(Outline of development)

Anil Mitra © 2009



IntroductionThe concept of metaphysicsFoundationExperienceExternal worldBeingUniverseLawDomain and ComplementExtension and DurationThe VoidSubstanceThe question of determinismThe normalLogicLogos and formArticulation and methodThe Universal metaphysicsApplied metaphysicsCosmological consequences


As shown in Intuition, intuition provides a foundation for the Universal metaphysics of the present chapter Metaphysics. However, the foundation is preliminary to the development of the metaphysics. Given the foundation, certain aspects of the development are crucial:

In the pre-formal and tentative stage the following are important: experiment with ideas, conceptions, syntheses, developments, criticisms, interpretations, elaborations, suggestions from the history of ideas, boldness but willingness to reformulate, multiple avenues, treading and retreading, foundation and re-foundation and willingness to rework entire systems at each re-foundation

Criticism is especially important: while it is the point of metaphysics to be as comprehensive as possible—due to its concern with being and all being—it should be internally consistent; its methods clear and their preservation of truth manifest; and its results should not violate experience, reasonable common sense or science… The metaphysics and its development has been subject to doubt and criticism from as many perspectives as possible and these doubts have been given responses: see The Void, below. Additionally, see The concept of metaphysics, Foundation, The normal, Logic, Logos and form, Articulation and method, and Applied metaphysics

The following formal aspects are crucial:

Care in selecting and specifying nature of the primitive concepts, i.e. of the fundamental Objects: they should be necessary or perfectly faithful and universal or significant rather than essentially trivial. Clarity of definition is essential; reflective and revisable boldness of definition is often preferable to tentativeness and temerity; however, boldness should not typically be a pretense and should not be confused with demonstration

Inclusion of Logos—the one fundamental Object that is not primarily—among the necessary Objects; i.e. inclusion of demonstration and inference among the fundamental Objects. This amounts to bringing inference down from the relative a priori to a level on roughly equal basis with content or Object… for, after all, demonstration is in the world and is therefore a kind of Object; and further, demonstration and other content co-evolve even though often at differing rates

Choice and articulation of the system of concepts; systematic development of the metaphysics from the universal Objects and their properties

The sequence of development has flexibility but is not without significance for efficiency and understanding

The main choice regarding this sequence is the order of the main necessary Objects Universe, Domain, Void, and Logos. It will become clear that Logos must follow Void. Void could come first and this would have the advantage of placing the greatest development first. However, that might obscure the developments regarding Universe and Domain. Additionally, the doubts regarding development from the Void do not affect conclusions regarding Universe and Domain which are therefore placed first among the four main Objects; and since Universe frames Domain, Universe is placed first

The preliminary ideas Metaphysics and Foundation and the preliminary Objects Experience, External world, and Being are placed before the four main metaphysical Objects. It is natural for Law to immediately follow Universe; and, finally, for Extension and Duration to follow Domain (and Complement.)

The sequence of development may be as follows:

1.      The concept of metaphysics—knowledge of things as they are—being-as-being. Though criticized in the history of thought even with regard to its possibility, this notion which is bold in the face of critical thought and which may seem simplistic turns out to be not just possible but necessary; and it is also justified, efficient, deep, and instrumental

2.      Foundation—the metaphysics has a brief foundation in the concept of experience. The earlier foundation in intuition grounds the metaphysics in being—particularly human being. The foundation in experience is an encapsulation of the foundation in intuition

3.      Experience—a name for the subject side of the world. As primitive and most immediate deeper foundation is not possible within the framework of the system under development; as given, further foundation is unnecessary. Commentary—full justification will be developed. Experience is more immediate than the closest element of the external world: so close that it is often missed, so apparently alien that it is often rejected as even existing: witness the modern academic champions of the non-existence of consciousness, a form of experience… and others who criticize and reject the existence of all subjective states. However, the alleged alien character of experience to the external world is mistaken. There is one world; experience is the adjustment of being that from the outside appears as interaction or relation. Thus experience is not the correlate of and nor is it caused by world state, process or interaction: a correlate suggests an insubstantial relation and causation suggests that, e.g., brain states are prior to the corresponding mental states; instead, the two are aspects of the same phenomena. Conclusion: there is experience

4.      External world—this is perhaps an inadequate name for the Object of experience: it is inadequate in that the external world is not outside anything but, instead, does not depend on experience or being experienced for its existence; in particular the external world is real, not illusory. It is remarkable in higher, reflexive organisms there is experience of experience: thus we know, provided that there is no illusion, that there is experience. Perhaps the contrary to the position that there is no such thing as experience is the thought that there is no external world, i.e. the world is illusion. The extreme version of this is solipsism in which there is only experience. The argument against idealism—the position that there are only ideas and which includes solipsism and illusionism—is that the experiential capacity either does or does not match the variety of the world. If it does, then the idealism is or may be a mere a renaming; if it does not then there must be an external world. Conclusion: there is an external world

5.      Being—what is there. To ‘be there’ is to exist; an Object that exists is a being or, equivalently, has being. There are specialized uses of ‘being’ as in Being-as-deity-or-divinity or as in being as possessing self-hood; or as in being as matter, process, thing, or relationship. These uses are not excluded but are special cases of the present use (if there is no deity then the concept of deity may be included under the concept of being provided it is understood that there is no reference.) There is a philosophical distinction: being as being-in-relation-to versus being as being-in-itself; the contrast is the occasional philosophical contrast of existence versus essence. The distinction will be seen to be inessential. Conclusion. With the resolution of the meaning of being, it may be said from the facts of experience and external world that there is being, i.e. ‘being exists.’ Comment. The concept of existence which is implicit in the phrase ‘what is there’ has come under criticism in the history of thought from ancient to recent times; and, further, the word ‘is’ has more than one use of which the one that indicates being is the relevant one. These issues are resolved and addressed in the narrative

6.      The Universe is all being. Therefore:

The actual is what obtains; the possible is what would obtain in another world; therefore with regard to the Universe the actual and the possible are identical

For a limited region, however, the possible includes but may exceed the actual

The Universe can have no creator

Comment. ‘Universe’ has a number of uses. It is sometimes used to talk of the physical universe and at others to refer to the known universe. The present use is ‘all being.’ There is and can be no argument with other uses but if someone were to persistently argue against this use, here would be the response. (1) There needs to be a word for ‘all being’ for that is the salient concept in this development; therefore, if the objection to ‘Universe’ is not relinquished, I could use another word. (2) I am in fact using another word, i.e. ‘Universe’ versus ‘universe.’ (3) There is in fact no conflict between the present use and other uses. ‘All being’ might reduce to ‘physical universe’ and if it does then the case for universe as physical universe is strengthened; if not understanding is enhanced. The present use turns out to have a pivotal character in the development; this illustrates the importance of care in defining the primitive Objects of the metaphysics

7.      The ideas of law and Law. When law is discerned it refers, e.g., to an immanent Pattern: this Pattern which is of being and not merely of experience is Law. Therefore:

Law is contained within being. A Law is a—form of—being

The Universe is all being, exists, and contains all Law

8.      Domain and Complement

If a domain exists its complement exists

One part of the Universe may causally create another; this conceptual possibility will soon be seen to be actual in some cases

9.      Extension and Duration

Space and time must be immanent in the entirety of being. One part of the Universe may set up an as-if manifold of space and time for another

From the Void state—which will be seen immediately below to exist and be the occasional state of the Universe, a state of manifest being may emerge that may condition the further history or trajectory of manifestation (within a limited domain of extension and duration;) this lends no support to ‘guidance’ in any actual case; mechanistic but not deterministic, i.e. variation and selection, origins appear more likely with perhaps some guidance; however, guidance necessarily occurs in some cases and it may then occur together with mechanism

10.  The Void is the absence of being

From the Domain and complement and the existence of the Universe, the Void exists

From the properties of the Universe, the Void contains no Law. Therefore

Void which is the absence of being exists and contains no Law

This is most fundamental and it is here that the issues of doubt and faith arise and have been addressed

Therefore any state of being including that of the Void can be trivially seen as indeterministically yielding all manifest states of being and therefore, roughly, as substance; this ‘substance,’ however would be neither causal in anything like its usual meaning nor deterministic

The number of Voids is without significance (the issue of the number of Voids has been raised though not definitively answered in the recent literature—e.g.,

A Void may be thought to be associated with every particle of being

The energy of a particle is effectively without limit. Every particle of being interacts with every particle of being: non-locality of interaction. However, see The normal, below

11.  Substance. However, it is clear that there can be no universal substance that deterministically yields all manifest states of being; for it is in the essence of substance to be supremely simple; and it is also in the essence of substance to yield the manifest universe deterministically or at least causally. However, there is no deterministic yielding of infinite variety from absolute simplicity; and though there may be a causal yielding, that causality would be no more causal than manifestation from the Void: there are no substances in the sense of substance as providing the simplest explanation of variety

There can however be practical substances that are near simple and that yield the ‘being-of-a-phase-of-the-Universe’

12.  The question of determinism. From the discussion above: The Universe is absolutely indeterministic in the sense that no state is not accessed from any state

It is commonly thought that random process cannot yield structure. This is a common argument for determinism. However, if no state is inaccessible from any state then the structured states are accessible from states that lack structure. If randomness is absolute indeterminism, then randomness must yield structure; it may of course be most likely to achieve structure by incremental variation and selection

It is obvious that the Universe is deterministic in that every state is accessed from any state. Specifically every structured and or meaningful state is accessed from any state. This meaning of ‘determinism’ is distinct from the usual meaning

13.  The normal. The foregoing would appear to contradict reflective common sense and science. However, first observe that absolute determinism requires that the Universe and parts of it will visit the state of our cosmological system. The actual is necessary

A cosmological system such as ours which has regular behavior and Laws and appears to be exempt from absolute indeterminism may be called normal. Our cosmos is not exempt from absolute or universal indeterminism; even now there are stray influences from the Universe but these are at least apparently minute; there is however no eternal exemption; the contingent necessities, i.e. those that could be otherwise, may be regarded as highly probable or, perhaps, the dominant behavior of or observed in a domain. And the contingent impossibilities are improbable—they lie outside the dominant patterns

It is in normal behavior that particles of being behave as though their energies are finite and that interactions are as if local

It is in the normal case that for a limited domain the possible may exceed the actual

The foregoing may appear to violate modern particle physics and cosmology. However, what is the case deep within an elementary particle or beyond the borders of the empirically known cosmos, currently thought to be 80 billion light years across and 13 billion years old, is not within the domain of science so far. If science is projected beyond those borders, the result conflicts with the present results. But, first, modern theoretical physics itself predicts its own breakdown at those borders and, second, the methodology of science as understood today neither projects nor denies projection beyond the limiting borders. Therefore there is no conflict with science and can be no conflict with science. Modern cosmologists talk of perhaps infinitely many ‘universes’ beyond this cosmological system; they then add that they causally cut off from this system. Such causal cutting off is only the case on the projection of our physics outward in space and backward and forward in time which is neither justified nor disallowed by modern science but which from the present metaphysics cannot be the case. As will be seen above, every particle of being interacts with every particle of being

14.  Logic. There follows the principle of reference: every state which is not a violation of Logic exists

This is the definition of Logic—and the reason for capitalization—which is approximated by the logics; and therefore even though it is introduced by definition, Logic is rich at least in the variety of approximations to it

Therefore the one universal law is Logic; or there are no universal Laws

Therefore: the principle of variety the Universe has the greatest Logically possible variety of being

The principle of reference is basic to Objects

The principle of variety is basic to Cosmology

15.  Logos and form. The Object of Logic is Logos which is the Universe in all its variety. Form is immanent being and does not belong to another world. Form will be clarified in Objects where it will be seen to be a special case of Object and not of especial importance. There it will be further clarified that, as already seen, there is precisely one Universe and, not as has sometimes been thought, an actual world, an ideal world of Platonic forms—perhaps the Ideas of an Unlimited Being and, perhaps, a mental world of concepts and ideas of limited beings

Therefore any system of concepts and its entailments that do not lie outside Logic have reference. Any that lie outside Logic have no reference. Similarly, there are no Objects outside the Universe or Logos. In the history of thought some have spoken of the ‘space of non-existent Objects;’ this space is of course empty; the corresponding concept space, however, is not and includes ideas such as square-circles which have no reference; appending these spaces to Logos and Logic may add a certain conceptual elegance or symmetry or generality and may have algebraic utilities but appears to have no actual consequence; yet we may retain the idea just in case it is a way for the virtual to have some effect on the real

16.  Articulation and method. At this point the importance of the articulation of the primitive Objects has become clear. Further the importance and development of the concept of demonstration has become clear in the specification of the primitive and necessary Objects: they are so simple as to be given in intuition; reference to another foundation is not necessary. A second aspect of demonstration has become clear in the implicit definition of logic as Logic which is approximated by the logics

17.  The Universal metaphysics. Thus is built up the Universal metaphysics which was seen in Intuition to be ultimate in depth and breadth; and which was seen to frame an

From the discussion of substance, the Universal metaphysics is non-relative—it requires no further foundation—and terminating: it terminates in the Void (or any state.) I.e. the Universal metaphysics provides a non-relative foundation of understanding of all being without substance; this is almost invariably thought to be impossible in modern thought

18.  Applied metaphysics—the enhancement of special divisions of knowledge toward their inherent limits which will be realized in certain cases, e.g. mind, nature of space and time (may import from Intuition by either cutting or copying.) From the point of view that metaphysics is knowledge of things as they are, applied metaphysics is not metaphysics even though it is—or, depending on attitude, may be—practical or useful knowledge. However, as seen, there is a more comprehensive framework of knowing in relation to be-ing, in which the point of ‘knowledge’ is not so much—only—knowing but also in acting and therefore independent justification may get in the way of ‘efficient’ and action that is productive of desirable outcome including enhanced realization. From this point of view, metaphysics may be seen simply as something like higher or experimental knowing; perhaps a term such as action or transformation metaphysics may be used

Thus is revealed a hierarchy of levels at which the possible distinction of existence versus being is dissolved

19.  Cosmological consequences. The following will be worked out in Cosmology:

Variety of being. There are infinitely many cosmological systems with an infinite variety of laws; Jesus Christ and this world have infinite repetition; therefore karmic phenomena; therefore micro and micro-micro and macro and macro-macro cosmological systems; therefore causal connection between remote cosmological systems may exist on account of the laws of this one not being universal in extension or duration; and there can be no isolation in perpetuity; still there are relative ‘ghost’ cosmological systems passing through ours some with no current effect and others with barely a whisper; there are annihilator cosmological systems that may annihilate a given system but perhaps spontaneous annihilation is most likely

Systematic working out of consequences. The foregoing is a taste of implications. The nature of the Object is clarified and the referential possibilities of the Object are broadened in Objects: these developments set up a more complete theory of variety that is systematically worked out in Cosmology and Worlds. Cosmology and Worlds are the application of the Universal metaphysics and theory of Objects to the ‘universe’ of experience; the distinction is that whereas the concepts of Cosmology are perfectly faithful to their Objects, those in Worlds are practically faithful. As seen in Intuition the framing of the Objects of Worlds by the Universal metaphysics encourages the approach of the disciplines studied to approach their inherent limit