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METAPHYSICS/ Rémi Brague: a society that doesn’t know how to ask forgiveness has no future

November Mon 05, 2012

The prodigal son by Rembrandt  The prodigal son by Rembrandt

Without metaphysics, people would not bring children into the world. This is the opinion of Rémi Brague, philosopher and professor at the Sorbonne in Paris. Recently in Italy for a series of conferences organized by the journal Philosophical News on the meaning and value of tradition, Brague surprises with his statements and his gift of showing the tangible consequences of apparently remote and elusive principles such as those of speculation that underlies the thought of the West. By saying metaphysics, Brague means transcendence: the desire to be, the search for destiny that gives meaning to human life and makes him desire the good, for himself and for others. Therefore, according to Brague, it is man that is “metaphysical” precisely because he is not satisfied with the material.

In one of
your latest works, you say that metaphysics is the “infrastructure of man”. What do you mean by that?
It is the opposite of the conception of Feuerbach and Marx, for whom metaphysics and religion, the latter defined as metaphysics for the people, are abstract constructions, a superstructure built on the concrete basis of the life of the people , which in their opinion, was only the economic life. Instead, without a relationship with the transcendent, whether through metaphysical thinking, in the philosophical sense of the term, or through religion, it is not possible to find a reason for the existence of man.

Can we really not do without this?
What remains of postmodernism seems to contradict this hypothesis.
We must bring back the strong distinction between cause and reason. Cause is what makes something exist that is already in the present, but we need reason for there to be a future. Reason, in fact, is what justifies our action as something endowed with meaning. Is it important to possess this reason? Yes, because today more than ever the existence of the human race depends on us. It is up to us, in the end, to decide whether or not there will be a generation after ours. Today the issue of population is basically a metaphysical question.

Is the
global economic crisis a metaphysical one as well?



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