PhD Thesis, UCL, 1995, Time and Reality

My original PhD thesis is now available online from UCL CLICK HERE for PDF
In my thesis I analyse the nature and the limits of phenomenal observation: the impossibility for the human mind to understand the final structure of Being or, as it is otherwise called by science, the Universe. This investigation was partly prompted, in fact, by the claims of some respectable physicists that we will one day know everything or, as they often say, God’s mind. My thesis is built around the central chapter (the third) in which I analyse the nature of our understanding of events. There I claim that when subjected to a rigorous analysis, the concept of event as happening in time and occupying a duration of time, is somehow a paradoxical concept. While on the one hand an event requires to be thought of as covering a duration, on the other hand this necessary duration means that whatever event we observe, is not what is really happening. This is because its happening consists in whatever is happening …

What Cannot Be the Rationals, the Irrationals and Other Riddles

What Cannot Be the Rationals, the Irrationals and Other Riddles
Philosophia  March 2015, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 153–174
This article aims to show that unless we consider Zeno’s paradoxes in the original metaphysical perspective in which they were generated, any attempt at understanding, let alone solving them, is destined to fail. This perspective, I argue, is the dichotomy of One and change. These latter were defined at the outset of Western philosophical thought by Parmenides as the two paths of the rational, i.e. accountable by a self-identical thought and thus real (One), and the non-identical change, irrational and unreal. In this perspective, the irrational, is by definition unnameable (alogos) and thus uncountable. I claim that we have inherited this dichotomic thought and if we become aware of this legacy, many deadlocked paradoxes or logical aporias in Western epistemology will acquire the status of logical necessities that follow directly from this dichotomy.


The Paradox of Phenomenal Observation

The Paradox of Phenomenal Observation
Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology (1996), 27: 294-312
In this paper I will argue that when subjected to a rigorous analysis, the concept of event - the concept of something happening - is somehow incompatible with the concept of time - conceived of as duration. As a consequence of this, I will argue that what "really" takes place cannot take place in time. A "real" happening cannot have a duration. The sense in which I use "real" here, is the sense in which a strong Realism uses the term: real as opposed to phenomenal.
The argument which follows aims to prove that our thought cannot conceptualise real change, but that every time thought attempts to pick out change, it can only collapse into a description of further states. The argument will throw a light on the nature of our knowledge. It will show that ultimately, we cannot talk about what really takes place, but can only offe…

Why Mathematical Solutions Of Zeno's Paradoxes Miss The Point

Why Mathematical Solutions Of Zeno's Paradoxes Miss The Point: Zeno's One And Many Relation And Parmenides' Prohibition
The Review of Metaphysics 50 (December 1996): 299-314. (Download article pdf)

MATHEMATICAL RESOLUTIONS OF ZENO's PARADOXES of motion have been offered on a regular basis since the paradoxes were first formulated. In this paper I will argue that such mathematical "solutions" miss, and always will miss, the point of Zeno's arguments. I do not think that any mathematical solution can provide the much sought after answers to any of the paradoxes of Zeno. In fact all mathematical attempts to resolve these paradoxes share a common feature, a feature that makes them consistently miss the fundamental point which is Zeno's concern for the one-many relation, or it would be better to say, lack of relation. This takes us back to the ancient dispute between the Eleatic school and the Pluralists. The first, following Parmenide's t…

A Phenomenal Theory of Causality

Temporal Relations vs. Logical Reduction: A Phenomenal Theory of Causality
Axiomathes, Volume 18, Number 3/339-358, September, 2008

Kant, in various parts of his treatment of causality, refers to determinism or the principle of sufficient reason as an inescapable principle. In fact, in the Second Analogy we find the elements to reconstruct a purely phenomenal determinism as a logical and tautological truth. I endeavour in this article to gather these elements into an organic theory of phenomenal causality and then show, in the third section, with a specific argument which I call the "paradox of phenomenal observation", that this phenomenal determinism is the only rational approach to causality because any logico-reductivistic approach, such as the Humean one, would destroy the temporal order and so the very possibility to talk of a causal relation. I also believe that, all things said, Kant did not achieve a much greater comprehension of the problem than Hume d…

The Presumption of Movement

The Presumption of Movement
Axiomathes, Volume 17, Number 2/137-154, July, 2007

The conceptualisation of movement has always been problematical for Western thought, ever since Parmenides declared our incapacity to conceptualise the plurality of change because our self-identical thought can only know an identical being. Exploiting this peculiar feature and constraint on our thought, Zeno of Elea devised his famous paradoxes of movement in which he shows that the passage from a position to movement cannot be conceptualised. In this paper, I argue that this same constraint is at the root of our incapacity to conceptualise the unseen movement at the micro-level and that the aporetic idea of super-position far from opening the gate on a deeper reality is a symptomatic word for this lack of understanding.

Keywords : Zeno - Movement - Reality - Parmenides - Causality - Quantum reality - EPR - Einstein Podolsky Rosen - Quantum physics - Zeno's paradoxes

Essays on the Roots of Secularization

I am very (very) happy to announce that my second book has just been published by Peter LangOrphans of the One or the Deception of the Immanence – Essays on the Roots of SecularizationOverview
A Collection of Essays in Metaphysics and Epistemology which explore the evolution of the idea of the One and Many, seen as the key principle to understand the process of secularization and immanentization of the One in the West. This process rather than promoting the life of the many has caused their progressive loss of meaning and value at the moral level, whilst at the epistemological level has meant the creation of unsolvable problems for western philosophical thought.

In fact,the dichotomy of One and Many – where the One is seen as the identity of the form of thought, a self-evident truth to which Western thought has always tried to reduce the knowledge of phenomena - and the Many, as the dimension of change given in consciousness - is the key to understand and put in focus the most obsti…

What is a Human Being?

This is the foreword for the Conference Proceedings for the 3rd International Conference on Coma and Consciousness; Salerno, 4-7 July 2010

Let us remember – since such are the facts - that ‘bio-ethics’ and the State’s obsession with euthanasia were explicit categories of the Nazism. Fundamentally, Nazism was a thoroughgoing ethics of life. It had its own concept of ‘dignified life’, and it accepted implacably, the necessity of putting an end to undignified lives.
Alain Badiou, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, trans. Peter Hallward (London: Verso, 2001)

There are times in life when even a philosopher will have to ask herself: What is a human being? Even we who have conceptualized morality, even we who have presumed to have the right to ask: what is virtue, what is justice, even before asking, even before having understood what is a human being, even we should stop and try to understand of whom we are talking about and what this being is capable to bear.

To ask and answer t…