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Philosophic Decades
(Contribution to the Matrix-Based Understanding of the History of Philosophy)
by Patrice Guinard

-- translation Matyas Becvarov --

Author's Note: This essay is based on Chapter 27 of my doctoral thesis (1993).

The Ten Stars of Earliest Greek Thought

"Every philosopher paints his universe and each thing in it with fewer colors than actually exist and he is blind to certain colors." (Nietzsche: The Dawn)

      The first Greek philosophers understood the world as they saw it, felt it, as it appeared to them. The world has never ceased to be what it indeed has always been. Intemporal things manifest hic et nunc, or, to use the terminology of Hegel, the Universal in Itself is also the present of the concrete world. To capture being, then, it suffices to allow the will to join itself to its exteriority and to let representation embrace multiplicity, so that the synthetic figure is born that gives rise to the manner by which reality is organized in the light of consciousness that reflects it.

      The Presocratics synthesized the first stances of the mind coming face to face with reality, and they incarnate the archetypal tendencies of consciousness. "In fact, they invented the principal types of philosophical spirit to which posterity has added nothing essential at all." [1]  Through these dispositions distilled from the spirit given testament by the textual fragments of the Presocratics, we see that it is essentially temperaments to which they give profile. "They discover before the sages all the great conceptions of things; they represent these great conceptions, they reduce themselves to systems. Nothing gives a higher idea of the Greek spirit than this sudden profusion of types, this spontaneous manner of constructing in their totality the grand possibilities of the philosophical ideal." [2]

      We know of about a hundred of these first Greek thinkers. [3]  The most gifted, the "pure types" of which Nietzsche speaks, incarnate the various planetary functions -- Thales (Uranus), Anaximander (Pluto), Pythagoras (Sun), Xenophanes (Moon), Heraclitus (Mars), Parmenides (Jupiter), Anaxagoras (Venus), Empedocles (Neptune), Democritus (Saturn), and Protagoras (Mercury) -- before exteriority raises its ugly head and the interests of the City push themselves to the forefront, and along with them morals and ideology. The late discourses obscure vision: a laborious dialectic takes root in their minds; rhetoric paves the way for the bastardizing of the Socratic and post-Socratic periods. The Mercurial "anti-philosophers" (Protagoras, Gorgias and Socrates) close the cycle initiated by Thales, the philosopher among the seven sages of Greece, the Uranian who established the constants of the philosophical act, which remain present in all his successors: he founded, unified, inaugurated, gave perspective.

      For each of these philosophers incarnates a human type, a perspective of consciousness, a mode of perceiving reality, which can be translated into a specific planetary archetype. Each of the Presocratic philosophers is the immediate translation of a simple planetary function. Presocratic conceptions of the world are marked by temperaments, by dispositions of mind that fashion planetary operators. From Uranus to Mercury, in a determined termporal sequence, the first Greek painters follow one another. Their pictures, in the final analysis, are pure self-portraits. And the series closes with Mercury, the anti-Uranian sophist, who precipitates the extinction of two centuries of candor and philosophical clarity. Representation becomes blurred, and along with it, the mind. There arises a hybridization that brings about the decline of Greek philosophy.

THALES of Miletus -- Unification (URANUS)

      The world is one: an organic ensemble, unified, alive and animated in each of its parts. The world is Nature (physis), a totality regenerated by Water, the primordial principle (arche), whose properties (fluidity, plasticity, fertility) give rise to the generation and the diversity of living manifestations; it is the sole source from which is born and nourished the multiplicity of beings. The emergence of myths and opinions passes through a phase of conceptualization, of determination (through the mechanism of the copula "is") and then of argumentation. Unification dissolves the philosophical enterprise and absorbs into itself again the difficulties posed by the diversity of things in the world.

ANAXIMANDER of Miletus -- Hyperdifferentiation (PLUTO)

      The principle (arche) of all things cannot possibly be concrete: the apeiron (infinite and indefinite) is imperceptible, beyond any qualification and all sensate representation. Original and eternal Being, undying, engenders the multiplicity of ephemeral natural forms, none of which has a stable identity. That Being is also the source to which all individualized forms return. In death the costs of excessive differentiation are paid: "That from which generation proceeds for the things that exist is also that to which they return as a result of corruption, as necessity demands; for they each render the other account and repair their imbalances according to the order of time." [4]

PYTHAGORAS of Samos -- Identification (Sun)

      For the physical explanation of the Miletans is now substituted analogy, of a mimetic nature: Number is the model to which all things conform and which supposes the existence of an indefinite series of archetypes imitated by sensate beings and reproduced through the diverse orders of reality. The world is harmoniously ordered like the Cosmos, which is entirely spherical; it admits of a Central Fire, invisible, around which gravitate the ensemble of the celestial bodies. The most visible contains within itself the ineffable. A cosmic justice governs the cycle of births and deaths in the course of which each one retains his own being, according to the law of the transmigration of souls.

XENOPHANES of Colophon -- Undifferentiation and Potentialization (MOON)

      Against the polytheism and anthropomorphism of Homer is now affirmed the existence of a single god, a vast organic body, total, global, immobile and immutable, inactive-active, that moves all things effortlessly with the force of its own being. Thus the world is a totality, and its multiple manifestations are virtually contained in this immense undifferentiated and unknowable body that each being perceives, subjectively, according to its own perception, and most often in its own image, as it perceives every thing of the senses relative to other things and by reason of that very perspective.

HERACLITUS of Ephesus -- Confrontation and Integration (MARS)

      Everything is subjugated to the the universal divine law, the Logos both immanent and transcendant, at once positive justice and invisible harmony, which rules every individual destiny according to necessity. Natural law is accomplished by the transformation of all beings, each in a struggle with its opposite. "The opposite is useful, and from things different in nature is born the most beautiful harmony. And all things are engendered through discord." [5]  Thus each force maintains itself by the action of opposing forces, in a conflict which unites them; each being is polarized by the forces that determine it to become, perpetually, itself.

PARMENIDES of Elea -- Simplification (JUPITER)

      Being, the sole reality, with which no manifest thing can be equated, is radically different from the world of appearances, of becoming, of multiplicity. Being is, Non-Being is not. The diversity of visible manifestations is only illusion. Being must be conceived in itself, through the encounter of all possible forms of opinion (doxa). "That which can be said and thought must also be." [6]  In this resolution of otherness between Being and Thought, and beyond the deceptive appearances of the eternal movement of the world, one finds the absolute certitude that what exists expresses itself, and that the essence of the world is incorporated into its intellection.

ANAXAGORAS of Clazomenae -- Dissociation (VENUS)

      A unique principle is inconceivable: a double infinity, Matter and Mind, rules existence and the transformations of that which manifests itself. Each material thing is a mixture in which exist seeds or germs of all other things. Nothing comes into being or dies, in reality, for there exists a continual operation of dissociation of things in composition and another operation of recomposition of things in a state of dissociation. It is the Nous (Intellect, Mind), present in every composed thing, which is the principle of movement, the motive and organizational agent, at once the initial discriminating force and the "final" cognitive principle, the instigative agent and witness of discrimination.

EMPEDOCLES of Agrigentum -- Association (NEPTUNE)

      The two eternal and complementary forces, philia (love) and neïkos (hate), inherent in all things, respective principles of inclination and aversion, join together in harmony to regulate the eternal becoming of each being through the presence of the four elements (Earth, Fire, Air, Water) and according to the immutable cycle of four phases during which two united and two divide, each in turn, indefinitely associating and disassociating. Time rules beings in a perpetual, cyclical recommencement. When Love rules the state of the world alone, then the Sphaïros appears, an immense being, organic and harmonious in all its parts, a perfect blending of the elements.

DEMOCRITUS of Abdera -- Complexification (SATURN)

      Every body is composed of atoms (a-tomos), fundamental particles, possessed of a natural, original movement that takes place in the void. They differ in their constitutive properties (form, arrangement, position, size). The explanation by means of atoms of generation, movement and plurality thus eliminates the sensate qualities of bodies that become appearances, surface effects, of a more complex reality. The universe is eternal, formed of innumerable worlds, all subject to decay, completely material, without instinct or harmony and ruled by causes which are entirely mechanical in nature.

PROTAGORAS of Abdera -- Dispersion (MERCURY)

      The sophist is no longer a metaphysician, but rather a professor, an educator, an intellectual of the City, the divulger of a body of knowledge. He does not reflect on the world, but rather concerns himself with the exercise of philosophy. He substitutes for immediate and confident insight into reality his own questioning about truth and the illusion of discourse. Everything is partially true. "Man is the measure of all things." Consciousness depends on the conscious subject. All truth is relative, subject to the verisimilitude of its enunciation, dependant on the cultural fabric into which it is woven. Truth no longer arises from vision, but rather from working on language with argumentation and dialectics.

      The Presocratics, who for the most part were also physicians and astronomers, were the first ones to interpret the stars. They were indeed these stars incarnate. In less than two centuries of philosophical history, the diverse functions of the Planetaries were successively converted into perspectives of consciousness, into points of view on the nature of reality. Each of the founders of Greek thought occupies in his turn a place left vacant, in first place by reason of his temperament, then according to the space left unoccupied by his predecessors, with all of this consonant with the development of Greek ratio. There is no progress from Thales to Protagoras, but rather a succession of phases in a matrix-based cycle, a cycle that reproduced itself also in the first centuries of the Christian era with the first philosophers of Christianity, then again between the 8th and 11th centuries in Arabic philosophy, and yet again between the 11th and 14th centuries during the period of medieval Scholasticism. The history of philosophy writ large, as is the case with painting or literature writ large, is guided by the planetary decade. There is no "evolution of Mind" (Hegel), no teleological and linear orientation of Being, but rather a succession of styles and colorations, a circular actualization of the point of focalization of consciousness, and the cyclical repetition of infinite series. Gilles Deleuze, a Capricorn, recommends the suppression of subjectivity, "not in the name of a universal or something undifferentiated, but for non-subjective modes of individuation." [7]  Only the astrologer, however, has the tools to define the tenor of these modes of individuation recognized as such by philosophy.

The First Decade of European Philosophy

"Concepts are exactly like sounds, colors or images, they are intensities that either suit you or do not suit you." (Gilles Deleuze, Dialogues avec Claire Parnet)

      European philosophy was born in the 12th century with the development of theological centers and the emergence of universities. A contemporary of the Crusades, its first function was ideological: a fight against the influence of Islam, the propagation of its doctrine of Christianity, stemming the tide of Arabic thought. [8]  Faith is subjected to the examination of reason. Theological discourse seeks a justification of rational nature. The thought of the Fathers of the Church (especially that of St. Augustine) is analyzed with a view to imperatives of logical and intellectual order. From this point forward it is by reasoning and argumentation that the "gentile" must be convinced. The place of man is sought in a universe ruled by divine power.

      At the dawn of the Renaissance and the hour of accounting, Nicolas of Cusa (1401-1464) distinguised ten fields, ten perspectives, or rather ten angles of understanding, with a view to analyzing wisdom. [9]  These fields take their inspiration from the conceptions defined by the principal medieval philosophers and theologians from the end of the 11th century to the middle of the 14th century. These pathways of wisdom are above all modes of access to the divine. If Nicolas dedicated separate treatises to particular ones -- the De docta ignorantia of 1440, the De possest (sic) of 1460, or the De non aliud of 1461 -- he nonetheless believed himself capable in his work of 1462 of mastering the other fields as well, although it appears he did not have sufficient time to devote a separate work to each of them individually. The conceptions of the authors who figure below illustrate each of those ten paths: learned ignorance, power, non-otherness, light, praise, unity, equality, connection, the word, and order. [10]

ANSELM of Canterbury (1033-1109) and the concern of non-otherness (NEPTUNE)

      God is not a stranger to man, since he can be deduced from the recognition of an interior presence that is impossible to ascribe to something else, since it is the source of all thought. Consequently, each person possesses internally a natural idea of God, immanent, associated with the very act of thinking. God exists as something ineluctable, for He exists even in the feeling of someone who seeks to think. The argument called ontological is the most incontrovertible proof of divine presence because it discards the search for reasons exterior to thought itself.

Pierre ABELARD (1079-1142) and the problematics of equality (MERCURY)

      In the "Quarrel of the Universals" he imposes the conceptualist point of view with regard to the nature of ideas. Each thing (res) is a real being, equal to itself and relatively independent. Universality (of genera of species) is a mental construction, the product of an abstraction from individual things, i.e. an equalization stemming from the confused images of a plurality of natural elements more or less similar each to the others. The universal, then, concerns only words and their meanings, not the real things themselves. It is a product of mentation and of abstraction.

BERNARD of Clairvaux (1090-1153) and praise (VENUS)

      Adoration and veneration characterize the practice of the faithful. At the summit of the various "degrees of love" is pure or "beatific" love, which is union with God, reciprocity, the dialogue of the soul with God, and an unconditional devotion toward that which surpasses the limited powers of reason. The duty of each creature is to praise its Creator, to praise His beauty and goodness, and to prepare for the unio mystica. The path that leads to God is simple and without pitfalls: divine watchfulness requires only what exists in every being: to love.

Roger BACON (1214-1292) and the progress of power (MARS)

      Knowledge is the sole aim of philosophy, as it is of theology. It is not acquired by means of reasoning or by authority, but rather through experience (experimentum), which gives rise to a singular and personal power over things. At once external and internal, sense-oriented and spiritual, experience is the only means of revealing the hidden natural forces through the three true operative sciences, which are astrology, alchemy and magic. Knowledge of the divine and revelation cannot be in conflict with knowledge of nature.

ST. BONAVENTURE (1221-1274) and the idea of light (SUN)

      Creation is the product of the emanation of the divine: a reflection of God enters into each thing, which thus becomes transmuted into a sign or image of the divine. A depth penetrates and shows through even the most trivial appearance. Divine light is increasingly present in the soul as the attentive being advances ever more deeply into his own interior. Hence illumination of the soul by the divine verb is the source of all knowledge of God, of the exterior world, as well as of the self.

THOMAS Aquinas (1225-1274) and the law of connection (JUPITER)

      The natural inclination of the intellect toward God justifies the conciliation between the requirements of faith and the imperatives of reason. It becomes opportune to demonstrate the existence of God using proofs based on experience of sense-oriented reality and to enumerate the number of the divine attributes. Every being has its place and function in the hierarchy of beings. Divine law is compatible with human law. The real is completely intelligible, and truth consists of an alignment between things and words.

Ramón LULL (1232-1315) and the temptation of order (MOON)

      A logical metaphysics, the ars magna, a vast combination of concepts and the general science of principles, permits the elucidation of the harmonious disposition of all things within the framework of totality through means of articulation into trinitary series: the nine absolute principles, the nine relative principles (that enable the decryption of the activity of the former) and the nine categories (that enable questioning the object). This taste for the ideal recomposition of reality appears also at the theological level: a synthesis of Jewish, Christian and Muslim conceptions should permit one to put an end to partisan religious quarrels.

John DUNS SCOTUS (1265-1308) and the necessity of unity (URANUS)

      The object of metsphysics, which is being, is more encompassing than the object of theology, which is God. In fact, being is the only truly universal concept, and declines itself through three modes: the ontological (Being in itself, without any determination, being in "quiddity"), the physical (sensate Being, in particular reality, being in "haeccity"), and logic (intelligible Being, in the intellect, Being in generality). All three declinations are real, intelligible and distinct, although Being, which is all that is, remains unequivocal.

Johannes ECKHART (1260-1328) and learned ignorance (PLUTO)

      Divine being is indeterminate, ineffable, inconceivable, unknowable. The ineffable deity is beyond any attribute, beyond all form, all mental representation, beyond even the God of Creation and the God of the Trinity. Being must be gainsaid to God so that He may be the source of all being. As a result, one can know nothing: one can only lose oneself in Him, strip oneself bare, die to oneself and abandon even the idea that one has of God. The creatures of the world, in the image of the Supreme Being, are merely "pure nothingness."

William of OCKHAM (1280-1348) and the use of the word (SATURN)

      Critical logicism stands opposed to all metaphysics, announces the advent of science and subtracts the divine from all intellectual speculation. Discourse is composed of signs, terms, minimal units, substitues that "take place," represent or "suppose" other words, concepts, or things. Articulation of words within the framework of a proposition creates meaning. Science is the praxis of suppositional signs and the knowledge of proportions. A science has no other object than the intentions in supposition of things.

      Nicolas of Cusa developed a synthesis of these diverse astro-metaphysical perspectives, most notably with his famous concept of the "coincidence of opposites." An large part of his work remains little known and may well offer surprises to historians of astrology. The descriptions given above, despite their brevity, suggest the relationship of the principal philosophical perspectives of that period first of all to ninefold series expounded by Cusa, then to the different planetary functions. In such a way the medieval thinkers put God into the forefront rather than the material world, but remain attached -- like the Presocratics -- individually to one or another of the perspectives of consciousness guided by the planets.

      For these impressionals prod both cultures and men. Concepts and ideas are conditional reflexes of consciousness. The design of a matrix-based comprehension of the history of philosophy consists of distinguishing in the panoply of concepts and their transformations the permanence of recurrent attitudes toward what constitutes the object of thought and the irreducibility of the original perspectives that underpin those attitudes. The common conceptual material belongs to the epistemology of an epoch: the individual, original constructions are guided by the idiosyncracies of human beings. Only subsequently is it possible to see if something "philosophical" remains. The history of philosophy is an undertaking of reclamation.

Zarathustra and the Weakness of Superior Men

"One struggles in vain against the spirit of one's age and one's country; and a man, however powerful one supposes him to be, finds it difficult to share with his contemporaries sentiments and ideas that their collective desires and feelings reject. (...) He exhausts himself in the desire to love this distracted and indifferent mob, and finally he sees himself reduced to impotence, not because he is defeated, but because he is alone." (Alexis de Tocqueville)

      Nietzsche, after four centuries of philosophy, came up on his own with a similary ninefold scenario, and again recalls the existence of these immutable planetary functions, this time in the form of personages who incarnate attitudes of consciousness with regard to life and who become translated into social types. Zarathustra meets each of these "superior men" in succession, men who are the survivors of an age that has passed through revolution. Once grand and heard by a wide audience, they are now no more than placeholders. It has become impossible for them to live in the modern world, and that is why they subsist only as caricatures of themselves. All together, they exclaim "the great cry of distress": "It was a strange, complex cry, and Zarathustra discerned clearly that it was composed of many voices, even though when heard from afar it sounded like the cry of a single voice." [11]  Each of these men has kept his point of view, a human one, far too human in Zarathustra's opinion, over which has risen -- even more than the antagonism of Good and Evil -- psycho-social personalization, necessarily inscribed in the stars as Paracelsus announced in his Astronomia magna. Although they stand isolated in their madness, the "superior men" remain united by the close relationship that each has with their common product: the absurd cry of distress, which materializes unbeknownst to any of them. So they move about in a tragic procession, these castoffs of the cataclysm, of the "death of God," and of the advent of nihilism, the coming of which had been foreseen by the morose soothsayer.

      The seer (NEPTUNE), the compassionate prophet, is "the announcer of the great lassitude." (p. 293) This contemplative has penetrated into the depths of the world, sounded out the vicissitudes of time: something has gone awry; nothing is as it was before. He foresaw what would become of humanity after the "death of God": the state of distress among men, nihilism, general apathy, even if it be disguised by a feverish agitation, the expansion of the "desert," the advent of internal misery. "Everything is the same, nothing is worth the effort, the world makes no sense, knowledge suffocates." (p. 293)

      The two kings have abandoned their thrones and have abdicated a power that had become nothing more than a mascarade and a sham: "Everything is false and corrupted with us. No one knows any longer how to respect." (p. 298) The king on the right, the legislator (JUPITER), speaks profusely. He is the depository of the law and represents it to his peers: he speaks "in their name." The king on the left, the taciturn victor (MARS), speaks little, but instead acts. They have both suffered the effects of atrophy, of fading away: the first among men have become deserters. Hierarchies have collapsed. Power goes for a song in the marketplace and delivers itself into the hands of the "rabble." Law has become ineffectual, and combat serves no purpose. These men of action can no longer act, for no action has meaning any longer: "And the only virtue that remains to kinds -- is it not called these days: to be able -- to wait?" (p. 301)

      The scrupulous of spirit, the conscientious savant (SATURN), the glorifier of facts, knowledgeable of the "brain of the leech" (p. 304) wishes to escape from himself. He lives hidden away, like a dog, in the depths of the swamps. He is a pariah, the party of misery and misfortune, ignored and trampled upon by his fellow men. It seems useless to him to accumulate a knowledge that always remains limited: "Better to know nothing than to know everything only halfway! " (p. 304) So he contents himself with exploring precisely that which renders knowledge incomplete, relative, subjective, unsatisfactory, and finally useless: he studies not consciousness, but rather that which undermines consciousness.

      The illusionist, the enchanter (SUN), the comedian, the artist, seeks the admiration of others, but no one notices him any more. He "waved his limbs about like someone having a fit and finally fell down face first onto the ground." (p. 306) He sought greatness and only found the "rule of the masses." Thus he no longer mimics the majesty and dignity of the nobility, but only the sighs, lamentations and sufferings of the multitude. But he soon tires of this new role, and loses his function and his audience, since everyone has become a monkey and a buffoon for the suffering of others and for themselves.

      The pope without a church (URANUS), a pious and idealistic man, the old mage of sacerdotal lineage, the last representative and servant of the sacred, the one whose knowledge remains impenetrable to other men, has lost all prestige. Like Odin, "he saw only out of one eye." (p. 315) He has become powerless, useless, because the god whose powers he held no longer exists. He no longer resembles other men, because nothingness has seized their consciousness. And there is little use in knowing how the death of God came about, for "When the gods die, they always die many kinds of death." (p. 316)

      The most hideous of men, the untouchable (PLUTO), the murderer of God, lives a hermit "in a kingdom of death." (p. 318) He has thrown off his human form and has metamorphosed into a type of "unspeakable thing", a thing of infamy. He has escaped from the "crowd of pitiers" and from their impudent commiseration. His love for himself has led him to suppress the last witness of human misery: God. But the results of his indefatigable quest has been his own extermination. Nothing remains to him but his own disdain toward himself. By eliminating God, the hater of humanity has accelerated his own annihiliation.

      The voluntary mendicant, the amiable one (VENUS), the pacific sage, he who by love of his fellow men "formerly enjoyed great wealth" (p. 326), ruminates now on the past among a herd of cows. His goodness and gentleness induced him to give everything away, and now he finds nothing appealing or desirable in anything that is human: everywhere the reign of the rotting corpse, "rabble on high, rabble below" (p. 327). The leveling has wiped out all differences of condition. There is no longer any place for love, only a sterile field for ruminants.

      The ghost of Zarathustra, the wandering voyager, the mental vagabond (MERCURY), the stateless vagrant, has wandered over all the paths of the earth and has been consumed in the thousand fires of existence. He is now no more than a ghost: "I have come to rest on every surface, on mirrors and windows, like settling dust I have slept; everything takes something from me, and nothings gives me anything in return." (p. 330) This free spirit has given rein to every form of license, he has conquered fear, broken all prohibitions, searched in vain for his haven of peace, and pursued "the truth by staying on my feet." (p. 331) His conclusion is bitter: there is no truth to discover, nothing is worth the journey, and what was in any case nothing but an illusion has disappeared: the depth of the world. The herald of mobility no longer aspires to anything but rest and captivity.

      The social typology of Nietzsche has a global significance. It has a planetary dimension, and the MOON appears in it twice, negatively as a donkey -- the Christian, in Nietzsche's opinion -- with its flabby, beatific acceptance of any discourse whatever, and positively as Zarathustra himself, with his demanding and distanced rejection of any limiting existential value and his unconditional openness to life and to all its possibilities.

      The modern world is sick. Now, Zarathustra aspired to health: he remains impervious to the cancer that eats away at modern consciousness, for the combat has already taken place and he has come away from it stronger. In the fifth part of The Gay Science there appear the figures of the believer, the savant, the hater of self, the actor, the hermit, the voyager, and the priestly nature ... "Those whose souls aspire to live all the fullness of values and aspirations have prevailed, up to this point, in making the journey to all the shores of this ideal Mediterranean, he who wishes to know through the adventures of his own most personal experience what happens in the soul of a conqueror or an explorer of the ideal, in the soul of an artists, a saint, a legislator, a sage, a savant, a pious man, a seer, a man divinely set apart, in the old style: that person has need in the first place of one thing: great health.[12]  But this great health, lunar, is it an imperative of the philosophy of the future, or the reflection of the idiosyncracy of the thinker of Röcken?

[1] Nietzsche, La naissance de la philosophe à l'époque de la tragédie grecque, French tr. by Geneviève Bianquis, Paris, Gallimard, 1930; Idées Gallimard, p. 28. « Text

[2] Nietzsche, op. cit., p. 17 « Text

[3] Cf. Goulet Richard (dir.), Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques, Paris, CNRS, 1994-2000, 3 vols. (from Abamon to Juvenal). « Text

[4] A fragment reported by the Neoplatonic commentator Simplicius, in Les Présocratiques, ed. by Jean-Paul Dumont, Paris, Gallimard, 1988, p. 39. « Text

[5] Fragment reported by Aristotle, Les Présocratiques,p. 147. « Text

[6] Fragment reported by Simplicius, Les Présocratiques, p. 260. « Text

[7] Gilles Deleuze: Dialogues [with Claire Parnet], Paris, Flammarion, 1977. « Text

[8] cf. Étienne Gilson, La philosophie au Moyen Age, Paris, Payot, 1922; 2nd rev. ed. 1944; 1986. « Text

[9] Nicolas of Cusa, De venatione sapientiae (The Search for Wisdom), 1462, in Opera omnia, 12, ed. by Raymond Klibansky and Johannes Senger, Hamburg, Meiner, 1982. « Text

[10] Nicolas of Cusa, op. cit., p. 30: "primum nomino doctam ignorantiam, secundum possest, tertium non aliud, quartum lucis, quintum laudis, sextum unitatis, septimum aequalitatis, octavum conexionis, nonum termini, decimum ordinis." « Text

[11] Nietzsche, Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra, ed. by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, 1968; French tr. by Maurice de Gandillac, Paris, Gallimard, 1971; Gallimard (Idées), 1975, p. 337. The other citations from this chapter refer to this edition. « Text

[12] Nietzsche, Le gai savoir, 1882 (§ 382); French tr. by Pierre Klossowski, Paris, Club Français de Livre, 1957; U.G.E. (10-18), 1973, p. 411. This text appears again in Ecce Homo (III 7.2), the last work of Nietzsche. « Text

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