Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Hellbent

Members
  • Content count

    5604
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Hellbent

  • Rank
    Forum Bellend

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Single Status Update

See all updates by Hellbent

  1. I was walking through Harvard Yard and someone stopped and asked me my thoughts on the metaphysics of modernity at which I hesitated and then replied "what do you mean by metaphysics" and then they brushed me off and continued on their way. My thinking is the guy's friends who he was with challenged him that others would not know what he meant, but who knows.... What do you think it means?

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. AndrewB

      AndrewB

      Metaphysics is the field of science in which we have such a lack of understanding that we can only speculate. This includes information about our universe that is objectively true but unknowable or untestable.

      Examples of metaphysical topics: The afterlife; the cause of sentience; the multiverse; why anything exists; the potential size of the universe beyond the visible limit; the implications of an infinite versus a finite universe; the prospect of other parts of the universe with different properties (such as the speed of light).

      As for modernity, I haven't heard that word before in my life and I have no idea how it could relate.

    3. AndrewB

      AndrewB

      Joshy said:

      Metaphysics is basically theorising abstract concepts that aren't necessarily physically constituted; say, something like time, dynamics of morality, nature of being, and so on.

      Morality definitely does not fall under the field of physics in any way. It's pure philosophy. There is a lot of overlap between metaphysics and philosophy, but morality isn't part of that.

    4. durian

      durian

      AndrewB said:

      Metaphysics is the field of science in which we have such a lack of understanding that we can only speculate. This includes information about our universe that is objectively true but unknowable or untestable.

      Examples of metaphysical topics: The afterlife; the cause of sentience; the multiverse; why anything exists; the potential size of the universe beyond the visible limit; the implications of an infinite versus a finite universe; the prospect of other parts of the universe with different properties (such as the speed of light).

      Er, no. This is all pretty off base, and Joshy was on the money. Perhaps you're being misled by the terms etymology.

      Metaphysics is not a field of science, at least in the present use of that term, as short-hand for 'natural science'. Metaphysics is very firmly a field within philosophy. If you're unsure what the distinction between natual science and philosophy amounts to, a relevant point is that metaphysics (and philosophy in general) does not, in the main, concern issues and questions that can (even in principle) be settled empirically, and it is not pursued by experimental methods (I'll overlook experimental philosophy here). This is not equivalent to pursuing issues about which, "we have such little understanding that we can only speculate" - in metaphysics, we can do a lot more than that. Metaphysics concerns the fundamental nature of things, in the most general sense of that term.
      Many of your examples are more obviously issues of theoretical physics, rather than metaphysics. Metaphysical questions are, on the whole, more mundane, and might include:

      What is it for one event to cause another?

      What is the relationship between an object and its properties?

      What is it for an object at one time to be identical with an object at a later time?

      What is it for a person at one time to be identical with a person at a later time?

      What is the relationship between the mind and the body?

      What is it for a conscious experience to be an experience of one object rather than another?

      These questions are pursued through a process of developing theories - typically by moving from prima facie plausible claims or intuitions concerning the issue in play, and pursuing their entailments, constructing arguments in favour of particular positions (many of which turn on the idea that the proposed position best accommodates our initial plausible claims or intuitions), and dealing with objections and counterexamples. The positions are not, in the main, empirically falsifiable.

      You can indeed raise metaphysical questions concerning morality (see Hume and Kant).

      I haven't a clue what the metaphysics of modernity is though :)

×