We are pleased to welcome Michael Eldred as a guest of the Conceptions of Human Flourishing. He will give a Monastery Lecture on the topic of the Ontology of Human Being.
Greek philosophy asked: What is distinctively human being? and answered: Animality with the specific difference of having language, reason. This has been variously modified up to modern science's casting of human being as an evolved species of animal possessing an unusually large, high-performance, cogitating brain — with no trace left of the ontological difference first opened up and explored by Plato and Aristotle.
A temporal recasting of who we are cannot be satisfied with 'what' answers. It proposes starting from the elementary phenomenon of open three-dimensional time to see where this path of thinking leads. It turns out that we are not substantial beings with a material substrate, but relational beings who become who we are only sociating in the estimative interplay with each other played out in 3D-time.
In today's globalized world, however, this sociating. estimative interplay is played out immersed in the all-pervasive medium of thingified value. This competitive gainful game for income, in turn, is undergirded by the invisible, endless, accumulative circling of thingified value. Crises, disruptions, dislocations, frictions, etc. in this endless valorization erupt incalculably both globally and locally, thus intermittently reducing our prized individual freedom to nought.