Alchemical Dialectics 


The Uroboros -- Alchemical  Dialectics
Paracelsus (1493-1543)

ALCHEMY: An ancient and medieval philosophy combining an occult cosmology with practical chemical experimentation. Originating independently in Helenistic Alexandria and ancient China, alchemy remained a legitimate branch of philosophy in Europe and the Islamic world for 1500 years. In its practical aspects, it became the precursor of modern chemistry. Basing their view upon Aristotelian physics, the alchemists sought to isolate the materia prima out of which they believed all other objects in the physical world could be created. Strong Neoplatonic and Kabbalistic influences pervade Renaissance alchemical tracts and a mystical approach based on occult correspondences and 'sympathies' became increasingly apparent. The practical alchemist sought three things: the Elixir of Life, the Universal Panacea, and the means of transmuting base metals into gold. ["A Dictionary of Philosophy" by Anthony Flew (St. Martins Press, NY, 1979)]

  DIALECTIC(S): 1. (Socratic) The term "dialectic" is derived from a Greek word meaning "to converse" or "to discourse", and the dialectic that is ascribed to Socrates refers to his conversational method of argument, involving question and answer. 2. (Platonic) In Plato's REPUBLIC, dialectic is the supreme kind of knowledge, which "gives an account" (logos) of everything, by reference to the "Idea of the Good". In Plato's later dialogues, especially THE SOPHIST, 'dialectic' is the name given to the study of the interconnection of the Platonic Forms or Ideas, and appears to refer to a definition by genus and species. 3. (Aristotelian) In Aristotle's logical works, 'dialectic' refers to reasoning from premises that are probable. ["A Dictionary of Philosophy" by Anthony Flew (St. Martins Press, NY, 1979)]  
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