C I R N E - L I M A

To Maria
And to my students

Translated by Helen Marjorie Danson Barbosa


I. We and the Greeks
1. Heraclitus’ Garden
2. The Game of the Opposites
3. The Myth of the Cave
4. The Analysis of the World
5. The Explanation of the World

II. What is Dialectic?
1. The Logical Square
2. The Synthesis of the Opposites
3. The three Principles
4. Being, Nothing, Becoming
5. Dialectic and Antinomy

III. A System Project
1. Dialectic and Nature
2. Ethics
3. Justice and the State
4. The Meaning of History
5. The Absolute


I wrote Dialectic for Beginners thinking about my students. I wrote it for them, for the beginners, Incipientibus in Dialecticam, as Abaelard would say. I composed this essay for those clean-faced, shiny-eyed young people, attentive, lucid, anxious to learn, who know very well that they don’t know anything at all. That’s why they want to learn. It’s for them that I wrote this book and to them that I dedicate it. Justly, I might add. For it was with them, their questions, through discussions and debates with them that this Dialectic was born, grew and turned into reality. Not that I am self-taught, or that I slight my teachers. No, I have great esteem for those who were my professors. I owe them a lot. But it was with my students that, over the years, I learned what I give back to them, now, with this book.
A beginner is one who knows nothing, or almost nothing. A beginner is one who realizes that he doesn’t know anything. And for this reason he wants to learn, to understand the words, to understand the meaning of the sentences, to accompany the development of the argument. I wrote this book for him. I wrote it in a simple, direct style. I wrote an unpretentious Philosophy with no fussiness, no decorations, without academic rank and without aerobic demonstrations of scholarship. Most ideas exposed here are very old. There are some new things too, because everyone who earnestly studies Philosophy and enters into a struggle with the ideas, with the ideas themselves, will always discover something new. When we appropriate the richness which we inherited from tradition and try to pass it along, it gets revitalized and it grows. This work was born from the great philosophic tradition. My wish is for it to take the readers back to the great master thinkers of tradition.
By the way, you readers are Beginners-Who-Know-Nothing, right? Have you realized that while you don’t know anything and express this, you are being catapulted from the Know-Nothing to the Knowing? Because, as Socrates said, he who knows that he knows nothing is a Wiseman. This is Philosophy. Yes, and now what? Are you Beginners or Wisemen? Is this Dialectic for Beginners or Wisemen? I don’t know, discover for yourself. Look up high and observe the flight of Minerva’s Owl, don’t pay too much attention to the Thracian Slave’s laugh, discover.
Porto Alegre, May, 1996



1. Initial questions
Where did we come from? Where are we going? What is the reason for the world and our life? Did the universe have a beginning? Will it have an end? Are there laws ruling the course of the universe? Are these laws for us, too? May we disobey these laws? What happens when we disobey them? Is there reward and punishment? Is there really? Or should there be? Does this happen now during this life or in some existence after death? Can we think about an eternal life, an existence after death, without contradiction? Can there be a time after all time is finished? Can there be an after after the last and final after? After all, what are we?
These are the questions which from the beginning of time, everyone who becomes an adult has asked. These are the questions which have worried all philosophers since the Pre-Socratics. Philosophy is an attempt, always frustrated and constantly taken up again, at giving a rational answer to these questions. This is what we will now develop in this essay. A final and definite answer which completely answers these questions does not exist. Even more, such a complete and finished answer is, as we will see, impossible in Philosophy. But, as many questions can be asked, many answers can and should be given.

2. Philosophy is a big puzzle
Philosophy is the science of first principles, those principles which are universally valid and which rule not only the being, but also the thinking. Today Philosophy is many times thought of as a science of ultimate rational justifications, that is, as rational foundation for all other sciences. The great theme of Philosophy is then, using a metaphor taken from Architecture, a question of the ultimate foundation. It is in this way that long ago Aristotle spoke about First Philosophy. First Philosophy deals with the first principles of the universe - the being and the thinking - principles which are the rational foundation of all the other sciences, such as Logic, Physics, Astronomy, Biology, Ethics, Politics, Esthetics etc., which earlier belonged to that great and all inclusive science that was then called Philosophy.
I don’t have anything against the conception of Philosophy as a science of ultimate foundation. It is also this. But this metaphor points to only one of the hard nuclei of that greater thing which Philosophy really is. It is as if it were pointing to a meatless, bare bone. The image of foundation is a little poor. I personally prefer another metaphor, that of a puzzle, to characterize what Philosophy is. Philosophy is, I would say, a great puzzle.
In a puzzle we must fit each piece with the neighboring pieces so that the edges of each one coincide with the edges of the neighboring pieces, making up a coherent image which appears in the end without holes or ruptures. A puzzle consists in inserting piece by piece one into each other, with perfect fitting of the edges, until all the pieces are correctly placed and the final, coherent, meaningful image becomes visible. If there are pieces left, the puzzle was not finished. If there are pieces missing, the puzzle was lacking something and the image will be incomplete. In large puzzles it is perfectly possible for us to assemble pieces of the large final image, each piece with its own figures, but without the final composition. If we continue until the end, and the puzzle is not lacking pieces, all the pieces will then fit together. There will not be any pieces missing nor any left over, and the total image will be clear and visible.
Doing Philosophy today is, in my opinion, like assembling a large puzzle. The sciences such as Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Biology, Archeology, History, Psychology, Sociology etc. are parts of the large puzzle that is Philosophy, the Most Universal Science. Each one of these particular sciences assembles its own part, each of them deals with some figures. None of them has to worry about or take charge of the total composition of the great mosaic, which is Philosophy, the reason, the meaning of the universe. These particular sciences do work on assembling the great puzzle, but each of them limits itself to a small part of it. To do Philosophy means to go on until the end, that is, assembling all the pieces until one can see the global image.
This is where the first difference between the puzzle and Philosophy appears. In Philosophy we don’t have all the pieces. The universe is still in the making. History is not yet finished. Many things, which we have no idea of, are still to come. The Philosopher does not have all the pieces - the future has not yet arrived - and therefore, the final mosaic will always be incomplete. Nevertheless, it is necessary to assemble the puzzle with the existing pieces, including the player himself. Each one of us who is a concrete player must jump into the ultimate mosaic of Philosophy which is the universal meaning of the universe in which we live, that is the ultimate meaning of our lives; in this way Philosophy becomes existential. But, as History and Evolution have not yet finished, the image that appears on the mosaic, although global, will always have large empty spaces. This means that, while the time of History is still passing, Philosophy as a global system of knowledge is and will always be an inconclusive project. The Great Science will never be complete and finished. Philosophy always is and will continue to be only Love of Knowledge.
No one can pretend that the particular sciences do not exist. No one should pretend, as some Philosophers today do, that Philosophy is only Philosophy of Language or Theory of Knowledge. This is also important, this is also part of Philosophy. But Philosophy is more than just a Metalanguage Theory; Philosophy is a Great Science, which contains in itself all, I repeat, a l l the particular sciences with their theories and unanswered questions. There comes a question: Is this still possible? Today, in our century, with the incredible development of the particular sciences, is it still possible to make a Great Synthesis? Of course it is necessary and it is possible. Moreover as the particular sciences developed, so did the resources available to the Philosopher trying to build the basic framework of the Great Unified Theory again. It’s a little embarrassing, but we must admit that many philosophers today have abandoned the idea of the Great Synthesis and are happy with partial subsystems; that means however, that they stopped doing real Philosophy. Happily though, as everyone can see, Physicists are still looking for the Great Synthetic Theory into which the subsystems now being worked on can be integrated. The problem is that the Great Synthesis is more than just a conciliation of the general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics. The programmatic job of Philosophy is still more ample than that of Physics at the end of the twentieth century. Biology, Psychology, Sociology, History, etc., must also enter in this synthetic theory which is Philosophy, because we want to discover which laws are valid for all things and which are valid only for some things. In the past this great task was called explicatio mundi; to do Philosophy has always been and continues to be building the explanation to the world. We will return to this word many times, because with it we can really express all that Philosophy can and should intend to be.

3. Criticism of Post-Modern Reason
After the intellectual collapse of Hegel’s system during the second half of the last century, after the political collapse of Marxism - which is a type of leftist hegelianism - in 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and soon after with the breaking up of the Soviet Union, Philosophy seems to have become a dead end street. Instead of the Great Synthesis we have only a great impasse. Reason, which was ambitious and went looking for the Great Synthesis; reason, the one reason, the unique and most universal reason is destroyed by Nietzsche’s sledge hammer. Reason, the one Reason, unique and with a capital letter, was declared dead. Reason died, the multiple small reasons live, the reasons of many different perspectives as Nietzsche said, the reasons of multiple horizons, as Heidegger wanted, the reasons of multiple language games as Wittgenstein affirmed. The one and unique Reason died, the multiple reasons with their relativisms live. This is the post-modern thesis of thought.
The positive side of this dissolution of the unity of reason, which was defined by Illuminism, is that in our century we became more modest, more understanding, more open to other cultures, more tolerant with the foreigner, more attentive to alterity. The particular, including the particular sciences, progressed immensely. Even Logic, which before was the one Logic, unique, in the singular and with a capital letter, as the Logic of Aristotle and the master thinkers of the Middle Age, has been transformed. Today we have, next to Aristotelian logic, written in small letters, many other logics. Today we speak about logics, in the plural and with small letters. What happened to Logic, also happened to Reason as a whole. Instead of Reason, today we have many reasons, in the plural and with small letters.
Post-modern reason puts one subsystem next to another, and another and still another, always one next to the other without a higher and more ample unity which encloses them; the cracks between the various subsystems remain empty. Post-modern reason denies the existence of principles or laws that are really universal, which connect the various subsystems; that is, principles that are always valid, in all spheres, in all the cracks and for everything. Furthermore, extreme Post-Modernism says that, strictly speaking, there is no universally valid proposition.
Now, whoever makes such an statement, by saying this, says just the opposite. Such an affirmation is a contradiction in itself, it causes a logical implosion. Let’s see what happens in another, simpler example. We will take the proposition that There is no true proposition. Anyone who affirms such a thing is implicitly saying There is no proposition which is true, except this one that I am now saying. Therefore the implicitly made exception denies the universality of that which was affirmed: There is no truth that a l l propositions are false, since at least this one, which is being affirmed, is being affirmed as being true. This also happens with the post-modern proposition There is no proposition which is universaly valid for all subsystems; in saying and affirming this, we are saying that at least this proposition is valid in all subsystems. The same thing happens in class when the teacher complains about the talking and little Johnny says But teacher, no one is talking. In saying this he contradicts exactly what he is saying. It is for this reason that post-modern reason is good, yes, as respect for alterity and regard for diversity, but is very bad as a substitute for universally valid reason. It cannot be universalized; if we do it, it explodes. This is why post-modern philosophy, in this sense, does not and will not ever exist. Whoever wishes to do Philosophy in the way of post-modern reason, overlapping subsystems, without ever making an encompassing theory, small as it may be, is doomed to failure by self-contradiction. My friend Habermas, forgive me, but it is impossible: it implodes. This shows that one can return to the one, unique, most universal reason. It can consist of few rules and principles; maybe it can consist of only one principle, but that such a reason exists, it exists. He who denies it, detonates and enters in self-contradiction. The explanation of the world can be maybe minimalist. But it is really possible.
The more negative side of post-modern reason is the trash that accumulates in the crevices between the various subsystems. And it is there, into these empty crevices, that we sweep the contradictions and badly solved problems. Between one subsystem and another is where the trash of reason lies. Particular theories, articulated just as subsystems, permit that between one subsystem and another the biggest absurdities sprout up and bloom. The contradictions were not resolved, they were just swept away. This is not enough. One must think about the multiplicity as well as the unity. Without unity, multiplicity enters into contradiction, as we have already seen. Multiplicity in the Unity, Unity in the Multiplicity; it is necessary to reconcile both equally legitimate and necessary poles. And it is time to rethink Parmenides as well as Heraclitus.

4. Parmenides’ Sphere
Parmenides, one of the great thinkers of Pre-Socratic Philosophy, was in some ways, the forefather of post-modern reason. He opposed one of the two biggest subsystems to the other: the real being and the doxa, the mere appearance. Parmenides said that the real reality is only the immovable being, which is pure rest, without any movement. This immovable and immutable being is symbolized by a sphere, that is, by a geometrical figure which has no limits, where the finger runs without ever coming to a beginning or an end. And the things of this world which are in movement, which move, are born and die, well, these things, Parmenides declared, are not real reality, they are a doxa, just appearances, under which there is no real being. Appearances can fool you. On one side the subsystem of what is really real, on the other side a subsystem of appearances. But, Parmenides is not post-modern. He was more radical, he sacrificed all the appearances, the multiple things of this world in which we live, on the altar of an exasperating rationality, of a only, unique, immovable, immutable, infinite logos. That which is, Parmenides said, is. That which is not, is not. And that which is not isn’t anything, it means nothing and does nothing. The Non-Being does not exist, it cannot even be thought of.
Movement is always the passage of Being to Non-Being, or to death. Then the passage of Non-Being to Being is birth. Now, since the Non-Being does not exist, since it is nothing, there is no passage for the Non-Being. There is not, for the same reason, passage from the Non-Being to Being; from the Non-Being nothing can begin. This means that there is no death nor birth. Death and birth are illusions, they are merely appearances. Well, by logic, Non-Being is nothing. And therefore, all that the Non-Being determines is being determined as being nothing; that is, it is nothing, just illusion. Therefore, Parmenides argues, there is no movement. And if we think that something is in movement, it is just an illusion.
Zeno of Elea, a disciple of Parmenides, in order to demonstrate what he thought as the logical impossibility of movement brings the example of a race between Achilles and the tortoise and the example of the stopped arrow. Achilles races a tortoise. Since Achilles is a great hero and an excellent runner, the tortoise asks for a ten meter head start. Achilles agrees and the race begins. Notice, states Zeno, how movement is something contradictory, notice that Achilles is not going to be able to win the race. Just think. Before running the distance that separates him from the tortoise, Achilles has to run half that distance. And before running this half, he has to run half of this half. And before finishing the half of this half, he has to run half of this half. And so on. Since the quantity is infinitely dividable and there is always a new half of a half, one can conclude that Achilles will not advance one step, he will not be able to regain the advantage, and therefore he will lose the race to the tortoise. Why? Because movement, said Zeno, is contradictory, it cannot be thought of until the end without there being an unsolvable contradiction. - The same thinking is applied to the arrow shot by the archer in direction of some target. The arrow, having to pass through infinite halves of halves, remains still. Zeno thinks the stopped arrow and Achilles’s race with the tortoise demonstrates Parmenides thesis that movement is impossible and that for this reason we have to limit ourselves to the one, only, unique, infinite Being without movement which is the only being that really is. This is Parmenides sphere.
Parmenides, the great thinker of the one, only, unique and immutable being, is, despite this great mistake, the intellectual father of all real Philosophy, because he was the first who took the unity of reason and of being so seriously. Everything that exists is a part of the Whole and the One. The One and the Whole, Hen kai pan, are the beginning and the end of all true Philosophy, of the science that wants to understand all things in the frameword of the Great Synthesis. The mistake Parmenides committed, which is visible to everyone, is not taking the moment of diversity and movement equally seriously. He could not think of the Non-Being as something that in some ways is. Parmenides has the conception of the universe as the Whole and the One, but he misses the movement in which everything flows. Heraclitus is missing.

5. The garden of Heraclitus
According to Heraclitus everything flows, panta rei, everything is constantly flowing, everything is in movement. Real reality is not the immutable sphere without limits of the Eleatic, but movement which without ever stopping is always beginning again. There is no beginning and no end, in this Heraclitus agreed with Parmenides, not because there is no movement, but because everything is constantly changing. What for the Eleatic was doxa, just appearances and illusion, now is real reality itself.
Reality is not just Being, it is not, for the same reason, just Non-Being. Real reality is a tension that connects and unites Being and Non-Being. Dialectics appears here for the first time in the History of Philosophy. Being and Non-Being, thesis and antithesis, are united on a higher plane through a synthesis. Being and Non-Being, which at first seem to oppose and exclude each other, constitute in real reality a synthetic unity which is Being in Motion, Becoming. In Becoming there is an element which is Being, but there is also another element which is equally essential which is Non-Being. Being and Non-Being, well mixed, do not repel and exclude each other, but enter into an amalgam and blend together to make up a new reality.
We have there, already in Heraclitus, the fundamentals of Dialectics. In the first stage we have two opposite poles which mutually exclude themselves. Thesis and antithesis oppose each other, one excluding the other. In this first stage one pole annuls and terminates the other, they are excludent. But things don’t stop there. There is movement, there is development, there is progress. Then, in this second stage, the poles unite and come together, making up a higher step, a new unity.
The lyre, a musical instrument of the ancient Greeks, serves as an example to Heraclitus. The lyre is made up of an arch and strings. Whoever wishes to make a lyre gets a piece of appropriate wood and bends it to make an arch. But, this arch, if let loose, returns to its straight form. In order to keep the arch bent it is necessary to tie it with a string, or with several strings. The arch and the string, in this first stage, are in tension, one against the other. The arch wants to break the string, the string wants to bend the arch. This opposition, which exists at this first stage of Dialectics, if and when properly dosed, creates something completely new, something marvelous: music. The tension which exists in this first stage, the arch against the string and the string against the arch, gives in to the synthesis which is music, or yet, with a capital M, Music which is one of the nine Godesses that rule and inspire the Arts. In this first stage there is excludent opposition and conflict, in the second stage synthetizing conciliation which creates something new, something higher, more complex, more noble.
One of the most beautiful examples of Dialectics, well known in the past, but rarely mentioned today, is the fílesis, antifílesis and filia movement; that is, the dialectic movement which carries us from beginning love which proposes and asks, passing through love which, questioned, answers affirmatively, to arrive at love which, loving, knows to be loved back. This love which, being synthetic, is no longer exclusive property of one or other of the lovers, but is a unity for both. The Greeks called this filía, friendship.
Love has a beginning. Someone has to begin. The beginning is a strictly unilateral act and always risky. One doesn’t know beforehand how the other is going to react or what the other will say. This unilateral, risky act is called fílesis in Greek. Hector loves Helen. Hector loves and knows that he loves; Helen notices the invitation, but has not yet decided. The other can answer yes, but can also answer no. In the beginning this is open and contingent. If the other one, however, answers yes, then we have an antifilesis, which is also a unilateral act, but is no longer a risky act because it is no longer just a question, just an invitation, but an answer and acceptance of an invitation already made. Helen decides to accept Hector’s love and love him back. This return love is the antifilesis. Filesis and antifilesis are both unilateral acts; filesis is risky, antifilesis is not. They are both independent, complete, finished acts, one different from the other, one in relative opposition to the other; one is thesis, the other antithesis. But, when both cross each other, and on a higher plane come together in a more complex, higher, nobler, unique reality, then we have filía. In filía the two initially different, opposite poles, one which questions and the other which answers, come together to make an amalgam, something new. In filía both individual loves stop being unilateral acts and become only one act, which is bilateral, in which it is no longer important who asks and who answers, because both initial loves have lost their individual character, the I and the You, to unify into something new, the We. Hector and Helen, as they love each other, first lose themselves. The sense of existence is transfered to the other person. It is the other which fulfills the sense of life, and it is the other, the person loved, which is the center of the universe. Hector is madly in love with Helen. Hector first is lost: Whoever loves somebody is always getting lost. As Helen loves Hector back, the sense of the universe makes a complete circle and returns to Hector, who now, deeply enriched, is again full of feeling and life. This new life and new feeling of the universe are not a unilateral act just of himself, it is joint act, a bilateral act, an act in which the I is mediated through the You to make up We. It is for this reason that the love of friendship, filía, is so great and so precious. This was the reason why the Greeks and the Trojans fought for so many years. It was for this reason, only for love of friendship, that Achilles, Ulysses and Agamemnon, the peoples’ shepherds, took the Greeks with their curved ships to the unending war. It was for this reason only, that the Trojans, led by Hector, fought till death. All of this only because of one woman, Homer says in the Iliad. All of this only because of the filía, which transcends the individuals and makes up a higher and stronger synthesis. Love then becomes History. The History of the Greeks and Trojans, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the beginning of our civilization.
Thesis and antithesis are in the first stage, opposite poles which repel and exclude each other. In a second stage, both unify in a synthesis which is something higher and more noble. In this synthesis, Hegel would say much later, the initial poles are overcome and kept (Aufheben). On one hand they are overcome, because they have lost some of their characteristics. In the example of the love of friendship, the character of unilaterality and risk is surpassed and in this way disappears. But, on the other hand, the poles are kept in synthesis, because the positive nucleus already existing in them continues and is preserved. Love, when it stops being a unilateral act, becomes even more love, it becomes a higher and more noble love. Thesis, antithesis and synthesis make up that which Greek philosophers called a game of opposites. This is the beginning, the root of Dialectics.
Heraclitus, the father of Dialectics, said that we cannot step into the same river twice. The river is not the same, we are not the same. Everything is in flowing motion, it is the motion that is real reality. Reality, he teaches, is dialectically woven through a game of opposites. In the beginning all is fighting and war, because the opposites oppose and exclude each other. Pólemos patér pánton, The war is the beginning of all things. But, afterwards there is often a unifiyng synthesis that bears something else more complex, higher, more noble.
In the game of opposites there is not always a positive result. Many times what happens is only death and destruction. The opposite poles in this case act only as destructive agents. The first annuls the second, or vice versa, or both mutually annul each other. In such cases there is no synthesis, there is no Dialectic.
Is is also evident that, in order to understand the universe in his unity, we have to grasp it as a synthesis. When and why is there synthesis? That syntheses exist in the universe is quite clear. One can see it, just look at the cosmos. But the question is: Why is it that sometimes there is synthesis and sometimes not? Whoever has an answer to this has discovered the solution of the question about the harmony in the universe, about the organization of the cosmos. The main question of all Philosophy, Science of the Great Synthesis, is: Why do opposites sometimes exclude each other and sometimes unite each other?
It is between Parmenides and Heraclitus that a space has been created in which since that time we do Philosophy. Parmenides saying that Everything is the One supplies the element of universal Logos which includes everything; Heraclitus, saying that Everything flows, that all is the motion of opposite poles, supplies the element of Dialectics. Hen kay pan and Panta rei, the Whole and the One and Everything flows have since been the mottoes of any and all Philosophy. That is why in the garden which we want to represent our western Philosophy there must be a stone sphere in the center, a sphere that refers to Parmenides Oneness which is the Being. But, since Parmenides’ philosophy needs to be marked and corrected by Heraclitus, it is necessary for this sphere to be in perpetual flowing motion. Water has to spring out of the sphere like a fountain enclosing it in the flow of the water; in this way it becomes the symbol of the Great Synthesis between Rest and Motion, between Totality and Dialectic.


1. The Pre-Socratic Philosophy of Nature
The Pre-Socratic Philosophers were the first, in our culture, to sketch out a rational view of the world, saying how Nature began, how and what it is made of, and what man’s place is in it. Before these first thinkers constructed rationality, there was only Myth. Myth is the first, not yet critical form, of philosophizing, that is, of thinking about the world as one, of thinking about the universe in its totality. Myth, among the Greeks, assumes the figure of genealogy. In the beginning, in the very beginning, according to the old Greeks, there is just chaos. Chaos is the beginning of all and is, therefore, the first of the gods, father and origin of all things. From the god Chaos then appear other gods in a genealogical sequence in which one god succeeds the other as descendant, until we arrive at the present gods, the present inhabitants of Olympus, a group of gods led by Zeus.
Also in the Jewish-Christian tradition Myth takes the basic form of genealogy. In the beginning, the Jewish and Christian Bible says, there was only God. God, before creating everything, was just himself, he was alone. Then on the first day, God, the Father of everything, created light, calling the light Day and the darkness Night. On the second day, God made the firmament and separated the waters. Then there were waters below the firmament, the seas and river, and waters above the firmament, which later fell as rain. On the third day, God separated the earth and the seas, making then the land, the rich earth, the plants and the fruit-bearing trees. On the fourth day, God, the Father, created the lights in the firmament of the heavens, one greater, the sun, and one smaller, the moon, in this way dividing the day from the night. He also created the small lights in the firmament which are the stars. On the fifth day, God, the Creator, created the animals that live in the waters, the fish, as well as those that live on land, the beasts, and those that fly, the birds, each one according to its species. God then blessed them and ordered them to multiply. On the sixth day, God made man in his image and likeness, to dominate over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, all the reptiles and over all the earth. God then looked at the things that he had created and saw that all of them were good. And on the seventh day, says the biblical myth, God rested. Starting from this beginning, all the Bible is a genealogical history, it is a history of patriarchs and their peoples, with a special emphasis on the Jewish people.
The Greek myths as well as the myths of the Jews and the Christians tell the history of the origin of the universe from its beginning until the historical sequence of the times. The past time is synthetized as one History that has a beginning and brings us to the present time, giving meaning to things and therefore to our lives. This historical summary of the past, which always contains judgments of value - the Good and the Beautiful - makes up the background in which present time is inserted. Through the insertion in this framework which links the past to the present, daily life is also penetrated by ethic and aesthetic values, allowing us to also project the future. Herodotus on one side and the Jewish-Christian Genesis on the other are a history of the first beginning of the world and of the historical sequence of the generations. Both myths have great poetic value and work as structuring archetypes of a certain vision of the world. In the Jewish-Christian myth there is a structure that contraposes, on one side, a first cause, God who creates everything and on the other side the things created, the creatures, which then enter into the scene in genealogical sequence. God, the first cause, is thought of in a genealogical way, as the Creator and Father of everything. This is why he is, in the last instance, responsible for everything and, as the saying of our ancestors goes, Deus escreve direito por linhas tortas, God writes correctly even if the lines on the paper of life are not straight. In Greek mythology there is a shift. Cause, in Greek thinking, is not thought of as an efficient cause outside of the process of the universe, but as an internal cause, an internal principle of self-determination which molds the universe from the inside out. The first god is chaos. The god Chaos, as the name suggests, is totally undetermined; in him there are no things or beings with limits and outlines. But it is from this chaos, from inside this God Chaos, that a well-ordered universe appears. The chaos organizes itself, molds itself, and from itself creates its determinations. Chaos, upon determining itself gives itself shape and form. From this the other gods appear and, after them, men as well.
The Pre-Socratic Philosophers know the Myth and appreciate its savage beauty and pedagogical relevance. But we must think and argue rationally. This is Philosophy, and this is why there are philosophers. This means that the process of Genesis of the universe should be analyzed and described with the exactness and cold objectivity that characterize science. It is in geometry that the first thinkers got inspiration for their spirit of scientific objectivity. The Philosophy of Nature should be as exact, as objective, and as convincing as Geometry. The Pre-Socratics tried hard, but they didn’t get there.
Thales of Miletus thought that the origin and the beginning - the arkhé - of everything is water. The things are made up and differ one from one another by the level of humidity. The god Ocean is therefore the Father of all things. Anaximander also from Miletus, probably a disciple of Thales, said that the first principle is a being totally undetermined, with no limits or determinations, the ápeiron, which is then totally characterized by determinations which limit it more and more, until it forms the determined things which we see in the sensitive world. This initial indeterminate being, the áperion, embraces and circumscribes everything, rules and governs all. Anaximenes of Miletus, disciple of Anaximander, accepted the doctrine of his master about the infinite being, which makes up the beginning of all things, but thought it did not have such an abstract form and defined it as air. The air, according to him, is the beginning of all things. Here we observe, in the Philosophy of Nature of the Ionic philosophers, a first and primitive form of the game of opposites. The first principle is opposed to the differentiated things that originate from it and which are explained through it. Philosophy here is just an explicatio mundi, an explanation of the world. The world is known as a process which originates starting from one unique principle and which develops according to determined rules. It is not yet a modern Physics doctrine about the Big Bang, but it is the first beginning.
Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans took one step forward and discovered the number as the beginning of all things. The mathematization of the world started there to end nevermore. The relations which the numbers establish between themselves make up the rules which determine the process of the explanation of the world. The universe is derived from a first principle according to numeric rules and proportions, which determine the whole process and give form to things. Each number therefore has its own meaning and gives things a determinate form. The number ten is considered a perfect number and is visualized as an equilateral triangle in which each side is made up from four numbers; in the center of the of the triangle there is only one point, the central point, totaling the number ten. The so-called numbers mystic of the Pythagoreans, which will later influence Plato and all the neoplatonic school, is the cradle from which the modern Physics equations are born.
Parallel to the doctrine of the numbers the Pythagorean ultimately developed the game of opposites. Numbers already have a relationship of opposition among themselves. The number One opposes the Other which is then called Two. From this first opposition come the numbers 1 and 2. But there must be synthesis, it is necessary to think not only of the 1 and 2, but also of a new conjunction, and from that comes 3. Thesis is 1, antithesis is 2, and the synthesis is 3. That’s why, according to the Pythagorean, the odd numbers are more perfect: in them we perceive, beyond the opposition of two contrary poles, a synthesis. The triangle formed of ten points, or 10 in the form of a triangle is perfection itself. After we reach 10, everything else is just a repetition. That is how the decimal system of counting and calculating appeared in our civilization to never again leave it.
This mysticism of the numbers then adds up to a list of ten pairs of opposites - the elementary substances - which, according to combinations among themselves give form to all things:
1. Limited....................................Unlimited
2. Odd.........................................Even
3. One.........................................Multiple
4. Right.......................................Wrong
5. Male........................................Female
6. Motionless..............................Motion
7. Straight...................................Curved
8. Light........................................Dark
9. Good.......................................Evil
10. Square..................................Rectangular
The game of opposites is presented here as a basic table of opposites. According to the Pythagorean, whoever learned to play with these ten pairs of opposites, which are the constitutive elements of existing beings, is able to make up the internal constitution of each thing. This is the first form, still very coarse and primitive, of what we call today the Table of Elements in Chemistry. The atoms of present chemistry are thought of according to the atomic model of Niels and Rutherford. One electron turns around an atomic nucleus, the positive and negative electricity get into balance and then we have a stable molecule, we have hydrogen. If instead of one electron there were two turning in orbit, then we would have the second element of the Table of Elements, and so on and so forth until we arrive at element 107 which can only be made in a laboratory. The Chemists of today don’t usually realize it, but they are direct descendants of the Pythagoreans.
Along the same line as his predecessors, always making the game of the opposites, Empedocles is the first who expressly tries to solve the problem exposed by Parmenides and Zeno of Elea. He realizes that the Non-Being does not exist and can not even be properly thought of. He accepts the initial premise of the Eleatics’ argument, but does not accept the conclusion. One cannot conclude, he affirms, that movement be unthinkable, be contradictory, and for that reason be impossible, and therefore non-existent. On the contrary, movement exists, only it is not the passage from Being to Non-Being or vice versa, but mixtures and dissolution of the four fundamental substances which are eternal and indestructible: water, earth, air and fire. The basic elements are not ten, but two pairs of opposites. The determinations of things vary according to the composition of these four elements in them. The dose of liquid and solid, of fire and of air, the proportion in which these elements mix with each other is what gives shape and form to the things. Anaxagoras of Clazomenae also accepted the premise that the Non-Being could not exist and continue thinking the world as a process of composition and dissolution of basic elements. Contrary to Empedocles, Anaxagoras judged that it was not possible to construct the real diversity of things from just the four elements. He assumes for this the existence of spermata, of sperms. The word itself, which in Greek means the male spermatozoid, shows the biological tendency of this Philosophy. The sperms would be numerically infinite, of infinite variety, each one divisible within itself without losing its germinating and determining power. This initial mass of sperm is the raw material of the world. The determinations of the things are then produced by an Intelligent Orderer, the nous, which mixes the sperm in an ordered way. The figure of God the creator appears here, not as an external cause, but as an internal cause which, starting from within the chaos, gets it to organize itself. After the sperm of Anaxagoras, we then have the atoms of Leucippus and Democritus, the first atomists. According to them, who also accepted the principle that the Non-Being could not exist, these first principles of all things, all of which are qualitatively equal, they are a-toms, that is, they are indivisible. Tomein means cut, atom is what is no longer cuttable, which cannot be cut because it is a primary element. The atoms, indiscernible one from the other, initially make up a shapeless mass. These uncountable atoms are first encountered in free fall. Chance - here again is the god Chaos - allows for small detours to one side and the other on these vertical free fall lines. These small detours make the concentration of atoms more or less dense. These variations of density make up the nucleus of the explanation of the world. Each thing is what it is due to a change in the atom concentration. The atoms and Chance make up the two elements which explain the nature of things. The atoms will be met again in modern Physics. Only they are not in free fall, but moving in circles. The electrons turn in orbit around a nucleus. By increasing the number of electrons in orbit, the specific weight of the elements gradually changes from hydrogen, element number 1, to the element number 107. Chance we will meet again in Heisenberg’s relation of uncertainty, in Physics, and especially as the chance mutation in modern Biology.

2. The Sophists
Sophist is a term which initially meant the wise, sofia means wisdom; therefore Philosophy etymologically means love of wisdom. The term Sophist as well as the word Sophism only later, after Aristotle’s debate with Plato, acquires the pejorative meaning. It is Sophists who first transplant the game of opposites of Heraclitus from the plane of Philosophy of Nature to the plane of social relations. The Sophists are occupied not so much with nature as with the lives of the people of the cities; they are interested in the demos, the people, and in the pólis. This is the time when, in Greece, the old aristocracy goes into a slow but inexorable decadence and when the power of the people becomes stronger and stronger. It is the people who do business, who go from one city to another, who break from the narrow limits of the old world and through trips and travelers open new horizons and inaugurate new values and virtues. The polis is no longer an isolated city with its own constitution and traditional virtues, it discovers itself as a city among many others. Then something new appears, the intellectual and political necessity of discussing and redefining what is virtue, what is Good, what is Evil. It is no longer clear and certain that a determined way of acting is virtuous just because tradition says so. The inertial force which tradition has no longer serves as the only legitimating source of virtues. As new horizons appear, new questions appear about what Good is and what Evil is. Virtue has to be newly discussed and redefined. After all, what is virtue? What is right? What is morally wrong? These are the questions that the new times put before us, these are the questions that imposed themselves. The first answers were given by the Sophists. The Sophists were, in their time, extremely important thinkers. Portagoras, Gorgias and Prodicus were men of their time who tried to think critically about the problems of their time.
The greatest positive characteristic of the Sophists was the ulterior elaboration of the game of opposites as a methodical way to think and act; Dialectic appears there more and more clearly. The game of opposites, transported to the scheme of social relations, means that each man is just a pole of an opposition. In order to understand a pole, to know what a pole in reality is and what it means, it is necessary to think of this first pole in relation to its opposite pole. Each man, in his social relationships, is just one pole, a part. To understand this first man it is necessary to see him in his relationship of opposition with the other man which is his opposite. Fílesis is only well understood if we think of it in relation to the antifílesis; and still more, both contrary poles can only be correctly and completely understood when we put them together in a greater and higher unit, in filía, in which both are superseded and maintained. This is the reason why human relations should be analyzed in the light of the game of opposites.
This is especially valid in two fields of human relations, in Law and Politics. In law the game of opposites appears as one of the oldest and more important rules of any and all justice: May the other side also be heard, Audiatur et altera pars. The man that looks for justice in a court is always one part. He is just one part of the greater whole. For justice to be done, it is always necessary to hear the other side. This other side, the other pole in the game of opposites, does not always need to be right. It is possible that only the first part is right, or that only the other part is right, it can be that both parts are right, that both parts are partiality right and partially wrong. In any case, always, if there is to be justice, it is necessary to also hear the other part. The first part, the first pole of opposition, is always only part in the literal sense, a piece of a greater whole. Justice requires that the reason of each part be measured and evaluated in the larger context of the synthetic position, that is, that greater and more noble whole, in which each part is just a piece, a constitutive element of a greater unit. Justice is exactly this and only this. Justice, therefore, what we call Law, is a constant and systematic form of the game of opposites. Penal Law is also such but in this case one of the parts is always the people. To this day, the penal processes in the countries of Anglo-Saxon tradition have titles like The People versus A. Smith. For this reason until now jurists of the latin languages speak of the necessity of the contradictorium. The term contradictorium means here the dialectic context which comes to us from the ancient times, the principle of hearing the other side, because justice is always the formation of a synthesis, never thesis or antithesis alone, one without the other. The part in the system of Laws is always only a part, a piece which needs its other part, its opposite, in order to establish justice. Even today. The jurists today do not always realize this: they are dialectical, we are all dialectical.
The function of the game of opposites in Politics is as important as in Law, especially in the assemblies of citizens which exist in democracy. Before decisions are made by political consensus, there are discussions and debates. During these there is usually a polarization, at times a rupture. The opinion and desire of one group of citizens diverge from the opinion and will of the other group of citizens. Then two groups with different opinions and wills are formed. The unity is broken in two parts and the political parties appear. The political party can only be understood and justified when compared with it’s opposite party. Both groups need to debate and converse, because the identity of each one is determined by the identity of the other. That’s how Politics is done. It can be that one group is one hundred percent right and can convince the other group of this; it can also be that each group is only partially right, and making concessions little by little make up the general will. The general will is, then, that higher and more noble unit, the synthetic position in which and only in which the parties, which are just parts, acquire sense and justification. On the other hand we can immediately see that Politics only exists when there are two parties. In Politics, a single party is a monster, not only in the despotic regimes of the ancient Greeks, but also in the twentieth century totalitarianisms. Here again we find the old game of opposites. For sure, the Sophists were not the inventors of Law and Politics, but they were the first philosophers in our culture who theoretically thought of the game of opposites as a constitutive and essential element of social relations. This honor must be given to them. In this they were right.
Aside from this, they made some grave mistakes and committed some stupidities for which History does not forgive them to this day. To this day the Sophists are infamous and the word sophism has a highly negative connotation. This is because they committed a great theoretical error which today we can argue precisely. Instead of saying that the thesis as well as the antithesis are false, and that the synthesis and only the synthesis is the complete truth, the Sophists inverted the signs and said that the thesis as well as the antithesis were equally true.
Let us schematisize. True and correct dialectic affirms that each part is only part, or that thesis as well as antithesis are false because they are partial. Sophists say: Thesis as well as antithesis are equally true. The consequences of this logical error are incredible and extremely heavy in Politics. If thesis as well as antithesis are true, one can defend one as well as the other. The Sophists, now in the derogatory sense of the word, began to defend one side as well as the other, as if both sides were equally right. Justice then does not exist. The sense of right and correctness flies away and the sophist mentality that any position is good as long as one has the verbal skill to debate installs itself. The Sophists, in the bad sense of the word, defend anyone, any part, any party, as if it were, itself, the total truth. And still worse, the Sophists do so because that is what they are paid for, because they request and receive payment. The payment in money, requested and accepted so that one part be represented as if it were the whole, such is the great mistake and the great guilt of the Sophists. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, no one ever forgave them. With reason. After recovering and reinventing dialectics, they went away from it. They forgot that a part is always and only part; a part which only with its corresponding counterpart forms a greater whole. The game of opposites, when perverted and inverted turns from best to worst.

3. Socrates, the last of the Sophists
Socrates is many times called the last of the Sophists. This is correct if we understand the term Sophist in its positive connotation. Socrates was the great Dialectic thinker, the great defender of moral and political subjects, of the game of opposites which complete and unite themselves to make up a greater whole. Socrates is the great voice which rose in Athens to criticize the perversion the Sophists caused to Dialectics. It is not possible to defend the thesis as well as the antithesis as if both were equally true. It is not correct, it is exactly the opposite. Both positions are false. Truth is just the synthesis from which both is created. Virtue, therefore, does not consist of defending a thesis - or antithesis -, as if this were a total and complete truth, and yes, on the contrary, in uncovering thesis as well as antithesis as being wrong, that is - which is the same-, as being only partial elements in a greater whole. Only the greater whole, only the synthesis is what is true. The Sophists argued at times in favor of the thesis; at times in favor of the antithesis. In many concrete cases in political life, the same sophist, paid by one group, argued first in favor of the truth of the thesis and then, paid by another group, in favor of the truth of the antithesis. Then, right away, with the money in his pocket, he left the citizens behind perplexed with the contradiction.
This is what Socrates raised his voice against. The game of opposites has to be done correctly. A part is just a part, it is not the whole. Or, it is first necessary to argue showing the falseness, that is, the partiality of the thesis, then showing the falseness of the antithesis, which is also partial, in order to then suggest the conciliation of the two, the greater, more noble truth.
Socrates is a thinker of Morality and Politics. Like the Sophists, he applies the game of opposites to social relations, but contrary to the Sophists, he reestablishes the correct form and structure of the game of opposites. It is not true that thesis as well as antithesis are equally true, the correct thing is that usually both are partial and therefore false. That is why one must always listen to the other side as well. Only in this way can we discover and create the truth. To know how to listen to the other part means, in practical life, to establish a dialogue, to converse with each other. This, Socrates said, is doing Politics in a city of free and rational citizens. Better still, it is only in this way that one acquires true knowledge and discovers which of the ancient virtues is not just foolish tradition but a morally correct attitude, a moral virtue. For Socrates to philosophize is knowing how to engage in conversation.
For Socrates, virtue, always the fruit of the game between thesis and antithesis, is found only through real dialogue done on street corners and in public squares. Socrates listens, Socrates asks, Socrates answers. Socrates probes the inner voice of the conscience which he, personifying it, calls daimon, the good demon, the good spirit. Socrates does not write. We have nothing of his written down. Why write if the important thing is to converse concretely, person to person? When Plato, Socrates’ disciple and follower, teaches and writes in the Academy, the rule continues to be valid that the literary form of treating philosophic subjects, even if written, is always the dialogue. From this come Plato’s Dialogues.
Socrates, the man of ethical and political dialogue, was, as we know, condemned to death by his fellow citizens. With his dialogues he has committed a great crime against the gods of the city of Athens and attempted against the good customs, perverting the youth. The great thinker of I know that I don’t know anything, the great master of dialogue in Ethics and Politics, died conversing. The dialogue Apology of Socrates in which Plato relates the happenings and ideas that surrounded the condemnation and death of Socrates is one of the great master-works of our civilization.


1. Plato and the game of opposites
In the game of opposites, even when the logic plan is transposed to the level of social relationships, three things can happen. First, it can be that the first pole is true; then the second pole is false and has to be abandoned. Second, it can be that the second pole is the true one and then the first must be abandoned. But third, it can also be that both poles are false and the partial truths held in the opposite poles must be discovered piece by piece, uniting them, conciliating them, in order to create a real unity of a higher synthesis. - This never happens, because it is logically impossible for both poles, thesis and antithesis, to be true. This is the logic mistake in which the Sophists incurred, this is the logical-systematic fundament of the moral and political errors they committed.
The game of opposites in Plato is taken to perfection. Perfect is that which is done till the end, that which becomes complete and finished, in which nothing is missing and nothing is left over. Perfection is that which Plato points us to when he does Philosophy. Never before him, never after did man point so high up. How can that be? Isn’t it exactly the opposite? Everyone knows that Plato is a philosopher of aporias, that is, of dead end streets. Plato, in his dialogues, gives a rough draft of thesis, outlines the antithesis, but a good synthesis he almost never elaborates. How can Plato then be called a synthetic thinker who takes the game of opposites to perfection if he never, or almost never, points to synthesis? Without synthesis Dialectics dearticulates itself; thesis and antithesis remain, one against the other, both negative and aware of their falsity, without ever arriving at a conclusion. This we aready know and we have seen through the error commited by the Sophists. And is it not true that Plato’s dialogues are almost always aporetic, with no final synthesis? It is absolutely true.
There are two doctrines in Plato which complement and complete each other, the exoteric doctrine and the esoteric doctrine. The exoteric doctrine - the prefix ex indicates this - is destined for the use of people outside, it is done and explained for the beginners and those from outside without the necessary prerequisites, not yet in condittion to understand the hard nucleus of the doctrine. The exoteric doctrine is easier, it is more didactic, more introductory. In it the game of opposites really stays almost always open, with no final synthesis. Plato brings up a thesis; he discusses, debates, examines it from all angles and then finally refutes it. The thesis is always demonstrated as false. Then the antithesis is raised and is also examined and debated, being in the end invariably refuted. We have then a false thesis and an equally false antithesis, both useless, in our hands. This is aporia, this is the dead end.
Plato’s dialogues, almost all of them - except for a few from his old age - are aporetic, that is, they come out at a dead end. Dialectics, the game of opposites, is not taken to the end. Synthesis is always missing, as it is among the contemporaries of the School of Frankfurt. There dialectics is a negative dialectics, a dialectics without synthesis. But this, we shall see, is not good dialectics. Right. And Plato, discipule of the Heraclitean philosopher Cratylus as well as of Socrates, knew this very well. He also knew that Dialectics is not done by magic in one instant, with the blink of an eye, but in a long, serious, difficult, many times painful process of overcoming existent contradictions between thesis and antithesis. Dialectics is education and as such, is done in a slow learning and maturing process. A child does not become a man in one day, a tree does not grow in one week, Dialectics as well needs time and hard work. The opposites have to be worked upon seriously; if they are not, the synthesis will be hollow and empty. That is why for the beginners and those outside Dialectics is not immediately exposed and explained completely, it appears under the shape of an exoteric doctrine. In an exoteric doctrine contraries are raised in all their seriousness, one refuting its opposite, but in the end Plato leaves his listeners and readers in suspense. Really there is no expressly formulated, spoken or written synthesis. It is necessary for the reader himself, alone, to try to fit the pieces in the puzzle. It is necessary for him to try and experiment gathering pieces taking the intellectual risk of the task. It is necessary that this somewhat shapeless mass of contrary opositions without synthesis, of opposites without conciliation, spends some time simmering so that great synthetic ideas can emerge. These great syntheses, when they sprout and emerge, make up the estoeric doctrine, the doctrine which the initiated argue among themselves, the doctrine which the beginners can not even begin to understand. Because the final syntheses are so simple and so bright that those who seek them directly without running the long course of maturing the opposite poles become blinded and cannot see anything correctly. It is the same as looking directly at the sun. The beginner, if he looks directly at the great syntheses of esoteric doctrine, becomes so blinded that he thinks he is seeing absolutely nothing. That is why the hard work of playing with the opposites must be done previously.
That is why Plato’s doctrine for beginners seems to be a dualistic system of Philosophy, a game of opposites in which the opposites never come together. He who only hears and only studies the exoteric doctrine, without ever arriving at the final synthesis of the esoteric doctrine, thinks that Plato considers the world of ideas and the world of things as two spheres of being existing side by side, one outside of the other, one in opposition to the other. The world of things and the world of ideas are then two opposite poles, one against the other, without there being - apparently - a real conciliation between them. There is perfect conciliation in Plato, but this will just appear clearly and completely in the esoteric doctrine, in the so called Unwritten Doctrine. The exoteric doctrine is a strictly dualistic Philosophy in which the opposite poles never completely conciliate. Material world on one side and spiritual world of ideas on the other oppose each other like excluding poles. Material and spiritual poles then never unify in due harmony. The spiritual opposes the material, the ideas oppose the things. The hard dualism, the opposites without synthetic conciliation, the Dialectics without synthesis, this is the intellectual axis of the exoteric doctrine.
Unfortunately many authors, when they speak of Plato, only study and mention this exoteric doctrine. This is just a first approximation on the climb that takes one to the philosophic doctrine which is frequently mistaken as Plato’s Philosophy. Plato is so violently disparaged. Instead of being understood as the thinker of the Great Synthesis, he is thought of as a new sophist who grabs the two opposite poles without unifying or concilating them, leaving them as two opposite, conflicting, irreductible principles. This has been called working by dichotomies since the ancient times. Cut in two, construct the opposite poles, incite one against the other, let one destroy the other, or better, let both the poles turn around each other like two warriors in mortal combat, this is Dialectics without synthesis. The true Plato is a thinker of the Great Synthesis, of Dialectics in it’s full sense of unification and conciliation of opposites, but the Plato that is studied in most of our books - and this is very serious - the Plato of a large part of academic tradition is just the Plato of the exoteric doctrine, the Plato of opposites without synthesis, the dualistic Plato. And this then is an intellectual disaster because it will generate dichotomies in which the opposite poles will nevermore be reunited. Opposite poles in a full Dialectics and taken to it’s appropriate synthesis are excellent, they are movements that point and conduct us further on. In a negative Dialectics with no synthesis, the dicotomic poles become unsolvable problems.
Unfortunately in our philosophic tradition this happens a lot. The world of things and the world of ideas, materiality and spirituality, the great opposition of two poles that should be unified and conciliated is transformed into an unsolvable dichotomous problem which passes to the later philosophers and enters our culture and our education, leaving a trail of theoretical errors and serious ethical deformations. Let us think about the wrong idea - imputed to Plato -, which entered in our Christian tradition, that the spirit is good, the body, however, and especially sex is a moral evil. The Agostinian doctrine which is assimilated by the overwhelming majority of the Christian thinkers and that comes until our century says that concuspiscence, or sexual desire, which we now call hots, is evil in itself, is the original sin itself. And being a sin it is always something morally negative, something that is a guilt, something we must be embarrassed about. This here is a good concrete example of how an apparently small misunderstanding in the beginning brings about a serious mistake in the end. When the Exoteric Doctrine is taken as if it were the Esoteric Doctrine, when the negative dialectics is taken as the legitimate Dialectics, the Dialectics of Great Synthesis, then disasters of great intellectual and cultural dimensions occur. Sexual desire then becomes a sin, the body is debased, man loses the synthetic unity which is body and soul and becomes a completely ridiculous entity. Man in this dialectics without synthesis turns into a caricature, he turns into an angel riding a pig. This is what happens when one does not make the necessary synthesis.
This is why we must study this first binomial of Platonic philosophy, the world of ideas and the world of things, with attention, examining it carefully on both sides. First as two opposite poles which apparently exclude each other, then as two elements which unify, come together and then become one more noble, higher unit. We men are not angels mounted on pigs, nor centaurians, but men, a synthetic unit in which the originally opposing poles, body and soul, disappear while they are opposites and become a new perfect and finished reality.

2. The world of ideas and the world of things
The Sophists argued in favor of the two poles, indistinctively defending one or the other equally, many times arguing in favor of both: argumentari in utramque partem. Socrates, the last of the Sophists, teaches us that this is not possible: Two contrary poles cannot be true simultaneously. Socrates teaches us to ask and to find the answers, to discover the synthesis between thesis and antithesis. This synthesis is not made up of the strength of the stronger, as the Sophist Gorgias would say, but of the virtue. What is virtue? Socrates said that he did not know and told us to converse.
This is still the main theme and Plato’s big problem. After all, what is virtue? If it is not the brutal force of the stronger pole that decides everything, then what does virtue consist of? The answer to this question is the beginning of all Plato’s philosophy: Virtue is that which should be. The world that does in fact exist, as it is in front of our eyes, does not always coincide with that which should be. The Should-Be is an ideal to be reached, the Should-Be is the Idea. In that way the Platonic idea is born. The condemnation - unjust - of Socrates showed Plato clearly that the World-Which-Really-Is does not always coincide with the Ideal-World-Which-Should-Be.
The Sophists thought that virtue, the Should-Be, was something floating, something relative, something that varied from situation to situation and which did not have principles valid for all cases. Plato does not accept this relativity. There are ethical principles which always have the same value for everyone, and these principles are universally valid, even before being adopted by political communities; they are general principles of the order of the world. Plato elaborates a practical philosophy, Ethics and Politics, based on the principles which man must adopt because they are principles of order of all the cosmic universe. Plato’s Ethics is based on an Ontology, a doctrine about Being in general, a doctrine about the order of the universe.
How can we know that a determined rule is not just an invention of some tyrannical governing power or, not that bad, a mere convention constructed by mankind. Conventions, even when good and useful, are contingent; that is, they can be such but they can equally be different. How shall we know that a determined rule or principle is, more than a mere convention, an unquestionable rule, a rule that cannot be denied, that cannot be changed or transformed, that it is like that and must be like that, now and forever, all over the world.
Is it possible to find and bring such fundamental principles about the order of the Universe to light? Plato smiles and shows us that it is. In the Menon Dialogue an illiterate slave is brought to the presence of Socrates who was debating with friends about the existence or non-existence of general principles of the being of the Universe and all knowledge. Some doubted that it was possible to discover and elaborate such principles. After all, where were such principles written? Where, in what book, in what monument would they be written? Socrates, always the central figure for Plato, answers: The first principles are written on the pith of the being and therefore on the pith of our soul. Do you want to see? This slave never studied anything, he does not know how to read or write, and he never studied Geometry. If he never studied Geometry, he does not know the Pitagoras theorem. Well, I am going to talk to him, I am going to ask him questions - just questions -, and let him answer. And Socrates then began to gently ask, drawing lines in the sand on the ground and making the figures. And if I draw this line here, what happens? And what if I add this one? And in that way, step by step, Socrates always just asking, the slave was advancing, discovering the links and being able to formulate the great theorem of Geometry. How is it that the slave was able to do this? How did he know? Plato answers: He already knew, he had always known, he only needed to remember what he already knew and had just forgotten. This knowledge was inborn, it was in the slave’s soul. And it was there because it is a principle that is in each being, each thing, because it is a principle of the order of the Universe itself. These principles of the order of the Universe, inborn in each thing, are universally valid and always present. They organize the Universe from inside out, they are what makes the things of the world be not an unordered mass and chaos of events, but a well-ordered cosmic Universe.
The Idea, says Plato, for whom ontology of participation exists in the core of each thing, is the principle of order that determines and commands its development. In a duck’s egg it is this principle of order which makes that egg develop into ducklings. From a hen’s egg, chicks are always born. And that’s the way with all things. This founding principle of all things, Plato calls form. Form determines what the thing is and how it is going to develop.
All the ducks that exist have, all of them, the same form of the being duck. The many chicks have the same chick-like form. Only one form, only one basic design is made in various individuals. The Form is like that of a drawing made by the designer; one thing is the project of the motor, the basic design, another thing is the thousands of individual motors that are made according to the project. We then have on one side the plurality of individuals that exist in the world of things, and on the other side the unity of Form.

3. The Myth of the Star
The Forms have always existed, they are the ruling forces which determine the order of the cosmos. Before the cosmos existed, however, they already existed and had value. It is also because of this that they have universal validity. The ordered things of the cosmic universe came after. First, before the things existed, before the things of our world had started to exist, the Forms already existed. Is our cosmos not ruled and determined by them? Then, they aready existed before. They make up a whole world that consists only of forms. This world Plato calls the World of Ideas and he locates it on a ficticious star. In this World of Ideas, which has always existed on the star, separated from the World of Things, there are also the individual souls of each man who will be born. The souls see the Ideas face to face and therefore know the specific determinations of each thing; they know everything of everything. When here on the World of Things a man is born, his soul, which has always existed on the star in the World of Ideas, is thrown into the prison of the body. This violent dislocation makes the soul forget everything, or almost everything that it had seen on the Star. But, when man develops and grows up, upon meeting with the things of the world, on stumbling upon them, he remembers the Idea that he saw on the Star during the preexistence of his soul and, remembering, he knows. Knowledge is always a memory, an anámnesis, knowledge consists in remembering the Universal Idea of one thing, and then, facing that individual thing, in saying: Ah-ha, this is a man, this is made in the form of a man; that is a duck, in that the form of a duck is being made real. This explains why the ideas are always universal, even though the things are always individual. Ideas are from another world. And our language - strangest thing - says the individual things always in a universal manner. Because the names, in language, represent forms and the forms are always universal. Even though we are living in this world of individual things, our language, the logos, has the character of a universal idea.
We, therefore, have a wonderful explanation of the world. The things of the world are what they are, they are determined that way and not any other way, because they participate in the original Form that exists on the Star, in the World of Ideas. This is the Ontology of Participation. Like an individual motor participates in the designed project of an ideal motor, in the same way things participate in a determined idea and that is why they are like they are. On this Ontology, that is on this Doctrine of the Being, Plato based his Theory of Knowledge. Knowledge is the act by which the soul now remembers that which it had seen before, during the preexistence on the Star, in the World of Ideas. Knowledge is correct and science is universally valid, says Plato, because it is based on Ideas which are the Forms of the Universe.
But, how do I know, when I stumble upon something, that I am really remembering its Form? Are there no mistakes? Illusions? Of course they exist. That is why the philosopher must converse, argue, question, and examine each question, in order to be sure that what he found is exactly the Idea of the thing. No more and no less. Plato then, always in the Myth for Beginners, in his Exoteric Doctrine, asks: Is there an Idea for a thing? We know there is an Idea for Man, he says in the Dialogue The Sophist, and also the Idea of Good, of Justice. But, is it necessary to have an Idea of Mud? Does mud, such a simple and low thing, need to have an idea of its own? Plato leaves the question in the air. After all, such questions cannot be answered in the scope of the Myth of the Star, such questions can only be satisfactorily worked on in the Esoteric Doctrine with those who aready know more than just the first principles.

4. The Myth of the Cave
We find in the sixth Book of the Republic the more important and more well-known Myth of Plato, the Myth of the Cave. In no other image is Plato’s Doctrine so well represented.
We imagine men who live in a cave. Since their birth they are prisoners in there, chained by the feet and by the neck, in such a way that their eyes are always looking to the back of the cave. They can only see this wall in the back. Behind the prisoners, at their back in the entrance to the cave, there is a wall approximately the height of a man. Behind this wall walk men, this way and that, carrying on their shoulders figures which they raise over the wall. Farther back, right at the entrance to the cave, there is a bonfire. The bonfire gives light, the light illuminates the scene and projects the shadow of the figures over the wall to the back of the cave. The prisoners only see the shadow projected by the figures. They also hear the echos of voices - the men who are carrying the figures behind the wall - and think that this echo is the voice of the figures themselves. What the prisoners sense is just this game of shadows and echos. They have been chained there since birth and think that the world is this and only this. The world is this, they say, just this.
Imagine now that one of the prisoners manages to free himself from his chains. Going to the entrance he immediately sees the wall and realizes that the shadows projected on the back of the cave are just this, shadows. He also realizes that the figures are just figures. He jumps over the wall and goes out; then he sees the men carrying the figures, hears the voices, sees the bonfire, the entrance to the cave and outside the light. When he leaves the cave and tries to look at the sun, he is blinded. He lowers his eyes, lowers his head and puts himself together again. When this man now returns to the cave, to free his companions, he k n o w s. He knows that the shadows are just a sham. The real reality is the reality of the light and the sun, the reality of things themselves in the sunlight. All the rest are shadows, illusions. Man, when freed from the chains that hold him prisoner, discovers himself free and clear, he sees then the reality that is really real, he sees the lightened reality of the Ideas. He will never again confuse reality with the shadow of the sham of reality. He who has seen the light knows.
There we have all Plato. We have all of an Ontology of Participation, a theory of Knowledge, and Ethics, Pedagogy, Politics. But then we mostly have, always again, the Myth that puts the two opposite poles in their counterposition, one strongly against the other, without taking us to a truely synthetic position. After all, where is the unifying conciliation between the World of Ideas and the World of Things? Between universal Form and individual Thing? Between necessary Form and contingent Thing? Plato, in the Myths of the Exoteric Doctrine, does not give us an answer. The synthesis is always missing. This will only be presented and discussed when the beginners are no longer beginners and become initiated. For the initiated, for these, yes, there is an answer. Plato thought that this doctrine, since it was so important and so difficult, could not be written. That is why there is the dialogue - never written by Plato himself, but the existence of which is very well documented - About the good, in which the Esoteric Doctrine is exposed.
Before turning to Plato’s Unwritten Doctrine, however, we must see, in order to contrast them well, Aristotle’s conception of the world. Aristotle was Plato’s disciple for many years, but no one criticised him so much, no one elaborated a philosophic project so different, no one is so less platonic than he. After looking at Aristotle’s Philosophy we will then return to Plato’s Esoteric Doctrine, the doctrine for the initiated.

4. The Analysis of the World

1. The Passage from Dialectics to Analytics
Until Aristotle all Philosophy worked with the game of opposites. The various pairs of opposites were the elements from which things were constructed. Plato, in the dialogue The Sophist, says that Dialectics is the Philosophic method itself. Whoever learns Dialectics and knows how to play the game of opposites, Plato thinks, knows how to compose the great mosaic of the meaning of life, knows how to make the explanation of the world, and has the Great Synthesis. Aristotle, on outlining a panoramic synopsis of the History of Philosophy from the Pre-Socratic philosophers up to his time for his students and readers, always mentioned the game of opposites as a methodical nucleus around which various opinions were structured. He, himself though abandoned the game of opposites and went to a totally different path: Analytics. Analytics, discovered and widely elaborated by Aristotle, will constitute a method and a vision of the world which will influence our western thinking in a decisive way.
All that we think and are in the western world comes from two sources, Dialectics and Analytics. From Heraclitus and Plato we have the Dialectics branch. From Parmenides and Aristotle we have the Analytic branch. Both lines of thinking run through all History of Philosophy and our culture and accompanies us until today. The platonic project goes from one hand to another through Plotinus, Proclus, and in part, Saint Augustine in the classic times; through Johannes Scotus Eriugena, through the Chartres School and many other neoplatonic thinkers of the Middle Ages; through Nicolaus Cusanus, Ficino, Giordano Bruno during the Renascence; through Spinoza, Schelling, Hegel and Karl Marx in Modern times.
Lamarck, Charles Darwin and almost all the great contemporaneous biologists, like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould; the physicists of today with their theory of the Big Bang, with black holes like Stephen Hawking, all of them are neoplatonic thinkers. They generally do not realize this, they don’t know it but they are clearly platonic thinkers. The project that they raise and upon which they develop their theories is the platonic project of the Great Synthesis through Dialectics. The aristotelian project of Analytics in the Middle Ages passes through Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Dun Scotus and William of Occam; in the Modern Times it passes through Descartes, Leibnitz, Kant, Frege, Wittgenstein and through the Analytic Philosophy of our times. In the continuation and later elaboration of the Aristotelian project, under the guidance of the analytic method, Logics, Mathematics and Physics prospered. In this analytic tradition of Aristotle there are all the logicians and a large part of the physicists of today. Galilei, Copernicus, Newton and Einstein are thinkers of the analytic tradition. But, after all, what does Analytics have that is so powerful and interesting that it produces so much fruit for such a long time? What is Analytics?
All Analytics is based on two things, both discovered and elaborated by Aristotle: The analysis of proposition and the syllogistic system of arguing. A large part of our culture and our technology is based on this. On his foundation of analytic logic Aristotle developed, as we will later see, an Ontology, an Ethics and a Politics, a complete philosophic conception of the world that is characterized by his extremely static character. He is much closer to Parmenides than to Heraclitus.

2. Logic and Language
2.1. The analysis of the proposition
Man speaks in sentences that, in our languages, are always composed of a subject and predicate. Socrates is fair is just such a sentence. This is a complete and well-formed proposition; it is not a question, nor an imperative or an invitation, but a statement. It says that something is this and not that. Socrates is the logical subject of this proposition, the predicate is is fair.
Socrates runs is also a well-formed proposition; there we clearly and distinctly have the subject and the predicate. All men are mortal and Some Brazilians are gauchos are also well-formed propositions; these last two present the Aristotelian quantifiers All and Some. Propositions when well-formed always have a subject and a predicate; in Logics and today’s Mathematics we speak about argument and function. When this proposition is not complete, when it is not well-formed, we can not understand it; we do not know what the speaker wants to say, it is not possible to say if the proposition is true or false. A fragmented, incomplete, badly formed proposition has only a subject, no predicate: Socrates. Socrates what? Say more! Say the rest! Without a predicate this proposition is not well-formed and makes no sense. The same with the verb that is the predicate. If one says only is fair, this makes no sense and soon one asks: Who are you talking about? Who is it that is fair? What is the subject of the proposition? This is the basic structure as it is analyzed by Aristotle. It is clear that there are vocatives like Hi, Socrates, as well as propositions in which the logical subject is not expressed but understood. This we call the implied subject.

2.2.The affirmative proposition
Propositions can be either affirmative or negative. In the affirmative proposition we take a determined subject, be it individual (Socrates), particular (Some Brazilians) or universal (All Brazilians), and put it into a bigger whole that is the predicate. Let us look at the graphics drawn in the way of Euler, the mathematician:

Socrates is fair

The logical individual subject, Socrates, here in the example, is put into a bigger whole that is the predicate is fair. The smaller set, which represents the logical subject is contained within a larger set which is the predicate.

All Brazilians are mortal

The logical subject All Brazilians is a smaller set that is contained in the larger set which represents all that is mortal. All Brazilians are mortal, but not all mortals are Brazilian. There are people of other nationalities, as well as plants and animals that are also in this set of mortal things. That is why the logical subject All Brazilians is completely within the larger set of those that are mortals. - In the proposition Some Brazilians are gauchos things get a little more complicated: Not all Brazilians are gauchos, and not all gauchos are Brazilian, there are also Uruguayan and Argentinean gauchos. Therefore the drawing is a little different:

Some Brazilians are gauchos

This is not the same as before, in which one set is completely contained within another larger set. Here, the set expressed by some Brazilians is partially contained by the set are gauchos, but at the same time it is not completely in it. This is easy to see in the diagram. The two sets enter into a partial overlapping.

2.3. The negative proposition
In the negative proposition the predicate does not have its own subject, but opposes it. The subject is not within the predicate, the predicate is not in the subject. One is outside the other.

Men are NOT gods

The set of the subject is on one side, the set of the predicate is on the other, like in the game of opposites of the Dialectic. But here, in Analytic Logic, one does not look for synthesis; here there is no conciliation, here there is no movement. One pole excludes the other. That’s it. The only ulterior differentiation that Aristotle does in his Analysis is, as we see in the Logical Square, the distinction between opposites that are contrary and opposites that are contradictory. This very important distinction is going to be the battlefield on which analytic and dialectic philosophers are going to fight for more than two thousand three hundred years.

2.4. The Logical Square
Medieval thinkers illustrated Aristotle laws of inference with the geometrical figure of the square. The Logical Square was drawn later, but the basic ideas and the laws that rule it were all - almost all - discovered by Aristotle. Laws of inference are the logical rules that permit the logical transit from one point to another in the Logical Square. Does one set include the other? Or does it exclude it? Or is it neutral and then can include it or not? Does the truth of a proposition given imply the falseness of what opposes it? And what does the falseness imply?



There are various types of opposition. The opposition between A and O and between E and I is called the opposition between contradictories. The opposition between contradictories crosses through the middle of the logical square. The opposition between A and E is called opposition between contraries; both are universal propositions. One is positive and the other is negative. The subcontrary opposition is what is between I and O, between two particular propositions, one affirmative and the other negative. The opposition between A and I, on the left side of the Logical Square, and between E and O, on the right side, is called subaltern.
For each type of opposition there are different rules of inference. Aristotle discovered and described all of them. From the truth of proposition A can we conclude the falseness of proposition O that is its contradictory opposite? Yes, always, answers Aristotle, the truth of A logically follows the falseness of O. And the passage of A to E? And A to I? For each type of opposition there are specific rules. Aristotle elaborated the rules of the Logical Square by consequently applying the same method that he used to analyze the internal structure of the proposition, that is, asking if a proposition included or excluded the other. For any example we can make the for propositions of the Logical Square and draw Euler’s corresponding diagrams. The passage of A to I is easy. If it is true that All men are mortal, then it is also true that Some men are mortal. The larger set obviously includes the smaller set. The truth of A always implies the truth of I. The passage of E to O is equally obvious. The whole always contains its parts. The truth of E always implies the truth of O. The reverse is not viable, because the truth of proposition I or O does not say anything about the falseness of the corresponding A and E propositions. It is true that Some men are bad, but this does not mean that All men are bad. This also as well as other logical paths that follow the other sides of the Logical Square or cross through it, we shall see later in more detail when we return to discussing what Dialectics is, since it is right here that Analytics and Dialectics clash.
The difference between the opposition of contraries and the opposition of contradictories is simple enough to understand, but, as easy as it may be, it is here that everyone stumbles. We stumble and fall, as we know. Thales of Miletus was looking at the stars and distracted by fell into a hole. And the Thracian slave laughed at him. The Thracian slave continues laughing at the Analytics and Dialectics who in the twentieth century continue stumbling and falling. The Thracian laughs because they do not understand each other. Because they still do not know the difference between contraries and contradictories. Because they do not know how to put together the game of opposites.

2.5 Syllogism
Syllogism, the second great discovery made by Aristotle, consists of the logical connection of two propositions which, articulated between them, make a third proposition result from it. If the two initial propositions, the premises, are true, then the proposition resulting from them, the conclusion, will always and necessarily be also true. An example.

Premise no. 1 All men are mortal.
Premise no. 2 All Brazilians are men.
Conclusion Then, all Brazilians are mortal.

There is a connection between the first and the second proposition in this logical construction. The subject of the first premise is the predicate of the second premise: Men. This logical set, that is in both premises and serves the first as a subject and the second as the predicate, does not appear again in the proposition which is the conclusion. It is something intermediary, a kind of common denominator which connects the subject of the second premise with the predicate of the first and therefore serves as a mediator so that the proposition which will be the conclusion can appear. This is called Middle Term. The traditional diagram illustrates well what we mean. M is the middle term:

M - P
S - M
S - P

In the first premise, the Middle Term is the subject of the proposition; in the second it is the predicate. In the conclusion, that which was the subject of the second premise appears as the subject of the predication, and as the predicate of the predication is what was the predicate of the first proposition. Euler’s diagram intuitively shows this logical link of inclusion better than words. One can see there that syllogism is just an ulterior elaboration of the inclusion/exclusion method that we have already seen in the structure of the proposition.




We can clearly see what the Middle Term is and how it works. Between the subject and the predicate of the conclusion a mediation is made so that the larger set includes a smaller set, which in turn includes an even smaller set.
It is on this basic model that Aristotle develops his doctrine about syllogism and calculates exactly which syllogistic forms are logically valid and which are not. This syllogistic system was so well constructed by Aristotle that this first elaboration became the final one. The Aristotelian doctrine about syllogism continues valid of course, and even today makes up the backbone of all Logic. Only with Frege is Logic going to have a new impulse, a new fundamentation and an expansion.
According to the Middle Term position, there are four basic forms of syllogism:

1 2 3 4

M - P P - M P - M M - S

S - M M - S S - M M - P
______ ______ ______ ______
S - P S - P S - P S - P

The syllogisms in the ancient times and in the Middle Ages, received names; it is clear that the names meant something important. The first syllogism of the first figure is called Barbara. The three A’s of this name - Barbara has the letter A repeated three times - indicates that both the premises and also the conclusion are A propositions in the Logical Square, that is universal affirmative propositions. The second syllogism is called Darii. The first premise then is A, a universal affirmative proposition; the second premise and the conclusion are I, particular affirmative propositions. The third syllogism is Ferio. The larger premise then is an E proposition, universally negative; a smaller proposition is I, a particular affirmative proposition, and the conclusion is O, a particular negative proposition. The names of the syllogisms are the following. First Figure: Barbara, Darii, Ferio. Second Figure: Cesare, Camestres, Festino, Baroco. Third Figure: Derapti, Felapton, Disamis, Datisi, Bocardo, Ferison. Fourth Figure: Bamalip, Calemes, Dimatis, Fesapo, Fresison.
For the mere combination of letters there would be a much larger number of syllogisms. But only the above mentioned syllogisms are logically valid, that is, only these always work so that from the truth of the premises comes the truth of the conclusion. All the other combinations are invalid. Por example, a syllogism with the A - I - A sequence in the first figure is invalid. The Barbara syllogism, A - A - A, and the Darii, A - I - I are valid; an A - I - A syllogism is not valid. Why not? How does one know? When one tries to make Euler’s diagram of an invalid syllogism, the diagram does not work. It is impossible to draw such a diagram, since the sequence of continent and content becomes subverted. The diagram simply does not form. Or better, upon forming, one sees right away that it does not work. We will take as an example an A - I - A syllogism that in the first figure is not valid:

All Brazilians speak Portuguese
Some Gauchos are Brazilian
Therefore, all Gauchos speak Portuguese

The larger premise is true, the smaller one is also. But the conclusion is false, because some Gauchos, the Uruguayan and Argentinean Gauchos, do not speak Portuguese. Where is the mistake? In the incorrect logic Form, as we see in the corresponding Euler diagram:

speak Portuguese

all Brazilians

all Gauchos

The set of all Gauchos is only partially inside the set of all Brazilians. The correct conclusion would be an I proposition (Some Gauchos speak Portuguese) and not a universal proposition A (All the Gauchos speak Portuguese). Classic thinkers for this reason created various rules for construction of syllogisms. The most important of them says: the conclusion always follows the worst part. That is, if there is a negative or particular proposition in the premises, the conclusion should also be negative or particular. In the above example, the second premise is particular and for this reason the conclusion should also be particular. To make a universal conclusion then, having a particular premise, is incorrect. That is why the conclusion does not conclude anything and is wrong: There are Gauchos who do not speak Portuguese.

2.6 The Non-Contradiction Principle
Aristotle’s central ideas, which are the doctrine about predication and the system of syllogisms, take us to a position radically contrary to the Dialectic of Plato and the game of opposites of the Pre-Socratic Philosophers. According to him, the game of thesis, antithesis and synthesis simply does not work. For Aristotle, to affirm the truth of the thesis and at the same time the truth of the synthesis is pure foolishness. Everyone who affirms one thing, and at the same time and under the same aspect affirms the contrary, is saying foolishness. Dialectic in Aristotle changes its meaning; it is no longer a correct and very important procedure, like in Plato, but that foolishness which the Sophists did. This is the highly pejorative sense of the word Sophist. Because everyone who says something and at the same time says the opposite is not saying anything, he is being foolish.
And then what happens to the old master Plato and his Dialectics? If Dialectics is foolishness, is Plato just a fool? Aristotle does not say this, Aristotle changes the subject. It is obvious that he does not frontally attack his old and respected master, Plato. But a meditated reading of the book Gamma of Metaphysics shows us how Aristotle gets more and more distant from Plato and the game of opposites. Nothing of playing around with thesis and antithesis. Nothing comes from this. Nothing rational results from this. If one of them is true, the other simply is false, or vice versa. To try and follow the thesis and antithesis at the same time is pure foolishness. This is Aristotle’s main and toughest objection to Plato, this is the Analytic Philosophers’ objection to the Dialectic Philosophers. It was like that in the classic times and continues like that today. This is the main theme of this book. Is Dialectic a foolish thing?
Against Plato and against Dialects Aristotle raises and formulates the Principle of Non-Contradiction. The Principle says the following: It is impossible to predicate and not predicate the same predicate of the same subject under the same aspect at the same time. One who states and at the same time and with the same aspect unstates what he said, is not saying anything. He is talking foolishness. The rose cannot be at the same time and under the same aspect red as well as green, that is, not red. It can happen that the rose is green and then becomes red, this can be, because it is happens at different times. It can also be that the rose is red and green at the same time. But then there are different aspects. The rose petals are red and the stem is green. They are two different aspects. But they cannot exist under the same aspect, that is impossible. We have here, again, old Parmenides’ main thesis: The Being is, the Non-Being is not. Aristotle deals with this subject in a more subtle way through the introduction of the aspects of being. But once again, the rule is valid: That what is cannot under the same aspect not be. And that is why one cannot, under the same aspect, affirm and negate a predicate of the same subject. Parmenides’ main idea, farther differentiated in Aristotle, dominates the philosophic thinking again, excluding Heraclitus’s All Flows. The static character of Aristotle’s Philosophy begins to appear. Parmenides’s sphere shines again.
Aristotle and, even more clearly, the Aristotelian philosophers of the Middle Ages, added to the Principle of Non-Contradiction a practical rule of the art of thinking and debating correctly. The Principle of Non-Contradiction is always valid. Right. But if, in practice, we have two propositions with the same subject but opposite predicates, and both appear right, what do we do? In these cases there is a rule of procedure: Make the necessary distinctions. Let Socrates is less than 1.50 meters tall be one proposition, and Socrates is more than 1.50 meters tall the other. Here we have two propositions with the same subject, Socrates, whose predicates say opposite and excluding things. But we have good reasons for defending either one or the other. What do we do? Should we here defend the Dialectics? No way. In such cases Analytics tells us to make the necessary distinctions in the logical subject of the predicate.

Logical main subject Socrates
Aspects added to the main
subject 1. insofar as he is sitting, is less than 1.50
meters tall
2. insofar as he is standing, is more than 1.5 meters

The opposite predicates, after making the necessary distinctions, are attributed to the same subject, Socrates, but under different aspects (while sitting, while standing). Even though the person, Socrates, is the same, Socrates while he is standing has an attribute that Socrates sitting cannot have. This is perfectly acceptable. Then we create a double subject. The first, Socrates, is the logical initial subject. With the introduction of ulterior logical aspects (while sitting and while standing) one creates an enlargement and reduplication of the subject. The logical subject, which was one and simple, because of the reduplication becomes a double subject which then allows us to conciliate the initially excluding predicates. From this comes a practical rule of procedure: When there are predications with two opposite predicates and the same subject, and if it is true that one does not exclude the other, then we must carefully verify until we can find two logical aspects in this single subject that allow us to predicate opposites without offending the Principle of Non-Contradiction. In practice, however, if there are two opposite predicates either one eliminates the other or it must be a logical subject that contains two different aspects. Nothing of Dialectics, nothing of the game of opposites. Either one opposite eliminates the other, or there is one subject with two different aspects. This is Aristotle, this is Analytics.

3. Metaphysics
3.1 Substance - essence and accident
Metaphysics was the name given by Andronicus of Rhodes, who organized Aristotle’s works, to the Books that come after Physics. From the etymology, then, there is nothing spectacular nor profound in this word. The word meta ta physica, which meant nothing important, took the meaning of the nucleus of a whole philosophic vision of the universe. It is in these books, that come after Physics, that Aristotle sketches the rough draft of his explanation of the world. In the same way that language obeys the laws of grammar, which is Logic, the cosmic universe, the world of things, does the same, also obeying a grammar, and that is why it is perfectly ordered. On one hand we have language with its clear and exact laws - see the rules about the proposition and system of syllogisms -, on the other hand we have the cosmos also ordered by laws. Aristotle’s great thesis is that the same grammar that is the grammar of language is also the grammar of the world. The same laws that rule the articulation of logical speech also rule the course and relationship of things. The great laws of Logic are also the great laws of Ontology. The things have the same structure that a well formed proposition has, says Aristotle. In the proposition we have the subject and the predicate. The logical subject, sub-jectum, hypokeimenon, that which is subjacent to the predicated proposition, is indispensable to the proposition; without it one does not know what one is talking about. In the same way there must be a hard subjacent nucleus in the things. The logical subject of language, support of the predicative articulation, corresponds to the substance, that which is under the things themselves, supporting them, the sub-stance. The logical substract, the sub-jectum, corresponds to the sub-stance. Things, in their fundament, in their hard core, are first of all substances, ousia in Greek. On top of this hard nucleus, which is the subjacent substance, there can be other determinations. These are called accidents. They happen to things, or better, sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t. These ulterior determinations are non-necessary determinations, that is why they are called accidental, which exist over the substract of the substance which supports it from underneath. What is substance? What is accidental?
In the logical structure there are certain predicates that are necessarily required by the subject, there are others that are allowed. In this way, the logical subject triangle always requires the predicate has three sides and three angles. The link between this subject and this predicate is necessary. It is not possible to think or speak triangle without the characteristics of having three sides and three angles. These necessary predicates correspond to the essence of things. The logical structure corresponds to the ontological structure. According to Aristotle, essence is the substance determined by its necessary characteristics. The allowed predicates, the non-necessary predicates of things correspond to the accidents. Accidental is a characteristic that a substance can equally have or not have. A triangle can be blue or red. The color is accidental. It is a logical predicate and an ontological characteristic which is not necessary.
The mutations which occur in nature at times affect the substance itself. The living thing is born and then dies. Birth and death are transformations that affect the substance itself of the thing. Aristotle, with his own terminology, speaks of generation and corruption. There are many other mutations that are merely accidental. The animal that is now awake is also the same that later is sleeping. Be-Awake and Be-Sleeping designate accidents, that is non-substantial relationships. The color of the geometric figures is always something accidental.

3.2 Substance - form and matter
The essence of things is different from the accidents. The essence is necessary for the thing to be what it is, accidents are not necessary. Okay up to here. But, does that mean that substance and essence are the same thing? Is substance, which is under the accidents and gives them support, the same as the necessary essence for the Being-this-way of the thing? Aristotle says no. Substance contains within itself two constitutive elements; one of them is the essence that works as form, the other is the matter. There is here, in the heart of Aristotle’s Ontology, a conceptual articulation that sends us back to Plato’s Theory of Forms. Aristotle, Plato’s disciple, completely abandoned the dialectic method of his teacher, but he did not abandon the Theory of Forms. Here it is, back again.
Substance is made up of form and matter. Form is the determining factor that gives outline and determination; matter is that in which form is realized. Aristotle, in this context, explains the four causes. Each thing always has four causes. The efficient cause and the final cause are the external parts of each thing, the formal cause and the material cause are the internal parts. Let’s take a statue made in honor of Apollo. The sculptor is the efficient cause; the honoring of Apollo, the reason for which the statue was made, is the final cause. Both are outside the statue itself. The marble is the material cause, the form of Apollo is the formal cause of the statue. Form and matter are elements that enter into the composition of the statue of Apollo, they are within it. The statue is the form while realized in matter. Without form, the matter is something undetermined; the unshaped marble is not yet the statue of Apollo. The pure form, without matter is just an idea in the head of the sculptor and of mankind. An idea? Exactly, now we are back to the Theory of Ideas, Plato’s Theory of Forms. The idea of Apollo is the formal cause, the ideal form, that upon being sculptured in marble will acquires materiality and becomes a statue of Apollo. Form and matter together, the form of Apollo plus the marble, as a whole, make up the substance. Almost all substance is made up of form and matter. And what about the accidents? Accidental in the statue is the fact that it is marble, of being this or that color; remember that the Greeks used to paint the statues which we today admire in the museums only with the natural color of marble.
Let us review. The being, or as you may, the concrete thing to which we point is something made up of substance and accident. Accident is that which is not necessary, it is that which just happens. Substance is the being subjacent to what happens. Water, which at times is liquid, at times evaporates and becomes gas, at times becomes solid as ice, the water is a substance. The liquid, solid and gaseous states are accidents of the water. Substance, on the other hand, is made up of essence and material. Essence is the formal reason that determines that the Water-Being as water. Matter is that matter from which and within which form becomes a concrete determination. But, what is matter after all? Matter is the undetermined, the emptiness, Aristotle is going to say. Matter itself and from itself has no determination, it is shapeless, inert, it is the mere passive possibility that something can be done on it and from it. Matter is something unsayable. All comes to it from form which is the principle that molds it, determines it and gives it shape and outline. Within substance the essence is the formal cause; the matter, the pure potentiality, is the material cause. It is there in this hard nucleus of his Metaphysics that Aristotle continues being a neoplatonic philosopher. It is also there that the Aristotelian theory about the genesis and the structure of knowledge, the Metaphysics of Knowledge, takes root.

3.3 Metaphysics of knowledge
The things in this concrete world in which we live act upon our senses and, starting from the sensations that we perceive, elaborate a sensitive image that within us shows us how something is. This sensitive image however is something mixed with the body, it is something corporeal, something determined by space and time, something susceptible to production and corruption. The image given by the senses changes as the things present themselves or do not present themselves. The image elaborated by the imagination, an internal sense, is something more independent, something more interior. The image of the imagination, a more elaborate product of the knowledge process, represents the things even when they are absent, therefore, when they are not anymore acting upon the external senses. The imagination is a powerful internal sense. Everything passes through it. But it is only sensitive, it is not an intellection. The imagination represents things, re-presents them, makes them present again even when they are absent, like a signal that, being a signal, remits to a real thing that is not itself. The image produced and elaborated by the external and internal senses is always just a sensitive signal. But how do we arrive at the intellection, the concept? If the sensitivity is still corporeal, contaminated by space and time, how do we pass from it to a universal concept out of space and time?
Things are individual, they are extense, spacial and temporal. Concept is universal, unextense, out of time and space. How can individual, extense, space-temporal contingent things that act on our senses produce universal, unextense, concepts necessary in their nexuses. How does one pass from the world of things to the world of ideas?
Things cannot, on their own, make this change, teaches Aristotle. He who produces the concepts is the intellect itself while actively function, while active intelect. There is in man, in all men, a powerful active intellect. This nous bows itself to the image produced by the external and internal senses and brightens it with its light. Under the light of the active intellect, Aristotle says, then the Form that was within the sensitive image and of course also within the thing itself shines. This is again Plato’s Theory of Ideas now in the hard nucleus of Aristotle’s Metaphysics of Knowledge. In his heart, Aristotle is still Plato’s disciple. The conceptual nucleus of the Myth of the Cavern appears again here more soberly, more prosaically, with less images. Here is the Platonic idea again. The Form that gives shape and outline to something - as a vital principle within each thing - is the same Form that is implicit in the sensitive image reproduced by the senses. Only under the light of the active intellect does this Form acquire visibility and become transparent to itself again. Form is extense, space-temporal and contingent in the thing; this is its material way of existence. Under the light of the active intellect Form stands out from the matter which individualizes and holds it and returns to being pure Form, Form without matter, necessary, unextense, out of space and time form, intelligible form. The triangles, which exist in the material world of things are contingent, they are space-temporal, they have various sizes, they are colorful. But the concept of a triangle is necessary in its nexusses, it is unextense and abstract; it is no longer space-time related, allowing us to think about it in different sizes. Form, pulsing in the heart of things, when it penetrates our senses under the light of the active intellect, transforms itself and acquires its real characteristics. Forms are ideas, they are necessary, unextense, out of time and space. The triangle, the Form of the triangle, is eternal and forever valid, throughout time and everywhere. It is this eternal Form that comes from the light when our active intellect acts. Then we see the universal and eternal forms of the individual and contingent things.
Form, when it was in matter, was just a potentiality. It could be thought of, it could be transparent to itself. It could be, but it really was not. This Could-Be, Aristotle called potentiality. Form, in the individual things that exist in our sublunar world, are infected with materiality. That is why they are not transparent to themselves. A table does not know that it is a table, a cat does not have the concept of a cat. But, when it is thought of by man through the light of the active intellect, the Form frees itself from the matter and returns to itself; it becomes transparent, intelligible, and one knows how it really is, as a universal with its necessary nexusses, out of space and time. In the inanimate things and the animals of our sublunar world the Form exists only in its potentiality, it is just sleeping. Through the light of the active intellect the Form is actualized; it goes back to be in act again, it goes back to being the actuality of itself, it becomes transparent and aware of itself. Act and Potentiality, the Being and the Can-Be are here interwoven. The active intellect is the Act that actualizes the Form that was sleeping in its potentiality within the thing itself and within the image produced by the senses.
Aristotle developed more technical concepts, but we note that he continued thinking and defending Plato’s Theory of Forms. But, Aristotle said that the Forms are inside the things, Plato had said that the Forms exist in the Stars, in a separate world. This would be the great difference between Aristotle and Plato. Foolish thing. Who does not yet realize that the Star is just a mythological form used by Plato to say the same thing? Aristotle and Plato had various differences between them. But not here.

4. Ethics and Politics
The descriptive propositions say just how things really are. This table has a broken leg is a descriptive proposition. But the table should not be like that, the leg should not be broken. This Should-Be, in the case of the table with the broken leg, is something merely functional. For this table to work well as a table it is necessary that it be firmly set, which means that the leg can not be broken. In the world of useful things the Should -Be is determined by functionality.
In the relationships of people with other people, what is the criteria of Should-Be? What s h o u l d my relationship b e with other men? There, says Aristotle, we enter into a completely new territory. Until now we were moving around the land of the theoretical reason, workimg with the propositions that are either necessary or contingent, which say what necessarily is or what in fact is like this and not like that. Now we enter a new territory, the territory of Ethics, that is, the Should-Be.
Things have nexuses that are substantial and necessary. They have others nexuses that are merely accidents, that can happen or not happen. This is the extent of contingency: one thing can be like that, but it can also be different. It is within this range of contingency, full of alternatives, that Aristotle places Ethics, the empire of the Should-Be. There are situations in which a man, face to face with another man, can act one way or another. Sometimes there are dozens of ways to act. Well, this is the rein of the Should-Be. Man, upon interacting freely with other people, has various alternatives to choose from, and s h o u l d choose of his own free will that alternative which is Ethical.
What is Ethics? What act is ethical? That act - Aristotle teaches us - which is done according to virtue. But what is virtue? Plato has already discussed this to extent. Virtue is a habit, virtue comes from far, virtue comes from local tradition. To be virtuous is to obey the rules of the land where we are. - Is virtue then, pure conservatism? Tradition is most important, according to Aristotle, but is not the deciding factor. The deciding factor of ethics, the last criteria, is straight reason, straight logos, orthos logos. A straight line, in geometry, is the shortest way between two points. In architecture it is the lineament that one draws and gets by stretching a rope. Following the line, in construction, we get the architectural lines of floors, walls and ceilings. Orthos is the logos, straight is the reason that obeys the grammar of the practical logos. Here Aristotle introduces the idea of practical reason as something different from and opposed to theoretical reason. Practical reason, Ethics and Politics, do not obey the same rules as theoretical reason. The rules of practical reason are more flexible, they are less exact. They are a different kind of logos.
How then, when in doubt, does one find the straight reason? A good practical criterium, Aristotle says, is to stay in the middle. The golden rule, as it will be called in tradition, says that we should not opt for extremes, which are ethically wrong, but we should stay in the middle. Cowardliness and recklessness are extreme poles which are both ethically wrong. Virtue is in the middle. Virtue is in the courage that is in the middle between cowardliness and recklessness. If there is a fight, one should leave, not so slowly as to look audacious, nor so quickly as to look cowardly. Those who live by practicing middle of the road actions will be happy. Happiness, eudaimonia, is the crowning of a virtuous life. Aristotle knows very well that the rule of the middle road, of mesotes, is just an auxiliary rule. The philosophic criteria if the Should-Be consists in the straight reason.
Anticipated here in Aristotle’s Ethics, is the dichotomy between theoretical reason and practical reason which we will find again in the medieval classics, in Kant and almost all the other contemporary Ethics. The rein of theoretical reason does not coincide with the rein of practical reason. The principles of the first do not coincide with the principles of the second. The grammar of theoretical reason is not the same as the grammar of practical reason. This mistake - I consider this to be a great mistake -, that is found neither in Plato nor in the neoplatonic philosophers, caused and will continue to cause big problems. To separate two opposite poles without making the slightest attempt at conciliating them at a higher level is something typical of Analytics. In these situations Dialectics, the game of opposites, orders us to continue the search for a synthesis, a conciliation between theoretical reason and practical reason. Both reasons overlap, therefore there must be some principles common to both. But Aristotle does not look for this, this in Analytics by the inertia of reasoning is neglected. For Dialectics the great question continues to be, even after Aristotle and Kant: How do these reasons overlap? What principles are common to both?
Men live with each other, men need each other. Only the beasts do not need anyone and live alone. That is why men organize themselves in States. The man who lives within the structure of a State is a citizen. The main virtue of a citizen is justice. Justice is the straight reason that says how the many men, equal among themselves as citizens of the same State, should treat each other. Equal to equal. That is why a fair law is that which is the same for all. If it is not the same for all it is not a law, but a privilege (privi-legio, private law), they said in the Middle Ages. - That Aristotle, in this context, has forgotten that the slaves, which existed in his time, could not be slaves, shows us how even the greatest among the great thinkers could have periods of blindness. There are various forms of governing the State, but all of them should strive for the common good, the well-being of all citizens. Even when there is only one head of government - Monarchy -, he governs in the name of common good and for the common good of all citizens. This is why a king, even being an individual, must speak in the plural. When he speaks, all the citizens are speaking, when he decides, all are deciding. The same happens when a few govern - Aristocracy -, or when the public assemblies govern - Polity -. When the governing power loses the view of common good and governs for the good of some, contrary to the good of others, then the government degenerates. When the government of one degenerates, despotism comes into being. When the government of a few degenerates, there is an oligarchy. When the government of many meeting in assembly degenerates, there is democracy. In Aristotle democracy, as we can see, has a strong pejorative meaning. What we call democracy today - the only ethical way to govern and be governed - Aristotle called Polity. But Aristotle did not realize that this was the only ethical way to structure the State. We only discovered this in Modern Times.

5. The analytical conception of the world
Aristotle, an excellent observer of things, already knew that the planet on which we live is round. In the treaty On the Heavens, he wrote that the eclipses of the moon are caused by the position of the earth. Earth in its movement puts itself between the sun and the moon, causing in this way the eclipse. Since the shadow which the sun projects on the moon is always round, we must conclude that the earth is round. If the earth were flat, like the majority of the thinkers of that time imagined, the shadow of the earth projected on the moon could not be round.
But Aristotle, following the opinion of his time, thought that the earth was fixed, that the earth was an immovable point in the center of the universe. The sun, moon, planets and stars turn in circles around one central point that is the earth. This idea is later elaborated by Ptolomy who in the 2nd century described the universe by perfecting the Aristotelian cosmological model. The fixed sun, moon, planets and stars turn in eight orbits around the earth. The fixed stars are the highest and last sphere. Next come the orbits of, in order, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon. The moon makes up the first sphere, the lowest one, that is nearest the Earth. From the moon down we have the sublunar world, that is the world in which we live. In the world above the lunar orbit there is no individual movement, the only movement is the turning of the spheres themselves. That is why the stars are fixed. The stars, the planets, the sun and the moon make up a world that moves itself, yes, in its eternal and immutable orbit, but there is neither generation nor corruption in it, there are no transformations nor accidental movements. There is no chance nor contingency in it. In the world of the stars everything happens in absolutely regular cycles, day, night, lunar month, seasons of the year. This immutable world in which the only sound is the music of the celestial spheres is almost as static as Parmenides’ sphere.
In the sublunar world however, the Forms are mixed with matter. In this concrete world of ours the Forms, upon entering into substantial composition with matter, become extense, space-temporal, they are delivered to the process of generation and corruption. Plants, animals, and men are born, live and perish. This space of movement, full of chances and contingencies - space in which the freedom of choice of man is permitted -, is not a complete chaos because it is ordered by the Forms. The Forms, principles of order and determination, are eternal. Man is man because he has the Form of the Man-Being. A dog is a dog because it has the Dog-form, and so on with cats, fish, plants and everything else. In our sublunar world all that stays, all that remains, all that is stable is like that because the eternal Forms give them stability. Everything else is accidental, it appears and disappears, comes and then goes. In this mesh of accidental events the individual man, as well as the men united in Polis, many times has more than one alternative way to act. It is there, in this space opened by contingency, that the free choice, the freewill is processed. If man chooses the correct alternative, his act is ethically good. If not, it is bad. But even in this sublunar world of ours there are necessary nexuses, and that is why it is possible to have a science that knows these necessary nexuses. Not only the necessary nexuses existing inside the things, but also the theoretical science about these necessary nexuses are based on the Theory of Forms and are explained from there. Until Copernicus, in the XVI century, Aristotle’s geocentric model was accepted and used by all as the explanation of the cosmic universe. In 1514 Copernicus proposed a more complex but much more exact model: The sun is the center of the system, around which the planets, including Earth, turn. Copernicus’ model explained something which the geocentric theory could not explain, the reason why at times the planets turn in the opposite direction. The geocentric theory, defended for so many centuries, then entered into a collapse and was abandoned because it could not explain a phenomenon observed by all those who studied the starry sky. Copernicus’ heliocentric model, later elaborated on by Kepler and Galilei, is a theory that explains well all that happens, including apparently strange movements of some planets, and which permits exact predictions. Only much later, in 1687, is Newton going to explain through some very simple principles how this whole universe functions: through the Law of Gravity. With Newton the analytic thinking begun by Aristotle and the Greek geometrists, passing through Copernicus, Kepler, and Galilei conducts us to Modern Times, to the Physics and Cosmology of today, to Hubble and Einstein.
Aristotle’s conception of world is also the conception of the world of the great Medieval thinkers. Except that these, following the biblical tradition of Christianity, do not consider the universe as something eternal, like Aristotle, but as a creation made by God. In the beginning there is God, the All Powerful, that is the beginning and end of everything. God created the beings. The beings created are God’s creatures. The whole universe, Earth, sun, moon and stars are creatures of God. God created the stars - and here the Aristotelian model is incorporated - as something fixed, as something that moves in perfectly regular orbits. Guaranteeing the place of God the Creator, the Aristotelian thinkers of the Christian Middle Ages defended almost everything of the Aristotelian model. When Copernicus and Galilei brought up the heliocentric model, the catholic thinkers were strongly against it. Galilee was condemned by the Catholic Church for subverting the celestial order. But almost no one realizes that both models deep down have the same Aristotelian structure, the static conception of Aristotle’s world and of the Analytic Method. Even Newton and Einstein himself are still Aristotelian thinkers and use the analytic method, without realizing that there is another important and rich model that has an enormous explanatory strength, the platonic model of the Explanation of the World. Until now a large number of philosophers and physicists still think of the universe as a great clock in the Aristotelian and Analytic way. Those who believe in God say that there was, in the very beginning, the Great Architect or the Great Watchmaker who planned and executed everything down to the smallest details. The others, with no God, those called Atheists, say that there is no need for any architect, that everything is the work of some great laws - still not totally discovered - that determine everything, that rule everything, that explain everything, down to the last iota. Einstein, we know, searched tirelessly until his death for what he called the formula of the world. A simple formula, like that of energy, in which and by which everything, all the universe, could be explained.
Contemporary physicists, especially from Heisenberg on, took chance and contingency more seriously. Einstein on this point kept the old way of thinking; he thought that there was no chance in Nature. There is no chance at all in the processes of nature, he thought. What there is, is that many times we still do not know the laws that rule certain events. Then we speak of chance. We should not speak of chance; there is in reality no chance but just a deficit of knowledge. When we research more, we discover laws that rule the apparently casual event and what seemed to be chance disappears and is shown as a process ruled by totally determined laws. This, in the existing discussion, was transposed into a religious image. It was asked if God threw dice, if God used chance as an instrument of his creating act. The question here is not religious, one does not want to know if God exists or not, but if chance exists or not in nature. Einstein thought that there was no chance in nature. Einstein thought that God did not throw dice. I think that Einstein was wrong, and Heisenberg was right. God throws dice. In the discussion of the XX century, we do not ask any more if a God the Creator threw dice or not, but if there is contingency or chance in Nature. Does Nature throw dice? Einstein and many others say no, Heisenberg and many others say yes. I think that yes, there is contingency and chance in the course of things. I think that if there were not this contingency, there would not be space for free decisions, for free will, for moral responsibility, for justice, for political democracy, for historicity. I think that these things are interwoven. He who does not accept chance and contingency there in the core of Logic and Ontology, cannot, later speak of liberty, free will, democracy and true historicity.
This, in my opinion, is one of the neuralgical points of Philosophy in the last one hundred and fifty years. After the collapse of Spinoza’s system and of the German Idealism, after the collapse of Hegel’s theoretical system and Karl Marx and Lenin’s practical-political system, what was there to do? What was wrong? Nietzsche, Heidegger, the second Wittgenstein, Popper are going to tell us: Historicity, contingency, chance were missing. The Philosophy System had to admit that within the things and relationships between things there is contingency and chance. That is why so much emphasis was given to the concrete existence of the individual (Kierkegaard, Sartre), the horizons of time (Heidegger, Gadamer), the multiple games of language (Wittgenstein, Analytic Philosophy). This emphasis is right. God, that is, Nature does throw dice. This, by the way, Plato already knew. This is the central point of Plato’s Unwritten Doctrine. This is the important element of that which is called the Explanation of the World in our tradition.

5. The Explanation of the World

1. To explain is to unfold
Plica in Latin means fold. Ex-plicare means unfold, or open the folds. Explanation, that is to explain something, means to reproduce thoughtfully in the mind or in a speech the unfolding of a determined thing. The thing itself comes to be through an unfolding procedure. The great leafy tree is born from a small seed. Many animals are born from an egg. There, inside the egg, is everything; all that will result is preprogrammed there in its basic design. It is from inside the egg that everything will develop and un-fold. Like a Japanese origami, those folding and unfolding toys, everything is folded up inside, inside that initial egg. It is only then, upon opening, that the folds, folds, and more folds appear until the real figure is formed. That is the way, exactly in that way, that the neoplatonic philosophers think the universe. It is all inside the initial egg of the universe. Everything is inside. From there everything will unfold. Fold by fold, plica by plica. To give an explanation of things means to mentally reconstruct this process of unfolding. A great, complete explanation requires us to have do the unfolding process from the first beginning, from the initial egg. This is an explicatio ab ovo, an explanation from the initial egg. This is Philosophy.
There are things in the universe that have this structure, this no one doubts anymore today. Greek biology already knew the phenomenon of development from an egg, present day Biology only amplified and deepened this knowledge. Present day Biologists think of the world of living things as a great evolution process in which everything develops from a first extremely simple structured living being. In the beginning there is something like an egg, a first live cell. This cell has a center, a nucleus. This nucleus, which is alone in the beginning, unfolds into two in the evolution process. Then the same cell has two nuclei. Then comes the dividing wall, the initial cell unfolds into two, each nucleus staying in its own cell. From the original cell two cells then developed. Now we no longer have one, but two cells. These two cells also later develop through bipolar duplication of their nuclei and turn into four. And so on and so on, making the cellular tissue. Present day biologists have no doubt about this process of development starting from the first living being.
Rediscovered and reformulated in modern times by Lamarck and Darwin, the Theory of Evolution, now accepted and defended by all, is scientifically proven. It is just that the Biologists do not realize that this is all Neoplatonic Philosophy. The Neoplatonics said exactly this; except that they did not speak only of the evolution of living beings, they spoke of all the universe. The Neoplatonic Philosophers taught that everything began in an initial egg and that from there, by unfolding, everything originated. In the beginning there is a first being that is the One that is everything that exists. In the beginning the One is the Whole. Then comes the bipolar opposition: From within the One that is the Whole in the very beginning two poles appear, one opposing the other. Then, if one pole does not annul the other and if the poles do not mutually destroy each other, we have a new ontological structure: A Being, that is the One and the Whole, from which then come two opposing poles. From within the One comes the multiple, that is, two poles in opposition to each other. These poles acquire their own being, that comes from a dividing wall between them, then we have two beings, each of them is a One. Both together form the new Whole. If each enters again into the process of unfolding, we will then have four beings, and so on. The ontological process of unfolding thought of by the Neoplatonics is a paradigm from which the Biologists developed their theories. It is just that the Biologists normally do not know this, they do not realize where they got their theories from. They are Neoplatonic Philosophers and do not know it. The Neoplatonic Philosophers, the defenders of the Explanation of the World, go on from there. This theory is not only true for the evolution of living things, it is true for all the universe. Whoever wishes to understand and explain the universe has to intellectually reproduce the unfolding process, fold by fold, from the first egg. This is ex-plicatio. Only this is the real Explanation of the World.

2. Plato’s Unwritten Doctrine
Plato wrote Dialogues accessible, easy to read, for the public in general, illuminated by such beautiful and rich myths that even today they feed all those who want to learn Philosophy. But the dialogues are almost always inconclusive. Except for some dialogues written in his old age, Plato did not make clear and well-defined conclusions. The arguments in favor of one side are presented and discussed, then the arguments presented by the other side are discussed and evaluated. Okay, we know that this is the manner of dealing with thesis and antithesis. It is the game of opposites. Except that Plato almost never took his readers to the synthesis in which both poles are overcome and preserved. In the Dialogues, one does not find the conciliation of the opposite poles that characterizes the real dialectic synthesis.
Plato, a defender of the Negative Dialectics? Absolutely not. Plato thought the final synthesis, the Great Synthesis, would not be understood by beginners and those outside, far from the live, personal dialogue in which questions and answers face each other, with all the unpredictables; but also with all the richness that a live dialogue offers and allows. In writing, in the dialogues written for the beginners, Plato presented only the initial moment of Dialectics in which the opposite poles are articulated one against the other. For those initiated, those who have begun to understand, Plato offers in live dialogue, face to face, the treasure map. The Great Synthesis is the heart of Dialectics. Dialectics first of all means the method of the thesis, antithesis and synthesis, that is the game of opposites. Dialectics also means the conception that not only the world of things, but also the world of speech develops, fold by fold, from a first beginning.
Some Neoplatonic thinkers completely assimilated both constructive elements of Dialectics, the triadic method as well as the unfolding process of all things from the One. Plotinus, Proclus, Nicolaus Cusanus and Hegel need to be mentioned here. The triadic structure and the process of evolution passes like a backbone through the philosophical systems of the authors mentioned here. That is why Plotinus’s book is called Enéade. The name Enéade means nine, there are nine parts to the book. A Neoplatonic system is always made up of three parts that correspond to thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Since each of these parts is subdivided in three, we have a total of nine parts. That is where Plotinus’s Enéade, a book that has nine parts, comes from. This is the structure of the system in Proclus as well as in Hegel. In some other Neoplatonic thinkers the dialectic method with its triad sort of vanishes. It exits from the methodical thought and leaves only the process of development of everything starting from a unique beginning in the first plane. This is the case of Spinoza. Looking well, analyzing the authors carefully, we can see that they are, not excluding this variation, all definitely Neoplatonic. The philosophic roots of Lamarck, Erasmus and Charles Darwin, of Herbert Spencer and almost all the contemporary Biologists are Neoplatonic. Among the present day Biologists, the excellent work of Richard Dawkins, professor at Oxford, stands out. In Philosophy, Spinoza, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel were, in Modern times, those who best represented the Neoplatonic tradition. Among the poets, Goethe should be mentioned. Goethe, in an charmingly simple poem, suggests that we imagine God not as a being that is out of the world manipulating the orbit of things from outside, but as something that is within the process of the universe and from within moves all. This, and exactly this, is Dialectics, this is the Explanation of the World.
In the Dialogue The Sophist, Plato clearly shows that he is not a defender of Negative Dialectics, the Dialectics without Synthesis. He asks in this Dialogue which are the supreme classes. It is clear that they are opposite poles, a game of opposites. The two pairs of opposites that come about as the highest and most explanatory are rest - movement and the same - the other. Is the universe made up of these four elements? No, Plato says. The universe is firstly Being, synthesis of rest and movement, synthesis of the sameness and of the otherness. - Rest is not movement. Right. And movement is not rest. That is also right. But isn’t rest a being? If it were not a being, it would not exist; therefore, rest is a being. Isn’t movement a being? Of course it is. Then both rest as well as movement, although both are mutually excluding poles, thesis and antithesis, they come together as Being on a higher, nobler level. The same occurs with the sameness and alterity. Both mutually exclude each other, but both are Being. Being is the synthesis of the two pairs of opposites that rule the construction of the universe. The Being, synthetic, is the One that is the Whole and within which opposite poles unfold. Within the Being rest and movement, sameness and alterity are polarized. The Being is Synthesis, the Great Synthesis. And this Being is not only the Being that is the One and that is the Whole, Hen kai Pan, it is also the Good. The Unwritten Doctrine was compiled by his students in the form of a Dialogue On the Good, Peri tou Agathou. This dialogue, never written personally by Plato, was put forth in writing by his students. It is the merit of the School of Tübingen, in our century, continued today by the School of Milan, to have given emphasis to the Esoteric Doctrine and to have reconstructed the theory of the main work of Plato, the most important of all, in general lines. It is due to this that we understand what the Dialogues insinuate but do not clearly state, it is from where we derive the Neoplatonic tradition: the triadic process and the idea of universal evolution.

3. The two First Principles
Plato derives everything, all the process of the unfolding of the universe, from the two First Principles, the Principle of Unity and the Principle of Duality or Plurality. The first principle says the all is the One, that everything started with the unity. The Being is the One. The Being is that which it is, firstly it is the One. The Being is the One; in the beginning there was only the One and this is the Whole that is all. The One is the Universe. The One and the Whole, Hen kai Pan. And where does the multiplicity of things come from? Don’t we live in a world of multiple things?
Multiplicity begins with Duality. The Two is the beginning of the Multiplicity. The One has always had the seed of multiplicity within itself: aoristos dyas, the undetermined multiplicity. The One is not just the One, because it has always been within itself also the Other. It is bipolar. This fundamental alterity has existed forever within itself. There is a pole that is itself, the One, but there always is also the other pole that is the Other-Being. The Same and the Other, the first pair of opposites, has always been inside the Being. That is why there is a triad. Thesis is the initial One, antithesis is the Other-Being that has always opposed the first pole, synthesis is the Being that is not only the One but also the Other. The Whole-that-is-Being, Totality, synthesis, includes two opposite poles inside itself. The first principle, the Principle of Identity, supplies unity to the universe, and is the source of all order. The second principle, the Principle of Multiplicity, is the source of Multiplicity, it is the chaos from which the diversity of things emerges. Later on in this paper, I add a third principle to these two principles of Plato. To better clarify the sequence and the interdependence between these principles, I unfold Plato’s Principle of Unity into two principles, one which is the Principle of Identity and comes before the Principle of Multiplicity, the other that comes later and gives order to the multiplicity that appeared. I will call this third principle the Principle of Coherence.

4. The Mystery of the Trinity
The Platonic and Neoplatonic dialectic triad goes deeply into the Christian tradition and the intellectual structure of that which the first Christian thinkers called the most important and highest religious mystery, the Holy Trinity. In the beginning there was only one God. There is only one God, but this God is at the same time trine. He is One and Trine at the same time. God is God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. In the beginning of the Trinitarian creation there is the One-God. This One-God begets the Other, the Son. Father and Son are in opposition like opposite poles. The Father is not the Son or vice-versa. But, when the Father and the Son meet again, one loving the other, both conciliate into a higher synthesis that is then called the Holy Spirit. This eternal process of engendering is called the Holy Trinity. God, who is only one God, unfolds within himself into three persons. The One-God is also the Trine God.
As we can see, this central nucleus of Christian doctrine is clearly Neoplatonic. But most Christian thinkers today, like present day Biologists, many times do not realize where their roots came from. Until the XII century Christianity was always a rich and productive branch of the Neoplatonic doctrine. Only with Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas did the west go back to reading and studying the Aristotelian system and its static conception of the world. From the XII century on, Christian thinkers were divided into Aristotelian and Neoplatonic, with the advantage always more clearly to the first. Aristotelianism in its thomist version will be declared in the XIX century the official Philosophy of Catholicism, putting the Neoplatonic thinking almost into oblivion. When, in the XX century, a theologician and philosopher like Teillard de Chardin appears and proposes the Neoplatonic doctrine again in a new form, nobody in the intellectual catholic world knows how to evaluate it and say exactly what is happening. Almost no one understands anything of what he wants to say, no one can contextualize his intellectual proposal, no one can insert it into the line of the old tradition.

5. Where does Determined Multiplicity come from?
In its first steps the Explanation of the World is easy to understand. In the beginning there is the Onenes. From this comes the Other-Being, which is different from the One and opposes it as another. But both the One and the Other-Being are Being. Being is a higher unit in which the One-Being and the Other-Being are conciliated. Everything is quite clear up to this point.
This first One and this first Other-Being are alike. One is a mirror image of the other. And both are conciliated in the Wholeness that holds both one and the other. Up to now we are dealing with the engendering movement that the old ones called the Trinity. This is a movement that is internal to the first beginning. The first beginning is trine. Okay. This first differentiation between the two poles is an undetermined duality, aoristos dyas. The poles of this first unfolding are still poles that are exactly alike. One is a mirror image of the other, one is just the alterity of the other. This type of alterity is a yet undetermined duality. The opposite poles do not yet present themselves with different characteristics, each one with its own determinations and characteristics. But the things of our real world have their own determinations, each one is different from the others. Where then does this Determined Multiplicity come from? What is the root and the principle of the different determinations? Where does the variety come from?
Here there is a crossroads. Here the Neoplatonic doctrine separates into two currents. The first current says that all the Multiplicity that one sees today is completely preprogrammed within the first egg. All the Forms, from the beginning preprogrammed in their structure and their minutest details, are implicitly contained in the first beginning, in the initial egg. Then, like the whole bird is preprogrammed in the egg, so all the Forms of the universe are completely preprogrammed in the initial One. The Explanation of the World unfolds like it is really unfolding because all this factic evolution is implicit in the initial egg. To ex-plain is to unfold. One can only unfold what was previously folded. Implicare means make the folds and put them into the initial egg, like in a Japanese origami. All the Multiplicity that exists and is being unfolded by evolution has always implicitly been within the initial egg. One can only explain that which is implicatum. Everything, in all its minute details. From this strong nexus between explicatio and implicatio two consequences which are extremely important in the History of Philosophy derived, and, in my opinion, conducted this first offspring of Neoplatonism to errors: the necessitarianism of evolution in Ontology and the conceptual apriorism of the system design. The necessitarianism of the evolutive process is a logical consequence of the rigidity of the structure; one can only unfold that which in the beginning was folded into the initial egg. Here it is not important if it was a creating God that made the implication by folding the determinations inside, or if it were the Forms themselves that had always been folded inside there. In both cases the process of unfolding is subject to a rigid necessitarianism: Only what is already there pre-programmed can be unfolded. In an evolution process subject to such necessitarianism only what is predetermined happens. In such a philosophy there is no chaos, there is no contingency. Spinoza is the best example of a Neoplatonic system in this pattern. In Spinoza there is no contingency whatsoever. Everything happens necessarily as a logical consequence of the initial predetermination. Such a system, not permitting contingency, does not open space for alternatives that are equally possible. Consequently there is no freedom of choice, that is freewill. If there is no free choice, there is no responsibility. If there is no freedom nor responsibility, there is no Ethics nor Politics, much less Democracy. The second extremely negative consequence is that the thinkers that followed this rigid model of explicatio and implicatio intend to logically deduce all multiplicity of the things of the world starting from a first principle. Therefore, if all things ontologically derive from a first ontological principle, then Philosophy should logically reconstruct, a priori, all the propositions that make up the Explanation of the World in a rigorously deductive way. To deduct everything a priori then becomes an obsession - wrong of course - of these thinkers. Dieter Wandschneider and Vittorio Hoesle are some of the modern thinkers who defend such a conception of the world.
The first tendency, that of the Neoplatonic necessitarian philosophers, explains Multiplicity through a Predetermination, through the implicatio. The second tendency, that of the libertarian Neoplatonics, which I belong to, gives a different explanation and introduces the Principle of Chaos, the Principle of Difference, or, in modern language, the Emergence of the New. The first Principle, the Principle of Identity, says just A. It repeats the A, also saying A, A, A, A etc... It also says A=A. But with all of this we still didn’t leave A. We must deal with getting to something that is not A itself. What then? Is it not the case of saying Non-A? Of course, we can construct the Non-A by the anteposition of negation. But with this we still do not have determined multiplicity. How do we arrive, not at the undetermined alterity Non-A, but to a determined alterity like B, or C, or D etc.? This is the problem. This question can not be solved only by the Identity Principle, because this also just stays at A, in its iterations and its reflexive identity. It can also not be solved just by the anteposition of negation, because this does not supply an Other that is in itself determined. How then does Determined Multiplicity come into being? Where does it come from? It comes from itself, it creates itself, suddenly it is there and appears. This is the Emergence of the New, as the Biologists today say in the Theory of Systems. It emerges, it comes into being, without having been predetermined from the beginning. The determined alterity, the Other, unfolds in an explicatio, but it was not yet there folded within, it was not implicatum. The new fold is not just an unfolding of a previously folded fold that was put inside, but the making of a new fold. The One, in its evolution process makes folds that did not previously exist. The preprogramming made by the first principles only determined the general evolutive process, it did not determine the details. This is the Principle of Difference, this is the chaos that within itself creates the variations. This is why it is called Chaos. Because the variations that come into being and emerge are not predictable, they cannot be deduced. But does this not take us to total chaos? A logical anarchy? The destruction of science? No, it does not. Because as soon as the variations appear, without being preprogrammed, the third Principle, the Principle of Coherence appears. This makes order reestablish itself. If against pole A comes a pole B, then three things can happen. Either A eliminates B, or B eliminates A, or A and B show themselves as compatible and enter into coherence with each other. A and B in this case become constitutive parts of a Greater Totality. Then come C, D, F etc., always under the rule of the Principle of Coherence that puts order back into the evolution of the universe and the unfolding of things.
Plato had two principles, the Principle of Unity, to on, and the Principle of Undetermined Multiplicity, aoristos dyas. In this exposition, I unfolded Plato’s first principle in two, the Principle of Identity and the Principle of Coherence, in order to better explain how the Chaos that comes from the Principle of Multiplicity is not such a chaotic chaos, but a chaos that comes to be ordered by a principle of order, which is the Principle of Coherence. The most important thing in this exposition that I did is that the role is being conferred to Chaos in the Emergence of the New. The New, the Other-Being, the Determined Alterity are not preprogrammed. They are not able to be previously deduced. Initially we deal with a Chaos, initially we deal with a Principle of Difference that is a Principle of Chaos. But the variations that so appear are immediately regulated by the Principle of Coherence.
This second, libertarian branch of the Neoplatonic Doctrine offers an Explanation of the World that contains a chaotic moment. That is why it permits contingency, freedom, and historicity. There is space for multiple variations, there is space for the contingency of things and for various alternatives, there is space for liberty and responsibility. The system of Philosophy in this proposed model is a system open to History that permits us to track down the genesis of the things, like walking backward, saying how and when the variations occurred. But it does not presuppose that all these variations are preprogrammed and that for this reason they are necessary moments in the unfolding of Nature. Nature in this project contains chaos, it contains chance, it contains variations that could have been different. Chance, even though it is not the most important element, it is an indispensable element in the evolutive genesis of the universe. Nature has a History that was like that but could have been different. That is why it is called Natural History. History, when it refers to man, becomes the History of Free Men.

6. The Achilles Heel
One Goddess offered the warrior Achilles a balsam that would give him protection and make him invulnerable to the enemy weapons. The skin, bathed with the miraculous balsam, would become unpenetrable. Achilles, however, when he bathed himself with the balsam, had a leaf stuck to the heel of his left foot. In that place where the leaf was stuck, the balsam could not do its work. This is the Achilles heel, in this area Achilles was vulnerable. Wounded exactly in this place, his heel, Achilles was killed.
The Philosophy systems also have their Achilles heel. The Neoplatonic systems, the Philosophy of the Explicatio Mundi, has as its Achilles heel the question of necessaritainism and the intention of wanting to deduce everything a priori. Even the first Christian thinkers, the Greek and Latin Fathers, raised the ojection against the Neoplatonic Philosophers that such a system ended up eliminating the contingency of the world, and then also the freedom of choice and moral responsibility. Saint Augustin, who was Neoplatonic, spent all his life trying to conciliate the predetermination with freedom of choice. He was not able to do it. Johannes Scotus Eriugena, in the early Middle Ages, tried again. Nicolaus Cusanus during the Renascence tried once again. Spinoza, a thinker who loved Ethics and Political Philosophy so much, gave in to the rigorous necessitarianism and became an explicit necessitarian. According to Spinoza, contingency simply does not exist. Schelling and Hegel, imbued with the importance of freedom, tried again. Hegel tried to put contingency back in, inside Logics. He declares - the only one in the History of Philosophy - that the Absolute Necessity is the Absolute Contingency. But he is not able to take the idea to a good conclusion and got lost, in my way of thinking, in ambiguities. In Hegel we never know if Necessity is really necessary or if it is contingent. Deep, deep down, I think, Hegel presented a strong tendency for a Neoplatonic necessitarianism. Among the contemporanians, Vittorio Hosle, although he tries to resist, falls back on the necessitarianism.
And why not? No, why? Necessitarianism, on denying the existence of contingency in the course of the evolution of the world, eliminates the contingency of things. The things are like that and not different because they have to be like that. The world is a process totally determined by completely rigid laws. If, at the moment , we do not yet know all the laws, then there is a deficit in our subjective knowledge. The inexactness measured by the Physicists, the chance spoken of by the Biologists, all this is just a deficit in our knowledge. As soon as we discover the physical laws, we will be able to calculate the course of the universe. Calculate backwards, saying exactly what happened. And calculate forwards, saying what will happen in the future. It is obvious that such a system will allow for neither the existence of alternatives in the things, nor freedom of choice in man, nor democracy in the State. Because, if everything is predetermined from the beginning, we can only give ourselves in to destiny and its inexorable force. - But would it not be the case of abandoning all these things, that would be just illusions, and giving ourselves up to the force of Destiny?
The argument in favor of a non-necessitarian conception of the world, in a final analysis, consists of the principle that the simpler theory is the correct one. The Neoplatonic theory, which we called libertarianism above, introduces the Principle of Difference, Chaos, from the very beginning. It is consequent and explains everything without the necessity of additional theories. It allows for and explains the contingency of things in Philosophy. It allows us to understand the usage of the calculations of probabilities as the only adequate way for certain sectors of nature, the relation of uncertainity of Heisenberg, in Physics, the importance of chance in the genesis of mutations in Biology, the freedom of choice and responsibility in Political Philosophy and in Law. - On the other hand, the necessitarian conception does not allow us to explain any of this, except through extremely complicated hypotheses to be added to the main theory.
To this the question of the burden of proof is added. Who is it that has the burden of demonstration? The one that accepts contingency in certain things? Or the one that accepts the total necessity of everything? The burden of the proof, in my point of view, falls back on he who presupposes, without being able to prove it, that all things, in all aspects, are necessary. To raise such a proposition as the universal principle is more than foolhardy. It is enough to bring only one example of contingency to demonstrate the falseness of such a principle. And here the necessity of always having new additional hypotheses appears: We are not dealing with something really contingent, necessity is hidden there inside, etc. - And that is why I stay with the theory which is simpler, that is more suitable to reality, that does not need successive additional hypotheses. I stay with the Neoplatonic branch that I called libertarian above. Explanation of the World, yes, but also counting on the element of chance.

7. The Crossroads
In the beginning of Classical Philosophy there is a great crossroads. With Plato and Aristotle Philosophy divides into two great branches, the Explanation of the World and the Analysis of the World, Neoplatonism and Aristotelianism. From Plato come Plotinus, Proclus, Saint Augustine, Johannes Scotus Eriugena, the medieval thinkers until the XII century, Nicolaus Cusanus, Giordano Bruno, Ficino, Spinoza, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Karl Marx. From Aristotle come Theophrastus, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, William of Occham, Descartes, Kant, Frege, Bertrand Russel, Wittgenstein, Apel, Habermas, and all the Analytic Philosophy of today.
The second crossroads is inside the Neoplatonc thinking. Is the system of the Explanation of the World totally necessary or does it contain contingency? Plotinus and Proclus are strongly inclined to necessitarianism, Spinoza is definitely a necessarianist. Hegel wants to contemplate contingency, Hegel wants to find a way to save contingency and put it back into the system, but in my point of view, he cannot and he gets lost, in what concerns this problem, in ambiguities. Karl Marx is strongly inclined to necessitarianism; and that is why, in my point of view, Stalinism is not just an accident along the way, but a logical consequence of the system. Among the contemporaries, Wandschneider and Hösle lean towards necessitarianism. Hans Jonas on the contrary defends an Explanation of the World with contingency and freedom like that which I am proposing. This Explanation of the World with chance and contingency surprisingly coincides exactly with the General Theory of Evolution that is being proposed by the Biologists like Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins.

8. The Great Question
The Great Question, the most important question in Modern Philosophy was put forward when the late Schelling in his Munich Lecture on Contemporary Philosophy, criticized the system of his friend Hegel because it was lacking contingency. Hegel’s error had origin and History, it was the same error of Spinoza, Proclus and Plotinus: Contingency was missing in the system. From that time on the job has been exactly this: How to put contingency back inside the system of the Explanation of the World? This is one of the two main questions of this book. We remember that this was also the task the young Hegel was trying to accomplish: How to conciliate the free Subject of Kant with the necessary Substance of Spinoza? This question refers to, as one can see, the crossroads that devides the two branches in the Neoplatonic School.
The second question refers to the crossroads between Platonism and Aristotelism. It is connected to the first question, but is not identical to it. How do we conciliate the game of opposites with the Principle of Non-Contradiction? How do we use contradiction as an instrument of construction and not of destruction? Is this possible? How can we play with thesis and antithesis without doing anything foolish?

II. W H A T I S D I A L E C T I C S ?

1. The Logical Square

1. The Great Confusion
Dialecticians and Analytics speak to each other but do not understand one another. They do not grasp the meaning of the words the other say. Aristotle said, criticizing Plato, that Dialectics was not a method of Philosophy, but only an intellectual exercise to sharpen the mind. A type of intellectual aerobics, we could say today. In the Middle Ages, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas adopted equally negative positions about Dialectics. But it is after Spinoza, Schelling and Hegel that the criticism becomes more vehement. Trendelenburg, taking up once more the great question raised by Aristotle, asks strongly: Does Dialectics deny the Principle of Non-Contradiction? How can one say that something is and at the same time say that it is not? Thesis is Dictum, Antithesis is Contradictum. If one of them is true, then the other is false. How can one say that they are both true? Or that both are false? The old rule of logic says: If one of the contradictories is true, the other is false and vice-versa. How can one then do Dialectics? Karl Popper, in our century, hitting the same key, was not any less strong: Whoever affirms that P as well as Non-P is true is being foolish. Popper continues: From this supposition any foolishness can be deduced. Which means that all Dialectics is a great foolishness.
Faced with these objections, the Dialecticians of the XX century are so perplexed they almost do not answer. Dieter Henrich, one of the main researchers of Dialectics today, wrote in 1976 that no one really knows what Dialectics is. Dieter Wandschneider said the same thing in 1995. It is not that no one is working on, or writing about the subject. Just the opposite. There are hundreds of works trying to undo the gordian knot which the Greeks willed to us. Newton C. da Costa, as he formalized the Paraconsistent Logics, took a big step in the right direction and taught us that there are multiple forms of negation. Robert Heiss, A. Kullenkampf, T. Kesselring, and D. Wandschneider tried to reconstruct Dialectics from the structure of logical and semantical antinomies. Here, also, work went on, clearing up some points, but, in my opinion, adding to the confusion of others. After all, what is Dialectics? Do we deny in Dialectics the Principle of Non-Contradiction? Shall we open up the doors for any and all the foolishness that can be affirmed?
No, of course not. We can not, in trying to save Dialectics, deny the rationality of the speech. But then, what is going on there? A great confusion is going on, that’s what. A confusion that has lasted centuries. This is what needs to be cleared up with the question What is Dialectics?

2. Two Languages with Different Syntaxes
When people speak and despite their good will can not understand one another, it is because they are speaking different languages. Speaking without understanding is either a total lack of interest or it is a question of different languages. A Brazilian and a Chinese, although they may wish to, will not understand each other until they discover a language common to both. For us Brazilians, what the Chinaman is saying is really Chinese; that is, we do not understand anything. We use the expression It’s Chinese to me (the American equivalent is It’s Greek to me) when we do not understand anything. The Chinese probably have a similar expression when they do not understand what another person says. But if there is a will to communicate and good faith, then this is not a reason to give up the dialogue. There should be an interpreter or a common language that the two parties understand.
Dialecticians and Analytics do not understand each other because they speak different languages. The language used by the Analytics is made up of well-formed propositions as Aristotle had already taught. The proposition is syntactically well-formed when it has a subject and a predicate: Socrates is just. In this proposition the predicate is just is attributed to the subject Socrates. Socrates is a logical subject, is just is the predicate. - Without saying the predicate one says nothing. Socrates, says someone; Socrates what? we ask. The subject Socrates alone says nothing. Besides the logical predicate there must be a logical subject for the proposition to make sense. Without the subject one does not know what is being spoken about. If someone says the logical predicate is just, we immediately ask Who are you talking about? Subject and predicate, argument and function, mathematicians say today, are both indispensable for the proposition to make sense. There are propositions with an understood subject. For such a proposition to make sense, it is necessary for the listener, or reader, to suppose the logical subject that is being understood. Generally the logical subject was expressed a little earlier, like in the example: Pedro and Ana were walking around. After some time, they sat down. The proposition After a short time, they sat down, makes sense, and is immediately understood because the subject was mentioned in the previous sentence. This is what happens in the cases in which the logical subject is not expressed. A logical subject must exist, otherwise the proposition does not make sense, it is not complete. - There are a few expressions today which in Portuguese we call propositions without a subject. Propositions without a subject? But this, according to Aristotle’s Logic, cannot exist. Does it exist? The example which the grammar teachers give for this kind of proposition is chove (It rains) and neva (It snows). Who is it that rains? Who snows? In the Portuguese language there really is no visible subject. But, if we put it in English, it rains, or in French, il pleut, or in German, es regnet, the subject is always something masculine or neuter, undetermined, in the third person, singular. Well, in these expressions there is a subject, although indeterminate, it is the great impersonal It, third person. Who is this It? Nature? Probably. These exceptions although rare, show that there are propositions apparently without a subject in articulated language. When we pass to body language, what was an exception in articulated language becomes a general rule. In body language there is never an expressed subject. And now, what do we do? Are we lost?
In our usual language the proposition always has to have a subject and predicate, one distinct and separate from the other. This is what we call articulated language. But the examples mentioned show that the subject is not always visible. Even looking well, one does not find the subject. Or, saying the same thing in a stronger way, sometimes there is no subject, the proposition is without a subject. This mentioned, we must register the fact: There are languages which have a different syntax which is not the syntax of our usual articulated language. And then, how do we understand it? It is necessary to translate from one language to the other.
Different syntax is exactly what happens with Dialectics. The Dialecticians use a language with its own syntax. Plato’s Ideas, or Hegel’s Begriffe are not made up of subject and predicate. Sameness and alterity, rest and movement in Plato, be, nothing, becoming in Hegel, what are they? They are predicates, for sure. But, of whom or of what are Plato and Hegel talking? The ideas sometimes oppose each other, sometimes they attract each other, they conciliate each other. But after all, of whom or of what is Plato talking? Whom is it that Hegel affirms is Being, Nothing and Becoming?
Hegel, in an addition to the Logic of the Encyclopedia, gives us a clue. Being, Nothing, Becoming, or whatever, the categories of Logic are always predicates. But predicates of whom? Who is being spoken of? Hegel answered: If someone has difficulty in thinking without the subject and the predicate of the predication being expressed, think like the subject of the predication The Absolute. This is exactly what Hegel recommends to us. He realized that it is difficult for most of us to think without an expressed logical subject and that is why he gives us a practical recipe of how to precede in order to understand the language of Dialectics. He tells us to think of the Absolute as the logical subject of all that is being said. Be, Nothing, Becoming, Be-There, the Same, the Other, etc. are categorical determinations that are being predicates of the Absolute. To complete these propositions, which in Hegel’s Dialectics have no logical subject, it is necessary to think, say and write:

Thesis: The Absolute is Being
Antithesis: The Absolute is Nothing
Synthesis: The Absolute is Becomimg

And so on with all the categories of Logic and with the figurations in Real Philosophy. But what is Hegel talking about? What Absolute is this? The Absolute is God before creating the world, Hegel answers. But God there, right in the beginning of the system, is this not making a undue supposition? Does God not go out like a shot from a gun? Too suddenly, too immediately? Just like a shot from a pistol, these are Hegel’s words. He knows very well that one can not put God in the beginning of the system, without anything else, without careful criticism, without preparation, without demonstration. Then why does he do that? Because here, right in the beginning, it is not really God. God only appears in the end of Logic, as a last category, the Absolute Idea, and in the end of the system, as an Absolute Being. But what God is this that in the beginning appears like the logical subject of all the predications? This initial Absolute is carefully explained, step by step, in the unnumbered chapter that opens the Science of Logic and that has the suggestive title How does one begin?.
The beginning of a Philosophy that we want critical cannot have undue presuppositions. Critical thought has to exhibit and justify all its postulates. That is why Descartes begins doubting everything, putting in doubt all and whatever proposition or principle. But the act of putting in doubt, the act of doubting, this is undoubtable. The more one doubts, the stronger and more conscious becomes the act of doubting. This is the critical beginning that cannot be denied by anyone; this, says Descartes, is the first principle from which all Philosophy receives its methodical justification. Descartes begins his Philosophy from the universal doubt, this doubt which cannot doubt itself and which forces us to say: We are doubting, we are thinking, therefore we exist. This is the Cogito, ergo sum, of Descartes. Kant, who is also a critical philosopher, starts from a few a priori synthetical judgements that are true. This is a beginning that no one can doubt. From there Kant asks for the necessary conditions of such postulates. The mapping of these necessary conditions a priori is what Kant calls transcendental; that is the basis of certainty. This is the structure of the three Critics of Kant.
Hegel knows, however, through tradition that in critical Philosophy one can not presuppose anything without due justification. And he does not presuppose anything determined; he does not presuppose any proposition or determined principle. At the beginning of the system, he does not presuppose anything. But, by not presupposing anything determined, he is presupposing all things in an undetermined way; he is presupposing everything in an undetermined way. This All, this Everything, put as a great undetermined presupposition, is the logical subject of the dialectic predication. Instead of Absolute we can say All is Being, All is Nothing, All is Becoming. Or instead: All the things are Being, All the things are nothing, All the things are Becoming. The Absolute, God, All, Everything are the terms which we use to signify that Great Undetermined Thing, that basket in which we put everything, all the words, all the propositions, all that is determined.
The beginning is made by making a great dividing line in the mind and putting on the left all the determined things. In the beginning, on the right of the line, there is nothing. The space is empty. During the construction of the System of Philosophy, it is here that we are going to replace all the things that were put on the left. To do Philosophy is to replace on the right what was presupposed on the left. Except that, while doing this replacing of what was presupposed, we ought to examine each and every piece of this puzzle and account for why we are putting it in this place and not in the other. Replace, yes, in the correct order. What is the correct order? The order that it is ingrained in each piece that we pick up to replace it on the right side, the order of the things themselves, the order called for by the Principle of Coherence. If we do not obey this Order of Coherence, what happens? Then, since one opposite is not compatible with the other, one eliminates the other. The pieces must fit together, they must be coherent with the immediate and mediate environment, in the last analysis, with the total picture. Then the Great Mosaic of the Meaning of the World appears.
What then is the logical subject of the dialectic predication, that understood but never expressed subject? It is always the Absolute, God, All, Everything, that Totality which is presupposed as real on the left so that it can be replaced as a philosophical system on the right.
But since all this is only understood, or written in tiny letters in a footnote, the Dialecticians talk and talk but never say explicitly what they are talking about. And then the Analytic Philosophers say that they do not understand anything. One language always uses a hidden subject, the other insists on an expressed subject. The Great Confusion comes from this.
This confusion becomes more specific and more complicated when one deals with Contraries and Contradictories. Contraries and Contradictories are very different things and obey different rules. Aristotle and the Analytics know this well. But the Dialecticians, who do not have an expressed subject in the predication, make a big confusion. They talk about contradiction, but they mean contrariety. They speak of contradictories, but they want to say contraries. Are the Dialecticians speaking foolishness? Yes, and no. The old ones, like Plato, were not speaking foolishness, because it was only with Aristotle that we began to distinguish between contradictories and contraries. But the later dialecticians should have perceived that they were using the terms in a different way than that which was defined by Aristotle. The Dialecticians should have perceived that they were using - and continue to use - the same terms as the Analytics, but with a different meaning. That is where the confusion comes in. That is why we now have to study the Logical Square, explaining exactly what the dialectic game of opposites is and point out, with the finger, the exact place in which it is done. Whoever does not do this, is condemned to saying foolishness.

3. The Four Corners
The Laws of Inference, discovered and formulated by Aristotle, were visualized in the Logical Square. And that is where the difference between Contraries and Contradictories comes in. Exactly there, because the Dialectics do not have the same terminology as the Analytics, because they do not understand the differenciations made by Aristotle well, or do not take them seriously, that the Great Confusion between Dialecticians and Analytics begins.
The Logical Square has four corners, each one designated by a letter - A, E, I and O. A and E are on top, and represent the universal propositions. A is an affirmative universal proposition, E is a negative universal proposition. I and O are on the bottom and represent particular propositions, I being an affirmative and O a negative particular proposition.



The logical subject is here ultimately determined by the terms All, None, and Some. These ulterior determinations of the logical subject are called quantifiers, because there is a quantification of the subject happening there. In the proposition All men are mortal the logical subject Men is further determined by the universal quantifier All. Some is the particular affirmative quantifier, Some do not is the particular negative quantifier, and None is the universal negative quantifier. A proposition is of the A type (A of Affirmo); if it is positive and has a universal quantifier: All men are mortal. A proposition is of the I type (I is the second vowel of affirmo) if it is positive and has a particular quantifier: Some men are Brazilian. A proposition is of the E type (E of nego of the Latin verb negare) if it is negative and has a universal quantifier: No man is immortal. A proposition is O (O is the second vowel of nego) if it is negative and has a particular quantifier: Some men are not honest. These propositions make up, as we know, the four corners of the Logical Square.
As an example, we will make the construction with the same subject and predicate in the four propositions. We will take the type A proposition, All men are mortal, as the example. From this proposition which already has a subject and a predicate, we can construct the other three propositions corresponding to the other three corners of the Square. Proposition E, No man is mortal, is then universal and negative. Proposition I is a particular affirmative - Some men are mortal. Proposition O is a particular negative - Some men are not mortal.
The logical rules that permit - and is some cases do not permit - the passage from one corner to the other are called Laws of Inference. Therefore, if proposition A is true, the corresponding proposition O is always false. This is important. There are, in certain cases, logically valid passages; they are the laws of inference. But these laws, according to the path that we take in the Logical Square, are different. It is not one rule that can always be applied. And here then it is necessary to distinguish with Aristotle the various paths existing in the Logical Square, or in a more technical language, the various types of opposition. Each of the four letters is in opposition with all the others. But each type of opposition has a special name and obeys its own rules.
The opposition between A and O, as well as the I and E opposition is called the opposition of contradictories. The rule on Contradictories says: If one of the contradictories is true, then the other is false. And vice-versa, if one is false, the other is true. In our example, proposition A All men are mortal is true, then according to the rule on contradictories proposition O Some men are not mortal is false. That is the way it is. We will make an inverse example. We will take a proposition O that is true, Some Gauchos are not Brazilian - there are Argentinean and Uruguayan Gauchos -, then we can conclude the falseness of proposition A All Gauchos are Brazilian. The rule is clear and works in the four possible ways. From the truth of one contradictory proposition one infers the falseness of the other and vice-versa.



The opposition between contraries is that which exists between propositions of the A type or the E type, that is, between universally positive and universally negative propositions. These are contraries. The rule of inference on contraries is different from the rule on contradictories. The rule here is not quite so simple, it does not work in all four directions, but only in two directions. The rule is the following: If one contrary is true, the other is always false. That is, if we know that one of the contraries is true, and start there, then we can know infer the falseness of the other contrary. But this does not work backwards: If we know that one of the contraries is false, it is not possible to conclude anything about the opposing contrary. This can be false as well as true; both are possible hypotheses. Example: It is true that All men are mortal, therefore it is false that No man is mortal. From the truth of A, one correctly infers the falseness of E. This also works vice-versa, from the truth of E one can infer the falseness of A. But one cannot conclude anything when one starts from the falseness of A or E. If A is false, nothing can be inferred about E; in this case it can be either true or false.


Then, is it possible that A as well as E are both false propositions? Perfectly. The falseness of both the opposites, in working with contraries, is perfectly possible. But, if one is working with contradictories, this is impossible. This is the exact place in which the Dialecticians and Analytics get lost in the confusion. Since the Dialecticians do not use an expressed subject, and then also do not use an expressed quantifier, they never know exactly if they are speaking of contraries or contradictories. The thesis is false, the antithesis is also false, let’s go on to the synthesis, they say. Are thesis and antithesis contradictories or contraries? The Dialecticians do not know what to say and get confused since the subject and the quantifiers are hidden. Many times they speak of contradictories and existing contradiction between thesis and antithesis, but what they really want to say is that they are contraries. Because if thesis and antithesis were contradictories the one would be true and the other would be false. Like that, it could never be possible that both thesis and antithesis are false, as one affirms in the game of opposites of Dialectics. But if thesis and antithesis are contraries, in the technical meaning of the term, then okay, it is perfectly possible for both to be false. It is here, exactly here, and only here that one does Dialectics. The one and only place where Dialectics can be exercised, pointed with the finger, as promised, is this: The game of opposites is always done between contraries that are both false, between propositions A and E. It is exactly here that decision is made. If we do not understand that it is always about contraries and never about contradictories, Dialectics becomes foolishness.
Having said that, actually everything that is really important to undo the existing confusion between the Dialectics and Analytics has been said. But, since we are at the Logical Square let us look at the two remaining forms of opposition without going too deeply into them, the opposition between subcontraries and the opposition of subalternation.
The opposition of subcontraries is that which exists between propositions I and O, one positive and the other negative, but both particular, Some Gauchos are Brazilian and Some Gauchos are not Brazilian. The rule on subcontraries says: If one of the subcontraries is false, then it is inferred that the other is true. But vice-versa this does not work. From the truth of one of the subcontraries nothing can be inferred about the other. In the example given it is true that Some Gauchos are Brazilian, and that is why nothing can be inferred about the truth or falseness of O. O can be true as well as false. In the example given, proposition O for contingent reasons is also true, since there are Uruguayan and Argentinean Gauchos. But this is just contingent, it is not logical.


The opposition of subalternation is that which exists between A and I on one side and between E and O on the other. The rule says: From the truth of A and E one can infer the truth of A and O, respectively. But from the falseness of A and E nothing can be inferred about I and O. From the falseness of I and O one can infer the falseness of A and E. But from the truth of I and O nothing can be inferred about A and E. This is based on the general principle of inclusion. The sets I and O are necessarily contained in the A and E sets.



4. The Analytic Construction of Contraries and Contradictories
When one talks the analytic language it is easy to distinguish between contraries and contradictories. In order to form a contradictory of a universally affirmative proposition A, that is to form a correspondent proposition O, it is necessary to do two things. First, put the negation in; second, alter the quantifier. Then starting from All men are mortal, one can make the contradictory proposition which is negative and particular, Some men are not mortal. But to form the contrary proposition it is only necessary to do one thing: put the negation in. The quantifier remains the same. All men are mortal is proposition A, No man is mortal is proposition E. We can immediately see why the Analytic Philosopher, the one who learned and knows well what is contrary and what is contradictory, does not get lost. It is just a matter of getting the propositions and verifying if the quantifier as well as the negation was altered. If the quantifier was not altered, if it continues being universal in both propositions, one is dealing with contraries. If it was altered, if is became particular, then one is dealing with contradictories. It is easy and exact.
The problem is that the Dialecticians do not use the expressed subject. The logical subject in the syntax used by Dialectics is almost always hidden. And that is why the quantifier also stays hidden. That is why Dialecticians are never sure, when they talk about two opposite poles, if these are contrary or contradictory. Besides, the Dialectics terminology here is different from the terminology of the Analytics. The Dialecticians speak of contradiction and want to say that which the Analytics call contrariness, the Dialecticians speak about contradictories, but want to say contraries. From this the confusion between the Analytics and Dialecticians is born. They use languages with different syntactic structures, and besides that they use different terminologies.
It is obvious that the Dialecticians do not want to say contradiction, but really contrariness. It is obvious that the game of opposites is a game of contraries, not of contradictories. Dialecticians are not idiots. Plato, Cusanus and Hegel are not stupid to say something and at the same time and under the same aspect deny it. They do not deny the Principle of Non-Contradiction; no one can deny it without abandoning the rationality of the argument. When the Dialecticians speak about the game of opposites and say that thesis as well as antithesis are both false, and that, because of this we are moved to synthesis, contrary poles not contradictory ones are being dealt with. If we were dealing with contradictory poles, if the thesis were false, then the antithesis would be true. Or vice-versa. If one of the opposites is false, the other must always be true. And that is not what Dialectics say. Dialectics say that both the opposites thesis as well as antithesis are false. We just need to observe the Logical Square to verify that the only space in which this type of negative opposition, the opposition between false thesis and also false antithesis, can occur is in the opposition between contraries. It is in this space and only in this space that one can make Dialectics. Whoever does not recognize this is lost and will fall in holes. And the Thracian Slave will die laughing.

5. The Dialectic Construction of Contraries
Dialecticians always work with contraries, they never even mention contradictories. That is why they never even ask how to build contradictory oppositions. This is an invention of Aristotle and the subject of Analytics. The Analytic Philosopher finds it very easy to form opposite propositions, either contrary or contradictory. Now, here, the way to construct the contrary propositions interests us. Starting from any A type proposition, in order to form the corresponding contrary proposition, we just need to put a negative without altering the quantifier. The proposition continues universal, but becomes negative. This can be done, as everybody can see, by logical-formal manipulation. One just needs to add the negative. But the Dialectics had great difficulty in forming the contrary pole, because they do not have, in the syntax they use, explicit subjects and quantifiers. For Analytics the command add the negative without changing the quantifier is enough. For the Dialectics the engendering of the contrary is much more complicated operation and therefore subject to misunderstandings.
We will take, as an example, the opposition of contraries which is the central theme of the first chapter of Phenomonology of the Spirit, the opposition between object and subject, between objectivity and subjectivity, in order to analyze this delicate and important question. The initial thesis says that the Truth of the sensitive certainty is in the object. This initial thesis, as always in the Dialectics of opposites, is shown as false, or rather, without the subject that feels and perceives, the propositions lose their truth. We look, observe, and write on the board Now it is day. Here we are dealing with an objective proposition written on the board; upon being written it became totally objectified. But in such an objective proposition, exactly because it is just objective, its truth is quickly lost. A few hours go by and now it is no longer day, now it is night. Hegel then does something like a rational experiment. As a chemist in his laboratory, the Dialectic maneuvers the ideas and the words. And verifies that the proposition, taken just in its objective characteristic, is not true but really false. In this way the falseness of the thesis is proven and Dialectics is pushed, as in an explosion, out of it. One cannot live in falseness. Where does one go? To antithesis, of course. And after demonstrating the falseness of antithesis, one arrives at synthesis. Here a specific point interests us: What is the antithetic pole to objectivity? Obviously it is subjectivity. The truth of sensitive certainty is in the subject is the corresponding antithesis to the thesis The truth of sensitive certainty is in the object. Well, yes, it is clear, but not quite that clear. This clarity needs to be meditated upon.
Is object the contrary of subject? Is objectivity the contrary of subjectivity? It is clear, it is right. But it is not as simple as we make it in intuitive thought. We take the concept of object and make the anteposition of the negation; from this comes the concept of Non-Object. Is Non-Object the same thing as Subject? Of course not. Non-Object, the total negation of Object, includes all existing and possible things as long as they are not objects. The concept of Non-Object added to the concept of object includes the totality of existing and possible things. The set of two concepts opposing in that way, Object and Non-Object, is the totality of the universe. Under the concept of Non-Object the concepts of Subject, Subjectivity, and Intersubjectivity among many others are subsumed. The concept of Subject is contained, yes, in the concept of Non-Object, but makes up only a small part of it. The concept of Non-Object is much more ample than the concept of Subject. Subject is a very specific form of opposition to Object. Non-Object is a global opposition to the concept of Object.
A more concrete example can make the understanding of this point, which I consider of great importance, easier. We will take the thetical concept of White and ask: What is the contrary of White?. Immediately the answer comes: Black. In Brazil, in the culture in which we live, the contrary of White is really Black. In Brazil, which was a country of slave owners and slaves, in Brazil in which the commerce of black slaves originating from Africa was usual, the contrary of White really is Black. But what is the contrary of White in Tokyo or Shanghai? I do not know, but I think it should be yellow. What is the point? White and Black are opposite poles in the contrary way, yes, but we presuppose and allow other configurations of contrariness to exist. Adding White and Black we do not have the totality of existent and possible things, but only two opposite poles which do not exclude the existence of a tertium quid. Other contraries, such as White and Yellow can exist. The opposition of contraries here comes from the language and from History, both of which are concrete and contingent. The opposition of contraries in Dialectic Philosophy is always like this. That is why contingency and History entered in Dialectics.
This is the methodical door through which contingency and history enter the heart of the dialectic method itself and, therefore, the system. This is the engendering mechanism of the contrary pole. In Dialectics the contrary is not constructed a priori by the mere anteposition of negation. In Analytics this can be done because they have an expressed subject and quantifier. Since Dialecticians do not have them, they need to look up in language and History what the semantically opposite pole of their thesis will be. The antithesis in Analytics can be formed by logical-formal manipulation of negation, by syntax, in Dialectics no. Here, right here, in the engendering of the antithesis, is where Dialectics acquires its character of contingency and historicity. It becomes a Dialectics of Concrete, a Dialectics of History. Plato perceived this, Agustine and Cusanus knew this, for Hegel, Dialectics is always Philosophy of History. They got in step with the ternary rhythm and constructed powerful systems of Philosophy because they did not try to make Dialectics a logical-formal method that would be operated in an a priori way. This in my point of view is the biggest mistake of the 20th century Dialectics. The engendering of the opposite pole, the discovery or formation of the antithetical concept is not done a priori, through the mere anteposition of negation, but through a concept that is found a posteriori in language and in History and which is articulated in a well specified contrary opposition. White is the contrary of Black, Subject is the contrary of Object. Non-White and Non-Object are much more ample concepts, in them the opposition of contraries is not specific, but undetermined. The negation that forms the opposites, Hegel rightly says, is a determined negation, not an undetermined, flat, general one. This does not work in Dialectics.
In order to see that an undetermined negation does not work, we just need to take a present day case. Let’s take the Serbs as thesis. What is the contrary? If we say Non-Serbs we get an enormous and shapeless set of nationalities and races, in which even we are included, we, Brazilians, Argentineans, Uruguayans etc. What do we have to do with the Serbs? Nothing, or almost nothing. Putting Non-Serb in opposition with Serb, nothing happens; there is no spark, no dialectics. But, if instead of an undetermined negation, we put the Bosnian as the opposite of the Serb, immediately there are sparks. Serb and Bosnian are in an opposition of contraries through specific and determined negation. And Dialectics starts to move and appear on the scene. One pole eliminates the other, or vice-versa. Or otherwise, a synthesis must be constructed.

6. Dialectics of the Concrete
This conception of Dialectics, which is a Dialectics of the Concrete, which looks for and finds the Contraries in language and History, has great advantage and, so it seems, a disadvantage. The great advantage is that it indicates clearly where the contingent and historic contents that occur in the Dialectics system come from: from the syntactic structure of Dialectics that forms the opposite concepts in a semantic and not in a syntactic way. The contraries, that is thesis and antithesis, are not contradictory concepts (Being and Non-Being, Serb, and Non-Serb), but contrary concepts (Being and Nothing, Serb and Bosnian). The sum of the two contradictory concepts, Serb and Non-Serb, includes the totality of all existing and possible things of the universe, like colors, gods, flavors, melodies etc. The sum of the two contrary concepts does not include the totality of existing and possible things; here always datur tertium. These contrary concepts, fruit of the determined negation, come from language and History, they are contingent and have this characteristic in their structure of opposition. The great advantage of this Dialectics of the Concrete is that it admits the existence of the contingency and historicity of things and of man. Contingency exists, there are situations and things that can be like that and can equally be different. There are alternatives in the contingent course of things. This is the space of free choice and moral responsibility. In this way History is open. There is contingency, there is true historicity. The great objection of Schelling, Nietzsche and Heidegger against the necessitarianism of Spinoza’s and Hegel’s system was incorporated here to the structure of the Dialectic Method. Now we have the Dialectics of the Concrete. This is the great advantage.
The disadvantage, in my opinion, is only apparent. From the conception of Dialectics presented and fundamented above we follow as logical consequence that the system can not operate exclusively and preponderantly in an a priori manner. Since the formation of Contraries cannot be done by the mere anteposition of the negation, it follows that the Dialectic Method is not deductive and a priori. For some thinkers, such as Wandschneider, Hoesle, Schmied-Kowarzik and others, this seems to be a great disadvantage. Philosophy loses in scientific strictness. The pretension of the System is greatly decreased. It is true. The System, constructed with this Method, is always just a Project of a System, an open system, always to be rebuilt, a system which permits and requires that other systems coexist by its side. Not that there are no general principles, obviously these exist. But only the hard nucleus of the system is common to all the horizons and to all time. Only the hard nucleus has the pretension of only truth. The other perspectives (Nietzsche), the other horizons (Heidegger) are respected and enter, as peripheral elements, in the Projects of the System that are always concrete, contingent and historic. The disadvantage is this, the abandon of the pretension of a deduction a priori of all the system, is not a disadvantage, but an advantage. This is my opinion.

7. Analytics and Dialectics, two ways of thinking
Analytics and Dialectics are languages with different syntaxes and produce Philosophies with different profiles. Now, through the methodical problem, it is possible to see how each of these philosophies project a specific and easily recognizable profile. If we take Hegel’s logic and schematize according to the two methods, the difference in the two profiles becomes visible.
In analytic language the reconstruction would be the following. The thesis is The Absolute is Being, the antithesis is The Absolute is Nothing. Since both of these are wrong, it is necessary, the analytic philosopher says, to make the necessary distinctions. The thesis then becomes like this: The Absolute, as it originates and comes into being, is Being. The Antithesis: The Absolute, when it disappears and stops being, is Nothing. The necessary distinctions were made, what was wrong was corrected. How? Not by the elaboration of a synthesis, as the Dialecticians do, but by the elaboration of the necessary distinctions, by the unfolding of various aspects of prediction. Then, in that case, there is no synthesis. The situation of falsity of the thesis and antithesis was surpassed by the introduction of two aspects of the logical subject. The reduplication of the subject is what surpassed what the Dialecticians call the contradiction. Only the Analytics, from this point on, instead of having only one logical subject, the Absolute, are going to have two subjects. In the steps that follow in the system this logical subject is always duplicating itself. The profile of that kind of philosophy is the following:

Analytics cuts in two and separates. The logical subjects multiply themselves and, if we are not paying enough attention, Philosophy gets lost in the post-modern fragmentation of reason. In Dialectics, on the other hand, the logical subject is always the same. We have there always the same logical subject, hidden but understood, the Absolute. What changes are the predicates which further determine the subject. The profile of Dialectics is the following:

Both methods have specific disadvantages. Analytics runs the risk of losing the unity of the subject of the System and ending up talking about non-important things. This happens in certain representatives of contemporaneous Analytic Philosophy. Dialectics runs the risk of turning the only logical subject into something totalitarian. This happens, for example, in the Dialectics of Leninism and Stalinism. The specific advantage of Analytics is its clarity. Since in it the logical subject and the various aspects of the subject are always explicitly enumerated, they gain in clarity. The specific advantage of Dialectics is that it always deals with the Absolute, with Totality. Under these aspects Dialectic Philosophy is more Philosophy, it is more System. The important thing now, I think, is to realize that both methods, if correctly applied, do not exclude, but complement each other.


1. The Space in which one does Dialectics
In the previous chapter the difference between contradictories and contraries was discussed. The Logical Square, where this difference becomes very visible, was discussed in detail. I showed, pointing out with my finger as I promised, the exact place, the only place in which there could be Dialectics: Between a tethic proposition A and an antitethic proposition E. Only there it is possible that one proposition as well as the other which opposes it be both false. Only on this place is there space for Dialectics. Dialectics is a Game of Opposites, yes, but always of Contrary Opposites, never Contradictory Opposites. After Trendelenburg and Popper’s oppositions, whoever gets confused in this deserves the laughter of the Thracian Slave. After this, we must confess that we still do not know positively what Dialectics is. We only know that, in dealing with contraries, there is space for Dialectics. In the logical space between a proposition A and a proposition E it is possible that both thesis and antithesis are false. This is not against Logic. All right, the Analytics would say. Thesis and Antithesis, in being contraries, can both be false. Up to here nothing against it. But then what? How does Dialectics go? How does it work? What moves it? Where does it take us? What does it teach us? Well, with these questions we leave the preponderantly defensive posture, which was almost always determined by the objections of the Analytics, and we return to our main theme which must now be shown and discussed in its positive aspects.

2. Opposition and Conciliation
The ideas in Plato and the Neoplatonic Philosophers have their own life. Just watch and keep observing. Sometimes they are opposite to each other, sometimes they are attracted and come together forming a higher idea. The ideas are not composed of subject and predicate, but despite that they say and tell the truth. Actually, it is in them and only in them that the truth is. To know what the truth is it is necessary to enter into a dialogue like Socrates did and teach on the street corners and public squares. In Dialogue, thesis and antithesis, the spoken and the rebuttal, appear naturally. In concrete and real Dialogue, on the streets and corners, when someone says something and gives an opinion, an answer soon appears. This answer can be affirmative, in which case both are in agreement and in consensus. The initial thesis proposed by the first speaker was endorsed by the second speaker of the Dialogue. Great. The initial thesis, which was only one, was accepted and endorsed by another and now is a thesis with an ample and more general base. This beginning is valid and important, but here one is not yet dealing with Dialectics. The Dialogue started, but there is only thesis.
Antithesis appears when the second speaker disagrees with the opinion expressed by the first, when the second speaker does not accept the thesis and brings up the antithesis, which is an opinion contrary to the thesis. In real life, as we know, this is frequent. In Law and in Politics this is called party. Two citizens have contrary points of interest and disagree, they enter in conflict and fight. When they go in front of a judge, they are litigating parties looking for a higher, more just solution which satisfies them both. In politics, when there is no consensus but disruption, the unity of the assembly breaks and within it groups that oppose each other are formed. This disruption makes the parties come into being, the pieces of that bigger whole that should exist and that one wants to arrive at which is consensus. Politics asks and requires the general will to be formed, above the parties; the Judge makes justice by raising the parts to the order that is above the merely individual interests, Dialectic searches for the more ample truth which, above the partiality of thesis and antithesis, is higher, richer, more noble and therefore truer. Because the truth is the Wholeness. Hen kai Pan.
The unification of opposite poles at a higher, more noble level was called Unity of Opposites by the Greeks. Nicolaus Cusanus, using a term originating in the Bible and Christian Theology, calls this Conciliation of Opposites. Just like the Jewish people, after repenting their sins, return to Jeovah, the true God, and reconcile with him, in Dialectics there is also a reconciliation between the poles that are first in opposition, one against the other. Hegel uses the word Aufheben. Aufheben has a triple meaning. First of all Aufheben means to dissolve, undo, annul. For example, The session is dissolved, Die Sitzung wird aufgehoben. Aufheben, secondly, means to put away. For example, I put your food away in the refrigerator, Ich habe Dir Dein Essen im Kühlschranck aufgehoben. Aufheben, thirdly, means take and put in a higher place, put on top. For example, He picked the handkerchief up off the floor and put it on top of the table, Er hebt das Taschentuch vom Boden auf und legt es auf den Tisch. The three meanings of Aufheben - overcome, put away, and put up - occur in the formation of the synthesis. The first meaning: The opposition of the poles is overcome and annulled. In the synthesis the poles do not exclude each other any more; the excluding character that exists between the thesis and antithesis is dissolved and disappears. The second meaning: Despite there being dissolution, the poles are preserved and kept in all that they had that was positive. The third meaning: In the unit of synthesis one arrives at a higher plane, there is an ascension to a higher level.

3. Master and Disciple
Since in a previous chapter the Dialectics of Philesis, Antiphilesis and Philia, the Dialectics which engenders as love from friendship, was already mentioned, we take here another example which is also classic, the dialectic relation between Master and Disciple.
Master and Disciple, at first, are opposite poles of a relationship. This initial relationship is a relationship of negation and excluding opposition. The Master knows, the Disciple does not know. The relationship is asymmetric, and the master knows this, the Disciple is also completely conscious of this. And it is for this reason that the Disciple comes to the Master. He comes to learn, because he knows that he does not know. And he knows that the Master knows. In this initial step there is opposition, negation, and exclusion. The Master is not the Disciple, the Disciple is not the Master. One thing excludes the other.
After this initial meeting between these two opposing poles, in a second moment, the learning begins. The Master explains, the Disciple captures the explanation, repeats the explanation, and sometime later, he knows how to repeat and redo alone what he learned. In the learning process the Master exposes an idea which in the beginning exists only in himself. This idea does not exist in the disciple, he has not yet heard and learned it. But after the Master speaks and explains the idea, the Disciple captures it and has it. The idea in the beginning was an idea alone, now it is one and the same idea that exists and is in two, the Master and the Disciple. The same idea, although still a single idea, exists in the Master as well as in the Disciple. In relation to this idea Master and Disciple are unified. Even though they are two different people, Master and Disciple have the same idea, they share the same idea. The idea shared by both, continues to be a single idea. At this point, under this aspect, Master and Disciple became exactly the same. One knows what the other knows. They know the same thing. They participate of the same idea, which is a single idea but which exists in two different poles. Master and Disciple, here, became equal and came together in a higher, more noble unity.
When, during the process of teaching and learning, the Master taught all that he could and the Disciple learned all that he should, the learning process is over. The relationship of Master and Disciple, which in the beginning was asymmetric, becomes symmetric, and the Master publicly declares that the Disciple stopped being a Disciple and that he too is now a Master.
There we have, in the example of Dialectics of Master and Disciple, the three moments. First, we have the overcoming of the opposition while it is excluding; the asymmetry of the relationship was overcome and annulled, it no longer exists. Second, we have keeping and maintenance of all that was positive, that is, of the knowledge that was only in the Master and is now also in the Disciple. Third, we have the unification of both on a higher plane, because it is the same Master’s Knowledge that transformed the Disciple into Master. At the end of the process there is a symmetry that was missing in the beginning. This is Dialectics.
The truth and essence of the Being-Master, something essentially positive and noble, consists of teaching. One is a Master only if one teaches. But to teach means, on one hand, having Disciples, but on the other hand, it also means to want the Disciple to stop being a Disciple and also become a Master. Being-Master is a positive reality, on one hand, because the Master has the knowledge. On the other hand, Being-Master is a negative and self-destructive reality, because the Master wants the Disciple to learn and for him also to become a Master. With this, at the end of the process, the Master stops being a Master of Disciples to become a master among other Masters. The initial negativity of the opposite poles was overcome, but all the positivity held within them was kept on a higher, more noble level. Aufheben, overcome and put away.
It is not Analytics but Dialectics that adequately captures and understands intersubjective relationships. For Analytics the social relationships are just accidents that happen between substances most of the time. Each substance is and exists within itself and for itself. The interhuman relationships are thought of, as a consequence, as just a supervenient accident. Man is first of all a substance, by accident he becomes social. In Dialectics, on the other hand, man is a knot in a great network of social relationships. In Dialectics the individual man is only what he is while element of a greater Wholeness which is the network of social relationships. In Dialectics man is like a knot in the net of a fisherman. He exists as a interweaving of strings that flit and make up the texture of the net. We are dealing with two ideas of man and his sociability.

4. Plato’s Dialogue The Sophist
In the Dialogue The Sophist Plato deals with the five supreme kinds. The supreme kinds are those which form the apex of the pyramid under which the ideas fall into order. All the ideas, in their nexus of opposition and attraction, group themselves in the shape of a pyramid. The apex of this pyramid of the Order of the World is made up of two pairs of opposites, Rest and Change, the Same and the Other, and by the idea of Being which hovers over everything as a final synthesis. It is for the idea of Being that everything flows together and from this that everything has its unity.
Rest is not Change. What is resting is not changing, and vice-versa. The poles here mutually exclude each other. The Same is not the Other, nor vice-versa. The poles here are also excluding.
But Rest-Change and Sameness-Alterity are predicable one to the other. We can say that Rest is the Same. It is itself, it is the same as it Self. Then Change is the Other, and the Other is not Rest. We can also invert the poles and say: Change is the Same. The Rest is that which is the Other. Rest and Change, Same and Different can be predicates of each other. But one can not say that Rest is Change, nor that the Same is the Other.
But Rest is Being and Change is also Being. If they were not Being, they would not exist. They would be nothing. Rest as well as Change are Being. Even though they are opposite and excluding poles, in Being, Rest and Change are unified. Both of them participate in the idea of Being. In Being the opposition stops being excluding and the opposites reunify in unity.
The Same is Being, the Other also is Being. Sameness and Alterity, initially excluding poles, are unified in Being, in which they participate. Both are Being. Being is the Supreme Idea. To Being everything comes together, from the unity of Being everything originates. The Universe is then an unfolding, an explanation, plica by plica, fold by fold, of this Being which is there in the beginning. The Multiplicity of things, in Plato, originates from the Unity of Being. - In other writings Plato says that this Supreme Idea, which is the Being, is also called the One and the Good. There we have the One of the Neoplatonic philosophers and the Supreme Good of the Unwritten Doctrine. From this all the rest is derived and originated. The only question was exposed before in another place: Is this process totally necessitarian or does it contain some contingency and some chance? The Neoplatonic necessitarians stay with the first alternative, I stay with the second, which is what is being exposed and defended in this book.

5. Hegel - The Being that is Nothing
Hegel learned Dialectics with Plato and the Neoplatonic philosophers, with Plotinus and Proclus. But he goes one step beyond when, going beyond Plato, he explicitly inserts Multiplicity in the pith of Unity. The Being, within itself, already contains the Same and the Other. The Being is as much the Same as it is the Other. Sameness and Alterity have always been contained within the Being. The Being is the Being that is at Rest or in Movement, at the same time, even though under different aspects. The Being in Hegel is thought of expressly and explicitly as a process. The Universe is a process of the unfolding Being, the System of Philosophy is a process of mental reconstruction of the unfoldings of the Being.
This is the opinion of all the Neoplatonic thinkers. Plotinus, Proclus, Cusanus, Spinoza, Schelling and Hegel thought exactly like that. The only big question that remained open is about the existence or not of contingency in the pith of the process. Is there contingency? Is there chance? Does God throw the dice? Spinoza says no. Hegel is in doubt. I think there is contingency, that God does throw the dice, and I think that this is the space of equally possible alternatives which allows for liberty, moral responsibility and political democracy. Dialectics, yes, but Dialectics with contingency. Contingency and Historicity are, after Schelling, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Gadamer, indispensable elements for any thought that one wants to be critical. He who does not take this into account falls in the hole of necessitarianism. And the Thracian Slave starts laughing.


3.1. The Necessary Translation
The traditional exposition of the triadic movement of thesis, antithesis and synthesis, as is done by Plato, Cusanus and Hegel, and as was reproduced by me in the previous chapter, is something as uncomprehensible as Greek for the Analytic Philosophers. It is pure Greek. One can not understand anything, they say. It is even worse, they add. Everything indicates that the Principle of Non-Contradiction, the first and fundamental stone in the construction of rational discourse, is disrespected there. How can thesis and antithesis be false at the same time? How can it be that Dictum as well as Contradictum are both false? Isn’t this acting against the Principle of Non-Contradiction? Isn’t this saying, and at the same time unsaying? Isn’t this foolishness? These are the classic questions already formed by Aristotle in the Gamma Book on Metaphysics, which were reiterated in the tradition by so many others, like Thomas Aquinas in the Middle Ages, Trendelenburg in the last century, by Karl Popper in the XX century and nowadays by all Analytic Philosophy.
The answer to these questions, in principle, has already been given. We are dealing with two languages with different syntaxes. That is why Analytics and Dialectics do not understand each other. In the previous chapter, we have already seen that the language used by the Dialecticians does not have an expressed logical subject and quantifier, which makes understanding difficult. We have also seen that when the Dialecticians say Contradiction, they want to say that which the Analytics call Contrariness; when the Dialtectics speak about Contradictories they want to say Contraries. This causes confusion, and therefore lack of understanding. That is why we have to translate step by step that which the Dialecticians want to say into the language used by the Analytics. We so restate the basic question: Which are the logical principles which rule the course of dialectic thought? We answer: The same logical principles that also rule the analytic thought which are the Principles of Identity, the Principle of Difference and the Principle of Coherence, also called the Principle of Non-Contradiction. These three principles, the same three principles rule Dialectic Logic as well as Analytic Logic.

3.2. The Identity Principle
The Identity Principle says that A is A. This Principle is so fundamental and so basic that normally we do not even realize we are using it. Even though it is tacit, it is always being presupposed as true. In daily language as well as in the scientific language we always presuppose the Identity Principle. There are three subprinciples contained in it.

3.2.1. The Simple Identity can not be further explained. When we say or write A, or any other thing, we are expressing a Simple Identity. This A is set out from the bacground and surroundings, from the field that surrounds it, and points out something determined. A, simple identity, points out something determined and says something determined. But what is being said is not said to the end. Here we do not have a complete and finished predication. We could not have it, because we only have the first A, simple identity. Since we do not have a subject and predicate distinct from one another, we still can not make a complete and finished predication. But we have the first beginning, A, simple identity.

3.2.2. Iterative Identity occurs when the first A repeats itself, then becoming A and A. Or it repeats itself again for the third time, fourth time etc., becoming A, A, A, A....etc. While the repetition is merely iterative, or while it is only A that repeats itself, always the same, there is nothing new. This iterative identity is the first and most basic form of Multiplicity. But it is still a multiplicity of what is always the same. It is only A that repeats itself. We observe, however, that this is where movement begins.

3.2.3. Reflex Identity begins when we say that A is equal to A, that the first A is the same thing as the second A, when we say that they are identical. It is right here that Identity arrives at its maturity and plenitude. Just here we are able to formulate the first predication, because only now we have distinct subject and predicate. The logical subject of this first predication is the first A, the predicate is the second A. That is how tautology appears, the mother of all further predications: A = A. The various Identity Logics, which we know today, are all founded on the Reflexive Identity, in the great initial tautology.

3.3. The Difference Principle
The difference in the strict sense, or the Difference, begins when tsomething that is not only a repetition of A is added to A or to the series of A,A,A...etc. In this generic sense it is all that is not A, that is Non-A. This Something Different, this Non-A, can be in two forms of opposition to A, in contradictory opposition or in contrary opposition.

3.3.1. Contradictory Opposition
If we simply put a pure Non-A in opposition with to A, then we have a contradictory opposition. A and Non-A are contradictory concepts. All that exists and that is possible either belongs to set A or set Non-A. The sum of both concepts includes the totality of existing and possible things. The construction of contradictory concepts is done by mere anteposition of negation.

3.3.2. Contrary Opposition
If, instead of an extremely ample concept like Non-A, we put a more specific concept in opposition to A, then we have a contrary concept. The concept contrary to A is not that which one obtains from an undetermined negation, Non-A, but that which is obtained from a determined negation, like B, C, D and so on, for example. These concepts are different from A, but they are not undetermined and ample like Non-A. They point out specific things that are exactly B, C, D etc. The sum of two contrary concepts like A and B does not include the totality of existing and possible things. In such cases datur tertium, like C, D etc.
These contrary concepts, in oppositon to contradictory concepts, can not be constructed in a logical-formal way, a priori. These concepts are taken from language and History. Such contrary is, from the logic-formal point of view, something first, something original, something that can not be derived from logical manipulation starting from A. Simple identity, iteration and reflexive identity can not manage to explain what B is, and how this B emerges. B then is a contrary concept, a determined, non-deductible, non-derivable negation. What is contrary, suddenly, without prejacent cause, is there and appears in language and experience. This means that such a contrary is something contingent. It is like that but it could be different. Contingency and chance enter here, creating an open space in the logical structure of language. This means on one hand an enrichment, on the other a danger to the rationality of the speech. Whenever to an A something like a B is added there is a situation that is not just of Identity. In these cases it is necessary to examine if A and B can coexist. Do they fit in? Does one adjust to the other? This is determined by the third Principle, the Principle of Coherence.

3.4. The Principle of Coherence
The Principle of Coherence, also called the Principle of Non-Contradiction, says that contradiction should be avoided. The Principle does not say that contradiction is impossible, it only says that it should not exist, that it should be avoided. The modal operator here is weaker than the tradictional, it is deontological. In the beginning of all Logics there is not an It is Impossible, but a One Should Not. This, farther on, is going to allow us to put forth a critical foundation of the first principle of a General Ethics. Here, in Logic, this normative Principle says three things.

3.4.1. The General Meaning
The Principle of Contradiction To Be Avoided says, first, that contradictions should be avoided; secondly it says that if contradictions really exist, they have to be worked on and overcome. This is the general meaning, which is universally valid, of the Principle of Non-contradiction. Here there are no exceptions. Anyone who denies this is denying the rationality of the speech itself. Anyone who affirms and denies the same predicate of the same subject under the same aspect is saying foolishness. At times such foolishness happens in the speech that we make daily and in science. But this should not happen. Never ever. But it does happen at times. If someone ignores the prohibition expressed by the Principle of Non-Contradiction and really contradicts himself, the punishment comes right away. Such a person, who speaks saying and denying, is not doing anything but saying nothing. He abandons rational speech, and reason, and from then on he must stay quiet like a plant. Aristotle there is completely right. Aristotle is not right when, in the Gamma book, he uses the traditional modal operator It is impossible to formulate the Principle of Non-Contradiction. It is not that it is impossible, but one should not predicate the same predicate of the same subject under the same aspect. Outside of these logic-formal systems, which are free of contradiction, contradiction is not logically impossible, but rationally undue. The contradiction is undue, it is inconvenient, it should not exist, it is foolishness. This is a universal and ample meaning - this is the definition of Rationality. Rational is all the speech that intends to free itself from contradictions. But, if in concretely existent speech contradictions really do exist, then what does one do? What can one do? If there are still contradictions, it is because the rational speech was not completed; it is because the rationality of the speech is still under construction. In such cases, in order to complete the installation of rationality in speech it is necessary to apply two subprinciples which are implicitly contained in the Principle of Non-Contradiction in accordance to the Aristolean tradition. In order to overcome the existing contradiction, it is necessary to apply one or the other. According to the tradition one should try to apply the first subprinciple. If this does not solve the problem, take the second.

3.4.2. The Annulment of One of the Poles
The first Subprinciple of the Principle of Non-Contradiction says that in many cases, the said and the countersaid oppose each other in such a way that one is true, the other is false. In such cases the rationality of the speech requires us to protect the true pole and throw away the false pole. This Subprinciple of the Principle of Non-Contradiction does not have universal validity, it is not always applicable. The annulment of one pole through the other happens sometimes, but not necessarily always. When one such annulment occurs, then the Analytics gets into gear. That is the root of all that we call Analytics. But when does the annulment of one of the poles happen? In which cases? The answer to this, tradition gives us through the rules of the Logical Square. Said and Countersaid can be in contraditory opposition. In such cases the rule is that two contradictories cannot be simulaneously true, nor simultaneously false is valid. If one is true the other, which is in contradictory opposition, is always false. And vice-versa, if one is false, then the other is true. In these cases, as we can see, one pole annuls the other completely. One of the propositions remains rational, the other implodes and has to be thrown out of the discussion. Said and Countersaid can be in opposition of contraries. In such cases there are two rules. The first rule says: In the opposition of contraries, if one proposition is true, then the other is always false. Here one pole annuls and completely eliminates the other, like in the contradictories. The second rule says: From the falseness of one proposition one can not infer the truth of the corresponding contrary proposition. If a first proposition is false, the second proposition can be true, but it can equally be false. That is why we traditionally say: Two contrary propositions can not be simultaneouly true, but they can both be false. It is impossible for both to be simultaneously true, but it is perfectly possible for both to be false. This can happen, this does happen at times. What does one do if both the propositions are false? Should we, in such cases, throw out both the propositions? No, we should not do that. To throw out both propositions does not help anything, it does not take us anywhere. And it is necessary to go on. The second Subprinciple of the Principle of Non-Contradiction shows us how. It is here, right here, that Dialectics takes root. Make the due distinctions tells us this second Subprinciple that is implicitly contained in the Principle of Non-Contradiction and was explicitly formulated by Aristotle’s Greek and Latin commentators. It is an instruction. Like any appliance or medicine that has instructions on how to use it, there are also instructions on how to use reason. Here we are dealing with one of these instructions for the use of reason when facing very specific dificulties. If, during the elaboration of the speech a contradiction appears, then one tries to apply the first subprinciple. If this is possible, then one of the poles of opposition is annulled. If this does not work, if this is not possible because both of the poles are false, then it is necessary to make the due distinctions in the logical subject. By making these due distinctions in the logical subject of the predication, we avoid that the same predicate be attributed and not attributed to the same subject under the same aspect. This can not be done. Through the elaboration of different aspects, which is indispensible for the contradiction to be overcome, the logical subject of the predication is reduplicated. In the Middle Ages this was called propositio explicativa, in some cases propositio reduplicativa. In such a case the same given subject is not predicated and not-predicated to the same subject under the same aspect, but under different aspects. This second subprinciple of Principle of Non-Contradiction, which - as the first - does not have universal validity and is not always applicable, is the fundament of Dialectics. This is what there is to be demonstrated below.
First, however, I will mention and unfold step by step a classical example of traditional Logic and Ontology. All the tables that exist there, are, on one hand, existent. While they are existent, they cannot not exist. On the other hand, these tables are contingent beings and, as such, they can equally exist or not. That is the way the said and countersaid, thesis and antithesis, appear.

Thesis: The contingently existent tables can not not exist.
Antithesis: The contingently existent tables can not exist.

In the thesis the impossiblity of non-existence is affirmed, in the antithesis the possibility non-existence is affirmed. In thesis the necessity is affirmed, in antithesis the contingency is affirmed. Between the said and countersaid there is a contrary opposition and both propositions, simply taken as they are there, are false. What can be done? Make the due distinctions, says tradition. And there two diverse aspects are born, which reestablish the good sense of reason.

Subject: -The contingently existent tables
Reduplicated subject 1: -insofar as they really exist
Predicate: -cannot not exist

Subject: -The contingently existent tables
Redublicated subject 2: -insofar as they are contingent
Predicate: -can not exist.

The necessary distinctions were made. The logical subject was reduplicated through the two propositiones explicativae that were added. The original subject was maintained (The contingently existent tables), but through the explicative propositions it was reduplicated, and the logical subject which was only one became a double subject. This way, from now on, one no longer predicates from the same subject under the same aspect necessity and non-necessity, that is contingency. Through the reduplication of the logical subject two new aspects are born which elaborate the previously existent contradiction and overcome it in such a way that the contrary poles are conciliated on a higher level. All the contingently existent tables have necessity as well as contingency, but under different aspects. Through the distinctions made, the contradiction which existed between two contrary propositons was discursively worked and then overcome.
This modus procedendi is known throughout all tradition and, as we know, is frequently used. Except that we do not usually realize, that here, exactly here, Analytics and Dialectics are interconnected. Analytics makes the necessary distinctions and thinks, partially right, that all became right and correct. Analytics puts emphasis, here, not on the unity of the original logical subject, but on the duplicity of the two new aspects that were engendered, that is on the duality that appears in the reduplication of the subject. Dialectics, on the other hand, puts the emphasis on the unity of the logical subject. It supposes, like Analytics, the duality of the contrary poles, but does not thematize the engendering of the two new aspects which are added to the original logical subject. Analytics neglects the original unity and considers the subject only as a double subject, that is, as two logical subjects. Dialectics, on the other hand, does not thematize the specific manner in which contrary poles coexist in the synthesis without triggering an implosion. During the last one hundred years Analytics, under this aspect, got even poorer, because it presupposes as a logical subject something which is determined in the smallest detail. Analytic Logic, nowadays, does not realize that the logical subject, in the construction of argumentative discussion, many times is not completely determined and that it therefore needs further determination through the engendering of new aspects that are added to it and make it a more precise concept. This logical subject, seen in the processual movement of its engendering, which was used in Middle Ages, today is unfortunately unknown. In this way the link between Analytics and Dialectics was also lost.

4. Being, Nothing, Becoming

1. Thesis - Everything is Being
In the beginning of everything is Being. That is the way it was in Parmenides and Heraclitus, it is like that in Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus and Proclus. It continues like that in Hegel. The object of study of Philosophy has always been Being. What is Being? That is the question.
All that is, be it existent or merely possible, is a Being. All the things that exist are a being, of course. But the things that are merely possible are also beings. Possibilities, if they exist as such, are also beings: they a r e possible. We can conclude that everything is a being. Or, using the great art of capital letters: Everything is Being. This is the first thesis of all the great dialectic systems. And this thesis, as we shall soon see, just like that, is false. Instead of saying Everything is Being, we could also say, All things are Being, or The Absolute is Being. This last formula is that which Hegel indicates and advises in an addition to the beginning of Logic of the Encyclopedia. But it is Hegel himself who, in the polemic against his friend Schelling, in the Preface of Phenomenology, recommends not putting the Absolute in the beginning of the system without this being duly mediated, that is, without the due explanations and foundations. The Absolute can not appear suddenly in the system, without mediation, like a shot from a gun. After all, which Hegel was right, that from Phenomenology or that from the Encyclopedia?
First of all we will remember the context in which the question appeared: It was in dealing with the logical subject of the predication, which for the Dialecticians is always hidden, which is always presupposed without saying of whom or what one is talking. In order to communicate with the Analytics, so they can understand of whom and what the Dialecticians are talking about, it is necessary to make the logical subject of the predication and its respective quantifier clear and explicit. Without this precaution we return to the state of confusion in which Analytics and Dialectics each speak their own language but do not understand each other. Each one of
them says something and the other only understands blah-blah-blah. The Greeks, when they did not understand the language of another person, called the other Barbar, like that Bar-bar. Barbar comes from blah-blah-blah and means exactly that. And the Thracian Slave, seeing the confusion between the Analytics and Dialecticians, started laughing. Because of this the Philosophers continue to fall into holes. In order to not fall into a hole, observe: The logical subject and its respective quantifier must be expressed. The Absolute is Being, Everything is Being. But what is the Absolute? What is Everything?
The Absolute, in these first steps of Dialectics, still does not mean God. The concept is still so ample and so empty that one almost does not catch a glimmer of that Absolute, of the real Absolute that is going to appear at the end of the System as God. It deals with the same Absolute, for sure, but in the beginning it is undetermined and empty, at the end it is determined and very rich. But all this, which we are just anticipating, we still do not know when we take the first steps. That is why it is better to say - which is the same thing - Everything is Being or All things are Being.
Where do we get this logical subject from? How do we justify it? Simple. The beginning of a critical system, since Descartes, has to rigorously justify its assumptions. It is even better not to make any assumptions. But how do we argue if we can not make any assumption? How do we make a demonstration without presupposing at least two premises? Aristotle had already asked this question. The arguments logically depend on the previous arguments, and these on still previous ones, and so on. Since one can not move backwards infinitely, Aristotle says, in the chain of arguments, we have to start somewhere, we have to presuppose some beginning. This logical beginning, that iniciates the order of the argument, is called Principle. Principle means two things. Principle is the starting. Principle is also the rule. The answer to the question of the first logical beginning, according to Aristotle, is that these first beginnings, which are also the first Principles, do not have and do not need justification. The Stagirite cites as the First Principle, the hard core of the so called First-Philosophy, the Principle of Non-Contradiction. This, being a first principle, does not need to be demonstrated, this Principle is evident in itself. Just look with the inner eye and the truth of it will jump into your sight.
Evidence comes from seeing. And seeing can be something very subjective, because, as we know, there are illusions. Aristotle, much before Descartes, already knew this, and knew it well. That is why in the book Gamma of Metaphysics he makes seven attempts to justify the Principle of Non-Contradiction, the First Principle that would allegedly not need justification. The central argument in the end is only one. The skeptical radical who denies the Principle of Non-Contradiction, but after denying it, continues talking, discussing and saying things, this skeptical is presupposing, by continuing to talk and discuss, exactly that which he denied before. That which was denied reappears, like Phoenix from the ashes, in the speech that follows. The only thing that the skeptical radical can do in a consequential way is to stay completely quiet. Total silence is the only alternative for someone who denies the basic principle of all speech. He who denies the Principle of Non-Contradiction stays silent, reduced to the state of plant. The act of speech itself, through which one denies the Principle of Non-contradiction, upon denying it presupposes it again.
Contemporary Philosophy magnificently rescued these first forms of argument. It is the merit of Robert Heiss, Austin and Karl-Otto Apel to have rediscovered these more subtle but very important forms of arguing, especially the so-called performative contradiction. A simple example. Little Johnny is at the refrigerator stealing the jelly. Some distance away, his mother hears a suspicious noise, and asks: Who is there? Johnny answers with a muffled voice: Nobody is here. The act of speaking itself denies what was spoken. This is a performative contradiction. The act of speaking presents a content - Nobody is here - that is negated by the existence of speech itself. Another example of performative contradiction: On a sheet of paper the following sentence is written There is nothing written here. The content expressed in the proposition is denied by the existence of characters written on the paper. The Principle of Non-Contradiction, in Aristotle, is justified through such a performative contradiction. He who denies it but continues speaking replaces by his acts of speech exactly that which he denied. This demonstration, subtle, but very strong, is already in the book Gamma of Metaphysics.
A similar, but not exactly the same type of argument is the refutation of Radical Skepticism. Whoever says and affirms that There is no proposition which is true enters into self-contradiction and refutes himself. Whoever says it und puts this universally negative proposition as true, replaces as true exactly that what the proposition which he denies is saying. In other words, he says There is no proposition which is true except this one. But, if this is true, then at least one proposition is true, and then proposition There is no proposition which is true is false.
And what does all this have to do with the first thesis of the dialectic system All things are being? The question is that this proposition, in order to work as thesis in a game of opposites, has to be demonstrated as being false. How do we do this? How do we show the falseness of this thesis? The falseness of a thesis is not simply given, it can not be admitted without critical justification. And there comes the question: In this very beginning how do we justify the falseness of the thesis? And remaking the previous question, which was not yet answered, how do we justify the use of this logical subject All the things? Here the more subtle forms of arguing enter. The usual mechanisms of arguing, which are syntactic, are not yet available to set up a discussion here. We also do not have premises which we can presuppose as true. How then can we argue? We have to operate on a deeper plane, on the plane of semantics and pragmatics. Semantics justifies the use of All things as the logical subject of the predication; pragmatics shows us the existing contradiction in the thesis, and therefore its falseness.
Semantics is the doctrine of the signals. A signal points to what? A signal means what? What is the meaning of All things? We can presuppose that we know what the things are, that which surrounds us, that which exists and is possible in the world in which we live. Okay. Everything is a thing in a very ample and vague way. But what does All mean? What does the universal quantifier mean? Are we not presupposing an improper concept of totality from the very beginning? Heidegger brings up this objection against the great Dialecticians of tradition, especially against Hegel. Isn’t it this totality put here in the beginning that causes the intellectual and political totalitarianism of the Dialecticians, especially the Hegelians? Isn’t the political totalitarianism of Stalinism implicit here, not yet developed? Stalin says he is a follower of Lenin, who says he is a follower of Karl Marx, who says he is a follower of Hegel. Is the Totalitarianism in Political Philosophy not included in Logics from the very beginning in these first steps of the system?
No, the Totality which appears in this first beginning, in the logical subject All things, is something completely clear which can be justified step by step. The justification obviously can not be syntactic. It is semantic. What does All things mean? What is one pointing to when one says this? - Since a system that wants to be critical can not presuppose anything, then we are going to begin without presupposing anything, absolutely nothing. Upon putting it like that, we are not presupposing anything determined. We do not presuppose chairs, tables, computers, gods, etc. But, upon saying that we are presupposing nothing, we are
pointing to an empty space where actually there is nothing determined, but where there is a place to put anything we want. He who uses an ample concept, who does not point to a determined place, who does not mean or presuppose anything determined, is pointing to an enormous empty space where all determined things can be put. Not presupposing anything determined means presupposing everything of undetermined form. We will take a very simple example: Chair and Non-Chair. Chair is a determined thing, Non-Chair is a strong negation of this determined thing. All the things that are not chairs are contained in the ample concept of Non-Chair. The strong negation of something determined is always an ample empty space in which all the other existent and possible things fit. He who denies determined presuppositions is putting himself in the totality of the undetermined presuppositions. Chair and Non-Chair, the Determined Presuppositions and All that is not a Determined Presupposition. The concept of Non-Presupposition is extremely ample. Everything, all the things are included in it. Here the concept of All or All the Things reappears, just like magic. And is this not dangerous? Is this not a lack of criticism? No, we are dealing with a concept which justifies itself semantically. He who does not presuppose anything determined is presupposing everything in an undetermined way.
It is as if we drew a dividing line in our minds and put all the existing and possible things to the left of the line. Then, to the right of the line an enormous empty space remains. All the things are put to the left. This is the assumption. The job of Philosophy is to put all the things that were presupposed and put on the left, back on the right. This job of repositioning is not just a copy. If it wants to be Critical Philosophy, like we really want it to be, then it is necessary, when repositioning, to examine each piece with great care and verify how it fits in - Principle of Coherence - with the neighbouring pieces, and in the end in the global sense. Then, piece by piece on the right side of the imaginary line appears a great mosaic which is the Philosophy System. What is the repositioning rule? Only one, just one, that of the Principle of Universal Coherence, which we also call the Principle of the Contradiction to be Avoided. Then the use of the logical subject of the thetic proposition All or All Things is semantically justified. The Totality put here from the very beginning and now critically replaced is something that imposes itself semantically. Anyone who wants to deny our argument in order to be more critical, will always make a new negation, engendering and presupposing exactly a totality like that which he wants to deny. Okay then, as far as the logical subject of the first predication of the system. But how can we demonstrate the falseness of this thesis? Through pragmatic contradiction.
All is Being, All Things are Being. The being that appears here as the logical predicate is the simplest determination. When one says of something that this something is being, we are determining this something as an ample and empty undetermined thing. Being is a very ample and almost empty concept. The pragmatic contradiction consists of exactly this: we want to determine something, and to determine it, we say that this something is being, or in other words, that it is an empty undetermined thing. One determines something saying that this something is undetermined. This is a performative contradiction. The act of saying and the intention of the speaker is in contradiction with that which is really being said. Like little Johnny when he says I am not talking.
The falseness of the thesis has been demonstrated, therefore we cannot continue with it. One cannot live in the falseness. The logical explosion that occurs with the performative contradiction throws us out. Where to? To the antithesis.

2. The Antithesis - All is Nothing
The thesis All is Being is False. The explosion throws us out of the thetic position and we need an alternative. The antithetic proposition All is Nothing, All things are Nothing appears.
All the things when they come to be are Being. All things when they stop being are Nothing. Being is a Come-into-Being, Nothing is a No-Longer-Being. Being is the positive, Nothing is the negative. The Being is to appear, Nothing is to disappear. How and in what way All things are Nothing? All the things are Nothing, because all the things for the time being, were determined only as Being in this initial determination in which we are found in the reconstruction of the mosaic. This being is empty and undetermined, it is something undetermined, it is a Non-Determination, it is a Nothing of determination. - When the waiter, at the end of a meal asks and we answer that we do not want anything else we are not becoming nihilists nor are we thinking about finishing our life or about the end of the universe. On the contrary, upon saying Nothing we are wanting to say the opposite of that which the waiter offered us. Do you want anything else? No, we do not want anything else. Nothing is not a contradiction, but a contrary. This is the meaning when we say All things are nothing. The thesis that all things are Being, pure Being is false. The antithesis that all things are Nothing, pure Nothing is also equally false.
This antithetic proposition is also false. The falseness of the antithesis is demonstrated by the implosion that occurs. How can we say that All is Nothing, that All things are Nothing, if at least our act of speaking and saying is Being? If this act of speaking is more than nothing, at least this act of thinking and speaking is and exists. Therefore it is not true that All is Nothing, that All things are Nothing. In the antithesis the violence of the explosion is, as one can see, always bigger that that of thesis. This is one of the facets of the tremendous force of negation.
Observe well the following: The logical subject of the predicate was not changed. Neither was the quantifier. In thesis as well as in antithesis the logical subject and quantifier stayed the same. Or in other words, we are dealing with contraries and not contradictories. And this is why the Analytics can not oppose this argument. Two contraries can be simultaneously false. We have already seen the Logical Square: Two contradictories cannot be simultaneously false, but two contraries can be simultaneously false. No contradiction. No one is saying any foolishness.
The thesis is false, antithesis is also false. What do we do? What can we do? The Analytics would say: We should make the necessary distinctions. The Dialecticians say: We are going to make a synthesis.

3. Synthesis - All is Becoming
For the Analytics as well as for the Dialectics the rule that a contradiction, if it really exists, has to be worked upon and overcome, is true. The Analytics overcome this by distinguishing two aspects of the logical subject, that is making the two reduplicative propositions. The Dialectics, who do not have a logical subject - it is not expressed - look for a new concept which is synthetic.
The Analytics, facing the falseness of All things are Being and All things are Nothing, would make the necessary distinctions of the logical subject in order to overcome the contradiction:

Subject: All things,
Reduplicated subject: while they originate and come to be being,
Predicate: are Being.

Subject: All things,
Reduplicated subject: when they expire and stop being being,
Predicate: are Nothing.

However, the Dialecticians, who do not have an expressed logical subject, in order to overcome the contradiction need to look for a synthetic concept, a concept which does not point to the pure Being, nor the pure Nothing, but to both at the same time, although under different aspects. The Dialectician goes to the great basket of presupposed things, to the left of the imaginary line, and looks for a concept which means Being as well as Nothing, one running into the other, one determining the other, in which one does not exclude the other. And this is where he finds the concept of Becoming. Becoming is the Being which becomes Nothing, it is also Nothing which becomes Being. Becoming - the central theme of Heraclitus -, a concept that is prejacent in language and History, and a concept which serves as the function of synthesis between Being and Nothing. In Becoming both Being and Nothing are conciliated.
All things are Becoming. All moves, all is moved. The things emerge and appear. They die and disappear. Come and go, appear and disappear, birth and death. The world is in movement, the universe is in constant Becoming. From this it is immediately clear that the Universe is in evolution, is developing itself. This urges Philosophy to talk about Evolution, to build an Evolution Theory. We will do this further on in the chapter Nature and Evolution.

5. Dialectics and Antinomy

1. The Logics of the antinomical structure
The Logical Antinomies, known since ancient times, were considered and dealt with by Philosophers as little monsters existing in distant lands at the edge of the world of Reason. Such monsters have always existed in Nature and were, especially in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, objects of curiosity. Giants, dwarfs, two-headed calves and similar items were collected ad shown in the so called Room of Curiosities. In the beginning Logical Antinomies were not much more than this for the Philosophers.
Everyone knew the Antinomy of the Lying Cretan: A Cretan says “All Cretans are liars”. If all Cretans lie, and if this is being said by a Cretan, then this is a lie. If it is a lie, it is not true. Then, it is not true that all Cretans are liars. Therefore, it is true that some Cretans tell the truth. But if this is true, and if this Cretan, who is speaking, is telling the truth, then what he says is true. Then it is true that all Cretans are liars. But if it is true that all Cretans are liars, then this Cretan is also lying. But, if he is lying, then it is not true that all Cretans are liars. Then the Cretans tell the truth, and so on. The listener is thrown from truth to falseness and back from falseness to the truth, in an endless movement.
The logical structure of the Antinomy of the Cretan in its ancient form has been discussed and studied since ancient times. In the Middle Ages Petrus Hispanus and Paulus Venetus occupied themselves for a long time with it. Paulus Venetus presented a list of 14 solutions that were proposed at the time to solve the problem. In the XX century, the question is picked up again and the Antinomy of the Super Liar is formulated, which is logically harder that the antinomy in its old formulation. The Super Liar, antinomy in the strict sense, presented a logical structure which makes us oscillate, without any other way out, between truth and falseness: If p is true, then p is false, if p is false, then p is true. Anyone who enters
an antinomic structure of this type becomes a prisoner of it and can not get out again. The truth throws him to falseness, and the falseness throws him back to the truth, in an endless movement.
If the question of antinomies restricted itself to the Antinomy of the Lying Cretan and a few other antinomies, maybe there would not be a great problem for Logic and for the rationality of reason. Bizarre and strange monsters, like those we see in nature, have always existed. If they do not occur in large numbers, if they stay on the edge, they can be ignored. The problem comes when we notice that we are not dealing with an isolated phenomenon on the edge of the rational world, but something very central, something that affects fundamental concepts of Logics and Mathematics and therefore Philosophy in general. This change, in which the phenomenon of antinomies leaves the periphery and enters the center of attention, happens with Frege and with Russell in the XX century, and is going to deeply mark the contemporary conception of rationality.
Frege, when he assembles the fundamentals of Mathematics through Logics, distinguishes and uses various basic concepts. There are things or objects, there are classes that contain objects, there are also classes that contain, not objects, but classes. Then, in the hard core of Frege’s argument appears the concept of class that contains classes and right at the top the concept of a class that contains all the other classes. Up to that point, everything is fine. This pyramid structure in which the concepts are ordered and hierarchized themselves is something well known to the Logicians since Plato and the Neoplatonic philosophers especially after Porfirius. The new point, the great new point and problem consists of the following: There are classes that contain themselves and also classes that do not contain themselves. For example, noun is a class and is at the same time, something which is contained in this class; because the term noun is in itself a noun. This exists and this does not cause any problem; it deals with a class which contains itself. The problem occurs when one builds - and Frege needed this to make the fundamentation of Mathematics - the concept of a class of classes that do not contain themselves. Does one such class belong to the class of those which contain itself or to the class that does not contain itself? If it belongs to the first, then it belongs to the second; if it belongs to the second, then it belongs to the first, and so one infinitely. After all, which class does it belong to? There is no answer; the oscillation between yes and no goes on infinitely and paralyzes the thought. Betrand Russell localized the problem and called Frege’s attention to it: the class of the classes which do not contain themselves is an antinomical concept. This class contains itself and does not contain itself. Yes and No oscillating, one sending back to the other, one based on the other, one presupposing the other, without end. This is the first great antinomy elaborated and seriously studied in contemporary Philosophy.
Building the antinomy of the empty class, Russell forms the so called Antinomy of Truth, which really should be called the Antinomy of Falseness. The Antinomy of Falseness consists of the following proposition: (p): This proposition p is false. If this proposition is true, then it is as it is, that means, it is false. But, if it is false, then it is true, because it is saying that it is false. Or rather, the truth of p implies the falseness of p, and vice-versa the falseness of p implies the truth of p. The movement of oscillation between truth and falseness appears without ever coming to rest.
The Antinomies have to be solved. We can not say yes and no at the same time. One can not say something and at the same time and under the same aspect deny it. The Principle of Non-Contradiction can not be denied or else all rationality will collapse with it. In order to solve the question of antinomies a proposal was then made in the very beginning which prohibited the construction of concepts and propositions which reflect upon themselves, or in other words which are self-referent (selbstbezüglich). This general prohibition of using self-reflexive constructions found support in many good authors like I. M. Bochenski and Albert Menne, for example. In Tractatus, Ludwig Wittgenstein assumes and defends the hard prohibition to do self-flexion. However, when Wittgenstein adds Here we have the Theory of the Types in parenthesis, he does not honor the thought of his master Bertrand Russell, who proposes a more sophisticated and more correct theory.
The prohibition of doing self-reference eliminated the question of the antinomies, because without self-reference antinomies really do not appear. The medicine is too strong; it cures the disease, but it also kills the patient at the same time. If we take the general prohibition of self-reference seriously, such a radical prohibition destroys many concepts that are important for Philosophy, such as the concept of self-conscience. The prohibition of self-reference, taken as a hard and general principle, is unviable because it disqualifies scientifically indispensable concepts; even more, it is impossible because the natural language in its own structure is self-referent. The grammar of the Portuguese language does not need to be written in Latin, as was done in the past, it can be perfectly well written in Portuguese; Portuguese is self-referent here. But if the self-reference can not be prohibited, what can we do in order to avoid antinomies?
The idea of a general prohibition of self-references having been abandoned as being impossible, the first great advance in the contemporary discussion about the solution of the logic antinomies is, without a doubt, the Theory of Types proposed by Bertrand Russell. With the specific purpose of avoiding antinomies of the kind of the Antinomy of the Liar, Antinomy of the Empty Class and Antinomy of Truth, Bertrand Russell introduces the distinction of types, or logical levels. On a first level there is the truth, on a second level is falseness. Truth and falseness do coexist, but on different levels. In that way rationality is saved; one does what is determined by the Principle of Non-Contradiction. Sir Bertrand did exactly that which the honorable Principle orders: If a contradiction appears, it is necessary to make the due distinctions. In the case of antinomies which have a logically self-referent subject, Russell introduces not logical aspects of the same static logical subject, but a logical subject that moves through different levels or types. The solution is simple and brilliant. I think that Wittgenstein, when he wrote Tractatus, had not captured the strong nucleus of the solution proposed by Bertrand Russell. Tarski did capture the important point of the Theory of Types and on it he elaborated a theory now known to everyone about the various logical levels existing in each language. There is a level zero, where the things are; there is a first level of language in which the terms are not things, but refer to the things existent on level zero; there is a second level in which the terms refer, not to things, but to the terms existent on the first level; there is still a third level in which the terms only refer to the terms of the second level, and so on. On level zero there is a table which is a thing; on the first level there is the word table; on the second level one says that table is a noun etc. Tarski’s explanation gave a specific linguistic content to Bertrand Russell’s Theory of Types and removed the character of ad hoc theory, just to solve the question of antinomies. With Tarski’s theory on the levels of language it becomes clear why, if we pass through from one level of language to another without paying attention, problems appear.
Many contemporary Logicians go back to study the problems of antinomies. All continue on the trail opened by Russell and Tarski. The solution in principle is always the same: Yes and No are not affirmed on the same level, or in other words under the same aspect. We are dealing with different levels, different aspects. The oscillation between Yes and No, between truth and falseness, typical of the antinomies, finds a rational explanation because Yes and No live on different levels. In that way the Principle of Non-Contradiction is not denied. On the contrary, it was followed to the letter because the necessary distinctions of aspects were done. U. Blau, in a work of 1985, distinguished six logical levels, each one with a determined value of truth. The antinomic proposition, according to Blau, has the following values of truth: true, false, neutral, open, not-true and not -false. Truth and Falseness are the truth values which are commonly used. The truth value Neutral is applied, according to Blau, to vague contexts and those without meaning. The truth value Open is applied ad infinitum to regresses and progresses. The truth value Non-Truth leaves it open if a proposition is false or neutral. The truth value Not-False allows a proposition to be true or neutral. Here we see the sophistication to which the initial theory which distinguishes only two or three different levels was taken. The antinomy, according to Blau, rolls from one level to another, from one value of truth to another. The great advantage of the theory proposed by Blau is that the antinomical proposition on each level has only one value of truth. There is no truth and falseness on the same level. One never says Yes and No at the same time, under the same aspect.

2. The Antinomical Structure and Dialectics
The discussion among the Logicians about the structure of the antinomies passes through all the XX century: Frege, Bertrand Russell, Bochensky, Tarski, Blau and many others participated in the debate. It is natural that the Philosophers working on in Dialectics and interested in this theme return to this question that is so much discussed between the Logicians and that presents such an intriguing phenomenon. There are logical structures in which truth and falseness are mutually implicant; there are structures in which there is an oscillation between Truth and Falseness, between Yes and No. Is this not Dialectics? Is Dialectics not exactly this? Is the antinomic structure not the logical nucleus of all and any Dialectics? The question of Dialectics put this way, put on the horizon of the logical discussion about antinomies, appears naturally. Hegel had already said that antinomy is a privileged way of presenting the truth. The antinomy to which Hegel is referring is that which is elaborated and shown by Kant in Transcendental Dialectics. Antinomy, now, in the XX century, is something very well defined, it is the Antinomy of the Empty Class and the Antinomy of the Truth of Bertrand Russell. It is this structure to which contemporary philosophers who think to have found in antinomic structure a conducting string which allows us to say what Dialectics is refer. Is the Dialectics of the classic authors an antinomic structure in the contemporary meaning? Robert Heiss, Arend Kulenkampff, Thomas Kesselring and Dieter Wandschneider think so. All Dialectics, they say, is always an antinomy deep down. Whoever wants to know what Dialectics is first has to know what Antinomy is. Antinomies are the propositions which, if they are true, they are false; if they are false, they are true.
Robert Heiss is not a Logician, but a Philosopher, a Philosopher who spent his whole life asking what Dialectics was. The great fruit of his work, Heiss published in 1931 in an extremely stimulating book called Logik des Widerspruchs. In this little known text the structure of Dialectics is described and analyzed under new perspectives, by new angles, with an astuteness and sensitivity which we will only find again, among the contemporaries, in the works of Dieter Henrich. Robert Heiss describes and analyzes several self-reflexive structures, from that which we nowadays call performative contradiction, passing through a wonderful rereading of the Cartesian doubt which dissolves itself, up to the antinomy of modern Logicians in its strictest meaning. Arend Kulenkampff was the first, as far as I know, to raise the thesis - in his Thesis in Frankfurt, oriented by Theodor Adorno, but inspired on Robert Heiss - that the antinomic structure makes up the hard core of all Dialectics. Dialectics, says Kulenkampff, is either this or nothing. This is the theme of Antinomie und Dialektik, 1970.
Some years later, in 1984, Thomas Kesselring published the book Die Produktivität der Antinomien in which he strongly and in great detail takes up the idea that the antinomic structure is the motor that makes Dialectics run. Kesselring describes and maps out the antinomies, analyzes its structure, puts its logical structure of self-flexive negation up front and tries to make, starting there, the reconstruction of some parts of Hegel’s system.
Dieter Wandschneider, in 1995, in the book Grundzüge einer Theorie der Dialektik, continues the Kulenkampff's and Kesselring’s main thesis. Dialectic basically consists of the antinomic structure, which consists of oscillation between Truth and Falseness which occurs in the antinomic propositions. This, exactly this, is Dialectics. Similarly to what Kesselring had already done, Wandschneider tried to make a reconstruction of Hegel’s Logic starting from his theory. The reconstruction, starting from the Being and Nothing, passes through four pairs of opposites and stops there. I heard live from Wandschneider, in a Coloquium organized by him in Aachen in 1994, that the tentative of reconstruction got stuck on the sixth or seventh par of opposites. Why, he asked? Why stop here? Why is it not possible to go farther? Intellectually honest questions made by an honest intellectual.
I think that both Kesselring and Wandschneider were right in many things. But in the most important one, they missed the shot. They aimed the wrong way and Dialectics in its greatness and flexibility escaped them. I will try to clear up what I mean.
Dialectics consists of the game of opposites. We all know this. But what is the game of opposites made of? Which opposites? Contradictories or contraries? Does Dialectics disobey the Principle of Non-Contradiction?
The thesis that the antinomies are at the nucleus of Dialectics says first of all that the Analytic Philosophers should not exaggerate and become exalted by the defense of the Principle of Non-Contradiction, because even the Logicians recognize that, in some cases - in the antinomies - there is an oscillation between Truth and Falseness. It is not only the Dialecticians, therefore, who challenge the Principle of Non-Contradiction, in Logics there are also structures that seem to escape from it. One should not therefore unauthorize Dialectics from the beginning and in general. This is the first message transmitted. The second message, contained in the theses of Kesselring and Wandschneider, says that the true motor of Dialectics consists of the perpetual oscillation between truth and falseness. The opposites, they say, always oscillating between truth and falseness, being simultaneously true and false, need to be conciliated. It is in the dialectic synthesis that this happens, they say. The typical movement of Dialectics came about, according to Kesselring and Wandschneider, in the movement that exists in the antinomic structure. Which movement? The non-stop oscillation between truth and falseness.
Kesselring and Wandschneider affirm that the Principle of Non-Contradiction cannot be denied. One can not affirm and deny under the same aspect. But, they say, there is a movement in the antinomies in which the truth of a proposition implies its falseness, and vice-versa. One is dealing here with different levels of language, affirm both authors. And this is what saves the universal validity of the Principle of Non-Contradiction. The elaboration of these different levels of language - the Types of Russell, Tarski’s levels - take us to the need to describe exactly the levels under consideration and the passage from one level to another. This is central for Kesselring as well as for Wandschneider. In spite of this distinction of language levels there is a mixture, clearly affirmed in both authors, between the different levels; there is always a certain superposition of levels which they can not define any better. Besides this, both of the authors get stuck on the reconstruction of Hegel’s Logic after a few steps. What happened? What went wrong?
The main mistake in the theories proposed by Kesselring and Wandschneider consists, I think, in judging that the perpetual oscillation between truth and falseness is something rational. They gave in to the dangerous fascination that the antinomies seem to possess and succumbed to the irrational. To be thrown from the truth to falseness, and vice versa without stopping, is not something rationally good, but the peak of irrationality. This ad infinitum process is not something good, but something bad; it is not a dialectic synthesis, but a logical absurdity. No one can live rationally in the perpetual oscillation between Truth and Falseness, between Yes and No. This does not make any sense. This is totally absurd. This is totally irrational. Kesselring and Wandschneider did not quite realize this. They fell in love with the irrational. They did not realize that the game of opposites is made with contraries and not with contradictories. They knew, of course, that two contraries can be simultaneously false, but they did not realize it is right here, only here, that one makes Dialectics. They did not realize that the opposites in Dialectics do not have a predicative structure, and that is why the synthesis has to be done, not through the elaboration of new aspects of the logical subject, but through the choise of a new predicated term, taking into consideration the falseness of thesis as well as of antithesis and conciliating both in a new concept.
Kesselring and Wandschneider did not realize that contradictions may in fact exist, and that when they exist must be overcome. They did not realize that the question of the logical antinomies was solved in the XX century exactly through the application of the ancient Aristotelian principle: Whenever there is a contradiction one must make the necessary distinctions. In the case of antinomies, which are circular structures, the distinction can not be made only in logical subject, since by self-reference the subject is repeated in the predicate. The Logicians, then, not being able to make the necessary distinctions only in the logical subject, need to make the distinction between the levels of language. What was done? What happened? Yes, there was a contradiction, a potenciated contradiction, and the solution was the same as always: Making the necessary distinctions. Since the logical subject of the antinomies is in circular movement, the solution is to make the distinction between the types or levels of language. This is exactly the solution proposed by Russelll, by Tarski, by Blau, by all the Logicians. Kesselring and Wandschneider also make this distinction. But, although they make the distinction between the levels like the others, they emphasize the mixing of the levels, the partial overlapping, the passage from one level to another.
What is right after all? What is rational? Distinguishing the levels of languages or mixing them? In my opinion, this overlapping of different levels of language which exists in the antinomies can and should be later researched for the good of Logics as well as Dialectics. Dialectics, however, is something much more ample and encompassing. The webbing of Dialectics is not as narrow as Kesselring and Wandschneider think it is, and that is why they get stuck so early in the reconstruction of Hegel’s Logic. The solution of the antinomies is just a particular case of a much bigger solution: Making the necessary distinctions. Yes, there is, I think, something dialectic in the antinomies. But one can not limit Dialectics to the structure of the logical antinomies.
The main mistake of Kesselring and Wandschneider, I repeat, is to think that the perpetual oscillation between Truth and Falseness, between Yes and No, is something rational. Such a situation is rationally unsustainable and should be overcome. One can not live in such oscillation. It must be overcome. This overcoming really occurs when one makes the necessary distinctions between the different levels of language. In this respect, the Logicians of the XX century are right. The philosophers who are in love with the irrationality of the antinomies and identify the structure of Dialectics with the structure of the logical antinomies need to be warned that the oscillation that happens in the antinomies is as rationally perverse as the processus ad infinitum of the classical authors. Dialectics is not this, Dialectics appears exactly when this is overcome.



1. Philosophy as a System Project
Dialectics, since it works with opposites that are just contraries, is always inserted in the contingent historicity of language and the world in which we live and think. In the game of opposites the antithesis is not constructed a priori but it is taken from language and History. Sometimes the antithesis is constructed; however, we are not dealing here with an a priori construction of concepts, but with a linguistic and social engendering - a posteriori - of something new which is always an intersubjective fact. Cornelius Castoriadis, in our century, showed very well how such an engendering of intersubjective realities takes place. One is not dealing here with a conceptual operation a priori in the technical sense of the rationalists and Kantians.
The important thing for us here is to be aware that Dialectics, because it works with opposites not constructed a priori, always contains an a posteriori and contingent moment. Dialectics is a knowledge that is going to look for its contents in History, and is for this reason, a knowledge that is always inserted in History, always sending atemporal truths back to History where they incarnate. Dialectics is a knowledge which captures and represents the necessary and atemporal nexuses which at times - not always - exist among the things, but even these are always thought of as the eternity which is realized in the course of time, as the necessary that constructs itself in the contingent process of evolution. Dialectics does know eternal truths - like two plus two are four -, but this does not let us forget and omit the contingent truths that pass by on the horizon of time. That is why, as we have already seen and demonstrated, Dialectics never takes us to a complete and finished system that covers everything, including the contingent future. Hegel makes a real mistake when he affirms that with Dialectics, Philosophy abandons its old name of love of knowledge to elevate itself to the statute of Science that knows everything. No, never. Philosophy continues being the love of knowledge, the System of Philosophy is just a System Project. It does bring up pretensions of truth and universality, but not the pretension of plenitude and completion. There are necessary and atemporal nexuses, but there are also contingent things and nexuses. Time gone by, which is no more, is kept in memory. The future is open. While contingent we can not deduce neither one nor the other. What we can and should do is to think about the contingent past, attributing to it the due values, and projecting the open future by deciding about the present. The present which flows through our fingers is the same present that stays: the eternal present moment. Philosophy is possible, but only as a project of an open system.

2. The Tripartite Structure of the System Project
The Philosophical systems proposed by Neoplatonic thinkers show, since Plotinus and Proclus, a strictly tripartite structure. The system is divided into three parts; each of these three parts is subdivided again into three. Three plus three plus three is nine. Enneads is the title of Plotinus’s work and system. The same division into three parts with their respective subparts is used, with refinement, in Proclus. In Augustine the triad of Holy Trinity is not just a processual movement of God for Himself, something internal to the Absolute, but also the movement which perpasses and orders the universe of nature and man. The mystery of incarnation, in which God comes out of Himself, makes himself into man and effects himself into a contingent person in History, is, according to Augustine, the Great Mystery which fundaments and explains the effectuation of the City of God in the middle of the City of Men. Mystery here does not mean something that we can not know, but the first explicative principle of all knowledge. All knowledge, according to the wiseman of Hippo, is just a further reflection of this Mystery which is the light which illuminates everything: The Logos which turns into flesh; that is, which becomes Nature and History and, in this return finds itself again as the Eternal Present Moment. In Nicolau Cusanus the systemic structure is also clearly triadic. In the first part of the system, the thesis, it deals with God before creating the world. In the second part, the antithesis, the theme is the creation; that is, nature and man. In the third part, the synthesis, the central idea is the Man God which, upon redeeming humanity, engenders the universe of Grace in which God becomes man and men are transformed into God. Hegel, in the same tradition, divides the system in Logics, Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy of Spirit. Logics deals with the Absolute in itself, or as Hegel writes, of God before creating the world. The Philosophy of Nature talks about the Absolute which leaves itself and alienates itself as something which is the Other of itself. In the Philosophy of the Spirit the Absolute, returning to itself, meets itself again and living again in and with itself, knows itself as conscience and spirit.
The project of the system proposed here has, according to the great Neoplatonic tradition, three parts: Logics, Nature and Spirit.
Everything which was done in this work until now is part of Logics. It deals with elaborating the structure and triadic movement of the logical speech. Logics, so conceived, is many things. It is, first of all, a Philosophy of Language which analyzes the rules and principles of all speech and thought, which examines and raises the conditions of possibility in our factual speech and thought. The main themes are, then, the triadic structure of Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis, the three First Principles in Dialectics as well as in Analytics (Identity, Difference and Coherence) and the interweaving existent between Dialectics, Analyctics and Hermeneutics. Logics is, second of all, an Ontology, because it formulates valid principles also for the being of all the beings. Logics is, third, a Theology, because on saying what a being is, it is always speaking of the Absolute. Logics is, fourth, a History of Ideas, because it is in language and History that it gets its contents. - Formal Logics, in its contemporary meaning, is included in the first meaning mentioned above, in Logics as Philosophy of Language; it deals with Dialectic Logics as well as Analytic Logics.
About the first part of the system project, about Logics, a lot can be added, the basic has already been shown in the previous chapters of this book. However, I want to emphasize a main point: I do not try to make an a priori deduction of the logical categories, but a critical reconstruction of the factual universe of all things, which is expressly presupposed as the beginning and start, under the empire of the Coherence Principle. The contingency of things and the Historicity were, I think, dully respected: The System just criticaly puts what was presupposed from the beginning. To put is only to replace critically. - That said and done, Logics done, what do we say about Nature? What is the Philosophy of Nature?

3. Dialectics and Evolution

3.1 Logics and Nature - The Same Principles
Logics, besides being a Philosophy of Language, it is an Ontology, or in other words, a general doctrine about the being. If this is true, the principles that rule the thought and speech are also principles that rule to the being of the things. The same principles rule speech as well as nature. The basic grammar of speech is also the grammar that rules the course of things. If this is true, then the first principles of speech that were analyzed and elaborated above have to coincide with the principles that, according to Natural Science, rule the evolution of the things of Nature. - The demonstration here is made just to insert the hard core of Natural Science into a larger whole. This can be done. There is coherence. There is really a perfect correlation between the First Principles of Logics, as it was shown above, and the First Principles of Nature. In order to verify this, we just need to put the principles of Logic and the principles that rule Nature side by side, with the necessary translation of the nomenclature. - The correlation mentioned should strictly be shown in relation to Biology as well as in relation to Physics. Since my knowledge in Physics is unfortunately insufficient, I restrict myself to the correlation between Logics and Biology.

Principles of Logics Principles of Nature

1. Identity
1.1. Simple A Identity.....................................Individual
1.2. Iterative Identity A,A,A............................Iteration, replication,
1.3. Reflexive A=A Identity............................Species

2. Difference
2.1.Difference of contradictions
A and Non-A.............................................(does not exist)
2.2.Difference of contraries
A and B......................................................Emergency of the new,
mutation by chance

3. Coherence
3.1. Annulment of one of the poles...............Death, natural selection
3.2. Elaboration of the due distinctions........Adaptation
3.3. History of Dialectics...............................History of Evolution

3.2. Simple Identity (in Logics) and Individualism (in Nature)
In the beginning it is this simple identity which stands out of the background, or its environment, as being something determined. Starting from this first beginning long and complex processes, which are all that we call the Universe, are developed. This is the first beginning of all: the simple identity. - The history of evolution of things has always been the first and most important theme for the myth and when it is cleansed through reason, for Philosophy. The history of genesis of the world as well as of the things existent in it belong to the fundaments of our History, our culture. Since the Pre-Socratic the philosophers have tried to formulate through the categories of Being, Nous, Atoms, Ideas, Substance etc. the principles that determine the genesis and development of our complex world starting from a simple first beginning. Recently, we philosophers - unfortunately - have abandoned this theme, which may be the most important of all, almost completely, and have dedicated ourselves almost exclusively to the analysis of the connections existent among the words. We have delivered the cycle of the great questions about the genesis of the universe and life to the physicists and biologists who weave reasonable theories about the origin and development of the universe. Cosmology in the past was a task for philosophers and a subject of Philosophy, today it is a subject that is only dealt with theoretically by physicists and biologists. It should not be like that. If Philosophy wants to be loyal to its name and tradition, then the question about the meaning of our lives, about the beginning and development of the universe must be faced again in an attempt to answer it.
In the beginning is the simple identity; that which is identical stands out in its environment. We call this simple something the Determinate, or, using a more up-to-date terminology, the system. The environment in which the system is and from which it stands out we call just that, environment. A system, something determined, is in the beginning and stands out and distinguishes itself from its environment, which in the beginning is just chaos. We can not say any more about this. In the beginning there is nothing more to say. It is clear that the principles of the being that determine the further unfolding of evolution already exist. They were elaborated above in their logical form; now we are going to show how they act on the development of Nature, how they act as the principles of internal organization of the things.

3.3. Iterative identity (in Logics) and Iteration, replication and reproduction (in Nature)
Simple identity, when it is repeated, becomes an iterative identity. To the first A one adds as second, a third, a fourth etc.: A,A,A,A etc. Does the second A come from the first? Does the second A emerge from the first? This is what the Neoplatonics affirmed; this is what entered in Augustine’s doctrine on the trinity and in the great tradition of Philosophy. But this is not the question we are working on now. Here we are interested first of all in the element of iteration, of repetition. That comes again and appears is always the same; at least until now. The universe no longer consists of a simple A, but an A, A, A etc. which are repeated and follow each other. - A specific form of iteration is what we find in the elliptic movement of the planets and also of the electrons which turn around a central point, always describing the same orbit. In that way they always go back to the same place and make up something which remains. That is how the atoms and solar systems appear in the beginning. Another form of iteration, which we find in crystals and living beings, for example, is that which we call symmetry. Half is the iteration by mirroring the other half. In Biology the iterative identity appears in a very specific way as replication and reproduction. Today, these are the key concepts which describe a specific characteristic of the living beings and in this way make up their own definition of what life is. Reproduction is a process by which a certain organism makes and lets out of himself - re-produces - another living thing according to the same plan of construction. Replication is the process where the plan of construction of a certain organism, codified and packaged in the nucleic acid, makes copies of itself. Reproduction is the iteration of organisms where one is the same as the others. Replication is the iteration of construction plans which are identical. There it is, everywhere, present and active, the principle of iterative identity.

3.4. Reflex Identity (in Logics) and Species (in Nature)
Reflex identity says that the second A (as well as the third, the fourth etc.) is the same as the first A, A=A. Here appears a phenomenon which has made us think hard since ancient times. In order to say the identity of A, it is necessary to say it or write it twice; first on the left, then on the right of the equal sign. Only then - through the explicit position of this first difference - can we clearly say the identity of A. The difference, the alterity, or simply the other, is what sticks out and begins to emerge here. We are still dealing with the same thing, that which is identical to itself, but the emerging difference begins to be seen. One perceives that there is a process in course here in which the identical comes out of itself to, later on, return to itself. This circular movement is the characteristic element of the basic structure of many important things that appear later on in evolution, like life, that is its autopoietic structure, or thought and free action, or spirit. But we have not arrived there yet, the difference is just a rough draft.
This reflex identity in Logics corresponds in living beings to the species. The species is that identity in which two or more individual living beings become the same without losing their identity with themselves. In the species it is not the singularity which is expressed ( the this to which we point with our finger), but the specific particularity, the species, or rather, that which is common to many individuals. The plan of construction of a certain species, engraved in the genes of all the individuals which compose it, makes up the typical structure of the species during ontogenesis. In that way, from a chicken’s egg, there will only be a chicken. - Two questions come up here naturally. How does one distinguish what is characteristic of the species and what is the determination of the individual? And second, why is the structure of the species engraved in the genes and the individual determinations not? Both questions bring up a problem, which deep down is the same: the slow and gradual emergence of difference.
Engraved on the genes is that which is engraved there (tautological proposition, and therefore true). The engraving determines what is common in various individuals; this we then call typical species characteristics. The individual variations that always appear again in the course of ontogenesis originate from the fact that the instructions engraved on the genes are not hard laws, they are not laws that determine everything down to the last detail. These laws do not keep small variations from happenning or, in certain cases, even counterfacts. These laws, just like the modal operator of the Principle of Non-Contradiction, are just a should-be. It is obvious that the Should-Be here can not be taken in the strict human sense of ethic and moral law, but just as a law of nature which determines, but does not determine as strongly as the laws of Formal Logics and Mathematics, that is, down to the last detail. The Principle of Identity says, therefore, equality but only an equality such which also allow the difference between individuals to exist. In the case of one hundred percent identity - not even twins are like this - there is still a difference in the temporal space between the individuals. In most cases the individuals are determined in such a way that they have relatively many individual qualities. If one originally individual characteristic (that is, a property acquired by the individual) enters the genetic construction plan then this quality starts to become part of the characteristics of the species, and therefore, hereditary by reproduction. If, on the other hand, a quality which appeared in an individual manner (that is, an acquired property) does not enter the genetic construction plan, then it continues being just an individual property; it is just an individual quality, not of the species. If an originally individual property enters or not the genetic plan of construction; v.g., whether or not an individual property becomes a property of the species or not, we find out through the history of evolution. This - Lamarck’s great theme - is initially just a fact in the course of an evolution which occurs in a contingent manner. When and how an individual property enters the genetic plan of construction, which physical-chemical circumstances are determinant are questions we do not yet have satisfactory answers to. This is exactly one of the themes that biologists today research most.

3.5. The difference between contraries (in Logics) and the emergence of the new, the mutation by chance (in Nature)
The otherness, or that which is different appears when a B which is different from the A and from the series A, A, A etc. comes in. The alterity of the otherness did not announce itself, it was not predictable, it did not have a sufficient reason preceding it. Suddenly something new appears, B, without this having been given or performed in the previous A, A, A etc. series, or in the reflex identity A=A. This B, which is obviously different from A, is in opposition to A, not of contradictories, but of contraries. And in the way that B appears, C, D, F etc. also appear. We have here, first of all, the emergence of the new without presupposing a reason prejacent to it, without presupposing an efficient cause that should exist before it, without taking for granted that before every chicken there must exist a proto-chicken-egg. The different, right in the beginning, appears casually. It appears as a case. It is a chance. In the ambit of Logics this was the contrary pole, that which could not be deduced in an a priori way (the contradictory pole can be constructed a priori, the contrary can not), in Nature we are now dealing with that which is contingent, that which is by chance.
Chance is in Logics as well as in Nature a very important element, an element necessary for the ontological genesis and for the logical reconstruction of this totality in which we concretely live and in which we make the philosophical discussion. Without chance, without contingency, there would not be the Neoplatonic Logics of opposition of contraries and, therefore, there would not be Dialectics; without chance Nature would be just a necessary explanation (explicatio) of that which was implied (implicatum) in the initial seed. Without chance nature would not be a contingent history which could, equally probably, be and happen in a different way, but a necessary development, the only one possible, of a substance in the way of Spinoza. It is clear that such a necessitarianistic theory, that is one which only contains the element of regularity, does not correspond to the Natural Sciences, such as they describe and explain the genesis and development of the world today. We are here conferring to chance the same importance that it was given by most Biologists of today, like Richard Dawkins and Stephen J. Gould. It is also clear that a necessitarianistic theory, in principle, makes contingency and, therefore, the free choice between alternatives which are equally possible also impossible; with this the freedom of man as well as true historicity as we know it today are also impossible. A Theory of Evolution, which has chance as a constitutive element like the one biologists today defend and which we are presenting here, is also very important as a presupposition for the correct construction of Ethics and Politics. It opens the space of contingency and then, of the alternatives which are equally possible, which by turn make free choice, free decision and ethical responsibility possible. Without contingency, without chance, nothing of this is possible.
Do we not fall, however, in total chaos by putting chance or contingency into the basic structure of the theory? Does this turn to chaos not make everything too chaotic? No, because the longer lasting things last longer. With this we formulate one of the most important laws of nature, the law of conservation.

3.6. Coherence, the annulment of one of the poles of opposition (in Logics) and natural selection (in Nature)
The conservation of what is different is made possible and explained by a simple principle: What remains most is what most remains. This proposition is a tautology like A = A. Tautological propositions are always true and have value not only in the Logical area, but also in the Nature area. Such propositions are not always empty of content and explicative force, as we imagine many times today. In some cases, like here, the contrary is true. The law of conservation What remains more is what more remains explains very many things. It explains that only what is long lasting, not what is temporary remains. It explains that, in the last instance, the order has more success than the disorder. If B and C etc. do not remain more, then they do not remain, and they disappear returning to the chaos.
What stays is only what repeats itself, the series A, A, A etc., B, B, B etc. Only stable entities last and continue to exist. This first law of conservation, formulated in a tautological manner, also says that there is a principle of selection that acts from the very beginning of genesis and in the development of the universe. Only that which lasts longer is long lasting. Longer lasting is only that part of the world which is more than and remains longer than those entities that appear and shine like fleeing sparks and soon dissolve into nothing. Only what maintains itself remains, or that which through repetition of itself gives itself consistence, that is, that which through the iterative movement becomes a durable sameness. All the rest, all that is evanescent, all that does not repeat itself, that does not reproduce, disappears in the course of development, returning to indetermination and chaos. Without iteration, without this circular movement that is characteristic of electrons and stars, without the replication as it occurs in the DNA, without the reproduction as it characterizes the organisms, nothing stays for very long. Or in other words: It is the iterative identity that under the form of orbital movements, of replication and reproduction, gives consistence to all things. The different being that appears but does not remain longer and does not have duration - through the circular movements, replication and reproduction -, such a different being stops being and disappears. It existed and lasted for a short span of time, but did not take hold. The law of conservation that is implicitly contained in the Principle of Iterative Identity, if applied to the differences that appear, is already a law of selection. The so called natural selection, as we gather from this, is a more specific form of a simple logical principle.
In Nature, the annulment of one of the poles of opposition corresponds to death. In Logics the truth of a contrary pole implies the falseness of the other. The false pole of opposition, exactly because it is false, is not good for anything else and should be thrown out of the rational discussion. In Nature we call this death. In Nature, when an opposition of contraries appears, when there is a shock between A and B - between System and Environment -, two things can happen. First of all, one pole can eliminate the other. In this case only one of the poles remains, the other does not. The pole that remains is then called - mostly only afterwards, ex post - the winner. The other pole does not remain, it does not survive, it dies. In Logics this corresponds to the annulment of one of the opposition poles; the false pole is false through the other which is the true pole. This annulment is effective in Logics in a positive way: If we know from some positive source - a positive reason, not just the simple structure of Dialectics as a formal scheme - that a pole of a given opposition is true, then it logically follows that the other pole is false. In Nature as in Logics, many times we do not know beforehand, a priori, which of the two poles of opposition is true. To be able to conclude about the falseness of the antithesis in Logics it is necessary that the truth of the thesis be demonstrated starting from a positive argument (for example, through a performative contradiction). Also, in Nature, one of the two poles should appear as being the truth or the correct. This demonstration, in Nature, many times is not a logical nexus, but a simple fact. One of the two poles of the opposition in Nature wins. Ex post we realize this and then say that this pole is the winner, that is the one that survived. The other pole of this opposition which lost the battle dies and disappears back into the chaos.
Is this not a very poor Philosophy that has as the final purpose of living the mere survival, an aethic Philosophy without pity or love? No. If this thinking is consequently taken to the end, one arrives, as we will soon see, at a humanistic vision of the world in which not only the dignity of man, but also his roots in the cosmic order will clearly appear.

3.7. Necessary distinctions (in Logics) and adaptation (in Nature)
We return to the hard alternative. If a shock between two contrary poles appears in Nature, two things could happen. First, it could happen that one of the poles because it is true, eliminates the other; which we saw before. Second, it could happen, as happens in Logics, that both poles are false. Two contrary poles can not be simultaneously true, but they can be simultaneously false. What happens in Nature, when - and this is not rare - both poles are false? Then one applies the same rule that has already solved the problem in Logics: If both poles of opposition are false, then, in order not to stay in a blind alley, it is necessary to make the necessary distinctions. In Logics that means the logical aspects which once elaborated and announced, overcome and solve the existent contradiction. In Nature this does not mean speech and thought, but being. The new aspects which are necessary to overcome the contradiction really existent in Nature are real aspects; they are new corners, new folds, new facets, which in being real, really overcome the contradiction which appears in Nature and exists in it as something real.
The alternative now is the following. If in Nature there are contrary poles that are both false, or are not adequate, then two things can happen. Either one pole annuls the other, or - both being inadequate - Nature creates new real aspects (corners, folds, facets etc.). These real aspects, so developed, then overcome the previously existent contradiction. The creation of new aspects, which was called the elaboration of the necessary distinctions in Logics, here in Nature answers to the name adaptation. Adaptation, that is the formation of real aspects solves the problem of real contradiction which previously existed and conciliates both poles on a higher, more complex and richer level. System and Environment, which previously were in contrary opposition and were both false, are conciliated and united through engendering of new real aspects. This engendering of new real aspects can happen in the System as well as in the Environment; it can also happen in both. The process of evolution of living things, in which all these adaptations concretely happened until reaching the present stage, is called Evolution by the Biologists. Charles Darwin is responsible for reformulating this old theory on the development of the universe, already conceived by the Greek philosophers and later developed by the master-thinkers of the Middle Ages and Modern Times, and have reunited such empirical and abundant material to prove it that we can now discuss the subject in a scientific way. The importance given to chance, or contingency, in my opinion, is decisive in this context. One especially realizes this when one compares the different forms through which Darwin’s theory of evolution has passed until reaching the theory of systems of today.

3.8. History of Dialectics (in Logics) and History of Evolution (in Nature)
The evolution of things in Nature, like the logical movements in Dialectics, always follow - this is one side - the necessary rules that were discussed in Logic, but also always contained, as was shown there - this is the other side - the unrenounceable contingency, that is chance. That is why the history of evolution, just like the history of Dialectics, has to be written a posteriori. There is there, for sure, an element that is necessary and a priori (the Principle of Identity and the Principle of Coherence), but there is also an element of contingency and a posteriori. History is written when one tells and describes, first - always ex post, then - how something contingent engendered itself in a contingent way, and later, how this contingent being inserted itself into the net of things ruled by principles which are necessary and a priori. History is therefore, like everything else in Dialectic Logics - and also in Nature -, a union or conciliation of what is necessary with what is by chance.
The history of Evolution of Nature is today one of the main themes of Physics and Biology. The History of Dialectics which also always contains a contingent element deserves more and more attention from the researchers.

2. Ethics

1. The Ancient Family
In the beginnings of our civilization the Should-Be, main theme of all Ethics, emanated from the Family and concretized itself in it. The Good and the Bad, what one should do, what one should not do, which were the rewards of good deeds and the punishment for the crimes, all was ruled and determined by the Canticle song that the Father of the Family, the Pater, vocalized while performing the ritual dance around the sacred fire of the Home, which was then called Hestia. The Pater, all dressed in white, with a crown of flowers on his head, in front of the Mater and the rest of the family in line, started the sacred dance in honor of the Domestic Gods. The Domestic Gods, represented by small statues placed on the edge of the home, where the sacred fire that Prometheus had stolen from the heavens cracked, were the father, the grandfather, the great-grandfather, the great, great-grandfather etc., all heroes of many virtues and many deeds. The Hymn song by the Pater in all the important ceremonies of the Family was in honor of the ancestors or Domestic Gods. That is why all the great canticles, in ancient times, started singing about the heroes who were ancestors, or rather the ancestors who were all heroes. In the Iliad the poet sings about the hero of the Trojan War, Achilles. In the Aeneid the founding fathers of the city of Rome. In the Lusiadas, “the weapons and barons” who founded Portugal. The Song in honor of the ancestors, sung by the Pater, started honoring the ancestors, but soon became much more practical. All that the Pater sang in the Hymn of the Family was a rule that either obliged or prohibited some kind of action. Nomos in Greek means both canticle and law. Both meanings were, in the beginning of our civilization, intimately connected. All that was in the Canticle sung by the Pater was Law. The Good and the Evil, virtue and vice, good and bad action, to distinguish them one just needed to listen and pay attention to the Sacred Song which, besides honoring the Domestic Gods, established the normative statute for the Family.
The young woman, daughter of the Pater and Mater, before marrying, needed to be disconnected from her Family of origin. The disconnection ceremony was done in a dance around the sacred fire of the Home. The fire was sacred because it was stolen by Prometheus from the Gods of Olympus, and the Mater was the one responsible for it never going out. If the fire went out, the family would fall into ruin, it would return to the barbarian state; worse yet, it would be the same as the beasts who ate raw food and suffered in the cold. The Home fire was something very important. The Hymn of the Family was too. In order to disconnect a legitimate daughter from the Family, the Pater had to sing the Sacred Song including in this the mention that at that exact moment he was disconnecting his daughter so and so from the Family. The bride, dressed in white and wearing a crown of flowers on her head, like her Pater, was then taken to the house of her future husband. A cart decorated with flowers, pulled by one white and one black ox took the bride while the bystanders sang a hymn called Hymenaeus. Upon her arrival at the house of her future Family the bride got out of the cart, but could not enter the main room of the house. This was prohibited under penalty of death. A stranger could never enter the room where the Sacred Home Fire was burning. The only exception permitted to this rule were the guests if they were brought in and conduced by the hand of the owner of the house and host. Since the bride was not yet a member of the Family, but she was also not just a guest who leaves, she could not enter. If she entered and stepped on the sacred floor under which the ashes of the ancestors were kept, she would be a strange invader breaking the peace of the home. And then, sacra esto: she would be sacrificed. That is why the bride, not being able to enter on her own feet, had to be carried in the arms of the groom until the sacred fire of Hestia, without stepping on the floor.There in the face of the Pater and the family reunited for a feast, the groom deposits his future wife on the floor. The Pater then asks if she wants to marry the groom and therefore, start belonging to the new Family. On answering yes, the bride is taken by the Pater in the ritual dance around the sacred fire singing the Hymn of her new Domestic Gods, of the grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandfather of her husband. In this ceremony, the bride, already disconnected from her family of origin, is connected to her new family. She is then, reconnected, she has a religion (re-ligare). In those times the Religion, centered on the Family and the Sacred Song of the Home, was the fountain and criteria of all Ethics. That is how it was done, how it should be done, because who is connected or reconnected to the Family has to obey what is sung in the Nomos which is Canticle and also Law.
This is the Ethics of the old ones. Simple, solemn, sometimes cruel. This is one of the fundamental norms of our civilization. Until now the brides dress in white and wear crowns of flowers. But they do not know why. Until recently all women when they married took on the family name of their husband. And they did not know why. Until today the laws, to be valid, have to be promulgated; this is done first by singing, then pronouncing in a good loud voice. Today in Brazil we have the Official Newspaper which fills out this function. There has been modernization but not always and not in everything. Many of us, when we get up in the morning, take care to put our right foot on the floor first; whoever gets up with the left foot first will be unlucky. In some older barrooms, in the countryside, the yokel, before lifting his cup of spirits, offered the first sip to the saint. The Saint here is not from Africa, but from ancient Greece; it is a libation. This is the Ethics that gave the origin to our civilization and which ruled our culture for many centuries.

2. The Ethic of the Virtues
In a patriarchal culture like ours to be a man is good; better yet is to be strong. Vir means man. Virtus means the strength of man. This is the first meaning of the word virtue. But man is only strong when he lives and acts in society. Society is the Family, society is also the Fratria, a grouping of families and especially, a City which the Greeks called Polis. He who lives in the City lives well. The City succeeds the Family in time as the source of ethicity. Now, there is no longer the Song of the Family Pater, it is the City which says what is good and what is bad. The Law of the City is the valued norm for all actions. And who makes the Laws of the City? Who does the Politics, the Law of the Polis? The citizens meeting in assemblies discuss and make the laws. The laws made like that are legitimate and normally just. But we know that in reality there are laws that are not just. Why is one law just and the other not? What is the criteria?
This is the main question asked by the Sophists. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, each in their own way, tried to give a rational answer to it. The Dialogue making the critical examination of the reasons brought up by both sides forms the central nucleus of Socrates’ answer. The hierarchy of all values, in a pyramidal form, under the rule of the Supreme Good idea, is Plato’s answer. The straight reason is Aristotle’s answer.
In Ethics, dedicated to his son Nicomaco, Aristotle affirmed that an act is virtuous if and when it comes from a virtue. Virtue is the habit of doing good deeds. This is the concept of habit that points back to the tradition of good costums and affirms as a general principle of Ethics that good is what our parents, grandparents and grand-grandparents did. Good is that which one usually does. But Aristotle is a critical philosopher and the many discussions about the subject made in his time did not permit him to stay just with this. Tradition and the Local Customs, the Mores, are a good principle and initial criteria of ethicity. But, at times, even tradition stumbles: some customs are not good. Why not? Which criteria do we apply in these cases? Aristotle answers: Mesotes. Mesotes is the middle of the line, it is that position which is neither at one extreme nor at the other, but in the middle. In the middle is virtue, In medio stat virtus. Virtue consists of being in the middle. The virtuous man is courageous, is not coward nor temerarious, but situated in the middle: that’s courage. But Aristotle realized that the Middle of the Road is not always located exactly in the middle. Courage is nearer to temerity than to cowardliness. If the Mesotes is not exactly in the middle, if Mesotes is not the decisive criteria to decide between the Good and the Evil, then what is the last criteria of ethicity? Aristotle answers: the Straight Reason. Straight comes from the straight line of the Geometrists, it comes from the rule of the Architects of stretching a rope and building ceilings and walls exactly following the straight line made by the stretched rope: the shortest distance between two points, a basic element of Geometry and Architecture. Straightness, yes, straightness like in geometric figures, like in Architecture. And Reason. What is Reason? We are still asking what Reason is today, even now we do not know well what Reason is. Why did Aristotle’s Ethics work so well for so long - Thomas Aquinas adopted it, the Neoaristotelicians today still defend it - Why? What is Reason? What is Straight Reason? Kant, in Modern Times, explains more and takes a strong step further on.

3. The Categorical Imperative
Kant always uses the same basic scheme in his three Critics. He starts from a factic presupposition that is not questioned by anyone. This presupposition, accepted by all, is taken by Kant as being true. Kant applies upon it the so called transcendental question: What are the necessary conditions of possibility for this presupposition made? Necessary conditions of possibility are what the words say: if any p exists, what are the necessary conditions for p to be able to exist? Mapping the necessary conditions of possibility of knowledge, Kant calls this a priori truths. They are the necessary conditions for something we all accept; they come before, they are a priori.
In Criticism of Pure Reason Kant starts from the presupposition that there are really some synthetic judgements a priori which are true. Kant is thinking about the first principles elaborated by Newton in his Physics. We are dealing with judgements with subject and predicate, in which the predicate adds something new to the subject, something which is not being said only by the logical subject. Such judgements are synthetic. They are a priori, they are taken as being valid without being confirmed by experience. That at least some such true judgements exist is evident and is admitted by everyone. That many of these judgements are synthetic, everyone also admits. Is it admitted by everyone that some of these synthetic true judgements are a priori? Yes, the first principles, for example, in Geometry as well as in Newton’s Physics are accepted by all as true and they are a priori, that is, one can not confirm their truth by an experiment. One can then presuppose that there are at least some synthetic judgements a priori which are true. This is the initial fact, this is the presupposition.
Well aware of this presupposition we bring up the question: Which are the necessary conditions of such a fact? Kant maps the conditions sine qua non of the presupposition that we all do, even the most critical of us. They are: A general subject which can formulate judgements, a minimum number of predicates, or rather, logical categories, and the minimum forms to interconnect the subject and predicate in judgements. This Kant calls transcendental. A transcendental subject and the transcendental categories are those minimum conditions, without which there could not be any logical true synthetic judgement a priori. But such judgements exist. Therefore, there is a transcendental subject which is composed of an empty subject, and also by empty but absolutely indispensable categories. They are necessary, they are necessary conditions of possibility. This is the transcendental world of Kant. - Transcendental here means just the conditio sine qua non of a presupposition which in fact is being made, that there are really true a priori synthetic judgements. - In the Middle Ages the master-thinkers anchored the Eternal Truths on the essence of God. Truths, if necessary and eternal, have to be based on something. Since they do not exist, as such, on a Platonic star, they must be put in the essence of God himself. The Eternal Truths are anchored in God, which is transcendental. The is why the science that deals with eternal truths is called scientia trancendens by Johannes Duns Scotus; later Christian Wolff and others called it scientia transcendentalis. This is where Kant gets his problem and his terminology from: the transcendental question and the Transcendental Subject. The truth of the knowledge is anchored, no longer to a transcendental God, but to a universal and necessary subject which is common to all the empirical subjects and is inborn in them. Kant’s argument, put into logical sequence, is the following: If there is a priori knowledge, then there is a conditio sine qua non of such knowledge. Well, the a priori knowledge does exist. Therefore, its conditio sine qua non does exist. This consists of those minimal structures: subject, predicate, connection between subject and predicate.
In the Critic of Practical Reason the reasoning structure is the same. Kant starts from a factic presupposition: All the peoples of all times and in all cultures have some kind of Should-Be. Kant does not presuppose the straightness of the Ethics of any certain people or culture. No, he just presupposes what is absolutely general: some kind of Should-Be. Although the contents vary a lot from culture to culture, all of them have some Should-Be. This Should-Be Kant calls Fact of Reason. This in the second Critic is an initial presupposition. This is the place in which Kant inserts the transcendental question: What is the necessary condition of possibility of such a fact? What is the conditio sine qua non? For all the people in all places to have such a Should-Be it is necessary that an a priori structure exist, it is necessary to admitt a practical transcendental subject which is guided by a great and unique general principle. There is, then, a transcendental principle of the Practical Reason that is the a priori necessary condition and the common denominator of the local multiple ethics. Kant calls this practical principle Categorical Imperative: You shold always act in such a way that the norm of your action could be elevated to the statute of a universal law. This great moral imperative is empty of contents, but in compensation it is valid for everyone.

4. The Ethics of Discouse
The Categorical Imperative, because it is empty of contents, attracted a lot of criticism. Very just criticism, we must say. If there are no contents, how can we apply the Categorical Imperative in the practical daily life? Apel and Habermas, in our century, took the question further on. The Categorical Imperative is wonderful and was well demonstrated by Kant; they call it another name, in this way characterizing its speculative nucleus better, and call it the U Principle, Principle of Universalization. This Principle, in its basic content, says the same thing as Kant’s Categorical Imperative. Except that for this U Principle to work, it has to be applied simultaneously with Principle D, which is the Principle of Discourse. Starting from the contemporary theory about all acts of speech, Apel and Habermas construct the minimal structure which is presupposed in the circle of rational discussion. In the circle of Discussion without violence, in which only the reasons presented by each one of the participants have any value, the private interests of each one are examined in their ethicity, starting from the application of the U Principle. Someone in the Discussion group has in fact a determined interest; is this interest ethic? In order to discover this, it is necessary to try to universalize this private interest and verify if it is passible of universalization. Is it passible of universalization? Then it is ethic. Ethics is done, according to Apel and Habermas, in the coming and going between the D and the U Principle. From the U Principle, which is Kant’s old Categorical Imperative, comes the normativeness, the Should-Be. From the D Principle, from the Discussion group, comes the contingent and historic conditions which were missing in Kant’s empty Imperative. It is brilliant.
Even more brilliant is the sharpness of the demonstration: Whoever tries to deny the D Principle by argument, through rational discourse, upon denying it replaces exactly that which they want to deny: the rationality of the discussion circle. Whoever tries to deny the U Principle, on doing so, denies himself, because he uses arguments which are only valid because they are universal. D and U cannot be denied, without reappearing from the negation itself. Whoever denies U and D enters into performative contradiction. With this it is shown that the Principles U and D are universally valid. The two First Principles of the Ethics of Discourse, a modernized form of Kant’s Ethics, can not be denied. Whoever denies them enters into performative contradiction. It is brilliant, but it is not yet complete.

5. The Three Great Questions
Today, any project of constructing an Ethics has to answer three basic questions that have been becoming clearer in the last centuries. The first is: How does one make the passage from merely descriptive propositions to normative propositions? The second: Which is the first, or which are the first great principles that rule the Should-Be? The third: How does one make the passage from the particular to the universal and vice-versa?
The first question is not answered even by Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, or Kant. All of them start, in the very beginning, from a practical reason, or in other words, from normative propositions. This is bad, very bad. Because theoretic reason and practical reason are, from the beginning, unassociated, and the nexus between them can not be reestablished. There are two distinct and separate reasons. Is this reason, which is no longer one, which is divided into two reasons, still Reason? How can we think about this duality without unity? Can we? No, we can not.
To the second question Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas answer with a list of virtues and values. These, without further care of critical elaboration, are declared the first principles of all ethicity. Kant and Ethics of Discourse go deeper and farther. The First Principle in Kant’s Ethics is the Categorical Imperative; the U and D Principles can be indirectly demonstrated through the performative contradiction, Apel and Habermas say. They are, in my opinion more right than the old ones.
The third question deals with the difficult passage that is necessary to make between the universal validity of a principle and its application to the concrete individual situation. Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas used here what they called prudence; this is a spiritual attitude with characteristics which are difficult to define clearly. Kant, facing this question, remains without a satisfactory answer. The passage of the Categorical Imperative, empty of content, to the Moral Maxims and from these to the individual decision are done with great bumps; this is the great objection which Hegel finds against Kant’s Ethics. Apel and Habermas offer us a better answer to this question. The interleaving between the universal and the private is done in parallel to the interleaving between the D and U Principles, because the ideal situation for the discourse (U) has to be anticipated in the real situation of the discourse (D). Since the acts of speech are always universal, on one hand, but concretely individual on the other, the bifacial structure of Ethics corresponds to it. One interleaves the other. This answer is totally plausible, although not complete, because it just moves the problem.

6. The Passage from Descriptive Propositions to Normative Propositions
How does one make the passage from descriptive propositions to normative propositions? In the project of the system proposed here the answer to this first question is easy and comes naturally. Because since the first beginning of Logic we are operating with the Principle of Non-Contradiction which is one of the three basic principles. This principle, as we modified and formulated above, worked with a modal operator, the Should-Be. We say that contradictions exist at times, but they s h o u l d be avoided. The Should-Be is the modal operator of the Principle of the Contradiction to Be Avoided. That is why from the beginning, in the heart of Logics itself, we are operating with the Should-Be. How do we make the passage from the descriptive propositions to the normative propositions? We do not. From the first beginning of Logics we are operating with normative propositions. The Principle of Non-Contradiction itself is a normative proposition.
The Should-Be, the practical reason in our system project, is a more ample and encompassing circle. Theoretical reason is a smaller circle situated inside the bigger set which is the practical reason. Practical Reason includes and contains Theoretical Reason within it. At this point what is being proposed coincides with Habemas’s theory about Communicative Reason, because this has the Should-Be as its characteristic. There is no agreement at this point with Aristotle or Kant, which separate the reason in two. Here reason is just one reason, only one Totality which within itself has a specific subsystem, Theoretical Reason.
The question of the passage of descriptive propositions to normative propositions then receives a new focus. We are, from the beginning, since the Principle of Non-Contradiction, working with propositions which are primarily normative. The Discourse and the Dialectics have always been normative. Logics, in its beginning, is normative. The passage of these first normative propositions to descriptive propostions which are secondary comes later on, by abstraction and narrowing of the ambit. When one says One should not make contradictions we have an extremely universal principle, always valid and without restrictions, that is a normative principle. When we say It is impossible for contradictions to exist we are talking only about some logic-formal subsystems, not about all reality; the modal operator here is the traditional It is Impossible. Descriptive propositions exist, of course, but they are not the beginning, they are not the general paradigm, they are just a subspecies, a subsystem within a larger system. The passage from the normative proposition to the descriptive proposition is given by abstraction, by cutting and impoverishment. One removes the deontic modal operator from the concrete normative proposition and then on one side the kingdom of necessary possibilities appears and on the other the kingdom of the facts to be captured and described in their factuality. Both the kingdoms are just a result of cutting and abstraction. That is why we can never be totally objective. We can not, because such pure objectivity does not exist, because we can never make a perfect and finished cut.

7. The First Principle of the Should-Be
The first Principle of the Should-Be has been, since the beginning of the system, the Principle of the Contradiction to be Avoided, or by another name the Principle of Coherence. Since the beginning of Logic we have worked with this Principle: Contradictions, if they really do exist, should be worked on and overcome. All the Dialectic structure, as it was shown previously, is based on this. The Dialectic Discourse is ruled by a Should-Be.
All the things in Nature, in their evolution, are ruled by a Should-Be. System and Environment can not be in contradiction. If there is some contradiction, then one pole eliminates the other, or the necessary distinctions are elaborated. In Nature the distinctions are made by the engendering of new sides, new facets, new forms of complexity. The evolution of the beings consists exactly in this. Also in Nature the contradictions appear. And here the Principle of Coherence comes in full force. Either one of the elements in the contradiction eliminates or annuls the other or there must be an adaptation. The adaptation consists exactly of those small changes that appear side by side, in such a way that the characteristics which were bevor opposing and excluding become qualities which complete and complement each other. The Systems change and adapt, the Environment also changes and adapts, although less frequently and on a smaller scale. Adaptation by adaptation changes, and in the long run great transformations appear. Simple beings, therefore, become more and more complex. Why? Because they should adapt. Whatever does not adapt, whatever is not coherent should not be. It will be eliminated by Nature. Death and Natural Selection are names used by Biologists to express that rule which we in Logics call the Coherence Principle. It is a Law, but a flexible Law, which in the long run conducts the things, but which over a short time allows counterfacts to exist. It is a Law that shapes and molds, but slowly, in small steps, always allowing and presupposing the engendering of the new, and, therefore, the reality as we know it. It deals with a reality in which not everything is always determined in all details, it deals with a reality which at times self engenders, regulates itself, reproduces itself. This is where Coherence comes in determined as a Should-Be. It is not that incoherences never exist. Sometimes they exist, but in the long term the Principle of Coherence imposes itself, either by eliminating the opposites or by conciliating them through adaptations. In Biology this is called Evolution.
But, what is this? Do plants and animals have a Should-Be? The answer at first is: No. Not in the complete sense which we humans give to Should-Be. But the answer is Yes in the meaning that plants and animals also have certain degree of autonomy, they have some mechanism of self-determination, make some choices, and are subject to the Universal Law which order them to be coherent. Plants and animals must also have internal coherence between their parts, external coherence with their immediate environment, and finally coherence with the rest of the Universe. In this ample meaning of Should-Be plants and animals also participate in the Ethics and could be called ethic. Who has not seen or realized that dogs in living with humans and among themselves sometimes act in bad faith? What rider has never realized that his horse reacts sometimes cooperating, and sometimes with wrong intention? Plants and animals do have a certain Ethics, in their own way.
What then is the formulation of the First Principle of a General Ethics according to the System which we are proposing? Exactly that of Kant’s Categorical Imperative, of Apel and Habemas’s U Principle. In relation to these the specific difference of this project is that the Coherence Principle, as we understand and showed it, permeates all the Philosophy System from the beginning of Logic up to the end, up to the Absolute. It is a great Principle which determines Logic, Nature and also Spirit. The three great parts of the System are anchored on the Coherence Principle. In opposition to the systemic amplitude, Kant’s Categorical Imperative does not exist in the ambit of Theoretic Reason. According to Habermas the U Principle exists already in Logics, but it is not a rule for Nature; I think it is a rule for Nature too. This is the difference between the Kantians and what is being proposed here. Except for this, I think that the Ethics that I am proposing is congruent with that which is proposed by Apel and Habermas.

8. The Passage of the Universal to Particular and vice-versa
The great difficulty in Kant’s Ethics was the going down from the Categorical Imperative through the Maxims of Reason to the individual decision of man. How do we make a legitimate passage of a Universal Principle, which is empty, to a particular one, which has concrete contents? Apel and Habermas answer by saying that the U Principle has to be used together with the D Principle, that is in the concrete group of Discussion. The answer is good, but does not totally clear up the question. How is it possible to conciliate a formal and empty U Principle with the real situation of discussion? Apel and Habermas answer saying that each member of the discussion group has to take his own private, concrete and historic interest and try to universalize it. If he can, then it is ethical. If he can not, then it is against Ethics. The defenders of Discourse Ethics make the passage between Universal and Private by experiment. Like the Chemists who, when they still do not know what substance they are working with, do empirical experiments, Apel and Habemas order us to do a moral experiment. They never say what I just said in these words. Probably they would be furious with me. But it is like that, and only like that that it works. We only know what should be when we do the universalization experiment. Ethics is experimentation.
The passage from the universal to the private and vice-versa, from the private to the universal is a problem which always appears when one follows a dualist system. Aristotle, Kant, Apel and Habermas are dualists. And that poses a problem which I think has no solution. In a monist system, like that which is being proposed here, there is not a non-conciliated opposition between material and spirit, between particular and universal. The monist system consists exactly in the conciliation of these opposite poles. The material world has always been in its intimate somewhat spiritual. The Individual and the Particular are just cuts which one makes within the Universal.
The Universal is being thought of here as a Concrete Universal. This is the real starting point, this is the larger set from which we make the cut which we then call the Individual and Private. What exists in fact is not an abstract and rachitic universal concept removed from its original texture, but a Concrete Universal, which can be taped and filmed, the joint action of many men in their work and speaking relationships. There, there inside, appear the Signs, which give rhythm to the actions and which are constitutive parts of the concrete whole in which they are inserted. Like the beats of the drum are integral parts of a bigger whole, the music of the group, the Signs give rhythm to the action groups of which they are part. These are the Concrete signs which remit to a Totality that is present; they are pars in toto. When we remove the signs from their concrete context, when we send a signal, not within all that is present, but out of it, then the signals are pars pro toto, they still point to a Totality but the pointed Totality in itself is no longer present. The Concrete Sign is transformed and becomes an Abstract Sign. The Abstract Sign is only understood if and when the listener has the capacity to remember the original Totality from which the Signal was an integral part and to which it still remits. What are the consequences of this? That which we call Universal day-by-day - after Ockam - is just an abstract signal. This signal, the Abstract Universal, is in excluding opposition with the individual only in the first moment, at first sight. Then Dialectics comes in and a conciliation of opposites is made, and we realize that on a higher plane Universal and Individual are identical. In the Concrete Universal there is no more excluding opposition between Universal and Individual, there is conciliation.
Therefore the problem of the passage between universal, particular and individual, that is insoluble in dualist systems, is so resolved in monist Dialectics. And on top of that we understand that in order to grasp the meaning of one concept, of an abstract signal, we have to know how to reinsert it in the concrete totality where it has its complete meaning. To know a concept is to know how to use it. Wittgenstein in this was right.

9. Reward and Punishment
All good action is in itself its own reward. It is coherent with itself, with its near and remote Environment. It is coherent and because of this presents no conflicts. Neither internal nor external. That is why a good action feels good. It is happy and knows it is happy. A bad action on the other hand, has no coherence. It is in conflict either with itself or with its Environment. In a bad action there is always conflict. That is why, feeling the conflict, it feels endangered, it feels bad. It is its own punishment. - Reward and punishment at first are just the other side of the goodness or badness of an action.
Many times the coherence or incoherence is not something immediate. Many times it is not dealing with an internal contradiction or with a contradiction with the immediate Environment, but with a type of coherence which is more distant, in space and principally in time. It deals here with a mediate coherence with the Environment. - There are substances which barely put in one’s mouth cause pain or cause one to feel bad. There are other substances which at first seem okay, but later on, the next day, cause a bad feeling or hangover. There are still other substances - like tobacco - which only cause the bad effects or pain after a long time. The structure of reward and punishment is really, deep down, the same. But the distances increase as in concentric circles. Ethical is the attitude of the person who knows how to anticipate the conflicts coming from a remote or future incoherence, who looks for the coherence and this way does not enter in conflict. He who is not ethic, he who enters into the incoherence, sooner or later the contradiction catches and punishes him. The punishment then comes from inside the action itself, only later. To smoke twenty cigarettes a day is an evil which after some time, sometimes a very long time, becomes its own punishment. In summary: Good rewards itself, Evil punishes itself.
The old ones knew that the Good and the Evil at times took entire generations to happiness or disgrace. Today we find this unjust. After all, what is the guilt of this poor individual? There is not, possibly, individual guilt in him; but the guilt of the collective remains. The Germans, after World War II, realized that there is something like a collective guilt. The Jewish, the primitive Christians, the Arabs, the Orientals, still have traces of this ample concept of Collective Good and Evil, of Collective Reward and Punishment. We, the modern heirs of Descartes’ Solipsism and Leibnitz’s monads, just see individuals, we see just the Individual and the Abstract Universal. That is why we do not understand how and why Good and Evil, Reward and Punishment do not only inhabit in the Individual, but permeate generations, pass through whole peoples, creating extremely complex structures of Collective Good Will, of Collective Guilt, or Evil Feeling which we can no longer understand. This happens because we became stupid, closed up in our extremely narrow individualities. Whoever thinks correctly thinks of the Universal as a Concrete Universal, knows that Good rewards itself, Evil punishes itself. If not in a short time, then in the long run. If not in the specific individual, then in the social texture of the group. This is where the necessity of having a State and a Law of the State appears.

10. The State and Politics
Since coherence is not always immediate, since Reward and Punishment sometimes come much later, it is necessary to institute the State and the Law of the State. If an individual in his contingent historicity does not realize that a determined action is going to eventually enter in conflict; if the individual does not pay attention to incoherences because they are remote and because the punishment will not touch him directly, then it is necessary that Society, a group of men in a collective decision for the Common Good of all make the Law and with the Law the Punishment for all those who disobey the Law.
The State is the Concrete Universal in which the ethical Should-Be of many individual men is elevated to the statute of a Collective Should-Be, external and superior to the individual men, in which the will of each one is combined with the will of all the others in a General Will. The State is the Individual that now knows himself as a Concrete Universal. The Law is the Should-Be that now, for some, children and idiots, starts to be something that is just external. The Law is in the Concrete Universal of a Society, what Custom was in the Family, what the ethicity of good action is in the Individual. The State is just the other side of the coin, the universal face, of Ethics itself. That is why Politics has to be Ethical. That is why Ethics upon developing and solidifying itself in its exterioriority becomes Politics. There are no ruptures nor mysteries.


1. What is Justice?
Good is that which in the kingdom of liberty, that is, of the free decisions of man, is in coherence with itself, with its near Environment as well as with its total Environment which is remote. Evil is that which contains some incoherence. Good, according to the Coherence Principle, is that which should be. Evil is that which should not be. Both distinguish themselves from each other because they are or are not coherent. The First Principle of Ethics is the same Principle which is there in the beginning of Logic, the Principle of Contradiction to Be Avoided, or the Principle of Coherence. In Ethics this Principle takes the form of Kant’s Categorical Imperative or Habermas’ U Principle: Ethical is that which has the capacity to be universalized.
Good exists in many forms, or as the Greeks say, in the form of many virtues. Virtues are for the Greeks, for example, Knowledge, Courage, Temperance, Justice etc. The cast of virtues varies from one author to another, but one virtue always assumes an uneven position: Justice. In Plato there are four cardinal virtues. Three of them correspond to the three parts of the soul and the three professional groups of the State. Temperance corresponds to the concupiscent soul and the professional group of the farmers, craftsmen and merchants who deal with the material necessities of the citizens, like habitation and food; temperance orders and disciplines the desires and pleasures, saying which are ethically good and which are bad. Courage, the second of the cardinal virtues, corresponds to the irascible soul and the professional group of the warriors who defend the State; the warrior, who has to be meek and strong at the same time, takes care of the State and defends it from its external enemies. Knowledge, the third of the cardinal virtues, corresponds to the intellectual soul and the professional group of the governing bodies, which, because they know and contemplate the Supreme Good, have the capacity to order the State and give the final word about what should or should not be done, what is Good and what is Evil. Up to now, everything is in a close correlation. There are three virtues, there are three parts of the soul, there are three professional groups of the State. But Plato adds one more to these three, Justice, the fourth and most ample of the cardinal virtues. Justice does not correspond, in a specific way, to any part of the soul nor to any of the classes that make up the Polities. Justice is more ample than the other three cardinal virtues, it surpasses them, it is common to them and serves as their base and foundation. Is justice the first and most important of the virtues? At least at first it seems to be. It is in the State, the Ideal State, that Justice is completely realized. But what is Justice? Is it the Supreme Good per chance?
Aristotle also has a doubt. Justice is a chapter, among others, in the Nicomachean Ethics. Is it a virtue among others? Or is it the queen of virtues? With the beginning of Christianity the doubt of the Greeks is nullified in favor of Charity. Justice is an important virtue but not the most important. Above all the natural virtues are the theological virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity. According to the Christian tradition the queen of all virtues is Charity. Charity presupposes Justice but goes beyond it. That is how Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and the medieval classics thought. But the question continues without an answer: What is Justice?
Justice is to give each one what he deserves, Suum cuique, the Romans, who in this way summarize the doubts and perplexities of the tradition before theirs, say. Justice is doing that which is just. Tautology, here, at first sight, is not enlightening. After all, what is just? Just, since the beginnings of our civilization, is the action and attitude of the man who considers the other man as being an equal. Just is the division of harvested fruit or the animal slaughtered in the hunt, if and when the division is done in equal parts. Just is the prize, if for the candidates of equal merit there are equal rewards. Just is the punishment that is equal if the crimes are equal. Justice is equity. Equity deep down is the ethical counterpart of the Principle of Identity which in Logic has the form A=A. Justice is the equal situation between men that corresponds to the Reflex Identity in Logic. Law is just if it is the same for everyone. Man and his action are just, if and when the other man is considered as an equal and not as different. Justice is this. All this and only this. Very rich and very good. Justice is like that, it has two faces.

2. Identity, Equality and Equity
Justice is very rich and very ample, because all men are equal by Law. The Law is the same for everyone. Justice is very poor and very restricted, because some men are, by contingencies of Nature well endowed from birth; such men are rich from birth. Many others are by contingencies of Nature poorly endowed. these are poor from birth. Many times it is not Nature, many times it is men themselves that engender in their interpersonal relationships the difference between rich and poor. You just need to open your eyes to see this. Here, right here, a great temptation appears. It is a temptation to say that the Laws that rule the concrete and historic State, in which we live and in which there are such differences, are completely wrong. It is a temptation to say that these Laws are unjust, that it was these Laws that provoked poverty, that the Laws should be changed in order to implant Justice, in such a way that all men become exactly the same. Is that right? Yes, and No.
The confusion here causes a Great Temptation. This Great Temptation comes since the communities of the first Christians, passing through the monks that inhabited the desert, then through the vow of poverty of the great religious orders of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, through Proudhon’s socialism, through Karl Marx and through the various types of Marxism and communism, through the hippie communities some decades ago, until the social question which continues, among us, without solution. Whoever thinks a bit realizes that to be Justice the difference between the rich and the poor can not be accepted as it is now. And the thinkers, who are ethic and want to act ethically, identify themselves with the poor. If there are poor, then we also want to be poor. If there are poor, we want to be the same as them. Then there are the communitarian and equalitarian societies, from the first Christians until the hippies of love and peace. Then there is the strong identification of the socialists and communists with the class of those who at the time were the poorest, with the working class. And that is how the confusion is made. Because, as wisemen and scoundrels know, only uppity intellectuals would like to be poor. He who is poor, really poor, wants to become rich. To establish equality on the lower side, by the base, by the miserable ones means to transform poverty into a great ethic value. Poverty is not any value, it is a social evil which is the result of ethically perverse actions. Poverty, that is misery, is not a virtue but an evil to be avoided. Wisemen and scoundrels know this. And why don’t they talk about it? The scoundrels are not interested in telling, the wisemen many times do not know how to express themselves. As you see, we then remain with no practical nor theoretical solution that is satisfactory. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the breaking up of the so called World of Real Socialism were historic marks that closed the mouth of some extremist politicians and many thinkers, Dialecticians yes, but poor in critical substance. Marxism as a deterministic theory of History and as a practical recipe to end poverty and injustice finished, most recently, with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It finished, much before, since Horckheimer and Adorno in Germany, since Satre, Castoriadis and Lefort in France criticized it from the inside out. But poverty in practice still continues, and therefore also the Temptation continues in Theory.
Temptation, the Great Temptation, consists in thinking that since all men are equal according to Law, they should be equal in everything. Men should be equal according to Law. Yes, according to Law and Justice all men are equal. But Justice, although it is ample, does not include everything, it does not include all aspects of human life, it does not affect all the relationships between people. Justice, although rich and ample is poor because it does not determine all the social relationships in all their smallest details. The virtue of Justice, equity, the absolute symmetry of the relationships of the Equal to its Equal, although extremely important, is not always the criteria to be applied to gauge the Should-Be into a determinate action. A fortiori is not the highest criteria.
The relationship of Master and Disciple here again serves as the conductive thread. The just teacher is that who on the exam applies the same criteria of evaluation for all the students, not considering favorites or friendships. On the exam the teacher should be extremely just. Consequently, in the exam situation, all the students are exactly the same and should be measured with the same parameters. During exams there should not be didactic incentive but justice. During the learning period, however, incentive is indispensable. The professor, out of the exam situation, can and should treat different students in different ways. Here there are incentives. That is what the pedagogic Eros consists of: Treating unequally those who are unequal so that they can come to equality in excellence. - But, one moment, is there justice in this? Where is Justice? Justice is not always applied, Justice is not always the criteria of the Should-Be. Between husband and wife, between parents and children, between friends Justice is not the most important criteria to distinguish Good from Evil. On the contrary, the Should-Be in such situations is dictated by virtues other than justice. The husband who wanted to lay, equally - to be just - with all women, and the woman who wanted to have sex, equally, will all are not the paradigm of matrimonial virtues. They are not? Why not? Does justice not require that we treat all as being equals? It is here, in this equivocation, that the curious constructions come in like the equalitarian and communist society of the primitive Christians, the vows of poverty and the celibate life of the monks, general love which being equal for all, impedes and excludes the private love for one determined person, the libertinism which exists between some chiliasts, the free love between anarchists, communists and hippies, the open marriage defended by some intellectuals in the beginning of our century, as well as others. In all the cases we are dealing with the same question: Does justice not require that everyone always be treated as equal? The answer is clear: Not always, not in everything. There are differences among men, they exist by Nature, and this difference, in principle, is good and can exist as long as it does not impede Justice. And here is where the decisive question that many times stays without an answer appears: Where is it that equality is the criteria of the Should-Be, that is, where is it that there should be Justice? And where can there be unequality? In a more exact and harder way: Where can there be unequality without having injustice? This is the question.
In pure theory the answer is simple and well founded. Justice corresponds, in Ethics, to that which in Logic is known as the Principle of Reflex Identity: A = A. Nobody doubts that this Principle is important, that it is valid in Logic. The Logics of Identity take root and are fundamented here. Except that in Logic, we all know that this principle is not always valid, that it is not valid for everything. In Logic it is necessary to also admit the Principle of Difference next to the Principle of Identity. Without this, the universe would be reduced to tautology A = A. Well, there is a large variety of things. Besides A, there is B, C, D etc. Then the Identity Principle is not always valid, it is not always applicable, under all aspects, to everything. What is valid for all things, including for the New that emerges with no prejacent reason, is the Principle of Coherence. Identity does not impede Difference; both can and should coexist under the egis of Coherence. Identity corresponds to Justice, difference corresponds to Liberty which the Individual has to be Different. What does Coherence correspond to? We do not have a proper term to designate this. Maybe we have to create a new expression: The Ethics of Human Rights. Why Ethics? Why Human Rights?

3. Justice and Human Rights
A society which wanted to implement the ideal of Justice in everything, or, a society in which the equalitarism was taken to the last consequences would be something monstrous. All men would be the same in everything. All the totalitarian States walked in this direction. Everyone would be the same in everything: House, clothes, food, habits, gestures, thoughts, preferences. In such a State the Individual is annihilated. In our century we have seen where this takes us to. We know in theory that this is wrong because the Difference, the second great Principle of the whole system, is simply eliminated. Such an elimination of Difference is impossible and is wrong in Logic as well as in Nature, and also in Spirit. The Totalitarian State and the closed Society which this presupposes are in theory a great mistake, in practice a horror. Karl Popper was right here.
But isn’t the society contaminated by injustice also a horror? Isn’t it, in theory, incurring in error? Of course. Whoever knows this country where we live can not even pretend that this is a just world. And then we return to the question: When should the criteria of Justice be applied, or rather that of Equality, and when should Difference be permitted as good? The answer to this direct and simple question is very difficult in practice. In theory, the answer is easy: Men, upon instituting the State of Law and upon defining by Positive Law what is just and what is not, should respect the Minimal Rights of Man. Among the Rights of Man are the Right to be treated as a Citizen equal to all the other Citizens, on the same level as the right of being Different in all that does not affect the Citizenship. Identity as well as Difference belong to the Basic Rights of each Man. The equalitarian capacity of being a Citizen equal to all the other Citizens, and the liberty of being able to be different from the others in everything else, this is the conciliation of contrary ideas that functions here as synthesis. The State, upon being instituted, needs to define what belongs to the Citizenship, that is, the ambit in which all should be the same, and that which is the space of individual liberty, that is the ambit of Difference. By defining these limits in the Institution and Constitution of the State the citizen should introduce into the sphere of Equality and Justice the Minimal Human Rights, which are the minimum possible conditions of man as a free and responsible agent.
As we know, this does not happen yet. But, the conscience of which are the Minimal Rights of Man is evolving in the History of our Civilization in such a way as to include more and more elements. We are, happily, becoming more and more Citizens, that is more civilized. But to Be a Citizen means only to be equal in the face of the Law, in face of that which is put in the statute of Law; this does not mean that men should be equal in everything. To deprive a man of his individual liberty is a crime against the Human Rights as serious as the crime of emptying the Citizenship, that is, the ambit of that in which all men in the State are Equal. Can we draw even more exact limits between the Citizenship of Equals and Individual Freedom? Yes, in real life it is the citizens, through their representatives and parliament members, who should define the outlines of the Sate, therefore of the Citizenship that should be. At this level of details, Philosophy shuts up and lets the politician speak, or, for those who desire, the Philosopher becomes a Politician.

4. The Institution and Constitution of the State
The men make the State. At a specific moment in the History of Evolution the men sitting down in front of the fire discussed as equals and deliberated to make the State. The States are made, they are instituted, they are constructed. The States are in History. They are there where Free and Equal men institute Justice and Law as a common denominator that brings them together and unifies in acting together. The design of the State, or the size of the State, corresponds to the decision which was made together: This here is Law and holds true equally for everyone, that there is the space of individual liberty. The State is a social construction - self-founding and self-founded - in which Justice is incarnated and transformed into Law.
Before being the State, there was already the Ancient Family. And in the Family there were already traces of that which we call Justice. The Father should treat the children, in certain circumstances, as all being equal. This happened for sure. Already in the ambit of the Family there were equalitarian relationships between Husband and Wife, Parents and Children. Man and woman as human beings are absolutely equal. Without it there is no justice. Feminists are right in this respect. But Man and Woman as genders are different: each one to his own manner. This difference cannot and should not be destroyed. Between Man and Woman, genders, between Parents and Children, the relationships are first of all complementary and only secondarily of equality. Being complementary is on the first level, equality which today nobody can nor wants to deny. This fades away on a second level. In the Family, Justice, implicit and not developed, already exists. But the Parity of Equal to Equal is not a determining characteristic of the Family structure. As similar as they may be, Parents and Children are different. The difference between an Adult and a Child is a registered mark of this relationship. Between Father and Mother, between Man and Woman, the equality only has a meaning when conceived together with difference. Vive la difference! the Post-Moderns say nowadays in France. On this point they are right. If the difference goes to a second level, and the equality comes to the first level, then the Family disappears and other grouping forms appear like the State and the Civil Society.
Man, member of the Family and citizen of the State, simultaneously lives in three worlds. He, alone inside himself, in the solitude of his conscience, is pure Identity and Equality. He is identical to himself, he is equal to himself. In the Family man is lost and upon losing himself in the other refinds himself. But he finds himself again as the Other, being unequal to himself. In the Family Man loves the other, and he who loves is always getting lost. It is the Other who lives, not I. The I that in the family becomes We almost loses itself in this alterity. In the family structure the You, that is altruism, acquires a primate over the I. It is not justice, the equality of rights, that is in first plane; it is the filia. In the State the symmetry is reestablished and man again finds himself as equal to himself. Identity, Difference, and Identity again, a new Identity already mediated now, an Identity which passed through Difference and returned to itself.
Just like the State historically instituted itself at a certain moment in time, the same happened to the Constitution, the Magna Carta, which positively determines which are the Human Rights and which is the sphere of individual liberty of each Citizen. Justice as a virtue of the Pairs and Equals permeates all life, but it does not determine everything in all the smallest details. The existing interstices between the rules which lay the beams for the structure are the spaces for individual liberty. Without rules there are no interstices, without interstices there are no rules. Without Laws there are no Freedoms, without Freedoms there are no Laws. In theory everything is simple, clear and easy. In practice, as we know, the difficulties are great.

5. Democracy as the only form of Government
Greek Philosophers very early in the History of our culture, realized that it is very important to clearly define what the form of government that makes Justice and Citizenship bloom is. There are various forms of government. Government made by only one man is Monarchy, the Government of Only One. Government formed by a group made up of some men who are supposed to be excellent in virtue and knowledge, is Aristocracy, the Government of the Best. The government done by the action of everyone together is Democracy, the Government of All.
Plato spent all his life worrying about this. Which is the best form of government. Which is the form of government which takes one to Justice? The Republic as well as The Laws have exactly this question as their central theme. Plato hesitates and is at first inclined to the Government of the Best, to Aristocracy. The State, he says, should be run by those who understand the subject, or, by those who know how to govern. Who knows how to govern? He who knows the difference between what is just and what is unjust, he who knows the difference between Good and Evil. Who is this man, who knows better than the others what the Supreme Good is? The Philosopher, Plato answers. That is why the State should be governed by the Philosophers. Here Plato’s aristocratic concept of the Philosopher King appears.
Is this foolishness? Yes, it is. But not so much. If we are on an airplane, 40,000 feet in the air, flying 600 miles per hour, and the stewardess, pale, tells us on the speaker that the pilot unfortunately died, what do we do? We hope that the copilot is competent. But what if the stewardess, still paler, adds the copilot also died from the shock. What do we do? We hope that there in the back, half asleep, there is a man with some gray hair, with a small black bag, one of those old pilots who after flying his turn is returning to his base. If this in fact is true, then there is no problem. Someone competent, someone experienced someone who knows what he is doing, will take control of the plane and without blinking, without problems will take us to the secure land of the nearest airport. But isn’t this against Democracy? The stewardess, in a situation like this, does she not need to call a general assembly of the passengers in order to decide what the best thing to do is in order to put the plane under government, under control? Before calling the pilot on a flight back to base should the stewardess not call a General Assembly? Doesn’t Democracy require this? Isn’t the stewardess taking away our Rights of Citizenship? No, she is not. In real life the stewardess would not even inform the passengers about the pilot and copilot’s death. She would go directly, immediately to ask for help from the old experienced pilot sleeping in his seat in the back of the plane. Democracy and General Assembly, in such cases, no way. - This is all Plato. Except he did not speak about airplanes of course, but about ships. A ship lost in a storm, without a pilot, what do we do? Do we call a General Assembly? Do we have a Democratic Discussion? No, we do not. In this case we should find the one who knows how to pilot a ship. Aristocracy in these cases is better than Democracy. It does not help to discuss in assembly and vote if only a few know what to do. And even having an Assembly, who is chosen and designated for the job? The one who knows what to do. Then why do we need an Assembly? For nothing, the assembly is dispensable, and consequently the Democracy is also dispensable.
The short circuit that exists in this reasoning consists of omitting a link in the chain. It is only in the General Assembly that one discovers who really knows what to do, and then it is only the general Assembly that can legitimately designate this possesor of governing knowledge. Because it is only like that, through the Assembly, that is through Democracy, that we know who is what. Since the knowledge is not only a priori, since the knowledge is not just a gift of Nature, it is necessary that the choice of form of Government be adequate to what we are: Beings that self-determine as free individuals and that also self-determine as State. Democracy is, for this reason, the only form of ethically correct government. It is only in it that men self-determine themselves as Citizens and as being free. The other forms of government, Monarchy and Oligarchy are ethically legitimate only when they incorporate in themselves the Democracy: Constitutional Monarchy, like there is today in Holland and Sweden, and Collegiate Government, Democratic Oligarchy, like in Switzerland.
But the Great Temptation continues and at times it whispers in our ear: Why the Democratic Assembly if the Good Thinker, alone, knows better what to do? And there is the mistake. We only know what is best through the ample and democratic discussion, or rather, in Assembly. Only through Assemblies will we really know who the Good Thinker is. The knowledge is only partially a priori; to this it is necessary to add the a posteriori knowledge, including that a posteriori that emerges in the Democratic Assembly. Ethicity, or rather, the capacity that a private interest has to be universalized, this we only discover by doing the Real Discourse in which all, equal among equals, present their reasons. In this point Habermas is completely right. But the temptation of thinking that I alone know what is best for everyone, this temptation remains with all it fallacious promises.
That is why all the peoples in all the cultures, even after the invention of Democracy by the Greeks in Athens, continue having political fallbacks and go back to instituting non-democratic governments. Tyranny, Absolute Monarchy, Dictatorships are forms of government which, under one pretext or another, abandon Democracy - so slow, so time consuming, so complex, at first sight so incompetent - and appeal to a pseudo-solution, appeal to non-democratic forms of government. This is completely wrong, but it is understandable; there is no justification, but there is an explanation for this. Democracy, the only form of government that permits the complete self-organization of the People and therefore permits and respects the self-determination of the Free Man, is something really complex. The I has to think of himself as the concentric circles which appear when one throws a stone in still water of a lake. I am the first circle that appears, but I am also the second, the third, and so on, until the I reaches cosmic dimensions. The I, which is the individual I, is also my Family, is also my people, I am everything, I am all the Universe. The so called Mystics always said this. They were Neoplatonic thinkers. Today the good ecologists say this, sometimes afraid to sound like idiots. It is right, very right. It deals with the dynamic of the I which, besides being the Individual being, is also always a Universal. But it is a Concrete Universal, a Family, a Society, a State, which we can point to with our finger. We are not dealing with a Universal Abstract, with a mere signal taken - abs-tractum - out of context, but a Concrete Universal that only exists and realizes itself when we, in fact, live and realize it. That is why, deep down, very deep down, the only ethical form of Government is Democracy.

6. The Parliamentary Representation
Democracy is made by speaking that is by parliamenting. The inventors of Democracy, the Greeks from Athens, made up a not very numerous group of men and Democracy then occurred naturally. The Citizens on certain dates met in Assembly and decided what to do, doing what the majority wanted. Pericles tells us, in one of the most beautiful texts of our Tradition, how the citizens discussed, planned and decided together about the life in the Polis. The theory was perfect. Democracy was right. Because there was a small number of citizens the Assembly could deliberate about everything; it did not need the Parliament, an institution invented later on.
In practice, Greek Democracy was full of problems. Not everything was perfect. The Citizenship was not extended to the women, the foreigners or the slaves. And the Athens Democracy was fragile and transitory. How could such a correct institution last such a short time? Shouldn’t what is right be something long lasting which would exhibit its truth by staying? Right is that which is in Universal Coherence in the long run. And Democracy comes, always re-emerging and imposing itself. The Coherence is not something that is ready and finished, we must construct it in the logical discussion as well as in the State. And it is for this reason that Democracy, although complex in its structure and slow in its reactions, is the only ethically correct form of government.
When the number of citizens increases, the Assembly becomes more difficult and slower. At this stage of development it is necessary that we introduce the Parliament. Parliament is the place where one parla (speaks), where the political discourse is done. Parlamentarians are those that actively participate.
Since not all the citizens can always be present and active in all the deliberations, the figure of the Parliamentary Politician was instituted into the Assembly. This re-presents, a group of citizens in the Parliament. The individual citizen, in the parliamentary institution, transfers his voice and voting power to the Political Representative in his place. The Representative speaks in the name of the citizens that are represented by him; he holds an office. His duty, in the Parliament, consists of mediating between a private group of Citizens and the General Will that includes Everyone’s interests. The Representative, if he does what he should, is just an incarnation of the citizens who he represents in the Parliament room. He should listen, speak and especially cooperate in order to make up the General Will that is the spinal cord of Democracy, the State, and Justice. Never more nor less than this. That is why the parliamentarians should be legitimately elected. That is why the elections for choosing the Representatives should obey a certain regularity in order for there to be legitimate representation, for the citizen to really feel present in the Political Discourse that makes the laws of the State.

7. The Participative Budget
In this Very Loyal and Valorous City of Porto Alegre we have been implementing, during the last few years, a wonderful form of doing the mediation, in political life, between the Private person and the Universal: the so called Participative Budget. The common citizen continues having his representatives, the city councilmen, in the Municipal Council, who correspond to the Assembly of Citizens of the Democratic State. Besides being represented by the city councilman elected democratically, the citizen can be present in meetings done in each neighborhood, where the local problems are discussed and ranked. The citizen of Porto Alegre, in the recent years, has been able to participate actively and personally in the budget decisions of his city. To be able to, there is just a matter of wanting. Does it work? Yes, it does. In the meetings in each neighborhood the open discussion and democratic spirit are surpassing the obstacles. The introduction of the popular consultation through the computer, already promised here, is advertising radical changes in the forms of political representation. Democracy is becoming more and more real. Will it last? I hope so. Enough barbarism


1. The Force of Destiny
The Greeks believed in Destiny. It was Destiny that ran the lives of men and determined the course of History with an iron hand. Pitia, priest in the temple of Apollo in Delphi, inspired by the steam coming from inside the earth, said what the future would bring. The oracle, for the Greeks, said what was going to happen. Man could try to resist, many times he resisted, but the force of Destiny always won in the end. Whoever is wise does not resist Destiny, but gives himself up to it.
The Greek Tragedy deals exactly with this contradiction between the will of the individual man and Destiny which from above runs everything. The case of King Oedipus shows what happens when man in his craziness thinks he can resist Destiny. Laius was the King of Thebes, Jocasta, was his wife. The Oracle told Laius that he should never have children, because if he did the afflictions and punishments would be great. The son he conceived would kill him, his father, and marry his mother, Jocasta. But Laius and Jocasta, despite the warnings of the prophecy, conceived a son. In order to avoid the evil predicted by the Oracle, the son is then abandoned by his parents and left in the wilderness for the wolves to eat. But a shepherd found the child and gave him to another shepherd as a gift, who then gave the child to the King of Corinth, who, not having sons, called him Oedipus and educated him as his own son. Oedipus, abandoned son of the King of Thebes, is raised as the son of the King of Corinth. But he does not know this, he thinks he is a legitimate son. When a stranger, coming for a party reveals that he is not the legitimate son of the King of Corinth, Oedipus has a crisis. He who has a crisis and does not know what to do should consult the Oracle of Delphi. Oedipus consults Pitia who says that he should avoid the presence of his father, because upon seeing him, he is going to kill him, to kill his father, to later marry his mother. Frightened, Oedipus avoids returning to Corinth to not see his father. He goes to Thebes. Upon entering Thebes Oedipus is offended and attacked by a nobleman who is also going to the city with his entourage. Offended and attacked, Oedipus reacts and kills the one who insulted him. He does not know it, but he had just killed his real father. Oedipus then goes to Thebes and ends up marrying Jocasta, his mother. When a fortune teller, much later, told him that he had killed his father and married his mother, Oedipus, who wanted to be a just man, tried to discover the whole truth. And he verified that everything the fortune teller had said was true. Oedipus, then, gauged out his eyes. Had he not been blind the whole time? Had he not gone against Destiny? You do not play with Destiny. Murderer of his father, husband of his mother, blind in both eyes, Oedipus, who only wanted good, got caught up in the web that Destiny had weaved. Does Destiny exist? Is there a hidden meaning in the events of History?
The Greeks thought so. So did the Romans. Until today there is among us Latin Americans, remote inheritors of the legionaries of the Roman Empire that stayed guarding the far away Iberia, an old saying: Fata voluntem ducunt, nolentem trahunt. Fate conducts those who deliver themselves, but drag those who intend to resist. Why resist, if Destiny wins in the end? Is it not better to give oneself up to Destiny right away? That is what our Roman ancestors did in remote Iberia. This Roman fatalism was then sharpened by the fatalism of the Arabs who conquered part of the Iberian peninsula. Double dose of fatalism, fatalism on fatalism. Our ancestors were impregnated with fatalism to the bottom of their soul. Christianity with its All Powerful God, which runs and administers everything with its Divine Providence, did not alleviate the situation very much. After all, it is not us, but Divine Providence that writes History: God writes the right things through crooked lines. Even when we men make the lines quite crooked, God, with its Divine Providence straightens them again and writes things right. It is not us, but God who writes history. Then when the Portuguese and Spaniards discovered the New World, and in mixing with the native Indians, began that which we are, Fatalism continued being the a ruling line of our culture. We Brazilians, we Latin-Americans are inheritors of the Iberian fatalism which comes from the fatalism of the Greeks, Romans and Arabs. That is why, in our History we stay inert, without action, without reaction so frequently. All of this which happens has already been written and determined. Why act, if everything is already predetermined? The Destiny of the Greeks, the fate of the Romans and the That which is written of the Arabs, the predetermination of the Christians, this is the cultural broth that we inherited and which explains, at least partially, why the development of Latin America is so different from that of North America.

2. The Logic Necessitarianism
Behind this necessitarian conception of the world that we inherited from the Greeks and Romans under the name of fatalism, there is a clear and simple philosophical thesis: Everything is necessary. All the events of History are linked to each other in a necessary way, making a network of nexus in which the things happen in a inexorable succession. I, you, we, who are finite, maybe we do not know which necessary nexus there is between the events, but such a nexus does exist. This is the central thesis of Logical Determinism, defended by Diodoros Chronos, for example.
As the name itself says, this determinist conception of the world is based on Logic, to be more exact, on the idea of logic truth itself. A well-formed proposition is always true or false. Either true or false, Non datur tertium. Well, the proposition Tomorrow will occur a naval battle is a well formed proposition, with an appropriate subject and predicate. Therefore, this proposition is either true or false. That is, today, the day before, what will happen tomorrow is fixed and determined. What is going to happen tomorrow is a logical consequence of a truth that is already fixed and determined today, even though we - finite cognitive subjects - perhaps still do not know it. We are dealing here with just a deficit of knowledge. We, contingent beings, do not know the whole reality. The reality is totally determined within itself; it consists of the necessary nexus between necessary events. This is the theory of Logic Determinism.
Aristotle, in Peri Hermeneias, went round and round to escape this trap. After all, isn’t a logical law which says that a well formed proposition is always either true or false valid? Aristotle vacillates. Thomas Aquinas, commenting on Aristotle’s text, answers firmly: The Law of the Bipolarity of the Value of Truth of the well formed propositions is always valid, except as related to the future contingents. The propositions are always either true or false, except when dealing with future contingencies. The Law is valid, but an enormous space for exceptions is opened. And how do we know that it is a future contingency and not a necessary future? Thomas Aquinas does not answer.
The Logic Necessitarianism, rooted in the structure of the predication itself, is the necessitarian fountainhead from which emerged the religious fatalism and conception of Destiny which marked our culture so deeply. The mistake became patent. The Law of the Bipolarity of the Value of Truth of the well formed propositions is not an totaly universal law; it is not always true. Whoever makes a mistake in this respect and thinks that the propositions are either true or false, enters a logical and ontological system which is strictly necessitarian. Whoever gets into this web of necessities, which supposedly encompass all the universe, can not get out. - But after all, is the world a web of necessities? Or is there contingency in the world? Whoever affirms that there are just necessities radically denies the contingency of things. What really happens necessarily has to happen. There is not, in this hypothesis, the factuality of the things, just the necessity. What we think to be facticity is in fact just a necessity which we have not yet understood and recognized as such. Contingency and facticity, according to this necesitarian way of thinking, are just a momentary deficit of knowledge.
Such a theory, on affirming what is not obvious, on the contrary, affirming which is against common sense, has the burden of proof. And proof does not exist. More, whoever affirms that all the universe is just a web of necessities and that the supposed contingency of things is just a deficit in our knowledge is denying the possibility of free choice, of liberty of the human being, of the moral responsibility, of Law and Justice. More, whoever wishes to defend the Necessitarianism in a systematic and consequent form goes into performative contradiction and has to abandon the group of argumentative discussion. Why argue if the others necessarily have the ideas of the facts that they have? The fact that we seriously discuss something shows that there is necessity on one side and also contingency on the other. The argument against Necessitarianism is clear and decisive. Whoever defends Necessitarianism can not even seriously argue in favor of it without entering into a performative contradiction. But logical temptation - Who says there are no logical temptations? - continues to sing its siren’s song. Not opposing the argument shown above, the sub-replica idea that propositions are always either true or false, that the world is ruled by some law, hidden, but inexorable, that there is a Destiny that directs and determines everything continues to flower in the conscience. This is a mistake, an ancient mistake, which comes from the Greeks and Romans, which deeply affected our culture. This is not true.

3. Philosophical Necessitarianism
Logical Necessitarianism soon becomes Philosophical Necessitarianism, or - the same thing under another name - Systematic Necessitarianism, under the protection of Plato, Plotinus and Proclus. It is not just Logic that is necessitarian, all Neoplaotnic Philosophy turns into a web of necessary nexus. All the things as well as all the events are linked in a great chain. One link is connected to the other two, one in front and one in back. All the nexus between the various links are absolutely necessary. The universe, in this necessitarian conception, is a necessary development in which everything is preprogrammed (im-plicatio) in the initial egg from which all things unfold (ex-plicatio). In this conception of the world, one assumes that the whole universe is contained in this first beginning, in this initial egg. The universe was placed in the initial egg all folded up; it is implicatum. The folds, the plicae, come out of this initial seed. The unfolding of these folds, which are implicit in the initial egg, happen in an inexorable manner. From the egg only comes what was contained within it: The explicitation of what is already implicit. The process of development is thought out, then, as an inexorable process in which everything happens in a necessary manner. In this process there is no contingency; there is no chance. That is why there is no space for alternatives of action that could be equally possible. And that is why there can not be a free decision between equally real alternatives. That is why there is no space for free choice. If there is no space for liberty, there is no true responsibility for decisions made. If there is no real responsibility, the State must be authoritarian. The government has to be in the hands of someone who has the knowledge, or in modern language, to someone who has the know-how. Plato, Plotinus, and Proclus, great and virtuous thinkers who I admire so much, forgive me for the historic systematic context in which I am putting them. But the fact is that many types of totalitarianism have their roots in the Neoplatonic thinking. A small mistake in the beginning provoked a great mistake in the end, Parvus error in initio, magnus in fine, the Medieval said.
The Systematic Necessitarianism which we found as a rough draft in Plato and clearly outlined in Plotinus and Proclus provoked horrible political errors which they did not directly intend. The passage from Philosophic Necessitarianism to Political Necessitarianism is processed almost naturally: Only one who knows should govern. The ignorant mass can only be governed by someone who has the Knowledge. The ignorant mass really wants to be controlled by an iron hand. But a small step and we are facing a shocking conclusion: The ignorant mass really wants to be fooled (Is anyone per chance thinking about certain politicians which we still have in this country?). It is hard to say, but it is true: Stalinism with all its horror had its last roots in the Neoplatonic fountainhead. Stalin came from Lenin; who came from Marx, who came from Hegel, who came from Spinoza, who came from the medieval Neoplatonics, who came from Plotinus and Proclus, who came from Plato.
What is the mistake? The Philosophic Necessitarianism is. The Christian Fathers had already realized that the Neoplatonic Philosophy was faulty in the necessitarianism which in that way made liberty and responsibility impossible. Agostine, for example, spent all his life trying to conciliate Predetermination and Divine Providence with the free choice of man. He was not able to. Nicolaus Cusanus tried again, in vain, in the Middle Ages. Spinoza, the great Neoplatonic thinker of Modern Times, capitulated before the problem. Spinoza wants to write an Ethics, but the system which he produces is just a web of necessary relationships. Everything is necessary in Spinoza’s system. Contingency, according to Spinoza does not even exist. It is only a subjective mistake to be corrected by Philosophy. After Spinoza comes Hegel. As a general program of his Philosophy, Hegel intends to conciliate the Neoplatonic System with the concept of liberty that was elaborated by the medieval classics and summarized in Modern Times by Kant. Hegel, in the Preface of Phenomenology, tells us without any run around, exactly what he wants: To conciliate Spinoza’s Substance with Kant’s Free Subject. This is written there explicitly: The Great Problem consists in conciliating the Neoplatonic Project of the System with the really free Subject, in conciliating the Substance with the Free Subject. This is the great problem which Hegel deals with during his whole life. Who, according to Hegel, writes the Universal History? Is it Reason, or us who write History? Hegel looks for, hesitates, staggers and ends up giving in to the Great Force of Reason. It is Reason that writes History, he affirms. And what about us? Where do We come in? Well, we are rationaly legitimated only while we let us dissolve in the Universal Reason. In Hegel the Philosophic Determinism became a Determinism of History. Marx, in Hegel’s footsteps, inherits the same unsolved problem and repeats the same mistake, making it worse. In Marx, Necessitarianism becomes even stronger and clearer than in Hegel. The Marxists, soon afterwards, transformed the theoretical error into a great political error. The error then became multiplied. Stalinism and the so called popular democracies in which the Dictatorship of the Proletariat should make Justice and Law, was born in this way. For the Marxists all History was predetermined. The Revolution was inexorable and - great political naiveté - it had to be right. History, the Marxists of Porto Alegre said, rode the cable car. In Argentina they said that History rode the train. Cable car and train are vehicles which ride on preplaced tracks; all the way from the beginning it is predetermined. They spoke of the famous Laws of History and were sure that, also in practice, the theory would work out right. They were Neoplatonic philosophers and only repeated an error which had come from Ancient Times. All this passed, but it is important for us to understand the philosophic context which caused this so that our children and students do not repeat the mistake. It is a mistake which comes from way back, which began with the divine Plato and passing through Scotus Eriugena, Spinoza, Hegel, and Marx, got to our colleagues and friends of the left: Philosophic Necessitarianism which installed itself as Historic Necessitarianism.
Who pointed out the mistake? In Ancient times it was the Christian Fathers. In the Middle Ages the great Aristotelian thinkers, Albert Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Boaventura, Duns Scotus and William of Ockham, who realizing the necessitarian defect in the Neoplatonic system started to defend Aristotelism and especially the Aristotelian conception of free choice. At the end of the Middle Ages it was the English who gave form to the renewed conception of free choice and Political Philosophy. In Modern Times, then, the English Empirism and a Political Philosophy centered on the freedom of the Individual: from Hobbes to Hume and Locke appeared. In the German Idealism Schelling was the first to give emphasis to the mistake in the Necessitarian System. In his Lectures on Contemporary Philosophy, given at the University of Munich, Schelling pointed his finger to the great mistake made by Hegel: the pilfering of contingency. After Schelling almost all the great thinkers hit on the same key. Kierkegaard, Nietzsch, Heidegger, Sartre, Horckheimer, Adorno, Popper, Habemas, Apel, Rawls, Rorty all pointed out the mistake innate in necessitarianism. In the twentieth century, the voice of the defenders of contingency, historicity, temporality, multiplicity of reason was raised against the necessitarianism, against the reason of Hegel and the Neoplatonic projects. Society had to be an open society; the Universe had to be thought of as an open Universe.
Is the mistake that is pointed to really a mistake? Yes, it is a mistake. The refutation of the Necessitarian Philosophic System in its first root is done through a performative contradiction. Whoever raises the thesis of Radical Necessitarianism enters into a performative contradiction upon doing so. Whoever argues, upon arguing in the group, is presupposing that he wants to convince the other participants of the discussion group, with good reasons. The good reasons do not necessarily impose themselves because of an inexorable historic process. They need to be exposed and discussed. Why? Because not all the reasons are ready and finished. Not all the reasons are preprogrammed. Some are, others are not. Some nexuses are necessary, others are contingent. It is in the discussion group that we realize what is necessary reason and what is merely a contingent nexus. If all the nexuses were necessary, there would not be any discussion. Each one would discover what the meaning of the world is without asking anything of anyone else. The real dialogue with other men, in a necessitarian system would be unnecessary and useless. After all, is real dialogue necessary or is it contingent? It is necessary that we make a dialogue for what is necessary and what is contingent to appear. Whoever says that everything is always necessary does not need dialogue. Who has a dialogue is presupposing that there is a reason for the dialogue. This is the performative root which makes contingency legitimate and prohibits Necessitarianism as the General Theory of the Universe.
Is the argument not weak? No, basically we are dealing with the same argument which Aristotle had already used to fundament the Principle of Non-Contradiction. Whoever denies the Principle of Non-Contradiction, upon doing so is presupposing it again. Otherwise he is reduced to the plant state. Whoever denies that contingency exists in the Universe, on making the negation, is putting on an act that is known to be contingent; and presupposing that in the listener there is an equally contingent act. Are there other arguments in favor of the existence of contingency in the world in principle? Yes, there are many negative arguments. Whoever denies contingency, also by principle must deny free choice, responsibility, Justice, Law and the Democratic State. Nothing of this can exist in principle, if there is no contingency, and historicity. Heidegger and Popper were in this respect completely right. At this point the criticisms made by the contemporaneous thinkers against Necessitarianism of History in Hegel, are in my point of view, absolutely convincing.

4. Kant’s Theory of the Two Worlds
Hegel has a deeply ambiguous posture in regards to History. On one hand he realizes the problem of Necessitarianism in the way it was put by Spinoza, on the other hand he wants to save liberty as it was described and affirmed by Kant. The project of life that guided all of Hegel’s work was to conciliate Spinoza’s Substance with Kant’s Free Subject.
Kant had already clearly realized the problem. In Kant, Necessitarianism does not appear very much under its logical nor its systematic form, but under the form of scientificism. Scientific Necessitarianism, a specific form within the larger gender of Philosophic Necessitarianism, affirms that the Principle of Causality is always valid in all cases. Where there is an effect there must be a pre-jacent cause. And the effect is already predetermined within the cause. That is the way things have always been, predetermined in their causes. And these, in turn, predetermined in the previous causes. Everything is consequently predetermined since the first cause. The universal application of the Principle of Causality takes one to a total and encompassing Necessarianism. Kant understands this very well. And to save a space where liberty is still possible, Kant offers a merely ad hoc solution, which is no solution at all. Two worlds are postulated. In one of the worlds, the world of the phenomena, says Kant, there is the Principle of Casuality and the Necessitarianism caused by this. In the other world, the world of the noumena, is the place of the liberty of man with his capacity to choose between alternatives that are equally possible. Two worlds? Each thing, according to Kant, would always be situated in two worlds. In the World of Casuality the casual necessary nexus would reign, in the World of Noumena, there would be liberty.
To postulate two worlds? To say that my action, on one hand is absolutely predetermined through the reining causal nexus, and affirm that on the other hand I am freely deciding without the causal series predetermining my decision, is this not absurd? Is this not a contradiction? Yes, it is a contradiction. Rarely in the History of Philosophy has a master-thinker gotten into such a terrible muddle. To postulate two worlds is absurd. In order to save liberty, Kant, the great Kant, got into a muddle. Kant preferred to admit something foolish rather than sacrifice liberty. The respect he had for liberty and the responsibility of man was so great that instead of saying that liberty was something impossible, he created the absurd theory of the two worlds. Do we, today, need to admit such a theory? How do we solve the question? By the Theory of the Interstices as proposed by Charles Taylor or by the Theory of Degrees as proposed in this work. The Theory of Interstices supposes that in the Universe there are laws that encompass and cross it like a concrete structure that supports a building. Between the concrete beams there are interstices where one can place walls as one wishes. These interstices, which are not regulated by deterministic laws, form the space where contingency exists and where the free will decisions are inserted. According to the Degrees Theory there are Strong Laws and Weak Laws. The space open by the admission of the Weak Laws is the place for contingency and free will.

5. Minerva’s Owl and Absolute Reason
Hegel had only one great objective in his philosophical work. It was to conciliate Spinoza’s Substance with Kant’s Free Subject. Hegel wanted, on one hand, to build a system according to the Neoplatonic project of Philosophy, be he also wanted on the other hand that in this system there be space for Man’s true liberty. Spinoza’s System, which Hegel knew very well, took Necessitarianism to the extreme. What should he do? How should he do it?
Hegel’s System from the beginning intends to be a Neoplatonic System: Everything comes from the Being which is also Nothing. Being is Nothing, which is Becoming, which is Something, which is the Other, etc. until one arrives at the Absolute Knowledge. All the Universe, including all the History is part of this process of unfolding. Fold by fold, everything is unfolded starting from a first and simple beginning. History and all its events are also just a mere unfolding during the process in which the Undetermined Being slowly becomes the Absolute Knowledge.
Everything determined? Everything predetermined? Hegel speaks about the inexorable march of thought, about a necessary process of development, about the necessity of History. And where does the contingency of things and the historicity of events that can happen, but can equally not happen fit in? Hegel studies the question. After all, this is a main question for him. Hegel hesitates, staggers, and changes his mind. The Absolute Contingency which Hegel puts there in the middle of the Logic of Essence starts getting corroded at the edges, is dissolved and ends up becoming Absolute Necessity. Hegel is the first, the last and the only thinker that considers Contingency as a typical characteristic of the Absolute. But Hegel does not stay coherent. Necessity follows him, assaults him, and ends up conquering his heart and mind. Hegel also becomes, in my opinion, a necessarian thinker. That is why Minerva’s Owl only flies in the evening. It is that after things happen, post factum, after the events, it becomes clear that everything was moved and determined by Reason, by the Great Force of Negation, thinks Hegel. History is then transformed into a stage in which the great drama written by Reason is acted out by us, without us knowing, we are just marionettes guided by the Great Cunning. The script of the History of the World, according to Hegel, is written by Reason. We are just conducted by the Cunning of Reason.

6. Historical Materialism
The Marxists, Hegel’s disciples, held themselves strictly to this conception of History. In place of Hegel’s Absolute Reason of Logic they took the Proletariat. It is in this that the Absolute incarnates. The Proletarian Revolution is, according to them, the moment in which this Absolute, which is pulsating in the intimate of the Proletariat, comes out, emerges and installs itself as a Classless Society. That is why the Revolution is inexorable according to the Marxists. That is why it can never be wrong. This necessary conception of History took us then to a necessary conception of the State, to Political Totalitarianism.
The crimes of Stalinism, the processes of Moscow, the diffusion of Marxism throughout the world, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the breaking up of the Soviet Union, all happened due to a mistake in Philosophy. A small mistake in the beginning, a great error in the end. Today we know that if we do not respect contingency, we turn into robots and the world becomes a nightmare. It costed a lot, but we learned. If we had understood Schelling’s, Kierkegaard’s and Nietzsche’s criticism against Hegel better, this would have all been unnecessary. Or would it?
Minerva’s Owl only flies when the evening falls. The melancholic tone of these words of Hegel, turned towards the nostalgia of the past, gave their place to the young Hegelians on the left who, facing the future, wished to substitute Minerva’s Owl for the early morning crowing of the French Rooster. The French Rooster, cited in this context by Michelet, one of Hegel’s students, referred to the French Revolution and announced a new Great Revolution which, like the French Revolution would completely change the political world. From Michelet to Feuerbach, Karl Marx and Lenin the distance is great, but the stress is the same. The young Hegelians thought that History was in gear and this gear was inexorable. Until the Belin Wall fell. Whoever stopped to think, long before the fall of the Berlin Wall, realized that contingency exists, that man is free, that many times there are alternative options, that the State should not be total, that History is not an inexorable process.
But if Reason does not write the script of History of the World, then who is the author after all? Who writes it? We write it, we make History.

6. Minerva’s Owl and Us
A human act, when done, completed and finished, finishes and does not come back, right? Wrong. We can and should always reevaluate the acts we have done in the past. Time has gone by, but our acts are never completely gone. We always continue to be responsible for them. It is up to us, day after day, to give them their moral value.
Whoever has killed someone, is an assassin. If he killed, he is an assassin. But the assassin can and should later morally judge the act. If the evaluation is positive, the already once assassin is convinced that the murder was something good, and so being, something that he would do again. Evaluating it in this way, the assassin would kill again and think he was right. It would not be unexpected if such an assassin, sure that he is right in having assassinated, would murder again. All caution is not enough with such a person. We are dealing with a murderer who would murder again at any moment. - Another, having committed a murder, is sorry. The fact of the murder does not change, someone was really murdered. But the feeling of guilt and sorrow changes the person and the Personal History of the murderer. He is sorry. He does not want to kill again. The fact gone by does not change that the fact that it happened, but the guilt changes his moral coloration. It was something bad. This evaluation which we make each day of the events gone by is the nucleus of History. To make History is to tell the facts giving them their due moral evaluation. Ethics is the hard core of History. Ethics is based on liberty, which is based on the capacity of choosing between alternative options. Who, then, writes History? We write it, with our decisions and moral evaluations.
It is obvious that the term We means the Concrete Universal, the Society in which we live, the Culture which we are and do. In this sense the author of the script of World History is we ourselves. We, each one of us, within the limits of our potentiality, are the modest co-authors of the script of History. Each one of us contributes with a small stone to the great Mosaic of the Meaning of History. Our contribution is modest, but, as we see it, is real. The medieval monks, at the end of each day did a examen conscientiae. The Facts which happened and the actions done throughout the day were then evaluated in their ethic context. In the Examination of Conscience the correct man should be able to ethically evaluate what he did, confirming the good acts, asking for forgiveness for the bad ones, by putting the initially isolated events in the great context of the History of Salvation according to the Medieval ones. The facts practiced by the individual were then, in the examination of conscience, put into the horizon of Universal History. The Individual was in this way transformed into Universal. The isolated acts done by the individuals entered into the weaving and made up a cloth: The Meaning of Life. - With the gradual disappearance of the monks, then the layman substitutes appeared. In the XX century the Existential Philosophers and the psychoanalysts have the same job as the Confessing Fathers: They make the Individual reflect upon himself in a way as to insert himself by universalizing reflection, into the universal cloth of History.
Is there not anyone above us taking care so that we do not get out of the script of History? Is there no one other than ourselves, a chief scriptwriter, a thinking being which coordinates our individual contributions to the Meaning of History? Our ancestors said that God wrote correctly with crooked lines. Did he really? Is God not the Great Coordinator of the Meaning of History? In order to think about God as a Reason in History, it is necessary to first ask if God exists. Does God exist?

5. The Absolute

1. Does God Exist?
Many classics of Philosophy, especially Medieval thinkers like Anselmo de Canterbury and Thomas Aquinas, were seriously worried about the existence of God. Does God exist? Does the Absolute exist? Anselmo and Thomas Aquinas tried to assemble rational arguments to prove that God exists. The ontological argument of Saint Anselmo and Thomas Aquinas’s Quinque Viae are attempts to demonstrate just through reason, or without presupposing Christian faith, that God really exists. This problem entered strongly into our philosophic tradition and split the thinkers into two groups: Those that accept the demonstration of the existence of God and those who do not. Theists and Agnostics still discuss and debate today. Can one demonstrate the existence of God? Is this feasible? Theism or Agnosticism? Neither one nor the other, at least not in the current meaning of the words.
About the existence of the Absolute I have a distinct and clear position: I think that there is no question to be discussed. It is obvious that there is an Absolute. The existence of the Absolute, such as I understand it, can not even be put under question, without immediately becoming an affirmative answer. Even more. Whoever denies the Absolute, by denying it, confirms its existence. Whoever denies the Absolute enters into a performative contradiction. How? Why?
Things are either relative or absolute. Relative things are relative because they send off logical and ontologically to some other, in the last instance to something absolute. Everything relative is a relation to something else; this something else in turn is either relative or absolute; if it is relative it sends off to another; and so on, until we arrive at the Absolute which is always being presupposed. One always presupposes a something that will be Absolute. It there is a being that is relative, there must also be a being that is Absolute. Then, there are beings in the Universe; I, myself am here thinking, I exist and I am a being. Therefore, there is also something Absolute. Whoever understands this can no longer ask if the Absolute exists. Such a question is no longer possible. The question that is possible is not about the existence of the Absolute, but about its identity. Who is the Absolute? How is the Absolute? Would I, who is here thinking, be the Absolute itself? Just a little good sense and reflection is enough to discover that I am not the Absolute, or rather, I am not the whole Absolute. The question about the identity of the Absolute is a question that makes sense and which is, therefore, able to be asked. The answer that says that I am the Absolute is not correct, but it is not a completely foolish affirmation. But, to seriously ask if the Absolute exists, this is foolish thing in my point of view. There are beings, like the I that is talking, consequently there is an Absolute.
We are dealing here with the same argument that Leibnitz uses in the beginning of the Monadology. The things are simple or complex. The complex things are formed by the simple ones. This put forth and presupposed, it is immediately evident that there is a being that is simple. The same thought is done in reference to the relative-absolute binominal. Since the Relative always presupposes the Absolute, if one relative exists, then there must be an Absolute too. - That is why I think it is foolish to discuss the existence of the Absolute. It is obvious that the Absolute exists. Thomas Aquinas must forgive me, but to try and demonstrate the existence of God is as foolish as trying to prove that I, who is here writing and talking, exist.
However, the question about the nature of the Absolute is a very different question. The Absolute exists; God exists, of course. The great question is the following: Who is God? How is the Absolute? Where is the Absolute? Is it transcendent above and outside of all things? Or is it inherent and within all things? This is the decisive question: Is the Absolute transcendent or immanent? Is it hovering above things or within them. Here is where the waters separate. Here is where the opinions are divided? In our philosophic tradition there are two concepts of the Absolute, the Neo-Aristotelian concept and the Neoplatonic Concept. The Neo-Aristotelian concept of God, coined by Albert Magnus and Thomas Aquinas by the light of Aristotle’s classics, says that God is the first immovable motor, it is the first non-caused cause, it is a transcendent being, that is, it exists there above and beyond the limits of finite things. The Neoplatonic concept, which comes from the Greek Fathers, Agustine, Johannes Scotus Eriugena, Nicolau Cusanus and gets into Spinosa, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel says that God is immanent and is within all things. God, in this dialectic conception, is immanent as well as transcendent. It is inherent because it is in the pith of each thing, including the I which is here talking and writing and the You that is listening and reading. It is also transcendent because it is not identified with anything in particular and therefore transcends it. Two conceptions of God put against each other. One is analytic, Aristotelian and thomist. The other is dialectic and Neoplatonic. The first defends the thesis that God is transcendent and that transcendence and immanence are opposing characteristics which mutually exclude each other. If transcendence grows, immanence decreases and vice-versa. Transcendence and immanence are inversely proportional. The second conception, the dialectic one, says that God is transcendent as well as immanent, it affirms that transcendence and immanence are not opposites that just exclude themselves - thesis and antithesis - but opposites which can and should be conciliated into a higher synthesis. According to this doctrine transcendence and inherence are directly proportional.
My main thesis, according to the premises which have been exposed and demonstrated as this work progressed, is that the Neoplatonic theory of God is correct, and that the Neo-Aristotelian concept is wrong. The God designated and thought out by the Neo-Aristotelian concept does not exist; if God is this, then God does not exist. Faced with this Neo-Aristotelian conception of God it is necessary to become atheist, or at least - to have good manners - agnostic. If, however, we understand God as this which is conceived by the Neoplatonic thinkers, then God does exist, without a doubt. But, this is not the God which we learned about in our good and well intentioned catechism; this is not the God of our Catholic or Protestant school teachers. What God is this? We shall see. But first we must talk about the God that does not exist, the God of the Neo-Aristotelian tradition.

2. Transcendent God of the Neo-Aristotelian tradition
Aristotle has already taught us: Everything that is moved is moved by another. Thomas Aquinas puts this principle in the center of his philosophic system: Quidquid movetur ab alio movetur. It is on this principle that the argument to demonstrate the existence of God as the first immobile motor is mounted. If something is moved, it is moved by something that is external to it. Each being moved presupposes a moving being. If this in turn is also moved it is moved by something that came before it. And so on, until we arrive at the first moving thing of all the things moved. This first and last moving thing, although it moves everything else, it in itself is immobile. If in the Universe there is some being in movement, Thomas Aquinas argues, there is also a first immobile motor. Then, since there are beings in movement, God exists as the first immobile motor.
What is the mistake? Where is the error? Not everything that moves is moved by something else, by something that is outside of it. Aristotle himself considered the living things as autokineton, as a being-that moves-itself. Not all movements are provoked by something that is external and previous to each thing moved. That is the mistake. The invoked principle, Quidquid movetur ab alto movetur, although important and valid for many things, is not valid always and for all things. That is why the argument does not conclude. Thomas Aquinas and the Thomists did not realize that there are beings that move themselves and that despite this, they are not God. The concept of self-movement itself is strange for them. Today, with contemporary Biology speaking about self-organizing systems, this seems easy and obvious to us. But to the Medieval thinkers it was not. Movement, for the Medieval Philosophers was always the fruit of some movement external to the thing moved. This conception of movement - mistaken - is the core of this type of argument on the existence of God.
The other great argument to prove the existence of God, similar to the first, is based on the Causality Principle: Everything that is caused must have a previous cause. The Causality Principle seems to be an analytic proposition, and, therefore, universally valid. Does effect not always presuppose a cause? Doesn’t the caused being always presuppose a previous cause? Hume shows us that the question is not quite that simple. The Principle invoked above, in the formulation that was given to it, is, I think, an analytic proposition and as such always true. But who tells us and guarantees that this table which I am pointing to is really an effect? That it is something caused? If the table is an effect, if it is caused, then necessarily one takes a previous cause for granted. But who says that the table is a caused effect? Who says that the contingent things are really something caused? Thomas Aquinas and the Thomists got stuck here, and did not go any further because they assumed that cause and effect are always and necessarily opposite poles or that self-cause is something impossible. The concept of a cause that causes itself would be a contradiction. This is the central theme of the Associate Professorship Thesis which Schopenhauer wrote against the Hegelian concept of self-causation and presented to Hegel himself at the University of Berlin. Schopenhauer is defending here the Neo-Aristotelian concept of cause which is always external to the effect. The mistake here consists of presupposing that each and every cause is always external and previous to its effect. One such concept, which by principle excludes the structure itself of a Causa Sui, is wrong because it thinks of causality as only something external. If this were true life, thought, conscience, freedom etc. could not exist.
Leibnitz, before Schopenhauer, realized the problem, and without admitting the Neoplatonic concept of self-causation, went ahead and tried to fundament the Causality Principle on a more ample and more valid principle, the Principle of Sufficient Reason. - Things are contingent. They can exist or not. Even when the things really exist they continue contingent because they, by their essence, can exist or not. But if things really exist, why do they really exist, if they can also not exist? What is the reason that things which can not exist, really exist? What is the sufficient reason for this? Leibnitz formulates then, according to a late tradition of the Middle Ages, the Principle of Sufficient Reason: All contingent things, which can exist or not, if they really exist, must have a sufficient reason. The Principle formulated like this is correct. The only thing is that we usually understand a addendum: there must be a sufficient reason previous and external to it. With this addendum - wrong in my opinion -, generally made silently and sub-repticia, we go back to a situation similar to that of the previous argument. We get an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that the argument of the existence of God seems to be sanctioned: Since contingent things exist, there must be a Non-Contingent God, which is the sufficient reason for these. The disadvantage is that the Causality Principle in this formulation becomes so powerful and extensive that it would be valid for everything and every nexus; this however takes us to a totally necessary causal paradigm and makes the freedom of man and contingency of History totally impossible. Leibnitz understood the problem well and facing it he capitulated. He would have liked to have a solution, but did not have one. Hence the doctrine - extremely strange, but understandable if put in the correct context - of Pre-Established Harmony.
What is Leibnitz’s error? What is right? What is wrong? It is right to say that all the contingent things have to have a sufficient reason. This is analytic. The addendum made in silence is wrong: this sufficient reason is always external to the contingent thing, outside of it. Why? Why can there not be something contingent which is sufficient reason for itself? Is life not sufficient reason within itself of its vital movements? Is this not the definition of life itself? Is our free decision not a self-determination? Man deciding freely is not a causa sui of his decision? - The analytical thinkers, among the Greeks as well as in the Middle Ages, were unable to imagine the good circularities. For them every circular movement is always a vicious circle. In Logic, they affirm, the circular movement does not prove anything; in Ontology it is absurd. That is why the First Mover is thought of as being Immobile, and not as a Moving-Thing-that-Is-Moved-By-Itself, like a Self-Movement. The First Cause is thought of as being uncaused, and not as Causing-Itself, like Causa Sui. The analytical thinkers, by refusing the structures of good circularity, entered into contradiction. Where? What contradiction?
The contradiction of the Analytics consists in never conciliating the mover and the moved, the cause and the caused, the absolute and the relative, the necessary and the contingent, the transcendence and the immanence. According to the Analytics the opposite poles are self-excluding; and then, that’s that. The error made becomes visible, because Nature is full of beings that contain the two conciliated poles, the causing element as well as the caused element, the moving element and the moved element within themselves. Some beings are under one aspect causing and moving and under another aspect caused and moved. In order to avoid explosive contradiction, the Analytics carefully separate the two aspects, the active and the passive. This is right; it is necessary to distinguish two logical aspects and two ontological moments. But the Analytics here went further and, without realizing that the conciliation between the active and passive is perfectly possible and exists within many beings, postulated that the Supreme Being is just active, not passive that he is just necessary, not contingent, that he is just the cause and never the effect, that he just moves and is never moved. Why?
Because they think - wrongly so - that the passive, the moved, the caused, the contingent, the relative are always something inferior and less perfect. Such imperfection, they say, can not exist in the Supreme Being. This then is thought of as the Cause, as Mover, as Absolute, as Necessary, as Transcendent, without ever having the logical and ontological conterparts attributed to it. Where is the error? What is the mistake? It is absolutely impossible to think about the active without the passive, the necessary without the contingent, the absolute without the relative, the cause without the effect, the changed without the changer. Since this is logically impossible, the Supreme Being is then unthinkable. The discourse about the Supreme Being becomes a Negative Theology. More. Speech becomes impossible. And that which is logically impossible can not exist. Consequently, the Supreme Being, thought of in this Neo-Aristotelian way, does not and cannot exist.
Where is the error? What is the serious mistake? The Analytic’s error consists of thinking that opposite poles are always mutually exclusive. The Analytic’s mistake is that they never learned to play the game of opposites. They do not realize that opposite poles mutually constitute themselves, they do not realize that one pole can only be thought of through its relationship with the other. The second mistake committed by the Analytics, stemming from the first, is that they think that opposites always exclude themselves, one annulling the other. That is why they never thought of synthesis as being possible, of synthesis as being something due.
The God of the Analytics is a logical consequence of these mistakes. He is a God that is immobile like a stone, necessary like logic-formal operations. The Analytics think about God as a Being that is totally Other, like a Pure Negation. Now, such a God is undone and stops being a God, because negation just exists as Negation of Something. Such a God loses its divinity and presents itself as the fruit of the denial which man himself is making. Such a God is a constructed God, and therefore a false and perverse God. If this were God, then it would be better to be an Atheist. Conclusions of this kind were made by many Philosophers who could only think of an Absolute through the Neo-Aristotelian concept. In such a case, it is really better to be an Atheist, or, to be courteous, agnostic.
And what about the argument about the existence of God which is made through the Order existent in the Universe? There in the beginning of everything does the existent order of things not require a Great Architect who planned everything and conducts everything with a firm hand? - This argument, which was quite popular in the XVIII and XIX centuries, at first seems to be founded on good reasons. It still has the advantage of not necessarily leading to a Negative God, which is normal in the Neo-Aristotelian tradition. The probability calculus, at first glance, seems to confirm the idea of the Great Architect. After all, what is the probability of all the atoms of a Boeing 767 getting together with each other in such a way as to construct a functional airplane? One such probability is so extremely small that we are obliged to admit that an airplane of such a complexity is not the fruit of just chance but the careful work of an Engineer, who with a lot of ingenuity and art planned and executed the whole project. Is the World not well ordered? Do the Marvels of Nature not require a Great Architect, by the same reasoning? Of course they do. The Great Architect, however, is not a God which stays out of the World, turning the spheres of the stars and atoms, but a God which is in the center of things and of the Universe. God is not outside, he is inside. He does not push the planets and the atoms in their orbits from outside. God does not play with the planets, stars and men like a child plays with his toys which are always external to him. God, the Absolute, is inside, in the core. God is a Principle which is internal, which from inside out constitutes the Universe. But this is another God, this is the God of the Neoplatonists, the God of Plotinus and Proclus, the God of Augustine, Eriugena and Nicolau Cusanus, the God of Goethe, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, the God of Teillard de Chardin.

3. The God of the Neoplatonic tradition
The Neoplatonic conception of the Universe was captured in its plenitude and brightly expressed by some of the Renaissance artists in the Cascade Fountain. Here in our Porto Alegre, in the Redenção Park, some architect remembered this and in the beginning of the century built such a fountain. You just need to go there and take a look. Right in the middle there is a pipe which takes the water to the top. There it flows and falls into the first basin. When this one is full, the water overflows all around and falls into a lower basin, which is slightly larger than the first. When this second bassin is full, it also overflows and supplies the water for a larger basin which is under it. And then it gets to the ground. Bonum diffusivum sui, good difuses itself said the old ones. The water is the same. It comes up in the center, high up. From there it emanates and falls down, in a waterfall, basin by basin, to the ground. The Greeks called this Emanation.
The central idea in Plotinus is that all the multiplicity comes from the One, the Being that is One. In Proclus the great thesis is that the Particular Beings come from the One, which is the Universal. All the multiplicity of individuals, of species, of genera come, through emanations, from a first beginning which is the One, the Being that is the Concrete Universal. The defect, the error, in Plotinus and Proclus consists in the necessitarianism. Both think of the System of the World as a deterministic succession of stages which follow each other in a necessary series, without contingency, without chance, without true historicity. In such a system there is not space for the contingency of things, for the free will of men, for free choice, for the construction of Reason in History. The Greek and Latin Fathers argued - rightly at this point - against the Neoplatonists of the Ancient Times. As we have seen in various places throughout this work, necessitarianism is a mistake. Whoever affirms it is in contradiction.
Augustine, the great Christian thinker who made himself the heir of the Neoplatonic concept of the world, clearly realized the problem of necessitarianism. To the necessarian emanation of the Neoplatonists he opposed the free creation through God. God is the Creator who engenders the world by a free act. In this way the world can be thought of as something contingent and historic. The problem - which we will return to just below - is how to conciliate the Neoplatonic conception with the creationist concept of the world. Agustine, and after him the Neoplatonic Philosophers of the Middle Ages are always stumbling with two conceptions of the World which are not easily conciliated: The World as the sweet flow of the Absolute which in degrees, leaves itself - emanates and lets sprout from itself all the multiplicity of things on one side, and on the other, the World of fixed stars and immutable species made by a God Creator who stays out of it all. Even today Catholic and Protestant Theologists - some at least, - have this problem stuck in their throats without being able to solve it to their content.
But the Neoplatonic conception of the world, despite the Creationism of the Christian thinkers, continues strong and acting. The so called Pseudo-Dionisius, one of the greatest and most influential thinkers of Ancient Christianity, explains the world, in the way of Plotinus and Proclus, as waves of being that are irradiated from a central point which is God the Father. The waves which come from the father and spread out, constituting the universe in this way, return through the Logos to the primeval unit. God is the beginning and the end of a great process of development. Book IV of the treatise De Divinis Nominibus is a full proof of how Christianity was deeply influenced by Neoplatonism. Johannes Scotus Eriugena, in the IX century, returns to the central idea of Pseudo-Dionisius in his treatise De Divisione Naturae. From the Father comes the Son. From the Father and the Son comes the Holy Spirit. From the God-One-Trine comes the Created Universe, Nature, which splits and divides and subdivides itself even more, constituting the things which we see with our eyes. The Neoplatonic conception of the Universe, the Explanation of the World, in Scotus Eriugena is clear and distinct. The condemnations which were imposed by the Catholic Church in 1209 and 1212 already showed the difficulties of conciliation between Neoplatonism and Creationism.
The doctrine of forma essendi in Tierry de Chartres, in the best Neoplatonic tradition, affirms that God is inborn in the things. In Tierry de Chartres, Bernard Silvester and William of Conches we find an identification of the Holy Spirit with the Soul of the World in the Neoplatonic tradition. In Gilbert de la Porré the Neoplatonic dialectic returns to the center of attention as a method. In that way the red string which makes up the Neoplatonic tradition continues passing through Hugo of Sanct Victor, Abelardus until Petrus Hispanus. Here, only here in the XII century is Aristotelism rediscovered and makes its triumphal entrance into Christian thinking. Through Albert Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, Aristotelism, the dicothomic theory of act and potency, of God Creator and Created Nature, returns. The Middle Ages, in the beginning of the XII century, begins to lose its Neoplatonic substance to become more and more Neo-Aristotelian until the present.
What after all is the conception of God of the Neoplatonic thinkers? The Absolute in a Neoplatonic system is not thought of as something merely transcendent. The Absolute transcends the world, like the Whole transcends each one of its parts, but the absolute is always inside the Universe. In the dialectic conception, which is characteristic of the Neoplatonic thinkers, transcendence and immanence do not exclude each other, but include each other. The more transcendental God is, the more immanent he becomes and vice-versa. The Neo-Aristotelian God is the contrary: The more transcendental God is, the less immanent he becomes. The Aristotelians do not know how to conciliate opposite poles, the Neoplatonists do. The Aristotelians are analytic, the Neoplatonists are dialectic. This is the main theme of this small book. It is understandable then, from what was exposed throughout this work, in which way God exists. God exists, yes, the God of the Dialectics exists. And what about the God of the Analytics? This God is, in my judgment, unthinkable and impossible.

4. Is God the Creator of the World?
Can one think of the Absolute as the Creator of the World? The concept of creation says that in the beginning there was God as an intelligent and absolutely perfect Being. God, then, in the super abundance of his perfection freely decided to create the world. And then, by his own decision, he created the things, he created the various species of plants and animals, he also created man. This Myth of Creation has two elements, one right and true, the other wrong. The right element is the idea that the Free Spirit is the beginning and the structuring principle of the Universe. The wrong element is to imagine this Spirit like in Catholicism, as a Creating Architect, which is outside of the process of the Universe. The Principle of the Universe is One and Trine; Identity, Difference and Coherence make up the Universe with its marvels, as we have already seen. All the things, including Man, are fruit of this Evolution. In this way, there is no longer reason, in Philosophy, to talk about a God Creator. The Myth of the God Creator should be substituted by a good General Theory of Evolution.
But a good General Theory of Evolution - a theory which is logical as well ontological - is based on the three First Principles, Identity, Difference, and Coherence. These Principles, as we have seen in the first and second parts of this work, are the Principles of Thinking and Speaking. They are the Principles of Logic. Here is the Logos which is in the beginning and which passes through all. There is a Logic, there is a Logos, since the first beginning. The theory which I am defending is a form of Idealism. An Idealism which contains contingency, yes, but an Idealism. That is why I judge that the concept of Absolute in Hegel, with the small corrections made here, is perfectly adequate. To think of the Absolute is to unmask the Bad Infinity and understand the Absolute as a Good Finity, as Absolute Idea and Absolute Knowledge.
If Fichte, and more moderately, Hegel are accused of Atheism, this is due to the small knowledge that the Protestant and Catholic ecclesiastic authorities of the time had of the the Neoplatonic concept of God. The Bishops thought of God only through the Neo-Aristotelian concept; then they had to think and say that Fichte, Schelling and Hegel were Atheists.
The accusation of Pantheism was raised against the Neoplatonic thinkers since the Ancient times. Scotus Eriugena was condemned, Cusanus was under suspicion. If I were permitted, I would suggest that the competent ecclesiastic authorities research the questions which were debated between the Neoplatonists and Neo-Aristotelians since the IV century of our culture better and that the positive meaning of the term Pantheism be brought back.

5. The Circle of Circles
If at this point someone were to ask me for some bibliographic indication about the problem of God, I would tell him to read all the Neoplatonic authors cited in this study, and that he especially study Hegel’s concept of Absolute.
But, except for Hegel, is there no one else? Yes, Let me cite two other authors, Meister Eckhard and Goethe. One is a Great Mystic, and the other is called the Great Pagan. The Great Mystic and the Great Pagan have one common denominator. Both are Neoplatonic, both have the same concept of God. Meister Eckhard, the Great Mystic, decisively influenced all of Goethe’s, the Great Pagan’s, concept of the world. After all, if God is in all parts, in the core of each thing, the Mystic is always meeting with God. And since he meets God in all people and all things, it is really no longer necessary to enter churches. Or is it possible that God privileges some architectural spaces with his presence? And if the Mystic never goes to a church, like the believers, will he not then be called the Great Pagan? Meister Eckhard and Goethe - no one should surprise himself - can and should be read, au pair.
The work of the concept is painful and, generally, without poetry. But it is the Poetry which crowns and finalizes everything. Let me be permitted to finish with a typically Neoplatonic poetic image The Circle of Circles. When one throws a stone into a lake, concentric circles which spread out in the water starting from the point of impact. One small circle, one larger, and another ad infinitum. The first circle is I, that I which is the Individual. The second Circle is the I which is We, the Society, the State, the Human Race. The third circle is the I which we are Nature itself. The fourth circle is the I which is the Planet Earth. And so on until the I coincides in the I which is the Concrete Universal. To do Dialectic Philosophy is to know how to pass from a narrow I to other I’s, which although more ample, do not stop being the I Myself: the I which is We, the I which is Nature, the I which is Absolute.