Avoiding One creation from NoOne

Nothingness is the peculiar possibility of being and its unique possibility.109 Nothing exists except on the assumed foundation of absence.110 The idea that nothingness is the foundation of being seems strange, if not wrongheaded, but this should not surprise us, for was it not the stranger in Plato's Sophist who argued that nothingness was the source of difference nothingness was the 'Other'.111 Deleuze appears to concur, for he argues that 'Non-being is difference.'112 Likewise, Blanchot...

Genealogy Of Nihilism

Nihilism is the logic of nothing as something, which claims that Nothing Is. Its unmaking of things, and its forming of formless things, strain the fundamental terms of existence what it is to be, to know, to be known. But nihilism, the antithesis of God, is also like theology. Where nihilism creates nothingness, condenses it to substance, God also makes nothingness creative. Negotiating the borders of spirit and substance, theology can ask the questions of nihilism that other disciplines do...

Audacity to be without being

For both Plotinus and Heidegger, the Nothing is the impetus of our approach to what is most real in the world, although beyond essence and existence the One, or Being. This is also an important point in Derrida's analysis.1 In Hesiod's Theogony we are told the tale of a divine drama involving tolmatic patricide and mutilation, which is the very advent of the world. Ouranos, the highest god, fathers wild children whom he hates. Because of this hate, Ouranos buries these children in the bosom of...

Nihilism the consummate philosophy

The desert is squeezed into the tube-train next to you. The desert is in the heart of your brother. There is a poem by Shelley called Ozymandias. In this poem a traveller comes across the remains of a statue in a desert, upon which there is an inscription that is still readable. It reads My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair. Such an inscription can be taken as a critique of vanity, the pretension of importance. Someone like Derrida takes the mobility of...

Ideas of the Divine

The Aristotelian notion of act may be combined with the Platonic notion of participation. But it is the notion of the ideas within the Christian theology of creation which alone explains the diversity of participants in the participated.109 Following a long tradition before him, Aquinas argues that there is a plurality of ideas in God's intellect, and they are of what he intends to create, or in speculative terms what God could create.110 These ideas are God's self-knowledge, for in knowing the...

Avicenna needs nothing

Avicenna Ibn-Sina was directly influenced by Plotinus.38 He took from the Neoplatonists the idea that being was equivalent to the intelligible in this sense creating was thinking , and his emanation scheme closely echoes the Plotinian one. For Avicenna, as for Plotinus, from the One, in this case God, there could come only one effect ex unu simplici non fit nisi unum .39 This was thought to be necessary for the protection of divine simplicity. The one effect which did arise was that of the...

Henry of Ghent the possibility of nothing

In Henry of Ghent we find a disciple of both Plotinus and Avicenna.78 Indeed, Ghent's work can be characterised as an 'Avicennian attempt to salvage Neoplatonism', as Clarke puts it.79 There are a number of important steps taken by Henry of Ghent that are essential to the shape of this story. The one that concerns us here is his treatment of divine ideas.80 Henry was part of a group of scholastics who asserted that the divine ideas are relations of reason relationes rationis vis a vis the...

The language of difference

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God . . . and the Word became flesh . . . The Word became flesh, and as Aquinas says, 'he was written on our flesh'.172 All materiality is the result of the Word, and this Word assumed that materiality - yet did so remaining as the Word. If our cognition requires the Word, if we only know because of the Word, by looking to the Word, and so to beauty, then we must understand that it is this Word which has become flesh. This Word - as beauty -...

Language of the Stone

Celan completes Heidegger.89 Alain Badiou Ignoring Adorno's precept, that there could not be any poetry after Auschwitz, Celan moves to write in the shadow of the Holocaust.90 Indeed, Celan appears to write because of the Holocaust his language takes its shape in the light of this horror. Celan seeks refuge in language itself, and it is his particular understanding and use of language that affords some comparison with Heidegger. Paul Celan spoke of language in a particular manner, one which...

Ockham

Ockham comes to the question determined to remove even esse objectivum from these possible creatures.118 Ockham criticised the traditional identification of the ideas with the divine essence. This criticism was fuelled by his overall concern to eradicate all metaphysical community and so enforce his ontology of indistinction, with its impervious singularity. It was this move that facilitated Ockham's particular conception of omnipotence, but it can be correctly expressed in the reverse it was...

Language to say nothing

For Heidegger, Dasein is the 'space' within which Being becomes unconcealed truth, as aletheia 'the unconcealedness of what is present, its Being revealed, its showing itself'.67 The showing of what is present takes place in or as language. Heidegger does not, in a sense, think that something other than the showing is shown, because showing is but a saying, viz., the activity of language 'Dasein is essentially determined by the potentiality for discourse.'68 Indeed, the 'asking' of the...

Derridas Spinozistic Plotinianism

Derrida's position illuminates Spinoza's position.14 It is possible to argue that Derrida is a Plotinian disciple of Spinoza a discipleship which is here referred to as meontotheology . We can begin to see this Plotinian Spinozism when we read Derrida insisting that 'in order to exceed metaphysics it is necessary that a trace be inscribed within the text of metaphysics, a trace that continues to signal . . . in the direction of an entirely other text'.15 It is this inscription that may allow...

Notes

1 This title refers back to the three critiques of Kant. 2 We have paid witness to this disappearing act in the preceding chapters. 8 In the Quodlibetal Questions Ockham denies that relation is a real thing, and that creation qua creation does not have a real relation with God see VI, q. 9 and VII, q. 1. 9 Or meta-structures, for example general types. 10 I have suggested elsewhere that Wittgenstein's advocacy of a purely descriptive philosophy was underwritten by an explanatory impulse, hence...

Nothing is outside the text

For both Plotinus and Heidegger, the Nothing is the impetus of our approach to what is most real in the world, although beyond essence and existence the One, or Being. This is also an important point in Derrida's analysis.1 In a certain way thought means nothing.2 Jacques Derrida This chapter does not offer a reading of any particular text of Derrida's. Instead it analyses the implications that can be discerned from what is deemed to be a central claim of Derrida's philosophy, namely that there...

Duns Scotus and William of Ockham univocity of Non Being

Duns Scotus102 was influenced by Henry of Ghent to such a degree that Gilson states that it is hardly possible to read Duns Scotus 'without having Ghent's writings at hand'.103 The other great influence on Scotus was that of Avicenna.104 From the latter Scotus inherited his notion of being,105 his definition of essence,106 and even of possibility with regard to these essences.107 From the former Scotus was to inherit the view that the infinity of God was a positive perfection, that matter was...