Stories in Coffee Grains

 – Master Dissertation –


Preface:   The human soul  


According to Elias Canetti “each of us is a king in a field of corpses” [1], considering how many creatures and how many resources are used to perpetuate our existence. It is sure that to a certain degree, the oppression of other animals and manipulation of environment is necessary for our sustenance, but humans still seem prone to selfishness.

Following Darwin’s study, which began with the theory of survival of the fittest elaborated in “The Origin of Species”, it is interesting to note that in his later writings he lingers to describe the social nature of the creatures, believing that the survival of the suitable depended as much from individual competition as it does from the capacity for cooperation [2].

Over the centuries many civilisations have flourished and decayed, sometimes losing the technologies discovered, therefore delaying human evolution, sometimes transmitting it. Each revolution of thinking and technological improvement brought our species a step further. Even the war, abhorrent and obsolete, was pivotal to social change.  For instance, connecting cultures in ancient times or increasing the collective sensitivity following the WW.

If G.W. Friedrich Hegel once said that happiness is found “in the white pages of history” it would be because we measure our collective memory in terms of crisis and disasters, injustice, and generally to power pathologies.

Below I will focus in half white page of history, creating certain episodes, in order to produce a metaphor of evolution in light of an emphatic conscience.

I imagined a conversation between some greats of the past. Each character, analysed with their own beliefs and mental limits, seeks benefit and they bring benefit to the community. Even if they could fight each other, they agreed with the Kantian concept Categorical Imperative, which is based on two points: “Act only according to that maxims that you may want, and make it as a universal law”[3] and “Act so as to treat humanity – whether in your own person or in the person of any other – always at the same time as purpose, and never as simply means “[4].

The aim of this book is to bring out a vision of history in which the evolutionary process is being driven by personal and social realisation. Moreover, I tried to lead a metaphor of the human development: any man, after his first breath, perhaps even before, starts a long journey towards his own realisation, going through different stages in order to become a man.



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1.- Elias Canetti, 1981, Massa e Potere (Mass and Power), Adelphi, 488
2.- Charles Darwin, 1982, The Descent Of Man, and Selection in Relation of sex (1871), Princeton University Press, Princeton, 98
 3.- Immanuel Kant, 1982, Fondazione della metafisica dei costume (1785) (Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals), Rusconi, Milano, 115
4.- Ibid., 126



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