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Ciaramelli, F. (1999). Human creation and the paradox of the originary. Free Associations, 7(3):357-366.

(1999). Free Associations, 7(3):357-366

Human creation and the paradox of the originary

Fabio Ciaramelli

Cornelius Castoriadis Was The man in our century who thought human creation as ontological genesis. Such creation is radical, yet not absolute, which means that it is neither unlimited nor immediate and instantaneous. In this respect, human creation radically distinguishes itself from the idealist metaphysics of self-production as well as from all psychotic phantoms of self-generation. Far from encompassing totality in the alleged transparency of an originary state, ontological creation allows itself neither to be absorbed back into nor to be recapitulated in a simple, point-like event like an immediate donation of being, as speculative intuition does. The ‘poietic’ and non-theoretical character of being is originary, but the originary is not the possible object of an instantaneous and direct vision. There is no intuition of the origin, for the originary self-creation of being is grasped only after the fact, starting from its effects. To think human creation therefore boils down to explicating the circular relationship between creation and its presuppositions. Thinking it amounts to attempting to untangle the intricate paradox of the originary.

Castoriadis has spoken of the ‘primitive, originary circle of creation’1 — namely, the fact that creation presupposes itself. He will thereby have taught us, among other things, to isolate the circular structure of the origin and have enabled us to sift out its key characteristics: its immediate inaccessibility, the impossibility of conjuring away its originary complication, the necessity of recognizing the copresence of the other even within the prime impulsive and inaugural movement by which this almost imperceptible contraction of the originary void (from which arise multiple figures of what is) takes place and exerts its effect. At the origin, there is a creative rupture of what from now on is going to prove itself to be irreducible to what precedes it; there is an instauration, each time inaugural, that is capable by itself of determining itself.

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