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I Just Discovered This About Metaphysics

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posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 06:51 AM
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There are a variety of defined approaches that metaphysicists can take and still be legitimately engaging in a metaphysical examination. I just snapped this up off Wikipedia.



Styles and methods of metaphysics

Rational versus empirical. Rationalism is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive" (Bourke 263). Rationalist metaphysicians aim to deduce the nature of reality by armchair, a priori reasoning. Empiricism holds that the senses are the primary source of knowledge about the world.

Analytical versus systemic. The "system building" style of metaphysics attempts to answer all the important questions in a comprehensive and coherent way, providing a theory of everything or complete picture of the world. The contrasting approach is to deal with problems piecemeal.

Dogmatic versus critical. Under the scholastic approach of the Middle Ages, a number of themes and ideas were not open to be challenged. Kant and others thought this "dogmatism" should be replaced by a critical approach.

Individual versus collective. Scholasticism and Analytical philosophy are examples of collaborative approaches to philosophy. Many other philosophers expounded individual visions.

Parsimonious versus Adequate. Should a metaphysical system posit as little as possible, or as much as needed?

Descriptive versus revisionary. Peter Strawson makes the distinction between descriptive metaphysics, which sets out to investigate our deepest assumptions, and revisionary metaphysics, which sets out to improve or rectify them.

source - en.wikipedia.org...


I guess that I'm a Rationalist/Systemic metaphysicist. In case anyone was curious about where I've been coming from. I suspect that there are a lot of Empiricists on this forum, and I can't really expect them to appreciate my own approach. Still, it seems that both approaches are valid as far as the field itself is concerned.

edit on 4/25/2012 by NorEaster because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 07:18 AM
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The thing about the Rational approach is that it relies heavily on Empiricism. A priori reasoning largely stems from experience. For example, consider the hypothetical situation of a mouse attempting to hold an elephant on its back. Rationalists would say that we can deduce since the weight of the elephant is exceedingly greater than the mouse and the mouse is exceedingly smaller in size than the elephant that it would get crushed. But how do rationalists know that the one animal will be crushed? Because they have witnessed previously an object of smaller size get crushed by an object of bigger size and can logically deduce from that experience. If they had not had an experience of this nature in their lives, they would not be able to determine that one animal would be crushed by the weight of the other.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 07:58 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
The thing about the Rational approach is that it relies heavily on Empiricism. A priori reasoning largely stems from experience. For example, consider the hypothetical situation of a mouse attempting to hold an elephant on its back. Rationalists would say that we can deduce since the weight of the elephant is exceedingly greater than the mouse and the mouse is exceedingly smaller in size than the elephant that it would get crushed. But how do rationalists know that the one animal will be crushed? Because they have witnessed previously an object of smaller size get crushed by an object of bigger size and can logically deduce from that experience. If they had not had an experience of this nature in their lives, they would not be able to determine that one animal would be crushed by the weight of the other.


I don't think that this example is sufficient to dismiss the rationalist approach.

Case in point - when attempting to determine the validity of a unitary basis for physical existence, you certainly can't employ an empirical approach. How could you? Even your experience of being existent is predicated on the progressive development of physical existence far from the basis level, so what could that experience prove, disprove or even suggest about the validity of a unitary (or arbitrary) basis for physical existence? Of course, the answer is nothing. In that examination, only the rational approach can possibly yield any result, since the tools of rational examination (logic, inference, extrapolation) would be the only tools available for such an examination.

Of course, you could punk out on the whole thing and declare such an examination to be impossible, but that's pathetic. And declaring such information to be inherently unavailable to human beings by design is even more pathetic.

The elephant and the mouse example isn't really metaphysics. It's physics. Metaphysics is the examination of much larger, more pervasive elemental truths. The elephant and mouse question isn't very important beyond that extremely isolated scenario that you presented.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 08:15 AM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 


I'm not trying to dismiss the rationalist perspective, I am only suggesting it borrows from the empiricist perspective in many cases.

I think you make some valid points and I do not wish to deny examination of "the impossible" as that leads to close-mindedness; what was once impossible is now possible after all and this will continue. All I am trying to say is don't think that rationalist and empiricist approaches are so distinct from one another, because they do overlap in some areas.

I used the elephant and the mouse example because it is very easy to relate to and does not contain too many variables. Not everyone on this board will be as well versed as others in regards to philosophical ideas and terminology, so it's best to keep it as clear as possible without unnecessarily complicating things.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 08:18 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
reply to post by NorEaster
 


I'm not trying to dismiss the rationalist perspective, I am only suggesting it borrows from the empiricist perspective in many cases.

I think you make some valid points and I do not wish to deny examination of "the impossible" as that leads to close-mindedness; what was once impossible is now possible after all and this will continue. All I am trying to say is don't think that rationalist and empiricist approaches are so distinct from one another, because they do overlap in some areas.
.


Agreed. I'm sure there is plenty of overlap. It's a messy business after all.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 


Hi there NorEaster.

Have you practiced any form of meditation or inner contemplation? I am asking, simply, because I have come to understand that my thoughts, rationalizations, and conceptualizations are just as subjective, superficial, and corruptible as my sensory perceptions. There are many illusions that have been verifiably proven to fool the perceptions and mind into perceiving, observing, or experiencing that which is not actual there.

Don't get me wrong, I have no choice but to rely upon my mind and perceptions in order to function as a human. However, the only thing I can be sure of beyond the relativity and subjectivity of the senses or mind is the actual consciousness and awareness that is purely aware of the senses, thoughts, and emotions.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by Sahabi
reply to post by NorEaster
 


Hi there NorEaster.

Have you practiced any form of meditation or inner contemplation? I am asking, simply, because I have come to understand that my thoughts, rationalizations, and conceptualizations are just as subjective, superficial, and corruptible as my sensory perceptions. There are many illusions that have been verifiably proven to fool the perceptions and mind into perceiving, observing, or experiencing that which is not actual there.


I've been trying to get the meditation thing together, with mixed reviews. Still new at it though, so I'm holding out hope. As far as thoughts, rationalizations and conceptualizations being subjective, you're right. All the stuff that comes out of your brain is subjective. 100% subjective. It's the only stuff that is subjective in reality - that being brain generated information. The rest of everything is objective, and 100% objective.


Don't get me wrong, I have no choice but to rely upon my mind and perceptions in order to function as a human. However, the only thing I can be sure of beyond the relativity and subjectivity of the senses or mind is the actual consciousness and awareness that is purely aware of the senses, thoughts, and emotions.


That consciousness is real, but what it provides in the way of interpretation is not objective. It evaluates objective reality, but it interprets that reality subjectively. This is the miracle of consciousness and why it's such an epitome existential development. Nothing else is capable of truly unique and individual interpretation. Even the animal brain responds to external and internal stimuli under the established protocols of the DNA-provided instinct parameters that it received by way of its genus, species, and breed (as the case may be, of course).

Subjective interpretation is extremely complex and sophisticated. It can be a pain in the *ss for us, but that doesn't take anything away from the sheer brilliance of it as a capacity. The concept of subjectivity didn't even exist until the nature of the human brain required it as a description. Of course, it must be added that Earth's Homo Sapien version of the human brain is only one such version, but I'm sure most folks here understand that already.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 09:57 PM
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If you are concerned with labels then I believe you might have missed the point of most metaphysical teachings.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 10:26 PM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 


It kind of makes me think about how supposively we are all one. But when you look around we are so different it almost makes you question the statement. But I think what we are to learn from our observations is that. No matter how diverse something is it is still apart of the samething. So when I see multiple sects for one religion or multiple ways to think or take a statement. i just think well their has to be a root to it somewhere. Because like a tree all the branches and branches of the root all stem from the same trunk. Make sense. I think whats going on is different people need different ways to virew the samething. One person needs to wear beer goggles and the other does not.
edit on 25-4-2012 by Manunnaki because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 10:07 AM
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Originally posted by NorEaster

Case in point - when attempting to determine the validity of a unitary basis for physical existence, you certainly can't employ an empirical approach. How could you? Even your experience of being existent is predicated on the progressive development of physical existence far from the basis level, so what could that experience prove, disprove or even suggest about the validity of a unitary (or arbitrary) basis for physical existence? Of course, the answer is nothing. In that examination, only the rational approach can possibly yield any result, since the tools of rational examination (logic, inference, extrapolation) would be the only tools available for such an examination.


This makes sense. But I think to disregard the senses would be equally as pathetic, especially when pondering such things as existence and being, since it is obvious that our senses provide the best evidence of existence so far.

I agree that a rationalist approach to metaphysics is the only course a metaphysician can follow because it is trapped beneath a veil of language and ideas and has yet to breach reality—where Empiricism resides. Any thing else would be the study of physics.

However, since we try to steer clear of Aristotelean logic these days, it is unnecessary choosing one or the other.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 11:28 AM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 


i like the word empirism bc it is a plus so one can appreciate a surprising value he didnt thought existing

so empirism for me is just that intellectual value, which again bring truth to abstractions of all values

when value by definition is abstract thing as the reason of objective positive absolute free growth so truth in being abstractions of all values is absolute abstract life, that is why nothing is misunderstood objectively
making the nothing freedom happy and believing itself existing more then it should

nothing in abstract terms of truth exist only bc any abstraction is objectively nothing, bc for object to b there must b absolute fact, while abstraction is never absolute fact so only itself freedom, unless it is the abstraction of all values which is then truth existence that we all know and see being objective for any and all as absolute fact

the answer i would mean here, is meta for metaphysics

how physics become meta?? bc individuals are giving objectively by being nothing

it is like philosophy is the value of the philosopher, metaphysics it is same thing

objective cant exist without a perceiver while the perceiver is all what exist there

this is rational thinking, but the fact that truth exist, what i said is not rigid thing, when truth exist then some things are repeated so objective exist without the perceiver even if not living and perceivers could b much less existing then anything

so to me, the link between rationality and facts is freedom value, the more the rational is true the more it would mean nothing but itself freedom out, so the more being rational is an open way to anything existing or facts or else or death, then it depends on that freedom value to existence issues
like also for empirists, the fact recognized that things are also true is nothing in fact, the true fact is that recognition free value, an empirist is not known to support individually objective reality of things, while only if he does that we could say that as an emprist he exists, being a free value out of true realities

dont reply noreaster, i know wat u r going to enjoy using my free answer for, i do reply to threads regarding the topics so words exclusively, never for anyone when not even for myself



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