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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 VII: The Self-deception of Nihilism 195

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195 Essay VII: The Self-deception of Nihilism a) The absolutization of the Many The post modern era has received its strongest stamp by the nihilistic and relativistic thought and, more precisely, by its absolutization of the many and of relativism as a positive value, as the new absolute. So, the many in the place of the One. But a many which has been emptied of its naturalistic strength just by the equalizing force of the secularized One of our technocratic culture, and so a many which can do nothing but languish in the spires of the absurd without either its own natural strength nor a foundation in the transcendent One. By unearthing the dichotomy of One and Many as both features constitutive of human thought, it should be possible to bring about the end of the in-determination and in-difference which characterizes post-modern pluralism. Of course, this may be just naïve ‘animism’, as Freud stigmatized the belief of philosophical thought that ‘…the real events in the world take the course which our thinking seeks to impose on them…’1 However, to acknowledge the dichotomy as an insuperable feature of our thought, even if it may not dissolve the nihilistic soul of the West that has issued from the equalization of the many, it should at least allow us to look with disenchanted clarity upon our desire for unification, on one hand, and our irreducible temporal dimension, on the other and to judge with similar clarity the unilateral attempts to reduce...

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