da razão não tem razão. Dito de forma ainda mais clara: ’Nada é sem razão’ — isto, que é algo, é sem razão" (GA10  :27). Aqui se adivinha como o princípio da razão está aprisionado num círculo (Qual é a razão do princípio da razão? Qual é o fundamento de um fundamento?) que o lançará numa auto-desconstrução, isto é, no abismo do seu próprio fundamento impossível.


Engaging in the project of “thinking the event” consists in undertaking a philosophical inquiry into what constitutes an event as an event, its very eventfulness: not   what happens, not why it happens, but that it happens, and what does “happening” mean. Not the eventum, what has happened, but the evenire, the sheer happening of what happens. However, at the outset of such a work, one is immediately confronted with the following obstacle: the event has traditionally been understood and neutralized within a philosophy of substance or essence, a metaphysics of causality, subjectivity, and reason—in a word, subjected to the demands of rational thought. An event is interpreted either as the accident of a substrate or substance, as the effect or deed of a subject or an agent, or else it is ordered and organized according to causality, if it is not included within fate or a rational order. In all instances, it answers to the demands of the principle of sufficient reason, which states that no event happens without a cause or a reason. In the words of Leibniz  , the “great” principle of natural philosophy and key metaphysical principle of truth is “the principle of sufficient reason, namely, that nothing happens without a reason why it should be so rather than otherwise.” [1] Leibniz posits that events must conform to the principle of sufficient reason and that no event can occur without a reason or a ground: in fact, every event must be as it were prepared in advance to be the event that it is, conditioned by a determinant reason: “For the nature of things requires that every event should have beforehand its proper conditions, requirements and dispositions, the existence of which makes the sufficient reason of such an event.” [2] Such reason can be a cause, as the principle of sufficient reason merges with a “principle of causality,” which states that every event is caused to be the event that it is. Indeed, Leibniz includes in the principle of reason a principle of causality: “Nothing is without reason, or no effect is without a cause.” [3] Although not every reason is a cause, every cause is a reason.

Ultimately, as Heidegger demonstrates in his 1955–1956 lecture course, The Principle of Reason, the principle of reason self-deconstructs because it cannot apply to itself its own requirements without undermining itself: if the principle of reason states that everything that happens must have a reason, then what is the reason for the principle of reason? Does the principle of reason have a reason? “Indeed the principle of reason is, as a principle, not nothing. The principle is itself something. Therefore, according to what the principle itself tells us, it is the sort of thing that must have a reason. What is the reason for the principle of reason?” (GA 10, 17/PR, 11). Does the principle of reason have a reason? Nothing could be less certain. “Nihil est sine ratione. Nothing is without reason, says the principle of reason. Nothing—which means not even this principle of reason, certainly it least of all. It may then be that the principle of reason, that whereof it speaks, and this speaking itself do not belong within the jurisdiction of the principle of reason. To think this remains a grave burden. In short it means that the principle of reason is without reason. Said still more clearly: ‘Nothing without reason’—this, which is something, is without reason” (GA 10, 27/PR, 17, emphasis mine). One divines here how the principle of reason is caught in a circle (What is the reason of the principle of reason? What is the foundation of a foundation?) that will throw it into a self-deconstruction, that is, into the abyss of its own impossible foundation.

Indeed, in order to be a ground, the ground must itself be without foundation and therefore groundless. This led Gilles Deleuze   to speak of the paradoxical nature of the logic of grounding, of the “comical ungrounding” of the principle of reason: “But who still speaks of a foundation, when the logic of grounding or the principle of reason leads precisely to its own ‘ungrounding,’ comical and disappointing.” [4] The principle of reason does collapse (“run aground”) at the very place of its impossible foundation, “there where,” as Derrida   puts it in Rogues, “the Grund   opens up onto the Abgrund, where giving reasons [rendre-raison] and giving an account [rendre-compte]—logon didonai or principium reddendae rationis  —are threatened by or drawn into the abyss.” [5] Heidegger revealed this self-deconstructive aspect of the principle of reason by following the logic of the question “why?”: “Whenever we pursue the ground/reason of a being, we ask: why? Cognition stalks this interrogative word from one reason to another. The ‘why’ allows no rest, offers no stop, gives no support” (GA 10, 185/PR, 126, my emphasis). The question “why?” seeking a foundation, in fact reveals an abyss, betraying that reason itself may lack a rational basis. Kant   spoke of reason as a drive, a Trieb  , of an “interest” of reason (Interesse   der Vernunft  ), thereby pointing to a certain nonrational basis of reason, which led Derrida to ask: “The honor of reason—is that reason? Is honor reasonable or rational through and through? The very form of this question can be applied analogically to everything that evaluates, affirms, or prescribes reason: to prefer reason, is that rational or, and this is something else, reasonable? The value of reason, the desire for reason, the dignity of reason—are these rational? Do these have to do wholly with reason?” (R, 120). Is reason rational? Is the principle of reason rational? Does reason have a reason? These questions reveal the aporia harbored in the principle of reason.

Ver online : François Raffoul

RAFFOUL, François. Thinking the event. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020

[1G. W. Leibniz and Samuel Clarke, Correspondence, ed. Roger Ariew (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2000), 7.

[2Leibniz and Clarke, Correspondence, 39.

[3Cited in Martin Heidegger, Der Satz vom Grund, ed. by Petra Jaeger (Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Vittorio Klostermann, 1997), GA 10, 32. Martin Heidegger, The Principle of Reason (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), 21. Hereafter cited as PR.

[4Cited in François Zourabichvili, Gilles Deleuze: A Philosophy of the Event, ed. Gregg Lambert and Daniel W. Smith, trans. Kieran Aarons (Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2012), 57. Hereafter cited as POE.

[5Jacques Derrida, Rogues, trans. Michael Naas and Pascale-Anne Brault (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005), 122. Hereafter cited as R.