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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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Essay I: Consciousness as the One, Self-Same Thought that Represents the Many 33


33 Essay I: Consciousness as the One, Self-Same Thought that Represents the Many a) The One of cosmogonies is the self-sameness of thought In the Sophist1 Plato writes that we should commit parricide against our father Parmenides for he issued the prohibition to talk about non being or the non identical or change which, according to Parmenides, would make us behave as two headed creatures for we assert and deny at the same time.2 Since Parmenides ‘prohibition’ the philosophical thought of the West has, in fact, explored the ways to know the Many or change, the non-identical becoming, with the same certainty of the One. As much as this would appear intuitively desirable, the question of why it should be so needs to be addressed. Why should it be desirable for thought to know the Many as One and why, as a matter of fact, this same certainty of the one has been pursued and is still pursued in the many with unimaginable passion and at enormous costs, both moral and material, especially by the West and the Westernized world? What is it that makes our thought happy with the One more than the Many? But first of all, let us ask: what is the origin and what has shaped this idea of the One and the Many in the West? 1 Plato, Sophist 241. 2 ‘...but also from this, on which mortals who know nothing wander, double- headed; for helplessness guides the wandering thought in their hearts. They are...

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