What is Metaphysics?

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Reply Thu 13 Mar, 2008 07:09 am
@de Silentio,
He didn't say only that. The quote was part of a larger argument. No need to read into it, you can just read what he wrote to get the context.

From the second meditation:

But I have convinced myself that there is absolutely nothing in the world, no sky, no earth, no minds, no bodies. Does it now follow that I too do not exist? No: if I convinced myself of something [or thought anything at all] then I certainly existed. But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who is deliberately and constantly deceiving me. In that case I too undoubtedly exist, if he is deceiving me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing so long as I think that I am something. So, after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that the proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind.
de Silentio
Reply Thu 13 Mar, 2008 07:44 pm
@Play Dough,
Play_Dough wrote:
That is your opinion or interpretation, which I respect.
Descartes was a master of words and logic. He said EXACTLY what he meant..... "I THINK, THEREFORE I AM". Thinking precedes being, thinking is a 'causal agency' of 'being'.

I will ask the question again, how do you get your interpretation from Descartes writings? Aedes proves a good point, I too can give you plenty of other quotes from both the Meditations and the Discourse on the Method that show what Descartes meant with his Cogito. However, I am not going to do so. I would rather hear how you get your interpretation.
de Silentio
Reply Thu 13 Mar, 2008 08:09 pm
@Play Dough,
Play dough, as for your metaphysics, it sounds like you are trying to describe one conclusion of metaphysics, and not what the study of metaphysics is. It is like someone asking you what ethics is, and you only talking about virtue ethics.

Play_Dough wrote:
A) The "self" fits into the chain of cause and effect because the 'self' is involved.
Metaphysics sees and experiences 'the self' as at the center of all phenomena. It is 'a belief system'. It is based upon the 'metaphysical fact' that underneath the veils of mind and underneath the veils of the ego (all 'within') is 'the creator'.

So, is the self the initial cause?


B) The sense of 'physical detachment' is not really (metaphysically speaking) an actual detachment. 'Thought' is considered a 'causal agent' and if 'thought' is not involved then the 'causal agent' is a pre-existing pattern (i.e., a belief) embeded in the psyche.
Much of this is a matter of deciding where 'the self' begins and ends.
Metaphysics sees the 'self' as (ultimately) expanding infinitely... 'without' to the ends of the universe and 'within' to the pure creative source that delivered one into 'being'.

How is the self not detached from the objects it experiences?


C) "Meta" means 'hidden' or 'behind' or 'not visible'.

Really, I thought meta meant 'above' or 'after'. As in 'After the Physics'.

To test this one needs only to conduct personal experimentation. We can push a button on a TV remote and change the channels. So too can we alter reality by our thoughts. "

You sound a lot like Schopenhauer, who modeled Kant for his philosophy.

Perhaps the 'big' metaphysical (and Socratic) question is: "What happens when God says, "I am not God"?

How does God fit into what you outlined as 'metaphysics'?

How is this question Socratic?

How can God say "I am not God"? That is a contradiction.
Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2008 04:40 pm
@de Silentio,
ok.thanks so much for the information
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2008 06:30 pm
@de Silentio,
in my humble and slightly educated opinion, metaphysics is the study of the physics beyond physics. meaning that it is the study of the real essence of the unknowable world. Physics beyond physics
Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2008 11:56 am
@de Silentio,
>the word 'Metaphysics' has been used throughout history to mean different things

In Metaphysics class we never got beyond Chapter One. Seems we were not prepared to discover what metaphysics actually is. Lately I have been taking the meaning of 'system'. Physis might be those things you come across in nature and a system that ties them together to a fair degree would be the metaphysics. There can be more than one system, so more than one metaphysics. We probably each have our own metaphysics and often more than one on different days, so there could be an indefinite number of these things and some would be more complete than others. Is a single metaphysics possible?
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 02:35 am
VideCorSpoon;9460 wrote:
I admit I dont quite know the connection between deconstructionalism and metaphysics... It seems like a monkey with a whole different bannana. But if I were to take a stab at "what is metaphysics?" it would be this. Metaphysics is the philosophical study of being and knowingOF THE QUESTIONANSWER TO THE QUESTION

It is an ontological study of the primacy of things, or simply, a venture to the origins of substance. At the core of this view is perhaps the most difficult concept that philosophers from Spinoza, Leibniz, etc. have tried to grapple with, which is being qua being, or being as being in itself. What the heck does this mean? This means that being is it itself that is predicable of nothing yet predicated upon. What the heck does that mean??? Being is that substrate that all attributes attach!!! What the heck does that mean then????? Sounds neat and mysterious right... It goes on for quite a bit... well, Aristotelean syllogism that is.

Great post. It does feel like an ultra-scratch. "Vortext" is my word of the moment. "Being under erasure" fascinates.

---------- Post added 02-16-2010 at 03:38 AM ----------

Play_Dough;10002 wrote:

The answer is that consciousness is a potent creative force that Man has not, as yet, become familiar (with). Why? Because 'the powers of consciousness are 'emerging characteristics' that go way beyond 'self awareness' and mundane/general awareness.

Plato says it best.... (interpreted) 'as far as consciousness is concerned, Man is sleeping in a cave unaware that he (Man) is sourcing the phenomena that he observes.... he observes, names and records his observations utterly unaware of his higher powers'.

To simply 'dismiss' the possibility of the existence of these 'higher powers' (in the name of mundane science) is a severe self-imposed limitation.

"I think, therefore I AM"! plus, Plato's "Allegory of the Cave' says it all!


I agree. Very much. The consciousness factor is crucial. The mind must account for itself, or its illusion or concept of itself. The web of subject-object. Etc. It's the good stuff. Natural science is indeed a limitation of inquiry, paid for by its usefulness, I admit.

---------- Post added 02-16-2010 at 03:38 AM ----------

vajrasattva;11363 wrote:
in my humble and slightly educated opinion, metaphysics is the study of the physics beyond physics. meaning that it is the study of the real essence of the unknowable world. Physics beyond physics

A nice way to put it.
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 01:17 am
vajrasattva;11363 wrote:
in my humble and slightly educated opinion, metaphysics is the study of the physics beyond physics. meaning that it is the study of the real essence of the unknowable world. Physics beyond physics

See my definition of "metaphysics" here.


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