Pessoa, *Philosophical Essays*

The half-sceptic speaks like Socrates, I know only that I know nothing.  The whole sceptic speaks like Francisco Sanches: Haud scio me nihil scire, I do not even know if I know nothing.


The end of reason is a weariness of thinking.  Yet reason is so strong that even its weariness is a part of its strength and we dream rationally if we have learnt reason.

Those bits are from this (uneven) volume.


Well, I don't even know, if I know, that I know nothing.

Ha! Truly my wisdom is matched only by my humility.

This is quite interesting recommendation.

Dear commenters, you may also read The Anarchist Banker by Fernando Pessoa, Ricardo Reis or whatever he wanted to be known.

Prof. Cowen, what is the original language of the essays? Portuguese, English, French?

Mr. Pessoa, in his famous poetic works, mentions Prophet Bandarra, who predicted the Portuguese-Speaking Fifith Empire, which will lead the world and led by the Hidden One, a Messianic figure. Is the election of Portuguese-speaking Brazil's President Captain Bolsonaro, who middle name is Messiah, a sign of things to come? Are we watching prophetic fulfillment?


How can you be sure? Think about it. A man was attacked by terrorist, he walked throught the valley of death and came back to save his country (and maybe the world) from tyranny. It is hard to not see the Biblical overtones.

Are you joking or are you being serious?

Beung serious. I have been reading about Brazil's leader, President Captain Bolsonaro, lately, and he surely is a very unusual political figure. Brazilians are also a very unusual people. Did you know they are the only modern country who never fought a war of aggression and never was defeated at war?

Iceland? Or does the Cod War count?

Iceland, it is a somewhat young country. The King of Denmark was its king up to WW II. I admit that, as a far as I can't remember, it never fought a war of aggression or was defeated. The same can be said about a few young African republics such as Cape Verde.

Anyway, Brazil,is the only long-established, major country that has never waged a war of aggresion and has never been defeated.

No, they are not.

And Bolsonaro is just your run-of-the-mill corrupt South American wannabe dictator. We've some that before, and we are going to see it again.

É por outras palavras, um ditadorzeco da treta a ver se orienta a sua vida à custa do estado. Nada de novo aqui,


PS. Nem sequer sei porque é que estamos para aqui a discutir as profecias do Bandarra do Trancoso. Que perda de tempo!

Not at all. Brazil's President Captain Bolsonaro has anew, bold vision for Brazil. His motto is, "Brazil above everything. God above everyone".

He is implementing the most radical free market reforms since Perestroika. It is amazing. He has vowed to give Brazil the place it really deserves among the nations.

As a famous Brazilian anthem says,

"From the Universe among Nations/
Shines brightly that of Brazil./
From the Universe among Nations/
From the Universe among Nations
Shines brightly that of Brazil."

There is good reason to believe Mr. Bandsrra predicted the rise of Brazil.


Again, how can you be so sure? A man from an oppressed nation was targed by killers for his preaching, walked throught the valley of death and came back to save his people (and maybe the world) from tyranny. It is hard to miss the obvious Biblical overtones.

The more Arthur Hunter III posts, the more he reads like Thiago Ribeiro, hehehe...

Oh, I have read some of Mr. Ribeiro's comments. He seems to be a very insightful and knowledgeable fellow.

It sounds like something from Ecclesiastes
1: 6 I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” 17Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

“This too is meaningless.”
2: 16 For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
the days have already come when both have been forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise too must die!
Toil Is Meaningless

But then there is this

" I will send my angel to guide thee"

Exodus 23:20

God needs friends, too, and for some of us, our goal in life is to be someone God enjoys conversations with

Toil, in the sense of efforts to understand truth


Just saying ymmv

Is Pessoa here a stand-in for poets who purport to "think"? (as opposed to philosophers whose careers consist of applying brown lipstick a posteriori to the backsides of scientists and technologists they adore)

--or: is Pyrrhonism being deemed unsuitable for contemporary consumption (since no one today claiming to be informed can fail to have--or express--an opinion concerning any matter at all)?

--or is TC attempting to blame Dadaists, surrealists, and anti-rationalists for all the calamities that rationalism and positivism unleashed between August 1914 and November 1918?

(If TC likes Pessoa's poetry, he could say so plainly.)


"Hoc unum scio, me nihil scire".

HOC, not HAUD.

"Hoc unum scio, me nihil scire".

Sorry, I made a mistake. HAUD IS FINE :)

So what do you know?Do you know Hamilton?

Reason ends with the observation of the nonlogical. If you reason to nothing, you must see what simply is regardless of your reasoning.. For some, love, for others depression, and some suffering. If you cannot deny it, it must be something different.

Reason is not an end in and of itself, but must recognize the things it cannot just wash away.

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