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Dozzi, Marco (2011) APPROACHING THE FISSURE IN BEING: PARMENIDES, SARTRE, PLOTINUS, AND EARLY CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This essay is a project aimed primarily at mapping certain philosophical and theological ontologies onto psychology; in particular, existential psychology. The existential psychology is strongly inspired by Sartre, and the ontologies which are investigated are those of the pre-Socratic Parmenides, Sartre himself, the Neoplatonist Plotinus, and early Christian representations of the relationship between the divine and human natures of Christ as well as the persons of the Trinity. Early (primarily Eastern) Christian doctrines of deification are also treated as significant expressions of a similar, latent existential psychology. The nature of this psychology, brought out by Sartre, is a reaction to tension between conscious and non-conscious being. Consciousness reveals that being can be other to itself: it is the "hole" in the heart of being, as Sartre calls it. I argue that Parmenides regards being as whole and unified in part because he does not or can not find a place for the gap in being which is the nothingness of consciousness. For similar reasons, both Plotinus and Sartre describe conscious being as a denigration of sorts in being. Because of the othering of being to itself in the form of human consciousness, man is always other to himself, and can never fully be what he aims to be. Sartre describes this failed effort as the attempt to become "self-caused," that which can give itself its own essence. It is suggested that Sartre's description of non-conscious being as well as Plotinus' description of the One sometimes appear to contradict themselves insofar as they imply self-causation within non-conscious being, and I argue that this is due to the inability or refusal of either to imagine consciousness as a failed project. Similarly, I argue that the early Trinitarian and Christological controversies of the Christian church as well as some early Christian conceptions of deification (particularly Eastern conceptions) can be seen as representative of attempts to reconcile conscious being with non-conscious being; either in the form of the self-cause or in something approaching it.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Dozzi, Marcomdd32@pitt.eduMDD32
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairEdwards, Steven Anthonytedwards@pitt.eduTEDWARDS
Committee MemberShear, Adamashear@pitt.eduASHEAR
Committee MemberAllison, Dale
Date: 6 June 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 April 2011
Approval Date: 6 June 2011
Submission Date: 22 April 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Religious Studies
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: deck; maximus; origen; spade
Other ID:, etd-04222011-001442
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:41
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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