Friday, October 14, 2005

Metaphysics: Experience vs. Thought

On the ever interesting philosophical course of Metaphysics, I came across a blog posting on the fundamental definition of this line of thought. In the age of post-modern constructivist thinking, contemporary thinkers leave little room for the immutable existence of the Absolute. I'd like to open up the debate on whether it is fruitless to think about time, space, and infinity just because our senses cannot reach them objectively. I for one know that I would hate to give up the quest for exploring the ultimate metaphysical truth.

My dear friend and fellow-thinker Philo arrives at the following juncture at his own quest:

"Thus metaphysics is beyond our senses because it realises that though we don't see an obvious connection between matter, reason tells us there is (e.g. earth orbiting sun, that we can see stars across the universe). Further, since the time of Kant, it has become increasingly clear that we cannot describe reality correctly (i.e. from one metaphysical foundation), while we have theories founded on many separate / discrete things. Thus Space and Time cannot both exist, nor can particles and forces (the current paradigm). This explains why we now live in a post-modern relative culture of no absolute truths, because our theories are founded on many things, thus at the end of the day these are merely human constructions, ideas approximating reality, but not absolutely true. So how do we overcome this? By rejecting particles, forces and time, and explaining / connecting these many things from One thing Space."


And my thoughts at this moment in time:

The definition of metaphysics is about the only concept that would remain constant in my mind, despite full awareness of our post-modernist era which does not rely on solid everlasting foundations. The word 'meta' comes from the meaning of 'our own'. For eg. 'metacognition' is a term used in cognitive psychology which refers to "knowledge of one's own cognition". In this esoteric regard, metaphysics warrants a definition of "Knowledge of our physical elements" or something to that effect. The definition alludes to the study of such, rather than the definition of the perceptions of how these physical elements are - which may be contingent upon the make-up of individuals' experience, perceptual predispositions, etc.

I must agree with Kant and Hume that nothing ever has to be absolute because our senses are never objective enough to perceive it. On that token, that does not mean the absolute does not exist. I still believe in the sheer logic of something must have to exist foundationally for us to be able to perceieve our own existence and the progress of science and technology which has clearly affected our existence. The only reason Descartes claimed to believe only in one's own existence is because of his ultimate belief that thought was proof that we exist: "I think therefore I am" his famous quote from the Meditations sums up metaphysics in a way - our thoughts tell us that we surely must exist - this metacognition is the basis of all ontology.

Experience may affect thought, but if we are aware of our cognitive workings to go higher into 'metacognition', our thoughts can guide us how to react to experience.

Metaphysics is definitely one of my hot destinations on the Philosophy Coaster. I love the idea of the big picture and the wonderful possibilities that await discovery. My idea about philosophical pondering is not whether we can find answers, but I feel more alive with the kind of questions that arise.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Willy Chica said...

"Metaphysics" is just one huge matrix the mind constructs. It relies mainly on the intellect but the intellect has its limits. Pls
read up on Bergson about this; also Suzuki on Zen Buddhism. There's a great section on this in the late 60s book: LSD and GOD: The Private Sea. A better, realist handle is Brian Swimme's The Universe is a Green Dragon (Arkana Books. Read on, si vous plait!

Saturday, 15 July, 2006  
Anonymous Willy Chica said...

Can we experience the universe? Of course, we do it in every instant but what we don't realise or are aware of is this: the universe is experiencing us!
The whole, with us in and of it, is One Process, One Event, One Organism--that's why we simpletons call it The Universe!
One focused, intense knowing of the universe is what mystics do and the meta-experience of altered state of consciousness.
Try it and evolve out of words!

Saturday, 15 July, 2006  
Anonymous Willy C said...

My difficulty with philosophy up to the present is that it hasn't shed its blind bias for so-called ultimates.
I think Wittgenstein was right: the only philosophy worth doing is that which abhors nonsense. Ah, a lot of nonsense has crept in and philosophers are caught in loops of their own making. One way out of the loop is to see and embrace the world as one's own body: we are in the world as well as of it. Imagination can unfold the arabesque. Try it!

Wednesday, 19 July, 2006  

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