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Orphans of the One or the Deception of the Immanence

Essays on the Roots of Secularization

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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 II: Plato’s parricide: Self-identity from Ontological to Formal Principle 69

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69 Essay II: Plato’s parricide: Self-identity from Ontological to Formal Principle Introduction In the previous Essay it has been argued that the roots of the Western process of secularization are to be found in Parmenides’ identification of the ‘first principle’ of ancient cosmogonies and theogonies – invariably conceived by the human mind as a simple being without further attributes – with the self-identity of thought. I need to point out that what concerns me of Parmenides’ intuition is not the identification of the ontological dimension with the logical and noetic dimension, but rather his undeniable deciphering of a principle, considered until then impenetrable and unthinkable, in the terms of an Absolute that pervades all that is thinkable by our thought, included becoming itself, and outside of which there is nothing rational, true and thinkable. In this sense, and this is the aspect that I want to underline, with Parmenides we witness the end of the mysteriosophic knowledge that envelops the religious and theosophical One, and the end of the numinous relationship between this unknowable first principle and the many that proceed from it: a relationship that because of its mysterious and ‘irrational’ nature is denied by Parmenides who excludes the many from the rational dimension of the One. Starting with Parmenides, the many cease to proceed from the womb of Being, but remain in it, for they are themselves being, or are relegated into nothingness. Because Being is and all there is, is Being. This is the necessary tautology that will never...

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