Does metaphysics have a terminus?

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Duckrabbit
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Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by Duckrabbit » May 1st, 2018, 11:41 am

"At the basis of the whole modern view of the world lies the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations (my emphasis) of natural phenomena.

"So people stop short at natural laws as at something unassailable as did the ancients at God and Fate.

"And they are both right and wrong. But the ancients were clearer, in so far as they recognized one clear terminus whereas the modern system makes it appear as though everything were explained."

Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 6.371 - 2

I am curious what people think of this. Wittgenstein seems to be saying, I think, that any accounting of the essential nature of the universe, such as Higgs-Boson, string, quark, quantum, relativity, or other theories only make sense in certain contexts, i.e., in comparison to other things, and that then the contexts of these descriptions must be accounted for, and then these accountings must be accounted for, and so on ad infinitum.

Tamminen
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by Tamminen » May 1st, 2018, 12:08 pm

Duckrabbit wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 11:41 am
"At the basis of the whole modern view of the world lies the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations (my emphasis) of natural phenomena.

"So people stop short at natural laws as at something unassailable as did the ancients at God and Fate.

"And they are both right and wrong. But the ancients were clearer, in so far as they recognized one clear terminus whereas the modern system makes it appear as though everything were explained."

Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 6.371 - 2

I am curious what people think of this. Wittgenstein seems to be saying, I think, that any accounting of the essential nature of the universe, such as Higgs-Boson, string, quark, quantum, relativity, or other theories only make sense in certain contexts, i.e., in comparison to other things, and that then the contexts of these descriptions must be accounted for, and then these accountings must be accounted for, and so on ad infinitum.
See also this:
6.52 We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered,
the problems of life have still not been touched at all. Of course
there is then no question left, and just this is the answer.
6.521 The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of
this problem.
(Is not this the reason why men to whom after long doubting
the sense of life became clear, could not then say wherein this
sense consisted?)
6.522 There is indeed the inexpressible. This shows itself; it is the
mystical.
6.53 The right method of philosophy would be this. To say nothing
except what can be said, i.e. the propositions of natural science,
i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy: and then
always, when someone else wished to say something metaphysical,
to demonstrate to him that he had given no meaning to
certain signs in his propositions. This method would be unsatisfying
to the other—he would not have the feeling that we
were teaching him philosophy—but it would be the only strictly
correct method.

Eduk
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by Eduk » May 1st, 2018, 2:03 pm

Difficult to say as it's out of context?

Fooloso4
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by Fooloso4 » May 1st, 2018, 6:07 pm

As I understand it, according to Wittgenstein, the laws of nature are not necessary, that is, logical laws:
6.36311 That the sun will rise to-morrow, is an hypothesis; and that means that we do not know whether it will rise

6.37 A necessity for one thing to happen because another has happened does not exist. There is only logical necessity.
Hence:
6.371 At the basis of the whole modern view of the world lies the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations of natural phenomena.
They are “so-called” laws of nature because:
6.3 Logical research means the investigation of all regularity. And outside logic all is accident.

6.31 The so-called law of induction cannot in any case be a logical law, for it is obviously a significant proposition.—And therefore it cannot be a law a priori either.

6.32 The law of causality is not a law but the form of a law.
The form of a law, I take it, means the observable form a logical law takes.

To understand this, we need to look at the logical structure of the world:

1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of things.

1.13 The facts in logical space are the world.

2.01 An atomic fact is a combination of objects (entities, things).

2.012 In logic nothing is accidental: if a thing can occur in an atomic fact the possibility of that atomic fact must already be prejudged in the thing.

2.014 Objects contain the possibility of all states of affairs.

2.02 The object is simple.
Wittgenstein does not identify the simple objects, but they can be determined to exist a priori. The possible ways in which objects can combine is determined by logic.
2.012 In logic nothing is accidental: if a thing can occur in an atomic fact the possibility of that atomic fact must already be prejudged in the thing.
All possible states of affairs has been logically determined, but which state of affairs will be actual has not. The laws of nature are not the laws of logic but are governed by them. Logic is the scaffolding of the world that underlies both the facts and language/thought.

Tamminen
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by Tamminen » May 2nd, 2018, 8:25 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 6:07 pm
The form of a law, I take it, means the observable form a logical law takes.
Or perhaps it is what is common to a group of laws, which are not logically necessary, and therefore the "law" of causality is not necessary either. Cf. Kant. I think W. rejected Kant's synthetic a priori truths.

Namelesss
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by Namelesss » May 7th, 2018, 12:30 am

Duckrabbit wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 11:41 am
"At the basis of the whole modern view of the world lies the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations (my emphasis) of natural phenomena.
Your error is in the implication of 'cause and effect' (explanation), an impossibility.
"The Laws of Nature are not rules controlling the metamorphosis of what is, into what will be. They are descriptions of patterns that exist, all at once... " - Genius; the Life and Science of Richard Feynman
See? This is the basis for 'modern thought'.

I am curious what people think of this. Wittgenstein...
Does metaphysics have a terminus?
As a 'terminus' is an 'end', then yes, there is an end to metaphysical study.
The point where we no longer study the Universe and Become One with the Universe!
We 'study' until we Know!
The yoga of philosophers, jnana yoga, was the preferred yoga for past times. Not this Kali yuga where thought/ego is dying. 'Efficient' thought, once, 'led' to 'Enlightenment', the 'terminus' of all true philosophical practice.

Without 'context' (the duality of thought/ego), not anything can ever be Known!
Which means that to completely define anything (in context), takes the entirety of the Universe, ever!!

"The complete Universe (Reality/Truth/God/'Self!'/Tao/Brahman... or any feature herein...) can be completely defined/described as the synchronous sum-total of all Perspectives!" - Book of Fudd

CIN
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by CIN » May 8th, 2018, 7:01 am

Duckrabbit wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 11:41 am
"At the basis of the whole modern view of the world lies the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations (my emphasis) of natural phenomena.
Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 6.371 - 2
Whereas really they are generalisations of contingent behaviour.

If metaphysics is to have a terminus, it must be either in something necessary or, as Wittgenstein observes, in some fundamental accident or accidents (i.e. phenomena with no explanation even in principle).

Our physics has already run up against the problem that further generalisations of contingent behaviour (e.g. string theory) are not testable (at least by us). So empirical physics runs out unavoidably into speculative metaphysical system-building.

The chance of us ever finding the true explanation for the world, given our limitations, is zero. Which of course will not stop philosophers from looking for the explanation, and others from claiming to have already found it.

“A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. A theologian is the man who finds it.”

― H.L. Mencken

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by ThomasHobbes » May 8th, 2018, 7:32 am

Duckrabbit wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 11:41 am
"At the basis of the whole modern view of the world lies the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations (my emphasis) of natural phenomena.

"So people stop short at natural laws as at something unassailable as did the ancients at God and Fate.

"And they are both right and wrong. But the ancients were clearer, in so far as they recognized one clear terminus whereas the modern system makes it appear as though everything were explained."

Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 6.371 - 2

I am curious what people think of this. Wittgenstein seems to be saying, I think, that any accounting of the essential nature of the universe, such as Higgs-Boson, string, quark, quantum, relativity, or other theories only make sense in certain contexts, i.e., in comparison to other things, and that then the contexts of these descriptions must be accounted for, and then these accountings must be accounted for, and so on ad infinitum.
In my view all explanations are the termini of intentionality. Since there is no intention in nature, what we say when we think about "explanations" is nothing more than descriptions.
If I intend an action I can have my explanation of it.
For all of nature we can only describe since there is no ultimate explanation as nature does not derive from intention, but necessity.

Jerrygg38
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by Jerrygg38 » May 13th, 2018, 4:07 pm

The ancient Chinese philosophers believed that the universe is a duality of the physical and the spiritual.The scientific community has concentrated on the physical. the religious community has concentrated on the spiritual. Metaphysics has attempted to find a link between the two. Until the link is found our knowledge will be incomplete. In my studies of the "Dual Light-speed Universe", it is clear to me that the basic ingredient of the universe is the dot-wave which oscillates from our light speed of 186,000 miles per second to a speed of 1000 light years per second. Thus we live in both the physical universe and the spiritual universe simultaneously. Eventually man will understand this. Until that day we must limp along in our total knowledge of God and the Universe.

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ReasonMadeFlesh
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by ReasonMadeFlesh » June 6th, 2018, 11:25 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 8th, 2018, 7:32 am
Duckrabbit wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 11:41 am
"At the basis of the whole modern view of the world lies the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations (my emphasis) of natural phenomena.

"So people stop short at natural laws as at something unassailable as did the ancients at God and Fate.

"And they are both right and wrong. But the ancients were clearer, in so far as they recognized one clear terminus whereas the modern system makes it appear as though everything were explained."

Wittgenstein, Tractatus, 6.371 - 2

I am curious what people think of this. Wittgenstein seems to be saying, I think, that any accounting of the essential nature of the universe, such as Higgs-Boson, string, quark, quantum, relativity, or other theories only make sense in certain contexts, i.e., in comparison to other things, and that then the contexts of these descriptions must be accounted for, and then these accountings must be accounted for, and so on ad infinitum.
In my view all explanations are the termini of intentionality. Since there is no intention in nature, what we say when we think about "explanations" is nothing more than descriptions.
If I intend an action I can have my explanation of it.
For all of nature we can only describe since there is no ultimate explanation as nature does not derive from intention, but necessity.
Bingo
"A philosopher who does not take part in discussions is like a boxer who never goes into the ring." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

Burning ghost
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by Burning ghost » June 8th, 2018, 3:55 am

The extract seems clear enough to me. I am not sure how you arrived at the summation you did?

Anyway, prior to reading to previous replies (so pls forgive any repetition), Wittgenstein is saying - not “appearing to say” - quite clearly that the ancients (in his view) used the concept of “god” as a doorway beyond which their was an unknowable, whereas in the modern era we’ve grown into the expectation of science to reveal more and more rather “pure meaning” rather than being understood as one part of our “orbit” around the basic cosmological take of being.

More simply put, we’ve refined our approach at the cost of a more all encompassing and unrefined approach. The empirical view is not all there is only all that there is in an explicable sense. The full cosmological feeling and positioning of the human disposition remains enigmatic beyond the halls of measurements which we bolster up as “gods” by applying names to “this” or “that”.

The “terminus” of metaphysics is that which cannot be said, that which currently evades any communitative capacity. The “rerminus” is the very idea of “positive noumena” in the Kantian sense - one which modern scientific thought dare not contend with yet constantly reaches for knowing the futility of doing so because the very term is a contrary one - “the thing in itself” is merely a construction of words not something applicable in any other sense than by using abstract rules and constricting the field of play (which on the playing field of human beings is unfathomable so the abstractions we create are no more than representations of how it is we cope with “being human.” Meaning here is essentially a meaningless thing - talking on a cosmological scale of some noumenonal “essence”.

Spoken/written language is a requisite of communication in an objective field, within a community of people/s.

The clarity of imprecision lies closest to the subjective experience because it isn’t “sullied” by the mere means of communication to some external “other”. That is all he is saying. By articulating ourselves we create something that “removes” us from one cosmological sense of being and placing us within the field of another, seemingly different, cosmological field. Of course if you understand the term cosmological you’re see clearly enough that the “cosmological” is not really some variable, such is the reason we have the term “weltanschuuang” to use in place of individual/group perspectives.

Wittgenstein appears to have led many others, o a merry old language dance for a very long time - and with some interesting results. At the end I believe he tried to show the limitation of language rather than to ray and hold to the task of making everything about “language” in the common sense of the word! (Yes! The irony hahaha!)

Meaning is a mental proposition which we cannot know. We only know meaning via the construct of language and through the construct we’re nowhere nearer to understanding how it takes place than we were several thousand years ago. The nature of modern society, if anything, has likely led us further away (in some ways) from explicit being. Only in the eyes of a baby can we catch a gimps of what lies below the overgrowth of common thought (shared thought.)

We “learn” to survive. Things are cut away in order to halt our fearless approach. In pedagogy we’re purposefully limited and confined to prevent early fatalities. When we’re older we’re then laughingly expected to shed these limitations and take on the world with both the wonder and awe of the newborn, and the cold and calculated systems of survival. Conditioned to one-way of life from birth and then begin expected to “think for ourselves” is something of a problem for the pedagogical model which has become more and more confined over the years. Exploration is required, and early fear of exploration needs to be accepted too in order to venture forth.

The post modern era was a step in this direction, but it was faulty because it was taken on as an aim to destroy meaning rather than understand it. Let’s not pretend we can unlearn how to ride a bike, but let us also not pretend that riding a bike is the most “meaningful” form of navigation.
AKA badgerjelly

Jerrygg38
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Re: Does metaphysics have a terminus?

Post by Jerrygg38 » June 10th, 2018, 8:50 am

Science is devoted to explaining the universe in terms of what we can see and measure. Yet for all the effort no one has explained gravity which is our fundamental force. What is it? Einstein wrote equations some of which worked well. Other scientists have produced various equations which explain many things but they have no produced an understanding of what causes these equations to work.
Then we are left with metaphysics to attempt a solution.Does the universe have a mind? What happened before the big bang? How did the universe come into being? Presently science cannot answer these questions. So I study the multi-light-speed solutions. This present many new possibilities. So scientists find out that although our photons and electromagnetic interactions occur at 186,000 miles per second, space itself interacts at greater than 10,000C. So not metaphysics must explore the multi-light-speed solutions. This moves us to higher dimensions and a higher understanding of our existence.

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