Maria Joao Neves

Maria Joao Neves

I am a portuguese philosophical practitioner having established my practice in Tavira (Algarve, Portugal) in 2006 and published a book on my methodology, Método RVP© - Prática Filosófica no Quotidiano (The RVP Method - Poetical Ratiovitalism: Philosophical Practice in Ordinary Life), in 2009. Phenomenology of dreams is a particularly important part of the RVP Method.

I currently work as a post-doctoral scholar at Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), where under a grant from the Foundation for Science and Technology of Portugal I do research on musical aesthetics. I received my Ph.D. in Contemporary Philosophy from UNL in 2002 with a dissertation on María Zambrano. As a professor, I lecture mainly on Ethics and Aesthetics.

I began piano studies at the age of four, singing and dancing instruction following slightly later. I completed my training as a vinyasa flow yoga instructor in 2011. While not pursued professionally, these activities were never abandoned because it is impossible to leave what nourishes the soul.

I contribute regularly to indexed scientific journals, please see my page at:ãoNeves

Philosophical Practice blog at:



Did you ever dream of traveling to the fourth century B.C., entering the Agora and ending up bumping into a philosophical dialogue?

Did you ever, after your workout, with all that dopamine energizing you, feel the need for a walk in the fresh air with intelligent company? And then thought how lucky those Peripatetics were....

Philosophy and poetry have a common origin: the wonder at the presence of things. Philosophy distinguishes itself from poetry in the moment at which the philosopher breaks his ecstatic wonder by renouncing the multiplicity of appearances to which the poet binds himself. The philosopher seeks unity. One's initial static wonder is violently broken by questioning, and the understanding becomes the dominant faculty.

Both the musicologist David Burrows and the philosopher María Zambrano call attention to the fact that most common epistemological metaphors are visual. Visual experience is fundamentally unambiguous. It is clear, orderly and predictable whereas the experience of sound is fundamentally equivocal, polyvalent and uncertain: "If 'seeing is believing', then hearing is in fact often a matter of guessing and hoping. People speak of the light ― but not of the sound ― of reason," says Burrows. Zambrano tells us, rather, about the metaphor of the heart: something resists the light of thought.

Since the origins of philosophy in ancient Greece, reason has been regarded as the highest quality of mankind. Conceptual thinking is actually what in the West we consider to make us superior to all other living creatures. Western philosophy builds on creating complex conceptual frameworks such as those Kant, Hegel or the first Heidegger.


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