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Orphans of the One or the Deception of the Immanence

Essays on the Roots of Secularization


Alba Papa-Grimaldi

Through a collection of essays in metaphysics, epistemology and ethics, this book explores the evolution of the idea of the One and Many.
Since Parmenides’ dichotomy of One and Many, the One of the ancient cosmogonies has been reduced to a pole of our thought, a sterile identity which has been identified with truth but cannot bring forth nor give order to the Many. The author reflects on how the Parmenidean dichotomy has led, for many centuries after Parmenides, to the metaphysical attempts to reduce the Many to the One, causing unsolvable epistemological problems, and to the metaphysical dissolution of the One in the Many of time, causing the moral crisis of the West. Further, this study analyses the epistemic and spiritual impasse of the West and shows a possible solution to this problem: to unearth the forgotten dichotomy, the key to understand millenarian philosophical problems, such as consciousness, movement and causality, which are deadlocked because they all stem from the reduction of temporal phenomena within the framework of a rational thought which is unable to account for the non-identical.


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Introduction – The Deception of the Immanence 9


9Introduction – The Deception of the Immanence There are times in life, when even a philosopher will have to ask herself: What is a human being? Even we who have conceptualized morality, even we who have presumed to have the right to ask: what is virtue, what is justice, even before asking, even before having understood what is a human being, even we should stop and try to understand of whom we are talking about and what this being is capable to bear. The Aristotelian definition of zoon politikon which appeared in Greek thought whilst it was trying to recover from the scission of One and Many, formalized by Parmenides at the dawn of philosophical speculation, offers us, not by chance, a fundamental point of departure and analysis. Man is an animal who lives in society because ‘by nature he cannot be without the others’, says Aristotle (Politics 125a 27). Man is many other things, it will be remarked, and yet this is the only one that defines him as a limit, the only one that limits his individual power, and is, therefore, the fundamental motor of his becoming, of his temporality, where this latter is an exclusive character of the human zoon. Man is zoon logon echon because he is politikon: there would be no language, and without it no representation, and, therefore, temporal conscience, if there were no association amongst human beings. Therefore, his societal nature and the search for a cohabitation more and more functional to his needs,...

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