The Principle of Sufficient Reason and its Corresponding Errors

The term reason – from latin, ratio – derives from the expression used by accountants as referring to the ledger. Since in such account book the accounting effects were recorded according to each specificity, the philosophers began to used it to indicate the discursive intellective faculty of man. Such appropriation – it is worth mentioning – should not surprise since Philosophy in its beginnings resorted from popular vernacular most of the vocabulary with which its discursive universe was built. Hodiernal philosophers turn to greek and latin languages instead of the popular vocabulary as a resource and we therefore have lost the notion of the origin of such terms, which seem specially construct to point out intellectual intentionalities.

In addition, this term has yet other meanings such as the cause that motivates an act. Thus, one can say that the reason of being of something is the cause of its existence. It is also used to signify quiddity, or nature, or specie, or even the form of things. Actually, considered in latu sensu, the term denotes that whereby the entity is what it is. And also indicates the order of the essence of something (a broader meaning), the order of existence, the order of its intelligibility or of its truth. The term ratio corresponds to the greek word logos.

The expression sufficient reason is widely used in Philosophy as referring to that of what is required from something to be what it is in the order in which it is, whilst it is called insufficient reason when such requirement is not accomplished. Both terms are used in absolute and relative senses. In the former case, when it is fully complied with the being; in the latter, when such compliance is only partial.

Since the causes of a thing are intrinsic or extrinsic, sufficient reason was divided similarly. Thus the formal and the material causes offered an intrinsic reason to the being, and the efficient, final and exemplar, an extrinsic reason.

Since nothingness nothing can and consequently achieves nothing (since to do implies potentiality) nor transmute in nothing since it is nothing, that that it is must have a sufficient cause to be what it is and not be what it is not. Therefore the classical enunciate of the principle of sufficient reason: No thing can be without its sufficient reason. It is called a principle due to its necessity and absolutism, for how can something be if there was no reason for it to be?

In the essence is included not only the essential notes, but also the properties and even some accidents. Therefore the classical enunciate: Anything that has a certain essence must have a sufficient reason for such essence. Here is an example of the use of the principle of sufficient reason regarding the order of essence.

Also that that exists has a sufficient reason of its existence. It is the application to the order of existence.

What is known has a sufficient reason for which can be known. It is the application to the order of intelligibility, which can also be expressed as: every true judgement has a sufficient reason of its truth.

To sum up we can say:

Whatever is, exists or can be understood has to have, intrinsical or extrinsically (in its emergence or its predisponence), partial or totally, a sufficient reason of its essence, of its existence or of its intelligibility.

That is the principle of sufficient reason.

However many philosophers, not knowing what it is and creating of it a caricature, present inappropriate arguments to oppose it. To deny it wholly or partially or to affirm it only partially has been the attitude taken by philosophers throughout the time.

It is important to clarify that the Greeks did not properly, but it was implicitly contained within the positive thought coming from Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The scholastics also did not formulate it, but it was precisely Leibnitz who formulated it as a foundation of Metaphysics, along with the principle of noncontradiction. Kant and the idealists considered it initially as a merely subjective principle by denying it an objective necessity.

Positivists and empiricists did not totally denied the principle of sufficient reason although considering it valid only in the field of phenomenons, for in the metaphysical field they affirm it impossible to establish its validity.

The positive and concrete thesis however is the affirmation of the validity both in regard to necessary entities as contingent ones, and so much as in the order of essence as in the existence and intelligibility.

The explanation already offered shows that this principle enunciates universal and necessarily, since the being is impossible without a reason of being; it is universal, since it refers to all species of being and it is necessarily convenient to all species of being, since without it no being would have a reason to be; it is evident in the order of essence (since all that is has an essence), in the order of existence (since it is impossible to exist that that has no reason to do so, and that that exists do so for it has a reason to do so). A thing is only intelligible whilst that is a reason of its intelligibility, for nothingness is unintelligible: if the being lacks cognoscible notes, how could one know it? On the other hand, a judgement is true in the proportion of its adequation; therefore for a judgment to be true is imperative to have a reason to be so. Without a reason of cognoscibility, we cannot know anything.

Therefore, it is an error to consider such principle merely regional and partially. And such error was committed by many philosophers – markedly modern ones who reduced it to a mere logical principle. They are precisely the same authors that claim that Logic is merely an expression of the way our mind works, without a possibility of a concrete and positive foundation in reality – to which man also belongs. They cannot distinguish that ideality is the nexus of ideal things and reality is the nexus of real things, and that that is also a ideality of reality and a reality of ideality.

Existence, a confusing concept for modern philosophers

Etymologically, the word existence is formed by the latin terms ex and sistentia – from the verb sistere from which the language conserved the defective form sit. Sistere means to be, to remain, to maintain. Therefore, exsistentia means that of which maintains, remains, what is “out” of something else. Thus the concept of existence is that of which constitute the being (formally) outside of the nothingness. If one combines different prefixes (in, re, per, ex, sub, ad, ab, ob, dis) with the aforegoing root, the following, related words can be formed: insistence, resistance, persistence, existence, subsistence, assistance, distance or absistence (departing “sistence”) and ob-sistence (opposing sistence).

The term is constantly used in philosophy in a latu sensu of what occurs off of its causes, or rather the being in the exercise of itself. Being (or entity) is the aptitude for existence, the aptitude thus to be in the full exercise of its being – off of its causes – “ex sistent”. The possible being is not yet in the full exercise of its being but can only be in its full exercise if it has aptitude to do so, even though it does not actually become. Its possibility is expressed by the aptitude for existing. In the case in question, the possible being does not exist, but only the being-in-act, the being in the exercise of being – only the actual being exists.

One of the most controversial themes in medieval philosophy is the distinction between essence and existence, which has penetrated modern philosophy through the influence of existentialism. Essence – as we have already discussed – whilst quiddity is what is congruous with the definition and existence as such can be denied since can be comprehended simply as an eidetic-noetic scheme; whilst nature, essence is existent within the individual; whilst form, it is the logos of intrinsic proportionality that repeats within the being by the intrinsic proportion of its composing elements [thus, existentialization is of the parts intrinsically proportionate according to the normal of a logos]; whilst substance, it constitutes the consistency of things and then essence is existent.

Since no existent being is a “no thing” but it is always a something – and as something, it has an essence – somehow the essence is existent and identify itself with its existence. Therefore, the controversy between essentialists and existentialists on the priority of one or another has no raison d’être, i.e., it is a result of improperly putting the issue. To conceive a non-existent essence can only occur as follow: whilst quiddity, essence is non-existent, it does not occurs outside its causes in the full exercise of itself, as the existence of “horsity” whilst entity in the full exercise of its being. However, if one properly considers the platonic concept, horsity a form (eidolon). If one wants to give it a material existence, one would be violating its nature, which is formal. In such case – the platonic would say – the existence that could be given to the form is formal, not material. Consequently, from the form as such one cannot demand properties that can only be found in matter, such as topicality, temporality, weight, size, etc., since form is form and its way of being is eidetic. To demand a location (a ubi) from form is a nonsense for it is not a chronotopic (time-spatial) entity: its “existing” is eidetic, according to its nature, and it is what it is and as substance it consists in being itself – always form, with no variations in time or space.

Thereby, one can then distinguish: essence – whilst quidity – is not existent as it is; whilst form in re (nature) in the existing being, is distinct from form as formal nature; and whilst substance of the chronotopical being, it i distinct from the substance of the formal being. Thus, if one affirms the chronotopical as the only way of existing, such ought to be apodictically demonstrated. However, that would be impossible to do so. It is inconsistent to deny other ways of existing – other than the chronotopical one – when our own ideas does not happen topically [although the act of thought happens chronologically] and the schemes we reach – such as the triangle or the number three – have no chronotopicality. To affirm that there are only chronotopical beings is to make the same mistakes as the ones already examined of the materialists.

The controversy is thus simplified once we clarify the concepts of essence and existence. As for the distinction between them, we have addressed in our “Ontology and Cosmology”. Let us not deal with that herein, for such controversy is not properly fomenter of dangerous errors but in fact of new and beneficial speculations of philosophical knowledge.

There is however an error that is important pointing out, which is the affirmation that in the contingent being essence and existence are identical. If essence and existence were identical, essence would be absolutely the same as existence and, as such, the being would be necessary – and not contingent, which would be nonsense. The contingent being would have unlimited existence and being, i.e., it would be no longer contingent.

Others claim that appropriately distinct concepts must correspond to really distinct realities. Such is what happen with the concepts of essence and existence. Those who reject such thesis affirm that there is not exclusion between those concepts. On the contrary, one implies the other: by itself essence refers to existence and existence to essence.

Yet others argue that essence only limits existence if it exists, therefore there is no real distinction between essence and existence. But the defenders of real distinction affirm that essence has its own reality that consists in its ordination to existence.

Regardless, it is undeniable that there is a distinction of reason between the concepts of essence and existence. However, it is impossible to conceive an existence without an essence. Nor an essence that is nature, form in re, and a substance that is not existent.

Essence whilst possibility within the being is not yet existent in a natural way nor formal in re or substantial. As those, it would undoubtedly be existent and existing implies the existentialization of essence. However, the existence of the essence – eidetically considered – in the order of being can only be considered formally, however dependent and specifically limited – not by real-real limitations. It would therefore be unlimited specifically whilst it is what it is but limitedly whilst specifically other. Thus, the identification between essence and existence would not be absolutely simple, but that of which occurs between the essence of a specifically limited being in a specifically limited existence, which would resolve all difficulties by showing the validity of all positions: the thomists that affirm the real distinction of essence and existence,the scotists that admit only a formal distinction and the suarezists that affirm simply a distinction of reason. As for the positions of the existentialists, they are included in one of the previous, although not offering clarity of attitude and doctrine such as presented by those.

To say thus that essence and existence always simply identify in any way presented is an error. Such case would be absurd for the contingent being would be absolutely necessary forevermore. Apples – possible in a determined historical moment in our planet – would have chronotopicaly always existed; that would be nonsense.

That said, one can clearly understand that by considering the subject matter of essence and existence in such way precipitates inevitably the thought into the abyss of absurd. That can be avoided however by the concrete exposition that allows a clear distinction between essence and existence.

Of Truth (Part 1)

in Origins of the Great Philosophical Errors

Truth is an abstract noun, not corresponding to any tangible object. The Greeks used the word aletheia, formed by the privative alpha, and lethes, i.e., forgetfulness, meaning that of what is not forgotten, not hidden, what is revealed. The term can be employed in different ways through its derivatives. One can speak of a “true friend” in opposition to a false friend, or “true gold” in opposition to a false gold. To speak of “true words” is to say of words containing no lies. To speak of “true knowledge” is to refer to a knowledge that is not false, that is opposed to falsehood.

From the outset, we notice that the concept of truth implies two extreme terms and a conformity between them. Generically, truth means a conformity between two extremes. Specifically, it implies that one of such terms is the intellect. Therefore, we can refer to a conformity between what the intellect affirms and the thing, that is, the object referred by the affirmation. Therefore the ancient affirmation that truth, in the logical sense, is no more than an adequation between the thing and the intellect, or, in the latin formula, adecquatio rei et intellectus.

To deny such concept is to deny the intentionality our mind confer onto the term. Can one have a different concept of truth? Absolutely not, since a concept otherwise would not express the intentionality of such term. One can, however, say in a broader sense that truth is a conformity between two extremes in which none of them is the intellect, as when one say “true water”, “true night”, “true pain”. But logical truth – a basic philosophical concept – must be considered in the strict, mentioned sense. Obviously, this is a moot point of countless controversies. Thinkers have written pages after pages against the idea of truth – whilst regarding their own words as “true” – indicating inumerous inconveniences, as we shall analyse. But before we do so, it is important to precise a set of definitions that shall be useful later on in order to analyse the reasons presented by those who fight against it and believe that, “truly”, there is no truth.

For instance, a truth is deemed ontological or real when there is a conformity between the thing and the intellect and is considered logical when such conformity is between the intellect and the thing (intellectus cum re). Therefore, a) “the anterior is prior to the posterior” is an ontological truth and b) “this place is a house” is a logical truth. Conformity (or adequation, correspondence) means that of what is in accordance, in formal accord with something else. Adequate comes from ad aequalis, meaning what is somehow equal to something else.

To materially consider an object is to consider it in accordance to all its notes and properties, i.e., in accordance to its comprehension. A formal regard, in its turn, is to consider the object by one or more notes and properties. Now, we cannot know everything about something and thus, when speaking of logical truth, we mean a correspondence between what we say and the thing itself: what we know can thus be true. A logical truth would be perfect if there is a conformity between all notes. Therefore, there are more and less perfect logical truths. The smaller truth is not less true since truth refer not to the quantity of what is known, but to the quality of it. What we know about an object need not be total to be true; it can be partial. When modern philosophers say that knowledge is false since we cannot know everything, they are saying that we cannot affirm a soldier as a human being for the simple fact that we don’t know everything about him or even that the knowledge we have of such philosopher is not true since we don’t know everything about him (his weight, age, filiation, stature, etc). It is quite astonishing, but there are philosophers who affirm the falsehood of knowledge insofar as it is partial. Now, falsehood is the opposite of truth and to affirm something as false is to affirm the absence of truth. A more perfect truth is not truer than a less perfect truth, nor a more false truth is falser than a less perfect one. Such statement would be wrong if in between truth and falsehood it was possible to insert a third term. But they are excludent extremes.

The required agreement between the intellect with the object is an intentional one. An identification is not necessary and would be indeed impossible. Therefore, a best definition of logical truth is of an intentional agreement or adequation of intellect with the object. And we can prove it. This definition is not groundbreaking, but in reality subscribed by all concrete and positive philosophers of all times. It also has the characteristics of a good definition, i.e., clear, succinct, reciprocal, and contains no negation.

Firstly, we shall analyse the contrary positions. Kant affirms that truth is the agreement or correspondence of cognition with itself, i.e., the conformity of all cognitions with the laws of cognition and between themselves. All relativists hold such opinion as well. Now, such definition is flawed since is not reciprocal, for it does not allow the inverse: truth is not the conformity of cognition with itself since otherwise it would suffice such conformity to something be true, and any false cognition could be said true just by having conformity with itself. The conformity with the laws of cognition is the definition of rectitude, not of truth. A cognition can proceed straightly and be false nevertheless.

Empiricists say that it is only true what can be verified by experimentation or through the senses. Such opinion, however, restricts the scope of truth.

Pragmatists say that truth is only what is useful, fertile to knowledge and which favors life. Such concept only apprehends a note of truth. Moreover, there are useful errors, not true therefore. Some modern votaries of Axiology (such as Rickert and Wildelband) affirm truth as a value. But there was never so many confusions and controversies about the concept of value as in between modern axiologists. They cannot offer a clear definition of value and, therefore, cannot provide a proper definition of truth. They have converted value into one the more obscure themes in philosophy and are not able to solve any problem but, instead,they have increased the confusion and multiplied a pretentious and pedantic philosophical language that merely conceal their vacuity and nonsense.

An objection to a positive position on truth affirms that an intentional conformity between intellect and thing is impossible since for that to happen it would be necessary the reference to all perfections within the thing. To our previous argument that it is not a total but a partial adequacy, they affirm that a partial adequacy is a contradictio in adjectis, since the idea of adequacy is of a total – and not a partial – one, for a partial adequacy is an inadequacy. The answer to that is simple: that would be so if we were postulating a merely quantitative adequacy. They reject the qualitative adequacy for not admitting any kind of adequacy since the intellect is a mental entity and the thing is an extra-mental one. However, that is not an entitative conformity (in a physical sense), but an intentional one. Those who affirm that the mental object is immaterial while the known object is material and that prevents any adequacy forget that such conformity is an analogy between mental and extra-mental objects, not a perfect adequacy. Some argue with denials, about the impossibility of an adequacy between a negative concept and a thing. Still, a negative concept refers not to a thing but to an absence; it affirms a denial of presence of a positivity within the thing, without denying the thing itself.

Moreover, any other contrary argument would consist in a ignoratio elenchi, since it contends adequacy by considering it in a different meaning. No concrete philosopher ever affirmed the noetic scheme as a same-nature copy of the known object. An adequacy between two things imposes not that such things must have the same nature, as a portrait is physically adequate to the portrayed although having diverse nature. Difficulty to comprehend such uncomplicated matter has been the cause for many errors. Inumerous and notorious philosophers have made such affirmations, heavily influencing unprepared minds. Adjudicate partial knowledge as false is a most serious error of disastrous consequences. An apprehension – grasp of a message – is a passive act and does not affirm or deny the message, i.e., it establishes no judgement, but a mere representation. Judgement is a different operation in which the mind affirms or denies an attribute to a subject: it chooses, therefore it acts.

We shall henceforth distinguish some important aspects of logical truth. Scholastics called inchoative an imperfect logical truth, in which the cognition can be verified as in conformity with its object although such conformity is unknown. A known conformity – perfect logical truth – can happen in two manners: a) when the truth of the cognition itself is known (which the scholastics called in actu signato); or b) when, besides such knowledge, we know that it is in conformity with the thing itself (or in actu exercito). Therefore, there are perfective levels of logical truth, where the simple conformity of cognition with object is a inchoative logical truth that can ascend higher perfective levels as in actu signato and in actu exercito. A logical truth “perfects” itself when it is consistent in a cognoscitive act in which the message correspond with the object in the same manner as represented.

Now, one cannot confuse a thing’s image (phantasma) with the noetic-eidetic forms, i.e., the eide our spirit (nous) constructs. Such forms are also apprehended from the object, although reduced to noetic representation, i.e., distinct from image. As one can comprehend and represent ultraviolet without a corresponding image. Our representation of ultraviolet contains no image (phantasma) for not being an entity of sensible experience, but entity reached through knowledge. When the logical statement represents the object with adequate notes of what it is in reality, such judgement is a perfect logical truth. Within human mind, the noetic-eidetic scheme is not an image of what is within the thing, but a mere formal expression intentionally referring to it. And, once the thing’s content is adequately represented in the spirit, the spirit, by establishing a judgement with such representations, also establishes a perfect formal (or logical) truth.

Only a great deal of ingenuity could require that, in the human mind, eidetic-noetically, schemes should correspond phantasmatic copies of things. However, some have affirmed such and have intended to reduce mental schemes to mere schematic sketches memorized of images (phantoms). Amongst them, many “conspicuous” philosophers of whose works and ideas are object of devoted studies in universities and courses and who actually receive more praise and fondle than concrete and positive philosophers. There is, clearly, a hidden agenda in all of this. The purpose is to confuse, not to clarify; it is not to solve problems, but enfold mankind in an issue of apparent insolubility so the despair takes over, making us easy prey of those who want to destroy our Christian world in order to replace it by a tribal spirit with “an eye for an eye” as fundamental right of society.

Back to noetic-eidetic schemes, no doubt that many of them are united to memorized sketches of sensible experience. However, one cannot deny the human ability to gradually refine the noetic-eidetic schemes from noetic influence towards an eidetic purity, as we have demonstrated in our previous works. Falsehood occurs in judgement, not in simple apprehension, since the unconformity is an inadequate intellectual affirmation about the object. A judgement can be formally true and materially false, once material proof is something else. For instance, “God exists” is a logically true judgement for it is due to God to exist, since a nonexistent God is not God. However, the material truth does not follow such formal truth, but it requires another proof in order to fortify the judgement conformity with reality. To say that God really exists independently from human mind demands other proofs that provide material reasons of existence.

A logical judgment can therefore be logically and materially truth when, aside from formal truth, a material truth is also pertinent. If both formal and material truths are demonstrated, and having also ontological reason, we reach what is called concrete truth, the connexio of all those truths. When we lack cognition of something, we ignore it. Ignorance is the absence of cognition, which can be either negative, as in pure and simple nescience, or privative, the absence of due cognition. Many people confuse falsehood with ignorance. However, the distinction is simple: in falsehood, there is unconformity, a discrepancy between cognizable and cognitum, whilst in ignorance, there is lack or absence of knowledge. When the mind remains indecisive faced with a contradictory opposition, one is in doubt. There is opinion when the mind establishes a judgment but fears the error for the contradictory judgment can be true. There is certainty when the mind no longer fear the assent given to the judgment. There is suspicion when the mind remains between doubt and opinion.

Now, certainty can be achieved through two methods: subjectively, by faith, i.e., firm adhesion of the mind to a judgment without fear of error; or, objectively, by rigorous demonstration that proves the validity and correctness of a judgment removing any fear of error. The first certainty belongs to Religion; the second, to Philosophy. Philosophy must be proved and the philosophical proof is demonstration, as experiment is the scientific proof. However, there is a certain “philosophy” of opinion, founded on merely assertive and opinative judgment. Those who enunciate their point of views at the whim of personal inspirations are the aesthetes, who do philosophical aesthetics. Proper philosophy, however, does not submit to Aesthetics, but instead follow its own course and own genuine method: demonstration, as apodictic as possible, i.e., founded on necessary judgments.

The lack of such rigour and a weak mastery of Logic and Dialectics have favored the increase of notorious cod philosophers increasing the number of errors, nurturing humanity with opinions, suspicions, points of view, gratuitous statements, poorly drawn doctrines and theories, so much so that the absorption of such ideas become impossible. Humanity sickens from such errors. And, even worse, such errors influence human actions and destinies, creating some terrible and threatening perspectives of social life of even human annihilation.

Thence, our era necessitates – more than ever – of a revision of Philosophy, through pointing out errors and their origins – etiology – for therein lies the key for such work of selection that must be done by future generations through the great flow of errors insufflated into human thought. It is necessary to select and, to this end, separate.

Such separation, however, demands a criterium, and that can only be of apodicticity. Whatever is not endue on apodicticity must be quarantined. A thorough examination by a return to the fundamental points of the philosophize must be done so much so that the harvest shall be beneficial and profitable. The first step, however, is to denounce the fundamental errors. It is uncomplicated to realize the origins of such errors and we shall analyse their foundations and their apparent strong arguments. We shall analyse each aspect in order to demonstrate the fundamental weakness of such theses that oppose a concrete and positive philosophy.

Origins of the Great Philosophical Errors – Introduction and Final Words

INTRODUCTION

The feeling that pervades those who observe the dominating ideas in the field of human thought in the last two centuries is undeniably one of great perplexity. Impressive as much is the colossal number of systems, philosophical schools, social doctrines, never-ending hypotheses, always replacing each other in an endless turmoil. Once such time is examined, though, it is clear that those who shone, receiving the cuddle of easy praise and thrilling hordes of admirers, were not the greatest of their time but the smaller, and ended up finding an unimpressive place in the history of human knowledge.

Is it surprising that, in Athens, the Greek democracy (which actually was a minority of citizens and a majority of slaves) condemned Socrates to death simply because he taught the people to be worthy, noble and honest? Or that Plato remained almost unknown amongst his contemporaries, while someone such as Gorgias or Hippias shone as the lights of knowledge?

However, the Greeks are not the only ones to blame here: this is a common mistake repeated throughout human history. Have not the eighteenth century seen Hegel pontificated in Germany as the ultimate philosopher? Or Krause, at the end of the last century, excited crowds of thinkers, or even Bergson shining in the beginning of this century as a halo paling the great lights of the past? And how about, more currently, Sartre been erected to the highest, only to, latter on, tumble down, whilst other philosophy writers elevate someone like a Russell or a Moritz to the pinnacles of knowledge? Have not the man of our time seen the tremendous marketing around figures of mediocre values to the point of being considered as definitive landmarks on the pathway of knowledge, after whom nothing more can be done?

To the same extent, the field of science is, nowadays, marked by a flood of hypotheses, toppling down, being replaced by others, which also cannot stand to a point in which, in one single year there are so many changes in scientific knowledge, so many refutations, so many theory replacements and assumptions that no one else is able to properly track them and the science books become obsolete in a few months.

Theories that cannot resist a season are immediately abandoned, after having been hailed as definitive solutions.

The dwelling in examples is superfluous, for they are so numerous and beseeming that frightens those who scrutinises the terrifying march of human knowledge, and cannot preclude the fact that today’s doctrine should have a fatal destiny of ultimate abandonment tomorrow.

That, by itself, would not be so alarming, for it just so happened, it may be argued, that these facts reveal a development in human capacity, which increasingly tends towards a more perfect analysis that enables the capture of errors within different views, replacing erroneous doctrines with better judgments, therefore entering a field of extraordinary achievements and definitive statements. One could, then, affirm it as a demonstration of mankind’s mental health and creative strength: a sign of the creative evolution of our spirit.

However, what shocks us is the resurrection of already refuted old errors! How frightening is to see old concepts, which were crumbled by analysis and rebutted by rigorous arguments, returning as ghosts to concern again the immature minds of those who are unaware of their refutations, and presenting themselves as novelties, as the latest intellectual trends, and provoking, in minds not properly aware of what has been accomplished, spasms of satisfaction, exaltations of joy, as if they have reached the quintessence of things[1].

This spectacle is pitiful! And not because such ideas arise from puerile brains of people with no means to know better, from improvised thinkers, but from people who attended universities and flaunts their degrees as the greatest feat in the world, as the biggest title of glory, and that is an irrefutable certificate (just for them) that they are really knowledgeable on the subject, holders of knowledge, and that these certificates guarantee them the “authority in the matter”, as if someone who has attended a college and holds a diploma doesn’t know how graduations can be forged or the real value of their schools and many pseudo-teachers.

But why such things occur? Why do the same ideas as the Greek sophists had spread and received the fullest of rebuttals arise now as avatars of dead old ways, now resurrected? How can one comprehend that ideas such as skepticism, relativism, agnosticism, effectively dismantled by luminaries of the Greek thought, know nowadays an unexpected renaissance and find votaries amongst people judged as exponents of human knowledge? Why doctrines, founded on primary logic errors, which any well informed student would have avoided, are finding advocates amongst philosophers of renown and are propagating and spreading as bad weed?

Such errors persist, go through the years and the centuries, and appear in the eyes of many as splendid achievements of the human mind. That is even more grieving! Is ignorance the only culprit for such things or has it other accomplices such as bad faith or ulterior motives? Is it a product of a deficiency of spirit, or does it abide by an intentionality that cannot be confessed?

If one could only charge such errors to bad faith, of course they would still be disgraceful. However it’s not just that, but above all a neglectful study of logic, a lack of better reasoning and an ignorance of what has been done in the field. And when these are the reasons that generate such errors, it is just unfortunate. Pitiful spectacle, really.

However the mess of errors itself is not the worst aspect of it, but for they are the cause of the greatest harms to humanity. The deplorable in all of this is that such errors multiply, generate attitudes and taken positions which have dragged mankind into serious conflicts, and many scaffolds were erected to stultify those who do not follow these positions. Many crimes were practiced and countless blood was spilled in the name of such errors.

That is the reason to denounce them. It is necessary to expose them to meridian light and scalp them to the fullest extent, so their naked baldness fully shows through. It is necessary to warn the well-intentioned from being victims of such errors so that they can understand why confusion overwhelms modern man, understanding, then, why such errors are repeated and gain adherents. It is necessary to do this work of denunciation for is no longer possible to leave so many evils recur and multiply.

This is a work of denunciation. It only wants to contribute in warning the well-intentioned to abandon the evil actions of those who affects human intelligence, obfuscating it with so many vices, so to allow people to choose, and choose responsibly, between what is wrong and the what is right. No one would have, tomorrow, the right to claim naivety or ignorance, because looking into a clear error and still have the will to follow it is a evidence of bad character or morbidity.

That is the constructive intention of this book.

(…)

FINAL WORDS

Knowing that this book may cause many opposition, since several of some people’s dearest ideas were debuted, it is important to remind the reader that the value of what our work postulates resides in the value of the demonstrations. Our works are worthy what avail their demonstrations. There is only one authority in philosophy: demonstration. Outside of it dwells the false authority of titles, marketing, easy praises. Philosophy cannot proceed as the field of aesthetic spinners or of mere intellectual achievements, with no other purpose than to give vent to pathetic outbursts of an affection, acceptable in the field of aesthetics, but completely extemporaneous and outdated in the field of philosophy.

It is imperative to distinguish Speculative Philosophy from Practical Philosophy. While the latter is dedicated to human action, the first is engaged in the study of eideticity and ideality of reality, ie, the real nexus of eide (concepts, already purified from all axio-anthropological, the influence of human valuations and devaluations) as well as the eidetic link in reality.

However, following the lessons of the Pythagoreans and Socrates and inquiring about the eideticity of the concept of prudence, one would discover that it is the intelligent application of best appropriate means for the convenient ends or is the knowledge of the best suitable means for the desired ends. If in the first case one has the law of the aristocrat and the bourgeois, the last is related to prudence in its eidetic purity. And if there are intelligent beings on Mars or Venus, they would have the same prudence as spoken here, and so anywhere else an intelligent being inhabits. With this last statement, one achieves the highest speculative aspect of the concept, and can treat it as something timeless and spaceless. Prudence, treated this way, no longer belongs neither to time nor space: for where and from always, forever and ever, and everywhere where there are intelligent beings, this is what prudence is.

The Practical Philosophy, by dealing with human action and becoming, does not prevent the Speculative Philosophy from penetrating it, examining it and using its methods and its principles to give that a more certain content. If Cosmology belongs to Speculative Philosophy, this does not prevent its apodictic achievements to be applied on the field of Natural Sciences. Also nothing prevents Moral, which belongs to Practical Philosophy, to be treated with the same speculative rigor that can be done on Ethics (which always should be distinguished from each other, the first with a practical sense and the other with its speculative sense). Nothing prevents Economics, which is a practical science and belongs to the practical philosophy context, to be increasingly given a mathematical rigor (mathematics belongs to Speculative Philosophy), so to give greater or lesser eideticity to their concepts, and allow the examine, with utmost attention, of their postulates, according to the apodictic rigor that the speculative philosophy requires.

So one should seek to proceed with Law, History, Sociology, Axiology, because this is the way to bring philosophy from the mere essays, from the field of assertions, to the rigorous speculation, of science according to the Greek episteme.

The requirement for all those who propose ideas, positions, arguments, that they rigorously demonstrate them and not just gather more and more arguments, should lead mankind through the true pathway of science, the only one able to allow mankind into reaching more and more the Supreme Mathesis, the Supreme Instruction, the Higher Knowledge, the sage’s object of love, which eagerness for is the real philosophy, nothing but the journey the lover of knowledge travels to reach it.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A starting point

Of concepts

Of truth

Of universal concepts

Of conceptualism

An explanation of realism

Skepticism, source of great errors

The errors of idealism

The opinion

The material truth, the formal truth and prejudices

Foundations for Truth, offered by experience

The etiology of errors

Demonstration and argument

Harvesting famous errors – Great ontological errors

Are essences knowable?

The existence, confusing concept for some modern philosophers

Of nonbeing

Being, nonbeing and deprivation

The principle of sufficient reason and the corresponding errors

The positive and the practical concepts

Properties of Being

Of individuality

Of distinction

Of Truth

Of Goodness

Of finite and infinite

Of substance

New comments on the subject of cause and effect

Examining themes on the causes

The material and formal causes

Final words

[1] In another work, Mario Ferreira refers to those thinkers as “the late-coming Columbus”, those who comes as “discoverers” of theories that has been rebutted centuries ago.