Thursday, December 11, 2008


by Maria Odete Madeira

Primeiro que tudo havia o Caos e a Noite e o negro Érebo e o vasto Tártaro (Aristófanes, Aves).

Before every thing there was the Chaos and the Night and the dark Erebus and the vast Tartarus (Aristophanes, Birds).

The notion of Chaos comes from the Greek Khaos, with the primitive sense of opening, or primordial interval, from which all the things came (Hesiod, Theogony).

The concept of Chaos has been addressed, perspectivically, along the Western thinking, from a double referential ontological displacement in which the Chaos can be signaled as an originating operative negative, meaning: void, indetermination or disorder; or it can be signaled as an originating operative positive, meaning: undifferentiated absolute wholeness.

Anaxagoras incorporated the meaning of absolute wholeness in an idea of initial homogeneity. In Plato’s Timaeus, the Chaos is referred as chaotic mass, and, in Aristotle’s Physics, it is addressed as empty space.

Later on, Schelling tried to synthesize the notion of Chaos, in an idea of absolute potency, worked upon from Aristotle.

Nietzsche, in turn, strongly influenced by Spinoza, thought the Chaos as a vital dynamism.

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