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What is Metaphysics for ?

  1. Sep 4, 2004 #1
    The great advances in Physics and mainly the new view of the Universe that arose from a strictly scientific method, suggest the above question.

    Historically, Metaphysics turned out to be a good name: Metaphysical topics were ever "meta" from the Physics for each historical time.

    But now, what would be the topics covered by Metaphysics ?

    Will have Metaphysics ever a sense with independence of the Physics' advances?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2004 #2
    Were to place META physics

    Will have Metaphysics ever a sense with independence of the Physics' advances?[/QUOTE]

    Of course we all know that Meta physics means "After" physics. It was a group of treatise's of Aristotle's compiled by perhaps Andronicus of Rhodes while compiling the works of his teacher. Aristotle originally referred to this group of papers as "First Philosophy".
    But I agree with you that Meta-physics needs to be redefined to meet with the natural and amazing advances in the physics community. For those of us who are close to the physics community and the cutting edge work being done in theoretical physics, well know that they are stuck on the line and looking to QM for a way to explain the portal they need to take them mathematically into other dimensions.
    What some think will happen is that we will end up face to face with NOTHINGNESS.
    Here we need META physics again. Not in a philosophial sense though but complete with a clearly mapped out and quantified explanation of NOTHINGNESS to attach to the current models. This is NOT impossible. We have mapped out other fields and forces that we now commonly accept. It's only the next and logical step. Why do I say this? Because those brave enough on the teams (physics) are beginning to ask WHAT IS NOTHINGNESS? It IS somethingness or is would not exist and it certianly does.
    Make me a liar!
  4. Sep 4, 2004 #3

    Yes. Nothingness would be an essential objective for Metaphysics.

    I think that Metaphysics wouldn't be now "Meta" but "Cum" Physics, searching an explanation to what Physics finds.

    Physical theories predict facts. Some facts are in this form "explained" by theories. But description, prediction, explanation and understanding express different concepts. What would be the boundary between a scientific and a metaphysical explanation? When could be assert that we understand something?

    I think so difficult the explanation of "Nothingness" as the explanation of "Something" as an electron. It remains the question on the Being. Perhaps forever.

    The explanation of the scientific knowledge... Would it be the last objective of Metaphysics?
  5. Sep 4, 2004 #4
    To: One Smart Cookie

    I'm guessing that we can assert that we begin to understand something (or) nothing when we start to realize that we DON'T understand it.

    What would be the interface between scientific foundation and Cumphysics or paraphysics? HOT DOG!
    Well it is a thought, that after watching Superstring Celeberties on NOVA asking the general public to take that leap of faith and imagine that the existance of superstrings boil down to perspective in the general sense. I would say that perception or association alone would be a springboard to a possible interface. Not that Superstrings don't actually come to life on the board, cause they do. But I think a few of us are almost ready to jump OFF the board. (Not to be confused with jumping off the bridge which is an occupational hazard> HA! Mad I tell you!)
    "Being forever" can probably be easy enough to sustain, however that discusion is way out of my realm. I DO think we can OUT ourselves with much less difficulty.
    What Say You to This Captain?
  6. Sep 4, 2004 #5
    Yes. It is a socratic view that I share.

    I am confused about that. Could you refine this assert?

    I didn't pose Being forever, but the question on Being. That question probably will remain forever in Metaphysics, in the form of the old heideggerian enigma: Why is there any being at all and not rather Nothing?”
  7. Sep 4, 2004 #6
    Words only have demonstrable meaning according to their function in a given context. Outside of a physical context, metaphysics also has spiritual meanings.
  8. Sep 4, 2004 #7
    Thank you on the first point. I do not have a background in classical philosophy. My training was in mysticism and physics.

    On the second point I simply meant to use the excellent example Brian Greene uses on his NOVA special about Superstrings, that from a distance a telephone wire looks one dimensional, but when one gets closer one finds a fuller dimensionality i.e. the tiny ant walking around and round the wire. And might I add, totally oblivious to a fact that a very hard working physicist is using him (the tiny ant) as an example on a NOVA special.

    On the third point I have reason to look forward to a time when we as a human family will have a united understanding that will raise all of physicality to a more refined, etherial state. If this should happen we might alimiate the lower vibrations of anger, and all kinds of destructive negativity. All of creation might reveal itself with a transparency that will actually alow us to phase in or out. I believe this might happen as a result of a greater understanding of our physical universe through science and technology along with a soulful unification of the human heart. I belive I have perhaps observed some promising unfolding in all the above.
    Thank you all for your kindness
  9. Sep 5, 2004 #8
    I see mysticism in your third point. Or poetics. Metaphysics would be a form of perception of the physical findings.
  10. Sep 5, 2004 #9
    Thank you for the positive feedback. Unfortunately I just responded privately to someone else, besides yourself who has been kindly supportive in my pathetically limited attempt to continue this dialog I was told that the original post was poorly stated and to this I agree. I am not a poet or a profesisional writer. And even if I did have these skills, I am not feeling encouraged that I would be qualified to participate in such an open discussion about Nothingness and the hopes I had to assist the teams (physics) deal with this problem that plagues their work. I was told by the participant on the forum that there are ways to bring people into this subject. I dearly hope that someone qualified will pursue this and not let up until we break through to the next level.
    Thank you for your guidance and kindness,
  11. Sep 7, 2004 #10
    How would you define Metaphysycs?
  12. Sep 7, 2004 #11

    Metaphysics are demonstrably the foundations of epistomology, and ontology is evidently an epistomological idea. In other words, metaphysics are fundamental ideas and beliefs about how the world is and works. Metaphysics and context are what distinguish one epistomology or ontology from the next. They are defining characteristics.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2004
  13. Sep 7, 2004 #12
    as i am slightly more on the poetic side of philosophy, forgive me when i ask: what is the definition of epistemology and ontology?:smile:

    as far as the reason or justification for metaphysics is concerned though:
    with science (and its various forms of scientism) there are overriding biases and prejudices that are often associated with it. we as humans (especially in the 'western' logic framework) surely need a system of communication to connect with each other that puts science in perspective with religion, mysticism, the occult and the many 'primordial' forms of knowledge and belief that have been developed to high degrees in other cultures around the world. with this comes huge responsibility though, and is not to be taken in the wrong way. ie. this would be a proposition simply for communication and not a system of reductive dogma.

    i find it slightly ignorant of anyone to suggest that science and the subject of the 'physical' world is the RIGHT system and that other forms of knowledge are wrong. science may gradually encompass and try and take control over these other systems of thought but i personally think that would be a sad state of affairs: lets look at non linear synthesis rather than linear 'progress'. combination and cooperation rather than disagreement and destruction...

    peace :wink:

    ps. the journey's more important than the destination, but the destination is integral to start the journey.
  14. Sep 8, 2004 #13

    Please use a dictionary. Whether you are a poetic philosopher or not, knowledge of the definitions of words is important and I am not a personal desktop dictionary.

    Science is merely a tool, a method. I would no more abdicate my life to science than I would trust my monkey wrench to tell me how to fix a broken pipe! However, that is not the topic on the table. The topic is what are metaphysics for, not how are they abused. :yuck:
  15. Sep 8, 2004 #14

    I know I had personally asked you to forgive my participation in the forum, being that I am not as qualified as you. But I must say that I am SHOCKED that you would speak to another person like this. I was under the impression that you were a kind and thoughtful person. My heart is pounding! Why did you do this?
  16. Sep 8, 2004 #15
    Shoshana: I believe that you are confounding Wuilheron with me (Ryokan).
  17. Sep 8, 2004 #16
    I quite agree with Ryokan (ryokan, sorry if I missed your point and you don't agree with me :-)
    Beyond semantics and excessively formal discussions, the role of Mataphysics should become more and more the interpretation of scientific knowledge.

    Scientific knowledge is already diving into waters beyond our common sense, our sensorial and experimental abilities, and into purely mathematical realms, sometimes even defying logic itself.

    As in the path started by quantum mechanics, knowing that an equation correctly describes the behaviour of nature without having any idea of why (underlying principles) is only half of the way. I believe we aim not just to know but to understand.

    I wonder if (as some physicist seem to dream), science can one day become totally self-explanatory, without needing any metaphysical assumptions....
  18. Sep 8, 2004 #17
    Not intentionally

    We are all so confounded that I just warn people right off from the start that confused is my baseline. What ever happens to fall off of that is an accident. But to give Wuilheron the respect Wuilheron deserves, confusion to quote.. "is NOT what's on the table".
    However it is interesting that out of chaos comes beauty, truth and creation in all its stages. Somewhere in that mess of complication is the driving force. Might that Driving Force be on the table?
  19. Sep 9, 2004 #18
    Yes. I agree completely. :smile:
  20. Sep 9, 2004 #19

    Me too!
    I found a perfect recipe for PI crust...
    What's everyone's favorite filling?
  21. Sep 9, 2004 #20

    wuliheron, {chuckle} forgive me, i believe you may have misundertood the intentions of my last message. i was simply assuming with your response to the question by ryokan about metaphysics:
    that you WERE a personal desktop dictionary! briefly looking over the academic web address (and the dictionary address) you supplied (after your somewhat disturbing response to my ramblings), i was confronted with the personal problem of wondering ever more where a definition of such profound clarity stemmed from. i was going to ask you again right here:...................but decided it would be rude!

    anyway lets not get all hot and bothered about it now. to hint that i have the intention to abuse metaphysics is interesting; of course i am questioning definitions to spawn conversation, that is discourse and as far as i know the use of forums.

    you are clever though and i will keep closer check on my own aims also, as any criticism is constructive its just that some needs extra energy to digest :zzz: <<meditate>>
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