Some Metaphysical Questions (answered)

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Some Metaphysical Questions (answered)

Post by Advocate » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:28 am

Taken from a random list found on google:

(1) Is there anything that must be true of absolutely everything that exists?

For our purposes, everything is patterns, internally or externally (a critical distinction).

(2) Must anything that exists have intrinsic properties?

No. We choose the properties or boundary conditions of things according to our use of that thing as individuated. No individuation exists in reality beyond our uses (leaving aside other beings for the moment, only because we don't know precisely where to draw that line, certainly above plants)

(3) What are properties? Are they universals, or tropes, or . . .?

Properties are noticed distinctions. The first thing you can know is the difference between light and dark areas. This is the first pattern (not picking on sight, but it's our prime sense so it will be my prime example, standing in for all senses here). When that pattern becomes slightly more distinct then we can see in it a line. The line can be combined with others to form shapes, etc. on up to love and metaphysics and whatnot.

(4) Must anything that exists stand in some relation to something else?

Yes. We don't have to define it that way but it can only be used that way. A thing which is not distinct (to every other thing) isn't a thing qua thing, it's just stuff. The purpose is lost to the extent a thing is not particular.

(5) Must anything that exists be completely determinate, or can there be vague

Everything is vague in that sense. A perfect map of a thing would be a perfect copy of the thing, and since the attributes of position in time and space (or the continuity of that pattern) cannot be replicated, a perfect map would actually be larger than the thing itself since it would have to contain that displacement as an additional attribute. Also that copy would change differently over time, subject to different external influences and so could only ever be an exact copy for an instant. All things are vague but are specific according to the uses of them for which they were created. I mean things in this sense to be the neural correlates of the external things. Outside our use they are undifferentiated and meaningless.

(6) Can there be things that exist that are not in time?

No. Time and space are universal as change and area. Although time may be a local phenomenon, it is one that, as far as we can known, encompasses our experience utterly.

(7) Is there anything that is not part of the spatiotemporal world?

If there is, we can gain no purchase upon it and it therefore cannot exist to us.

(9) What are numbers?

Numbers are an idealalised entity used in math to represent less-distinct things in reality. Zero, One, Two, don't exist in reality. In order for them to exist we would have to be able to differentiate between things perfectly. What we can do is differentiate things well enough for some specific purpose.

(10) Can there be necessarily existent entities?

Only in the sense that thinking beings need to make those distinctions in order to continue surviving, not that continuing to survive is necessary.

(11) What is it for something to be an actual entity?

To be defined into existence by a thinking being toward a particular purpose.

(12) Is everything that exists an actual entity?

Things which exist As entities are the only things that exist, to us.

(14) Do merely possible worlds exist?

All possible universes exist, and that number is one.

(17) Can there be things that are in principle unobservable?

There are always things which are unobservable in the moment according to particular constraints. We can never know what happened before we existed, however well we can reproduce the pattern from logical necessity. To be unobservable is to be an unknown unknown. We know of many things that we cannot observe due to logistic constraints.

(18) Can one make sense of a non-reductionist view of theoretical entities?

We can have lots of different views of entities that are not inherently reducible to each other. The mind is not reducible to the brain even though the phenomenological state has a strict neural correlate. The difference is that we use them toward different purposes of understanding. Water molecules are not wet because the word wet isn't useful on that level of understanding.

(19) Can there be aspects of reality that are in principle unknowable?

Yes. Anything which is subject to logistic constraints for example.

(20) Why is there something, rather than nothing?

This question assumes that both are possible, which is an unsupportable hypothesis. Nothing has never existed and if it did, we couldn't do anything with it. The word nothing means a lack of something specific. Even empty space is an area where things can go be.

(23) What is time?

Time is change differentiated by us in order to force our interactions into an agreed upon framework, because it's easier to get things done that way.

(24) Is time real, or an illusion?

Change is real, and our observance of change is real, but time as differentiated change is made up.

(27) Is space real, or an illusion?

Since we all apparently sense it more or less the same, in what sense could it be an illusion? Reality, for external purposes, is whatever we agree that it is. Since we seem to have no problem agreeing and getting things done, it must be more or less the way we perceive it.

(28) Is space itself an entity, or is it reducible to spatial relations between objects and

Space is relational. It means nothing except as a distance from something else for some wanted purpose.

(29) What are laws of nature?

Law is a human concept. Natural law, like math, is descriptive of reality. Reality is subject to no law.

(30) Do laws of nature govern the occurrence of events in time?

Yes. Everything is strictly causal in all directions and at all levels of understanding. Time is not immediate because it is relative, but it is perfectly causal. It acts as a change-buffer, for human purposes.

(33) Is causation real, or an illusion?

There has never been found an exception to causality, only to determinacy - which is about our certainty, not external reality.

(34) Could a cause succeed its effect?

Only if we completely change the meaning of the words.

(35) Could a cause and its effect be simultaneous?

No, because in order for the words to be meaningful they have to act in succession.

(38) Is the world a deterministic one?

As far as anyone has ever been able to measure it. Indeterminacy doesn't mean it can't be known, it means it can't be known under our current constraints.

(39) What are persisting substances? Are they bundles of properties, or properties
plus a substratum, or . . . ?

They are the persistance of the pattern over time, toward some particular purpose. When a body dies we don't consider it the same kind of thing even though the physical pattern is nearly identical, yet if you pull a tooth or chop off an arm, a much larger physical change, we still consider you to be the same thing. All things qua things are subject to the purpose for which it was defined into existence.

(40) What constitutes "identity over time"?

The apparent continuity of the pattern, either internally (for internal purposes) or externally (for external purposes)

(41) Do objects perdure, or endure?

The endure as long as the pattern is a useful one to some thinking being, after which they are again undifferentiated stuff with no attribute of meaning or being, no pattern.

(42) Does the physical universe depend upon the existence of an immaterial creator?

The physical universe depends on nothing, it merely is.

(44) Could there be a person who was not in time?

That would be a person not subject to change, in which case, in what sense are they a person since they do not do things that persons do?

(46) Is the self a bundle of experiences?

You are the apparent continuity of your experience, which could adequately be described as a bundle.

(48) Do humans involve immaterial souls?

There is no such thing as immaterial. There are two kinds of things to us, matter, which is material in the physical sense, and energy which is material in the sensable sense (having a measurable impact on physical things).

(49) Do humans involve any properties that are not reducible to the properties that
characterize the inanimate world?

Yes. We have created for ourselves patterns like justice and love which do not exist in the inanimate world.

(50) What is consciousness?

Consciousness is an awareness fairy. Consciousness can only direct itself toward one pattern at a time, but that pattern can be internal or external and can be broader or more specific. Consciousness moves around in this conscious mind-space, gathering input from the senses and sorting and organising them according to your priorities and prior experience.

(52) Could consciousness be a purely physical phenomenon?

The physical/neural correlate of consciousness is not a useful concept for phenomenology.

(54) Are humans free?

In what testable sense are we not subject to constraints? Can you fly? Can you choose to think of something other than what you actually do think of? Can you relieve yourself of your culture? Your upbringing? Your biology? No, we are not free, but we use the word so it must have some real pattern, and that pattern is phenomenological - the feeling of freedom.

(55) Is freedom compatible with determinism?

Only in the sense that freedom is experiential while determinism is material/physical.

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Re: Some Metaphysical Questions (answered)

Post by ken » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:50 pm

Is this what you were suggesting solves metaphysics?

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