• ucarr
    390
    Imagine a two-dimensional universe that only expresses straight lines and rectilinear planes.

    For ages thinkers have pondered the mystery of the mystical walking line, a straight line that ends at its beginning.

    Citizens of the sentient world of this universe have long tested the lengthy journey along the mystical walking line that, mysteriously, takes them back to its starting point.

    Everyone who travels the line to its end experiences the same result.

    No other line does this.

    Finally, after millennia, a theoretician, in a burst of imagination, envisions a line consisting of infinite points, all of them equidistant from a fixed point.

    After configuring a line from this definition, a leap forward in understanding occurs. Now everybody can see there is a type of line that ends where it starts. A circle.

    The mystical walking line of antiquity, however, doesn’t yet have a complete explanation. Unlike the two-dimensional circle drawn onto the plane, you can’t see the entire line in one glance. All you can do is set a reference marker denoting your start point, then start walking forward until, mysteriously, the reference marker, instead of being behind you, jumps to a new position in front of you. At first you’re moving away from it until, suddenly, you’re moving toward it.

    After passage of some more millennia, another theoretician envisions a line consisting of infinite points, all of them equidistant from a fixed point, and moreover, there is an infinity of parallel circle_lines (sphere) that creates a third space you can walk through.

    Everyone dismisses this claim as fanciful language describing a walk from one side of the circle_line to the other side. Everyone calls it walking the diameter of the circle_line. So what?

    The crackpot theoretician keeps insisting that the key to his language in describing the new type of space he envisions is the word through. He says that when you walk through the circle_lines, you enter another space contained within. It is a third space.

    The scientific establishment balks at the notion of a third space. Who has ever seen a third space?

    Our adventuring theoretician claims you can’t see the third space directly. Instead, you have to picture the third space as an apparent emptiness in relation to the circle_lines, which are its boundary.

    More scoffing and laughter. Who has entered a third space contained within circle_lines?

    Our theoretician, confident, assures everyone the third space really is
    there.

    In struggling to convey the meaning of throughness and walking through, our theoretician talks about upness and downess. He says, “In the world of the third space, in addition to forward and backward, you also have up and down. Up and down, and forward and backward, at their zero coordinates, are at right angles to each other.

    Several millennia later, a new, brilliant scientist devises a test to determine the truth content of the conjectured third space. She positions two cannons at right angles to each other. A cannondot will be fired from each direction. One cannondot will travel along the diameter line. The other cannondot will travel along the mysterious walking line. As the two cannons are firing cannondots at right angles to each other, if the cannondots end up at the same point along the mystical walking line, then it must be the case that the cannondot fired along the diameter line actually passes through a third space since it ends up at the same point reached by the cannondot fired along the mystical walking line. With this result, everyone knows, by reason, that a third space must be there, even though it cannot be seen directly.

    Champagne corks started popping when the two cannondots were discovered at the same point along the mystical walking line.

    In the imaginary narrative above, scientific theoreticians expand humanity’s scope of practical experience by envisioning, measuring and discovering cerebrally. This culminates in the scientist who proves, rationally, that a third space must exist even though, within her two-dimensional world, it cannot be seen directly.

    Metaphysics finances the act of imagination. It empowers a visionary living in a reality-matrix with only two expanded spatial dimensions to envision a third expanded spatial dimension.

    Metaphysics is that which comes after the physical.

    Existence precedes essence.

    It’s the time element that separates the physical and the metaphysical. The physical universe, being axiomatic, is atemporal.

    Metaphysics emerges from physics when the time element is introduced into a reality-matrix.

    Since there can be no static physical universe, and thus, per physical universes, time is universal, metaphysics is, likewise, universal.
    When a human conceptualizes a set of things, said things, in the context of a set, become metaphysical. These things are there and, at the same time, not there. Where are they? These metaphysical things inhabit cognitively the probability cloud for elementary particles predicted and confirmed by quantum mechanics.

    The oscillation between the physical and the metaphysical parallels the oscillation between particle and wave. This is a way of saying the metaphysical is quasi-physical.

    When human conceptualizes a set of things, said things transition from the particle state to the wave state.

    Metaphysics has quantum mechanics to thank for its verification in science and its certification in IT technology.

    It’s the job of the scientific theoretician to envision, measure and discover cerebrally, real and important practical things unseen by common sense.

    It’s the job of the scientist to envision, measure and discover practically, real and important physical things unseen by common sense.

    It’s the job of the philosophical theoretician to examine, understand and narrate the mesh entwining empirical experience verified by science with cognitive cerebration arrived at by reason.

    It is the job of philosophy to contextualize, experientially, the ever-contested concepts of reality guiding humanity through its daily activities.

    Metaphysics over-arches these various activities.

    It’s the job of the metaphysician to stand upon the practical foundation of scientific truth and spin a cognitive narrative of a cerebrally inhabitable world that imparts logical-conceptual coherence to physical things.
  • Joshs
    4k
    It’s the job of the scientific theoretician to envision, measure and discover cerebrally, real and important practical things unseen by common sense.

    It’s the job of the scientist to envision, measure and discover practically, real and important physical things unseen by common sense.

    It’s the job of the philosophical theoretician to examine, understand and narrate the mesh entwining empirical experience verified by science with cognitive cerebration arrived at by reason.

    It is the job of philosophy to contextualize, experientially, the ever-contested concepts of reality guiding humanity through its daily activities.

    Metaphysics over-arches these various activities.

    It’s the job of the metaphysician to stand upon the practical foundation of scientific truth and spin a cognitive narrative of a cerebrally inhabitable world that imparts logical-conceptual coherence to physical things
    ucarr

    You only use the word ‘discovery’ in relation to what science supposedly does, but not what philosophy does. This makes it sound as if philosophy is parasitic on the discoveries of science, as if the methods of science give it a privileged access to the facts of true world unavailable to philosophy. Science ascertains empirical truth and philosophy clarifies the meaning of it.

    I would argue instead that science was and always will be merely an applied , conventionalized form of philosophical inquiry. Any substantial development in scientific understanding of the world relies on a shift in metaphysical presuppositions grounding empirical explanation. The philosophical clarification doesnt come later , it is the precondition for the intelligibility and advance of a science.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    It’s the job of the metaphysician to stand upon the practical foundation of scientific truth and spin a cognitive narrative of a cerebrally inhabitable world that imparts logical-conceptual coherence to physical things.ucarr

    You use a different definition of "metaphysics" than I, or many others, do. A confusion of definitions just about always happens when discussing this subject. For me, metaphysics is the foundation upon which science is built. I don't want to sidetrack your discussion, so I won't go any further.
  • Richard B
    157
    Why metaphysics is not legitimate?

    Spendings time dwelling on whether “unactualizable impossibles” exist or not.
  • Pantagruel
    2.2k
    It’s the job of the metaphysician to stand upon the practical foundation of scientific truth and spin a cognitive narrative of a cerebrally inhabitable world that imparts logical-conceptual coherence to physical things.ucarr

    I read something about 2 years ago that noted that the best metaphysics tells the best story. I'm still trying to dig it up, it was told particularly well. I totally agree.
  • ucarr
    390
    :up:

    I'm not saying he was a metaphysician, but Nietzsche endures, in part, because he was a good storyteller.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    Whereas the sciences concern possible models for experimentally explaining transformations among 'aspects of nature', metaphysics, to my mind, concerns the concept – rational speculation – of 'nature as a whole' that necessarily encompasses the most rigorous findings of the sciences as well as all other human practices and non-human events/processes. Statements in metaphysics are paradigmatic and presuppositional, not theoretical or propositional; (ontological) interpretations of the latter are only symptomatic – insightful though still speculative – of the former (e.g. MWI, taxonomy, mediocrity principle, etc).
    .
  • ucarr
    390
    I would argue instead that science was and always will be merely an applied , conventionalized form of philosophical inquiry. Any substantial development in scientific understanding of the world relies on a shift in metaphysical presuppositions grounding empirical explanation. The philosophical clarification does come later , it is the precondition for the intelligibility and advance of a science.Joshs

    I agree with much of this. There's a tight interweave between science and philosophy. I do think science without philosophy fares better than the reverse.
  • ucarr
    390
    Whereas the sciences concern possible models for experimentally explaining transformations among 'aspects of nature', metaphysics, to my mind, concerns the concept – rational speculation – of 'nature as a whole' that necessarily encompasses the most rigorous findings of the sciences as well as all other human practices and non-human events/processes. Statements in metaphysics are paradigmatic and presuuppositional, not theoretical or propositional; (ontological) interpretations of the latter are only symptomatic – insightful though still speculative – of the former (e.g. MWI, mediocrity principle).180 Proof

    Good amendments - metaphysics makes no propositions? - I do, however, give science one up from philosophy because axioms are better vetted when subject to practical examination as opposed to vetted when subject to cerebration; real life is more strange than what we can conceive.
  • Pantagruel
    2.2k
    I'm not saying he was a metaphysician, but Nietzsche endures, in part, because he was a good storyteller.ucarr

    For me it is his only redeeming quality! lol.
  • Joshs
    4k
    I do think science without philosophy fares better than the reverse.ucarr

    How would you define ‘fares better’? If you want the next best thing to a crystal ball reveal of the future of the sciences, look to the leading edge of contemporary philosophy. This has always been the case. Philosophy has always taken the lead in sketching out the basis of new developments in the sciences, offer a century ahead of time. If I were to ask to you name the most powerful and radical new knowledge about the world, you might be inclined to list quantum physics, neuroscience and genetics, but each of these elaborates a metaphysics that has already been superseded by approaches in philosophy going back 100 years.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    Philosophy has always taken the lead in sketching out the basis of new developments in the sciences, offer a century ahead of time.Joshs
    I don't see how such a statement can be true. Aristotle's The Physics preceded Isaac Newton's Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica by nearly two millennia without anticipating any of the latter's significant breakthroughs or findings.
  • Tom Storm
    5.4k
    Whereas the sciences concern possible models for experimentally explaining transformations among 'aspects of nature', metaphysics, to my mind, concerns the concept – rational speculation – of 'nature as a whole' that necessarily encompasses the most rigorous findings of the sciences as well as all other human practices and non-human events/processes. Statements in metaphysics are paradigmatic and presuppositional, not theoretical or propositional; (ontological) interpretations of the latter are only symptomatic – insightful though still speculative – of the former (e.g. MWI, mediocrity prin180 Proof

    This is nice.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    As a math person what immediately comes to mind when the word metaphysics arises is Leibniz's notion of the infinitesimal. These tiny things cannot possibly exist, yet they can be used to develop profound mathematical results. There is much more math that is - to my mind - metaphysical. The more abstract, the closer to that category.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    As a math person what immediately comes to mind when the word metaphysics arises is Leibntz's notion of the infinitesimal. These tiny things cannot possibly exist, yet they can be used to develop profound mathematical results.jgill

    Yeah, these are tiny fictions which are used to resolve mathematical problems. I have a more accurate description for them "white lies".
  • coolazice
    58
    A confession: metaphysics has always seemed to me like a bunch of men sharing just-so stories after smoking a crack pipe.

    I'll admit the problem is probably with me rather than metaphysicians, but for the life of me it's the only major branch of philosophy I just can't seem to find interesting.
  • Tom Storm
    5.4k
    I'll admit the problem is probably with me rather than metaphysicians, but for the life of me it's the only major branch of philosophy I just can't seem to find interesting.coolazice

    Aren't all philosophical systems ultimately grounded on a metaphysical model?
  • coolazice
    58
    I don't think all philosophy constitutes a 'system', so even if your sentence is correct it still leaves me a lot of things to think about. Besides which, even though I don't like or care about Plato's metaphysics he still left a lot of non-metaphysical questions. Let's agree that I have a problem with a lot of philosophy.
  • Tom Storm
    5.4k
    Let's agree that I have a problem with a lot of philosophy.coolazice

    That's fine. I'm not a philosopher myself. Doesn't matter if it is a system or not. All ideas rest on foundations and pre-suppositions. Science rests on a metaphysics - the notion that the world is intelligible and can be understood through physicalism - or something like that. Metaphysics doesn't have to involve Platonism or metempsychosis. :wink:
  • ucarr
    390
    How would you define ‘fares better’? If you want the next best thing to a crystal ball reveal of the future of the sciences, look to the leading edge of contemporary philosophy. This has always been the case. Philosophy has always taken the lead in sketching out the basis of new developments in the sciences, offer a century ahead of time.Joshs

    I align with Sartre regarding existence preceding essence.

    I don't see how such a statement can be true. Aristotle's The Physics preceded Isaac Newton's Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica by nearly two millennia withoit anticipating any of the latter's significant breakthroughs or findings.180 Proof

    Through science I see that existence, not thought, is the ground of reality.

    That scientist and philosopher alike are essential to understanding the world, I grant you.

    By fare better I mean that within the interweave of science and philosophy, hands on experimentation and practical vetting count for more than conversation and literature. The two disciplines are each of such complexity and difficulty as to compel specialization in one or the other. Of the two I think science can better stand alone. Banish the scientist from all contact with philosophy and I think the discipline will continue along its merry way without much faltering. As for the reverse, philosophy sans science is like a race car without an engine. No, the bailiwick of science is What is Life? whereas the bailiwick of philosophy is What is good life? When the philosopher correctly foresees the way forward for science such person walks in the shoes of the scientist.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    A philosophy is to a grammar as a science is to a library. IMO as complementaries, while the latter without the former is unintelligible (or less intelligible than formulating its problems requires), the former without the latter is ineffable (or less effable than clearly expressiing it requires).
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    Existence precedes essence.ucarr

    Not really. When a thing comes into existence it must be already predetermined what it will be, or else there would just be randomness, consequently no thing, as a thing has structure. Therefore a thing's essence, (what it will be), must precede its existence, (that it is).
  • coolazice
    58
    The reference to Plato was merely an example of how I tend to disregard metaphysics even when dealing with philosopher who have quite a bit to say about it.

    Science rests on a metaphysics - the notion that the world is intelligible and can be understood through physicalism - or something like that. — Tom Storm

    My problem is, essentially: how on earth could we even come close to demonstrating that this is the case? Why should I take this metaphysical speculation seriously?
  • ucarr
    390
    I would argue instead that science was and always will be merely an applied , conventionalized form of philosophical inquiry.Joshs

    I grant that the scope of philosophy encompasses science, thus making the latter conceivable as a sub-division of the former. However, evidence contrary to the independence of scientific philosophy comes in the form of Aristotle's erroneous science postulations, dismissed by scientists more than a thousand years ago. I suspect much of scientific philosophy, without science, would continue in the vein of Aristotle. If not, then such a scientific philosopher, being scientifically valid, by my appraisal, has left the philosophical field and entered into the scientific field. The methodology of science has a baked-in practicality not borne by philosophy.

    To claim essence precedes existence is ontological dualism. Matter, energy and phenomena as decreed by seminal utterance evokes the voice of God. Going the opposite way, knowledge becomes an asymptotic accretion, approaching what is. The inexpressibility of what is, Wittgenstein's silence, is how universe should be, an inexpressibly large volume of possibilities rendering all origin stories mythic.

    All ideas rest on foundations and pre-suppositions.Tom Storm

    This claim approaches the Rosetta Stone of knowledge: the axiom. Existence precedes essence. I believe Sartre is correct in making this claim because when you get down to the ground of philosophy and science both, random, unsupported assumption as a necessary starting point for acquisition of knowledge is necessary. Neither philosophy nor science has any independence from axiom. Today, as during antiquity, all humanity can say in response to existence-as-existence is "axiom."

    A philosophy is to a grammar as a science is to a library. IMO as complementaries, while the latter without the former is unintelligible (or less intelligible than formulating its problems requires), the former without the latter is ineffable (or less effable than clearly expressing it requires).180 Proof

    As to precedence, is the face-off of philosophy_science really a wash, as your statement implies?

    Existence, in the context of your quote directly above, takes form as grammar, the existing thing. You can analyze it, thus making it intelligible, except for the stark fact of its existence, which you have to take for granted, which is the mystery of creation. Thus arises the question: who sources whom? Does intelligibility source itself, with existing things (including itself) popping into existence henceforth? Don't we, like Arthur C. Clarke, know that human approaches monolith (of ancient civilization) with sensory input sans intelligence? No. Existence precedes essence. Our space adventurer didn't get to the planet of the ancient civilization until several millennia later and, even then, was only an animal under observation and preservation within a cage.

    To claim essence precedes existence (something you don't do) is ontological dualism. To claim the reverse is ontological mystery.
  • ucarr
    390
    Existence precedes essence.
    — ucarr

    Not really. When a thing comes into existence it must be already predetermined what it will be, or else there would just be randomness, consequently no thing, as a thing has structure. Therefore a thing's essence, (what it will be), must precede its existence, (that it is).
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Some interesting puzzles of perspective here.

    When a thing comes into existence it must be already predetermined what it will beMetaphysician Undercover

    Here you describe a thing coming into existence already predetermined what it will be.... Predetermination of what it will be IS an existence so, coming into existence is voided by this language. Also, how does predetermination of what will be come into existence? Infinite regress. Why? When you try to speak analytically regarding existing things, you plunge into infinite regress. This is why useful analyses begin with axioms.

    or else there would just be randomness, consequently no thing, as a thing has structure.Metaphysician Undercover

    As above, "randomness" is an existing thing. Your language indicates this: ...there would just be randomness...
  • Joshs
    4k
    By fare better I mean that within the interweave of science and philosophy, hands on experimentation and practical vetting count for more than conversation and literature. The two disciplines are each of such complexity and difficulty as to compel specialization in one or the other. Of the two I think science can better stand alone. Banish the scientist from all contact with philosophy and I think the discipline will continue along its merry way without much faltering. As for the reverse, philosophy sans science is like a race car without an engine. No, the bailiwick of science is What is Life? whereas the bailiwick of philosophy is What is good life? When the philosopher correctly foresees the way forward for science such person walks in the shoes of the scientistucarr

    What you’re describing isnt science, it’s scientism, which assumes that science, through its methods, has a privileged access to empirical reality. It doesn’t.
    What you call ‘hands on’ and ‘practical’ is simply another way of saying that the conventionalized , generic vocabulary scientists use makes for consensus and thus a certain kind of agreement on its usefulness that eludes philosophy. Scientism makes an artificial split between fact and value ( what is life vs what is the good life), rather than realizing that all scientific models are inherently value systems and so establish normative ideas of the good in their theoretical framework.

    Of course a cutting edge philosopher must have absorbed the most most advanced scientific ideas of their day. This is because those sciences are philosophical positions articulated via the conventionalized vocabulary of science. If they don’t, they will simply be repeating what a science has already articulated. The same. is true of science. If an empirical
    researcher in psychology or biology has not assimilated
    the most advanced thinking available in philosophy they will simply be reinventing the wheel. This is what most of todays sciences are doing now. They are regurgitating older insights of philosophy using their own specialized vocabulary.
  • Joshs
    4k
    I don't see how such a statement can be true. Aristotle's The Physics preceded Isaac Newton's Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica by nearly two millennia withoit anticipating any of the latter's significant breakthroughs or findings.180 Proof

    Descartes was born 100 years before Newton and anticipated the general framework within which Newton’s physics is intelligible.

    “Newton was typically loath to admit the importance of Cartesian ideas for the development of his own thinking in mathematics and natural philosophy. For this reason, generations of students and scholars relying on Newton’s published work had little inkling of Descartes’s significance.” (Physics and Metaphysics in Descartes and Newton, Andrew Janiak)

    If Newton’s metaphysical framework went beyond Descartes, and this is questionable, it certainly fell short of Leibnitz , Newton’s contemporary.
  • Joshs
    4k


    ↪ucarr A philosophy is to a grammar as a science is to a library. IMO as complementaries, while the latter without the former is unintelligible (or less intelligible than formulating its problems requires), the former without the latter is ineffable (or less effable than clearly expressiing it requires).180 Proof

    What is a scientific theory other than a grammatical
    structure? To the extent that we can separate the scientific and the philosophical, which blur into each other in so many ways, it would. or be in the basis of grammar but the richness of the semantics. We should also be sensitive to Nietzsche’s question, and not limit either endeavor to a particular grammar.

    “Shouldn't philosophers rise above the belief in grammar?” Nietzsche, Will to Power)
  • Joshs
    4k
    Whereas the sciences concern possible models for experimentally explaining transformations among 'aspects of nature', metaphysics, to my mind, concerns the concept – rational speculation – of 'nature as a whole' that necessarily encompasses the most rigorous findings of the sciences as well as all other human practices and non-human events/processes. Statements in metaphysics are paradigmatic and presuppositional, not theoretical or propositional; (ontological) interpretations of the latter are only symptomatic – insightful though still speculative – of the former (e.g. MWI, mediocrity prin
    — 180 Proof

    This is nice
    Tom Storm

    We’re taking about a spectrum of abstraction. Whatever makes the difference between applied
    technology and hard science is the same
    difference along a continuum that leads from the more scientific to the more philosophical. It’s just a question of the richness and comprehensiveness of the vocabulary being used. A philosophical vocabulary doesn’t just contain within it untouched the terms and factual findings of a science, any more
    than a science simply co-opts the vocabulary of the technologies it spawns. A philosophical vocabulary, at the very least , enriches, from top to bottom , the terms of a science, or else completely transforms the meaning of a science’s terms.

    In the former case, we could say with 180 proof that a philosophy accepts and incorporates the empirical discoveries of the sciences it relates to, but in the latter case we have philosophy taking a role denied to it by 180 proof , ucarr and other realists of a certain stripes. It discovers new truths that can challenge the sciences of its day just as powerfully and effectively as a new science can challenge an older one.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    I don't find conflating Cartesian algebraic geometry with Newtonian (or Leibnizian) calculus insightful or relevant. Besides, scientists build on the work of their predecessors in the sciences independent of any philosophical considerations. As CS Peirce or Paul Feyerabend show, scientific practices are largely opportunistic "anything goes" endeavors which largely are n o t deductions from first principles. Philosophy from time to time may provide an impetus for "paradigm shifts" but it does not inform building and testing hypothetical models. As Witty exhaustively points out, philosophy does not explain facts of the matter, that is, it's n o t theoretical in the way of empirical or formal sciences.

    What is a scientific theory other than a grammatical
    structure?
    Joshs
    wtf :roll: What's a Shakespearean tragedy other than a grammatical structure? Quite reductivist for a p0m0 (i.e. social constructionist) like you, Joshs.

    Nice canard. Only you have mentioned "philosophical vocabulary" – whatever that is.
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