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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751


RAATH, Andries. Form, matter and the Aristotelian-political hermeneutic. The continuing paradigm debate on politocratic communitarianism. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2017, vol.57, n.3, pp.838-851. ISSN 2224-7912.

Greek culture was emphatically religious; its centre of orientation was not the individual and his fulfilment, but rather the city-state and its destiny. In a previous article it was pointed out that politocratic communitarianism's embrace of the organismic state culminates in state absolutism. According to Eric R. Dodds, classical Greece was closer to the Japan of the Samurais than to modern civilization. At the heart of Greek religious and philosophical thought was the form-matter motive. This religious force, which was fundamental to Greek thought, drew no line of demarcation between gods and men; the difference between gods and men was not a difference of being, but a difference of power and station. The concept of continuity of being manifested in distinct ground ideas of a dialectical nature: amongst others, chaos and order; the one and the many; and space and place. These dialectical tensions were hermeneutically interpreted in terms of the ground idea of the hierarchy of being. The chaos-order dialectic stands against the background of continuity, so that ultimately the hermeneutic vision is one of unity. Chaos and order represent aspects of being and stages of growth. Chaos is brought to order by the principle of the androgyn. The city-state is the androgyn manifestation of the mystical bond of heaven and earth, and the polis wholly comprehends man's life. Whereas Heraclitus viewed change as the key to understanding reality, Parmenides took Being to be the cosmic substance, which is the same as thought. Politocratic communitarianists ground their views on place on Parmenides' theory of static being. The upshot is that this manifestation of Aristotelian communitarianism remains encapsulated in insurmountable conflicts of and tensions between the political "place" of the Greek polis and the conceptual "space" of the "territorial" state.

Palavras-chave : Aristotle; being; communitarianism; Heraclit; hermeneutic; polis; Parmenides.

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