Proletariat, theme of ideological exploitation

Throughout the ages, those who are merely service providers have always been the victims of astute exploiters. The man who has no other income other than his own work and whose only wealth is his sons was called a proletarian for his offspring (prole) is his only fortune, whose fruit of labor is the only income allowed for him to have.

Since his life is filled with the most elementary and demanding needs, it is natural that this kind of man has immediate demands, he lacks immediate goods to satisfy his just needs. His problems are always of urgent solutions as his stomach cannot wait for food and his body cannot wait for clothing.

On the other hand, every man desires glory over his fellow men. They all want to be – or at least want to seem to be – superior in something. It has always been and will be those who desire to impose over others their superiority: either charisma, strength, ability or wealth.

Those who cannot overcome through any one of the previous paths seek to do so through political power. Who are those? They are those thirsty for prestige who are not able to suffer their own weaknesses; those with power complexes, inferiority complexes, searching for a post to make them great since they are not actually great. A great man needs no great position; the real great man creates his own greatness: he is great because he is great, and not because he occupies a great post.

Those who truly ascend are those who ascend themselves – by their acts and deeds – to higher places. They create their own place, as Pasteur did in science, Aristotle, in philosophy, and Camões, in literature. Neither Pasteur, nor Aristotle, nor Camões were great because of their higher posts, but for their higher deeds.

Those who cannot suffer their inferiority and cannot stand their inner littleness craves for higher posts since they believe occupying such pedestal and standing higher than others actually make them greater than others.

Such is the reason the proletarian is always wanted by those who wish to ascend to higher posts. If they cannot rise themselves, they can climb the squalid back of the proletarian towards such higher places. How do they do that? Exploiting the proletarian’s misery, needs, good faith and ignorance, as well as the hunger of his sons and daughters, the half-nakedness and tatters of his wife and the urgency of his necessities. And they promise:

– to give him immediately what he immediately needs;

– exploit his immediatism through the promise of a bowl of soup, a clothes for his naked body and a roof over his head;

But since none of such promises are fulfilled, those men always justify it by blaming others. There are always scapegoats for such dirty deed. Those men are never the ones to blame. Now, who are “the others”? Are they by any chance so different than the formers? Are not the others the first ones, who are others to the second ones? They mutually accuse each other. They all speak as angelical creatures that only think of goodness. “The others – yes! – they do evil deeds”. The proletarian watches the offenses and insults coming from both sides.

They accuse each other of people’s traitors. They mutually accuse each other of that and they are actually right! They are all traitors of the proletarian, the eternal betrayed, exploited, sufferer of insults and miseries.

However, is the proletarian only a victim? Yes, he is the victim of his own ignorance and hunger, victim of the urgency of his needs, of his esurient appetite.

But he is guilty, for he listens to whom he should not listen; he believes in whom he should not believe; he serves whom he should not serve; he follows whom he should not follow.

He has never achieved – in the entire human history – a bit more other than what has come from his own hand, for it is from his hand that all wealth in the world is created. He was never risen by anyone else. Those who have proclaim themselves as the friends of the proletarians were always the richest ones, the powerful ones, the ones with the more sumptuous life.

His true benefactors have never seek high posts.

The majority of men though is of hypocritical pharisees who desire that he remains in ignorance and misery, for they know that as soon as he has a full stomach, a dressed body, a humble house, a smiley and happy wife and children, he would no longer listen to the desirous of ascending upon the steps of his hunger and needs. He would no longer allow them the means of their welfare for his own welfare would make him nonchalant about politics and then, how would they use him for climbing?

As long as he is hungry they will find a way to explore his needs, turning them into votes that will rise them to the positions for which they wish – since the places man creates through his own work and intelligence are prohibited to them by their lack of inner greatness.

In all times, the proletarian was only able to rise above his poverty when – through his own efforts combined with his brothers’ – he himself create his own wealth. His true friends are not those who ask for his vote, but those who tach him how to improve his life and increase his earnings – a real increase, not a fictional one, i.e., not merely adding a zero to the salary when the zeros in the prices multiplies.

That was when he approached his brother and asked: “what can we together do to help ourselves to leave this situation? Cannot we join other fellow men such as ourselves together and cooperate so to make something that can really improve our lives?”

“Cannot you help me build my house, and I help you build yours? Cannot we both help others and they help us?”

Mathetic Laws

Speculative science – as the science of understanding – has as its object properly immaterial, necessary beings. It tends towards establishing truths or determining the falsehood of postulates. With it, we build schemes with features of necessity and immutability. Speculative science is therefore the science of the Intellect and of the necessary. It is important to clearly establish the objects of this science, which are proportional to the degree of the scibilis’ intelligibility, according to the level of abstraction.

Our knowledge – chronologically outlined – comes from empiria. It comes, therefore, from material objects, since they firstly stimulate our exterior senses and it is upon such materials that our sense provides the phantasma, which was spoken by Aristotle. The mind constructs such schemes, which are properly intellectuals. In the first level are those that depend on the matter, according to the being as well as the intellect. Namely, one can not conceive such schemes – or the thing – according to the being without the matter, and one can not also intellectually define it without the matter. For instance, the abstractions of man, plant, house, tree, etc.

Abstractions of second level are those that depend on the matter according to the being but do not depend according to the intellect, i.e., they need the matter to existentialize but can be defined without it, such as the geometrical figures and mathematical numbers.

Abstractions of third level depend not on the matter, either according to the being nor to the intellect. They are the metaphysical schemes. They can be defined without resorting to the matter. We can even subdivide it: those that are never within matter, such as God, and those that are not in the matter for absence of necessity, such as potentiality and actuality, one (ontological or transcendental, not the mathematical one), etc.

These are the three levels of human intelligibility, upon which we build the speculative science – in accordance with the Aristotelian view. In the first level, speculatively, we have Cosmology – the philosophy of Physics; in the second level, we have Mathematics; and in the third level, Metaphysics.

One cannot mistake abstraction for mere mental separation. The first one implies the formation of formal schemes; it is not the attention towards something by disregarding something else, as said by some modern philosophers. It is a formal construction, and if we abstract the white from this paper sheet, it is not the white “of” this paper that we highlight, but “the” white, upon which we can first-level-abstract. Herein we have the solution to a new classification of science, for with the construction of Mathesis we verified that the philosophy of any science is that that studies the principles of that science, its arkhai. Arkhe whilst entity is object of Ontology; arkhe whilst meon (non-being) is object of Meontology; arkhe whilst divine and uncreated entity is of Theology; arkhe whilst material and created belongs to a science the ancients called Pneumatology; that that studies principles whilst principles of natural, corporeal entity, is the Philosophy of Physics or Philosophy of Science. Therefore, a philosophy of a science is that that studies the principles of that science. Thus one can talk about a philosophy of anthropology, dedicated to the study of the principles of man; or a philosophy of mathematics, etc.

When studying dependency, we verify that there are several species of dependency, such as the ontical dependency (which is one), the real-real dependency (of this or that being), the ontological dependency (which is the reason of being), the logical dependency (that to which we reduce the concepts, such as specie to genre), mathetic dependency (which is that of the logoi to the logoi, of the eternal laws, one to another). It is said to be schemes of first intention those that correspond to the beings of our common experience (abstraction of first level). Beings of second intention is when the object is a rationate being, such as the logical and the mathetical beings – properly built through sapiential speculation. Thus the necessity to distinguish onticity from ontologicity, and that from logicity, and all of them from matheticity, when referring to terms that are objects of our speculations.

Mathetic laws preside the mind, but each sphere has its own features that only allows analogical reduction (never direct), in a way that if we want to reduce the facts of Physics to the eide of Metaphysics we have to forgo certain aspects of the physical sphere in order to achieve the Logical sphere, and then once again until the sphere of Ontology. That is important to avoid errors in the field of demonstrations, such as the ones committed by some philosophers who judged that that that is true in Logic is necessarily true in Ontology – which is wrong, although that that is true in Ontology is necessarily true in Logic.

A logical truth is not yet an ontological truth, otherwise we could reach ontological truths through Logic, as intended by the idealists and rationalists. Logical truth occurs through adequation that not always correspond to reality. For instance, the judgement “God exists” is a logically truth statement, since the predicate exists, attributed to Him, is a necessary predicate, for it is of its own essence and conditions to exist (an inexistent God is not God at all). So that to say “God exists” is logically true, but ontologically demands another proof.

Logic is founded on the coherence of eidetic-noetic concepts, due to the clarity given by Ontology and Mathesis, by the precision of the analogizing logoi. Thus we obtain more accurate and pure concepts – presided by logical laws, since they are the same laws of Mathesis. Ontological principles are also logical principles, examined by Mathesis. Thus we find concretion that gives the true meaning of concrete philosophy, for we can work from onticity to matheticity without violating neither sectors. Though we were doing logic alone, nothing was being done but continuing within what was already done and we could not isolate the problems.

Logics is an auxiliary science that cannot be separated from the whole philosophizing. Mathesis cannot forego of Logics, although one cannot forget that from the coherence of ideas one cannot conclude an evidence. Moreover, it is a mistake to consider the immediate subjective evidence as founded on logical coherence. We can find examples of perfect logical coherence without correspondence to reality. Logics by itself is not sufficient since we could create concepts that correspond not to reality and then deduce – from them – a series of very coherent judgements, with logical precision but without real validity. Mathesis intends to offer a content of real validity to Logic itself in a way that that is free from the danger of becoming a mere discipline of coherence – since that is not sufficient for it is not a guarantee of truth whatsoever. That is the case of non-euclidian mathematics: it is coherent, but that does not mean it is necessarily – and for that reason – truth, although they can correspond to the practical reality, that we shall investigate latter on.

Generation and Corruption in Greek Philosophy

The importance of better understanding the Aristotelian view within Greek thought in relation to the present theme (On Generation and Corruption) is due to the current knowledge on Physics that is more “Aristotelian” than last century’s, when the value of Democritus was exaggerated. The metaphysical view of Parmenides was mainly based in the axiomatic adage “ex nihilo nihil fit”, i.e., nothing comes from nothing. It is admissible to synthesize the presocratic thought in such saying. The being could be one or unlimited, such as Anaximander’s apeiron, or multiple, such as Empedocles’, but the Greek thinkers – without exception – accepted without discussion that nothing would come from nothing and that the single or multiple principle of all things was the being.

Duns Scot very well pointed out such aspects later on when explaining that those philosophers could – as they would – discuss the essence or the characteristics of such being, but it was unanimous – at least in Western philosophy – the acceptance of a being – undetermined considered but still being as principle, source or beginning of all things.

One can say however that the metaphysical studies on the being was initiated amongst the Greeks by Parmenides, since until then such speculations encompassed only the “physical” field. It is true that amongst the Pythagoreans there were speculations about “the being whilst being”, but since there is major misconceptions about their philosophical activities we rather examine the Pythagorean metaphysics – mainly that of the teleitos level of initiation – in another opportunity (Pythagoras and the Theme of Number).

The gnoseological theory of Parmenides establishes a parallel between the order of being and the order of knowing – since “the entity is intelligible and the intelligible is entity”. Entity (to ón) corresponds to the latin ens, the id cui competit esse – that that compete the being, that that can be attributed to the being. To accept the intelligibility of the entity is to affirm the “rational principle of sufficient reason”.

Parmenides insistently affirmed in the fragments that remain that being is and non-being is not. He accepted only one entity, one being that is. Such aspects were discussed in our previous books and what must be emphasized is that he affirmed that entity cannot produce entity. And his arguments can be synthesized as follows. If there was more than one being, the second one would be distinguished from the first whether by what is entity or by what is not entity. Now, it could not be distinguished from what is not entity, for how can what is nothing distinguish something from something else? On the other hand, it could also not be distinguished by the entity, for the entity would identify with the first one and the difference would still be entity and could not be distinguished, as such, from the first one. If the entity would produce entity, it would only be affirming itself. Therefore, between being and non-being there is no place for an intermediary – Parmenides affirmed – which is a way to affirm the principle of identity that is attributed to him as the first announcer.

As a consequence, Parmenides ends up denying the “coming to be” and “passing away”, as well as all and any mutation. For how could a thing become what it already is? Becoming is the path to being, for all becoming is a becoming-a-being. And how could the being – that already is – become a being, if it already is? In such position, Parmenides found himself before a conundrum: if something becomes, it becomes whether from a non-being to a being or from a being to a being. The first option is impossible, for how can a non-being generates a being if non-being is nothing? And how could the being become being if it already is so? In such conditions, concepts such as mutation, becoming and production are inconceivable. And once only the being is intelligible, any becoming is unintelligible and does not exist. Thus he would exclaim: “thereby the fire of becoming is extinct perishing is banned”. If being is, perishing – a becoming from being to non-being – is not.

But how can one deny the testimony of our senses that affirm mutability? Clearly Parmenides knew that. However, he affirmed it all as appearances (phaenomenon), mere phenomena.

Now there is a reality that his philosophy could not save. Parmenides actualized the one and virtualized the multiple, which he sacrificed for the former without resolving the eternal and fundamental theme of all philosophy that always hovers over both antinomies, whether affirming one to deny another or trying great synthesis, as in Aristotle. Parmenides thought had a great influence in Greek philosophy. A solution between the One and the Multiple ought to done.

A solution emerged trying to explain multiplicity as follows: the being would be formed by particles of intrinsic immutability (parmenidean positivity of immutability of being), at times approaching, at times moving away, according to attractions and repulsions. From such multiple combinations emerged then the heterogeneity of existing. Heterogeneity was explained by homogeneity. Thus, being born (generation) and dying (corruption) would be merely products of their qualitative combinations within the being. Herein, Empedocles, Anaxagoras and the atomists Leucipo and Democritus agreed upon, diverging therefore from Aristotle.

Mutability as such could be mechanically explained. This conception is in general lines the overview of the Greek mechanicist thought, which was replicated in Aristotelian naturalism, imposed in light of aporias examined so properly by Aristotle.

Synthesis of the Greek Atomistic Thought

Aristotle examined the Greek atomism and reveal its aporias. Leucipo and Democritus remained loyal to Parmenides’ thought of intrinsic immutability of being. However, they affirm the opposite of Parmenides when referring to non-being. While he affirmed non-being as non-existing, the atomists affirmed nothingness as existent, therefore jumping into the negative – as commented by Joel. For them, nothingness is “something”, emptiness (vacuum, to kenon), the empty space. Such empty space exists and it is wherein moves indivisible particles – atoms (from a, privative alpha, and tómos, parts), unbreakable and intrinsically impossible to divide.

Thereby, generation (being born) and corruption (dying) of beings occur through rapprochement or separation (agregatio or desagregatio) of atoms. For both thinkers, atoms are not all the same, having different forms – however they are all immutable.

Mutation

To fully comprehend the work of Aristotle, we shall now clarify the concept of mutation and its classifications. Mutation is the transference from one mode of existence to another. When it is a change in the substantial form, it is called corruption; when it acquires a substantial form, generation; when it goes from a certain quality to an opposite quality, it is called alteration (alteratio); when it goes from a place (ubi) to another, there is local, topic movement; when it happens from a smaller quantity to a larger one, increase (augmentum); in reverse, decrease (decrementum).

Mutation that happens to a substantial form (ad substantiam), is instantaneous. Mutations of alteration, increase and decrease are successive.

Local mutation is a mere modal – as studied in our Ontology.

Since a transit from a state to another, mutation can be intrinsic or extrinsic depending on the transit’s determination. Intrinsic mutation can be metaphysical or physical. Creation, transubstantiation and annihilation are of the metaphysical type.

Physical mutation is either substantial or accidental, when the formal term (terminus quo) is substantial or accidental. Substantial physical mutation can be either generation or corruption, when the ad quem term is a form or a privation of form.

Generation happens from a negative term of form to a positive one (for example, from a non-water to a water); corruption happens from a positive term to a negative, the transit of a form to its negation1.

Such mutations are instantaneous for between being and non-being – or between non-being and being – there can be no medium or distance.

Accidental mutation is either instantaneous or successive. It is instantaneous when it is accidental generation or corruption; it is successive, local mutation, alteration and increase.

On Generation and Corruption (Peri geneseôs kai phtorás)

The treatise On Generation and Corruption is placed in Aristotle’s series of works called Physiká (Physics), whereupon he studies motion in a general sense, such as mutation of any kind. Every movement can be considered according three terms:

terminus a quo (term of start); terminus quod (the movable) and terminus ad quem (term of finish)

Physics is the general introduction to further treatises and its object is the common traits of special objects from subsequent treatises, which are the Peri Ouranou where he summarily presents his world conception. In this book he also analyses the circular movement of the stars, the rectilinear motion of light and heavy bodies, as well as the specific form of the local (topic) movement, which is a specie of genre motion (metabolê).

In On Generation and Corruption, he addresses specific movement, which is the production and destruction of beings and their properties. Aristotle aims to demonstrate that generation of a being is the destruction of another.

Note:

1. Corruption comes from the Latin verb corrumpere (augmentative cum and rumpere, to break), meaning to break the unity or that that lost its form to decompose in its components.

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.

A decadialectical analysis of truth

Once examined the various views on the criterion of truth and having emphasized the positivities within each one of them, we can now establish a decadialectical criterion in accordance to human reach. Truth is within the mind and within things; within the mind through an affirmation that is adequate to the truth within things.

If there is an entitas – whether physical-real, metaphysical-real, rational-real, etc. – there is truth, either ontologically considered – within the thing, in re – or as an adequation between judgment and thing, in the truth of judgment and in the truth of the content judgment. Therefore, judgment as such, abstracted from its content, is a noetic truth; the objective content to which it refers is a truth; judgment as existential affirmation of content may or may not be true. And once there is always being, there is always truth, for ens et verum convertuntur, as studied in our Anthology.

It is natural that, according to perspectives of different philosophical views in the gnoseological field, different ways of actualizing truth would also emerge, although only a concrete and global view could offer, through the coalescence of positivities, a structured dialectical truth. One can easily verify that the divergences dwell merely in unilateral and exclusive affirmation of a perspective which, by affirming its positivities, denies the positivities of others, or, by overly emphasizing its positivities, detracts what was established by others.

Let us summarize them:

There is positivity in dogmatism when it affirms we can apprehend the truth. There is vicious form in systematic dogmatism that affirms we can apprehend the truth tota et totaliter.

Moderate dogmatism accepts that we can only apprehend truth tota et non totaliter and such affirmation is accurate.

Skepticism, while it denies a totaliter apprehension of truth, is positive; it reveals positivity by acknowledging we have not totaliter truth. Such is the moderate – or methodic – skepticism. It becomes vicious when it turns systematic, for besides affirming the impossibility of totaliter apprehension of truth, it also affirms the impossibility of apprehension of tota truth.

Other kinds of skepticism, more ‘regional’, denies only the totaliter apprehension in one field, but not in another.

Subjectivists in general affirm that adaequatio depends on our mind. Such affirmative positivates a truth as relatio rationis; therefore, a truth of relation.

Within probabilism, there is a positivity, for our knowledge in its adaequatio with the thing, if it is formaliter (formally) exact, it exhaust not totaliter the thing. Hence we can know more or know less, i.e., the set of truths we can apprehend from things is in higher or lower number, what allows us to establish that globally the truth known is more or less closer to the truth intellectually attainable. Why? It matter not that the answer should be that we are in statu lapsae, in state of fall (as affirmed by the Scholastics) or whether that we are simply limited. Probabilism is vicious when affirms mere probability without accepting however that we “have truths”, although not tota et totaliter.

When relativism affirms that our representation of the world depends on our conditions, it affirms a positivity. But when, viciously, deduce that all our knowledge is only relative, absolutely excluding truth, it falls into a absolutism which makes it unilateral and dialectically false.

Pragmatism is positive when affirming the adaequatio between our truth and the goodness we seek. If bonum et ens convertuntur, the seek for our goodness is the seek for truth and our practical consequences are humanly true. But when excludes others, it falls into absolutism which is vicious for denying other positivities.

Kantian criticism, in its modalities, is positive when affirms we don’t totaliter apprehend the noumenal truth, but is not when then absolutize it to deny other positivities.

We could continue in such analysis on phenomenologists, voluntarists, phenomenists, rationalists, intellectualists, empirical-rationalists, real-idealists, ideal-realists, existentialists, modernists, etc. There should be always a positivity to be noted but the influence of what we call “tendency to absolutize” leads to vicious unilateralities that alienate them from a comprehensive view of truth within the diverse planes in which it can be studied, such as the logical, ontological, ontical, gnoseological, psychological, empirical, pragmatic, etc. planes.

To sum up our view on the problem of truth, we can say the following:

In the relation subject object (field of subject and of object), the truth is placed in the subjective, position of logical truth, or placed in the objective, the material truth of science, founded on facts. Now, facts are true, regardless of their usefulness. In the field of the subject, there is an intuitive truth, apprehended by intuition that gives us security, and a rational truth, which is formal.

There is the known human truth, but amongst those we ignore we must accept that there is a potential truth not yet apprehended. We can see facts according their actuality and their virtuality. The actual truth is apprehendable, but we also have the means to apprehend the virtual ones (potentialities, etc.).

There is, therefore, a truth within things, ontically and ontologically considered.

There is truth within judgements, when adequate to the things.

There is a logical-formal truth, when the judgements are adequate to one another.

The fact of being, namely the existence, is true. We apprehend it through our schemes.

There is adequation between fact and scheme, that is the ontological truth.

There is adequation between scheme and fact, that is the merely logical truth.

There is adequation of the schemes with one another, that is the formal truth.

If the fact occurs and is verifiable, that is material or scientific truth.

Are those truths inseparable? Wouldn’t every controversy be consequence of diverse unilateral stances in facing such theme?

Dialectical truth – which is concrete – can only be that of which is given by the fact through the adequation of the scheme with the fact, of the fact with the scheme and of the scheme with the schemes of its schematic constellation.

Let us explain: By analysing the ‘theory of projection’ in the polemic of universals, we clearly verify that there is a correspondence between the ontological order and the gnoseological one, imposed by the unity of the Being. The gnoseological restrictions emerge from all hitherto criticism. If there is not a tota et totaliter knowing, there is at least the knowing of the whole thing, not exhaustive but intentionaliter. If the noetic scheme of any kind does not exhaust the schematic totality of the thing, it refers to it with adequation.

Dialectical truth excludes not all the cooperatives that coordinate in the realization of the fact. A totum knowledge of the thing implies a scalarity and it can be augmented as the knowledge of all predisponences also increases, as well as the emergence, which cooperate to the formation of the fact, even when only formally considered or when considering only the formalities that refer to perfections, such as wisdom, etc. All of them have factual correspondence, as emphasized by Thomas Aquinas by his positive contribution to the subject of analogy, as we shall study in “Ontology”.

If one searches in each truth in any field for its correspondents analogical collocations, the dialectical truth emerges, without diverging however from its human mark. It is not exhaustive, but scalarly extensible without the need for a greater knowledge to exclude the value of truth of the lesser. Such aspect is important to stress, for knowing a thing in a small degree is not a total error. There is error only in considering such knowledge as exhaustive.

Our knowledge is fundamentally true when founded in apprehensions with value of truth, i.e., when such schematical assimilations correspond to schemes dialectically well-built. Hence, our knowledge can be true without being totum et totaliter true; it is sufficient to be totum. On the other hand, it is consequently extensible without implying relativity of truth, but a relativity of our ways of knowing the truth. Henceforth, truth decadialectically considered doesn’t excludes the positivities of the various gnoseological views, which through their exclusions deviate them towards vicious fields.

Dialectical truth is therefore the synthesis of material, ontological, logical and formal truths. When all of them are adequate with one another, there is dialectical truth. Therefore, there is only one secure criterion of truth: that of which gives us an evidence of such adequation.

Do we then reach absolute truth? No, but we reach a truth within our schemes; a truth that is immanent to the facts and to ourselves. Transcendental truth, once something that surpasses us, does not belong to us but it behooves us to conquer it. It demands other methods and a different criteriology that we shall explain later on. However, through dialectical concretion, one can establish intellectual truths. Now, is it possible to achieve such dialectical criterion? A better answer shall be given throughout our next books in which we ought to demonstrate that, in order to address any subject, we can do so in light of those four truths. And whatever is not addressed in light of them shall is suspected of error.

One can then ask: how can we apply such criterion to a transcendental object? There is no obstacle that we shall search for a maximum of concretion. The transcendental themes themselves allow the needlessness of separating what was acquired in the other fields of human knowledge. When such point is reached we have secure evidence and patency that the divorce of science, religion, philosophy and metaphysics was a product of a crisis that emerged from a partial and abstract view by those who faced the subject of truth.

The being is what it is. So much so as our schemes, which reproduce the being, although not all of it. They are adequate – formaliter and intentionaliter – to the being. An example should clarify such method.

Let us analyse the issue presented by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica, first part, Q. 27, a. 1: “For procession signifies outward movement. But in God there is nothing mobile, nor anything extraneous. Therefore neither is there procession in God.”

Examining the first premise. All procession (from pro and cadere) is a move towards, a motion. But is every motion outwards? Does it not all procession show a topicity (of topos, place)? If so, there is in procession a transit from one place to another.

But all procession implies an action. In an intellectual act of understanding, there is procession but not topicity, since understanding does not proceed from one place to another (nor outwards, but inwards). Therefore, there is procession ad extra (outwards) as well as ad intra (inwards). Such is a scientifically demonstrated fact. That is a material truth. Hence, it is not a logical truth the affirmation that procession signifies outward movement for the idea of procession implies both an ad extra action and an ad intra one. Therefore, the first premise is false for excluding procession ad intra, since there is real examples of different processions. The consequence of the syllogism is fundamentally false.

This is how a material truth can corroborate a logical truth, or even a formal or ontological one. The reasoning of St. Thomas proceeds as such – dialectically – in several other solutions to great ontological problems.

The homogenizing tendency of reason leads it to build a rigid and homogeneous concept of truth. The desired adequation is identification. Truth must identify with itself. What is said and of what is said must identify with reason. Now, since such is impossible, for all identification, dialectically, includes distinctions, contradictions, contrarieties, one can never resolve the problem of truth in terms and in a field merely rational through considering reason aprioristically.

That is the reason any endeavour of a rational, abstract criterion of truth has failed. Truth is concrete. The enunciate, with abstract schemes of truth, is worth for its adequation. The truth of things is the being of things; it is ontologically itself, identical to itself. Our enunciates however are scalar: reason why they have a value, which lays in enunciating – totaliter – the truth. We can only have one criterion that our enunciates are true: when, under all aspects of truth, it is ontical, ontological, logical and formally adequate to the object.

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.