To my Philosophy Teacher

ERNST BLOCH

(1885 - 1977)

 

 

 

PREFACE

 

Thinking is surpassing.

Ernst Bloch

The Truth is the Whole.

Hegel

The Truth is Always Concrete.

Lenin

To think healthy is the greatest perfection;

Wisdom is to tell the Truth, to act according

to Nature, to listen to her.

Heracleitus

 

 

 

Quo Vadis? What is to be done?

 

 

Whither goest thou? This answering question presupposes a concrete-abstract dialogical trinity: „I“, „Thou“ and a material process. „I“ and ‘‘Thou’’ are related, they change, they move, hence they form a social contradiction. Perhaps „I“ do not know where „Thou“ goest. „Whither” is „going“, is Motion, Change, Movement. And, movement is by Someone or Something, within Something in process.

 

This Motion has a „whither”, a latency-tendency, a potency-potentiality. On Earth, precisely in this evolutionary-withering, revolutionary-contradictory material process, the questioning answer of „quo vadis?“ lies, as an effluent-affluent reality. In the fatherland, in the patria, in the labour process, this material synthesis, which forever reproduces itself, tends towards Being or Non-Being, to Everything, but not to Not-Being, to Nothing, and it co-determines the „goest“ of Thou, but, of greater significance is the reality that „I“ and „Thou“, in patrian, universal Society, codetermine the „wither” and withering away of Nature, at least within the ever-extending limitations and horizons, but, as a result of social non-relations, not vice versa.

 

Ruling Class Man is permanently humanizing, that is, alienating his natural environment, and the result, this „Second Nature“ is perpetually „naturizing“, that is, threatening human society. Within this processual context we encounter the concrete-abstract essence and existence of „Quo vadis?“ and of „What Is To Be Done?“ on Earth, in the Heimat.

 

 This work is divided into two parts. In Book One, we will surview the hylozoistic philosophic reflections of the ancient Greek naturalists and materialists concerning the arché and the hýle (Aristotle). However, what will concern us mainly are their determinations of phýsis and psyché, of Object and Subject. Within this cosmic-social relation, we will detect their cosmovision about human práxis and theoría, and how it is related to Matter or Spirit, as Being-Becoming and Becoming-Being, but also to Being, Non-Being, Not-Being, and Nothing.

 

In Greek Antiquity, Science and Philosophy, Práxis and Theory, were born as Materialism, as Hylozoism. Thus the latter is their real matrix, is the alma mater of sophía and philosophía, of materialism-idealism. Consequently, Ancient Greece, Hellas, was also the birthplace of revolutionary-emancipatory Práxis-Theory.

 

It should be noted, however, that this scientific-philosophic investigation of the evolution, involution and transvolution of the arché, and its reflection in concrete historico-social reality and true, social práxis-theoría, does not claim to be a history of philosophy, or of ancient materialism or idealism. Wherever it is necessary, we will give detailed, scientific data concerning the materialist and idealist philosophers and their social environment, but the above is not our primary analytic motive or motif. Furthermore, chronology is not a necessary requisite, because we are concerned with dialectical and dialogical processes and not with zigzag, tictac, formal-logical „facts“, which are chained consecutively, as if they are in linear goose-step.

 

For this reason, we will elucidate the whole hylozoistic-atomistic materialist-philosophic process, beginning from Thales, and ending with Lucretius and Lucian, without analysing in depth the fundamental idealist views and theories. Of course, wherever necessary, we will comment on their opposing, conflictory, endeavours. As such, we will be able to highlight the parts and the relation of the parts to the totality of this historico-philosophic process.

 

Furthermore, we will be able to spotlight the flowing continuum of the genesis end epigenesis of the various central concepts of ancient materialism, including its dialectics and dialectical conceptions, but also highlighting our Dialogics, Trialogics, Diagories and Triagories. Hence, Book One will be analysing the negation within ancient Greek philosophy, -- negating mythology, and later Platonism and Neo-Platonism -- will be illustrating hylozoistic naturalism, atomism and materialism. It will elaborate the scientific, materialist basis of Human Práxis-Theory, of which, principally, Theoría was identical with Sophía and the Éros for/of Wisdom, that is, Philosophía, which again had Gnosis and Epistéme as its empirical base.

 

Book Two will be dedicated mainly to ancient Greek idealism, the affirmation within the dialectical, internal, universal contradiction of Greek Philosophy. It will concentrate on the philosophic doctrines of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, but also on the various Stoic schools. But also, it will expound the ethical and religious views of Theophrastus, Straton, the Neoplatonists and Plotinists. Obviously, centrally what will concern us is their views on to kenón, on diabolical Matter, and their views about Práxis-Theory. Within this context, we will consider the warning of Lenin, that a wise objective idealism, that is, one which contains praxical sophia, is located much nearer to historical dialectical materialism, but also nearer to trialogical Emancipatory Wisdom than a vulgar, ossified materialism, void of any pansophy.

 

We will not only analyse Socratic dialektiké, but we will also apply dialogics to ancient objective idealism itself, in order to understand its essence within Greek Philosophy, as part of the materialization of materialism itself. We will demonstrate that the father of formal logics was a master dialectician in his doctrine of morphé and hýle. At the same time, we will demonstrate how Cynicism, Scepticism and "Nihilism" had affected the four major ancient philosophic schools: Platonism, Aristotelianism, Epicureanism and Stoicism. And, as such, they also affected Práxis-Theory in the epoch of social transition and transformation from slavocratic societies to absolutist feudalism.

 

Franz J. T. Lee,

Mérida, Venezuela.

July 1, 2003.

Revised: October 1, 2006

 

 

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