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Are you a Philosopher or a Metaphysicist?

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posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 09:23 AM
It seems as if debates on this form are most contentious between those who approach the same mysteries from completely different points of origination. I know that I find myself shaking my head when confronted with those who've come to the profound conclusion that there are no conclusions, and have come upon this incredibly significant revelation as a result of purposefully vacating all efforts to come upon any revelation whatsoever. My approach could not be more different than the "open up and let the truth reveal itself" method that is promoted by many of the more active posters in this forum, and as a result, how can I ever be expected to embrace what such a method allows one to assert as being objective reality. Especially if that assertion involved the dismissal of objectivity as being an invention of the human mind's need for objectivity within a belligerently subjective reality (or lack thereof).

When one considers the holistic nature of what's generally discussed on this forum, is it any wonder that there is such rigidity in views here. After all, if a person can so easily replace a whole perspective (everything that meets the senses as a full suite of reality) then what does that say about the nature of that person's hold on any reality at all? Even if that exchange involves months or years of intense mental and psychological reconfiguration, the fact that a reconfiguration of reality perception has been introduced will always be a fact within the contextual slurry that defines that person. That kind of profound schism will always be central to the character of that person.

I've begun to suspect that there are at least two unique groups that meet here and toss thought and assertion around for consideration. Of course, I'm not including the salesmen and acolytes who aggressively haunt this http, since it eventually becomes obvious what their reasons for being here are (and there's nothing wrong with soliciting to a willingly gathered market, so don't misunderstand my statement concerning those who do not come here to learn). The two groups who come here to learn and/or verify what they've learned - as far as I see it - are philosophers and metaphysicists.

Philosophers are those who enjoy playing with supposition and engaging in "imagine if" scenarios. And there's nothing wrong with that. Hell, it's certainly better than fighting over politics or social engineering. That said, it does suggest a lack of disciplined effort to ground such speculation within the obvious parameters of proven reality. In fact, what often happens is that such casual speculation is presented as serious academics - sometimes complete with misunderstood published reference links - causing some legitimate discussions to devolve into a valueless wash of competitive sophistry. Maybe that's okay if what's desired is just another place for wasting time during a boring day at work, but I have to wonder if that's the point of this forum.

Then there are the metaphysicists, of which most here seem to generally associate themselves with. (Of course, I've already acknowledged that there are acolytes and adherents to extremely specific disciplines that regularly post here, and they know who they are) So, what is a metaphysicist, and how do they differ from philosophers? Here's a definition of the prefix meta that I found, and in the application as a prefix in the word metaphysics, I think it suggests the extremely broad nature of the metaphysicist's focus, and implies some of the requirements that such an individual places of any assertions presented within a given discussion.

meta definition


A prefix meaning one level of description higher. If X is some concept then meta-X is data about, or processes operating on, X.
For example, a metasyntax is syntax for specifying syntax, metalanguage is a language used to discuss language, meta-data is data about data, and meta-reasoning is reasoning about reasoning.

As the prefix suggests, the metaphysicist is very limited in what he/she can embrace as possible, since any premise must be workable within all plausible (meaning interrelated and consistently applicable) conditions and environs, at least conceptually (meaning within scalable reason, given the specifics involved). A good example is the claim that the anomalous nature of some indications presented by quantum mechanics suggests that all physics (even the physics that has proven itself again and again to be extremely stable and reliable) is, in fact, without uniform structure. Such a claim disintegrates the reality that there is a consistent and reliable "real" that has been the foundation of all that has physically progressed from the particle to the particle supercollider machine, and to the intellect that has successfully engineered a way to precisely manipulate all that progressive development to serve its own end. In short, the metaphysicist can't dismiss the obvious in the same manner that the philosopher can. And not due to any other reason but the fact that the metaphysicist has that extremely high-level view of reality that he/she has been blessed/cursed with.

So, I guess it'd be a good thing if a person could take a moment and get to know where they line up in this sense of what they bring to the table here. Especially if one insists that each of us can have their own truth. Philosophers can have their own truth, but metaphysicists can't. And that's really the difference between the two. And neither can legitimately fault the other for how it is that reality touches their senses. The truth is that the philosopher's contribution is his/her imagination, and the metaphysicist's contribution is his/her willingness to examine that imagination and see if anything can be learned from it about what is real and potentially actionable. Good partners as long as each knows where the other is coming from, but they'll never agree if they try to unite in common perspective.

So, are you a philosopher or a metaphisicist?

Me, I'm a metaphysicist.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 09:26 AM
can i be a meta-philosopher ?

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 09:32 AM
reply to post by NorEaster

"I am who I am." as Popeye sez.

A well thought out post, but I believe that I meander between the two realms. I have my views on subjects and always try to valid them. I'll do so until I die. I have changed my mind in regards to many things and at times reverted back to my original thoughts.

But sometimes, a internal question cannot be easily answered. It takes time to ponder such things and come to a conclusion.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 09:37 AM
reply to post by NorEaster

It seems as if debates on this form are most contentious between those who approach the same mysteries from completely different points of origination
Stop right there. A most excellent point.
Please do continue.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 09:38 AM
Metaphysicist reporting for duty.

Though I feel compelled to point out that Metaphysics was first described by a philosopher as "that which comes after the physics". That and my Dad is what I would consider a Philosopher King. But my own experience has shown me that philosophy is a lot of speculation and talk, and metaphysics is what brings the breakthroughs like "the law of gravity."

A philosopher would say objects fall because they want to.

A metaphysicist would say objects fall for the same reason that planets orbit.

That's the objective view. The one I favor.

There is also the subjective view. Far more useful in solving crimes, and caring about people.

A Philosopher will examine the motives of a person charged with a crime.

A Metaphysicist will examine if it was physically posible for the crime to be commited at all.

Long story short: When I want to get laid I talk philosophy. When I want to invent new technology I meditate on metaphysics.

I'm not on ATS to get laid.

David Grouchy
edit on 20-8-2011 by davidgrouchy because: grammar

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 09:43 AM
reply to post by TDawgRex

i, however am almost a polar opposite of your view. i have a few steadfast beliefs, but try to debunk things that im trying to learn. if it cant be debunked, then i guess i have something to research, to discover, aye? whichever method you use, we all just want the truth. the less you spin things, the more people will take your word for it and go have a look themselves, but thats just my opinion

i dont know about many out there, but i would prefer truth to all of this "trolling" or "misinfo" (not ones that genuinely hold a belief and try to defend it) those that feign a belief and just antagonize a chosen victim because of their "gullibility" a word they use to justify themselves preying on what little trust we have left for one another, putting the rest of us on edge

dunno if that is under the acolyte category, but still worth a mention

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 09:47 AM
reply to post by NorEaster

Wow, I really enjoyed reading your post.
Because you summed up things so nicely, I don't really have much to add, besides a thread bump.

Sometimes these meta-threads are way out of my league

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 09:55 AM
Reply to post by NorEaster

I would consider myself as philosopher, but I do understand to get a greater understanding sometimes one needs to present or defend the opposite of ones 'opinion'. If you provoke people they tend to tell you their truth. If you present something similair to their truth they tend to agree and only fight the opposite. Exploring a subject is a search for truth that can only be established after the exploring, during exploring truth is irrelevant because it should not be established yet. Wrong truths are tunnelvisions that withhold exploring.

Posted Via ATS Mobile:

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 09:59 AM

Originally posted by kayA1
can i be a meta-philosopher ?

Then we are two.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 10:07 AM
Philosophy actually translates to "love of wisdom" according to the Ancient Greeks. It can also be considered a systematic inquiry into the principles and presuppositions of any field of study. There are five main branches of philosophy which include logic (rules for correct thinking/reasoning), aesthetics (what is beauty), epistemology (human knowledge), Ethics (what it means to lead a good life), and Metaphysics which deals with reality (what is). These branches may vary depending on who you ask. Whether or not you choose to study any of these branches, you are still considered a philosopher. Although it is rather impossible to assign a concrete definition to Metaphysics, you too are a philosopher for inquiring into presuppositions and premises relating to reality. The vast majority of pre-socratic philosophers were all metaphysicist's, I don't see why you were separate these two. I am a metaphysicist; metaphysic's is a branch of philosophy; therefor through deductive logic I too am a philosopher.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 10:19 AM
reply to post by NorEaster

Loved....I mean....LOVED your thoughts this morning.

It seems as if I am a Meta-Philosopher. I am both.....
I think I use both for reasoning.

Hope everyone has a grrrrreat day today and even better night.

Peace and love to you all!!!! xoxoxox


posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 10:24 AM
First of all the term is Metaphysician
I have never heard of it being called a metaphysicist(although i am sure someone calls it that somewhere)

The terminology you use for meta physics is not based on the Meta you found in the dictionary. Meta is Latin for beyond. so technically metaphysics is the study of the ideas beyond the sciences. It is not only a branch of Philosophy, it is what most philosophies are based on. It is usually used in reference to Aristotle. I really discourage the use of wiki as a source, but here is a link to a rather decent article.

If anyone is interested, there are schools of metaphysics in most major cities. Look one up and visit one of these schools, it could be enlightening.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 10:48 AM
from "Metaphysics" by Aristotle (J.MDent and Sons, London, 1956)

Editors Preface... "...Soon after Aristotles death in 322 BC his manuscriptswere arranged by editors to form the present corpus of his works. A number of treatises were placed immediately 'after the Physics,' from which their title Metaphysics is derived."

WORD! ;-)

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 10:51 AM
reply to post by NorEaster

Well now you have upset my entire gravy train. Your discourse sent me scurrying to other references from one of which I dragged this.

The word "metaphysics" was first used as the title for several of Aristotle's works, because they were usually anthologized after the works on physics in complete editions. The prefix meta- ("beyond") indicates that these works come "after" the chapters on physics. However, Aristotle himself did not call the subject of these books "Metaphysics": he referred to it as "first philosophy."

The editor of Aristotle's works, Andronicus of Rhodes, is thought to have placed the books on first philosophy right after another work, Physics, and called them "the books that come after the [books on] physics". This was misread by Latin scholiasts, who thought it meant "the science of what is beyond the physical".

However, once the name was given, the commentators sought to find intrinsic reasons for its appropriateness. For instance, it was understood to mean "the science of the world beyond nature (phusis in Greek)," that is, the science of the immaterial. Again, it was understood to refer to the chronological or pedagogical order among our philosophical studies, so that the "metaphysical sciences would mean, those that we study after having mastered the sciences that deal with the physical world" (St. Thomas Aquinas, "In Lib, Boeth. de Trin.", V, 1).

There is a widespread use of the term in current popular literature, which replicates this error, i.e. that metaphysical means spiritual non-physical.

Now I find it difficult to grasp your fuller meanings until I can disassociate from my mistaken understanding of this word and the gaggle of synaptic miss-associations that have grown up around it. Why does it seem I a constantly back to the drawing board?

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 11:09 AM
Philosophers are looking for the truth. The truth being that prior to the physical (meta- physical) it is just one universal intelligence running the whole show.
We see the material plane, we experience matter, the physical world of paricles. Beneath, beyond, prior to matter (meta) which is primary, it is driving the universe. All appearances appear from that plane. It is not somewhere else it is this moment. Quantum physics are looking into the now.
It is where the universe is sang from and heard.
Not so much a 'big bang' more like a beautiful melody.

edit on 20-8-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 11:24 AM
How many truths are there? If there is only 1 truth does it matter what path you take to reach it? Picking a side sometimes blinds you from ways of thinking that you might need to reach the truth. Maybe both sides are necessary. I personally find that skating the line between the two suits me best. A persons mental reality should be malleable to an extent. A person should be able to change their views based on new knowledge. Is growth not the nature of life? A persons physical reality should be more concrete also to an extent. The physical world is simply not as open to change as the mental world is. I'm sure I'm not explaining myself very well but that's my reality.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 11:42 AM
reply to post by evolv

That is a philosophical conclusion!

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 11:46 AM
reply to post by TerryMcGuire

I too thought metaphysical meant there was an underlying spirtitual component.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 12:43 PM
I think I am a bit of both. When talking about metaphysical questions such as the reason behind life, all creations, human nature, and so on, I use meta-physic. When talking in general with subjects more simple I tend to use philosophy, but in a manner where I clearly make understand my view, in no way trying to impose it to the others. I think many of us tend to find the truth about things which matters to us, but in no way we have the absolute truth because what is good to one isn't to the other considering cultural, educational, philosophy background.

With that being said the human approach can never be 100% meta-physical because here again it is on a personal view of the topic that we consider something as ''it is''. Considering is personal philosophy although we try to be as objective as possible. In the end I find that it leads us to the following from Einstein who has it so right (personal opinion/philosophy) Everything is relative.


posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 02:08 PM
reply to post by NorEaster

Thought provoking thread. I have always looked at metaphysics as the art/science of finding the interconnections of ____________ (fill in the blank with wisdom, science, history, etc.) and philosophy as the application of how those interconnections influence the human experience.

S&F - and good journey!

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