• Joshs
    5.1k


    Every human has some conception of truth or falsity, even if they have never spent much time pondering metaphysics. There is a naive sense of true and false that is endemic to the human experienceCount Timothy von Icarus

    I would agree that humans have a conception of validation and invalidation, but I would distinguish this from truth and falsity in the following way: as anticipatory sense-makers, we are able to determine the extent to which new events are are referentially consistent or inconsistent with our expectations. Included in this claim is the assumption that experience never repeats itself; it is always in motion with respect to itself from moment to moment. This does not mean that there are not robust regularities and patterns to be construed within the flux of time. It is these regularities that make science, and human communication in general , possible. We always find ourselves ensconced within these normative regularities, and even when there is revolutionary change , this takes place not as a completely arbitrary event , but against the backdrop of an already structured, if always changing, understanding of the world which , while differing from one person to the next and one moment to the next, avails itself of relative social consensus for given periods of time.
    If the notions of truth and falsity presume we can experience events that sit still, that persist self-identically over time in their content such that we can refer back to them in order to compare them with other events, then I would say that conception of truth is something that emerged at some point in human history as a contingent assumption , but that such a notion of truth as correctness cannot be said to be pre-metaphysical , universal , a priori or anything of the kind.

    Do I claim that my theory of validation is true? I can only say that it is the way that my experience of events makes sense to me in this moment. A moment from now i will have to retest my construal of events to see if how I interpret things to be is inferentially compatible with my current anticipations, based on my current schemes of thought. All I can say is that thus far my way of construing matters in a metaphysical sense has continued to be relatively consistent from moment to moment, day to day and year to year. I can’t make any claims beyond this. I will say that this structured , regulated and patterned self-transformation is the case for all people at all times , but in making this claim I have to put it to the test every moment. It can never be a settled fact for me but only a construal that must re-validate itself against new events. At least this is how I construe it to be right now. You can see how self-reflexive change is built into my very notion of knowing.

    What I have offered concerning the difference between validation and truth doesn’t invalidate for me the claims you have made about how language works, how scientific truth is grounded, the nature of subjective experiences like pain. Instead , when I hear you talk about objects , be they linguistic, subjectively felt , intersubjectively agreed on or independent of all human experience, I burrow beneath the alleged intrinsicality, fixity and self-sameness of these objects as ‘truths’ to locate a rich , hidden realm of subtle changes in my construing of such things, and I imagine such changes taking place within your awareness of them, but at a level that is deeply implicit. What you explicitly identify are static , temporarily unchanged objects that can be manipulated via logic and mathematics, without recognizing either their flux or the dependence of their sense on your anticipatory construing. In deconstructing your concepts, I leave intact everything you are trying to preserve about truth , but enrich these concepts.

    The reward I get from my endless testing out of my anticipations is not truth, but the validation that the fresh new event in front of me bears a reasonable resemblance to the previous, that it makes sense, that it makes my world familiar, recognizable , intimate, relevant and meaningful.
  • Vaskane
    643
    If we cannot live like our beliefs are true, it seems like we are in danger of living poorly.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Brings to mind something Nietzsche says in BGE 73: "He who attains his ideal, in the act of doing precisely that surpasses it."
  • Lionino
    849
    Metaphysics can’t put into question the law of non-contradiction?Joshs

    I am aware of the existence of para-consistent logic. I would not call that metaphysics, I would not even say that it hinges on metaphysics. It is simply a different syntax.

    Maybe you can enlighten me, is there metaphysics that uses or validates para-consistent logics? I looked it up online and clicked the first thing that showed up: On the Possibility of Metaphysical Dialetheism, from 2021. It says there:
    Metaphysical dialetheism is the belief that there are contradictions in the world. I will argue that metaphysical dialetheism is, rightfully understood, the most controversial form of dialetheism, and further that it remains an open possibility.

    Someone from the 16th century talking about dialetheism would be deemed as insane or a moron (I imagine). So I am open to new horizons, but it seems that these horizons have not been sailed yet in 2024, as only three years ago they are still deemed "controversial" and hardly an "open possibility".
  • Janus
    15.3k
    I read Maxwell years ago and found myself disagreeing with his thesis that science is neurotic because it fails to acknowledge its metaphysical assumptions, The way I see it science consists in observation, imagining possible explanations for what is observed and then further observations to see whether what is predicted by the explanatory hypotheses obtain. No assumptions about the metaphysical nature of reality are needed. Some say causation is a metaphysical assumption; I disagree with that, since I see causation (understood in the broadest sense not merely as efficient causation, but also global relational conditions) as being the only way that events can be understood by us at all.
  • Joshs
    5.1k


    I am aware of the existence of para-consistent logic. I would not call that metaphysics, I would not even say that it hinges on metaphysics. It is simply a different syntaxLionino

    The critical analyses of the principle of non-contraction I have in mind were conducted by Witntgenstein, phenomenologists like Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, and poststructuralists like Heidegger, Deleuze and Derrida.


    For instance,
    In his Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics Wittgenstein tells us that it is his aim "to alter the attitude to contradiction." We should lose the superstitious fear of contradiction and cease to think of it as the bogy. He writes:
    There is one mistake to avoid: one thinks that a contradiction must be senseless: that is to say, if c.g., we use the signs ‘p’, ‘n’, ‘.’ consistently, then ‘p and not p’ cannot say anything.

    When Wittgenstein poses the question of whether the law of non-contradiction is a fundamental law governing all conceivable language-games, his answer appears to be negative. Although a language-game may lose its sense through a contradiction, this need not necessarily be the case. Wittgenstein imagines several situations in which a contradiction would have a definite function and sense.

    Consider the following three cases:

    Why should not a calculation made for a practical purpose, with a contradictory result, tell me: "Do as you please, I, the calculation, do not decide the matter'?

    The contradiction might be considered as a hint from the gods that I am to act and not consider.

    Let us suppose that a contradiction in an order ... produces astonishment and indecision-and now we say: that is just the purpose of contradiction in this language game.

    Whether these be actual or merely possible uses of a contradiction is a matter of no consequence.
    Wittgenstein's point is that a contradiction may be given a use and hence acquire a sense. Our use, or lack of use, of the expression ‘p and not-p’ is no sure indicator of the necessity of erecting a "super-fence" around contradiction.

    These suggestions concerning contradiction seem to constitute a special case of Wittgenstein's more general thesis in the Remarks and, to some extent, the Philosophical Investigations' that logical rules, although made necessary by human convention, are suggested by contingent facts of experience. If these facts and/or our purposes were different, we might engage in entirely different language-games.
  • 180 Proof
    13.8k
    I hold that our metaphysical beliefs underpin the way we actually live our lives.Pantagruel
    Well, the circularity of your "metaphysical belief", sir, begs the question. Besides, Christians mostly do not "actually live" Christ-like or miraculous "lives" even though 'Christ & miracles' are explicit "metaphysical beliefs" (e.g. Thomism, Calvinism) just as atheist materialists mostly do not "actually live" purposeless "lives" even though 'the purposelessness of material existence' is an explicit "metaphysical belief (e.g. nihilism, absurdism). Under existential-pragmatic scrutiny, sir, your espousal of Collingwood's absolute idealism does not hold up.

    :up: :up:
  • Janus
    15.3k
    Well, the circularity of your "metaphysical belief", sir, begs the question. Besides, Christians mostly do not "actually live" Christ-like or miraculous "lives" even though 'Christ & miracles' are explicit "metaphysical beliefs" (e.g. Thomism, Calvinism) just as atheist materialists mostly do not "actually live" purposeless "lives" even though 'the purposelessness of material existence' is an explicit "metaphysical belief (e.g. nihilism, absurdism). Under existential-pragmatic scrutiny, sir, your espousal of Collingwood's absolute idealism does not hold up.180 Proof

    :100: That most people probably just pay lip service in the actual living of their lives to their basic assumptions about the nature of reality is a telling point. And this goes for scientists' practice too: as far as I know there is quite a range of different metaphysical worldviews among scientists, as you mention, Christians and atheists, and no doubt Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims and other more personal worldviews. I don't believe these worldviews generally interfere with, or significantly impact the quality of, the practice of science at all.
  • Pantagruel
    3.2k
    That most people probably just pay lip service in the actual living of their lives to their basic assumptions about the nature of reality is a telling point.Janus

    I don't see any evidence anywhere that this is the case. I accept your avowal that this is true of yourself, but what evidence do you have that people betray their own fundamental understandings as a matter of course?
  • Janus
    15.3k
    I don't see any evidence anywhere that this is the case. I accept your avowal that this is true of yourself, but what evidence do you have that people betray their own fundamental understandings as a matter of course?Pantagruel

    Fundamental understandings are just what is taken for granted given the empirical nature of our lives and the necessity of the notion of causation in order to make any sense at all of our experiences (even animals show this basic disposition), so I am not referring to those, but to religious and metaphysical worldviews.

    I don't see many Christians living up to Christ's ethical teachings. We can only generalize from what we have personally experienced, and my personal experience is that I don't often see people living up to their professed views.

    I acknowledge that your experience may be different in that regard and that any of us can only personally experience the tiniest fraction of humanity, but nonetheless I would remain skeptical if you were to claim that your experience has differed in that regard.
  • Pantagruel
    3.2k
    I don't see many Christians living up to Christ's ethical teachingsJanus

    Just because people claim to believe something doesn't mean that reflects their true beliefs about the nature of reality. When people commit to action they do so based on whatever that deep personal commitment is. That isn't circularity. Action is an index of belief. Many people might have problems in enunciating those beliefs, that's true. Which is itself good evidence that there is more to belief than propositionality.
  • Janus
    15.3k
    Of course people can deceive others, and even themselves, about what it is they truly believe. I haven't claimed there is not more to belief, in the psychological sense, than propositonality.

    I don't believe that many people actually have "deep personal commitments", but even if they do, they are just that, personal, subjective, and they are beliefs, and hence don't count as knowledge in the intersubjective sense.
  • Pantagruel
    3.2k
    I don't believe that many people actually have "deep personal commitments", but even if they do, they are just that, personal, subjective, and they are beliefs, and hence don't count as knowledge in the intersubjective sense.Janus

    Again, I don't see where you are qualified to make that judgement for anyone but yourself. You claim to be capable of acting in the absence of a deep commitment, fine, I accept that. I think that most people care, and that care about what they do is indicative of values, in other words, beliefs. Propositional knowledge is just "facts." The most important decisions in life are value-laden. Some of the most stirring events in human history involve people acting in a counter-factual way, symbolically, based on belief. Bottom line, you can't turn ethics into propositional knowledge. You can express it propositionally, but you can't found or reduce it on propositions.
  • Mww
    4.5k
    Fundamental understandings are just what is taken for granted…..Janus

    I’d go as far as to say, beyond merely taken for granted, fundamental understandings are not even within Everydayman’s conscious considerations; that is to say, he hasn’t slowed himself down enough to figure out that he has them, and to know what they are.

    And while it may be true you make that case for yourself alone, given that all humans are intellectually and morally equipped in exactly the same manner, it follows any other of congruent rationality may come to the same conclusion. I mean…look….you convinced me, so…that ya go.
  • Janus
    15.3k
    Again, I don't see where you are qualified to make that judgement for anyone but yourself. You claim to be capable of acting in the absence of a deep commitment, fine, I accept that. I think that most people care, and that care about what they do is indicative of values, in other words, beliefs. Propositional knowledge is just "facts." The most important decisions in life are value-laden. Some of the most stirring events in human history involve people acting in a counter-factual way, symbolically, based on belief. Bottom line, you can't turn ethics into propositional knowledge. You can express it propositionally, but you can't found or reduce it on propositions.Pantagruel

    I don't see evidence of "deep commitments" commonly at large in the human society I inhabit. I don't deny that most people care about things—notably mostly themselves, their families, close friends and their property and possessions.

    In any case I haven't been arguing against values and beliefs, but against the idea that those constitute propositional, decidable knowledge, so I agree with you that ethics cannot be turned into propositional knowledge.

    That said, I see ethics and morals as pragmatic matters—if people wish to live harmoniously with others, then they are best served to have a sense of honesty, justice and fairness. On the other hand, many people, according to my experience, will do unethical things if they believe they can get away with it undetected; I see evidence of that all the time.
  • Vaskane
    643
    Knowledge creates engrams of data that shuffle about to create the "landscape" of our minds, metaphysics transforms the "landscape" to more of a "planescape" in which the "landscape" exists.
  • Lionino
    849


    logical rules, although made necessary by human convention, are suggested by contingent facts of experience

    That is something that I would agree with, but I would not readily grant that those facts that suggest logical rules are contigent, it could be that they are necessary. But that is another debate and it could be that Husserl has something more specific in mind that is indeed contigent, so I will just grant it.

    If these facts and/or our purposes were different, we might engage in entirely different language-games.

    Agreed.

    The critical analyses of the principle of non-contraction I have in mind were conducted by Witntgenstein, phenomenologists like Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, and poststructuralists like Heidegger, Deleuze and Derrida.Joshs

    Overall, I do get behind that, and of course if the facts of reality were different we may have come up with completely different logical laws. I think the matter here is that, in your argument, "metaphysics" and "ultimate nature of reality" are one and the same. Hence, if metaphysics (ultimate nature of reality) changes, so does logic, right? That much I can agree with, but for me those two are not one and the same, but I guess that is the point of this thread, "What is your definition of metaphysics?"
    I dislike this cliche, but I think that equating metaphysics and ultimate nature of reality is confusing the map for the territory.

    Wittgenstein's point is that a contradiction may be given a use and hence acquire a sense.

    But with this statement I have an issue. If that line was a Wittgenstein quote, he says "purpose" and nothing else. It is not necessary that sense always follow from use.

    When people commit to action they do so based on whatever that deep personal commitment is.Pantagruel

    Is it? A mathematician surely believes in the laws of probability more than he believes in physics (being fallible and all) or most other things, and yet, it may be that in a Quiz show for one million euros, nervousness may take over and he may answer to the Monty Hall problem that he does not want to switch based on common sense and instinct, but probabilistic analysis will give us that you should switch each time:

  • Pantagruel
    3.2k
    A mathematician surely believes in the laws of probability more than he believes in physics (being fallible and all) or most other things, and yet, it may be that in a Quiz show for one million euros, nervousness may take over and he may answer to the Monty Hall problem that he does not want to switch based on common sense and instinct, but probabilistic analysis will give us that you should switch each time:Lionino

    I don't consider making a selection in a game to be reflective of acting in meaningful sense, more like playing a game. Life, by and large, isn't about "game-show moments." However it is often about committing to a course of action that may be inherently uncertain or risky.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    1.8k


    I would agree that humans have a conception of validation and invalidation,

    Right, and this is validation of what? Validation that something is or is not the case. Or in more fallibilist terms, that something appears or does not appear to be the case. But what is broadly meant by "appears true or false" is precisely that something appears to be the case. This difference just seems like semantics.

    Do I claim that my theory of validation is true? I can only say that it is the way that my experience of events makes sense to me in this moment.

    But is such "making sense" necessarily based on unquestionable presuppositions that must be taken for granted? Fallibilism, allowing for uncertainty, is not self-refuting, but the statement that all claims are ultimately arbitrary appears to be. I couldn't really tell which you were advancing here. Is "all [you] can say is that [your] way of construing matters has continued to be relatively consistent," because the only thing that can be known is the contents of your own past experiences (in which case, why even trust your own memory?) Or is this simply a claim about how we can always be surprised by the future?
  • javra
    2.4k
    Fallibilism, allowing for uncertainty, is not self-refuting, but the statement that all claims are ultimately arbitrary appears to be.Count Timothy von Icarus

    In fully agreement with this quote, and considering the metaphysical issue of truth's occurrence:

    Let truth be here tersely understood as: awareness’s conformity to that which is ontically certain—hence, that which is ontically, rather than psychologically, fixed or unvarying (such that this fixedness of being can be fully relative to a set of changes within a temporal and spatial fame; e.g., a ball having moved from A to B is ontically certain, i.e. ontically fixed and unvarying).

    Argument/assertion: There is no such thing as ontic certainty; therefore, there is no conformity to ontic certainty to be had by any awareness.

    Rebuttal: Were there to in fact be no such thing as ontic certainty, then this in and of itself would be ontically (rather than psychologically) certain; resulting in the following logical contradiction: at the same time and in the same respect there both a) is no ontic certainty (entailed by there occurring no ontic certainty whatsoever) and b) is ontic certainty (entailed by there occurring the ontic certainty stipulated in (a)).

    Conclusion: either 1) dialethism is valid or else 2) there needs to be some ontic certainty/certainties to which awareness can either conform to or deviate from. Moreover, if (1) is stipulated to in fact be the case, then one would likewise stipulate (1) to of itself be an ontic certainty—thereby either again falsifying the argument/assertion provided contra the occurrence of truth(s) or else resulting in a total disarray of thought.

    Fallibilism does not affirm wrongness but the ever-present potential of being wrong (such as on account of not being omniscient). As such, although one in principle could be wrong in upholding the occurrence of truths, because there is no valid reason to doubt either that ontic certainty/certainties occur or the occurrence of awareness (which can of itself be one ontic certainty), an epistemological system of fallibilism can then only uphold there in fact being such as thing as truth(s).

    And this conclusion, of itself, in no way contradicts constructivism in many, if not all, of its forms.
  • Joshs
    5.1k


    Right, and this is validation of what? Validation that something is or is not the case. Or in more fallibilist terms, that something appears or does not appear to be the case. But what is broadly meant by "appears true or false" is precisely that something appears to be the case. This difference just seems like semanticsCount Timothy von Icarus

    When a new event validates my anticipation, what this means is that I construe it along dimensions of similarity and difference with respect to that anticipation, and it appears more similar than different to the expected result. It can, however, never duplicate what is anticipated, and the remembered expectation never duplicates its sense from moment to moment. It seems to me that declaring an event to be “the case” implies comparing two cases, what one holds in memory and the new event, and finding them to be the same with respect to some criterion.

    So validation is referential consistency on a relevant
    (anticipated) dimension, where neither the anticipated, remembered meaning and the actual event duplicates their sense from moment to moment , whereas being the case is a match, replication or identity between comparators. When we believe we can determine something to be the case, we ignore the fact that the sense of meaning of the subject and predicate subtly transform themselves at every stage in the comparison. The naive understanding of predicative truth depends on not delving into the basis of the idealizations ( such as the persisting self-identity of a sense of meaning) that such logical constructions are built on.

    (
    But is such "making sense" necessarily based on unquestionable presuppositions that must be taken for granted? Fallibilism, allowing for uncertainty, is not self-refuting, but the statement that all claims are ultimately arbitrary appears to be. I couldn't really tell which you were advancing here. Is "all [you] can say is that [your] way of construing matters has continued to be relatively consistent," because the only thing that can be known is the contents of your own past experiences (in which case, why even trust your own memory?) Or is this simply a claim about how we can always be surprised by the futureCount Timothy von Icarus

    I must stress that the way that experience transforms itself
    moment to moment is never arbitrary , but motivated. It produces neither arbitrariness nor identical self-persistence. Can I trust my memory? I don’t trust it to be an archive of veridical, unchanging facts. I trust it to be, because I continually experience it as being, a reconstruction of a past shaped by my present interests and goals. It is a continually morphing guide to the future. To say that experience is never arbitrary is to argue that we are always surprised in some fashion by the future even when it appears most predictable and familiar to us, and by the same token, even the most unusual and unprecedented series of events is recognizable at some level. The moment the world ceases to appear to us as at least minimally interpretable and meaningful is the moment experience vanishes completely. This is why most of the time our experience of our world has the character of a relative ongoing consistency

    Predicative logic and truth statements produce arbitrariness in the form of contradictions, because they fail to understand the grounding of their terms in a background mesh of contextual relevance that gives sense even to the irrational. Causal empirical models produce arbitrariness and skepticism for the same reason.

    Stating that I find myself born anew ( thrown into) a world that is at the same time built from my presuppositions and a subtle displacement of those presuppositions, is this itself an unquestioned presupposition, or am I continually questioning and reforming this supposition? If I say I continue to be the same differently , is this an unquestioned presupposition that I take for granted? If so, what aspect of the presupposition remains unchanged over time? Certainly not the content of my experience, since it is a requirement for the continued survival of my presupposition that the world will always appear to be changing for me. I would argue only the empty categories of past and present remain unchanged, since no matter how much my view of myself or the world changes, this will always presuppose a relation between memory and the now.

    Perhaps my stance appears to be an unquestioning taking for granted because it appears so alien to your way of thinking. But I continually question everything about my philosophy. It’s just that events as I construe them bring me back into its fold rather than pulling me in the direction of an empirical realism.
  • javra
    2.4k
    Predicative logic and truth statements produce arbitrariness in the form of contradictions, because they fail to understand the grounding of their terms in a background mesh of contextual relevance that gives sense even to the irrational. Causal empirical models produce arbitrariness and skepticism for the same reason.Joshs

    I'm not disagreeing with what you wrote in the previous post. But I want to point out that there is a subtle difference between what one believes (consciously, unconsciously, or both) to be true and what in fact is true. This, for example, as per my definition of truth here. One can then, at least in theory, honestly affirm a truth while the truth affirmed is at best a partial truth and at worst an untruth altogether.

    I'll uphold that truths always cohere to other truths when in close enough relation. It is only deceptions or else falsities, be these whole or partial, be they directed toward others or else unknown self-deception, which can result in contradictions.

    But this does in part presuppose there being such a thing as ontic (rather than psychological) certainties as previously described by me. And I'm not yet clear of your metaphysical stance regarding these actualities/realities.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    Metaphysics is the study of everything beyond what physics explains, that is a satisfying enough answer for many people, especially laymen. After all, when we talk about possibility, the modality of metaphysics encompasses the modality of physics.Lionino

    'Metaphysics', by my lights, is the study of that which is beyond the possibility of all experience, but is necessary to understand that experience.Bob Ross
    Those are good practical definitions of a term that is too often dismissed as religious superstitions.

    Metaphysical prowling is a uniquely human endeavor. Presumably, few animals would waste their time thinking about thinking. But something in the nature of the human mind evokes not just feelings & experiences, but recursive reflections about those experiences. And it is that inward-aimed "eye" of Reason that allows us to "see" logical possibilities that are not yet actual & real --- "beyond what physics explains".

    As a worldview, Metaphysics is the opposite of Materialism, which arbitrarily defines ideas, and ideas-about-ideas, as-if mere objects, whose value is only in feeding physical needs & motives. Metaphysics is not impersonal & objective, but selfish & subjective. Hence, the top tier of Maslow's hierarchy, self-actualization of personal potential, is inherently a meta-physical "fiction" that we tell ourselves to provide non-physical motivation. That "need" is self-understanding ; including the relationship of the Self to the non-self world. Not just to experience the world, but to "understand the experience".

    Why do PF posters spend their valuable time fictionalizing reality, if not to feed those abstract high-level needs? Do we get a dopamine boost from writing a few bon mots that sometimes make us sound like grinning idiots? Or is there a higher motive --- more than the thrill of a greyhound chasing a fake rabbit --- that prompts us to stalk the unseen possibilities and unknown probabilities of mysteries, such as the physical or metaphysical underpinnings of Self-Awareness (Consciousness)? And to share that interpretation of universal principles with others who presumably have similar needs. :smile:

    Metaphysical Prowling : careful intentional searching for intellectual sustenance

    MASLOW'S PYRAMID OF HUMAN NECESSITIES
    not just to maintain the body, but to feed the need for intellectual growth
    maslow-needs3-1024x1024.jpg
  • kindred
    18


    Metaphysics can be fun speculation and because it’s an arena where there are no right or wrong answers simply because those answers are unable to be probed by science means that only good critical thinking need be applied to various metaphysical postulations insuring against logical inconsistencies.
  • Janus
    15.3k
    I’d go as far as to say, beyond merely taken for granted, fundamental understandings are not even within Everydayman’s conscious considerations; that is to say, he hasn’t slowed himself down enough to figure out that he has them, and to know what they are.

    And while it may be true you make that case for yourself alone, given that all humans are intellectually and morally equipped in exactly the same manner, it follows any other of congruent rationality may come to the same conclusion. I mean…look….you convinced me, so…that ya go.
    Mww

    Yes, I think that's true of "Everydayman". I also agree that all humans are intellectually and morally equipped in the same manner, but I find myself unsure of the degree. Degrees—agrees, disagrees—should I be aggrieved?
  • Janus
    15.3k
    only good critical thinking need be applied to various metaphysical postulations insuring against logical inconsistencies.kindred

    And the multiplication of entities?

    Hence, the top tier of Maslow's hierarchy, self-actualization of personal potential, is inherently a meta-physical "fiction" that we tell ourselves to provide non-physical motivation. That "need" is self-understanding ; including the relationship of the Self to the non-self world. Not just to experience the world, but to "understand the experience".Gnomon

    Or is it merely a shift in consciousness, in feeling, away from the neurotic need to understand, that leads to the deluded belief in the possibility of understanding, the relationship of the self to the non-self world in any way beyond, or more perfect than, the ordinary everyday?
  • kindred
    18


    Sure, if you want to add math to the equation, after all what is metaphysics but mental gymnastics.
  • Janus
    15.3k
    Sure, if you want to add math to the equation, after all what is metaphysics but mental gymnasticskindred

    Gymnastics, like math, is constrained, disciplined, and logical inconsistencies may have poetic value, and that's the way I see metaphysics: as poetry which introduces only novel thoughts in the way of flights of the imagination and multiplies no entities, since the latter belong only to the empirical.
  • javra
    2.4k
    [...] what is your best description of Metaphysics?Rob J Kennedy

    To put this as colloquially as I can, metaphysical enquiry is the attempt to figure out what reality is really all about.

    Then there’s those who look upon it thus: If there’s nothing broken with the status quo metaphysics of today, why try to fix it?

    Because, for one example, there’s nothing wrong with a bunch of lemmings actively swimming their way toward a climate change catastrophe in today’s status quo metaphysics of a meaningless universe.
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    Metaphysics can be fun speculation and because it’s an arena where there are no right or wrong answers simply because those answers are unable to be probed by science means that only good critical thinking need be applied to various metaphysical postulations insuring against logical inconsistencies.kindred
    Yes, Metaphysical speculation is "fun" for those who have time & inclination to explore the big questions that have haunted humanity for eons. It's like a game or puzzle or hobby or lifting weights that won't put food on the table, but will add muscle to the Mind. Science has appropriated the "easy" questions --- that have right or wrong answers --- and left the "hard" questions --- such as the evolutionary role of Consciousness --- to feckless philosophers.

    Many modern scientists, and ironically TPF posters, dismiss such open-ended speculation as a fruitless waste of time. But that's because they are prejudiced by their pragmatic - reductive - particular - solemn Belief System*1, typically labeled Materialism, Physicalism, Immanentism, etc., which arbitrarily define tangible Matter as prior to intangible Mind*2. For those of us who take a more imaginative - inclusive - playful perspective, we may try to imagine the world as a complete integrated system of parts, which add-up to a whole that is more than the sum.

    It's knowledge of that elusive "more" --- which Aristotle labeled "wisdom"*3 --- that distinguishes idealistic humans from pragmatic animals. Most animals are experts at the necessities of life for their species. But humans are generalists, whose concerns go beyond Self & Tribe & Species & Now to encompass the whole universe, and other times & places. Universal causes & principles can be applied to any problem, including both practical & theoretical issues. For humans, once our practical necessities are taken care of, we have the leisure to turn our attention to a quixotic pursuit of Principles, that govern all of reality, both Mind & Matter : Metaphysics. :smile:


    *1. Metaphysical materialism is a philosophical approach that argues that all philosophical, emotional, mental, and conscious states are a result from the material/physical world. Therefore, everything can be explained by looking at matter or ''the real world.
    https://homework.study.com/explanation/what-is-metaphysical-materialism.html
    Note --- It's a faith, not a fact, that matter explains everything.
    Philosophers seem to assume that "everything can be explained" by Universal Principles instead of Particular Objects.

    *2. “Metaphysics involves intuitive knowledge of unprovable starting-points concepts and truth and demonstrative knowledge of what follows from them.” “Metaphysics involves intuitive knowledge of unprovable starting-points concepts and truth and demonstrative knowledge of what follows from them.”
    https://www.spaceandmotion.com/Philosophy-Aristotle-Philosopher.htm

    *3. Aristotle Metaphysics :
    "Since we are investigating this kind of knowledge, we must consider what these causes and principles are whose knowledge is Wisdom." http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:abo:tlg,0086,025:1



    PHYSICS vs METAPHYSICS = PART vs WHOLE
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