Anil Mitra, © March 2010, © Latest Revision July 23, 2010



From Method. 1

Comparison and contrast of science and philosophy. Does philosophy have a subject matter?. 1

Philosophy. 4

Metaphysics. 6

From Contribution. 8

Philosophy and metaphysics. 8

Problems of metaphysics. 11


From Method

Comparison and contrast of science and philosophy. Does philosophy have a subject matter?

I think it should be noted that ‘science’ and ‘philosophy’ are complex human activities and, as Wittgenstein himself may have allowed, families of activities; but, more, I do not think of them as definite families but differing—a little—from one competent interpreter to another and from time to time… perhaps with progress. Therefore, rather, than attempt strict definitions, it may be profitable to delineate activities


Consider that knowledge involves conceptual or mental content that is in some way and to some degree faithful to some aspect of the world that we may call the Object (this language may require further refinement as done earlier but this consideration may be omitted here.) In some activities we are interested in precision of outcome and therefore some imprecision of reference may be allowed

Science. Scientific concepts require precision but not perfect faithfulness

This is characteristic of science where, for example, the electron as defined in, say, Dirac’s theory of the electron need not correspond to any actual entity; the correspondence of the theory, however, may be such that precision in the prediction of outcomes of range experiments is good

Pure metaphysics requires and philosophy has the ideal of perfect faithfulness

In other situations we may be interested to have faithful representation and then we will naturally also be concerned with the meaning of faithfulness (part the refinement referred to earlier.) And the need for the faithfulness may be that it is required for some philosophical or metaphysical goal (e.g. knowledge of being as such.) Here, too, it may be admissible to tolerate imperfection provided that the faithfulness is sufficient to the purpose which is not purely computational—it may invoke understanding

Now some philosophers write, and Wittgenstein appeared to have this in mind even though he may have allowed other purposes, that consequently philosophy is not about any particular subject matter: rather it is about the nature of knowledge and understanding and the conditions that perception, thought and language should satisfy so as to be ‘about the world.’ This is or perhaps ought to be a perfectly good aim for philosophy; however I believe and shall now set out to show (suggest) that there is no reason to restrict philosophy to it and that the metaphysics developed in this narrative is an example of philosophical knowledge[1] (and in some ways, though not a science of detailed behavior and while it insists on faithfulness, it is also close to science)

As a result of the evolution of the institution of knowledge, the subject matter of philosophy has been, dually, knowledge of knowledge as well as knowledge of the world; and since more or less definite knowledge is the domain of the sciences and related endeavors such as medicine and technology, philosophy deals with what is left over. It is natural therefore, that on the world side, the subject matter of philosophy will be about topics that have not yet reached the status of science or that may never achieve scientific status but are still important disciplines

These disciplinary activities include the understanding of knowledge (since knowledge is in the world it lies dually in the world as well as, trivially, constituting field of knowledge,) of morals, and of method itself including logic. Additionally, philosophy retains an interest in the concepts of science since it is characteristic of science that its concepts may remain partially or fully un-analyzed. This is sometimes a point of contention between scientists and philosophers and sources of contention have been naiveté on both sides—with scientists being satisfied with prediction over conceptual analysis and philosophers’ interest in analysis being naïve of the significance, depth and articulation of scientific concepts and theories

The fact remains that the needs of science are occasionally—especially when the conceptual foundation of the science of an era is found inadequate to the needs of emerging ideas required to explain exceptional data—analytic as well as predictive and here the recent history appears to have been that the initial conceptual analysis has been done by the scientists while both scientists and philosophers have been involved in ‘tidying up loose ends.’ There is clearly some case for broader education of both scientists and philosophers[2] and the motive for this case is the dual of better preparedness and improved communication and cooperation among the now famous ‘two cultures[3]

It remains valid to ask that while Wittgenstein’s conception of philosophy is a valid philosophical activity, is there any logic (interpreted broadly) for evaluation of the claim that it can be the only philosophical activity. That logic would lie in approaches to answering the questions After the activities of philosophy in Wittgenstein’s sense and science have been delineated is there anything left over that could constitute conceptual knowledge of the Universe? And if so, what is it and why is it philosophy? Consider sociology. I will avoid the assertions sociology is / is not science but instead note that among the activities of western sociologists there are activities that are not science and that many practitioners would not take exception to the claim (while others would)

Consider some of the kinds of European sociology[4]. This sort of sociology—is it philosophy, does it use a philosophical approach? An analytic (Wittgensteinian) purist would probably say that it is and does not! But a more flexible analytic philosopher might allow some overlap with philosophy as would a contingent of continental philosophers. Surely though, even the analytic purist would allow that the question whether such sociology is philosophy is philosophical. I leave answers to these questions undetermined. What might make the analyst correct is that analytic thought is the outcome of a finely honed critical trend. What might make the analyst’s position insecure is that demonstration that that could be the only trend is absent

Clearly there are areas of investigation that are problematic with regard to any universal answer to the question whether they are philosophy

Now ask whether the metaphysics of the present metaphysics is philosophy. It cannot yet be consensus philosophy because it has not yet been widely read by persons to whom the label ‘philosopher’ might apply

However, the present narrative has presented strong arguments that the preoccupation of chapters Intuition through Cosmology and significant parts of Journey and the present chapter are about perfectly faithful and timeless knowledge, absolute in its finite depth and previously unimagined and putatively unimaginably infinite breadth, of the Universe. Put aside the superlative character of the claims of the previous sentence and see that the claim regards perfectly faithful knowledge outside the analytic pale

However, I have a doubt as to whether it is philosophy. Having spent a significant part of my life in pursuit of questions, I am hesitant to relinquish the chase, to admit that there may in some direction be an end to questions

What other doubts may I conceive? If I were nothing but a philosopher I might be anxious over the loss of my self in the answering of questions. Still even if I were nothing but a philosopher I might see that these thoughts open up adventure in new dimensions and that it is my attachment to my self-regard (and perhaps to my socio-economic status) that makes me hesitate at the doorstep of my comfortable abode outside of which lies an infinite adventure in becoming and dissolution and becoming and dissolution and pleasure and pain and pleasure and pain and vistas of knowledge and understanding and sucked in myopias of nothingness…


At the dawn of philosophy a distinction between science and philosophy was not made. Today, scholars make this distinction. Wittgenstein insisted on the distinction. Is this an evolution?

It is an evolution but though evolution may be advance, evolution and advance are not synonymous. I think the kind of thought emphasized by Wittgenstein, a critique of the expression of thought in language[5]—an immensely careful analysis of our use of language, is important. I do not think it is all there is to philosophy—i.e. the claims are (1) That philosophy may (does) have reference to the external world (content) as does science even though criteria and kinds of analysis may be different and examples are the perfectly faithful Universal metaphysics and a variety of faithfulness seeking analyses such as those in Worlds and otherwise in the region between science and philosophy or between philosophy and itself: the nature of philosophy is a crucial issue in philosophy, (2) Wittgensteinian analysis does not exhaust the philosopher’ toolkit[6], (3) The previous claims are demonstrated in the narrative

If science studies the world and philosophy studies language / concept use, does that cover the disciplinary possibilities for knowing the world—i.e., do philosophy as conceived by Wittgenstein and science exhaust the kinds of conceptual knowledge? As practical, science allows that its concepts may and need not be perfectly faithful. Is there no higher or more abstract level at which both practicality (reference) and faithfulness obtain? Yes, and we have seen the elaboration of such a level in MetaphysicsCosmology and to some extent in Worlds; and it is a vast world even though we do not have a direct hold (experience of) on it (recall also that the abstraction is only initially of the kind in which detail is suppressed)

Keeping in mind the arguments here and throughout against the preemption of philosophy by the analytic and continental approaches, let us begin to approach the idea of philosophy by comparison with science. Referring to the corresponding comparison in the section on Science, we tentatively suggest (1) A first concern of philosophy shall be of generality and potential applicability (truth before application,) (2) Experience is built into ideas and cannot be escaped but philosophy shall occasionally take leave of experience to focus on concept formation; in the process we may refer to but also interpret experience—intuitively and formally; and, while the goal of reference to the world cannot recede forever, we may be happy to delay that goal until reference may be faithful (given that application is a goal, faithfulness may be somewhat forgone in some disciplines / applications of philosophy but in the general case it is only forgone so as to experiment and improve; this may suggest that outcomes are not guaranteed and that is in fact the case,) (3) Conceptual clarity and perfect faithfulness are (distinct) values (use is important provided that it is understood that conceptual play is a case of use in process,) (4) In the general case universal and faithful understanding of ideas and world is the goal of philosophy (we are describing and idea that has been abandoned but that we have shown is immensely viable… and philosophy may be seen as the label that we apply to this idea… and etymologically this is a good label that, though it has fallen into disuse as a result of recent ‘evolution’ has here been seen to deserve some resurrection) and instead of replace-ability the corresponding philosophic ideals may be clarification of depth and conceptual and experimental working out of the breadth or variety of being

As seen here, philosophy is the root, to which return is immensely viable and developed, from which the modern notion of science and restricted though not empty notion of philosophy derive

Philosophy may be regarded as general thought without restriction of subject matter except that it is developed imaginatively and critically with reference to ideas or concepts and experience and especial reference to the imaginative and critical use of the history of ideas. It is understood that a variety of academic disciplines that may thread back to philosophy are excluded by convention but that occasion arises from time to time when interaction with philosophy is useful. It is hardly to be expected that a single approach or subject matter should emerge in so general an endeavor. However, the present discussion has identified some elements of thought and experience that may be considered to be characteristically philosophical

Foundation in this world

Substance has an appeal noted earlier. The earliest substances were stuff-like, e.g. the first philosophical substance theory of Thales that posited water as the stuff of the world. Water may have been suggested by its pervasion and importance, the appeal is that in contrast to myth and religion water is of this world and—apparently—simple

However, substance is untenable

Therefore consider every being or region of being as its own explanation. What this appears to lose in simplicity, it gains in obviousness; what it appears to lose in explanatory power, it gains in removing need for explanation; it gains immediacy; it cannot be ‘wrong’

There is a movement in philosophy that eschews explanation—especially explanation of the scientific type. The foundation in being achieves the aim of this movement

It is therefore perhaps astonishing that it is via being—that which is common to every being—that the Universal metaphysics has been attained. On reflection, it is perhaps not so astonishing since it is gained by abstraction and after its ultimate depth has been achieved, depth is seen to be immediate as built in at start; and after ultimate breadth has been achieved as a very real achieved, further work must be—and has been—done


Concepts have been regarded as the language of philosophy. This is a strength but is also regarded as a weakness—it makes philosophy limp in comparison to other endeavor e.g. art, history, religion, and music

Extension to concept as mental concept brings philosophy to life

What is the relation to science? Where science employs experiment does not philosophy employ experience? Do not both philosophy and science employ concepts? The difference is not only in the tools but also in the aim. Whereas science is concerned with validity by any means, philosophy is concerned with truth as validity. Therefore if science is able to explain domains of natural phenomena by particles or fields of undescribed nature it is of lesser concern if the particles are not precisely known or if they are not ultimate or atomic entities; in philosophy the concern with the nature of the particles is important. Perhaps because science goes to a current ultimate in its own domain and because philosophy cannot exceed science in that domain, science and philosophy have become separate. But the division is not as absolute as it has been made out to be. The criteria of utility and validity are not precisely the same and their realizations are manifest—validity as success, validity as truth and so on—but the differences define continua. See for example the later considerations regarding whether the Universal metaphysics is science


In the first place the method of philosophy is that of analysis of concepts and experience as outlined in the developments of method. In the second place it is the various special methods of the various disciplinary applications and divisionary developments of philosophy with interpretation of the special methods and special areas in their own terms taken experimentally and the Universal metaphysics as framework and as outlined earlier in this chapter and in Worlds. Then there is the ‘philosopher’s toolkit’ which is only superficially without content (thought and language and analysis and synthesis are in the world) and which includes intuition and abstraction which have a variety of applications from the core metaphysics to the analysis of mind and of space and time. Additionally there are commonly recognized approaches in philosophy that include doubt and wonder as motivation, formulation of issues, conceiving and justifying responses, and criticism within philosophy that have been occasionally encountered in the present narrative but are not developed systematically


The considerations regarding method that have arisen are at the heart of the possibility and construction of the metaphysics. This need not be further emphasized

It may need to be reemphasized that it is not claimed that we know every detail with perfect faithfulness. This is not claimed and it is with regard to direct knowledge of detail that metaphysics is impossible. However we know depth metaphysics and have implicit knowledge of variety. Within this immense realm there is room for experiment with concept and being


See the corresponding discussion for philosophy, above. In the development of the metaphysics we encountered the additional considerations of which some now follow. (1) Analysis of the idea of Being in terms of Experience. (2) Via abstraction intuition (experience) is shown to have perfect faithfulness for the necessary Objects including Experience itself, Being or existence, Universe and Law, Domain, and Void (whose existence is demonstrated.) (3) These concepts constitute the core of an experimentally (tinkering with concepts) determined articulated system of concepts that constitute the metaphysics. Each of these concepts (excepting Domain) can be conceived in a family-variety of ways. The final selection is crucial and the articulation essential to the structure of the Universal metaphysics. (4) The fundamental principle is derived from the existence and properties of the Void. The fundamental principle results in substance-free finite but ultimate depth of foundation and the elaboration of the metaphysics including the ultimate variety of being and the idea of Logic as the abstract concept whose satisfaction is required for concepts to have reference. This Logic is approximated by the logics and is therefore not empty. Logic and metaphysics are identical and the Universal metaphysics is simultaneously metaphysics and a metaphysic of experience (outside the pure Universal metaphysics the identity of metaphysics and experience breaks down and knowledge is practical.) The individual concepts of Universe, Domain and fundamental principle lead to significant conclusions. (5) The fundamental principle results in significant clarification of the nature of Objects, and shows that while there are practical distinctions among particular and abstract Objects, the distinction is not fundamental. For example while particular Objects (typically) have being in space and time, abstract Objects are not generally regarded as spatio-temporal. Where and when, for example, is there an event called the number one? It is shown in Objects that abstract Objects do have spatiotemporal being but the spatiotemporality is abstracted out and therefore immaterial rather than non-constitutional. The result is a unified theory of Objects that is also a ‘unified theory of Worlds’—i.e., we may talk of a material world, a mental world, and an ideal world of Forms as though they were distinct but there is in fact precisely one world within which all real things and only real things reside. (5) Extension and Duration are necessary Objects and their development results in the Cosmology. (6) The subject matter of Worlds is detailed study of local domains, particularly ours. This study is not purely metaphysical but here the metaphysics is useful in assisting with some improvements of the local disciplines. The potential is to eliminate the ad hoc and the imprecise to the limit of the discipline; this potential is realized in some cases and suggests lines of development in some others

Induction and necessity

Although induction over infinite data is tentative, the negative judgment of Hume[7] is not universal for it necessarily applies only when the facts of the context are too large to reduce to data. The Universal metaphysics (1) concerns Objects that are finite-and-perfectly-faithful-by-abstraction and (2) entails the necessity of an infinite number of facts, the existence of an infinite variety of Objects, which infinities are bounded only by the requirements of Logic

Prior metaphysics

Some prior metaphysics hints at the Universal metaphysics, e.g. in the suggestion that Logic and metaphysics are identical. No prior metaphysics demonstrates such a system. In the Universal metaphysics the system is demonstrated. Since the demonstration provides both motivation and tools, it has been possible in this narrative to develop a metaphysics that is ultimate in depth and breadth of being and that unifies and elaborates the ideas of Being, Object, and Cosmology, that applies the ideas as in Worlds, and that deploys these ideas as in Journey in the undertaking of a realization from the immediate to the ultimate. No prior metaphysics has accomplished this and, given the lack of demonstration of a system of the present type, this may now be seen as expected

Prior metaphysics is generally deficient in some aspect of  experience-creation-reason-articulation

Aristotle’s metaphysics depends on substance; Plato’s on form

Hegel is imaginatively strong but critically weak; and his critical weakness impedes the development of imagination

Hume’s criticism of necessity is limited to science and has no account of the necessary Objects

Kant depends on the science and logic of his time as given. Wittgenstein is so entrenched in the critical logic of experience that he does not think (and therefore conceive of developing) that metaphysics of the kind that he rejects may also be a metaphysic of experience. Interestingly, Kant is able to see beyond the common-critical logic of experience

From Contribution

Philosophy and metaphysics

What is perhaps the problem of the nature of philosophy is—includes—that it has come to have specialized and limited connotations as in analytic and continental circles via its history and relation to other disciplines. What is the status of these limited connotations? Are they necessary?

The response is that the Universal metaphysics shows that self and externally imposed limits on philosophy can be and are transcended and, further, in the ultimate character of the metaphysics goes beyond anything thought and earlier recorded. Although there are intimations of elements of content and the ideas of the method, the various elements and ideas have not been put together before—either separately as content and as method or combined as content-method—and the dynamic result is a system of immense consequences that is new, ultimate—in depth of understanding and breadth of being revealed; and surprising—perhaps even intoxicating

The surprise lies not only in the ultimate character but also in the economy of the development

However, a focus on hastily thought out reflections based on suggestion from limited contexts is reflected in the recent history of academic philosophy in which every generation barely refers to the work of the previous while the works and questions of the seminal thinkers remain fundamental

In paragraphs that follow, some possible reasons for the uncritical acceptance of suggested limits will be given

Critical philosophy has the following uses. First, it attempts to eliminate error. This is important. However, elimination of error, even though we accept its fundamental importance, can be overrated—for errors of method do not invariably imply errors of content… and it is often important to act even in the presence of error or in the absence of knowledge that error has been eliminated. A second use of critical philosophy, one in which criticism is not an end in itself, is that it may suggest or force the overcoming of error and the development of methods of greater power than available previously. As we have seen, even neurotic criticism may be of immense value. All too often, however, criticism is seen as an end in itself and philosophy and thought then suffer a self-imprisonment in which they labor under falsely held and, paradoxically, uncritically critical ideals

In any case, the present development, demonstrates the possibility of overcoming the critical momentum of recent thought and simultaneously realizes that possibility in the ultimate Universal metaphysics

Therefore consider the following


Metaphysics is the discipline whose concern is the outer limits of being; whose method—the method of the rational or empirical-logical analysis of experience-meaning—shows how to study at those outer limits; and which is revealed as a study of being of ultimate depth and variety

The goal of metaphysics may be said to be to bring all experience—and intention and action—including the forms of experience into a single coherent system of description of the universe. The final concept will not include all forms because, due to consistency the requirement, there is no Object that is the referent object of all forms. However, the final Object will implicitly contain all forms of experience-in-themselves, i.e. as concepts. Metaphysics may be said to be the result of this goal


It is now possible to see philosophy as the discipline whose limits are the outer limits of being; whose method shows how to study within those limits—the method of metaphysics and the interactively modified methods of less general contexts; and which is revealed as a study of meaning but also of fact and significance and a study in lateral analysis but also in analysis via depth. The firmness of the foundation of metaphysics is carried over to the foundation philosophy where the limit of firmness or certainty is the modified firmness or certainty of the special context or discipline

Where philosophy has been seen as limited on account of its boundaries in relation to other disciplines, such boundaries may be seen as contingent or Normal. The Normal boundaries may be seen as apportioning of subject matter, division of labor, territorial concerns. We do not claim that the apportioning of subject has no basis—only that it is and cannot be absolute and this has been shown. That philosophers occasionally show naïveté regarding science shows the naïveté of the person and not a necessary limitation; the physicist even as physicist occasionally needs to turn to philosophical concerns that overlap the physical

Philosophy has been held to be ‘merely’ conceptual. However, as has been seen here the conceptual is not ‘mere’ in any sense but is fundamentally empirical at root

Certain movements in Continental philosophy have abandoned the ‘grand narrative.’ If ‘grand narrative’ refers to the positing of a vast speculative scheme then there is some validity this abandonment (the validity is not entire because there may be value in a grand speculation.) Modern thought reveals the emptiness of certain grand narratives of the past as does history. What history may show, however, is that certain speculative schemes are empty; and modern thought itself has been shown here to be immensely contingent even though it regards itself as natural—which is the case with the thought of every age. What history cannot show, however, is that systematic and comprehensive metaphysics is impossible. History may suggest this impossibility and the suggestion may turn out to be valid or not. Perhaps, then, reason may show the impossibility of systematic-comprehensive metaphysics. Since Kant it has been thought to have been demonstrated that this is in fact the case. The implicit error in this thinking has been shown. It is, first, that while there is an aspect of detail in which the central metaphysical concepts ‘all,’ ‘part’ and ‘absence’ may be incapable of being known by a—finite—being, the abstract versions of these concepts, i.e. the versions devoid of detail, are supremely, necessarily, and precisely empirical and faithful; in fact it is only in the case of such concepts that faithfulness has explicit meaning. The second part to the error in the anti-metaphysical thinking is the supposition that no absolute non-relativist (yet non-substance) demonstration is possible; such demonstration has indeed been performed here with the result that the Law of the Universe is Logic

It may be a failure of nerve, a self-aggrandizement, a parochialism that generalizes from—e.g. historical—sequence to concept; the thinker who so generalizes commits the error that he criticizes. It may have been a similar failure to think from empiricism and Kantianism that no systematic-comprehensive (Universal) metaphysics is possible—it is perhaps the case that the implicit errors in empiricism-Kantianism were neglected in the parochial and self-aggrandizing rush to abandon the Universe in favor of the backyard. Perhaps we should not be critical; perhaps we should think, simply, that certain details were not noticed, certain lucky inspirations were not had—for it is not clear to the writer whether the present developments have occurred because of attention to detail and luck or due to persistence and insight

Here, we have developed an immense view of the variety and connectedness of being which is not grand in the sense that it emerges from a simple view of the elements of being, in that it is not posited, not speculative


An extension to these thoughts on metaphysics and philosophy is implicit in the chapter and idea of a Journey. This extension may be called the reflective life which is not one of pure reflection but one in which reflection and action interact to enhance and illuminate one another in greater realization and meaning

The divisions of philosophy

Significant implications for metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, philosophy of space-time-matter, philosophy of mathematics have been developed

The academic disciplines

In addition to philosophy, there are significant and potential implications for the sciences and method, and for history and religion. The narrative form of ‘journey’ may be of interest to literature and to the nature and significance of the research article. Although art been considered only briefly and slightly, the provision of a universal framework for being may assist in the understanding of art and its place in human life

Problems of metaphysics

It is clear that numerous classical and modern problems of metaphysics have received illumination and resolution. Such problems include identity, mind-body, substance, the fundamental problem of metaphysics, the possibility of metaphysics… The problems and their resolutions are catalogued at

The essential problems of the discipline of metaphysics concern the nature of the objects—and categories—identified above and the problem of fitting them into a coherent (consistent) system. A review of the actual problems reveals this to be the case and it is not necessary to re-list the problems to prove the point

What are the important Objects? First are the important metaphysical Objects taken up earlier—being, all being, void, identity, mind, matter, human being… Second are the Objects of intrinsic importance to human beings, e.g. knowledge, peace, love (it sometimes seems that love does better without analysis although some clarifications and removal of confusions of sophistry might be useful—there is perhaps a twofold philosophy of emotion or feeling, first, in the integration of cognition-feeling performed here and in greater detail in other essays of and, second, in a two-way ‘conversation’ between cognition and the emotions in which each learns from the other; this would, perhaps, be vastly better than any attempt to bring emotion under the rule of thought or the alternative abandonment of reason altogether in the domain of pure feeling.) The two classes of Object are not distinct; the analysis of the first is exhaustive; that of the second cannot and perhaps should not be exhaustive but attention to it eclectic (except of course as noted that the system of concerns is not decomposable into Objects to be addressed in isolation.) A final Object is the meta-Object such as metaphysics itself that is also addressed


The problem of final or ultimate explanation. The problem of grand narratives—the problem is not of the actuality but that of positing such a narrative for, if such a ‘narrative’ emerges in cold Rationality there can be no stand against it except cold argument

The problem of a non-relativist philosophy without substance… of final or ultimate explanation. An encapsulation of the resolution is to recognize the sense in which such explanation is possible and actual. First, it is explicit with respect to depth—the foundations are trivial even though immense and profound in implication; and, of course, seeing the foundation is not at all a trivial endeavor. Second, the ‘final and ultimate’ explanation is implicit with respect to breadth—All Being is its implicit Object; however, the discovery and Experience—Capitalization implies becoming the Object rather than merely conceiving it—is a process, a journey

The nature of the ultimate breadth and depth of metaphysics, i.e. of the Universal metaphysics or Metaphysics of immanence

The problem of ultimate explanation that has no application. This problem is resolved, first, in revealing the falsity of the practical / theoretical / immediate / ultimate dichotomies; and then in showing, in their common meanings, both applicability and application

The problem of mere being. There is no mere being—except as approximation. Human being is not ‘mere;’ animal being is anything but ‘mere.’ Greatness does not require being greater than

The fundamental problem of metaphysics. This is the problem of why there is anything. Its resolution; its fundamental character is rendered trivial. The fundamental problem becomes ‘What things exist?’

[1] I have a response to the critic who does not consider any knowledge at all to fall under philosophy but that philosophy is about clarification of language and ideas, about illumination, about edification… and that philosophy has no more than this ‘therapeutic’ character which is to eliminate the mistakes of misplaced or erroneous reference. My response is this. If that is what philosophy should be then there is an area of knowing that is neither philosophy nor science nor any other discipline and that this area of knowing draws upon this conception of philosophy for at least some of its tools. What should we call this endeavor, of which examples appear in the present narrative? I see no reason that it should not be called philosophy

[2] Which is ill met by what is called ‘general education’ in American universities

[3] C. P. Snow, Two Cultures, The Rede Lecture, 1959

[4] Evolving from Durkheimian positivism and structural functionalism through Marxist historical materialism and conflict theory through Weberian antipositivism and verstehen analysis (a kind of non-empirical, empathic, or participatory examination of social phenomena) to the present time when some social scientists continue to attempt to duplicate conventional science and its method while others employ critical analysis (e.g. a neo-Marxism that may be described as humanistic Marxism) and hermeneutics (in sociology, an understanding of social events in terms of meanings to human participants and their cultures)

[5] David Pears, The False Prison: A Study of the Development of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy, Volume One, 1987

[6] In the words of Paul Feyerabend, cited earlier, regarding science, Anything goes. The developments of the narrative show that apparent finality of Wittgenstein’s thought regarding his own argument does not obtain and therefore we might consider being wary of any such rather dogmatic attitude on the nature of philosophy and its tools

[7] Cited earlier. The reference here is to Hume’s argument that induction cannot be necessary