Logics of Oneness
Orthodox Academy of Crete
Chaniá 730 06
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The theme of the Workshop “Logics of Oneness” goes back to two fundamental philosophical ideas in connection with a neurophenomenal inquiry:
1. It relates to a key concept of Eastern philosophy, expressing the principle of organic integrity and unity of the world, which is the basis of world harmony.
2. It is associated with the problem of the ‘One and the Many’ in Greek philosophy. The word “Oneness” comes from the Greek term τὸ Ἕν (“the One”) that means ‘unit’ (μονάς) or ‘unity’ (μονότης).
3. It is utilized in neurophenomenology as a key concept which could account for consciousness without contents. Oneness in consciousness would stem from the integration of different parts in oneness.
The phenomena of physical, intellectual, and social worlds are commonly treated in terms of a bivalent logic of opposites:
· Union vs. separation.
· Community vs. isolation.
· Social vs. individual.
· Communion vs. loneliness.
· Cosmos (universe) vs. (individual) man.
· Collective vs. individual mind (consciousness)
At a neurophenomenal level, this bivalent logic of opposites can be declined as:
· Past vs. future.
· Strength vs. mercy.
· Intrinsic vs. extrinsic self-determination.
However, Oneness is not the opposite of separateness (in the ontological sense) and loneliness (in the existential sense). Oneness is a special kind of integration, in which the parts do not dissolve in a whole, but occupy their exclusive place in it; moreover, even if they belong to a whole and obey its order, they preserve their boundaries, their separateness and have their essence. Thus, Oneness does not exclude but presupposes a relative integrality and relative independence of the parts.
By “Oneness” is understood a special relationship between the whole and its parts, the parts as necessary structural constituents of the whole, and a reflection or “similitude” of the individual parts to the structure and the order of the whole.
At the neurophenomenal level, “Oneness” could represent the mental side of a neurophysiological integration of different perceptions produced by the different brain regions. From this point of view, the philosophical concept of Oneness may present a neuronal counterpart.
At the ontological level, “Oneness” denotes universal integration, which, on the one hand, preserves the meaning and order of the whole, and on the other hand, recognizes the value and internal semantic integrality of each part.
At the existential-social level, “Oneness”, is a horizon of the individual (as a microcosm), a condition and boundaries of its well-being and meaningful existence. Moreover, so that the individual would be included in the social whole (the society), it must experience its separation, internal integrality, which is expressed by the feeling of loneliness.
The concept “Oneness”, when falls under different contexts (metaphysical, existential-philosophical, neurophenomenal, psychological, socio-philosophical, logical, ethnographical, linguistic, cultural, and others), is enriched with new interpretations and shades of meaning.
These aspects raise several fundamental questions:
· Are there any common features specific to all forms of “oneness” and “communion” in various neurophenomenal, philosophical, psychological, and societal contexts?
· How can we define the oneness and the cluster of terms: loneliness, aloneness, seclusion, secludedness, isolation, solitude, etc.? Are they comparable?
· How loneliness, seclusion and creativity are related? Is social seclusion necessary for creativity, problem-solving and decision making? How does intentionality and free will eventually effect their outcome?
· Are there models of human consciousness states space and the self that can represent and explain the vast plurality of real situational phenomena? What is the logic behind them? Is that logic classical or non-classical one? How to they relate to moral development and reactive vs proactive mind?
· How these concepts have been developed and interpreted over time and alongside different cultures? how loneliness is experienced within different communities?
· How these concepts are represented by visual means, semiotic schemas, metaphors, mythical or literature narratives?
The Workshop will attempt to examine these fundamental questions at their philosophical, neuro-psychological, and historical aspects.
December 24, 2021, 9:00am EET
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