The pathway
to philosophy

Introduction speech for
an informed philosophy

by Thomas Masini

When ancient myth is connected to rational necessity, it bears Sophia, the wisdom that doesn’t falter in front of doubt. It is in Hesiod’s Theogony that the philosophical question, “Where does everything come from”, appears for the first time. The initial answer was mythological: «chaos was the first, then it was the earth from the broad chested […] and the love that excels among the immortal gods».

This is the beginning of the philosophical path where we still walk today. The Cosmological Era will then be followed by the Anthropological one, the Ontological [1] will follow, after that Ethical and Religious. We can ask ourselves: what is the most important distance between philosophy and mythology? We can find this peculiar feature in its name; if the latter is wisdom – because God reveals what was and, sometimes, what will be in the future – philosophy, does not contain Sophia in itself, but bears an unfulfilling longing. A person who thrives on wisdom is constantly seeking, like a miner who tempts to find the gold vein amongst the deceptive metals.

The first ounce of gold discovered is, of course, the inception: the arché of everything

It refers to the origin, the substance, the nature, the essence, the cause of all that exists. It was initially the water, the Apeiron [2] , the air, the war, the number and the atom. With Parmenides the question became ultimate and boundless; ontology, the discourse about “what is-is”, became the foundation of philosophical research:

"Whatever is, is, and what is not, cannot be"

In order to carry out such a difficult research, one needs to be prepared. One must have efficient tools in their possession to support oneself. The task is to manifest the voice of logos, which is the true, undeniable and incontrovertible discourse. Even “thinking” requires, like everything else, training and art, which over time makes one’s natural disposition mature and fruitful. It is for this reason that logical and theoretical studies were born: the “thought” that perseveres Truth, as the right and correct way of thinking. It is based on principles that cannot be questioned, since they are the ones that allow us to think: the a priori rules that make comprehension possible. The first of these rules, Aristotle teaches us, is the principle of non-contradiction, which is firmissimum [3] because nor Gods, nor humans can make it waver. Thus, a philosopher travels in search of wisdom: truth as a guide and rationality as a companion.

To those people who believe that philosophy is constituted as a research without purpose, that it has no method, just a long sequence of conflicting opinions, all with the same value; to those who believe that in philosophy the principle of authority is compelling, that it is subjective compared to the scientific objectivity, that restricts herself to the justification of obviousness; to those who think that in philosophy only the abstract exists, because it and life are opposites such as the fictitious and reality, and believe that philosophers dedicate themselves to exposing their personal sentimental disorders with the claim that they are universal, to all of those who do so, it is necessary to say once and for all: you’re all misled! You are using a word you cannot fathom.

Truth is sought in philosophy: truth is the undeniable, because even those who want to deny it would be forced to reaffirm it. The probabilistic answers and the inferences to the best solution (the ways sciences work) are unacceptable: truth is universal, until the beginning and incontrovertible. And this is not because its negation is improvable, or unlikely: it is impossible, since its possibility would imply the reaffirmation of the truth of which it would wish to deny.

Therefore, it should be clear what perhaps wasn’t before: to make people think that a little reflection about themselves and the world is enough to “philosophies” is a contemptible deception. Philosophy requires time, effort, study and training: a great knowledge of the history of philosophical thought, a great competence in reasoning, acquired with long exercise, and ability to hold together one’s own individual self with a tendency towards absolute truth (which incorporates and goes beyond human contingencies); the key that leads to the temple of Sophia cannot be sold out so easily.

Our desire is to walk alongside you, to make common use of the knowledge and tools that we have acquired and refined for this purpose during our studies. We will not be the ones to pave the way for you, but we will try to give you everything that is necessary to travel together. Without unlikely shortcuts or misleading deceptions.

We will try to do our best to avoid the condition of profanity and enter the temple ‒ that temple which is our very existence, thinking and being ‒ to accomplish together, if you wish, a part of that path that is the “philosophies” and a lifelong adventure.

[1] The science of Being as Being, it concerns everything about the Being and its characteristics.

[2] A Greek word meaning “(that which is) unlimited”

[3] As unyielding as possible.