Beyond Eden [distorting symmetree]

Master's Thesis 2006 145 Pages

Philosophy - Philosophy of the 20th century



Vorverständigung [sensu Gadamer]


Part I: La Philosophie [comme un arbre]: _Scala praedicamentalis_
I. Les racines [Prima (Philo)Sophia]
1. Via, veritas et vita: Meta-physics by violent means
1.1. Veritas. On the „Grund“
1.1.1. Via. Into the dark
1.1.2. Vita. Common sense
1.2. (R)Evolution: empty (w)holes
1.2.1. Macro.Shift
1.3. [Insertion]On monads and holons
II. Le tronc
1. A-Dios: Nietzsche and the re-naissance of metaphysics
1.1. Killing Idols. In-venting Gods
1.1.1. Souvenir
1.2. Für das Unsichtbare sterben. The fable
2. Beyond (and) the further
2. 1. Where to search?
2.1.1. [Dys– topoi Ou–] Dystopia Utopia
2.1.2. [Insertion]: Speed!
2.1.3. Time
2.1.4. Intermezzo: The fifth field
III. Les branches
1. Two:fold
1.1. Paroxysm . NO FUTURE versus
1.2. Verwindung. versus
1.3. diesseits versus jenseits. GUT versus evil
1.4. Physics: phýsis
1.4.1. Energetic dialectics

Part II: Überstieg? _root extraction_
I. Rupture
1. tertium datur
1.1. Insertion. Tractatus irrationalis
1.2. Re-action: personal metaphysics
2. Trans:Port
2.1. Interpretations
II. Fin del principio. Haciendo rizoma



Vorverständigung [sensu Gadamer]

Among many others, a main objective of this treatise is to overcome “the disguising of process under product[1], that is, to ex-pose the ensuing axiomatic pre-tensions. Hence it has neither a beginning nor an end; rather it is the result of an incessant process– of sequences instead of consequences, of questions instead of answers. It is (still) work in progress, while at the same time avoiding to be progressive.

In order to de-form the arborescent symme-tree, I will use Adorno´s Bindestrich-Philologie as a hyphenated reminder, as a symmetry-breaking shift towards a hermeneutical Andenken. Yet, this attempt requires an abandonement of the pleasant path of discursive/sym-metrical theory: “Ein plötzlicher Ebenenwechsel und der Boden der verbalen Sprache schwindet. Die theoretische Arbeit gerät an die Grenzen des Bereiches, in dem sie normal funktioniert[...]Jenseits davon liegt das Meer.“[2] The sea... an ocean of insecurity– –

“Als würfe man ein Netz aus– aber der Fischer wird womöglich mitgerissen und findet sich auf offener See wieder, während er sich im Hafen angelangt wähnte”[3]; the shore has to be discarded: „Wir müssen die bekannten Ufer mit ihren markanten Konturen und ihren gelegentlich wohlverstandenen Einzelheiten früher oder später hinter uns lassen, um uns der offenen See und bisher noch verschwommenen Horizonten zuzuwenden.“[4]

There is no coast; there is no “coherent and clear picture of the fundamental principles and objects”[5] , but only vagueness. The more we find out, the less coherent the picture. “Nichts ist schmerzvoller, furchteinflößender als ein sich selbst entgleitendes Denken, als fliehende Gedanken, die, kaum in Ansätzen entworfen, schon wieder verschwinden, bereits angenagt vom Vergessen oder in andere hineingestürzt, die wir ebensowenig beherrschen.“[6]

I do not have any command of this essay. For there is no path, I am reduced to bare words, and I am reduced to reductions–

„Die Geschichte dieses Buches

kommt darauf hinaus,

daß die Geschichte,

die in ihm erzählt werden soll,

nicht erzählt wird.“

(Robert Musil)


„Die Worte Harlekins, der sich selbst einführt, sind die


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

To begin something always turns out to be somewhat difficult– after all, it requires the distinction between a beginning and an end, that is, a violent determination of a before and an after. But while the former tends to be more authentic, the latter usually turns out to be (a) subsequently posed (sequence), the result of a previously set Grund.

I might not come to an end; therefore, this commence is best seen as a mere momentum, albeit it entails an instantaneous arborescent hierarchy–

“Ainsi toute la Philosophie est comme un arbre, dont les racines sont la Métaphysique, le tronc est la Physique, et les branches qui sortent de ce tronc sont toutes les autres sciences…“ [8]

For the issue here is exactly the de-formation of this Cartesian botany, we consequently have to start with the father of modern philosophy, whose influence can hardly be overestimated[9]: “Et remarquant que cette vérité: je pense, donc je suis, était si ferme et si assurée, que toutes les plus extravagantes suppositions des sceptiques n´étaient pas capables de l´ébranler, je jugeai que je pouvais la recevoir, sans scrupule, pour le premier principe de la philosophie, que je cherchais.“[10]

Sub-sequently, this cogito will be the topic of the first part of this work, that is, (classical) philosophy and its hierarchical principles like

- a clear Grund with orthodox meta-physics as its roots
- a narrative trunk that constitutes this foundation and
- ramified disciplines, embedded in fragmentary dualities

The search for an intrusion–

hence the rhizome im-posed itself.

In view of that, the second part will deal with something else, yet something not too different, as this essay does not stick to the concept of originality: the rhizome, the de-formation of the former (philosophical) coherence. “Es gibt keinen Grund , von dem man ausgehen könnte, um zu behaupten, die Philosophie solle nicht mehr begründendes Denken sein. Es gibt einerseits bloß eine gewisse Rekonstruktion der Philosophie in ihrer Entwicklung, in der sich die Vorstellung eines Grundes zuerst entfaltet und dann abnutzt[...]Andererseits gibt es eine gewisse Interpretation (ein Fabulieren) des Zusammenhangs zwischen dieser theoretischen Abnutzung des Begriffes des Grundes und der Veränderung der individuellen und gesellschaftlichen Lebensbedingungen, einer Veränderung, die in ihrer Beziehung zur Metaphysik begriffen werden muss und durch die Wissenschaft und Technik in unsre Welt eingeführt wurde.“[11]

But before the meta-physical root can be extracted, it has to be de-fined (lat. definere, finis - limit/boundary): argued as a standardized pattern, as the search for a meta, it had always been a violent narrative. As a result, we are afraid to re-search for this very search:

“Denn Metaphysik ist das Wort wie Abstrakt und beinahe auch Denken das Wort ist, vor dem jeder, mehr oder minder, wie vor einem mit der Pest Behafteten davonläuft”[12] .

Even so, we have to disembark; accordingly, the next step will be the question: is there any nonviolent and tranquil treatment for this dis-ease? A healing room instead of this sickroom? A first duality arises.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

It is not about re-covering, but about a convalescence from the violent outbreak– this might happen by means of a Verwindung, although it will definitely not lead to an enlightened secularization. It is furthermore about de-hyphenated metaphysics that do not provide a last explanation but raise questions rather than answers.

Whereas meta-physics is our foundation, metaphysics could be its beyond – a sheet anchor for this highly artificial/secularized world. The re-search for weak forms of narrating metaphysics, for frames within that “big questions” can be asked and even answered without being true for everybody. Meta-physics, on the other hand, was (and is) meant to “explain it all”, to find an “ultimate reason” behind everything, to describe how “things really are”. The truth behind every-thing: most of the questions regarding meta-physics just led to other violent meta-physics. We will try to avoid this here, while at the same time avoiding the presumption that this intent could be turn out to be nonviolent.

Thus, in this essay the violent tree shall be distorted, accompanied by a subsequent deformation. The aim is not to provide new, better metaphysics; the aim is to think beyond (the thinkable). The further versus the beyond – this polarity requires a different narrative frame. While the further is a violent assumption of our eternal being-incomplete, the beyond leaves us in the present; it is no anticipated future, it does not violently determine our being. It is outside the violent framework, as it is not the continuation, but just another form of the here. Hence it has an enormous potential to move beyond violent meta-physics. And there is no distinction between the real and the beyond either, both are intertwined, both must not be actualized. While in meta-physics there is a difference between the here and the further, the trunk and the roots, in metaphysics there is no such distinction between the here and the beyond, as it is us to create the latter. Within meta-physics there are answers, within metaphysics there are only questions– another possibility for nonviolent nonlinearity. non: no organization needed.

As we have seen, the violent tree is nourished by the roots. Consequently, the hierarchy has to be extended, for the roots are nourished by the trunk, that is, by its narrative traits. Last not least these narrations are divided into two main branches; thus far, meta-physics has been dealt with mostly within two forms: the traditional Aristotelian way on the one hand, and contemporary systemic/holistic thinking on the other.

Fragmented holes–

tertium non datur ?

Both are violent, although they have completely different starting points; both have the tiresome tendency to explain it all. But instead of following the likewise violent path of traditional dialectics, we should rather look for a non-synthetic tertium. Syn-theses are synthetical/dialectic frameworks that need to be dis-solved, as there is no solution. It is about the in-between– “there exist intermediate situations, where it is not decidable whether the statement is wrong or right.”[14] Metaphysics is neither wrong nor right, for it deviates itself from any form of classification and/or e-valuation. Instead of learning a new language[15] we must forget our standardized narratives, for they have led to standardized foundations; also contemporary physics showed us that a Letztbegründung is (finally) impossible. Hence in a last step, homogeneous meta-physics will be replaced by manifold metaphysics: the Wurzel will be extracted by means of a Wurzelstängelwerk.

As this essay does not follow a path, it has no direction. It is neither about (de)constructions nor about being innovative; after all, it still refers to a duality– metaphysics versus meta-physics. While the latter represents the various violent attempts to explain it all, the former has somewhat of a more integral perspective; far from being a strong, nonviolent approach it is already the very lack of a hyphen that is disturbing. Yet phýsis (the nature) must not be overcome by means of metá (the after, and also the beyond), but re-integrated into our very being. We have to get rid of artificial dichotomies, like those between matter and mind or subject and object, for a division always implies an e-valuation. In addition to that, the Cartesian logic has to be replaced by the metaphor, for allegories cannot be logically deduced. There are no conclusions, only assumptions.

Sub-sequently, these pages are about every-thing and no-thing; some topics will be touched, others not. This is by no means due to generalized systemic thinking, but only to the conviction that boundaries (also concerning the imperative of consistency) are impeding, not stimulating. There will be a bit of every-thing and no-thing of all.

Yet, comparisons should be evaded. In order to avoid a former e-valuation, that is, an artificial coherence and/or uniformity, the text is somewhat multilingual; a few quotations are translated, most of them not. It is he old, new dilemma: “Man muß übersetzen, und man darf nicht übersetzen.”[16] We must remember, and we must not remember; “das Geworfensein in eine geschichtliche Erschlossenheit ist untrennbar immer auch ein aktives Partizipieren an ihrem Wandel.“[17]

Thus, let us hierarchically start with the roots, then yield to the fairy tale, the branches, and finally leave behind original descriptions while entering into the rhizome– without any instructions at all.

Part I: La Philosophie [comme un arbre]: _Scala praedicamentalis_

I. Les racines [Prima (Philo)Sophia]

„Die Philosophie betreibt keine Kontemplation,

reflektiert nicht, kommuniziert nicht,

obwohl sie Begriffe für diese Aktionen oder

Passionen schaffen muß.“[18]

It seems to be obvious that the roots cannot be extracted from the(ir) family tree. Thus, before we start with meta-physics we have to deal with the (w)hole, with philo-sophia–

the love for knowledge/wisdom. Hence it is about friendship, and the philosopher “ist der Freund des Begriffs, er erliegt der Macht des Begriffs[...]Im strengeren Sinn ist die Philosophie die Disziplin, die in der Erschaffung der Begriffe besteht. Der Freund wäre der Freund seiner eigenen Schöpfungen?[...]Stets neue Begriffe erschaffen ist der Gegenstand der Philosophie.“[19] Consequently, philosophy is “Erkenntnis durch reine Begriffe”[20].

Apparently, these definitions (still) tread the path of vindication. In order to ease complexity they (still) ex-plain, give instructions, and/or provide a manual to cultivate this friendship. “Ich fürchte, daß die Vorstellung, die Philosophie lehre den Menschen etwas, etwas Entscheidendes, das ihre Lage verändert, immer noch Teil einer Ideologie ist, die die Philosophie im Sinne von Hegemonie begreift, als eine der unzähligen Transformationen von Platons postulierter Macht der Philosophien.“[21]

Indeed, it is about power, for de-fining is executing power on the imprisoned object. Now and then philosophy is aware of this its jail, of its being sentenced to death: the sentences are sentenced to happen, they are condemned to be a discourse. Death is near. „Philosophy is a discourse that knows all about the future, or at least about its future. It knows, and has always known, that it has no future. Philosophy knows that the future is death. Philosophy is always going to die. Always will have been going to die. From the beginning, its future will have been its end: and from this end, its future will have been always to begin its ending again.”[22] A constant decease…

Non adeo incumbendum esse meditationibus”[23] ?

In contrast to this, let us begin in reverse order; let us obstinately start with the birth of tragedy. Its first name was prima philosophia, first science; the content of traditional metaphysics was the wisdom concerning God, the universe and human beings.[24] For this wisdom was preferred to other forms of knowledge, metaphysics could hold this primary status for a very long time, maybe also because it was forming “claims about the world that go beyond matters which are decidable by experience. Aristotle takes metaphysics to be prior to any other form of philosophy dealing with the necessary and essential features of the being.”[25] Hence the meta-physical endeavour towards the highest, towards the “last cognition” was born, accompanied by a disastrous megalomaniac tendency. “In some remote corner of the universe[…] there was once a planet on which clever animals invented cognition. It was the most arrogant and most mendacious moment in the ´history of the world´”[26].

It was also the end of (this) history. The beloved object, Sophia, had to be dis-covered by means of Aletheia- Άλήΰεια (truth), which originally meant the unfolding of hidden knowledge, at least in the Heideggerian translation (Unverborgenheit); Humboldt, on the other hand, interpreted it as Unverhohlenheit, overtness.[27] However, truth as aperture is an obligatory instrument of philosophy, for everything is hidden and “acts in secret. This declaration could be said to be the disclosure of philosophy, the disclosure of the possibility of discovery in general. When it is disclosed that everything acts in secret[…] then there is something like philosophy as the philia to which the secret of ´natural´ secrecy is confided.”[28] Hence this philia would consist “in a love for the exposure of the love of secrecy; and this love would reach its end, if not its destination, with the disclosure of the impossibility of discovery in general.” In view of this we might ask:

“Was in uns will eigentlich ´zur Wahrheit´?“[29]

Indeed, what is it? Is it really us? Or is it only common sense that we have to have a truth (or, more post-modern, truths)? As we will see, this common sense is to have a sense, and this meaning needs to be invented. It is the same for truth; it has to be invented by philosophy, although it is not eternal (anymore). Two famous inventive examples:

“Zu sagen, das Seiende ist nicht, oder das Nichtseiende ist, ist falsch; zu sagen, dass das Seiende ist und das Nichtseiende nicht ist, ist wahr.“[30]

A similar perception of truth can be found in Wittgenstein´s Tractatus:

“4.46 Unter den möglichen Gruppen von Wahrheitsbedingungen gibt es zwei extreme Fälle. In dem einen Fall ist der Satz für sämtliche Wahrheitsmöglichkeiten der Elementarsätze wahr. Wir sagen, die Wahrheitsbedingungen sind tautologisch. Im zweiten Fall ist der Satz für sämtliche Wahrheitsmöglichkeiten falsch: Die Wahrheitsbedingungen sind kontradiktorisch[...].

(Among the possible groups of truth-conditions there are two extreme cases. In the one case the proposition is true for all the truth-possibilities of the elementary propositions. We say that the truth-conditions are tautological. In the second case the proposition is false for all the truth-possibilities. The truth-conditions are self-contradictory […])”[31]

For all these romanticist efforts it seems to be true: truth as a systemical reference has died. Positivism is on decline, even in the realm of mathematics, where last foundations began to tremble as well. Gödel´s “incompleteness theorem” proved that every arithmetical truth is necessarily incomplete and that formal systems can be neither complete nor decidable[32]. Obviously, this has certain philo-sophical implications: “objective mathematical truth is opposed to mere provability[…]; it is impossible to build up a unique formal system to give an account of mathematics[…]; if it is maintained that mathematics is analytic, then the sentence G should be synthetic, for although we know that it is true, it is not provable in the system”[33]. A (mathematical) system can either be complete or consistent, but it cannot be both[34] – it might be consistent or coherent in itself, but there are still fundamental truths that cannot be deduced from it; it is incomplete. But if the system is changed in so far as it can take up these truths, or in other words, if the aim is completeness, it inevitably becomes both contradictory and inconsistent.

Thus, it is somewhat evident that „classical“ philosophy is in crisis. There is no common Sophia anymore that could be unconditionally loved, and to claim certain truths is now a difficult undertaking. Nevertheless, to some extent we are still dependent on certain reference systems. Lévinas[35] describes this problem as follows: “Die Krise der uns überlieferten Philosophie kann sich allein in ihrer Unfähigkeit aussprechen, auf ihre eigenen Sinnkriterien zu antworten. Sie beruht demnach auf der Unmöglichkeit, in der sich diese Philosophie befindet, die Übereinstimmung der Erkenntnis mit sich selbst aufrechtzuerhalten. Die Krise ist so ein inneres Zersplittern des in der Erkenntnis situierten und des die Identität oder die Ruhe des Seins zum Ausdruck bringenden Sinns.“ In addition to that, he emphasizes a thinking “des Absoluten, ohne daß dieses Absolute als ein Ziel und Ende erreicht würde, was immer noch Finalität und Endlichkeit bedeutet hätte. Idee des Unendlichen– vom Bewußtsein losgelöstes Denken, nicht dem negativen Begriff des Unbewußten folgend, sondern dem vielleicht am tiefsten gedachten Denken, dem des Des-inter-esses: Beziehung ohne Einwirken auf ein Seiendes, ohne Antizipation von Sein, vielmehr reine Geduld.“[36] Patience is the deepest form of thinking (of) the novum without any intention: hence the beyond could be a “Bewußtsein, das nicht Bewußtsein-von-… wäre, sondern Seelisch-Geistiges, das seine Intentionalität anhält, so wie man seinen Atem anhält, und also reine Geduld: Warten ohne irgendein Erwartetes oder Hoffnung, in der nichts Erhofftes das Unendliche zur Inkarnation bringen, in der keine Protention das Spiel der Geduld vereiteln will; Passivität, passiver als alle Passivität des Ertragens– das noch ein Auf-sich-nehmen wäre–[...]“[37]

And it could be a beyond in itself, not a beyond of something.

Back to the roots–

Back to meta-physics.

1. Via, veritas et vita: Meta-physics by violent means

Nihil est sine ratione


One essential(ist) trait of meta-physics is to provide us with the way, the truth and existence–

not too astonishingly, only few thinkers of the post dare to name it, for they progressively run after the likewise progressive novum. Nonetheless, we have to deal with these violent procedures, we need to find a way out out of this totalitarian establishment. Yet an exit requires a previously determined threat; but how can we nonviolently define violence, for de-fining is violent itself?

For Gianni Vattimo it is the “Schweigen gebietende Endgültigkeit der ´in Präsenz´ gegebenen Begründung“[38] that allows us to identify violence without evading to meta(-) physical terms like “nature” or a special structure of being. Indeed, this seems to be a very happy end, but unfortunately it is not a lucky beginning. For the time being, we have to insist on the linear meta-physical term “meta” here, as the same implies violence from the very beginning: “meta” represents nothing but the endeavour to work our way through to the last Grund. Violence is a Be-Gründung with meta-physics as its solid base; every definition has its roots in a last raison. But let us give two practical examples for this:

The first is Ervin Laszlo[39], who is convinced that, once natural sciences have realized that the whole cosmos is permanently connected, they will be able to provide a coherent explanation of all things that exist in time and space, from the atoms to the galaxies, from the bacteria to the human beings. Great!

The second representative Begründung comes from Emerich Coreth[40]. For him, meta-physics is “die Bewegung des Denkens, die über das ´physisch´ gegenständliche Seiende hinaus zum alles umfassenden und begründenden Ganzen vordringt als dem ungegenständlichen, eben ´meta-physischen´ Grund, in dessen Horizont wir in unserer Welt Seiendes erfahren und verstehen. Das Sein erweist sich als der umgreifende Grund, der Subjekt und Objekt, Welt und Geschichte zugleich übersteigt und ermöglicht, sich in diesem Geschehen jedoch auf unthematische und ungegenständliche Weise offenbart.“ On the other hand he states: “Aufgabe der Metaphysik ist es aber, das Sein ausdrücklich zur Sprache zu bringen .“ Fine! Let us do so with Heidegger, whose perception of being is a bit different. For him, Sein is not a Grund or arché, but rather Geschick, that is, Sendung, Überlieferung, Mitteilung.[41] It is something inherited, yet at the same time – for being an event, a process– it cannot be the foundation for metaphysics. After all it is something like the Tao, and the Tao that can be explained is not the real Tao. What we are (or see or hear) is never the examined phenomena, but only its effect;[42] everything is an illusion…hence let us give a final, quite different example:

“Who is the Spirit behind the eye and the ear?

It is the ear of the ear, the eye of the eye,and

the Word of words, the mind of mind, and the

life of life. Those who follow wisdom pass

beyond and, on leaving this world, become


There the eye goes not, nor words no mind.

We know not, we cannot understand, how

he can be explained: He is above the known

and he is above the unknown.”[43]

Without any reason.

Meta-physics– with its attempt to bundle up personal beyonds to a generalized beyond– is one of the most violent meta-narrations of all. Everything has to have an explanation, everything has to be based on something, everything has to have a (linear) beginning and an end. But it is exactly this endeavour to reach a first and last principle that inspires violence[44], as it is the case with our strive for the eternal improvement. We are never good enough.

And this form of meta-physics has not died yet, although it might have a distinct, more enlightened form– despite the fact that the enlighters may have refused to think so. It seems clear: „Die Metaphysik bleibt das Erste der Philosophie.”[45] Sensu Gadamer, the „natural predisposition” of humans to metaphysics (=we will have to deal with this problematic assertion later on) cannot be oppressed, although its state as “first science“ might not be constantly renewable.[46] For him, it is the humanities that inherited this human questioning of the last things. Despite the fact that it seems to be rather a mixture of contemporary physics and philosophy that are giving some answers to those questions (unlike in metaphysics, there are always answers), it is true: meta-physics is still alive.

As we have seen, every common Grund implies violence. Consequently, we have to return to the question: can there be nonviolent metaphysics? Can there be nonviolent narrations at all? Can there be reasons instead of raison?

Although Grund and Begründung until recently have been the main objective and method of philosophy[47], this could be the case. And these reasons might be reasons of difference, different reasons than the Vernunftprinzip, which Deleuze[48] classifies as follows:

- The identity of the notion is reflected in a ratio cognoscendi
- The opposite of the predicate is unfolded in a ratio fiendi
- The analogy of the judgement is distributed in a ratio essendi
- The similarity of perception determines a ratio agendi

Every difference that is not rooted this way has to be uncoordinated, inordinated, is too big or too small etc. “Man schließt daraus, daß die Differenz an sich verflucht bleibt und büßen muß, oder daß sie in den Formen der Vernunft gesühnt werden muß, durch die sie erträglich und denkbar[...]gemacht wird.“ One possible exit could be a different ontology, an ontology of individuals, that is, the idea that “there is no room for entities like ´society´ or ´culture´ in general. Institutional organizations[…]are, in this ontology, not abstract totalities but concrete social individuals, with the same ontological status as individual human beings but operating at larger spatio-temporal scales[…]And like organisms and species, the relations between individuals at each spatio-temporal scale is one of parts to whole, with each individual emerging from the causal interactions among the members of populations of smaller scaler individuals.”

Of course and above all this ontology has to be a weak ontology; there cannot be something like generalized meta-physics, but only individual metaphysics– also due to the reason that with God’s decease another form of meta-physics emerged, a metaphysics that does not need the (violent) concept of God anymore. It was the enlightenment (“die Entfaltung der Macht des Grundes in der Geschichte”[49] ) that was now on decline, not God as such, as we will see later on.

For Vattimo, the rejection of metaphysics is not due to reasons of cognition, but due to the attempt to reveal it as a manifestation of violence.[50] And, as he states, both Heidegger and Nietzsche do not counter metaphysical violence with a metaphysical ethics of nonviolence[51]. Indeed, violence must not be replaced by a likewise violent nonviolence; neither must traditional metaphysics be unmasked in the name of an even “truer” Grund[52]. However, Vattimo´s “solution” is simple: the insight that every position is a position among many others makes violence impossible.[53] But of course it is not that easy to discard this violent dis-ease. Who decides whether a position is a position? Or, in our case, who decides if an approach is a metaphysical approach or not? Even so, one exit could be the pensiero debole, with which we will deal later on, for it seems to provide a way out of this impasse. But evidently this must not lead to a Verwindung of metaphysics[54], that is, to a secularized post-metaphysical thinking, for the secular being the dominant, enlightened form of violence that has determined our thinking over the last centuries.

If at all, nonviolent metaphysics can only be narrated in a singular, and not a plural form. It is something merely personal and must not be generalized, as violence is rooted in generalizations. As the philosopher of science Nancy Cartwright put it– the laws of physics lie. Generality is achieved at the expense of accuracy.[55]

Without giving any credence to this old dichotomy, we still could apply it to our topic: generalized meta-physics cannot claim to be valid for anybody, that is, there is a former Grund required, former assumptions that lead to the perception of meta-physics. But if we do not agree on the ingredients, we cannot prepare the violent meal– there is a need for dis-solutions.

1.1. Veritas. On the „Grund“

„Die Philosophie versammelt sich

nicht auf ihren Grund.

Sie verläßt ihn stets,

und zwar durch die Metaphysik.

Aber sie entgeht ihm gleichwohl nie.“[56]

„Alles Seiende hat seinen Grund“[57] – a common phrase that Heidegger himself was already tired of, and for good reason: “Diese verbreitete Formulierung legt bereits den exklamatorischen Charakter des Prinzips nahe, die Identität von Prinzip und Ausruf, den Ausruf der Vernunft par excellence. Alles, das ist alles, was geschieht, was auch immer geschieht.“[58] On the other hand, he seems to have no reservations against simplicity. “Die Wahrheit des Seins kann deshalb der Grund heißen, in dem die Metaphysik als die Wurzel des Baumes der Philosophie gehalten, aus dem sie genährt wird.”[59] Hence we have come full circle: ” [d]er Baum der Philosophie entwächst dem Wurzelboden der Metaphysik.“[60] And there has to be a certain Grund that can be angedacht... nihil est sine ratione.

In Vom Wesen des Grundes, Heidegger defines the same in terms of Freiheit: „Die Freiheit als Transzendenz ist jedoch nicht nur eine eigene ´Art´ von Grund, sondern der Ursprung vom Grund überhaupt [61]; “Freiheit ist Freiheit zum Grunde.”[62] But we have to make a distinction between Gründung and Grund. “Die Gründung betrifft den Boden und zeigt, wie sich etwas auf diesem Boden einrichtet, ihn besetzt und in Besitz nimmt; der Grund aber kommt eher vom Himmel herab, reicht vom First bis zu den Fundamenten[...]“.[63] For Deleuze[64], this divine Grund (“das Geschäft des Logos oder der ratio sufficiens”) has a triple sense: in the original meaning it is the identical, the same; it has the highest identity. Every image is called re-presentation. Once the world of representation is created, the Grund is secondly not defined about the identical anymore, as the identical has become the inner trait of representation. It does now express a claim that has to be explained/ begründet as well, because the object of the claim does not represent a qualitative difference anymore, but is what is too big or too small, means abundance or scarcity, that is, the infinite. The claim of the representation is the conquest of the infinite; consequently, begründen means to turn the representation into the infinite. These traits are combined into another, for begründen is always bending– “die Abfolge der Jahreszeiten, Jahre und Tage organisieren. Der Gegenstand des Anspruchs (die Qualität, die Differenz) wird in einem Kreis umgesetzt; Kreisbögen unterscheiden einander, sofern der Grund im qualitativen Werden Stockungen, Augenblicke, Pausen herbeiführt, die zwischen den beiden Extremen des Mehr und des Weniger enthalten sind.“

In this context, it seems fundamental to mention Vattimo´s interpretation that Heidegger´s thinking has no other “objective” than the errors of metaphysics, “die in einer Einstellung er-innert werden, die weder die der kritschen Überschreitung noch die der wiederaufnehmenden und fortführenden Hinnahme ist.“[65]

Hence the An-denken was invented, but: “Was denken wir dann, wenn wir uns zum Sein andenkend verhalten? Wir können das Sein nur als gewesen , als nicht (mehr) gegenwärtig denken. Der Rückgang in die Geschichte der Metaphysik[...] hat die Struktur eines regressus in infinitum .[66] But what, then, about the present? What about the now, if we eternally return? The past has passed, and again it is a Cartesian, mechanical affinity that determines (t)his philosophy: “Heidegger believes an inquiry into the logic basis or ground ( Grund ) of metaphysics can demonstrate that the ground does not simply belong to metaphysics and that there is an equivocation here that metaphysics can neither accept nor control. The logico-metaphysical understanding of both the ground of metaphysics and the principle ( Satz ) ostensibly articulating it neither fully determines what is meant by “ground” nor reveals what is essential in the notion of a Grundsatz .”[67] But it seems as if already the question about metaphysics were a question beyond meta-physics. „Sie entspringt einem Denken, das schon in die Überwindung der Metaphysik eingegangen ist. Zum Wesen solcher Übergänge gehört es, daß sie in gewissen Grenzen noch die Sprache dessen sprechen müssen, was sie überwinden helfen.“[68] This might be due to Heidegger´s interpretation that we have to be aware of our being-involved in metaphysics: “Die Metaphysik läßt sich nicht wie eine Ansicht abtun. Man kann sie keineswegs als eine nicht mehr geglaubte und vertretene Lehre hinter sich bringen.“[69] It is about a Genesung, not an overcoming, as the latter would be meta-physical as well. He himself is convinced that the question of the nature of the Grund is a problem of transcendence,[70] a term that means “

[71] and which is a certain relation, that is, the climbing over from somewhere to somewhere. And metaphysics is “die ´Epochalität´ des Seins, der von einer arché , einem Grund , der verschiedene Formen annimmt, beherrschten Epochen.“[72] The being is an event, “und von ihm zu sprechen bedeutet nichts anderes, als dieser Ereignisse als Seins- Überlieferung , Seins-Geschick zu ´ge-denken´[...]“.

Meta-physics might be equivalent to Kant´s “Weltbegriff”[73] – for Heidegger “diejenige Idee, in der die absolute Totalität der in endlicher Erkenntnis zugänglichen Objekte a priori vorgestellt wird.“ Begründen is not proving something, but “soviel wie die Ermöglichung der Warumfrage überhaupt[...]Das stiftende Gründen gibt als Weltentwurf Möglichkeiten der Existenz vor.“[74] After all, also his conclusion is a meta(-)physical one: “Und so ist der Mensch, als existierende Transzendenz überschwingend in Möglichkeiten, ein Wesen der Ferne. Nur durch ursprüngliche Fernen, die er sich in seiner Transzendenz zu allem Seienden bildet, kommt in ihm die wahre Nähe zu den Dingen ins Steigen. Und nur das Hörenkönnen in die Ferne zeitigt dem Dasein als Selbst das Erwachen der Antwort des Mitdaseins, im Mitsein mit dem es die Ichheit darangeben kann, um sich als eigentliches Selbst zu gewinnen.“[75]

“Begehren ohne Befriedigung, das gerade darum das Wachsen der Ferne, die Andersheit und die Exteriorität des Anderen versteht. Für das Begehren hat diese Andersheit, die der Idee inadäquat ist, einen Sinn. Sie wird verstanden als die Andersheit des Anderen und des Erhabenen.”[76]

But since Günther Anders we know that there is no Ferne in der Ferne anymore

And for Nietzsche we realized that the Grund or God is obsolete; apart from the interpretation that it (=I rather speak of God as something neutral, it is neither a he nor a she) is not able to fulfil his purpose anymore– that is, to provide security – nobody believes in it any longer. But as it will be pointed out later on, it had been exactly this death that led to a re-naissance

of metaphysics, of various Gods. Or, to put it another way: God´s incarnation was that of many Gods.

1.1.1. Via. Into the dark

« et lux in tenebris

lucet »


What is meta-physics?

It seems as if this question must have no answer, for a de-finition is a penal complex with scarce possibilities of freedom. So we rather should adapt Luhmann´s characterization for the term “culture”; as the latter, also meta-physics has the special quality, „jede Heterogenität zusammenzufassen. Es war immer unklar und umstritten gewesen, was dieser Begriff besagte– was er einschloß und was er ausschloß.“[77] Indeed, „meta-physics“ is an empty term , without specific meaning; it had been invented to be filled– generally, it seems to be understood as “the investigation of being qua being and of its ultimate categories”[78]; hence it “leads the philosopher into complete darkness”[79]. On the other hand, there has to be certain darkness in order to resist enlightened luminosity.

To get things straight forward, we maybe should start with Gianni Vattimo. If we believe him it is quite simple: “[…]die Epoche, in der wir heute leben und die zu Recht postmodern heißt, ist die Epoche, in der man sich die Wirklichkeit nicht mehr als eine fest in einem einzigen Fundament verankerte Struktur denken, wobei es die Aufgabe der Philosophie wäre, diese zu erkennen, und die Aufgabe der Religion vielleicht, sie anzubeten. Die tatsächlich pluralistische Welt, in der wir leben, läßt sich nicht mehr mit einem Denken interpretieren, das sie im Namen einer letzten Wahrheit um jeden Preis in eine Einheit bringen will.“[80] Undeniably, this meta-physics is (almost) dead, the last foundations are about to disappear. Nevertheless, what remains?

Heidegger[81] answers the question as follows: “Sie denkt das Seiende als das Seiende. Überall wo gefragt wird, was das Seiende sei, steht Seiendes als solches in der Sicht.“ Of course, but does this help us? I am afraid it does not. Where does this being come from, who has in-vented it? According to Parmenides´ paradoxon, only being is, not-being is not; “Wenn aber nur das Seiende ist, so kann es auch nichts außerhalb des Seienden geben, das dieses Seiende gliedert, das Veränderungen veranlassen könnte[…]Die Veränderungen, die wir erleben, könnten also nur Schein sein.“[82] Also for Sartre[83] the question “Why there is being?” does not make any sense, because the question “why” comes after the “being”, that is, the being is required for being able to ask this question: “Das Sein ist, ohne Grund [raison], ohne Ursache und ohne Notwendigkeit; eben die Definition des Seins liefert uns seine ursprüngliche Kontingenz.“

Thus, nihilism is unattainable, for nihilism as a re-action is and creates something, that is, some thing and not no thing. And even negation, “die vorgibt, das Sein von sich zu weisen, ist in ihrer Opposition Position auf einem Gelände, auf welches sie sich aufstützt. Sie trägt den Staub des Seins, das sie zurückweist, an sich.“[84] For this reason we should rather use Deschamp´s term rienisme[85] .

But to keep existentialism going:

The Heideggerian „Grundfrage der Metaphysik“ is: “Warum ist überhaupt Seiendes und nicht vielmehr Nichts?”[86] Or, to put it differently: „Warum überhaupt etwas und nicht nichts?“[87] Indeed, why there is some-thing and not no-thing? Obviously, these questions are still shaped by the idea of a last reason (raison d´être). Although he questions this some-thing, he nonetheless takes it for granted. In contrast, the starting point for a non-existentialist and a bit more metaphysical approach might be:

Why there is no-thing and not some-thing ?

This would be the key for every beyond, and in doing so this no-thing is not perceived as nothing, but simply as the lack of the one and only thing/ Grund. In this context it is “clear that knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. One can have the clearest and most complete knowledge of what is, and yet not be able to deduct from that what should be the goal of our human aspirations. Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievements of certain ends, but the ultimate goal itself and the longing to reach it must come from another source.”[88]

Of course this cannot be an absolute goal in itself, but still: This longing might be fundamental for human being(s). People apparently ask questions which cannot be answered “– nach dem Anfang von allem, nach dem Nichts, nach der Zukunft, nach dem Tode, nach dem Sinn des Lebens, nach dem Glück. Offenkundig gibt es im Menschen als solchem eine Leidenschaft solchen Fragens[...]“[89] This passion might be due to the invisible; as said before, metaphysics is what we cannot see, what we cannot explain, because it is beyond our traditional forms of understanding (the world), like it is the case within modern physics: “Wir können die Naturvorgänge im atomaren Bereich nicht mehr in der gleichen Weise ergreifen wie die Vorgänge im großen. Wenn wir die gewohnten Begriffe verwenden, so wird ihre Anwendbarkeit durch die sog. `Unbestimmtheitsrelation` eingeschränkt. Für den weiteren Verlauf des atomaren Vorgangs können wir in der Regel nur die Wahrscheinlichkeit voraussagen. Nicht mehr die objektiven Ereignisse, sondern die Wahrscheinlichkeiten für das Eintreten gewisser können in mathematischen Formeln festgelegt werden. Nicht mehr das faktische Geschehen selbst, sondern die Möglichkeit zum Geschehen[...]ist strengen Naturgesetzen unterworfen.“[90]

The fervour for questions has led to the construction of metaphysics (and, alas, meta-physics as well, but this is of no importance here), to countless possibilities to describe metaphysics. But there must be no answer, only answers; in total, there must be no way to define it, since it has to be experienced. Personal truths cannot be expressed: “Und diese Wahrheit oder plötzliche Erleuchtung kann wohl auf injunctive Weise vermittelt werden– durch ´Sichhineinleben´, wie Platon es nennt–, aber sie kann nicht erschöpfend ausgesagt und mit Worten weitergegeben werden.“[91] Metaphysics is “dem ´Woanders´ zugewandt, dem ´Anders´ und dem ´Anderen´. In ihrer allgemeinsten Form, die sie in der Geschichte des Denkens angenommen hat, erscheint die Metaphysik in der Tat als eine Bewegung, die ausgeht von einem ´Zuhause´, das wir bewohnen, von einer uns vertrauten Welt– mögen auch an ihren Randzonen noch unbekannte Gebiete liegen oder verboren sein–, und die hingeht zu einem fremden Außersich, zu einem ´Da drüben´.“[92]

Above all, it has to be rather a multiple than an essentialist one. While an essence represents the ideal form[93], the concept of multiplicity means the structure of spaces of possibilities[94]. In this context, Deleuze´s concept of a multiplicity comes very close to our metaphysical perception, as it “takes as its first defining feature these two traits of a manifold: its variable number of dimensions and, more importantly, the absence of a supplementary (higher) dimension imposing an extrinsic coordinatization, and hence, an extrinsically defined unity.”[95] But while for Deleuze (and Guattari) the “spiritual method” “necesita presuponer una fuerte unidad principal.”[96], it seems as if it were exactly the other way round. As we have seen, spiritual experiences cannot be explained by words, and therefore this unity cannot be violent either, for there is no language/ Grund required. However, for not embodying “that style of thought in which individuation is achieved through the creation of classifications and of formal criteria for membership in those classifications [97] it would also be non-topological metaphysics. Within metaphysics there is no possibility to classify, as there is nothing that could be classified.

Thus, maybe a first, reductionist distinction between meta-physics and metaphysics would be the one between essence and multiplicity. It would be manifold metaphysics. But as we have pointed out, the denouncing of essentialism must not lead to a denouncement of the transcendent– on the contrary: it must denounce typologist meta-physics while referring to manifold metaphysics. The second, likewise reductionist duality would be a distinction between intensive (metaphysics) and extensive (meta-physics): like the components of an ecosystem are normally intensive (that is, they form an assemblage of heterogeneous components), an intensive process relates difference to difference[98]. Different from a Grund, this “flexible links which these components afford one another allow not only the meshing of differences, but also endow the process with the capacity of divergent evolution, that is, the capacity to further differenciate differences .” No consensus required: “Da sie das Ungleiche an sich enthält und bereits Differenz an sich ist, bejaht die Intensität die Differenz. Sie macht aus der Differenz einen Gegenstand von Bejahung.“[99] Hence we have to affirm that “le rien est plus simple et plus facile que quelque chose”[100] .

1.1.2. Vita. Common sense

“Das Nichts war zweifellos bequemer.

Wie mühsam ist es,

sich im Sinn aufzulösen!“[101]

Since Viktor Frankl we know that we, the privileged, live in an empty era: confronted with an existential frustration, our predominant collective feeling seems to be a feeling of senselessness/meaninglessness, a „Sinnlosigkeitsgefühl, das mit einem Leeregefühl vergesellschaftet ist– weshalb ich von einem existentiellen Vakuum spreche.”[102]

But which implication does this have on the longing for a beyond?

“Im Gegensatz zum Tier sagen dem Menschen keine Instinkte, was er muß, und im Gegensatz zum Menschen von gestern sagen dem Menschen von heute keine Traditionen mehr, was er soll. Nun, weder wissend, was er muß, noch wissend, was er soll, scheint er oftmals nicht mehr recht zu wissen, was er im Grunde will.“[103]

Thus, it seems as if we were condemned to this beyond– already Maslow[104] considered the human longing/will for meaning as being the main motivation of human beings, as a “higher need”. In addition to that, Frankl mentions the phenomena of the self-transcendence of human existence[105], that is, the fact that the being-human is directed towards something or somebody, which is not him/herself: towards a sense, a meaning that has to be fulfilled, or other human beings who we love. The more s/he is wrapped up in his tasks or the more he dedicates him- or herself to the partner, the more s/he becomes him- or herself. To fulfil/complete oneself, it is necessary to forget about oneself…and also E.M. Cioran[106] affirms that the wish to advance metaphysically implies the impossibillity of maintaining our identity; he is furthermore convinced that our ancestors have not been sage, but frustrated people, “Willenskranke, Tollwütige, und es bleibt uns nichts anderes übrig, als ihre Enttäuschungen oder Überschwenglichkeiten fortzusetzen.”[107]

It is our pre-destination that determines the present. Yet, mimetics does not help either: “[…]das Sinnvolle der Welt-Person innerhalb sinnloser Individualgeschichte aufzuzeigen, befreit zwar sinngeschichtlich, bleibt aber tatgeschichtlich machtlos und hochgeschichtlich zuerst unbrauchbar[...]Sich auf Metaphysik als epochalgeschichtliche Sinnverweigerung und –verdrehung zu besinnen hilft erst dem a potiori von Welt und Mensch zu seinem Rang und erlaubt damit erst wahre denominatio und interpretatio [...]Metaphysik, Christentum, moderne Dogmen, die Wissenschaft, unsere Fehlgeschichte im ganzen enthüllen sich dann nicht als das, was sie sind: als Sinnverlust aus Flucht vor Hochsinn und Verstrick in Schein-sinn.“[108]

Meaninglessness, again; hence we should argue with Deleuze[109], who thinks that a species is not defined by its essential traits but by the morphogenetic process that gave rise to it. Species, then, would be historically constituted entities, having undergone common processes of selection. “In short, while an essentialist account of species is basically static, a morphogenetic account is inherently dynamic. And while an essentialist account may rely on factors that transcend the realm of matter and energy (eternal archetypes, for instance), a morphogenetic account gets rid of all transcendent factors using exclusively form-generating resources which are immanent to the material world.” Transcendence (this “enfermedad específicamente europea”[110] ) understood in a Heideggerian sense, “als Bezirk der Frage nach dem Wesen des Grundes”[111], implies a non-material world, a getting-rid of the the matter– “Endgültige Befreiung kann es nur in der Leere geben, niemals in der Form.“[112] As we have seen, (t)his transcendence is an Überstieg; “Transzendent[…] ist, was den Überstieg vollzieht, im Übersteigen verweilt[…]Formal läßt sich der Überstieg als eine ´Beziehung´ fassen, sie sich ´von´ etwas ´zu´ etwas hinzieht. Zum Überstieg gehört dann solches, woraufzu der Überstieg erfolgt, was unzutreffend meist das ´Transzendente´ genannt ist.“[113]

But back to the roots, once again.

The burden of our heritage could be equivalent to Lévinas[114] trauma of the end, where human failure begins; “das bedrängende Bevorstehen des Nichts, die Bedrohung durch Gewalttätigkeiten, die dessen Fälligkeit beschleunigen können, die Zerstreuungen, die die Aufmerksamkeit von ihm ablenken, aber auch der Glaube, der dieses Bevorstehen des Nichts verneint– gestatten es, die menschliche `Materie´ nach Belieben zu formen.“ According to him[115], identity is the criterion for sense/meaning, which means that we (if we give credence to Adorno) do not have an identity. For being a meaning or sense it cannot be given, it has to be found[116] ; at the same time it cannot be produced. Although this could be an immense potential towards nonviolent metaphysics, towards open identities, me must not forget that our identity is dependent on the other(s)–

“Lo que realmente nos aterra

es este universo ciego,

este no ser para la mirada de Otro.”[117]

Why? Maybe it is the very interpretation that we negate the beyond in ourselves, that there is something missing. We will miss meaning if we never question it. Or, in other words: meaning is not something given, meaning has to be constructed. Now, that we are more or less in the position to choose our constructions we do not know which one to choose. So it is not a question of sense or meaning, but the very fact that we have to choose. There is always an alternative… An exit out of this impasse could be Lévinas ´ “Nähe Gottes, in der sich, in ihrer Irreduzierbarkeit auf das Wissen, die Sozialität abzeichnet, die besser ist als die Verschmelzung und als die Vollendung des Seins im Selbstbewußtsein[...]Nähe, die schon der bloßen Dauer, der Geduld zu leben, einen Sinn verleiht, den Sinn des rein, ohne Daseinszweck gelebten Lebens, Rationalität, die älter ist als die Offenbarung des Seins.“[118] Whether God is replaced by the word beyond or not is not esse-ntial. What is crucial is the insight in the impossibility of explanations, and the insight in the ridiculousness of a meaning per se.

We have to think the infinite without being like this infinite and, consequently, without returning to ourselves, which means a questioning of the possibility of a thinking trough the other.[119] “Die Sinnfrage muß vielmehr so lauten, wie Dichtung sie vorbegrifflich bereits kennt, aber nur ungehört stellt: wann erhalten Selbsterhaltung sowie Zwecksetzung, wann erhält überhaupt Da-zu-Sein für den Menschen einen Inhalt, der es so erfüllt, daß er erstmalig bejahend von sich sagen muß: so bin ich Mensch, so will ich´s sein?[...]Zwietracht zwischen Weltruf ins Freye und Seinsflucht ins Enge, somit zwiefacher Ausstand durchzieht als Ex-si-stenz sein Sein: unfähig, sein Großwesen zu meistern, bleibt er außen stehen, ohne in Seinsbettung ganz zurück zu können.“[120]

Philosophy is as well, and above all, challenged by the demand for meaning–

“Die Kontinuität, die der spätmoderne Mensch von der Philosophie verlangt, um seinem Leben einen Sinn zu geben, ist die säkularisierte Form der metaphysischen ´Begründung´. Es handelt sich um eine Kontinuität, die die Aufgabe hat, zwei Arten von Diskontinuität und Zersplitterung zu überwinden: diejenige zwischen Gegenwart und Vergangenheit und diejenige zwischen dem vielfältigen Wissen über die Welt, das sich in seiner zunehmenden Spezialisierung einer Synthese verschließt[...]“[121]

Thus, maybe it is about permanence. Maybe we cannot cope with our being-finite–

Therefore, let us talk about (r)evolution.

1.2. (R)Evolution: empty (w)holes

„Wir wollen doch nichts

als ein wenig Ordnung,

um uns vor dem Chaos zu schützen.“[122]

Lately (at least since the 1970s) it has become fashionable to cross (scientific) borders. Nowadays everybody has to think energetically (that is, within one predetermined form of energy), talk about holons, about the Kosmos. Systemic thinking is en vogue, again, and meta-physics is not questioned at all, the possibility of feasible violence within the theory of all theories is faded out. They are the good ones, they welcome everybody, they include everybody– if we want or not, we have to be part of them: “Die ganzheitliche Weltsicht der Systemwissenschaften ergibt eine Perspektive der Harmonie und des dynamischen Gleichgewichts[…]Es herrscht Freiheit insoweit, als jeder seinen Weg des Fortschritts wählen kann, doch sind dieser Freiheit die Schranken der Vereinbarkeit mit der dynamischen Struktur des Ganzen, in welches man eingebettet ist, gesetzt.“[123]

And it is exactly the violence of this meta-physics (already a “proof” for the upcoming thesis that there is no need for “post-metaphysics”, as meta-physics is alive, as it is just another tendency) why we are dealing with this new-age thinking here. It is simply a post of the very Cartesian meta-physics that people like Laszlo or Wilber tend to overcome – and it perfectly fits in this tradition. These thinkers are still searching for the truth by means of theories– but “theories are ways of looking which are neither true nor false, but rather clear and fruitful in certain domains, and unclear and unfruitful when extended beyond these domains. This means, of course, that there is no way to prove or disprove a theory (especially if it aims at a universal sort of significance).”[124]

Yet, theory, derived from the Greek theoria, means nothing but “to view” or “to make a spectacle”; this implies that “the theory is regarded primarily as a way of looking at the world through the mind, so that it is a form of insight (and not a form of knowledge of what the world is).”[125] Most systemic thinkers presume to have this knowledge; their Weltanschauungen correspond with Vattimo´s definition of meta(-)physics: “Ein gewaltsames Denken ist die Metaphysik vielmehr als Denken der endgültigen Präsenz des Seins– im Sinne einer Letztbegründung, der gegenüber man nur schweigen und vielleicht noch Bewunderung empfinden kann. Wenn diese Begründung als absolut unbestreitbare gegeben wird, die keine weiteren Fragen mehr zuläßt, ist sie wie eine Autorität, die Schweigen gebietet und sich durchsetzt, ohne `Erklärungen zu geben`.“[126]

A perfect example for this might be Wilber. His Letztbegründung are holons– “Formen setzen sich endlos, unaufhörlich holarchisch fort, auch wenn das Weltall einstürzt und in einem neuen Urknall einen neuen Anfang nimmt– Holons immer weiter hinauf, Holons immer weiter hinunter[…]”[127] .

As we will see, both Laszlo and Wilber have their Grund-Sätze – be it holarchy or Macroshift–, both are conservative (r)evolutionists:

“Wie kommt eine Revolution der Wissenschaft zustande? Die Antwort lautet: Indem man versucht, so wenig wie möglich zu ändern[...]Denn nur dort, wo uns das Neue vom Problem selbst aufgezwungen wird, wo es gewissermaßen von außen, nicht von uns, kommt, hat es später die Kraft zu verwandeln.“[128]

Thus, an outside requires a problematic approach rather than an axiomatic approach[129] with its violent strive for a single law that would express it all; their new paradigm of evolution[130] (=directed towards an enduring improvement) stands for a new era of scientific thinking[131] with the (r)revolutionist allegation “daß die Evolution nicht stehenbleibt und jedes Stadium in ein größeres, umfassenderes Morgen einmündete. Und wenn das Heute Rationalität ist, dann ist das Morgen Transrationalität, und nicht ein wissenschaftliches Argument der Welt steht dagegen, sondern alles dafür.“[132]

In contrast to this, metaphysics has the big advantage to be unprovable, to be mere (personal) speculation; therefore, metaphysics can never be verified. But let us view their spectacles:

1.2.1. Macro.Shift

“Solange der Begriff des Ursprungs

überhaupt nicht als solcher kritisch geprüft wird,

bleibt der Radikalismus[...] der Mythologie des

absoluten Anfangs ausgeliefert.“[133]

Without many doubts, Ervin Laszlo is one of the most famous systemic thinkers. And without any doubts either, he is not famous for being too humble…

In general, Laszlo observes a worldwide process of transformation (problems, crises etc.), a process which he calls „Macroshift“[134]: a bifurcation in the evolutionary dynamics of society, a radical and fundamental change.[135] This means nothing but a transformation of civilization, with technology being the trigger and the values/consciousness of a critical mass as decision-maker[136]. For this transformation a planetary ethics is needed, with that peace and justice can be assured[137] – his formula for this ethics is: “Live in a way that allows all others to live as well”[138]. There are four stages towards Eden[139]:

1. The trigger-phase:

Characterized by innovations within that “hard technologies” lead to a greater efficiency in manipulating nature.

2. The phase of transformation:

These innovations irreversibly change the social and ecological relations and lead to a higher production of raw materials, faster growth of population, higher social complexity, and an increasing impact on nature.

3. The critical or chaotic phase:

The changing social or environmental relations lead to tensions and disappointments, traditional values and Anschauungen are questioned. Society becomes chaotic; the evolution of the way how values and moral norms react and change determines towards where the chaos leap leads.


[1] Manuel DeLanda, Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy, London/New York 2004, 68

[2] Michel de Certeau, Kunst des Handelns, Berlin 1988, 131

[3] Gilles Deleuze/Félix Guattari, Was ist Philosophie?, Frankfurt am Main 2000, 241

[4] Ervin Laszlo, Das fünfte Feld. Materie, Geist und Leben– Vision der neuen Wissenschaften, Bergisch Gladbach 2002 (2nd edition), 27

[5] ibídem, 201 (own translation –o.t.)

[6] Deleuze/Guattari 2000, 238

[7] quoted in: Jacques Derrida, Dissemination, Wien 1995 (ed. by Peter Engelmann), 322

[8] Letter to Picot, quoted in: Martin Heidegger, Vom Wesen des Grundes, Frankfurt am Main 1995 (8th edition),7

[9] Œuvres de Descartes, Vol. V, Paris 1964-1976 (revised edition, ed. by C.Adam/P. Tannery), 165, quoted in: Jaegwon Kim/Ernest Sosa (Eds.), A Companion to Metaphysics, Oxford/Cambridge (Mass.) 1995, 112

[10] René Descartes, Discours de la Méthode pour bien conduire sa raison, et chercher la verité dans les sciences, in: Philosophische Schriften : in einem Band, Hamburg 1996, 52

[11] Gianni Vattimo, Abschied. Theologie, Metaphysik und die Philosophie heute (ed. by Giovanni Leghissa), Wien 2003, 51f.

[12] Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Werke, 20, 445 (ed. by H. Glockner), without year, quoted in: Frank Werner Veauthier, Zeitkritik als Metaphysikkritik, in: Frank Werner Veauthier (Ed.), Martin Heidegger. Denker der Post-Metaphysik. Symposium aus Anlaß seines 100. Geburtstags, Heidelberg 1992, 25f. (9-47)

[13] Friedrich Nietzsche, Zur Genealogie der Moral, Stuttgart 2003, 3

[14] Werner Heisenberg, Schritte über Grenzen. Gesammelte Reden und Aufsätze, München 1971, 175 ( o.t.)

[15] see ibídem, 181

[16] Jacques Derrida, Apokalypse, Graz/Wien 1985, 10 (ed. by Peter Engelmann)

[17] Gianni Vattimo, Jenseits der Interpretation, Frankfurt am Main 1997, 122 (translation changed by Martin.G. Weiß), in: Martin G. Weiß, Gianni Vattimo. Einführung, Wien 2003, 111

[18] Deleuze/Guattari 2000, op.cit.,11

[19] ibídem, 9

[20] ibídem, 12

[21] Gianni Vattimo, Jenseits vom Subjekt. Nietzsche, Heidegger und die Hermeneutik, Graz/Wien 1986 (ed. by Peter Engelmann), 15

[22] Geoffrey Bennington, RIP, in: Richard Rand (Ed.), Futures of Jacques Derrida, Stanford 2001, 3 (3-17)

[23]You should not give such obsessive attention to metaphysical meditations”, Œuvres de Descartes, op.cit., 112

[24] Hans-Georg Gadamer, Hermeneutische Entwürfe. Vorträge und Aufsätze, Tübingen 2000, 14f.

[25] Jan Feye, Beyond Science, in: Uwe Meixner (Ed.), Metaphysics in the Post-Metaphysical Age. Proceedings of the 22nd International Wittgenstein-Symposium, 15th to 21st August 1999, Kirchberg am Wechsel (Austria), Wien 2001, 184 (184-190)

[26] Friedrich Nietzsche, On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense, in: The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, Cambridge 1999 (ed. by Raymond Geuss/Ronald Speirs), 141 (139-153)

[27] Gadamer 2000, op.cit., 204

[28] Peter Fenves, Out of the Blue. Secrecy, Radical Evil, and the Crypt of Faith, in: Rand (Ed.), op.cit., 99 (99-129)

[29] Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse. Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft, in: Gesammelte Werke, Bindlach 2005 (revised and selected by Wolfgang Deninger), 863 (857-955)

[30] Aristoteles, Metaphysik, 4th book 1011b, Stuttgart 1970, 107f., quoted in: Martin Binder, Zwischen Metaphysik und Relativismus. Zu Hilary Putnams Wahrheitssuche im Kontext der Klassischen Wahrheitstheorien, Münster 2004, 40

[31] Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, London/Bradford 1955 (6th edition), 96-97, edited and translated by C.K.O. (name unknown)

[32] see Kurt Gödel, Unpublished Philosophical Essays, Basel/Boston/Berlin 1995 (ed. by Francisco A. Rodríguez-Consuegra), 19

[33] ibídem, 25f.

[34] Ken Wilber, Eros, Kosmos, Logos. Eine Vision an der Schwelle zum nächsten Jahrtausend, Frankfurt am Main 1996a, 583

[35] Emmanuel Lévinas, Wenn Gott ins Denken einfällt. Diskurse über die Betroffenheit von Transzendenz, Freiburg/München 1999 (3rd edition), 157

[36] ibídem, 17

[37] ibídem, 164

[38] Gianni Vattimo, Jenseits der Interpretation. Die Bedeutung der Hermeneutik für die Philosophie, Frankfurt/New York 1997a, 53

[39] Laszlo 2002, op.cit., 242

[40] Emerich Coreth, Grundfragen der Hermeneutik. Ein philosophischer Beitrag, Freiburg/Basel/Wien 1969, 195

[41] Vattimo 2003, op.cit., 49

[42] Fritjof Capra, Der kosmische Reigen. Physik und östliche Mystik– ein zeitgemäßes Weltbild, Bern/München/Wien 1977, 49

[43] Kena Upanishad, Part I, in: The Upanishads, London 1965 (translated and selected by Juan Mascaró), 51 (51-54)

[44] Gianni Vattimo, Jenseits des Christentums. Gibt es eine Welt ohne Gott?, München/Wien 2004, 155

[45] Martin Heidegger, Was ist Metaphysik?, Frankfurt am Main 1998 (15th edition), 9

[46] Gadamer 2000, op.cit., 118

[47] Martin Weiß, Hermeneutik der Postmoderne. Metaphysikkritik und Interpretation bei Gianni Vattimo, doctoral thesis, Wien 2002, 12

[48] Gilles Deleuze, Differenz und Wiederholung, München 1997 (2nd edition), 329

[49] Vattimo 2003, op.cit., 29

[50] ibídem, 80

[51] ibídem, 82

[52] ibídem, 79

[53] Weiß 2002, op.cit., 175

[54] Vattimo 2003, op.cit., 108

[55] quoted in: DeLanda 2004, op.cit., 158f.

[56] Heidegger 1998, op.cit., 9

[57] Heidegger 1995, op.cit., 51

[58] Gilles Deleuze, Die Falte. Leibniz und der Barock, Frankfurt am Main 1995, 71

[59] Heidegger 1998, op.cit., 8

[60] ibídem, 8

[61] Heidegger 1995, op.cit., 44

[62] ibídem

[63] Deleuze 1997, op.cit., 111

[64] ibídem, 340f.

[65] Gianni Vattimo, Nihilismus und Postmoderne in der Philosophie, in: Wolfgang Welsch (Ed.), Wege aus der Moderne. Schlüsseltexte der Postmoderne-Diskussion, Berlin 1994, 240 (233-246)

[66] ibídem, 241

[67] Paul Davies, This Contradiction, in: Rand (Ed.), op.cit., 19 (18-64)

[68] Heidegger 1998, op.cit., 46

[69] Martin Heidegger, Vorträge und Aufsätze, Pfullingen 1954, 68, quoted in: Vattimo 1994, op.cit., 240

[70] Heidegger 1995, op.cit., 15

[71] ibídem, 17

[72] Vattimo 2003, op.cit., 117

[73] Heidegger 1995, op.cit., 30

[74] ibídem, 48

[75] ibídem, 55

[76] Emmanuel Lévinas, Totalität und Unendlichkeit. Versuch über die Exteriorität, Freiburg/München 2002, 37

[77] Niklas Luhmann, Beobachtungen der Moderne, Opladen 1992, 197

[78] Jaroslav Peregrin, Metaphysics as an Attempt to Have One´s Cake and Eat It, in: Meixner (Ed.), op.cit., 349 (349-357)

[79] Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Blue and Brown Books, Oxford 1958, 18, quoted in: ibídem

[80] Vattimo 2004, op.cit., 11f.

[81] Heidegger 1998, op.cit., 7

[82] Heisenberg 1971, op.cit., 290

[83] Jean Paul Sartre, Das Sein und das Nichts. Versuch einer phänomenologischen Ontologie, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1995, 1058f.

[84] Lévinas 1999, op.cit., 155

[85] see the chapter „Die Metaphysik des `Rienismus´“, in: Bronislaw Baczko, Weltanschauung, Metaphysik, Entfremdung. Philosophische Versuche, Frankfurt am Main 1969, 44-53

[86] Heidegger 1998, op.cit., 23

[87] Heidegger 1995, op.cit.,49

[88] Albert Einstein, Science and Religion (originally published in: Ideas and Opinions, Crown Publishers, Inc.1954, 1982), in: Ken Wilber, Quantum Questions. Mystical Writings of the World´s Great Physicists, Boston 2001b, 108 (107-113)

[89] Gadamer 2000, op.cit., 36

[90] Heisenberg 1971, op.cit., 29

[91] Wilber 1996a, op.cit., 392

[92] Lévinas 2002, op.cit., 35

[93] DeLanda 2004, op.cit., 15

[94] ibídem, 10

[95] ibídem, 12

[96] Gilles Deleuze/ Félix Guattari, Rizoma. Introducción, Valencia 2003 (3rd edition), 13

[97] DeLanda 2004, op.cit., 38

[98] ibídem, 73; see Gilles Deleuze/Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, Minneapolis 1987, 329

[99] Deleuze 1997, op.cit., 296

[100] Leibniz, quoted in: Heidegger 1998, op.cit., 25

[101] E.M. Cioran, Dasein als Versuchung, Stuttgart 1993 (2nd edition), 257

[102] Viktor Frankl, Das Leiden am sinnlosen Leben. Psychotherapie für heute, Freiburg/Basel/Wien 2000 (22nd edition), 11

[103] ibídem, 13

[104] quoted in: ibídem, 17

[105] ibídem, 18

[106] Cioran, op.cit., 7

[107] ibídem, 10

[108] Giorgio Guzzoni, Zur Verwindung der Metaphysik, Bonn 2002, 30f.

[109] explained in: DeLanda 2004, op.cit., 10

[110] Deleuze/Guattari 2003, op.cit., 42

[111] Heidegger 1995, op.cit., 17

[112] Wilber 1996a, op.cit., 387

[113] Heidegger 1995, op.cit., 17

[114] Lévinas 1999, op.cit., 80

[115] ibídem, 153

[116] Frankl, op.cit., 28

[117] Rosa M.ª Rodríguez Magda, Transmodernidad, Barcelona 2004, 184

[118] Lévinas 1999, op.cit., 165

[119] ibídem, 166

[120] Guzzoni, op.cit., 19

[121] Vattimo 2003, op.cit., 54f.

[122] Deleuze/Guatttari 2000, op.cit., 238

[123] Ervin Laszlo, Systemtheorie als Weltanschauung. Eine ganzheitliche Vision unserer Zeit, München 1998, 74

[124] David Bohm, On Creativity, London/New York 1998 (ed. by Lee Nichol), 47

[125] ibídem, 43

[126] Vattimo 1997a, op.cit., 53

[127] Wilber 1996a, op.cit., 386

[128] Heisenberg 1971, op.cit., 273

[129] DeLanda 2004, op.cit., 163

[130] Laszlo 1998, op.cit., 116

[131] ibídem, 117

[132] Wilber 1996a, op.cit., 603

[133] Jacques Derrida, Husserls Weg in die Geschichte am Leitfaden der Geometrie. Ein Kommentar zur Beilage III der „Krisis“, München 1987, 92, quoted in: Peter Zeilinger, How to avoid theology. Jacques Derrida an den Grenzen abendländischen Denkens, in: Ludwig Nagl (Ed.), Essays zu Jaques Derrida und Gianni Vattimo, Religion, Frankfurt am Main 2001, 73 (69-107)

[134] Ervin Laszlo, Macroshift. Die Herausforderung, Frankfurt am Main/Leipzig 2003, 18

[135] ibídem, 33

[136] ibídem, 42

[137] ibídem, 129

[138] ibídem, 130 (o.t.)

[139] ibídem, 37ff (o.t.)


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Beyond Eden




Title: Beyond Eden [distorting symmetree]