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Bruce Foltz, Michael Craig Rhodes, Fabien Schang, Sergey S. Tarasenko, George Kiraz, Andrew Schumann,

Professor of Philosophy at Eckerd College (USA), where he is also Director of the Senior Honors Program.


The Fluttering of Autumn Leaves: Logic, Mathematics, and Metaphysics in Florensky’s The Pillar and Ground of the Truth

autor: Bruce Foltz,

Difficulties in understanding Pavel Florensky’s work The Pillar and Ground of the Truth are daunting due in large part to its methodical transgressing of identities: between disciplinary boundaries (his work drawing freely from philosophy, theology, logic and mathematics, art history, linguistics, and philology); between literary identities, as he fluidly shifts between literary criticism, logical proof, poetic discourse, and philosophical dialectics in his own writing; as well as in collapsing identities between concepts that appear to be binary and incompatible. Nor does his work proceed in the developmental and synthetic manner of German Idealism, aiming toward higher and increasingly more hegemonic syntheses, but instead through emphasizing discontinuity, otherness, and antinomy.  Important insights can be gained into both the foundations and the broader importance of his work by seeing that these difficulties are intentionally generated by the author, and arise largely from his philosophical commitments in logic and mathematics, and above all his attempt to go beyond the limits of the Aristotelian principle of identity through outlining a more fundamental principle of identity influenced as much by Heraclitus and the ascetic theology of the Eastern Church as it is by Georg Cantor’s research into the mathematics of infinity and by the celebrated Russian School of Mathematics, of which Florensky was himself a founding member.


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