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Joined: 2/13/2009
Msg: 1
Metaphysic and youPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Im curious about what people know and learned from metaphysic: the only people I was able to talk about it are people that are extremely religious and totally deny those facts. I also would like to know about meditation. is there any book i should buy or 'technique' i should know about. thanks in advance

please share
Joined: 1/7/2010
Msg: 2
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/9/2010 6:57:40 AM
How can metaphysics be off topic in a forum about science and philosophy? That's like saying climatology is off topic in a forum about weather. Don't they screen for basic literacy when they assign the power to delete threads here? No, of course not. You just need a blank mind and a twitchy finger, and too much free time.

Start with Aristotle's Metaphysics. That's a good book to read for an introduction. From there, read the books people wrote in answer. Luckily for the reader short on time whole centuries of intervening thought have been condensed into relatively brief arguments.
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 3
view profile
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/9/2010 11:47:53 AM
how does metaphysics fit into a purely materialistic world?

It doesn't.
or do those kinds of things evolve too?
so for a materialistic person to give value to metaphysics, that would make him quasi materialistic.

So, my question would be, are there materialist who give credence to the metaphysical?
can somebody fully explain the sense in that?
Joined: 3/20/2009
Msg: 4
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/9/2010 9:29:02 PM
Metaphysics as a study is in many ways an outdated field in academia but not necessarily for an individual or the history of philosophy. There are various reasons for this such as the rise of science. Contrary to what has been posted scientists by their professional calling, to be science or at least good science, must work from the scientific method in which its questions can be measured. Metaphysics as a study of ultimate reality or what is above nature seeks questions and answers that are rooted outside measurement. Even within the social sciences the questions that it seeks to answer have been formulated within a measuring framework. In fact metaphysics is mainly pursued by the religious and not so much by secularists.

Another reason metaphysics is becoming outdated is that the search for an ultimate reality forces a complete set of answers that are wholly consistent (which Eastern religious philosophy is incapable of doing) and provides a definite answer to all questions that arise. Karl Popper and Fredrich Nietzsche both claimed that it was Plato's teachings that has held captive much of Western Philosophy due to his conception of Forms which may be the first coherent (somewhat) explanation of ultimate reality. Thankfully we are finally breaking away from such nonsensical modes of framing.

The advantages to a non-metaphysical point of view compared to a metaphysical point of view can be witnessed by the possible answers that can be applied to practical matters that are important. For instance, suppose we wish to help fight against poverty. The metaphysician will frame the problem of poverty in terms of morality, karma, reincarnation, grace, etc. The anti-metaphysician will determine the problem of poverty in structural terms such as food, communication, transportation, education, etc. The difference between the two is that one uses a useless final cause of poverty (an absolute and universal answer that is easily applied [intellectually]across different problems without actually being proven) while the other searches for practical and applicable methods of change towards eradicating poverty while testing which has most consistently been the case.

In any case I am not sure of any books on meditation that are good. I have a few, but they are religiously oriented and so I wouldn't recommend any. I am sure there are some out there that are not and advocates meditation outside a metaphysical standpoint where meditation is taught as not a method of deriving ultimate answers (as if we have them in us...if we did we wouldn't need science and so things like life expectancy would have risen without the use of science but only through the metaphysical and meditative practices) but as a form of mental exercise and relaxation (which is correlated with longer life expectancies by a few years).
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 5
view profile
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/9/2010 9:53:44 PM

How can metaphysics be off topic in a forum about science and philosophy? That's like saying climatology is off topic in a forum about weather.

There was nothing in post one which was either:
a) a discussion of philosophy, or
b) a discussion of science.

Ergo, it is off-topic in this forum. Philosophy is not the dumping ground for everything discussed "philosophically". It's for discussions OF philosophy. Discussions of particular philosophies belong under more directly-related headings. Philosophy of science? That's right here. Christian philosophies? That's religion/supernatural. Political philosophies? See "politics". If it doesn't fit, try "off-topic", since it plainly is.

Don't they screen for basic literacy when they assign the power to delete threads here? No, of course not. You just need a blank mind and a twitchy finger, and too much free time.

Physician, heal thyself.

I cast the first vote, correctly. Do please establish how your characterization applies. Try a mirror, as I've already provided the logic.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 6
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/10/2010 9:49:04 AM

Im curious about what people know and learned from metaphysic: the only people I was able to talk about it are people that are extremely religious and totally deny those facts. I also would like to know about meditation. is there any book i should buy or 'technique' i should know about

It's easy to get into a flame of this topic because of how the word "metaphysics" can be interpreted. Clearly, context is everything.

"Metaphysics" from an historical standpoint could simply be said to be a point in the evolution of thought from a philosophical approach to understanding nature to today's more empirical approach. Or, it could be taken to refer the "supernatural" which I would consider more of a "religious" approach.

Have I learned anything from "metaphysics?" I would say I've learned more from the sciences in terms of understanding "facts" and how things work. However, a study of religion is interesting to when done comparatively.

As for meditation, simply sitting quietly and focusing your attention on a single thing can be considered "meditation."
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 7
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/10/2010 6:04:12 PM
Let's talk about "an" historical standpoint, while we have an hamburger, on an hill. :-)

Oh, appy, I'm starting to think you've got a "thing" for me. Did I misstype 'an' instead of 'a'? Or are you just coming on to me?

That shows a complete misunderstanding of what metaphysics means. Metaphysics has nothing to do with studying or understanding the physical nature that science's "empirical [but often mathematically theoretical] approach" studies.


met·a·phys·ics [met-uh-fiz-iks] Show IPA
–noun (used with a singular verb)
1. the branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, includes ontology and cosmology, and is intimately connected with epistemology.
2. philosophy, esp. in its more abstruse branches.
3. the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.
4. (initial capital letter, italics) a treatise (4th century b.c.) by Aristotle, dealing with first principles, the relation of universals to particulars, and the teleological doctrine of causation.

From Wikipedia:

A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into what types of things there are in the world and what relations these things bear to one another. The metaphysician also attempts to clarify the notions by which people understand the world, including existence, objecthood, property, space, time, causality, and possibility.
Before the development of modern science, scientific questions were addressed as a part of metaphysics known as "natural philosophy"; the term "science" itself meant "knowledge" of epistemological origin. The scientific method, however, made natural philosophy an empirical and experimental activity unlike the rest of philosophy, and by the end of the eighteenth century it had begun to be called "science" in order to distinguish it from philosophy. Thereafter, metaphysics became the philosophical enquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of existence.

I'd call that an evolution of thought, wouldn't you?

As I said, the word "metaphysics" is often used in a much broader sense, to denote any or all of many topics which have in common non-physicality and often the disapproval of scientists (When I say that something is disapproved by scienctists, I mean no implication that it is wrong). I suggest that a different word should be used for that broader meaning.

Disapproval is obvious in context.

If you are talking of "metaphysics" in the sense of "first principles," then a study of metaphysics is as instructive as any other study of philosophy. If you are talking of the common use of "metaphysics" then that would be more appropriate for a discussion on the supernatural.
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 8
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/11/2010 3:49:07 PM

No, sorry, Stargazer, I wasn't really inviting you to lunch. I don't know if p.o.f. covers all orientations, including yours, but this forum is not the place for you to engage in such pursuits.

Oh, I must have misinterpreted your intent. I was going to say sorry, I'm not your type. You just seem to like jumping on everything I say. Like I said, I was starting to think you were 'coming on' to me.

I had no idea that that word was used as freely as your dictionaries say. So there's no point correcting what someone says about "metaphysics", when they could mean pretty much anything by it.

You're entitled to your interpretation of the word. However, frequently there is a difference in common use and specific use. As I said, some interpret "metaphysics" to mean "mystical." That would have included me. However...research is fun.

Now, if you're inclined to "flame" over this one, have fun. I'm done.
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 9
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/15/2010 1:09:54 AM
Metaphysics.. Another pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo. This forum should be renamed to Pseudoscience.. I've never heard so much BS in my life than on these forums.
Joined: 12/9/2007
Msg: 10
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/15/2010 10:22:30 PM
Theoretical physics actually have science and math behind it though. Metaphysics is basically saying that something happens, but we can't test, observe, or analyze it. So my question is - How do you know it's happening in the first place if it is impossible to test, observe, or analyze it?
Joined: 11/20/2004
Msg: 11
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/16/2010 6:54:23 PM
Well if what your interested in is the potentially untapped abilities of the mind looks into books that discuss psychokinetics, but stay away from ones that tend to refer to such things as psionic (they usually end up somewhere talking about hallucinogens or only really talk of things which can easily be discounted as mass suggestion). Not saying all books that call it psychokinetic will be accurate or even near accurate, but they tend to take a more scientific approach without barbing their contents with doubt until it's warranted.

There was one book, think it was called Wet Hack or something similar, I read when I was young, discussed how different sound and light conditions can bring about different levels of consciousness. Even though the book mostly dealt with common scenarios like being around a campfire or in a crowded room, it contained a goldmine of information which helped me create a little device that gave me some control over conscious states of the wearer. Nothing like making them have a special ability, more like making them drowsy or fully awake when they weren't showing or feeling signs of either before the procedure I developed. Unfortunately as I learned later on in life it wasn't anything new, such devices can be bought at novelty shops long before I read the book, but it was what started me on being capable of determining which of those sorts of books held real usable information and which ones were just ramblings of a half baked idiot.
Joined: 5/25/2009
Msg: 12
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/19/2010 11:22:04 PM
Hey! Look! A thread that's three-days dead! Let me just revive it for a moment...

I think there have been enough definitions of metaphysics posted that I don't need to try and formulate another one. The thing I find most interesting (and telling) about most forays into metaphysics is that they begin, usually, with something physical. Something more visceral, something more "obvious." In other words, we start with the "real" world (let's not get into a useless quagmire on that one- let's just say the "real" world is the world that is amenable to either the scientific method or your own direct perception, or both) and then speculate from there. I understand starting with reality and speculating outward is really the only option we have, but it just seems a bit backwards... there are just too many opportunities for rationalizing...

Similarly... the most basic and indispensable tenet of science is not empricism, but objectivity. It just so happens that at present emiricism is the only kind of objectivity we have. Likewise, reason and logic, though related, aren't the same thing...

think about it...

Epistemology, metaphysics... ultimate reality...

Could it be we're just gilding the lily?

This is the major rift between "hard" science and metaphysics; this is why some say that ever since the advent of the scientific method, philosophy is just mental masturbation.

Metaphysics = speculation. So... obvious and egregious violations of rationality aside, your own metaphysics is as good as anyone else's.

As for meditation... the most bare-bones approach I've ever found is zazen. It's just the practice of... sitting. Thoughts come and go, and you sit. Breathe. And sit. Your mind settles. And you sit.

But if you're looking for "the answers" via metaphysics, don't waste your time. There are already enough starry-eyed fluffbunnies who claim to "know" but barely have the presence of mind to tie their own shoes...
 Soul Shoes
Joined: 11/20/2009
Msg: 13
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/23/2010 5:42:14 PM
Meditation is a great way to start your inner journey and find out the truth of who you are. It's very easy and can be anything from sitting quietly, observing your breathing to following along through guided meditational journeys to participating in relaxation techniques or a more active activity like painting... I find that anything that I do where I lose the perception of time is a form of meditation.

I think it's better to learn from someone than to read from a book...
You can learn the basics from a Buddhist temple, yoga teachers, any type of psychic teachers... mediums that teach classes in your area. Try looking in a health food store for information.

 Sophie Animae
Joined: 12/25/2009
Msg: 14
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 2/27/2010 9:47:32 PM
Reva and those who are rasseling with a definition of metaphysics,

I do not like the term as it was first given its name by Aristotle's editors centuries ago. It began as a word that means, we don't know how to classify these topics in our current level of awareness because the ideas were stolen from a secret society and they didn't even have the decency to stay long enough with the masters to understand them.

I agree with Appreciative9809

[since you specifically asked about books, I suggest reading about the metaphysical study of ancient India. It's called Vedanta.]

I believe metaphysics is the study of any of the most fundamental concepts and beliefs about the basic nature of reality.
This site can begin to help one walk through the door that was opened by Quantum Physics.

I will quote the first paragraph of this site:

Quantum Physics and Vedic Metaphysics
by David Bruce Hughes

Consciousness is the primary issue in human life. Indeed, without consciousness, there are no other issues. Consciousness and its corollaries are fundamental to every thought, word and action. Yet how strange it is that no universally accepted, comprehensive theory of consciousness exists in Western science. The reason for this is clear: until recently, science intentionally restricted its domain to empirical investigations of the manifest objective world, while consciousness is intrinsically subjective and immanent.

another paragraph addresses many of the issues of those commenting in this thread:

Quantum physics and Vedanta address the same philosophical object: the inconceivable, immeasurable and immanent nature of Absolute Reality, of which the observable phenomenological cosmos is but a tiny subset.
 Sophie Animae
Joined: 12/25/2009
Msg: 15
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 3/1/2010 10:45:20 PM
Well, Krebby,
Robert Lanza, who promotes biocentrism, says that biology can furnish science with an all-encompassing explanation of reality, that the consciousness of the observer has a substantial role in creating his reality. He got that right, but he will never convince scientists of that fact. Scientists will never get out of the box of their scientific method. They set their intention (consciousness, seeing the outcome they want) with their hypothesis and perform experiments to test their theory. They begin with a part and return to a part, never seeing the whole because their minds are locked into the same place where they began.

Jack Cohen, a biologist says biology is not a science.

Steven Weinberg, one of America's leading physicists say that the existence of consciousness does not seem to be derivable from physical laws.

In the twenties there was a popular Hindu phrase, “Know in thyself and all one self-same soul; banish the dream that sunders part from whole.” Lanza even quotes this phrase in one of his articles. Too bad our scientists didn't hear the message and immediately go to Calcutta University at the time and begin to open their eyes to the universal laws of reality. You can't see the whole by dividing the parts into elaborate academic specialties because you waste all your time fighting amongst the other specialties to validate your existence as valuable in understanding reality. Physical laws are a small part of the universal laws of reality. Even Weinberg came to the conclusion that, "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless." Perhaps he was seeing the egoic process of science and it's futility. To want to be right, to want to be in control, to know it all is a waste of time.

The individual however can spend an eternity enjoying and opening to awareness of the whole and each conscious experience is as valid as anothers. Trying to put it in a marmalade jar to study it is ridiculous. Let science do what it does best, make little things happen again and again for whatever reasons, but thinking of the whole is way outside it's expertise.

The truth is we are all masters creating our reality. The point is to begin to create a reality where we respect everyone equally and create a reality where we can reflect the harmony in the universe in our daily lives. Taking responsibility for that intention and living it is a good place to start. Intellectualizing about reality is the ego mind, as opposed to the creative consciousness we are.
Joined: 5/25/2009
Msg: 16
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 3/2/2010 12:00:19 AM

On the Internet, it's quite common for ignorance and incompetence to be combined with rudeness and attack-mentality. But no amount of namecalling, directed toward those who don't agree with him, can fix the gaps and faults in StrangestBrew's science-worshiping metaphysics, or his confusion about the limits of science's applicability.

Wow, what a nasty little person you are, hiding behind your smug little smileys and your failed attempt at a vivisection. Speaking of what's quite common on the internet...

You managed to misunderstand almost everything I said and then to personally attack me for it.

So many things to cover...

First, I was not operating from any kind of "attack mentality." The one and only comment that actually was a jab at anyone was "starry-eyed fluffbunny," and it wasn't about people who don't believe in science or its "worship." It was about people who in the last few decades have taken the term metaphysics and and equated it to the study of new age spirituality and then RUN with every ridiculous possibility (yes, I said ridiculous; it's a judgment call and I'll stand by it. It's one thing to explore new ideas; it's something else entirely to remain mired in them without continually revising in light of new information) without really thinking about it. It was my answer to the "spiritual" dimension of the original post. My apologies if I stepped on your beliefs...

I'm actually not an "enthusiastic science buff." I think the scientific method is great for discovering how certain aspects of reality work from a certain point of view. Hell, the idea of provisional knowledge is essential to an open mind and can be applied to anything, including your own experiences in light of those questions that science can't touch. Still, I don't think that scientific method itself covers everything, and I never said anything that implies I think it covers everything. You, sir, have an axe to grind, and I'd venture to guess you take opportunity to grind it much more often than is actually appropriate (yes, you can take that personally. You opened the door...)

I'm aware there are plenty of metaphysical idealist schools of thought that consider physical reality as secondary at best, and I don't dismiss them as useless. Pretty sure I didn't suggest in my post that I dismiss them, either. What I do dismiss, and will every time, is fuzzy logic that arises when a person starts with the conclusion they'd like to reach and then selectively finds support for it, otherwise known as rationalizing.

I understand the logic and rigor involved in metaphysical inquiry, just as with any other branch of philosophy or any other academic or professional intellectual discipline, and I made no attempt to brush the whole field aside. My point, however loosely I may have gone about making it, was that metaphysics, more than any other other branch of philosophy, requires vigilance to avoid the abundant pitfalls inherent to it. Truth, or at least sound logic, is often counter-intuitive, and it's very common for new agers (the tone of the original post was spiritual in nature) to run with any idea that sounds good.

At one point, you took one of my statements and split it in two and then debated each part separately, and erroneously. I said "obvious and egregious violations of rationality aside, your own metaphysics is as good as anyone else's." Now if you want to break that in two and argue with each piece, fine, but you will (you did) miss the point that way. "Obvious and egregious violations of rationality" wasn't an attack on any point of view; it was a caveat to the statement that followed it, that your own metaphysics is as good as anyone else's. If you look at your own argument closely enough, you'll find that you essentially agreed with the intent of my statement. You said "one metaphysics isn't really as good as another, because some are based on clearly questionable notions." So your objection to one metaphysics being as good as another, in this context, anyway, is that... "some are based on clearly questionable notions." It seems fair to say that "clearly questionable notions" might be somewhat synonymous with "obvious and egregious violations of rationality."

That many scientists today consider metaphysics (and much of the rest of philosophy as well) to be mental masturbation is evident if you read enough academic papers. With our senses and our instruments, statistical analysis, near-incomprehensible math, complex computer models, good old-fashined boots-on-the-ground experiment, we can and do very accurately measure and catalog what is and isn't provisionally possible and real in the material world. MUCH (but not ALL, by any means) of metaphysics is either an extrapolation based on that measured, felt, demonstrable world, or an insufficiently rigorous dismissal of the importance or validity of the huge body of scientific knowledge we currently have, and as such metaphysics often strikes me as wishful thinking, rationalizing, or gilding the lily. Or... mental masturbation.

I'm perfectly aware of the inability of science to answer questions that aren't falsifiable and I don't for a second think (nor did I say) that the advent of science categorically invalidates metaphysics.

Your nastiness was uncalled for and unfounded. There is nothing duplicitous in my first post, and there are no tongue-in-cheek insults camouflaged with smug and smarmy smileys.

I would suggest that discussing any branch of philosophy in a casual forum such as this without the rigor and formality you would find in a peer-reviewed journal requires a certain flexibility and a patience for looser language--looking for what people mean by what they say, not what you insist their words literally mean. It's a casual discussion, not an academic paper, and ideally the point of such a discussion is to shed light, not to vie for the top intellectual spot.

"Strangely enough, philosophy steadily advances, and in spite of there being in the whole crowd of philosophers not one single player but simply people keeping score." ~ Kierkegaard

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." ~ Emerson
 Sophie Animae
Joined: 12/25/2009
Msg: 17
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 3/2/2010 9:02:51 AM
Oh, I see, Strangestbrew,
Grifter (con artist) in your profile is how you describe yourself.
You are just having fun, not really taking the question seriously.
I wondered why you say so many things that you have said are completely false
or contradictory.
I take the topic seriously as do others here.
So at least we know where you are coming from, so we won't waste our time
trying to converse with you about it anymore
unless we just want to talk silly. That's okay too. Be who you want to be.
 Sophie Animae
Joined: 12/25/2009
Msg: 18
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 3/2/2010 6:06:40 PM
Hope you share more about religious/metaphysical education.
I liked what you wrote.
Joined: 5/25/2009
Msg: 19
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 3/2/2010 7:09:56 PM
Actually, Sophie, that's a mischaracterization, and while I wouldn't go so far as to say you're being snarky and rotten like mister Apprewhatever, you are out of line and incorrect. My profile is no longer in use for the stated purpose of this website, so I changed my information to make it obviously farcical so I would not be contacted anymore. Judging by your posts, you are more than smart enough to know that to extrapolate from there to saying that I don't take this subject seriously is a fallacy. I can only conclude that your intent is to discredit me via character assassination. I do hope I'm wrong.

Metaphysics is something I've spent a LOT of time studying and reflecting on and it is a subject I find fascinating.

My first post was genuine and was an off-the-cuff answer to the original post who was asking a very general question about metaphysics. My later explanation in response to App was genuine as well, and I don't see it as contradictory. I'm open to discussion, tho...
Joined: 11/29/2007
Msg: 20
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 3/3/2010 8:26:46 PM
i've come to know it's about a sense of place. and time a great factor, i suppose.
 Sophie Animae
Joined: 12/25/2009
Msg: 21
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 3/3/2010 9:58:28 PM

Yes! I think our assumptions about terminology have interfered with our communications in this topic. The parameters have changed and there are rival paradigms who incorporate the term metaphysics, each with it's own subjective viewpoint.

Understanding our view of what knowledge is or how we know (epitsemology) is relevant to the topic of what we classify as metaphysics.

In 2300 years we've gone from metaphysics being declared the "first philosophy" and the "Queen of Sciences" to being relegated to non-empirical philosophy and science as empirical in the late 18th century. In the 60's this arbitrary categorization was discarded by Polanyi and Kuhn.
[Polanyi claimed that absolute objectivity (objectivism) is a delusion and therefore a false ideal. He criticised the notion that the scientific method yields truth mechanically. Instead, he argued that all knowing is personal, and as such relies upon fallible commitments.]
Thomas Kuhn further developed the concept that the standard positivist view holding the role of observation as a theory-neutral arbiter may not be possible.
[Scientists can never divorce their subjective perspective from their work; thus, our comprehension of science can never rely on full "objectivity" - we must account for subjective perspectives as well. Scientists' subjective experiences make science a relativistic discipline.]

I love the studies at Harvard in plant studies where they found that plants reacted when they were thinking about watering them. The school immediately stopped the professors from further research at the institution.
Kuhn took note of this assumption as common in the scientific community.
[the failure of a result to conform to the paradigm is seen not as refuting the paradigm, but as the mistake of the researcher]

Perhaps we are in the process of a paradigm shift in the nature of scientific inquiry and biocentrism has opened the door to a new paradigm. It's interesting that many different disciplines are becoming aware of consciousness as an element to be considered. The anomalous results in quantum physics that what the observer focuses on changes the properties of what they observe wants to be resolved in their minds. The observer is now part of the equation.
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 22
view profile
Metaphysic and you
Posted: 3/5/2010 11:43:06 AM
except for those who have convinced themselves that this, [as unfulfilling as it is] is it, [the physical materialistic view of existence] there seems to be this everlasting search for "more".
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