Essays on the Roots of Secularization
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.
Essay VI: The Presumption of Movement 163
163 Essay VI: The Presumption of Movement Introduction The conceptualization of movement has always been problematical for Western thought, ever since Parmenides declared our incapacity to conceptualize the plurality of change, because our thought can only know an identical being. Following this, Zeno of Elea with his famous paradoxes of movement proved in a paradigmatic way the im- possibility to understand the passage from immobility to change, formalized by his master Parmenides with his famous ‘prohibition’1. The ‘prohibition’ says that our thought which is self-identical in its form, cannot understand change, the non-being between two suc- cessive identities and in the specific case, the movement between two self-identical positions. This constraint to which I will refer often as the ‘identity constraint’, means that within the logical framework of the identity, movement can never be conceptualized or rationally understood by our self-identical mind, but only presumed because of the sensory evidence we have of it. We will look in detail at these claims, related to Zeno’s paradoxes, in section 2 of this essay, whilst in the concluding section we will put forth the hypothesis that this self-identity of thought which is the explicit logical framework in which Zeno’s paradoxes arise, can shine a fundamental light on what are considered observational impasses or paradoxes in quantum measurement and argue that therein consists the epistemological coherence and continuity between the macroworld of classical physics 1 We find this expression in the Sophist where Plato often refers to Parmenides’ prohibition to bridge the one...
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