Peri metaphyseos, in English this time.

Monday, 21 April, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

This is a translated version of an older Trilema article, Peri metaphyseos.

I will bore you with an exposition of metaphysical ideas.

What does this mean ? Well, basically, it means we will not follow the chaining of some empyrically demonstrable truths, flowing inductively from some facts towards some conclusions, as is the custom in science. Instead, we will follow the chain of some sentences predicated in the ideal, which may or may not describe reality. It matters not if they do, all they're held to is the noncontradiction principle. Practically speaking, every time a metaphysical idea contradicts another, or any particular fact, it is upon us to find an explanation. And since an explanation can always be found...

This is the very reason metaphysics is muchly beloved as an intellectual pursuit : there is no possibility to err, by very definition there can not be such a thing as a false metaphysical idea. At the very most it'd be the case of a metaphysical mystery yet to be resolved. In one sense this pursuit smacks of geometry, it starts from some axioms and attempts to build upon them, but in the other sense it looks like nothing at all, because it makes no verifiable predictions as to reality (such as for instance geometry does, when stating things like "the height on the base of an isosceles triangle divides the opposite angle in two equal angles").

Thus represented, the problems of choice in metaphysics are in fact matters aesthetic, everyone being perfectly free to pick that set of metaphysical representations that best enshoe his hairdoi, as per his own opinion. Among others, this approach yields the benefit that it allows the existence of any theological system anyone wishes for, provided it's kept on a leash, and prevented from escaping from metaphysics towards actual science. There's not even a requirement that said system be homogenousii or even noncontradictory - everyone is entitled to pick, together with his preferred system, the set of enigmas, more or less eternal, that best satisfy his soul.

In fact, the only burden upon the practicing metaphysicist is to understand which are the ideas and which are the enigmas, and not confound one with the other. This would be the minimal level, but should we find ourselves in a demanding disposition we could further require some degree of culturality, by which the thinking citizen is to have knowledge of the cognitive tradition in which his choices are circumscribed, or in other words that he have enough truck with the history of metaphysics so as to be capable if asked to classify ideas, his or others'. This last requirement can in practice be translated to very simple or very complex problems, because the substance of ideas not being particularly defined, their structure is not necessarily accessible to inspection, and they can even turn around, or inside out, and generally perform all sorts of other acrobatics that may prove them entirely different from what they had appeared to be originally.

Past the psychological advantages we've already named - the impossibility of "error", the ample space for personal taste and inclination, immunity from the scientific obligation of intellectually submitting to proven truth - this continual charade of ideas that aren't in fact what they seemed to be offers, much like tobacco smoke, with which otherwise the occupation of metaphysics is often associated in practice, a vast firmament of solitary amusement and satisfaction that isn't, truthfully speaking, recommended for the youth, given the ample risk of desocialisation they carry, being in this sense exactly equivalent with computer games (which could be held as a very bizarre application of metaphysics, but let us pass on before it occurs to us that such a thing should not - in theory - be able to exist, and discover we now have to elucidate this mystery).

I was saying, afore this lengthy explicative periphrase, that I was about to bore you with an exposition of metaphysical ideas. Well yes, I do have some ideas I wish to share with you, which I will proceed to do in a future article because we've sprawled here.

PS. The title is a reference to things.

  1. Romanian, like most civilised languages, has a verb describing the action of putting shoes on. English however... []
  2. Which means there's no requirement that it be made of compatible parts. []
Category: Trilenciclopedia
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  1. [...] Peri metaphyseos, in English this time. [...]

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