Join of (i) a universal metaphysics that is perfectly faithful by abstraction and (ii) pragmatic and ordinary knowledge for which the idea of faithfulness does not apply but which is in effect ‘faithful enough’ for pragmatic purposes. The abstract illuminates the pragmatic and the pragmatic illustrates the abstract. Though the pragmatic is faithful enough for its own purpose, it is the best instrument toward realization of an ultimate revealed by the abstract. The abstract and pragmatics sides therefore weave together as one—as a perfect metaphysics where the concept of perfection has been modified to suit values revealed by the abstract side and occasionally intuited from the pragmatic side.
The principle that the universe is the greatest possible. The meanings of ‘greatest’ and ‘possibility’ are developed in the main text where the principle is shown to be (i) consistent with logic, science, and reflective common experience and (ii) the founding principle of the perfect metaphysics.
The view that the world is constituted of experiential selves (the self ‘I’, and others or other minds ‘you’ and ‘they’) and environment, all of which are material in nature. Shown to be untenable (a) as a general view of the universe and (b) on strict materialism.
The view that the world is a field of experience with experiential selves as bright and focal centers and the environment and bodies are categorially experiential but of too low a value—or zero value—to count as conscious for ordinary purposes. The most general view that arises on relaxation of substance metaphysics and that is consistent with the fact that there is conscious experience in the world.
The special case of FOE that is experienced as SSV but is ontologically sound.
Human beings appear to have purpose. The aim of the Way and the essay is to investigate the nature and reality of human and universal purpose, their relations, and to realize what is feasible and true.
There is no purpose (materialism etc) vs we appear to and feel we have purpose. Is there human
purpose—and choice and free will? If there is human purpose, is it created by
human beings or is it derived from a universal purpose—or is it a combination
of creation and derivation? And can there be universal purpose at all?
Comment. Dilemmas go to template outline.
Some human beings have a sense of purpose. It seems to derive from the capacity for choice which requires knowledge and value (which are not necessarily distinct).
We seem to have free will which requires a capacity for foresight and is constituted of conception of alternative outcomes and choice of action toward selected outcomes.
Under a common interpretation of physicalism, the
universe is deterministic. Under determinism there are no possible
alternative outcomes and therefore the sense of free will as conceived above
is illusory. However, there is a definite sense of having free will.
Comment. Compatibilism is the view that free will is consistent with determinism; it would require a modified conception of free will.
A significant motive to the free will issue—from
David Hume to today—is ideological and political. Thus some religious
ideology holds that we have free will (in relation, e.g., to the capacity for
sin and redemption); while some scientific ideology holds fast to determinism
(even though physics is far from known to be complete). The intellectual
source of this scientific ideology is to think that an explanatory system
that is sufficient for today’s knowledge of physical phenomena will
necessarily explain all physical phenomena, known and unknown. This is a
narrow reduction for it can be argued that if reduction holds then the
existence of free will implies that a final system of physical explanation
A political motive to deny free will is for those
seeking autocratic power or those intellectuals who would support such power
(so as to partake at least symbolically), to encourage conformity to
autocracy and discourage
But what is human purpose? Is it an illusion—just as free will is sometimes regarded as illusory? What should human purposes be? Are they invented? Do they derive from functional adaptation? Is human purpose real? If so is purpose a property of the universe? Does the universe itself have and generate purpose?
It further requires to develop and follow purpose and purposes; it also takes intent, will, and reason as continuous with action.
We now develop an adequate system of knowledge for the question of purpose.
It is critical for fundamental purposes to critique not only the claims of knowledge in our culture and others, but to also critiques the question of the nature of knowledge. This dual project ought to be immensely difficult for its parts are thought difficult but perhaps the join will prove simpler just as the solution of a system of equations may be made simpler by viewing them as an object.
The project necessitates that all employed concepts be critiqued.
The meanings of the concepts employed derive from the received but are reconceived.
As a way into development of knowledge, let us consider secular and transsecular worldviews for they present both limit and possibility.
The secular centers on common experience, especially science. The modern scientific picture is that of the material big bang cosmos. In secular thought it is frequently taken as defining and therefore ‘this life’ is seen as what the individual is given; and all value and worth stems form humanistic values. That is often seen as defining. However, science is empirical but its models are projections and so even if they are excellent local approximations, they are not given to project from the empirical cosmos to the universe. The view from science that is true to its own empirical base is that except for the empirical cosmos, the universe is open (e.g., below Planck parameters, below and beyond currently measurable phenomena).
The transsecular is limiting where it provides a limit picture of the open trans-empirical region which is taken literally. However, the view from religion that is trans-empirically true is not dogmatic but open. Its myths may be taken as primitive suggestive metaphor and allegory.
Our sum worldview ought to be open a far greater universe than the empirical cosmos. Even so, the view from an open science and religion is infinitesimal in relation to what we will find.
It is because (i) our secular and transsecular worldviews do not provide the necessary neutrality to frame knowledge of the entire universe but (ii) in this work Being is conceived so as to provide that neutrality.
What is that neutrality? It is that the only distinction marked by Being is between that which exists and that which does not (over the entire extent and duration of the universe).
Now, the founding objects of science are the elementary
objects of physics and those of religion are realms beyond common experience
and their contents. Those are remote and therefore that they are founding—or
even capable of being founding—is ever in question, as is the issue of their
existence (as conceived). However, experience is more than immediate—it is
the medium of our existence. We will find that while that while experience
may be unreliable as a source of knowledge in general, there is a core of
experience that is given knowledge and which may serve as foundation for
ultimate. Being and experience as essentially interwoven as one.
In the motive and content of this work, I have benefited from the history of ideas. However, I hold that the work has gone beyond the thought of others (the work itself is the argument). The reader will have to be their own judge of the merit of the work in that regard—but I do not mention the point to claim priority. Rather the point serves to inform readers that they should not expect a compilation or synthesis of received thought. They should expect to have their paradigmatic views and intuitions challenged and, if the work has validity, in need of revision.
The challenge to received paradigm will be one source of difficulty in reading the work. But knowing this in advance may help readers overcome the difficulty.
A second difficulty is that definitions of terms may deviate from received on two counts. First, while the received may constitute a ‘family’ it is necessary for coherence of a work to be definite. Second, in going beyond the received, there must be enhancements of the concepts (some enhancements will be found significant and obvious; others are minor or subtle). Knowing this in advance may help readers adjust to the definitions in the narrative which, in turn, may help overcome the formal and intuitive challenge of the content.
—Where the sense of ‘possible’ is the most permissible that avoids paradox.
This assertion will be called the fundamental principle of metaphysics (PFM); it will be demonstrated; it will be shown to have logical consistency and consistency with science.
As examples—the universe and its identity manifest in arrays of cosmoses of limitless number and variety (e.g. physical law), all in transient communication with a void (‘nothingness’) background; and there are peaks of being, also limitless in magnitude and variety, followed by dissolution.
There are ecstasy and pain, ennui and ever freshness along the way; the most enjoyable way is to weave ecstasy and pain-ennui into the way—while pain is unavoidable, this is the most effective way to manage it; we should seek to manage pain but as part of realization, not prior to engaging.
—This is a result of the universe being the greatest possible.
Knowledge of the way consists of the perfect metaphysics—PFM—to be developed woven together with a system of knowledge, reason, and action.
—But concrete templates are always tentative and ought to be open to development; we ought to be always open to revision, going back to the beginning, re-entering the world afresh without the expectations built up over a lifetime; where modern practice understands the human condition better than in the traditions, these practices ought to be incorporated into the way.
It has been criticize as impossible because (1) the real is not the knowledge itself but only some of its effects impact ‘mind’ (the knower) which also contributes to the form of knowledge and (2) metaphysical systems of the past have gone beyond experience and trans-experiential entities cannot be know to exist—that such ‘knowledge’ is at best hypothetical.
In modern philosophy, especially analytic philosophy, there is (a) no consensus view of what metaphysics is but (b) ‘knowledge of the real’ is at best suspect. Knowledge of the real (‘being-as-being’) is one of the traditional conceptions of metaphysics and its deep criticism in modern philosophy is one reason for the lack of a consensus view of metaphysics—and that modern metaphysics is a family of activities.
This will not entail entire rejection of the criticism that metaphysics is impossible—rather, it is found that the criticism is unsound for ultimate purposes but sound for imported but limited local purposes.
This does not entail rejection of other older and modern conceptions of ‘metaphysics’. However, (i) it does restore an older conception that has been seen as invalid in the modern era and (ii) since terms may have multiple shades of meaning, ‘overloading’ of meaning is not invalid but it is important to not conflate or confuse the different uses of terms.
In this work this criticism will be resolved by developing a metaphysical system in such a way that the development accounts for and addresses the criticisms (and this will also be explicitly pointed out in parallel to the development).
However, two anticipatory thoughts are pertinent here (1) if knowledge of the real is impossible—not just difficult—perhaps the real and knowledge and its criteria are not adequately conceived and (2) the system to be developed will not go beyond present experience (the empirical) but reveal a deep sense in which this is not limiting (even though regions of the real are beyond present experience).
In the previous paragraph ‘knowledge of the real’ was
shown to be a valid enterprise. Given that, there is no conflict with or
rejection of other activities that may fall or have fallen under the term
‘metaphysics’ (there is of course rejection of the notion that knowledge of
the real is impossible).
—i.e., in the most neutral senses of ‘that’ and ‘is’. Neutrality with respect to ‘that’ is neutrality with regard to thing vs process vs relation of interaction and so on. Neutrality with regard to ‘is’ is neutrality with regard to location in space and time—even to spacetime itself and thus ‘is’ may be rendered as “is somewhere in sameness, difference, and their absence”.
More precisely, Being is the characteristic or property of that which is. The term ‘a being’ will refer to anything that is.
To be as neutral as possible we might render ‘is’ as ‘is, anywhere in spacetime’; however that would presume space/time but that would violate neutrality because spacetime is not known to be a given. Therefore we would render ‘is’ as ‘is, anywhere in sameness, difference, and their absence’.
Knowledge and understanding of the real are limited and distorted by preconceptions such as materialism, idealism, and process metaphysics . Being is not a ‘kind’ or ‘substance’ and therefore does not limit understanding. It allows truth to emerge; it encourages emergence of truth.
We start with Being because its neutrality—its triviality, its non-categorial nature—avoids the incompleteness and distortions of kinds of Being (categories such as substance, mind, spirit, God, process, interaction…). The substances and their powers may be then reconceived and reintroduced where effective. We start with Being because its triviality is the source of its conceptual force—which will be found ultimate in a sense to be found.
How does one know anything exists? This is
a matter of meaning—existence is the name of (the quality of) what is; if
there were no existence the universe would not be there even to entertain the
question of existence or the illusion of the question.
Comment. The value of dilemmas. Is not the question of existence peripheral to our lives? And is not the resolution of the dilemma, once understood, rather trivial? We answer as follows. In contemplating the real, we find that our received views may be in error because there are alternatives (the view and the alternative constitute a dilemma0. The practical merit of the individual dilemmas range from negligible to significant and the latter is a first value. However, much more significant is the fact that resolution of the system of dilemmas undertaken carefully may (a) give us a conceptually and instrumentally better—perhaps even ultimate—grasp of the real and (b) give us tools of analysis and synthesis of concepts and conceptual systems of understanding, knowledge, and prediction.
With sufficient abstraction, the distinction between Being and beings is null.
The hypothetical being that interacts with—neither affects nor is affected—no being does not exist.
There are many senses of the word ‘experience’. It sometimes means experience of something and that is included in the present meaning; however the present meaning includes ‘pure experience’. It has been used to mean change in consciousness but even apparently static consciousness is dynamic.
Though experience is known, it is known via experience itself—it is also the medium of knowing and therefore a primary given if not the primary given.
There is no such thing as experience—it is an
illusion—for there cannot be ‘experience’ in a material world. On the other
hand we have the definite feeling that there is experience (and that definite
feeling is an example of it).
Experience is consciousness but the word ‘experience’ is chosen to emphasize that experience is consciousness in its pure, attitudinal, and active forms. ‘Purity’ is relative for what is pure to a being is relational within the being.
The hypothetical being that neither affects nor is affected by is (effectively) nonexistent.
In this section we conclude that an elementary metaphysics has already been established. We then ask whether this can be developed into a potent metaphysics. The question is answered affirmatively in subsequent sections.
This section is a continuation of Response to criticism I. One criticism was that knowledge of the real is impossible.
However, we saw that there is Being and that there is experience. Let us review those arguments from a somewhat different perspective.
There is experience—for experience
is the medium of our connection with self and universe (even illusion is
experience). Therefore there is Being (as Being, if not as any
In seeing earlier that there are Being and experience an elementary metaphysics is already established.
It is—perhaps—implicit in the idea
of metaphysics that the knowledge in question should be perfect. But what
should ‘perfect knowledge’ be or mean? That our inherited and ongoing
epistemologies are complex and works in process,
would seem to make both ‘knowledge’ and ‘perfection’
We turn to address these questions.
In doing so it is critical that the dual problem of the conception of
knowledge and its development be acknowledged. This idea may be generalized.
In developing understanding of the world a number of key conceptions arise.
Since the entire enterprise of ideas, especially philosophy, is ongoing, at
the boundary of the known, the concepts will require revision. In piece
analysis the development of one concept may be held back by interactive or
systemic dependence on other concepts needing revision but not revised under
piecemeal analysis. This is why system is crucial. Of course system is
difficult—the problem is one of simultaneous revision of concepts and perhaps
the only general ‘method’ is to proceed iteratively and intuitively until
coherence and adequacy is attained. Of course entire system may
A part of a whole is some of the whole where ‘some’ is interpreted to allow the whole and its complement to be parts. Thus the null part (the complement of the whole) is a part.
(It is in the meaning of all Being that it is not just at a particular time but over all extension implied by the most neutral sense of ‘to be’ or ‘is’.)
The universe is not created. It ‘is’ (though it may be non-manifest).
The cause of the universe cannot be another being for the other being would be part of the universe. I.e., the universe has no cause in the classical (‘contiguous’) sense of cause. The universe as universe does not enter into cause and effect (it is in their meaning that cause and effect are interactions of parts).
Existence of the void is crucial to the development. Just from the magnitude of the conclusion there ought to be doubt. In other works—the column ‘Versions’ in essays.html—other proofs and heuristics are given. However, existence of the void is consistent with logic, science, and reflective cumulative experience. Therefore—
There are alternative attitudes to the existence of the void, selected so as to enhance expected outcome of value—(i) as universal law or hypothesis, and (ii) as an existential principle or attitude.
‘Universal law’ is an approach also used in science where the hypothesis has no known exceptions but no absolute proof but is founding of fundamental theory. An example is Einstein’s elevating of constancy and invariance of light speed to a principle.
—Typically ‘a being’ is used for a part that is neither the universe nor the void.
The fundamental principle (FP) is that—
This is the fundamental principle of metaphysics (FP).
For a being that is defined by information, a pattern is an arrangement specified by less information.
Patterns have Being.
There are no patterns in the void.
(Had the concept of law as in natural law been developed so far it may have been substituted for pattern. However, the idea of natural law is developed later in the work).
If from or in the void, some conceivable being does not emerge, that is a pattern of or in the void.
But there are no patterns in the void and therefore—
All conceivable beings emerge from the void.
Therefore, all beings may be seen as emerging from any given being.
If the concept is illogical, the being is null and therefore ‘its’ emergence obtains trivially and may be discounted (or counted).
All beings whose concept satisfies logic emerge the void.
The universe is the logically possible.
Let us address the obvious questions of consistency with logic and science.
Obviously this does not violate logic. It does not violate fact (since a fact can be seen as premise and conclusion). Since the status of theories and paradigms of science and cumulative experience empirical is either (a) compound fact or (b) projection or models, neither science nor cumulative experience are violated.
This constitutes a general intensional conception of truth-functional logic.
And as there may be forms of assertion beyond the bare and predicate forms, so there may be truth-functional logics beyond he propositional and predicate.
Finally, FP—The universe is the greatest possible. The following proof of this assertion also defines the sense of the term ‘greatest’. (1) If the constitution of a hypothetical being satisfies logic, it exists (since the universe is the logically possible); but (2) if the constitution violates logic, it cannot exist.
It was seen that the cause of the universe—if there is one—cannot be classical cause. But a more, ultimately inclusive, sense of cause arises as in the following—
Since all beings—all states—emerge
from the void, the universe is
Thus indeterminism is not to be
equated with ‘chaos’ or ‘randomness’; rather PFM requires
phases of classical process
The universe is neither determinist
A naïve conception of knowledge is perfect faithfulness to the world. Let us analyze and attempt to improve upon this conception.
The general meaning of ‘concept’ in this work is (any) mental concept.
A percept an experience of an existent; a percept is a kind of concept that we write as p-concept.
A mental content that refers to what kind of thing a p-concept designates, i.e. to kinds and collections is a higher or h-concept where ‘height’ refers to inclusivity. The h-concept may but does not necessarily refer to freedom or refinement of conception.
Further elaboration is possible to include emotion and feeling and proprioception
An object is an existent.
A naïve conception of ‘object’ would be that of something
However, we have seen that relation and experience of
Though in fact the individual never
gets outside experience, faithfulness to the as-if object-in-itself object
may occur (i) perfectly via sufficient abstraction and
(ii) pragmatically as
See Experience in light of the perfect metaphysics for details.
The existent is
The object without the concept does not exist just because it takes a concept to define an object but because the object without the concept has no meaning.
Consider the word ‘tiger’. In the
jungle one person cries ‘tiger!’ Others immediately feel fear. The fear is
not due to the word. It is due to the association of the word with an
image—the concept; without the concept the word empty. If the
Consider the word ‘tree’. It evokes an image—the image of a tree. That image associated with the tree constitutes knowledge. But is that knowledge a functional unit—i.e., is it instrumental toward efficient action? No! However, it is a constituent of such functional units.
While not all facts are functional, we identify facts as the minimal functional units. Facts are potential bearers of measurable truth (so is the ‘tree’-tree association but here the truth is not quite measurable). A fact is a statement of a state of affairs. Its standard form is the sentence (and associated concept).
Examples—a simple fact is what we sometimes call a fact as in “The tree is tall”; a scientific theory can be seen as a compound fact.
In greater detail—
This account of knowledge also provides an account of concept meaning and, when concepts are associated with signs and sign systems, also of linguistic referential meaning.
In language elementary signs have no meaning except their association with elementary concepts. However, one function of grammatical form is that the arrangement of elementary signs of different kinds (e.g. noun) correspond to patterns of arrangement in the world. Thus a corresponding function of language is efficiency in representation (e.g. in thought) and communication.
On reflection all experience lies within knowledge and therefore it is also a framework for significant meaning (e.g., ‘the meaning of life’).
It may seem that this account of concept meaning omits expressive or non-referential meaning; however it does not, for the object may be null.
The essential criticism is earlier criticism of possibility of knowledge of the real.
However, we’ve seen that there is some elementary metaphysics or perfectly faithful knowledge.
And we have now seen that every logical concept has an object. That is, the elementary metaphysics has been developed into a potent metaphysics that is ultimate (i) showing the universe to be ultimate—the greatest possible—and (ii) in an abstract capture of the universe.
However, the demonstration does not show how we may connect to all the objects of the greatest universe.
Let us see how we can connect. This will involve extension from the abstract to the concrete and weaving the abstract and concrete together.
But let us first see to what it is we might connect.
From FP, the universe has identity; the universe and its identity are limitless in variety, extension (over sameness, difference, and their absence—e.g. spacetime), peaks, and dissolutions of Being; e.g. there are arrays of cosmoses without end to number and variety of natural law in transient communication with one another and a void background; and individual identities merge with and assume universal identity.
That is, death is ‘real’ but not
absolute and the
Here we will develop and define that perfect metaphysics (PFM) is perfect and ultimate knowledge of the ultimate (greatest) universe. This will require development and definition of the concept of ‘perfection’.
The natural idea or criterion that knowledge
ought to be certain leads to a dilemma—if we accept it we might have no
knowledge at all but if we reject we must give up on certainty.
FP implies fully faithful but abstract knowledge of the universe as ultimate; and the place of beings in it. However, it does not show how to negotiate the universe or even ‘this world’.
of human knowledge, reason, and action-supplement.html (i.e. the part
of it that is ‘tradition’) may be seen as about negotiating this world. Even
if it should
However, FP shows that our pragmatic instruments, even if not ‘faithful’ concrete knowledge are perfect as the only and therefore best local instruments in realization; i.e., though not perfect in the sense of faithfulness, they are perfect in their role in realization of the ultimate. Thus it is implied that local faithfulness is not only unnecessary but a hindrance. It is also implied that the significance of the tradition is altered, placed in context, of local rather than fully universal significance.
On the other hand, the perfectly faithful abstract knowledge from FP joins with the pragmatic to form a perfect metaphysics (PFM). The perfect illuminates the pragmatic and shows what is real; the pragmatic illustrates the perfect and is instrumental in achieving the real (and its peaks). Thus the perfect metaphysics is associated with a perfect dual epistemology—perfect faithfulness adjoined to pragmatic adequacy relative to the perfectly faithful.
The perfect metaphysics is a join of the perfect knowledge that flows from the fundamental principle and pragmatic knowledge from the human traditions. The pragmatic is perfect in its deployment toward the perfect knowledge while adequate in more local uses.
Given an infinity of cosmoses and more and given trans-death, the ‘individual’ processes—in some form—from one cosmos to the next (and more)—in each case employing a perfect metaphysics (using local pragmatic knowledge illuminate by the faithful abstract) on the path to the ultimate.
How, in terms of explanation
(‘mechanism’) do the
Criticism of metaphysics as metaphysics has been addressed in Criticisms and preliminary responses, Response to criticism I, Response to criticism of metaphysics II—an elementary metaphysics.
Criticism of the foundation of the perfect metaphysics has preliminary address just above; specific criticism of the foundation is addressed in All, part, and null being.
The value and utility of the
metaphysics has also been addressed but a summation is appropriate. The
contrast would be to secular and nonsecular or transsecular worldviews. The
secular worldview has widespread acceptance among the educated and
economically sufficient in the west—where the need for ‘uplift’ is eliminated
—Part of the discussion in this section could have been placed in Experience. If that had been done (i) the conclusions would be tentative and (ii) would have to be reviewed, modified here. Though it was essential to introduce experience earlier as it is interwoven with Being, it is more effective and efficient—if less instructive—to defer material that would have been tentative to this point where it can be definitive.
Perhaps there is nothing but experience. On the
other hand within experience there seems to be an experiential I, a world or environment with others—this is roughly the
common and standard view—but perhaps it is all just the experience. The
dilemma—it is asserted the alternatives cannot be distinguished and
therefore we cannot know that the standard view is true.
of concepts and objects is made definite as follows. We
Within experience there is as-if a standard world of experience itself, selves—the ‘I’ (loci of awareness and control), the environment or world or universe populated with things and others (‘you’, ‘them’). However, there is an at least pragmatic reality to this view—for while ‘experience-as-world’ seems ungrounded, the pragmatic view is pragmatic because it seems (‘is’) grounded. On a standard secular view, SSV, the pragmatic reality is taken as real and is (usually) supplemented by materialism (at root the parts of the world are of matter). SSV is thus a pragmatic view of our world for (on secularism and common if naïve experience) it seems to be a material world. However, for metaphysical truth one seeks strict foundation—for otherwise the ‘truth’ would not be metaphysical. But SSV is untenable on strict materialism for under strict materialism matter is a substance, mind is no part of matter, and therefore mind (experientiality) is impossible. Further the materialist metaphysics cannot be rescued by other substance theories, monist or dualist, or emergentism. We therefore abandon substance and revert to Being.
Two alternatives to SSV are (i) FOE—the world is a field of experience with individuals as bright places in the field while the environment is experiential but there the degree of experientiality may be zero or near zero; FOE does not entail the conclusions of Some elements of the greatest universe; identity; death but does permit them; FOE also permits as a special case (ii) ESSV—an extended standard secular view in which the degree of experientiality is zero or near zero (ESSV is a special case in that for FOE the phrasing was ‘may be zero or near zero). Thus FOE presents a picture of the universe under the perfect metaphysics while ESSV is view of our world that is consistent with FOE but approximates SSV. Since experience is a given it is not a substance regardless whether it is seen as foundational.
SSV is a standard secular view. An
alternative is that there is nothing but ‘this’ experience and the rest is
illusion or creation of the experience. This view is solipsism and the (at
least seeming) fact that we cannot tell whether solipsism or SSV
is true is the dilemma. We have already provided a resolution. Let us revisit
the dilemma with another purpose. Some aspects of the earlier analysis are
repeated but to a different end.
It is expedient to repeat the few assertions of Experience with a supplement made secure by the foregoing.
First the repetition—
Experience is subjective awareness.
Though experience is known, it is known via experience itself—it is also the medium of knowing and therefore a primary given if not the primary given.
Experience is consciousness but the word ‘experience’ is chosen to emphasize that experience is consciousness in its pure, attitudinal, and active forms.
The hypothetical being that neither affects nor is affected by is (effectively) nonexistent.
Without experientiality there is effectively no Being.
Now the supplement—
If an experiential being is built of primitive beings (elements), the elements must have primitive experientiality (they are not conscious at any recognizable level).
Even pure experience is interaction (relational).
Why is this not a substance view?
First, as seen, experience is a primitive given (substances are not givens but posits or hypotheses); and second, that FOE follows from PFM and even where there is an non experiential world (being) it may be regarded as experiential with zero or near zero experientiality. A final point that is not part of the argument but gives it sense is that from PFM a non experiential being is always open to originating or being infused with experientiality.
‘Matter’ is an aspect of primitive (and other) experiential Being. Perhaps an experiential Being is not material in our sense of matter apart from experience. However, experience has form and that form is effectively body and matter.
Animal Being is acutely aware in the sense of consciousness. Animal Being is self aware at least in that it distinguishes itself from other if not in that it recognizes a self.
Human beings are animal beings. Their enhancements over ‘mere’ animal being are an ability to explicitly conceive their place in SSV (and later ESSV and FOE). That includes self, identity, place, and time. With that comes an ability to modify environment and deploy its material aspects as technology. With knowledge and technology, human being can conceive or a world beyond the immediate and reach beyond it, at least to a concept of the ultimate, intrinsically via experientiality and instrumentality via science and technology.
The perfect metaphysics, PFM, translates the concept of the ultimate to the real ultimate—at least in principle. ‘Tradition’, part of PFM, has experiential tools (e.g. yoga, meditation, symbol) and instrumental tools (e.g. science and technology).
Human beings (initially) find themselves thrown (Heidegger’s term) into a world (apparently) not of their making or under their complete control. However, they come into partial knowledge; which becomes in principle complete with PFM.
PFM requires the
emergence of intelligent, e.g. animal-human, life (and much more). However,
The paradigm may be seen as adaptation of a part to the whole—e.g., species to the environment which includes the species. Alternatively it is self adaptation of the world—environment—which contains various elements including the species. It may be referred to as the adaptive paradigm.
The paradigm itself is a two step process—variations that are neutral to adaptation (‘random’) and selection for stability (‘adaptation’); there are details but, so as to consider possible generalization, we are interested in the paradigm at a level that the details may be omitted.
A special case of the paradigm
would appear to be one step discrete origins rather than many step
incremental origins. This is not a real distinction for there is a range of
size of step increments—from the smallest possible to a single step. For an
atomistic world, the smallest steps are
As a smooth alternative compare the
paradigm to the clockwork process of the solar system under Newtonian mechanics.
Could origins be described by a similar dynamic? No, for there is no smooth
dynamic in general under PFM. Perhaps quantum mechanics with
its probabilities of state transitions comes closer; perhaps quantum theory
is implicated in the origin and evolution of life. Here, however, the
extension of the
Here the aim is to extend the Darwinian paradigm as far as is rational and where rational to the origin and evolution of the empirical cosmos (and other large scale structures yet unseen from our world), the origin of life (perhaps), the evolution of life and other systems of our world, e.g. social and socio-cultural systems, and creative thought and freedom of the will (provided conceived properly).
What is the source or mechanism of
The necessity of the perfect metaphysics, the self or intrinsic adaptation paradigm of variation and selection (‘intrinsic’ has the connotation that external guidance is not required), and the paradigms of physical law are kinds of Being.
What is the implication of PFM for determinism? Since all states emerge from the void
The extension of intrinsic adaptation
to the following systems is tentative as universal, necessary in some cases,
and likely in relation to population of the universe—the origin and evolution
of the empirical cosmos (and other large scale structures yet unseen from our
world), the origin of life (perhaps), the evolution of life and other systems
of our world, e.g. social and socio-cultural systems, and creative thought
and freedom of the will (provided conceived properly). In so far as there is
novelty in these processes they must all involve
I was looking out over the marshes
PFM implies that even if our origins are not destined, destiny may and will arise. To continue on the way to destiny, may we design for it (yes per PFM)? But should we have to go back to beginnings (yes for peaks are followed by dissolutions)? But even if so it would be a temporary ‘retreat’ for the ultimate is given by PFM.
We are gods, I thought at the marsh. I know a fundamentalist might find that blasphemous and secular thinker (informed of course by the fundamentalist conception of gods and ignorant of PFM) might think it absurd.
That is, we are gods in relation to the creatures of the marsh. But they, the creatures, too are gods but in different directions. All together, we partake of the ultimate.
But I am thinking more of the Greek ‘gods’ that were just a little higher than us but otherwise much like us—capable of positive and negative human like behavior. I am thinking perhaps of the God of the old testament—powerful, ruling, thought to be kind but also—capricious and cruel. If organic why should a God not be like that except that we are deceived by a perfectionist scripture?
In any case PFM implies that even if we will not arrive at the ultimate in our present forms or there continued material evolution, we will arrive at there.
While PFM requires ‘gods’ (and though we may not directly know any Gods), material, animal, and human being partake of the ultimate and constitute progression toward it.
It is implied that human being is a pinnacle toward the ultimate in its own way but not the only pinnacle in our world.
If not gods—
Russell’s dilemma that the world may have been
created five minutes ago, complete with cosmological data, geological record,
and memories that make it seem as though the history of the universe, life,
and individuals actually obtain. The dilemma is that the creation five
minutes ago is
Russell’s hypothesized that there may be a teapot
circling the sun but that it is beyond our ability to detect. The point of
the argument was to discredit the believer’s argument that because we do not
see God with our senses and eyes, does not imply God’s non existence since
God may be (currently) beyond empirical detection.
The block universe envisaged here is all Being over all sameness and difference and their (possible) absence (i.e. spacetime is not assumed to characterize the entire universe). This is different from the currently (2019) extant unfolding and quantum models of a block universe.
Alternate. An earlier title was Logic, science, and mathematics.
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The discussion in this section requires familiarity with Knowledge.
Knowledge, logic, and science
Knowledge claims—hypotheses—may be in error because assertions (concepts) (i) do not correspond faithfully to the world or (ii) the assertions are compound and cannot all be simultaneously true (e.g., because of contradiction) regardless of reference.
The former defines science (the recognized ‘concrete sciences’—physical, biological-psychological, and social); the latter defines logic (science presumes logic but logic does not intrinsically presume science).
The claims are formally linguistic but also conceptual.
They include and define patterns, laws, and theories.
The expression of the theories is linguistic.
Are there abstract sciences?
Among the linguistic forms are some patterns that are
found to occur in many contexts—e.g. as in counting and quantity and in
shapes and sizes of geographic and geological and other forms. While
initially empirical, these are found (i) to have
structure that is
Are these abstract systems sciences? One requirement for a science is that it be empirical—about the world. The systems may be considered to be about the world (i) in that they are about an abstract of the world, (ii) as formal structures defined by signs and rules, they are about a model world, and (iii) tentatively, in the Platonic view that they are about an ideal world (rather than this world) and therefore we set this possibility aside for now and return to it later. Another requirement, a consequence of the first, is that since we cannot expect the formulation of a conceptual system to succeed at first in capturing the world or aspect of the world, the systems must be regarded as hypothetical and subject to trial application (testing) and correction. Is this the case?
In mathematics at least we have come to expect a higher degree of certainty than in the concrete sciences. This has come about by focusing on item (ii) of the previous paragraph rather than item (i). However, in so doing, the resulting feeling of certainty and the intuition behind it are so strong that there is a feeling that mathematical systems are not just formal systems but also about the real. Certainty, such as it is, comes about because (a) the formal systems can be examined to a degree that the world cannot—the formal systems are linear (rather than multi-dimensional) and discrete and (b) by referring the formal systems to—by formulating them in terms of—basic systems held certain.
Let us consider two examples of reference (i) a particular one—that of metric geometry and (ii) a generic one—the basis of mathematics in set theory.
Most of mathematics can be founded on a consistent set theory. After Bertrand Russell found his famous paradox showing naïve set theory inconsistent, a number of axiom systems for set theory were formulated in an attempt to develop a sufficiently powerful but consistent theory. The system that is in most common use is the Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory (ZF) (usually with the axiom of choice—ZFC—but sometimes without it and sometimes with its negation). The consistency of ZFC cannot be proved within ZFC (unless it is inconsistent), However, (a) ZFC is thought consistent, (b) it is believed that if it were inconsistent, it would have been discovered by now, (c) it is immune to the classic paradoxes of naïve set theory, and (d) there are sub-theories of ZFC that can be proven consistent.
It must be concluded that while mathematics is ‘practically’ certain there is no absolute proof of certainty.
Additionally there is a parallel between the development
of mathematics and the concrete sciences formulation of systems is
But not all systems in mathematics are directly about the world; many are formed by abstraction and generalization and synthesis. How can mathematics be said to be universally about the world? That is, is the strong Platonic intuition of some mathematics valid?
The answer is simple—from FP all consistent
systems must have real objects (even if inaccessibility means that
mathematics cannot be directly empirical and formalization and the gain in
certainty means that it is at most
FP considerably simplifies the foregoing considerations—(i) logic is the requirement that a concept be capable of being about the world or that a compound assertion be capable of being true and (ii) if logical, then the assertion is a true assertion which if appropriately compound is a science—either concrete or abstract.
We conclude tentatively, that there are abstract and concrete sciences. As stated the abstract include mathematics, linguistics, and computer science; the concrete are the physical, biological, psychological, and social.
The sciences lie on an abstract-concrete continuum
But the notion of concrete is relative to the human cognitive system. All assertions are just assertions with some degree of abstraction lying on what might be called a concrete – abstract continuum.
The pragmatic case
Regarding pragmatic truth (i) such truths are perfectly faithful in some world and (ii) they may be brought under the above umbrella for this world.
A limitation of the axiomatic approach. Intuition and experiment in the ‘abstract’ sciences
A limitation of the axiomatic approach is that given an axiomatic system with an effectively finite number of primitives and axioms, the number of assertions and therefore theorems must be at most countable. That is, if the axioms model an object whose compound structure is more than countable in complexity, the axiom system may be incomplete. Thus there is a role for intuition—and experiment—not just in driving proof but as a partner to axiomatic proof. The putative abstract-concrete divide is not absolute and, just as in history, common development and interaction ought to remain an important source of both ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’ sciences (the quotes are now justified).
Truth functional logic(s) fall under science
Is logic a science? We have seen that logic is about relations among concepts that are necessary for the system of concepts to be possibly about the world—or about some possible world. That is, logic is not about the world as an object. However, truth functional logic is about the relationship between concepts and the world—between concepts and objects, which are, of course, in the world—in that it is a requirement on concepts for them to have objects in some world. In other words, logic is about the world for the world remains within experience as concept-object; but the same is true for science since all knowledge is relationship within the experiential field that we may identify as concept-object. Thus, in so far as logic is discovered, what is discovered is about the world even if it seems remotely so. Logic is a science; and its methods must be both abstract and empirical (just as we have seen that while mathematics benefits from emphasizing abstract roots it loses if it completely shuts off empirical rooting). But it is also true of the abstract and concrete sciences that they are about concept-object relations within experience. Logic and the sciences are about relations within experience and while their whole is about faithful relations, the distinctions among them are distinctions among kinds of faithful relations,
Logical possibility is what is allowed by logic.
If possibility is defined naïvely, it may lead to contradiction. An example is ‘it is possible that the possible is impossible’. That of course is very naïve for it would be disallowed by any reasonable definition of possibility. But how can we know that there is no lurking contradiction in the concept of logical possibility?
Set theoretic, logical, and other paradoxes.
There is a history of paradox which has led to clarification of a range of
concepts. Especially important are the paradoxes that led to the
revolutionary clarification in the foundations of logic and mathematics
around the transition from nineteenth century to the twentieth.
In addition to logical possibility there are other kinds that are not particularly emphasized in this essay (version). Examples are physical, biological, and economic. These are implicit in the related sciences. These other kinds of possibility presume logical possibility.
While knowledge is about the world and the question of truth, in practice because the world is effectively infinite, one view of the best we can do is (i) eliminate as much error as we can and (ii) supplement this with intuition of the world.
Knowledge claims may fail (i) to be faithful to the world and (ii) fail intrinsically to be capable of faithfulness. The former defines science (including fact), the latter defines logic.
The standard divisions of science are the physical, the biological-psychological, and the social.
—For these abstract disciplines the prima facie approach today is the abstract axiomatic which gives power and greater but not absolute certainty than the standard sciences.
More precisely, the truth functional logics, present and future, are sciences or divisions of the science of (truth functional) logic.
Thus, allowing the terms ‘logic’ and ‘science’ a most general meaning—
This means may be seen as reason, interpreted to include action (for knowledge is not just applicable but its separation from action is not and cannot be entirely complete).
As noted above—
The perfect metaphysics, PFM, translates the concept of the ultimate to the real ultimate—at least in principle. ‘Tradition’, part of PFM, has experiential tools (e.g. yoga, meditation, symbol) and instrumental tools (e.g. science and technology).