The Value of Philosophy

Anil Mitra PhD © July 20, 2010, LATEST REVISION © October 01, 2010

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I do not consider myself to be a philosopher. My ambition is to discover, as far as I can and perhaps as far as is possible for a human being, the nature and extent of the world and also as far as is possible and good to experience or even be this nature and extent. I use thought, feeling and experience as part of a process of discovery—of the world, its nature, of the individual (myself,) the nature of the individual and the place and possibilities of the individual in the world… I am interested in the limits of being and the limits of the individual—What are these limits, are there any absolute limits and what are they? Is there a highest form of ambition and achievement and, if so, is it universal in any way? Out of this general interest in thought and becoming, I have an interest in many kinds of thought and activity; the areas of thought that fall under philosophy and the idea of philosophy are among those interests and I have enjoyed the processes of reading and ‘doing’ philosophy. It could perhaps be said that some of my writing is at least like philosophy

Why do I not consider myself to be a philosopher? One reason to not regard myself as a philosopher is that my interest does not stop at thought. Of course, even the most cloistered have an interest that does not stop at thought. What I mean is that my interest is in thought, feeling, action, being and becoming as a connected, interacting, and continuous system. I wish to actualize my thought in (my) being—not just because that is a good thing to do but because my thought and experience have revealed via my metaphysics that the highest is not determined by thought alone but by transformation of (my) being. And it is not some posited or hypothesized metaphysics: I have shown that there is essentially one metaphysics and have discovered and demonstrated this metaphysics. A second reason for not considering myself to be a philosopher is that when I look at what modern analytic and continental philosophers do and how they define philosophy, I find myself in degrees of disagreement, especially with the parochial aspects of the ‘definitions’ but also with the reasoning behind the reasoned aspects. It is interesting that the questions ‘What is philosophy and what is its value?’ is a philosophical question while the questions ‘What is mathematics?’ and ‘What is physics?’ and ‘What is the value of mathematics and science?’ are not problems of mathematics or physics (and though the latter questions may be taken up by mathematicians, scientists—by anyone who may be interested in the issues—they may be properly considered to have philosophical aspects.) This suggests that philosophy is more general than mathematics or science: while mathematics and physics have specific subject matters, the subject matter of philosophy has no such limitation (in practice, philosophy has come to have a loosely defined set of subject matters and some philosophers and others would restrict philosophy to certain subject matters. One of the reasons behind such restrictions is the requirement of precision. However, it is pertinent to ask ‘What is the name of the subject of general interest in the world that remains unmentioned when all specialized interests have been listed?’ Philosophy might be a good name for the ‘discipline’ under which that activity lies—a use that is clearly related to the original meaning of the term. And, if precision is not always possible immediately, we may then perhaps agree to aim at improvement of precision. Some philosophers object to this general notion of philosophy on the ground that philosophy should concern itself with explanations that transcend the temporal. On this ground, such philosophers may reject purportedly philosophical explanations from evolution and evolutionary theory. However, adaptation and evolution are dual modes of the same explanatory principle and an explanation from adaptation is an explanation without regard to time; i.e. it is an explanation ‘in the present’ without reference to any particular present. In principle, therefore, evolutionary explanation is not primarily about the past; it is about a reading of the past that is inferred from the present so as to make explanations about any time including the present.) But, returning to the earlier thread of thought, philosophy and mathematics and physics have this in common that they have subject matters and methods. Philosophy is not merely about some subject or subjects but it is also an accumulation of ways to think that are (1) More general and less definite than the methods of mathematics and physics and (2) The result of experience with what kinds of thinking are creatively productive and what kinds of errors is thought subject to. That philosophy should be concerned with its own nature and with method also follows from the general nature of philosophy as being concerned with the whole world: philosophy and thought are in the world and therefore shall not escape the gaze of the philosopher. Also, method and reason and logic are not given by god; we discover them if only by accident and even if the discovery was in some remote past: the origin of method (whose subject matter is thought) arises in interaction with thought about the rest of the world. I have a conception of philosophy, partially developed below and developed more fully in other writing, according to which some of my activities are philosophical… but I would not want to be thought of as primarily a philosopher or even primarily a thinker

A positive reason to be concerned with the nature and value of philosophy is that every discipline may be enhanced when pursued with some degree of self-consciousness. When we understand it better, it is done better. It does not follow that all practitioners should be equally concerned with such questions. An external reason is that there may be misunderstanding of philosophical argument and the nature of philosophy itself. Some people think that philosophy is merely esoteric. This idea of philosophy is indeed characteristic to some aspects of its practice. However, I intend to show the practical significance of philosophy. Others think of philosophy as a mere collection of ‘philosophies’ such as the varieties of metaphysics and philosophies of life and that these are merely speculative or at best partially speculative and are but someone’s point of view. I intend to show that this is not altogether true: that some philosophical work is definitive and can be shown to be so. I also intend to show that even where true, the criticism is misguided. Surely, there are philosophical works without much worth. However, a system of ideas does not have to be perfect or a perfect depiction of truth to be useful as philosophy. I will show below that there is a historical thread running through metaphysical systems starting with the earliest western philosophical thought that results in and without which we would not have modern science and without which we might lack modern logic. And while there may of course be relativisms in ‘philosophies of life’ the purpose of such philosophy is often to challenge the reader to examine and improve the quality of his or her own life and place in and contribution to the world; and it is simultaneously true that the best thinkers may discover some more or less universal truths of the human condition that transcend some particular interest

Begin with the thought (to be demonstrated) that philosophy is not a mere collection of philosophies. Even if it were a collection of philosophies, not every claim that a set of ideas is merely someone’s opinion or someone’s version of the truth is a valid criticism. Discrimination is necessary from the points of view of rigor, significance, and suggestiveness; every system of truth must be someone’s; this does not mean that it is merely someone’s (here the popular relativism in the humanities environments of modern universities that stems back to the 1960’s and 70’s may be to blame; there are numerous reasons for this misguided movement; there are some areas of thought that are relative in nature but it is a mistake to generalize in either direction; that a thought must be regarded as at most relative until demonstrated otherwise does not mean that it is relative; relativism is relatively kind to the ‘soft’ subject matters which may have felt inferior under the harsh glare of the sciences—there should be no reason for such inferiority but it was felt nonetheless; relativism is the belief system of the lazy, the approach of the person who would not enter into the labor of discrimination; and, relativism is an easy if false critical approach of anyone seeking to stroke their own ego.) And we should not always demand rigor; a system that is not perfectly rigorous may be significant and suggestive to the individual and for later development of thought; and if such systems were never published (with frank admissions of perceived weaknesses) their creative potential would never become manifest (the argument could be used to support the publication of rubbish.) Therefore, absolute rigor (even if possible) is not necessary for thought, utility, or publication; of course, some attention to precision is necessary for thought to have any validity; and attention to significance is necessary for usefulness. If discrimination is used, many so called philosophies fall by the wayside

What, then, is philosophy? A brief look at its history may be helpful. The first philosopher in the western tradition is often said to be Thales of Miletus who lived around 600 BC. Thales said ‘the world is water.’ From our perspective that seems rather immature if not absurd. Consider, however, that the alternative views at the time invoked creation and sustaining and destruction by gods: the world is explained by something not understood—a substitute for ignorance. Even though Thales’ actual claim is not particularly helpful or useful, it is a move away from supernatural explanations: water is of this world. Thales’ claim starts a line of thought that seeks explanation of the world and its complexities in something that is in the world but that is also simple. The development of science and the modern secular world view may be traced back to this point (this is not the same as saying Thales pre-conceived science or that he was responsible for or caused its development; and it does not mean that science cannot be traced back further or to other sources.) Thales ‘theory’ is the first substance theory. Substance theory has finally been shown to be unviable (in my work) but it has nonetheless been immensely suggestive; and to transcend it without being trivial it is immensely valuable if not necessary to first think it. What are Thales’ reasons for considering water? Perhaps its abundance, perhaps the fact that it supports so much including life. For its time, it is perhaps not so unreasonable. However, the conclusion is most certainly not rigorous, not demonstrated. But that is the way of reason: reason is not a formula for producing truth; there is, after all, no formula; education in schools, the ‘great’ traditions of thought hide this by showing us only the positive results of thought that may have begun with stumbling and may have taken centuries or millennia to achieve crafted form. All creative thought requires, somewhere, a guess (in science a guess, perhaps an educated one, is called a hypothesis.) Mature ideas do not arise from nothing. Before something definite can be said, it is necessary to say something indefinite and uncertain; which can then be criticized and refined (this could be taken as an excuse to make uneducated guesses where a more educated guess is possible or to make a guess where something definite can be said.) And the same is true of reason; it does not arise in mature form; it must be cultivated. And the same is true of language and grammar (the latter already contains some implicit metaphysics.) And also of the capacity for language…

Thales is followed by philosophers who build upon the beginning—Democritus (atoms) and Parmenides (substance as uniform and unchanging which is yet the source of all manifest being, variety, and change.) Democritus is not altogether non-rigorous: he perceives difficulty in infinite divisibility; yet it is not entirely rigorous. Aristotle establishes a first formulation of rigor: Aristotelian Logic (the syllogism) which is not the end of logic but as far as it goes it is perfectly rigorous (it is capable of rigor because it is trivial; but not merely trivial; and it is a triviality that becomes apparent only after the system has been formulated, honed, and presented.) Aristotle goes beyond substance theory and metaphysics in developing a physics: objects sliding on a surface generally come to rest and therefore objects in motion require force in order to sustain motion; perhaps Aristotle is educated by the tradition starting with Thales to look at the world and its phenomena and seeking local causes rather than looking beyond and seeking supernatural causes. It is a seeming trivial interest: the ‘great’ philosopher Aristotle is concerning himself with something mundane as a block sliding on a surface. Not just trivial: Aristotle’s physics is quite wrong but the framework of matter, motion, and force is right. 2000 years later Isaac Newton arrived at the first complete and correct mechanics: the formulation is different and (far) more sophisticated and empirical than that of Aristotle but the framework of matter, motion, and force remains. Of course we know that that (Newton’s formulation) too has been replaced (quantum theory, relativity) and we may therefore think—another inadequate and failed system. However, Newton’s system does precisely capture a pattern of behavior over a significant domain (speeds not too high, gravitational fields not too strong etc.) and is still the mechanics used for common terrestrial and space mechanics (computing the trajectory etc. required to land a spacecraft on Mars)

A number of things are going on here

Philosophy is concerned with questions at the forefront of thought. In the infancy of this—our present—historical thread away from mere faith, all thought was philosophical. As thought, ‘progresses’ the definite regions are relabeled ‘science’ the less definite regions remain or are discovered and retain the label ‘philosophy.’ Therefore, necessarily answers will not be initially definitive. Instead, philosophy builds upon philosophy (not a mere collection of philosophies.) Some parts of philosophy acquire precision (logic, mechanics) and of these some remain within philosophy (philosophical logic which considers questions about logic and so on) and others become science (Newton’s mechanics)

It becomes clear that if we insisted always that every philosophy should be definitive there would be no logic, no later precision, and no science. When philosophy becomes definite it is relabeled science: hence the title of Newton’s work: Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica—Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Newton is the cusp: before his work the imprecision of the developed mechanics even that of Galileo, quantitative and conceptual, is such that it has not completed the transition from philosophy to science. In the beginning and until precision has been achieved, we must contemplate vaguely—if we are to contemplate at all—in the area of what is unknown for there to be later precision (whether due to me or to another thinker who begins with my thoughts)

Further reflection on the transition from philosophy to science—The elimination of philosophy from the science of life occurred only in the twentieth century with the general though not entirely universal acceptance of the position that there is no need to explain life in terms of some ‘vital’ substance over and above the physical (of course, biology requires its own concepts but those concepts do not require any vital or other non-material substance.) Psychology has not yet completed the transition (numerous academics would disagree but my opinion is that the academic world has not yet completely de-philosophized psychology; the position of my metaphysics is another question.) What of the later revolutions in physics: electromagnetism (a closet revolution because, in it, relativity is already present though implicitly so,) relativity, and quantum theory? Does the prospect of never ending revolution make all science indefinite? No: every mature science has a domain of definiteness. The theories that have suffered revolution have clear domains of inadequacy and are therefore clearly incomplete. It seems probable that the same should be true of the currently accepted theories but until more comprehensive theories are found it is difficult to say whether they are essentially incomplete (my metaphysics shows that they must be incomplete.) As long as theories remain incomplete, what would complete them is unknown and is therefore tinged with philosophy (many scientists are irritated by such comments but the role of concepts and thinking about concepts is a philosophical activity and at least Einstein recognized it as such: thinking can be simultaneously scientific and philosophical; and here, ‘philosophy’ is used in a narrow sense for in a broader sense in which philosophy is simply thinking about the world as well as we can, it includes science)

Another thought. I’ve only mentioned a few highlights. Many ‘philosophies’ fall by the wayside. Some do so because they are born dead (not good.) Others are suggestive and later built upon and replaced. It must be in the nature of philosophy, which works in the area between dark and light, that there will be shadowy areas. And without discrimination, without analysis of ideas and without the synthesis of a historical perspective, that is all that there may seem to be

(Of course, not everyone will be a philosopher—that takes ability and a certain passion for ideas; and, not everyone will appreciate philosophy—that takes a certain sensitivity for ideas but even persons with the appropriate sensitivity and sufficient intelligence will not take to philosophy unless they appreciate the nature—or natures—of philosophy—especially its conceptual, explanatory, and historical aspects. Is the philosopher judgmental or perceptive in the Jungian sense? In Jung’s use, judgment and perception are polarities and the ideal lies not in their exclusive cultivation but in their integration. It seems to me that while some philosophers are more of one or the other, the best philosophy will be the result of, not some harmonious integration or balance, but flexibility: the ability to reign in judgment when judgment would be premature and for that period of time to be perceptive but to not refrain from judgment when, perhaps partly as a result of luck, the occasion for judgment arises)

Some further examples of value

‘Democracy’ is an idea with Greek philosophers that is taken up by Thomas Jefferson

Philosophy does not create language but does show that language and common thought have implicit metaphysical presumptions which may be only approximate and are definitely incomplete. If these presumptions are one of the roots of social, political, and spiritual problems of the world then, even if explicit metaphysical speculation is imprecise it may be an improvement

But not all philosophy is about developing some subject matter. Some philosophers challenge the reader to think, feel, grow… and, of course, again, discrimination is of the essence. Such philosophies may be ‘philosophies of life’ and are most likely to be boring if presented as a system; to be provocative they must be insightful in to the way a human being can be less than human; to be exciting they should come from a great but not ponderous vision of how a human being can be a full human being; and to capture interest they may be written provocatively and written well—perhaps with a poetry that excites feeling without suppressing reason (Nietzsche’s style)

Europe, especially Germany and England, was the home, until the twentieth century, of a number of speculative metaphysical systems. Is there a problem with ‘speculation?’ Not intrinsically. Every hypothesis starts as a speculation or semi-speculation and it is only by making a hypothesis that it can be tested and enters into a process becoming useful (as a result of experiment with conceptual and predictive coherence.) Thus there is nothing inherently ‘wrong’ about the idea of speculation in metaphysics. There may be objections to speculation on two counts. There is the practical objection regarding mere speculation and it seems for sure that many of those European metaphysics had at least some mere speculation. This is not universally true; Kant’s thought has led to immense and precise insight into the nature of knowledge; Hegel on the other hand was highly speculative and the Marxist transformation of Hegel’s thought is subject to the criticism of being erroneous even though insightful and perhaps even harmful; but it is not the speculation that was harmful but, rather, the suppression of the speculative side. Still, if an ideology is to be useful in political life, it must be deployed; and we may eschew ideology with its long history of failure but there is always ideology—the question is whether it is systematic and whether it is a mere economic ideology or whether some ‘higher,’ e.g. artistic, element enters into it. And there is the objection from those who consider that philosophy should be precise, that speculation is without merit

In the early twentieth century, under the influence of Frege and Russell, philosophy in the English speaking countries and Scandinavia (analytic philosophy) moved away from grand speculation and toward careful analysis of tractable problems (problems thought to be definite and uncomplicated enough to allow analysis.) Often the concern is technical rather than universal and or human. In Europe, the interest in the universal / human remained but European philosophy was criticized for its lack of attention to rigor; a Derrida may appear to be profound but his critics say his thought is trivial and has the appearance of profundity and rigor. As we have seen lack of rigor today, may result in an imaginative system that may later be improved and precision provided. However, it is perhaps true that the speculative schemes of European thought were excessive with regard to substance without foundation. Are those schemes philosophy? More, recently the European critiques of Modernism and Post-Modernism have led, in Europe, to a move, within philosophy, away from ‘grand narratives’ to the ‘local narrative;’ away from metaphysical speculation and to the practical and the empirical (still, however, conducted primarily in an academic environment.) Generally, however, we do not find a preponderance of value—but this is only to be expected in an academic system with thousands of professors of philosophy world-wide. There can only be so much good philosophy; the rest will fall by the wayside; but the academic system pressures professors to publish, and hence the system of so much nothing that today masquerades as philosophy

But philosophy is not only about with coming up with ideas. It is also about the how of coming up with good ideas. This should be and is useful beyond the traditional boundaries of philosophy. How does the how come about? It is reasonable to think that some standards of logic were informally known before writing but even if we inherited some of these the inheritance is opaque to us—except, perhaps, that a degree of logic is already built into language (e.g. simple aspects of implication.) Go back to Thales; his speculation regarding water was not logical. But then, later thinkers would criticize. This is the beginning of the how which becomes mature in Aristotle (but just as subject matter always remains, so the idea of how in knowledge seems to be ever open to expansion and refinement.) To expect otherwise is equivalent to the thought that ‘God created the world’ is an explanation

It begins to become clear, that good thinking and the how of good thinking arise together: the how and criteria for good thought intersect. Do we ever get to absolutes? Since thought cannot get outside itself, we might answer ‘no’. However, in my metaphysics and its implied Logic, I’ve shown that there are areas of absolute and areas of limitation (the Universe is not merely open but ever and infinitely open)

As the how of thinking, the approach of philosophy has the potential for universal application (it is more about creative and careful thought than formal logic per se; about the forming or re-forming of ideas and concepts and molding them into systems of explanation to be then subject to every substantive critique that is known and applicable.) Thus there is a philosophy of science which has led to much clarification regarding the nature of science (considering, the excesses of certain popularizers such as Richard Dawkins, the phrase ‘has led’ should be replaced by ‘could have led’)

An aside. It is unfair to aim a barb at a writer without an explanation. In his recent book, The God Delusion, Dawkins states that it is almost certain that God does not exist. He is of course referring to the kind of God that is the God of the Bible—all knowing, all powerful but yet capable of fits of anger and jealousy (which is strange because the negative emotions stem from weakness.) My metaphysics reveals that the Universe contains an unending variety of being that is open to being experienced by ‘human being’ (who will of necessity be transformed in the experience or becoming.) Therefore, where traditional religion could be concerned with this search and discovery of being, it has made the abortion to limiting itself to a puerile form of dogmatic suspension of life; perhaps we could think of god as the ideal within that ultimate becoming (and the image of that ultimate in ‘this’ life.) But what is my criticism of Dawkins on his own terms, i.e. that of the God of the Bible. His central argument is that science has explained almost everything, especially the appearance of design in the world; and the conclusion should be, therefore, that God is almost certainly not necessary to provide explanations of the world. His logic allows that God may exist; his logic allows that there may be reasons for God’s existence to be probable but that these reasons no longer include explanation of design. In fact, explanation of design never was a reason to believe in God for it is not a logically necessary argument but a probabilistic one: naturalistic origins of design are improbable and the fallacy of the argument is that a visible but apparently improbable origin is explained but an invisible and even more improbable God: it would be more rational to simply admit ignorance of the origin of design or its appearance. In fact, design is not necessarily improbable even without the evolutionary argument. The argument against a naturalistic origin of design is not that it is impossible but that it is improbable. Given an infinite amount of time, however, a claim of improbability is not valid; the valid claim, therefore, must be that naturalistic origins must be improbable in some definite finite period of time. Then given a sufficient period of time, naturalistic origins would not be improbable; given an infinite amount of time, our world would make an appearance over and over. Common sense fits the same mold. Here we are on Earth; we live, we die; the envelope of our existence appears to be material; there may be a spiritual side but it is of the psyche (seemingly.) Surely, the metaphysical system of the Bible is a preposterous invention; except for the fact of belief the fact of belief is hard to believe. But, still I deny the claim that it follows from modern science or from common sense that it is almost certain that God does not exist (it is also absurd to believe in the positive existence of this God on the basis of our common experience.) My proof is this. It is the claim that science has explained almost everything. Science and common experience reveal some things that are in the Universe—common things, Earth, solar system, galaxies, the big-bang cosmos (perhaps) and the highly speculative bubble cosmoses. But do science and common experience imply that that is all there is or almost all there is? Those objects are the objects of our experience and therefore tend to define the envelope of our common picture of the Universe. We see the Universe in the terms in which we see it. What lies outside? In terms of the picture, nothing or almost nothing… But that is just the picture. Common experience and science do not at all imply that there is nothing or almost nothing outside. It is entirely consistent with common experience and science that the Universe outside the scientific cosmos is infinitely large. I.e., it is consistent with science and common experience that the outside lies in the range of the infinitesimal to the infinite. In other words we have no estimate of the size, duration and the variety of the outside (from science and so on.) But for the ‘no God’ conclusion to be almost certain, it is necessary for the outside to be almost zero; which we do not know to be the case. In other words as far as science is concerned we have no estimate of the size and variety of being of the outside and therefore no estimate of the degree certainty or probability of the existence or non-existence of God. Here, of course, I refer the estimation to our common tradition of knowledge and reason. I omit considerations based on the metaphysics that I have developed and demonstrated (which shows that the extension-duration-variety of being of the Universe has no limit.) I hope that readers will note that I am not at all arguing that science is invalid in its own domain; rather that I have argued that science gives us no clue as to the extension, duration, and variety of being beyond the boundaries of its valid domain. If the extension, duration, and variety of being is without limit it would then be true to say that it is almost certain that God exists in relation to some cosmos even if very far removed from ours and (the analysis is in my longer essays) it would be very probable that for any chosen cosmos that there is no God-of-that-cosmos (it is a simple consequence of the fact that since the Universe is all being it can have no external creator simply because there is no outside to the Universe.) What of a God of our cosmos? The translated argument of Dawkins is that it is almost certain from science that this God is unnecessary to the structure of the cosmos, to the explanation of its origins. Why ‘almost certain’ rather than ‘certain?’ Because there remain areas unexplained or incompletely explained by science: the origin of the cosmos (and of the improbability that a randomly created cosmos should be capable of supporting life as we know it,) the origin of life and, perhaps, the origin of mind and the seat of mind in matter (I do not regard the latter as unexplained even though that is the common opinion.) Here, then, are some windows for the invocation of God; the common belief among scientists is that the scientific gaps will be closed; this however is not certain and the magnitude of the uncertainty is not known. The more particular is the God, the less likely; therefore, in the foregoing we are being kind and not insisting on God manifesting via divine conception as man and so on. But now consider that the Universal metaphysics reveals ghost cosmological systems passing through ours at this moment with barely a whisper. Some of these ghosts have gods. They are not even whispering; but an eruption may occur. There may be a science of those systems but that would not mean that they did not have gods. I have been focusing on the literal even though religion has symbolic (e.g. archetypal) and re-literalized (a god of evolution and so on) meanings. But the literal also has a symbolic meaning that transcends specific content: what is the symbolic meaning of factual faith? Therefore, the factual remains important. An aspect of the meaning of factual faith: if somewhere in psyche we know that an article of faith is untrue or at least unfounded but yet in the larger and brighter and public regions of psyche we have and profess faith is not that faith more binding and in some sense more worth having than if the article were true. There is a color of Christian that will object to and be angered by the factual depiction (repiction) from the Universal metaphysics; the factual repiction may defuse faith

Why has modern philosophy largely rejected metaphysics (the nature of the universe as it is?) (1) Kant pointed out that our knowledge is not the thing known and therefore we have no basis to claim that things are known as they are. (2) The criticism of metaphysical speculation by the analytic philosophers and the rejection of grand metaphysical speculation by Modernism and Post-Modern critique (spurred by the failure of Marxism)

However, the thinking here is not clear. Knowledge is not inherently faithful; it does not therefore follow that there is no perfect faithfulness in knowledge; or that such faithfulness can not ever be demonstrated. Because empiricism and rationalism have failed as a foundation for all knowledge, it does not follow that there is no knowledge for which a rational-empirical foundation can be found. And from the failures of the great European metaphysical tradition failure it does not follow that no great metaphysical system can be formulated and demonstrated (even though this is commonly believed to be the case)

My metaphysics has the following characteristics. It shows that there are certain simple objects that are perfectly known. In consequence there is some metaphysical (perfect) knowledge. It might be expected that these are trivial. However, they are not and they lead to a Universal metaphysics

The variety, extension, and duration of being are without limit. This is known. Provided that a conceived state of being is not Logical (Logic is non-circularly reconceived as the requirements for conceptual systems to have reference; also Logic is not empty because all classical and modern logics are at least approximations to it.) Therefore, subject to the minimalist requirements of Logic, every concept has an Object. Infinite number of cosmological systems etc. Individual identity equivalent to Universal Identity. In terms of our modern world view these thoughts may appear to be absurd however (1) the assertions have been demonstrated and (2) the absurdity has been shown to be merely apparent

Briefly, then, the variety, extension and duration of being is without limit. This is demonstrated in my metaphysics—the metaphysics. Or: Metaphysics is the study of the limits of being, the study of the limitless variety, extension, and duration of being. And, philosophy may be defined to be the study whose subject matter limits are the limits of being and whose methodological limits are the methods of the Metaphysics and include Logic

However, the possibilities of identity which are the actualities of identity, which are the Universe, cannot be known by any actual identity. The only approach is a process of becoming. This experimental process which could be the province of ‘religion’ is aborted by traditional religion

The process involves not only thought but also feeling. For feeling guides thought and is intimately interwoven with it. If we think of feeling as ‘body perception’ then feeling is a form of conception (concept in a general sense that includes perception.) But that is not the limit of my journey which includes also transformation and experiment